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Glock Maintenance and cleaningGlock Maintenance and cleaning

Spring Cleaning for Firearms

Spring cleaning is not just for your home and garage – your firearms can also likely use a fresh cleaning and routine maintenance checkup. If your guns have been stored all winter, or stuck in a holster with little use for months, they probably need attention to keep them in prime condition. Or, if you hunted throughout the fall and winter seasons, your guns likely need a thorough cleaning and conditioning before spring hunting or storage until the fall.

Follow these steps to clean your firearms safely and thoroughly.

Unload All Guns – Double Check Every Firearm

The cardinal rule of firearm safety is to treat every gun as if it were loaded. When preparing to spring clean your guns, unload them and double check that the chamber is empty and the gun is clear.

  • Remove the magazine and lock open the slide on automatics.
  • Open the cylinder, remove rounds, and leave the cylinder open on revolvers.
  • Open the bolt, remove any magazines or rounds, and leave the bolt open on rifles.
  • Open the action and remove any shells, then leave the action open on shotguns.

Semi-Automatic Handguns

Automatics are somewhat different and more popular than revolvers, so make sure to care, handle, and clean your automatic handgun properly using the following steps:

  1. Remove the Slide – Every semi-automatic handgun will have a slide release lever along the side of the slide. You may need to find a video online to demonstrate how to locate and use it. Activate this lever to release the slide and remove it completely. It will contain the barrel, a spring, and some other small components.
  2. Clean the Slide and Barrel – Wipe away oil, grease, and carbon using a soft cloth dampened with high-grade gun cleaning solvent. You can use cotton swabs or a pipe cleaner to get into hard-to-reach places. Using a barrel brush is the best way to clean the inside of the barrel. Continue passing the brush or cleaning patches with solvent in one direction through the barrel until they come out clean. Stubborn buildups inside the barrel may require a bristle brush to loosen the material.
  3. Clean Small Parts & Areas – This includes the extractor, ejector, firing pin and hole, and mother areas. It isn’t necessary to disassemble these parts, simply brushing and wiping them clean is sufficient.
  4. Inspect the Grip, Sights, and Body of the Handgun – Wipe these areas clean and look for loose screws on sights, grips, or other components. Tighten carefully if needed. Clean magazines and the mag well with a toothbrush or pipe cleaner.
  5. Lightly Oil and Reassemble – Consult your manufacturer’s specifications and recommendations for oiling your firearm (where and how much). Usually only a very light coating is warranted. Reassemble and dry fire your fun to ensure it is in proper working order. Wipe off any excess oil, especially from the grips and slide. Store appropriately.


Cleaning and servicing a revolver is somewhat simpler than an automatic, as there are fewer parts to disassemble.

  1. After unloading the firearm, remove the cylinder and clean each chamber with bore cleaner as in the instructions above.
  2. Clean the yoke or crane that holds the cylinder by brushing or wiping away any grease, oil, or carbon.
  3. Clean the barrel following the instructions above using a good quality bore cleaner.
  4. Wipe off the grips, sights, and other parts of the handgun.
  5. Lightly oil the handgun’s moving parts. Wipe away any excess oil.
  6. Reassemble and dry the firearm to ensure the gun works properly.

Rifles & Shotguns

Rifles and shotguns can be cleaned in a similar fashion. Removing the barrels is recommended for a more thorough cleaning, although shotguns that break down can be easily cleaned with the barrel intact. Always clean rifle and shotgun barrels by inserting the cleaning patch at the end near the chamber (breech) and pushing out through the muzzle to prevent debris from getting into the gun’s action.

Get Professional Help If Needed

C2 Tactical in Tempe and Scottsdale has professional gunsmiths when you encounter a problem with your firearms. Don’t risk a serious injury – any problem you don’t understand should be referred to a gunsmith for repairs. Contact us today for more information.



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