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How To Keep Your Guns in Top Shape

Deer hunting season is drawing to a close, but before you store your firearms, here’s some helpful info on how to keep your guns in top shape.

Cleaning your firearms routinely is in your best interest, as it will help maintain their value, lifetime and accuracy potential. Sport shooters clean their rifles after every use because of the effect fired shots have on the barrel and bore of the gun.

Carbon and copper residue left in the bore of a rifle will eat away at the materials that make up the gun. Some hunters may only use their rifles or shotguns a few times during the year. Nevertheless, it’s important to keep your gun clean to ensure top performance and maintain the lifetime of your firearm.

You’ll need a gun cleaning kit with the following items: solvent, pipe cleaners, gun grease, a cleaning rod, bore light, rod tips, cloths and some screwdrivers.

Initial Steps

Use a work bench that has a stand to securely hold the firearm in a horizontal position. Always make sure the muzzle is pointed away from you or any persons, and unload the gun.

It’s not always necessary, but for the most thorough cleaning job, field strip your firearm as shown in the gun’s service manual. This way you can clean each individual part.


You’ll need a cleaning kit that’s suited for your firearm’s specific gauge or caliber. Cleaning kits usually come with step-by-step instructions.

Shots fired from your firearm will leave carbon and copper residue in the gun’s bore, which over time will reduce the firearm’s accuracy and deteriorate the metal, thereby decreasing the gun’s value and lifetime.

Start the cleaning process with the barrel from the breach end to the muzzle using a cleaning rod with a brush or a patch. After you get out the initial residue, attach a bore brush with some solvent to the rod and clean the barrel again. Use patches again, this time with solvent. When the bore is dry and your patch comes out clean, you’re ready to move on.

Also, clean off any exterior surfaces of the gun, and apply oil to the metal surfaces of the gun.


It’s best to store your firearms in either one of two ways: horizontal or with the muzzle pointing down. These two positions are the best way to keep gun oil from dripping into the firearm’s action, and potentially onto the stock. It’s also a good idea to keep your ammunition in a separate container from your firearms.

With these tips, you’ll be taking responsibility for the care of your firearm and can rest assured that it will perform well when you take it out of its case for the next round of hunting.

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How To Keep Your Guns in Top Shape