Getting a new firearm can be exciting, and you may be eager to take your gun to the shooting range and test it out. However, it’s very important that you first clean your new gun before putting it to use.

Gun cleaning, even for a new firearm, is a very important process. If a gun is brand new, why would you need to clean it? The answer is that most guns arrive from the factory with leftover oil and grease from the manufacturing process. To ensure proper use of the gun, and to prevent any damage from occurring, a responsible gun owner should clean this oil and grease before firing their gun.

The cleaning process for a firearm may be somewhat involved, but it isn’t super difficult. In this post, we’ll share the full process of cleaning a firearm safely and efficiently. Be sure to have a safe and open space, cleaning supplies, and your owner’s manual ready to go!

Gun and Knife

How to Clean a Gun Step-by-Step

Gun cleaning is very important, and proper cleaning involves many important steps. Follow our guide below to clean your firearm thoroughly and safely!

Prepare the Work Area and Cleaning Supplies

Be sure to have all of the essentials for routine cleaning ready and available, and be sure to set up your work area in a safe location, such as your garage or outside. It’s important that you have a clean area with plenty of space.

Here are some of the supplies you will need for the cleaning process:

  • Cleaning rod
  • Bore brush
  • Cleaning jags
  • Cleaning swab
  • Mops
  • Double-ended/utility brushes
  • Cleaning patches
  • Luster cloth
  • Silicone impregnated Gun and Reel Cloth
  • Cotton swabs
  • Bore snake
  • Cleaning chemicals, including bore cleaners, action cleaners, and lubricants
  • Disposable drip pan

Consult the Owner’s Manual

It’s important that you keep your gun owner’s manual and read it entirely. This manual contains important information about your specific firearm! It will explain how to take your gun apart and how to safely clean it. It will typically offer helpful pictures and diagrams to make the process easier.

Make Sure the Firearm Is Empty

This is an important step for your safety and the safety of those around you. Be sure to always check a gun before cleaning it to confirm that it is empty. It’s also important to remove all live ammunition from the cleaning area.

Clean the Barrel and Chamber

Start by dry brushing the chamber and barrel with a copper-phosphate or nylon bore brush, starting from the chamber and moving toward the muzzle. Dip a cleaning patch in bore solvent and place it on the tip of your cleaning rod. Push the cleaning patch through the barrel and out the other side, saturating the chamber and bore surface. Don’t pull it back through the firearm, as this will redeposit debris back into the bore.

Allow the cleaning solvent to break down for 10-15 min, then use the bore brush to scrub the inside of the barrel. Use a new, dry patch to remove any residue. Keep running it through the bore until it comes out clean.

Avoid lubricating the bore using gun oil!  If you will be storing the firearm long-term, you can treat the bore with a heavy lubricant, but this must be removed by cleaning the barrel before shooting the firearm.

Finally, finish by cleaning the exterior of the barrel, the barrel hood, the barrel lug, and the feed ramp.

Clean and Lubricate the Action

It’s important to clean and lubricate the action, in addition to the barrel of the gun. Use a nylon utility brush, dry cloth, and action cleaner solvent. You can spray the solvent liberally from the top of the frame, which will let carbon and metal debris be washed into the drip pan. Be sure to follow any manufacturer recommendations for your model, and properly dispose of cleaning residues.

Finally, use a needle applicator to apply drops of lubricant at the specified points on the frame, slide assembly, and exterior of the barrel. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and be sure not to lubricate too much.

Wipe Down the Outside of the Gun

After the inside of the gun and all its parts have been cleaned and lubricated, you’ll want to use a gun/reel cloth to wipe down the outside of the gun. This will give your weapon a shine and remove any additional debris and excess oil.

Reassemble and Perform a Functional Check After Cleaning

Whenever you disassemble and reassemble a firearm, it’s important to perform a functional check to make sure it’s still operational. This will verify the functioning of the trigger mechanism, safety, slide operation and locking, magazine retention, and ejection systems. Follow the manufacturer’s procedure for testing your firearm and be sure to follow the gun safety rules.

Guide To Cleaning A Used Gun

If you have purchased a used gun, it’s important to clean the weapon more thoroughly as you may not know the firearm’s full history. You may need to more thoroughly disassemble the weapon for a full inspection. Inspect all components for signs of wear or damage and get to know your “new” weapon.

If you have a military surplus firearm, it is especially important to clean it well as it may be covered in cosmoline.



Do you need to clean a brand-new gun?

Yes, you need to clean a brand-new gun before firing it. When new firearms ship from the factory, they contain oils and grease leftover from manufacturing. These can damage your gun if not wiped away! Cleaning your firearms ensures safe operation and allows you to become familiar with the basic operation of it.

Do I clean my new gun after 1 round?

You should clean your new gun before shooting your first round.

Should I oil the outside of my gun?

No, you shouldn’t oil the outside of your gun. You should clean it with a cloth to remove any debris from the outside.

Can you use WD40 for gun cleaning?

No, you should not use WD40 on your guns at all. Cleaning your gun with WD40 will leave behind too much debris, and your gun will be dirty.

What do you wipe the outside of a gun with?

Use a gun or reel cloth to wipe down the outside of your gun and remove any debris.

What happens if I don’t clean my handgun?

It’s important to clean your handgun to keep your weapon in tip-top shape, but it’s also a safety concern. Cleaning your gun properly reduces the risk of accidental discharge.

Disclaimer: This blog post was written for informational purposes. We make no claim of being experts in anything other than insurance.