How to Properly Maintain Your Rifle

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How to Properly Maintain Your Rifle

Rifles are one of the most long-standing weapons in history and have become a permanent fixture in the world of hunting. However, in order to keep a gun useable and firing accurately it needs to be maintained. The cleaning process can be an intricate task, but is invaluable if done correctly.

Simply put, properly maintaining a rifle is an essential chore for any gun enthusiast. A poorly maintained rifle is an accident waiting to happen when out on a hunt and can be hazardous to those around you. An unreliable weapon can lead to malfunction at pivotal moments.This guide is here to make sure that doesn’t happen. eBay provides all that is required to successfully clean and maintain a rifle in order to make sure it becomes a durable piece of equipment.

Rifle Preparation

Before starting the cleaning and maintenance process, you’ll need to acquire the following items. These items play a large part in keeping a rifle firing on all cylinders. They are:

  • Paper towels
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Solvent
  • Copper solvent
  • Barrel rod
  • Oil or grease
  • Brush

Rifle Safety

All forms of firearm are extremely dangerous and rifles are no exception. When doing maintenance to a rifle, ensure that the muzzle is pointed away from the body (preferably towards the floor) and unloaded. To safely discharge a weapon take the following steps.

  • Eject the magazine.
  • Empty the chamber.
  • Pull back the bolt and physically make sure that there aren’t any cartridges stuck or jammed in the chamber.
  • Always be 100% sure that the gun is unloaded before moving on, as cleaning a loaded weapon can be deadly.

Rifle Cleaning

In order to see what issues are hampering a rifles performance it needs to be field stripped; this means dismantling the weapon. In order to do this, take the following steps:

  • Read the manual, it should provide step-by-step instructions on how to take apart a particular model.
  • Expect automatic rifles to be far more complicated to tear down.
  • Once down, split the parts and lay them out on paper towels in order to identify the components that need cleaning.


There are several primary areas that require attention when cleaning a rifle, with the most crucial being the barrel. The barrel is the part that helps determine the rifles accuracy, users must be careful when cleaning the barrel as it can be damaged easily.

  • Use a bore brush to break up any residue build-up.
  • Run a bore brush up and down the barrel at least five times to make sure there is a clear passageway.
  • Don’t reverse the direction of the brush whilst inside the barrel as it can cause damage.
  • Always push the brush through the entire barrel and out the other end.
  • Swab the barrel with solvent soaked cloths.
  • Run the swabs from receiver to nozzle.

Bolt and Chamber

Many rifles are bolt action; with this type of gun the bolt is manually operated by the opening and closing of the barrel. This is done via a small handle attached to the right of the back of the weapon. As the handle is operated the bolt unlocks, the barrel opens and any empty cartridge comes out. This process allows the shooter to reload. The bolt and chamber areas of the gun are key to the firing and reloading process; if in poor condition they can bring the weapon to a standstill.

  • Wipe down the components with a lint free cloth.
  • Remove most and preferably all of the thick carbon build up that has been created by excess friction.
  • Wipe off any oil and unused powder.
  • Clean the inside of the magazine, the area around the chamber and most importantly the ejector.
  • Some areas will be soot black. In such cases persistence is key in order to get them looking like new again.

Rifle Scope

One area that shooters tend to neglect is a rifle’s scope; it is time for shooters to take this part of the gun more seriously. Cleaning a riflescope is a simple process, and all it takes is a little care and attention to keep it in prime condition.

  • Clean the lens with specialised lens cleaner; this will be the same cleaner that is used to clean camera lenses.
  • Do not use multi-surface cleaners or tap water to clean a lens. Such substances attack the coating and can scratch the glass.
  • Use natural wax polish to clean the plastic casing.


  • Spray solvent on all components that can contract dirt.
  • Many manufacturers design their rifles to work alongside such fluid.
  • Too much solvent is better than not enough.
  • Scrub the entire gun from top to bottom with a light brush, like a toothbrush.
  • When cleaning a gas-operated rifle, take special care when cleaning around gas tubes and the gas inlet.
  • Dry the gun with a lint-free cloth and get everywhere that you have sprayed solvent.
  • If there are still persistent pieces of dried on dirt use a pick to remove them.
  • Be sure that the gun is completely dry before reengaging in use.

Rifle Warnings

  • Make sure the solvent you choose is safe for your gun and safe for contact with the skin.
  • Keep oil away from the firing pin housing, as it is a magnet for dirt and can cause misfiring. Both of which can be dangerous to whoever is holding the gun.
  • Wash your hands after handling weaponry and weapon cleaning products.
  • Solvent fumes can be extremely toxic so make sure you clean your rifle in a well-ventilated area and wear a mouth mask.

Final Tips    

  • If some residue build-up proves tough to remove, soak it in solvent for a while before cleaning.
  • Clean your barrel every ten shots, it will improve accuracy and reduce the need for deeper cleaning.
  • Solvent evaporates, so if you get some in areas that are hard to reach don’t worry about it too much.
  • A think coat of oil on the exterior parts of a rifle helps prevent rusting and moisture saturation.
  • Be careful with what ammo you use, certain bullets from Eastern Europe are low quality and use a primer that contains potentially harmful corrosive salts. These can be destructive to some forms of rifle and should be avoided.
  • Always disassemble and reassemble a rifle to the manufacturers instructions.


It’s a common misconception that rifles are robust, maintenance free and dirt resistant weapons. This couldn’t be any further from the truth; they are in fact intricate pieces of equipment that require a lot of care and attention. If not cared for properly rifles are extremely dangerous items that can harm both the user and those around them. Misfiring and backfiring has been known to cause serious injury and is something that no one should have to experience.

The upside of rifle cleaner is that they’re a wide variety of products and brands to choose from to aid the process. When acquiring the products of interest there is no better shopping outlet to use than eBay. There, and only there, will you get all the products you require at competitive prices.

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