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How to Clean a Rifle
How to Clean a Rifle


How to Clean a Rifle: The Basics Explained

Has your gun seen some action this season and started to look a little tired?

Cleaning your rifle not only makes it look great but also increases its efficiency. If you want to get the best from your rifle, you need to know how to look after it.

Luckily, it is not as hard as you think. Read on for our expert guide on how to clean a rifle.

1. Unload

The first step is to make sure that the gun is not loaded. Pointing it away from you in a safe direction, disengage the action. Do a visual check for any ammo that may still be in there.

2. Disassemble

The next step is to disassemble your rifle. Make sure you have a workbench or a sturdy, flat table to do this on. If it is a table, make sure you have a cloth to protect the table from the oils and chemicals you will use for cleaning.

You can remove the bolt and set it to one side. If it is the end of the season and you want a really deep clean, then you can take out the barrel and trigger as well.

3. Cleaning the Bolt

When cleaning a rifle, the bolt is one of the most frequent bits of maintenance you can do. You will need to buy a CLP (Cleaner, lubricant, preservative) which you can easily find at most gun stores. Put it on a cloth and degrease the bolt itself.

The bolt face itself should be cleaned using a powder solvent. Apply it to a Q-tip and wipe the area down, going under the extractor as well.

4. How to Clean a Rifle Scope

You should really only clean and dust your scope when dirt starts to accumulate on the lens, impairing vision. This should be done using a specialist lens brush. For polishing the scope itself, use a simple microfibre cloth applied in swirling motions.

If you decide to use a liquid cleaner for really stubborn stains, then never apply it directly to the lens. Always place it on a cloth first. This page can tell you more about rifle scopes.

5. How to Clean a Rifle Barrel

To clean the barrel, you need to purchase bore cleaner from your local rifle store. One of the best gun cleaning tips is to attach a clean patch to the end of a cleaning rod that has been doused in barrel cleaner. Push this through and remove the patch before taking out the next cleaning rod.

After this, add cleaning solvent to a copper bore brush. Run this in and out of the barrel a few times. Then place clean patches back through the barrel and keep putting them through until they return without dirt or fluid.


Now you know how to clean a rifle, all you need to do is reassemble and store it. Dry fire it a few times to check the action works, then clean up yourself. Your rifle should be as good as new.

If you found this article helpful, we have many more on our blog. From maintenance to outdoor advice, read our handy guides to help you get the best from your hunt this season!

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