Gunsmithing Tips: Proper Barrel Cleaning

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Gunsmithing Tips: Proper Barrel Cleaning

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GunClean.jpgCleaning your rifle barrel regularly is as important as changing the oil in your vehicle. Without proper cleaning, the rifle will not perform optimally and can become damaged. Always check twice to ensure the rifle is unloaded before starting.

What You Will Need:

  • Some old toothbrushes and utility brushes

  • Q-tips

  • Cleaning patches

  • Bore brush to match rifle caliber

  • Gun oil

  • Bore cleaner or solvent

  • Rifle barrel cleaning rod and slotted end

  • Bent cleaning brush for rifles lacking easy breech-end access

Steps To Clean a Rifle Barrel

1. Use the Bore Brush

When cleaning any rifle, use the breech end whenever possible. Put some bore cleaner on the brush. Insert it all of the way into the barrel, and do not pull it backward until it has reached completely through. This will keep debris from being pushed into the action. 

2. Use the Cleaning Rod

Next, put a slotted end on the barrel rod. Wet a patch, put it in the slotted end, and put the rod into the rifle barrel. Use a series of wet and dry patches in the barrel, running them completely through each time. Do this until the last two dry patches come out clean.

3. Oil the Barrel

Since oil is necessary for rust prevention, accuracy and function, it is important to always keep the barrel lubricated. Put a clean patch on the slotted end of the cleaning rod, apply oil to the patch and run the rod up and down the complete length of the barrel.

4. Clean the Action

Put some solvent on the rifle's moving action parts, and use the utility brushes and toothbrushes to scrub them clean. Debris builds up in these, so be sure to do this every time the barrel is cleaned. Use varying sizes of brushes to reach tighter spaces or broader spaces. After the parts are clean, wipe them dry. Apply a thin coat of oil to the cleaned area.

After completing these steps, wipe down all metal areas of the rifle barrel. Apply a thin layer of oil. Sometimes it is easier to complete the process by seeing it, so learn how to quickly clean your rifle barrel in SDI's short instructional video.

Helpful Tips to Remember

  • When shooting with copper-jacketed ammo, use a solvent that is specially formulated for cleaning the barrel afterward. Hoppe's Bench Rest 9 is a good solution.

  • Since there are different types of solvents for different rifles, spend some time researching before deciding which one to use.

  • When shooting with corrosive ammo, take a 3/1 ammonia and water solution along. Run a patch with the solution through the barrel immediately after shooting, follow with dry patches and oil the barrel.

Looking for more tips to help you keep your firearms in great working condition? Check back here every couple of weeks or go to the SDI on YouTube!

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See also...

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A Resource Worth Checking Out

A resource that is worth checking out is  Their media team describes as a "free website linking military spouses together through supportive, informative, and inspiring content."  That sounded interesting enough, so we decided to take their website for a little test-drive.  What we found is a clean, easy-to-navigate site that's full of solid information that includes  posts  ranging   from  spouse  careers  and  financial  advice  to   parenting  and  Military  transitions. is actually a product of AAFMAA (American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association), a non-profit membership association supporting our military community with insurance, financial planning, and survivor assistance for widows and widowers.  Guys, you will notice that their spouse content is a little "feminine heavy."  No worries, we're teaming up with them to help share some of our stuff from this website.  So they are well aware that male spouses exist!

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Nurturing the Money Tree: Creating Income - Part 1

DirectionDivaLogo.jpgTo work or not to work that is the question on all of our minds at one time or another in our military careers.

It seems that the subject of employment comes up whenever money is tight, when the kids are all finally in school, or you PCS to a new duty station. I can't tell you how many times I have thought about getting a job outside of our home just so we could have a little wiggle room in the budget.

I even tried it one year to get some extra holiday cash, and frankly it was a disaster. Nothing got done, the kids were disappointed because I wasn't home when they came back from college, and my husband hated the fact that his life had to change, not to mention my home business began to struggle as well. (Yes, he is spoiled but the fact that he is a genius on the grill makes up for it)
For some military spouses working outside the home works for them, but for many of us the constant changes, multiple moves and unpredictability of our lives make employment very difficult unless you are fortunate to have a career that can move with you.



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