How to Clean a Gun Barrel – Beginners Guide (May 2024)

Let’s learn how to clean a gun barrel in this article.

Whether your firearm is brand new or handed down through several decades, it needs regular and proper maintenance to stay in good form and shoot correctly for future hunting seasons. 

It all begins with the correct tools and a thorough understanding of your objectives. Cooked gunpowder and bullet remnants form spiral patterns in the barrel called twirling when shooting a rifle. 

Because these grooves cause the projectile to spin, any moisture or dirt introduced during the hunting or shooting can reduce accuracy. 

As the rifling deteriorates, this can lead to rust, fouling, and eventually a constant reduction in performance. 

Cleaning the barrel of your rifle after each shot is a good idea. It takes very little time and can greatly prolong the life of your gun.

How to Clean a Gun Barrel [Steps by Steps]

The first stage in barrel cleanup is to use the jag to drive a patch drenched in-bore solution down the barrel.

Here’s a helpful hint: Keep a dozen repairs in a small glass bottle in your cleaning equipment. Pour the solvent over the container while applying it to a patch. 

You won’t be wasting solvent this way, and you’ll always have saturated patches on hand.

The first shot with the solvent-soaked pad will start loosening the fouling and clearing out any dirt in your chamber.

Insert the plug on the jag’s pointed end, wet it insolvent, then use constant pressure to drive it through the bore tube and barrel. 

Wipe away the solvent that might drip on your gun stock as it can eat through the finish.

You might see both black and blue fouling on the patch with your first few passes through the barrel.

The blue is the copper residue reacting to the solvent, and the black is fouling powder. You can clean both colors.

Now, screw your bristle bore brush into the cleaning rod, coat it with solvent, and push it back and forth through the barrel. 

Try to do about a dozen strokes and finish out-stroke, so you push everything out of the barrel. 

Once that’s done, unscrew the brush and pull the rod back out. To eliminate solvent and fouling, rub a hand towel over the pole and brush every now and again.

Take a few moments to wipe the powder out and any humidity or dirt that may have gotten in while shooting.

This will improve the accuracy and longevity of your rifle. It takes very little time and may become an important part of your hunting and shooting regimen quickly.

A video Explaining how to clean a shotgun and also explain How to Clean the Outside of a Gun barrel

Here is another video that explains How To Clean Your Rifle

Important Gun Cleaning Tools


Most newly acquired weapons will arrive with all the equipment needed to disassemble and reassemble the weapon. On the other hand, those tools might be little and easily misplaced. 

You may have other tools on hand, such as Phillips or flathead pliers, that will do, but we, including those at the shooting site Wide Open Spaces, recommend buying a Multi-Tool. 

A Multi-Tool is a compact, useful item that stores all of the equipment you’ll need to dismantle your gun in one location. 

Furthermore, the Multi-Tool may be used in almost any other circumstance that necessitates the usage of tools.

Check: Best gun cleaning kit in the market

Cleaning Rods

It’s worth noting that it’s a lot simpler to harm your rifle while cleaning it than you would believe. It might be as easy as purchasing the incorrect cleaning tools for your firearm. 

Cleaning rods are the kind of items that must be handled with caution. The secret is to buy the best cleaning rod made of gentler metal than your gun’s metal. 

A carbon fiber rod is also an option if you want to go for something a little more high-end. 

Both of these poles are used to wash the interior of your weapon’s barrel, so it’s critical to choose something that won’t scratch the material.

Bore Brush, Jag, or Loop

These are the 3 items that attach to the tip of your scrubbing rod. Each instrument has a different purpose, but they are all safe to use. There are two types of bore brushes: bronze and nylon. 

Bronze brushes are more gritty than nylon bristles, but nylon bristles are more durable. Bore wipers are used to clear or disintegrate any build-up inside the rifle barrel. 

Check: Best gun cleaning brushes

Jags and Loops, on the other hand, are used to clean the inside of the barrel using a patch. The patch is stuck to the little tip on the bottom with a jag. 

The patch is pushed through the needle-like opening with a circuit. After each trip through the gun, the plug must be replaced, so you aren’t constantly pushing the same filth through the cylinder.


How often do you clean your barrel?

It depends on your use. You should clean your barrel after shooting every time in shooting range, but in general, it is much better to do this on a regular basis than wait until you try to fire when dirty.

What happens if a gun is over-oiled?

You can wipe off excess lubricant if it creates issues with the rifle. If you don’t lubricate your handgun properly and it corrodes, you’ll have quite a lot of effort to clean it and will need to replace components that have rusted too much.

Is it possible to soak bullets with oil?

Essentially, the concept of soaking your rifle in oil is no longer a viable one. We routinely get weapons that have been saturated in oil and discover that the action has become really gummed up, to the extent that it is no longer smooth and slick.

Is it necessary to grease a new gun?

Don’t saturate it since the lubricant has to be present at the connection points to benefit our purposes.


It’s critical to keep up with this expert weapon care advice. Making sure your gun is clean and in good working order is one of the most critical things you can do with it. 

You might anticipate your pistol to malfunction if it is unclean and not properly greased, which could harm you and others. is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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I'm an passionate gun cleaning expert from NY US. My goal is to save you time by doing the leg work for you and putting all the essential information in one location to be confident about the cleaning your gun.

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