How to Clean Your Handgun

If you’re a serious prepper or survivalist, you own at least 1 firearm.  They are the ultimate equalizers and your best friend in the wild or in any hostile environment.  They will kill your food, protect you against enemies, and help others locate your position if trying to be found.

The handgun is the most concealable firearm and a life-saver in a self defense situation.  Modern handguns are extremely reliable and effective, but will not remain that way if you don’t look after them.

Learning how to properly clean your handgun may mean the difference between a neutralized target or a jammed, useless piece of metal that will cost you time and get you killed.

There are hundred of different handguns available made by many different companies.  They all operate based on a similar system, but differ in disassembly methods, safeties, and parts.

This article from Guns&Ammo goes through items you need and what you need to do to ensure that your handgun remains reliable and ready for whenever you need it.

Some of the things you’ll want to remember before starting include:

  • review the owner’s manual of your handgun extensively
  • clean your handgun after shooting or before storage
  • find a well-ventilated area to clean your handgun
  • make sure your handgun is UNLOADED before starting

You can go to your local gun store or online and find a gun cleaning kit for your firearm.  This kit should include:

  • solvent (remove lead and powder fouling)
  • lubricant (oil)
  • bore brush
  • patch holder
  • patches
  • cleaning rod
  • nylon cleaning brush*
  • small bore light*
  • cotton swabs* (for tight spaces)

*not necessary for a cleaning kit but can come in handy

Regardless of what handgun you own, the overall cleaning process will stay the same for all models.  For semi-auto handguns, the main parts to field strip will be the barrel, slide, guide rod, frame, and magazine.  For a revolver, the main part is the cylinder (removed from the frame in single-action revolvers, or simply swung open in double-action revolvers).

The interior of the barrel is one of the most important parts to clean and can be very labor-intensive.

Other than reading this article, go on YouTube and look up cleaning videos for your specific handgun.  Some of them can be very helpful, especially if you’re confused on how to do the initial field-strip, or even if you want recommendations on cleaning oil/lubricant brands.