If you own a double-barreled shotgun and get frequent use out of it, it’s important to know how to keep in clean. Your gun must have a thorough cleaning before it goes into storage for an extended period and after you take it back out, too. But to keep the gun in tip-top condition, it should get at least a cursory cleaning after every shooting session.
For those seasonal deep-cleaning sessions, you could always turn your shotgun over to a professional at a gun shop or a shooting range; many such businesses offer cleaning services for reasonable fees. Knowing how to clean your shotgun yourself is an integral part of responsible gun ownership, though! The basic instructions provided here (along with a good cleaning kit) can get you off to a good start.
Tools Required To Clean A Shotgun
Cleaning a double-barreled shotgun is like any other sort of skilled labor: Full effectiveness depends on tackling the job with the right tools. Your gun’s longevity and reliability rely on your ability to keep it clean and protect the more sensitive parts of the weapon from debris and grime that might impede its function, learn more here. The following basic tools are essential:
- Bronze wire brush
- Cleaning rod
- Cleaning patches
- Clean cloths and/or paper towels
- An old toothbrush or a gun brush of similar size
- Gun Oil
The Shotgun Cleaning Process
The first order of business is, of course, to verify that your shotgun is unloaded. Then, make sure you have a clear, safe space to get to work. You should also check for condensation in the barrels or any other moisture in or on the gun. Wipe this off thoroughly before you get down to business. These basic steps will get you started:
1) Break your shotgun and remove the barrels from the action. Separate the barrels from the stock as well. Leave your gun’s choke inserts in place; this keeps your cleaning activities from accidentally fouling the barrel threads.
2) Put a patch on your cleaning rod and run it through the barrel from breech to muzzle. This will clear large debris and moisture. Repeat the process with a fresh patch for the second barrel.
3) Push the wire brush through each barrel to scrub away powder residue. Depending on your brush, you may need to use the cleaning rod to push it through.
4) Run a patch down each barrel to pick up any debris loosened by the brush.
5) Put a few drops of oil onto a fresh patch and run it through each barrel. This will apply enough oil to prevent rust.
6) Using your toothbrush or gun brush, thoroughly scrub the rib between the barrels, top and bottom. Use a clean cloth to give each side a light coat of oil.
7) Work a light coat of oil into the moving parts – extractors, knuckle, locking bolt, cross-pin, etc. Do not apply too much, as excess oil can impede the smooth operation of the parts.
8) Reassemble your shotgun.
9) Wipe the entire gun down with a soft cloth. Apply a small amount of oil to the exposed metal parts.
10) If you are storing your shotgun for an extended period, make sure it’s placed barrels down. This ensures that any excess oil or condensation is drawn by gravity away from the moving parts of the action.