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Cleaning your firearms


Welcome to SSAA TV. Your rifle, pistol or shotgun requires constant
maintenance to keep it functioning properly, just like any piece of precision equipment. Starting on the outside, all metal parts should
be cleaned and lubricated to prevent rust and corrosion from dirty, sweaty fingers,
mud and moisture. Metal-to-metal surfaces need to be cleaned and lubricated to prevent wear. The parts that need attention on a bolt-action
rifle are the barrel, the action, bolt and the magazine. It’s easy to forget about
the magazine, but keeping it clean prevents abrasive dirt from entering the chamber with
a cartridge. Clean the bolt face with a toothbrush and
apply oil to all exposed surfaces. Water can pass into the stock, out of sight,
so stripping your firearm to its basic components is something you should do if you’ve been
out in damp conditions. Normally, a wipe-over with an oil-cloth is all that’s needed. Cleaning inside the barrel or bore the wrong
way can do more harm than good. Bent cleaning rods and poorly made brushes can damage the sharp edges of the rifling, throat and crown. So if the rod or brush is off-centre, it can
damage the crown and rifling, and have a major influence on accuracy. Cleaning kits are handy, compact and widely
available. Alternatively, just buy the components you need. There’s a wide assortment of cleaning
products on the market and as a general rule, the more expensive the better. First of all, a strong, straight, one-piece
rod, preferably made of steel or carbon fibre, with a ball-bearing handle. Buy the most expensive
rod you can afford, look after it, keep it clean and straight and it will give you years
of reliable service. Using a bore guide helps keep the rod centred. The bronze brush does all the hard scrubbing
work. A nylon brush makes a good jag to wrap the flannelette around. Cut the flannelette, such as this 4×2, to
the correct size for the calibre. You don’t want the patch too tight or too loose. The chemicals you’ll need are: a bore solvent,
some good gun oil, and some methylated spirits. Occasionally, you might also need something
a bit stronger. A wool mop is handy for cleaning and drying
the chamber. This one is a .410 shotgun mop. When you find good-quality cleaning gear,
look after it. Wash brushes in mentholated spirits and store them in plastic bags to keep them clean. Ideally, barrels should get a thorough clean
after 30 or 40 shots. If you can, scrub the bore with a dry bronze brush after a day out
shooting. It will help prevent the build-up of what’s called ‘powder glaze’ that
forms from the powder residue left inside the barrel. This is best done before the barrel
gets cold. Doing this will make cleaning a lot easier when you get home. For a thorough clean, put the rifle on an
angle so any excess chemicals and residue run out the end of the barrel and not back
into the chamber or magazine. Scrub the bore with a bronze brush soaked
in a bore scrub. Then follow up with a clean patch. Repeat these steps until the patch
comes out without any discoloration. Finish off with a light oiling. Remove any oil the
next time you go shooting. Sometimes, other material may be left in the
bore that this scrubbing doesn’t remove. For example, copper from jacketed bullets.
Tiny fragments of copper get stripped off and can affect accuracy if allowed to build up. Soak a patch with a copper solvent and wipe
the bore with it. Leave it in for 10 minutes or longer to let the chemical do its job.
Then wipe it out with a clean patch. The blue/green colouring indicates that there is copper present in the bore. Repeat these steps until there is no sign of copper left on the cloth. Put some methylated spirits on a patch and
wipe out any chemical residue. Let the methylated spirits dry out and finish with a light coating
of oil. Mop out the chamber and apply some grease on the metal-to-metal contact points
and you’re done. A bore snake is very useful for cleaning lever-
and pump-action firearms. But this only gives a superficial clean. For a proper clean it
has to be done from the muzzle end, otherwise the process is the same. To prevent powder
residue and chemicals ending up in the action and magazine, simply turn the firearm upside
down in the rest. Remember, this video is about maintaining
firearms that are in good condition to start with. No amount of cleaning will bring a worn-out
barrel back to life. I hope this video has shown that cleaning
is something you should do often to protect your valuable investment so you can continue
to enjoy your sport. Thanks for watching SSAA TV and I’ll see
you next time.

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