Keeping your shotgun clean is the key to extending the life of your shotgun and needing the least amount of repairs as possible. Every time you shoot, a deep clean doesn’t have to be done – however a quick wipe down and oiling will make a huge difference in the life and performance of the gun.
The natural oil on our hands, as well as things like sunscreen, face lotion, and beard oil – can hurt the metal and wood sections of the shotgun if not properly wiped down at the end of using the gun. Bug spray and anything containing Deet can also be highly corrosive to the metal and wood areas of the gun – weakening the integrity of the gun over time. It is vital to apply all sprays to oneself far from ones weapon, as well as continuously cleaning off the gun as any contact ensues during use or competition.
It is important to wipe off the shotgun as soon as possible after use, waiting a day will make a large difference. If there are chokes in the shotgun, it is also vital to remove those after every use and wipe down. Chokes can have the ability to adhere to the inside of the barrel if not properly taken care of, as that is the only area of the gun that is not chromium lined and more prone to rusting and wear damages.
For a deep cleaning, there are a lot of steps – but they are all so important towards making sure you get the full use and life out of your shotgun. It is no secret that a shotgun is a very powerful weapon with a lot of moving parts, so it deserves and demands a lot of care for top tier performance. For all steps, pay special attention to the chamber and areas with the largest amount of metal contact or connection.
Steps To Deep Clean Your Shotgun
- Fully break down the gun into forend, action, and barrel. Confirm the chamber is empty while doing so
- Set aside action and forend, placing forend “U” side down – and focus on the barrel
- Secure a cloth or cleaning patch into a shotgun cleaning rod with bore cleaner or oil and push through barrel, end-to-end multiple times
- Continue Step 3 by switching out cloths until it comes out clean
- Use a brass brush correlating to the gauge of your barrel to pass through the entire barrel multiple times
- Once the brass brush has broken up all the build up and grime, pass through the barrel with the wool mop attachment end-to-end multiple times
- Dab a small amount of gun oil on a rag and begin working into all the areas of the action and trigger area, not contacting any of the wood
- Use the bristle gun brush or a toothbrush to scrub the hard-to-reach intricate areas of the action
- Pass through one last time with the rag to collect any broken up debris
- Wipe the oiled rag along all metal areas of the forend, paying extra attention to the edge of the forend that receives a lot of contact with the gun when assembling
- Use bristle gun brush or toothbrush to break up any buildup inside the latching area of the forend
- Wipe the oiled rag along all metal areas of the forend once again
- Use the oiled rag to clean area around ejectors and the face area of the gun
- Use the bristle brush along the areas of the ejectors. making sure to cover all areas with oil (this is where rust begins to build first if improperly cleaned)
- Do not touch chamber area once finished oiling and reconnect the barrels to the action piece
- Remove chokes from barrel and wipe with oiled rag, paying extra attention to the choke threads, then installing them back in the same order they were taken out
- Wipe down outside of barrel one last time before reinstalling forend onto gun
- Wipe down all metal sections one last time before placing in protective case or gun sleeve
This deep of a cleaning is only done every 3/4 times you utilize your shotgun. Between deep cleanings it is highly recommended to do an external wipe down of all metal sections, as well as use a clean rag to wipe off the wood and get rid of any grease or oils that could stain or harm the wood. With every bullet shot, it releases powder that overtime can build up and affect the integrity of the metal.