What is the best way to clean my firearm?
Whenever someone hands you a firearm, or when you are handed a firearm, be certain it is unloaded! Always open the action, check the receiver, the bore, cylinder, etc., and the magazine to determine there is no ammunition left in the firearm. Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
Remove the barrel if possible. Start by pushing a patch soaked with a good gun solvent through the bore. If excessive fouling is found, it may be necessary to run a brass bristle brush through to remove any copper or lead fouling. Then continue with the cloth patches until the bore is clean. Follow up with a clean patch soaked in a fine oil or bore preservative. Make certain there are no cleaning materials left in the barrel!
Continue on to the action, receiver, cylinder or gas system if applicable. Use a good gun solvent/scrubber to remove buildup of fouling, lead, powder residue and other debris such as pieces of leaves, twigs, dirt, etc.
Use a toothbrush or cotton swabs soaked in gun solvent to access difficult areas. Do not attempt to take the firearm apart, other that what is described in your Owner's manual. Clean as thorougly as possible, then apply a very light coating of fine oil, such as Browning Gun Oil to all moving parts, as well as the outside of receiver, stock and barrel to remove fingerprints. Apply a light grease to locking hinged areas, such as over/under shotguns. Secure a locking device on the firearm and store in a secure area, such as a gun safe, away from your ammunition and unwanted hands. Never store your firearm in a zippered or closed case, as condensation could cause rust to form. .
Make certain there are no obstructions in the barrel, that no cleaning patches, brushes, etc., have been inadvertenly left in the firearm. Never test your firearm for function with live ammo!
This is never necessary. Keep all ammunition stored and locked in a safe place, separate from your firearms.