Did you know that approximately 27,000 people are admitted to hospitals because of unintentional shootings? Nearly 329 people are injured by their handguns every day, and almost 90% of self-harm injuries result in death.
This is a shocking statistic, so cleaning a handgun the right way is more important than ever to prevent tragedy. If you know how to clean a gun correctly, you can rest easy knowing that you significantly reduce the risk of accidental injuries or worse.
You can also ensure that you will not be liable for any damages or injuries that result from an accidental discharge. Here is all the information about what to know before cleaning a handgun and how to always stay safe.
Preparation for Cleaning a Handgun
Remember that cleaning a handgun is not like a usual everyday chore. Instead of assuming it is as easy as vacuuming the house or cleaning pet litter, you should always be alert.
Before you start cleaning, you need to have a safe area with plenty of space to handle your gun. The room you pick should always be well-ventilated with good lighting to help you avoid mistakes. You should also be protected from any cleaning chemicals that you use.
Most gun enthusiasts know that the best place to do this is the garage or outdoors. This way, if an accident does occur, you can ensure that no one else is around to get hurt. If you have no choice but to clean your gun inside, you should only do it near an open window.
If you use a table, you should ensure that it is sturdy and secure. You do not want to risk handling a firearm on a wobbly table. You should also avoid using a dining room table or kitchen where people eat and drink.
Your handgun cleaning kit would include lead, carbon fouling, solvents, and oils that should not be anywhere near food or drinks.
Another top tip for cleaning a handgun is to remove all your ammunition from the area or room where you will do this task. Remember to empty the gun magazines and place all ammunition in another location until you have safely finished cleaning the gun.
Even the boxed shell should be removed from the cleaning area or room you are in. This will significantly reduce the chances of any accidental misfires.
Refer to the Manual
You should always hold onto the manual when you buy a firearm instead of throwing it away. It is okay to accidentally lose the instruction manual for a washing machine or microwave, but guns are a different ballgame. You should always read your gun owner’s manual from front to back.
This is because a lot of care has been put into writing those instructions to prevent danger. Your manual is a valuable reference to help you understand how to follow the best practices and operations.
Until you have a lot of experience handling firearms, you should use the manual to learn how to stay safe.
The instruction manual should explain how to take your gun apart for cleaning without risks. Many will also come with detailed photos and colored diagrams to guide you through each step carefully, especially to reassemble or disassemble your gun.
Check out these handguns and resources to always ensure that you buy the safest firearm that will not endanger your life or anyone else close to you.
What You Will Need
After taking all the proper safety precautions, you should have some essential tools on hand to get the job done right. You will need a bore brush, cleaning swab, mops, cleaning rod, a double-ended brush, cleaning patches, cotton swabs, a bore snake, a disposable drip pan, and cleaning chemicals.
The chemicals you will need should include lubricants and action cleaners. And the disposable drip pan is to help catch any residue or byproducts that fall during your cleaning process. Some other materials you may need are a rubber mat to protect your gun parts and the surface you are using to clean the firearm.
If you have a long gun, you may need to opt for a cleaning cradle to help secure the gun while hands-free so you can pay attention to cleaning the chamber carefully without needing to balance the firearm yourself.
This is necessary because there will be numerous tools and loose parts you need to handle. A pair of safety glasses will also come in handy to protect you from an eye injury or any flying springs and debris.
There may also be some chemical splashes, so you should never risk cleaning a gun or conducting gun maintenance without adequate eye protection. Finally, you should also purchase solvent-resistant gloves.
These will protect your skin from chemicals so they do not get absorbed into your body. Remember to only use tools that are designed for maintaining firearms. Since you will use solvents during the cleaning process, always protect your floor, mainly to avoid any chemicals dripping onto wood or other sensitive surfaces.
Reassembling Your Firearm
When you finish cleaning your handgun, you will need to reassemble all the parts safely. This can be tricky if you do not have your owner’s manual handy to help guide you. You should also conduct a functional check to ensure that the gun operates as it is meant to.
During this operational check, pay attention to how the trigger is functioning. Then look closely at the safeties, locking, and slide operation. Finally, check magazine retention and ejection systems before firing off to ensure that nothing goes wrong.
Always Prioritize Safety
Now that you know what to do before cleaning a handgun and how to reassemble it, you should always prioritize safety. Remember that cleaning a firearm is more than making it look pretty. The cleaner your gun is, the safer and more reliable it will be.
Regular gun maintenance is necessary to guarantee accuracy and reliability. Always refer to your gun owner’s manual until you build more confidence.
Then you can get the most of your investment without putting any lives at risk. If you enjoyed reading this firearm safety guide, check out some of our other posts for more information.
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