How to Clean a Shotgun? Some Significant Steps

Firearms, Guide

Firing a shotgun is like firing a bullet from cannon. If you don’t get the angle right and you miss, it doesn’t matter how good the gun is because you will be bruised or worse. A shotgun is little more than an advanced rifle that fires small projectiles at high velocities and has an exceptionally long range. 

It’s designed to take down the giant game in one shot with devastating force. When it comes to shotguns, in particular, you want performance without compromise, not just power but reliability. Cleaning a gun is relatively easy if you know exactly what to do and what not to do. Here are some tips that will help you in shotgun cleaning.

  • Pump Shells and Chamber

 One of the most common mistakes beginners often make when handling shotguns is pumping shells in and out of the chamber. You need to rack the slide and pull the trigger to pump shells. This action causes the gun to make a loud noise, so if other people are around, do it in a controlled fashion to avoid disturbing them. It could damage your shotgun very quickly, so you need to avoid this mistake.

  • Close Chamber Before Removing Trigger Guard

The shotgun will not fire if the chamber is open. There are two ways to close the chamber. The first one is when you’re removing the trigger guard, pulling it straight up from the front of the gun, and positioning it so that it is flush with the rear of the receiver before placing your finger on top of it. The second way to close and lock your shotgun is by cocking back and then forward. Both methods are equally easy to do, so feel free to choose whichever one you prefer.

  • Remove Barrel and Clean

If you have a bolt-action shotgun, you will need to unscrew the barrel and remove it. With a pump-action shotgun, there are more steps than just one. First, push the forend back to unlock it from the magazine tube. Second, pull the forend straight back until it’s entirely off the receiver. Third, locate the latch on the underside of the forearm and open it. Then remove the forearm by pulling it back until it is completely removed from your shotgun. Then, lift the receiver and remove it. Fourth, find the bolt that connects your barrel to the receiver and pull it out from the receiver. Fifth, unscrew your barrel from your receiver. 

  • Remove Spent Cartridge and Clean

With bolt-action shotguns, you will need to slide a brass shell out of the chamber with your fingers so that you can see if there is space or not. Then, lift each side of the stock to see if there is a space underneath it. If you find a room, you will need to tip your gun downward and remove the shell. If not, then you need to look for a spent cartridge. 

  • Clean Rifle Barrel

The next step is to take a cleaning rod or a bore brush and insert it into the barrel. Push it until it meets the end of the barrel. Push it until it meets the end of the barrel. Hold the cleaning rod with a cloth or a patch end, and pull the brush back toward the gun’s breach, pushing out all the dirt and powder. Repeat this step several times until you see that your meeting is completely clean. 

  • Cleaning the Action

After you are done cleaning the barrel, proceed with this step by pressing down on the action to be entirely open. Take your wrench, steady it against your action, and turn back and forth until you remove all the fouling between each part of your gun. You need to clean two parts: the hammer and trigger area. The hammer should be cleaned after every use to help prevent any malfunction. 

  • Cleaning the Sliding Tube

It would help if you had a Slide Tube Brush handy for this step. First, remove the torsion spring from a shell and then insert it onto the cleaning rod and clean it thoroughly. Then, push up on the tube so that it is fully open and insert your Cleaning Rod into it, cleaning out all the dirt in between each part of it. Then take your equipment back out of the Slinging Tube, and place another shell. 

  • Cleaning the Magazine Tube and the Barrel Slides

The next step is to clean the magazine tube. To do this, remove the torsion spring from a shell and insert it into your cleaning rod. Then insert the cleaning rod into your magazine and clean out all of the debris between each part of it. You will want to remove any debris that has collected at the bottom of your barrel slides, which is very easy to do, as they are on top so you can reach them without even having to lower your gun first.

  • Cleaning the Forearm and the Stock

The next step is to clean the forearm and stock, so first, you need to pull them back so that they are entirely open. Then, grab a cleaning rod or a bore brush with a patch end attached. Place your cleaning rod between your hammer and trigger area, push it forward, take out all of the fouling that you can see there, and repeat this step until you see that your brush is completely clean.

  • Cleaning the Receiver

The next step is to clean out the receiver. There are several ways to do this, but it needs to be done thoroughly. Here’s how you can do it: First, lower your gun and slide a shell between the receiver and the barrel to see if anything obstructs the action. Then, push a cleaning rod or a bore brush into your receiver/barrel to see it going against all obstructions in your step.

These are some of the steps you can consider for cleaning your shotgun and keeping it clean for a more extended time with no damage.