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Coastal 101 | Safety | Outdoors

Coastal 101: How to Clean a Handgun

October 25, 2018

Anytime you own and fire a handgun, rifle, or shotgun, you’ll eventually need to clean it to maintain reliability. Today’s Coastal 101 offers a quick course in cleaning a handgun, which can be helpful when applying the same cleaning techniques to other guns.

Empty Your Weapon

It’s vital that you check and double check that any gun is empty before cleaning it. Take out the clip, rack (pull back) the slide three times to eject any ammunition still inside the chamber. Then, carefully visually inspect the chamber and the barrel. Once you’re sure it’s unloaded, consult the owner’s manual for your firearm to take your gun apart.

Once you have your gun apart, you should have four (or a few more) parts in front of you. This includes the barrel, slide, spring, and the frame, which contains the grip or handle of the gun, and everything else that is attached to or inside the frame.

Items You’ll Need for Cleaning

Basically, you’ll need spray as well as manual application cleaning solvents, a gun cleaning brush, a clean shop towel, and gun-cleaning cotton patches. Your local coastal has gun cleaning kits that contain everything you need to properly clean your firearm.

Quick Cleaning Guide

As you progress through the steps, remember to be liberal with the solvent and conservative with the oil and grease.

Spray cleaning sovlent on all the small parts (spring and more) to remove loose carbon. Then, use your shop towel to wipe off the excess.

Now apply solvent by hand to the inside of the slide. Be sure to scrub the breechface, locking lugs, and slide rails with a small gun-cleaning brush.

Now, clean the barrel with a brush designed for the job. Be sure to apply plenty of solvent to remove the carbon. Then, push a small cotton patch through the barrel. You’ll need to do this several times with a nw cotton patch until it comes out clean. Finally, lightly oil a new cotton patch and push it through the barrel.

Now, you’ll want to clean the frame with solvent. Be sure not to get any solvent on the grip. Use a brush to get stubborn spots off the slide rails and magazine well. Add a light coat of oil to the slide stop, recoil plug, and recoil spring guide. Then, wipe off any excess lubricant with a clean shop towel.

Add special gun grease to the slide rail grooves, surface rails, and lug recesses.

Then, add lubricant to the barrel. You only need to lubricate the parts that come in contact with the bushing or frame rails.

Finally, put your gun back together and wipe it clean with a new shop towel, making sure you remove off any excess oil and grease.

Review Gun Safety Rules

At Coastal we believe in gun safety. That’s why we’ve created our own 5 Rules of Gun Safety.

Rule #1 – All guns are always loaded – Always. This simply means you must always treat every gun as if it’s loaded. Always assume that every gun you come into contact with is loaded until you have physically verified it for yourself. Don’t ever rely on anyone’s word for it. When you hold a gun in your hand, you are responsible for it and anything that occurs while in your possession. If you don’t know how a gun works, leave it alone and find a knowledgeable person to show you.

Rule #2 – Never point a firearm at anything you’re not willing to shoot – Ever. You must always be aware of where your gun is pointed at all times. Never point a gun at anything you are not willing to destroy. This is the rule that saves lives. You MUST exercise due caution and diligence when handling a firearm.

Rule #3 – Keep your finger off the trigger and out of the trigger guard. Always keep your finger off the trigger and out of the trigger guard until your sights are on target and you have made the conscious decision to shoot. If you have your finger on the trigger and you are startled in some way, your brain will react with a primitive response that will tighten every muscle in the body, including the trigger finger.

Rule #4 – Be sure of your target and what’s beyond and around it. The hand that holds the gun is responsible for whatever is done by that gun. If you fire a gun, you are responsible – no matter where it lands or what it hits. You must know where your shot will go when you fire it. You must know what it might hit if you miss your intended target. And you must know what it can go through and still have enough energy/power to kill or hurt.

Rule #5 – Always lock up your guns. Whether you use a trigger lock, handgun safe or a cabinet safe, always keep your firearms locked. As a responsible gun owner, you know that your gun is always loaded (refer to Rule #1), but not everyone is aware of these rules. Children are naturally curious and there’s always a chance someone could find your firearms. Keep them locked and away – it’s smart, and it’s easy.

Guns, Ammo, and Advice

Stop by your Northwest owned and operated Coastal and check out our selection of handguns, rifles, and shotguns. Plus, you’ll find everything you need to clean your gun, as well as ammunition, ear protection, and gun safes.