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how to clean your gun

Cleaning Your Shotgun

Tips on cleaning your shotgun

If you have a gun that you treasure and you would like it to last and perform well then you need to take good care of it. To maintain maximum effectiveness and longevity of your shotgun you will need to keep it clean and maintained regularly especially if you’re storing it over a long period of time too.

Taking your shotgun to pieces

Take your shotgun apart

To start with makes sure you have removed all the ammunition. With pump actions and autos pull back the bolt release/bolt grip which will eject said cartridge. You will have to disassemble your shotgun in order for you to be able to clean it efficiently.

shotgun in pieces

Wipe it down

All the cartridges which have been fired down the barrels will have left carbon and residue spoil. For this you will need a cleaning rod which will be the ideal piece of cleaning equipment needed at this stage, lubricant/grease, spray solvent and oil. The attachments you will also need are a bronze brush, a wool brush, a brass jag and some quality cloths (some handy loo roll always works a trick to clean the solvent from the barrels).

Rubbing down the gun

Giving the barrels a good clean

It’s important to make sure the barrels are dry before you start. Take the barrels and spray some solvent/lubricant into the bores to loosen the debris before inserting the bronze brush and applying firm pressure back and forth from the chambers to the chokes to dislodge any spoil.

With the brass jag, place a fresh cloth patch onto the end to remove any carbon deposits (or your loo roll!) left from the bronze brushes efforts by again running it from the top to the bottom of the barrels. You will see the dirt cover the cloth once removed.

Carbon Residue From Barrel

After you have made sure that the cloth has removed all the debris finally run through it with a wool attachment to give you that mirror shine.

Shiny Clean Gun Barrel

Don’t forget to clean underneath the luggars (ejectors) and apply a little grease.

Greasing The Lugs

Cleaning the Action and Stock

Give the action and the stock a good wipe over to remove any dirt and debris, check everything is in good order and add a little lubricant/grease to the necessary parts but makes your action isn’t too ladened with unnecessary oil or lubricant. If the stock is not varnished it will need treating with some top-quality stock oil and worked into the grain of the wood. Leave it to absorb before buffing with a soft dry cloth.

Rubbing The Stock

And that’s it for cleaning your shotgun. The shotgun is now cleaned and ready for your next shoot.

Shoot straight


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For more tips on shooting and the best deals on shooting trips to some of the most stunning destinations around the world, you can contact our shooting team leader, Peter Collingsworth, on 01603 407596 or by emailing As always, if you would like to take a look at all of our shooting tours, you can do so here.

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