Florida Hunter Safety Course


Chapter 4: Cleaning and Safe Storage of Firearms

Cleaning a Firearm

It is every hunter's responsibility to ensure their firearm is in working order before hunting. Not only does regular care and cleaning of a firearm ensure greater shot accuracy, it also helps ensure that the action and safety mechanisms function correctly. Let's look at how to clean a firearm, as well as the proper way to store one at home.

Always follow these safety rules when cleaning any firearm:

  • Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
  • Ensure the firearm is unloaded.
  • Clear the workbench of any material you do not need for cleaning.
  • Move all ammunition to a separate location.
  • Make sure your work area has adequate light and ventilation
  • Wear some type of eye and hand-protection gear.

Here is a checklist of cleaning equipment you'll need to get started:

  • The owner's manual for the firearm being cleaned
  • A firearm holder to hold the firearm firmly in a horizontal position
  • Cleaning rods or a bore snake
  • Brass or nylon brushes that fit onto the cleaning rods
  • A slotted tip or jag for cleaning patches
  • Cleaning patches that fit the bore size of the firearm
  • Latex gloves
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Gunsmithing screwdrivers
  • Gun cleaning solvents, oil and grease
  • A short copper cleaning brush or an old toothbrush
  • A bore light or Light pipe
  • Clean rags
  • Eye and hand protection gear