Handguns and pistols are expensive, often considered an investment by purchasers and gun owners. In order to preserve the investment, gun owners need to be familiar with how to properly care for and clean their weapons.

Regular gun maintenance helps handguns properly function and accurately perform. When cleaning a gun, the gun’s handler must always:

Point a gun in a safe direction, never at someone!

Never attempt to clean a loaded gun. Check, double check and confirm the weapon is unloaded before cleaning.

Keep fingers away from the trigger. Fingers should only meet the trigger, if the gun handler is prepared to fire the weapon.

Someone should have complete and total awareness of his/her surroundings when handling a firearm.

Some gun owners religiously clean their weapons after using or handling them. However, the best rule is that a gun should be cleaned after every dozen rounds fired. Every time a gun fires, powder residue is deposited into the barrel. Over time, ammunition also leaves minute metal deposits in the barrel. Moisture can easily collect in guns, which is why weapons should be kept in more controlled temperatures – meaning not exposed to extreme heat and cold within the same day. Rust can begin to form in as little as 24 hours, which is why guns should be thoroughly dried after each use, whether the weapon has been fired or simply stored in compromising conditions.

New guns arrive in stores with a protective oil coating, which should be removed before the gun is fired. If the coating is not removed, it will increase debris and dust, causing them to stick to the oil.

Gun cleaning kits are an excellent investment. Often, this includes a rod that is fitted with a wire brush, gun cleaning cloths, gun oil and solvent. The best method to clean a gun is as follows:

Soak a piece of clean cloth in solvent or lubricant, pushing it through the gun’s barrel. This helps wet the bore and remove powder residue. It is important this process be repeated until the cloth is no longer black and all residue has been removed.

The solvent should be allowed to sit for between five to 10 minutes before it is removed with clean cloths. Protect the scopes while cleaning the weapon, as these should not be exposed to solvent or oil.

A wire brush should be pushed through the barrel and out the muzzle. This should be followed by more clean cloths through the weapon. Use both wet and dry cloths to ensure the weapon does not have any moisture.

Once the cloths are clean, remove the bore guide and swab the gun’s chamber to remove excess solvent and dirt.

The bolt lug should be cleaned. A toothbrush or small cleaning brush is often helpful removing excess debris.

Finally, a small amount of gun oil should be applied to each bolt lugs. The trigger mechanism should never be lubricated.

Additionally, safely storing handguns, especially in gun belt clips is an excellent way to detract future dirt and debris, though this should never serve as a substitute for cleaning a weapon. Techna Clip offers an assortment of gun accessories, including gun cleaning cloths.