Get the Lead Out

How to Clean a Gun In 5 Min­utes or Less


Proper clean­ing is crit­i­cal for the main­te­nance of any gun, yet it is an of­ten­over­looked process. Here’s a quick and pain­less method.

Keep­ing a firearm’s in­ter­nals clean is es­sen­tial to keep­ing it re­li­able and ac­cu­rate. Whether your gun is in­tended for use as a de­fen­sive weapon or if it’s your go-to gun for com­pe­ti­tion or any pur­pose in be­tween, it’s a good idea to have it cleaned, lubed and ready to go at a mo­ments no­tice.

A dirty gun can cause all sorts of prob­lems for its owner. Foul­ing caused by lead and car­bon residue and other gunk can lead to mal­func­tions such as a fail­ure to fire, fail­ure to feed or eject a car­tridge, and can even lead to pre­ma­ture wear of parts, lead­ing to break­age.

Fight the Good Fight

Some peo­ple rel­ish in the act of gun clean­ing to the point that they seem to en­joy it even more than shoot­ing it. Clean­ing guns be­comes an all-day af­fair with their guns and clean­ing tools spread out all over the din­ing room ta­ble and floor. If that sounds aw­fully fa­mil­iar, we say ku­dos to you. Fight the good fight against car­bon build up! Oth­ers see gun clean­ing as a chore that just needs to be done quickly, but ef­fec­tively—more akin to do­ing laun­dry.

If you don’t have the time for all-day clean­ing ses­sions, fol­low along to see how we like to quick-clean our guns.

Be­lieve it or not, the topic of gun clean­ing can be some­what con­tro­ver­sial; many peo­ple have their own meth­ods, pro­ce­dures and clean­ing prod­ucts that they firmly be­lieve are the only cor­rect ones to use. That said, there are many ways to get a gun clean; we show you one quick, easy and ef­fec­tive method to do it.

Other ways can be more metic­u­lous and get your gun even cleaner, but the trade-off is time and some­times a part of your san­ity. (We jest… sort of.) Be­fore we go to the step by step, let’s talk about clean­ers and lube.

Clean­ing Prod­ucts

We tra­di­tion­ally use prod­ucts such as Break Free CLP, Hoppe’s #9, M-pro7, Rem Oil and oth­ers for our clean­ing and lu­bri­ca­tion needs, but over the past five or so years there seems to have been a rev­o­lu­tion in the gun cleaner and lu­bri­ca­tion prod­ucts mar­ket. It seems as if there is a new gun cleaner or lube or com­bi­na­tion of both com­ing to a gun shop near you al­most weekly. Whether some of these new-to-mar­ket lu­bri­cants are the real thing or are just another bot­tle of snake oil be­ing ped­dled is worth a closer look at in a fu­ture ar­ti­cle.

What we have dis­cov­ered that’s worked quite well for us so far is per­haps the new­est kid on the block. An­tivenom-xplc by Strike In­dus­tries first caught our at­ten­tion when they an­nounced a $20,000 bounty for the first per­son or com­pany who can prove there is a bet­ter all-in-one or multi-pur­pose lu­bri­cant avail­able in the firearms in­dus­try. Now that’s putting money where their mouth is—and as of this ar­ti­cle’s writ­ing, no­body’s claimed the money yet.

Dur­ing our test­ing, we found that An­tivenom-xplc does what it claims to do. While we’re not gen­er­ally fans of all-in-one solutions—i like my body wash sep­a­rate from my sham­poo, thank you very much—an­tivenom’s all-in-one claim of pro­vid­ing you pen­e­trat­ing lu­bri­ca­tion, clean­ing, and pro­tec­tion so­lu­tion is a hard com­bi­na­tion to beat.

Quick Clean­ing

One of our fa­vorite meth­ods for keep­ing our guns clean hap­pens to be one of the fastest too. If you don’t have time to sit down for a com­plete all­out clean­ing ses­sion, fol­low along with this step-by-step how-to. The method works for long arms as well as pis­tols.

Fi­nal Thoughts

There it is. It wasn’t that painful, was it? Us­ing this method, we’re able to quick clean and lube a gun in about five min­utes. De­pend­ing on con­di­tion and amount of use (or ne­glect), some guns may re­quire a deeper clean­ing which would re­quire a more ex­ten­sive dis­as­sem­bly, such as that of a ri­fle’s bolt car­rier group or a pis­tol’s slide, which are also im­por­tant to keep clean.

This quick clean­ing pro­ce­dure is handy for when you’re un­able to do a full-on, all-out clean­ing whether for time con­straints or limited space, such as if you’re at the range or work­ing from out of the back of your ve­hi­cle. Armed with these sim­ple steps, you too can now clean your gun in five min­utes or even less.

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