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Gun Cleaning Routines


WessexTom
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So being new to this forum, thought I’d ask about for a bit of advice on people’s cleaning routines for their shotguns? 
I’m definitely of the school that if the gun gets shot, it gets cleaned- mine never go away dirty. That said, my routine tends to just be run through the barrels with a bronze brush, then a paradox, then pull an oily rag through. Wipe off the metalwork with oil, clean the wood and put back together. 
I know this does the job as a basic clean, but what do you guys do for a more thorough clean? 

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squirt of Napier each barrel before gun goes into boot after shooting. At home tight wads of kitchen roll pushed down each barrel. Good scrub with bronze brush soaked in Ed's red. More kitchen roll. Few passes of dry 4X2 on jag.

I use grease  on the action so careful clean to get all this off and regrease. Wipe over everything with my old oily rag and put gun into sock and cabinet. Bit anal I know but only takes a few minutes. chokes are taken out and cleaned every couple of outings. This is done nomatter how many shots fired.

You are going to get a lot of different opinions.

Edited by DUNKS
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Napier VP90 gun oil and the big 750ml Cleaner. Decent grease again Napier VP90. Bore snakes I find are superb, quick and do a good job.  Bronze brush for the tough stuff. Less is more with the grease and oil. Shotguns are tools and pretty tough. Just make sure they’re dry after wet play and stored well. You will find your own system that works as you go. You’ll also buy loads of things that you only use once. Good luck and enjoy the journey. 

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9 hours ago, DUNKS said:

squirt of Napier each barrel before gun goes into boot after shooting. At home tight wads of kitchen roll pushed down each barrel. Good scrub with bronze brush soaked in Ed's red. More kitchen roll. Few passes of dry 4X2 on jag.

I use grease  on the action so careful clean to get all this off and regrease. Wipe over everything with my old oily rag and put gun into sock and cabinet. Bit anal I know but only takes a few minutes. chokes are taken out and cleaned every couple of outings. This is done nomatter how many shots fired.

You are going to get a lot of different opinions.

Seems like a good method! I know I need to start using a cleaner… I’ve got some Pro Ferrum as I got given it so I’ll try that first but I’ll bear Napier in mind too!

51 minutes ago, TK421 said:

Napier VP90 gun oil and the big 750ml Cleaner. Decent grease again Napier VP90. Bore snakes I find are superb, quick and do a good job.  Bronze brush for the tough stuff. Less is more with the grease and oil. Shotguns are tools and pretty tough. Just make sure they’re dry after wet play and stored well. You will find your own system that works as you go. You’ll also buy loads of things that you only use once. Good luck and enjoy the journey. 

Haha I’m certainly finding that. I’ve got a bore snake but never really got on with it, that said it’s only a cheapy one so might not be up to the job!

5 minutes ago, vmaxphil said:

Squirt of cleaner down the barrels, leave for 5 minutes, quick bronze brush, pack with a square of kitchen paper, push through, grease lugs, oily rag over barrels, jobs a goodun beauty of having chrome bores 👍

Yep, I can imagine chrome bores are useful!

A couple of questions to add for anyone who knows-

1) Cleaning a traditionally oiled stock- can I use beeswax polish to quickly bring back some shine? 
2) How do I clean a Silvers Recoil Pad?

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Some of the cheaper bore snakes are a bit tricky to use, trim off some of the initial fluff near to the cord, also plant of Napier cleaner. I also tie a knot at the end of the cord next to the brass weight and stand on it pulling the barrels upwards with both hands it a little tight. Once on top of barrel cleanliness the boresnake is all I ever need. With a bronze brush top up when needed. I even use the bore snake after a shoot, quick squirt of VP90 then into the sling. Oh and of course the obligatory oily rag 😉

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Basically, what everyone is saying, but definitely clean the powder fouling out (with or without a squirt of something) BEFORE using the bronze brush. Otherwise, the brush quickly becomes disgusting and requires cleaning or replacing. The bronze brush is to remove any leading or plastic fouling if you use plaswads. Also, a bore snake is ok for a quick or rough clean, but will never bring up the bore like a clean with a rod. Myself, I do not like grease on the action and much prefer oil. I find grease attracts too much muck and grit and can be hard to remove. After cleaning/oiling all excess oil should be wiped off before putting the gun away. I do not use gun socks.

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No one as yet has mentioned extractors, which need to be kept clean. Some i know can be a pig to remove and I dont like taking things to bits if it can be avoided. My way on my Browning is to occasionally give them a good blasting with grease remover/brake cleaner. let it evaporate and "very lightly" oil. Beretta ones are perhaps best removed as the hole with the springs can get gummed up. but this is not required too often.

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19 minutes ago, DUNKS said:

No one as yet has mentioned extractors, which need to be kept clean. Some i know can be a pig to remove and I dont like taking things to bits if it can be avoided. My way on my Browning is to occasionally give them a good blasting with grease remover/brake cleaner. let it evaporate and "very lightly" oil. Beretta ones are perhaps best removed as the hole with the springs can get gummed up. but this is not required too often.

A good point I forgot to mention.

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Speak to 99 shooters and you'll get 100 opinions, but I thought The Gun Shop on YouTube did a very good thing on cleaning recently.

Probably already said, but before anything else, I push half a sheet of kitchen roll down each barrel which removes most of the obvious muck and stops brushes getting dirty. 

 

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Squirt of Napier V90 down each barrel, set aside & clean the face of the action and flats with oily toothbrush, wipe over metal parts with oily rag. 

Run kitchen towel on a plastic jag down each barrel, inspect for leading. Use phosphor bronze brush or chamber brush on leading with Youngs 303. Run more kitchen towel down to finish & remove excess oil.

Inspect extractors and clean behind them with rag. Remove for a more thorough clean every 4-5 times. 

Put barrels back on the action and wipe exterior of the barrels down with oily cloth.

CCL stock conditioning oil for oil-finished stocks, otherwise a bit of Mr Sheen on a duster. 

 

Sorted !

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If you use a semi auto, it's a full strip down job every time after use if you want it to function properly. 

There are some good strip down videos on YouTube if you put your gun model in the search, and like wise for removing your ejector's on o/u for cleaning 

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13 minutes ago, B&W FOX said:

If you use a semi auto, it's a full strip down job every time after use if you want it to function properly. 

There are some good strip down videos on YouTube if you put your gun model in the search, and like wise for removing your ejector's on o/u for cleaning 

Recoil operated autos like Benelli and Franchi don’t need striping as no gas gets anywhere apart from barrels and ejector only strip if it gets wet 

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What are others doing for lead fowling in the first few inches of the barrels? I seem to get this a lot when using fibre wads. It can be a right PITA to remove at times as well. 

I've tried a few different solvents and cleaning sprays which claim to soften lead fowling but they never work as well as claimed.

Normally takes 10 mins or so solid brush with a brass brush head to get all of the fowling out.

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1 hour ago, Poor Shot said:

What are others doing for lead fowling in the first few inches of the barrels?

Although I always use fibre - I don't get much of this for some reason (except in my 0.410) - but a couple of ideas;

  1. Leave the cleaner for 20 mins/half an hour to 'work' before wiping out (I use tissue/loo paper)
  2. Get a 'Turks head" steel brush - very effective.  Not so easy to get these days.

What I never do is use wirewool - the little bits get everywhere, including under the extractors etc.

Edit: Available here apparently https://www.vikingshoot.com/products/cleaning/pro-shot-cleaning-products/pro-shot-shotgun-cleaning-products/

Edited by JohnfromUK
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58 minutes ago, JohnfromUK said:

Although I always use fibre - I don't get much of this for some reason (except in my 0.410) - but a couple of ideas;

  1. Leave the cleaner for 20 mins/half an hour to 'work' before wiping out (I use tissue/loo paper)
  2. Get a 'Turks head" steel brush - very effective.  Not so easy to get these days.

What I never do is use wirewool - the little bits get everywhere, including under the extractors etc.

Edit: Available here apparently https://www.vikingshoot.com/products/cleaning/pro-shot-cleaning-products/pro-shot-shotgun-cleaning-products/

And those little pieces of wire wool go on to RUST!  :w00t:

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Just as Scully says, Balistol, interesting smell but cleans barrels/woodwork perfectly (for me anyway), as for cleaning the first few inches of the barrel i have the much maligned Magic Bore cleaning rod which works a treat if the Balistol fails to remove it.

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Not wanting to be controversial but my 35 year old Baikal o/u with chrome lined barrels has always had a good clean every boxing day whether it needed it or not.

It's had thousands upon thousands of cartridges through it and it's never missed a beat. Between cleans it sometimes got a spray with wd 40.

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I used gun cleaning products for years, then I realised what a waste of money it was. I use GT85 spray down the barrel bores, ONLY if they need it (normally they do not) but I do use a 'clean' cartridge in the first place. I use Lucas red grease on the knuckle or hinge pin, Lucas gun oil for the multi chokes and my old unused engine oil (all synthetic stuff now) for wiping down the outside of the metal. I do not oil inside the bores, ever. My guns are all in gun socks in the cabinet, the S x S' s are stored muzzle down and with snap caps. The remainder are all 'nose to tail' and no snap caps.  Every six months or so, I remove the bottom barrel firing pin on the Browning/Miroku guns, clean off the carbon, LIGHTLY oil and refit (dressing the point of the pin, if required). I clean out the action at the same time. I do not apply any oil to the semi auto's actions, other than a tiny amount to the bolt rails.  They do not rust, break down or anything else, apart from shoot quite well.

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On 30/09/2021 at 14:31, JohnfromUK said:

Although I always use fibre - I don't get much of this for some reason (except in my 0.410) - but a couple of ideas;

  1. Leave the cleaner for 20 mins/half an hour to 'work' before wiping out (I use tissue/loo paper)
  2. Get a 'Turks head" steel brush - very effective.  Not so easy to get these days.

What I never do is use wirewool - the little bits get everywhere, including under the extractors etc.

Edit: Available here apparently https://www.vikingshoot.com/products/cleaning/pro-shot-cleaning-products/pro-shot-shotgun-cleaning-products/

I was always led to believe that a Turks head brush being steel could damage the bores. However, I do have a very old and worn one that I have used carefully on occasions with no adverse effects, so maybe not too bad after all.

OB

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4 minutes ago, Old Boggy said:

I was always led to believe that a Turks head brush being steel could damage the bores.

I have also heard that - and I believe that 'maybe' it can over a very long period and if used very much.  I do not believe occasional use with a solvent cleaner (I use Youngs 303) when needed to remove fouling will cause damage - and certainly not the sort of damage that can occur should corrosion happen from not cleaning.  Like you - I have an old one, and have rarely used it.  When it is used - it works.

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On 30/09/2021 at 12:46, Poor Shot said:

What are others doing for lead fowling in the first few inches of the barrels? I seem to get this a lot when using fibre wads. It can be a right PITA to remove at times as well. 

I've tried a few different solvents and cleaning sprays which claim to soften lead fowling but they never work as well as claimed.

Normally takes 10 mins or so solid brush with a brass brush head to get all of the fowling out.

I have tried multiple different ways and multiple types of cleaners to remove the lead fowling which seems to be a problem on my Miroku’s. Some were marginally better than others but it was still a problem. I stumbled upon a Hoppes Tornado Brush, revelation. It removes all fouling in literally under a minute with no need for spraying/soaking for 30 mins then scrubbing the bores. The thread is American and won’t fit English threads so I bought some cheapo American thread brushes and rods off flea bay. Best £7.99 I have spent in a while.

Edited by Taileron
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