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Rifle Shooting Tips: Shoot a Clean Gun

Cleaning your rifle regularly is a good habit to get into. Maintaining your rifle in optimal condition is better for your rifle, and will make preparing for hunting season easier. Regular cleaning can maintain your accuracy as well as prevent malfunctions of the rifle. To make this easier, we will break down the cleaning of a rifle into four parts: the barrel, the chamber, the bolt and the lower receiver.

Cleaning the Barrel
You will need a single piece coated rod and a bore guide to clean the barrel. A bore guide will assure that your cleaning rod goes into the barrel correctly and will allow you to clean the barrel from the chamber to the muzzle, rather than the other way around.
Soak a cleaning patch with a solvent that will cut carbon. Run this through the barrel a total of three times. Next, you need a copper or nylon brush. Do not use steel, as this will scratch your barrel. Brush your barrel thoroughly ten to twelve times. Now you want to run two wet patches down the barrel, and finally a dry one.

In the next step you need a copper removal solvent. Soak another cleaning patch with the copper removal solvent, and run it through the barrel. Let it soak for three to five minutes. Now you have a choice: you can either run wet cleaning patches through the barrel until they come out clean, or you can brush the barrel using a nylon brush. To neutralize the copper removal solvent, run a patch soaked in the carbon cutter down the barrel, followed by a dry patch. Keep repeating this process until the patches come out of the barrel clean. A cotton swab soaked in carbon cutter can be used to clean the crown. Alternate with a dry cotton swab. Repeat until they are clean.

Cleaning the Chamber
Clean the chamber with a chamber rod and chamber brush. Soak a patch with the carbon cutter and run it through the chamber three times. Use two dry patches to dry the area. Repeat this process with cotton swabs. Run a swab soaked in carbon cutter through, then wipe down with a dry swab. Repeat this two or three times. When the chamber is clean and dry, use a rag and a little carbon cutter to wipe out the inner portion of the upper receiver until it is clean. Now insert the bore guide and dry out the inside with a dry patch. This will remove any solvent that dripped into the rifling while cleaning the chamber.

Cleaning the Bolt
A rag soaked in carbon cutter works great to clean the exterior of the bolt carrier. Follow the steps outlined for cleaning the chamber to clean the interior of the bolt carrier. Clean the inside of the bolt body with carbon cutter and cotton swabs. If there is a large amount of carbon built up on the outside of the bolt, you can use a razor blade to scrape it off, or use a brush soaked in carbon cutter. Once this is loosened, wipe it off with a rag.

Cleaning the Lower Receiver
This is easy. Use a rage to wipe off anything, and cotton swabs wherever there is a tight fit. Now your rifle is gleaming and ready for use.

Scott Peters is an avid outdoorsman and hunter. For more informaton please see Nikon ProStaff Scopes.