How To Clean A Handgun – Easy Peasy Steps !

Question; when was the last time you cleaned your handgun? Sure, modern handguns are rugged and reliable, but they are still mechanical devices. And if there is anything I have learned about mechanical devices is that they require proper and regular maintenance and cleaning.

This brings me back to my question, when or how often do you clean your handgun and your gun sights? If your answer is once in a blue moon, then there is a lot I need to teach you about handguns, or pistols if you will. This is especially if you are a big game such as deer hunter and are constantly exposing your gun to debris and dirt. Accumulation of dirt and debris can lead to your gun’s permanent damage. To prevent this, it is important you learn how to clean a handgun.

Note: Besides handguns, we have a list of some of the

How Often Should I Clean My Handgun

But first, how often should I clean my handgun? This is a question I am sure has popped up in many online and offline discussions. Granted many handguns out there are able to perform even when soaked in mud. The classic colt 1911 can actually fire without any problems even when soaked in mud.

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Therefore, the answer to the above question will depend on a number of things. Nevertheless, I recommend cleaning your handgun after shooting. Needless to say, you do not need to clean every nook and cranny in the gun after shooting it.

Personally, I have found that light cleaning of my SIG P226 after shooting whether in the range or outdoors helps maintain its excellent performance. And once a month I strip down the handgun for a thorough cleaning. As such, how often you clean your gun will depend on how frequently you use it. If you are like me that frequents the range with a handgun, cleaning after each trip is recommended. However, if your gun is rugged and can handle the abuse you can clean it after the fourth trip to the range.

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How To Clean A Gun With Household Items

how to clean a handgun

There are many gun cleaning kits out there. However, sometimes you might want to clean your handgun without having to use a kit. Therefore, learning how to clean a pistol without a kit will be important.

To clean a pistol without a kit, you will have to use materials that are readily available in your home. The materials that you will need are

  • Cleaning cloth or a paper towel
  • A thin stick that can fit inside your handgun barrel
  • Cutting appliances, e.g., a pair of scissors or a knife
  • Regular oil or gun oil

To start cleaning, empty your gun of all the bullets, once this is done cut the piece of cloth into several square pieces. Next, disassemble the gun, different handguns have different ways of disassembling. Dab the piece of cloth that is left after cutting in oil and wipe away any dirt or debris on or inside the bolt.

Next, grab the part that holds both the barrel and chamber and use the piece of cloth dabbed in oil to clean the barrel. Ensure the dirt goes out of the barrel and not back into the chamber. When cleaning the barrel using the thin stick to do so. Once you are done re-assemble the gun and do a dry fire to ensure its functioning properly.

NB: Read How Far A Can A Bullet Travel – Easy Expiation Guide

How To Make A Homemade Gun Cleaning Solvent

Cleaning a handgun requires the use of a variety of appliances and ingredients. One of the most important ingredients is a gun cleaning solvent. Gun cleaning solvents are available for purchase in almost all gun shops. Nonetheless, you can use household items to make your very own gun cleaning solvent. Making a homemade gun cleaning solvent might not sound entertaining, but it can save you money. Therefore, it is useful to learn how to clean a gun with household items.

The first step to cleaning a gun using household items is making a gun cleaning solvent. To make your own gun cleaning solvent substitute, you will need to purchase some ingredients. The materials you require are;

  • Automatic transmission fluid
  • Kerosene
  • Odorless mineral spirit or acetone

Once you have acquired the above-stated ingredients get a metallic and chemical resistant bucket. Add the ATF (Automatic transmission fluid) fluid and then add the kerosene and odorless mineral spirit. For safety reasons it is recommended you get a separate labeled container to store the mixture. After stirring the mixture pour it out into the labeled container. With the prepared homemade gun cleaning solvent, you can use a thin stick and piece of cloth to wipe away any dirt on or in your handgun. N.B. If you own a rifle/handgun it is recommended to have a good gun safe. At least get a cheap gun safe for under 500 dollars if you have a tight budget, for securing and not getting unwanted injuries.

Purchasing The Best Handgun Cleaning Kit

While a homemade gun cleaning solvent will save you money, it can never be a substitute for a good handgun cleaning kit. In fact, most gun cleaning kits do not come with solvents, meaning that the solvent is purchased separately. That being said, a handgun cleaning kit is an invaluable asset for any handgun owner. Therefore, purchasing one should be top of your handgun related things to-do list. And since you will be looking for buying the best handgun cleaning kit you can afford, there are some factors to consider.

The Case

The first thing to consider is the case. As the name suggests, a handgun cleaning kit comprises an assortment of cleaning appliances packaged in an easy-to-carry case. The case that holds the cleaning appliances should be sturdy and hold the appliances in place. Moreover, the arrangement of the appliances should be organized. Nobody wants a cluttered and disorganized case that makes it hard to take out the individual appliance and put them back in.

Quality Of Tools

Ideally, a handgun cleaning kit should have a brush, cleaning swab, cleaning swag, cotton patches, cleaning rods, and double-ended brushes. These tools should be of high quality to prevent breakage and damage. Additionally, the best 9mm handgun cleaning kit should have a bronze and nylon brush. The bronze brush will be for removing dirt from heavy carbon debris in the barrel. The nylon brush, on the other hand, is for wiping away dirt from delicate parts.

Assortment Of Tools

A good handgun cleaning kit should have everything you need to give your handgun a thorough cleaning. Personally, I look for such accessories as nylon jags, both large and small slotted nylon tips, and several gun cleaning patches. The more accessories a cleaning kit has, the more you can do with it.

How To Clean A Pistol With Hoppes

One of the best handgun cleaning kits out there is the hoppes cleaning kit. This kit comes with a wide assortment of cleaning appliances for handgun cleaning. To clean your handgun using a hoppes cleaning kit first disassemble the gun. Secondly, make sure both the chamber and magazine are empty.

After disassembly takes the .45 caliber brush and rod. Of worth noting is that in this guide I am using the hoppes premium cleaning kit. Attach the brush to the end of the push rod and use it to thoroughly scrub the barrel for 30 seconds. This is done to loosen the carbon build up from unburned powder.

After disassembly takes the .45 caliber brush and rod. Of worth noting is that in this guide I am using the hoppes premium cleaning kit. Attach the brush to the end of the push rod and use it to thoroughly scrub the barrel for 30 seconds. This is done to loosen the carbon build up from unburned powder.

Next, take the dowel and attach it to the push rod. Then take a patch from the cleaning kit and wet it with the Hoppes 9 cleaning solvent. Place the wet patch on the breach of the barrel and push it through the barrel with the rod. Use two wet patches and then three dry ones. Repeat this step until the patches come out clean.

The next part that will need cleaning is the slide. Take one brush from the kit and use it to brush the middle of the slide by the ejector and firing pin. Also, brush all along the inside of the slide.

The final step is to lubricate the handgun. The parts you need to lubricate include the slide along the rail on both sides. Also, lubricate both the topside and bottom side of the hammer.


When it comes to how to clean a handgun, there are various ways of doing it using different materials. However, the rationale behind cleaning the handgun remains the same. A properly cleaned handgun will function better and serve you longer. The build-up of carbon in the gun as a result of unburned powder can be dangerous to the gun and to you. Wiping out this build up regularly will ensure it does not get damaged easily.

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