Do I Need to Take My Gun Apart Before I Clean It?

It’s crucial to clean your handgun so it maintains its value and functions properly. There are safe and secure ways to clean your gun to prevent negligent discharges and keep the firearm accurate. If you’re new to gun ownership, the ideal first step is to take a gun safety class to learn how to handle your firearm safely, including the proper ways to clean it. Below are some tips to use when cleaning your handgun, including disassembling strategies that can give you more confidence and preserve the gun’s performance.

Make Sure the Chamber Is Empty

Even if you have the best memory, it’s necessary to assume the firearm is loaded until you inspect it. This step can prevent the handgun from negligently discharging and harming you and your loved ones or causing significant damage to your property. Therefore, you should always drop the magazine on your gun and rack its slide to ensure the chamber is clear. After that step, lock the slide and double-check that it’s empty. These actions apply to other guns as well. With a revolver, check the barrel by touch and visually before cleaning the weapon.

Follow the Manual

For safety and accuracy, it’s essential to follow the owner’s manual when taking your gun apart. Some parts may need to come out first and in a specific manner, but you may miss these vital steps and damage your firearm if you don’t reference the manual. The experts who created the document know the gun better than most, including the procedures for disassembling and cleaning it. One of the many benefits of disassembling the weapon is the opportunity to learn more about it.

Use Boxes

Without the right approach to disassembling your gun, you could end up forgetting where each part is placed. Even the slightest mistake could cause significant damage to your firearm, which is why using a clean workstation and small storage boxes can be beneficial for preventing reassembling challenges. After you disassemble the gun, place the boxes of parts and stored ammunition in another area to avoid knocking them over while you’re cleaning it. Thankfully, dissembling a gun for cleaning is typically straightforward with few small parts to deal with.

Additional Tips

Using the proper cleaning supplies and tools can preserve the firearm’s function, safety, and accuracy. Some people use gun oil and soft cotton swabs to clean their guns. However, you can also use old socks or t-shirts to clean the gun. In addition to cotton swabs, you can use toothbrushes. If your firearm has a specific cleaning kit, you should purchase it for guidance and more supplies. Another tip is to use a non-slip mat and cleaning cradle. These items can improve your workstation and hold the gun steady, lowering the risk of a negligent discharge. Finally, remember to go slowly and be patient at all times.

If you own a firearm, it’s essential to make sure you learn how to clean it safely, and a high-quality gun safety class can teach you how to do that and much more. Gun Safety Training Pros is committed to providing the finest gun safety course online. If you want to learn more about the crucial aspects of safe firearms ownership and gun handling, contact us today at

Sign up for U.S. LawShield