There is a small fraction of the shooting public that enjoys the process of cleaning a gun. For some it is therapeutic – possibly stress-reducing even. But for the majority of us, cleaning a firearm is something that we have to do to ensure the safe and accurate functioning of our prized weapons the next time we visit the range.

For those who clean out of necessity, there are several tools and tips at your disposal that can make the process of gun maintenance much quicker and easier. Here are 5 tools and 5 tips to help make cleaning a fun more efficient.

The Right Tools for The Job

Otis Ripcord

This tool from OTIS takes care of what many consider to be the most tedious cleaning chore – barrel maintenance. Not only is a clean barrel essential for overall accuracy and safe shooting, but improper cleaning methods can actually harm the barrel and erode accuracy. This tool can be used at the range for a quick barrel swab – without having to disassemble the gun.

Hornady Hot Tub Sonic Cleaner

This tool represents the ultimate in do-it-yourself gun cleaning. Even caked-on powder residue, primer solvents, and lead fragments won’t stand a chance when the Hot Tub takes over. Use One Shot Sonic Clean solution for a winning combination that can clean almost any firearm component (even some rifle barrels fit) with ease.

The Gunsponge

Instead of using abrasive bristle brushes that often do little more than move grit and grime around, employ an absorbent and mildly abrasive Gunsponge and you’ll remove more grime in less time than with traditional cleaning methods.

Real Avid Gun Tool-Plus

This tool is known the world over as one of the most useful and comprehensive multi-tools in existence. The Gun Tool-Plus offers several Torx bits, screwdriver bits, a scope adjuster, choke tube wrench, bit driver, and even a bore light. Proper maintenance often involves using the right tools, and this option keeps guns in prime condition with ease.


Though classic cleaning solvents like Hoppes #9 and RemOil work well – Ballistol cleans, protects, lubricates, and preserves like no other. Plus, it is environmentally friendly, skin safe, and contains no carcinogens. It can even be sprayed on leather or wood as a preservative.


Clean Like a Pro

While the latest in tools and gadgets can certainly make gun cleaning a more pleasant overall experience, keep these five gun cleaning tips in mind the next time you get ready to polish up your prized handgun, rifle, or shotgun.

Disassemble as Needed

When a gun is disassembled, it is much easier to clean any hidden grease, grime or dirt. That said, only disassemble guns up until your level of comfort, and seek the help of a qualified gunsmith if you feel at all uncomfortable. You may even want to take a few classes at a reputable gun range to get you up to speed.

Clean in a Ventilated Space

A big part of responsible firearm use knowing how to safely clean and maintain your guns. As cleaning these weapons often involves the use of solvents, harsh chemicals, and other flammable liquids, make sure you clean your guns in a well-ventilated space and never smoke near these chemicals.

Use The Right Tools

Some of the tools listed above can help better maintain your guns, but at the very least you should have these items on hand: solvent, gun oil, cleaning rods, bristles, patches, wire brushes and cotton bore swabs. Consider buying a comprehensive cleaning kit to make sure you have everything you need.

Clean Everything

Don’t assume a quick bore cleaning is all it takes to maintain a gun. Rather, clean every nook and cranny, clean and check magazines, and even take the time to gently clean optics lenses and other critical parts.

Use A Tray

Although your kitchen table may be an acceptable cleaning area, a solid workbench with a tray underneath is a much more ideal setting for cleaning your firearm. Guns use lots small parts, and one missing spring or detent pin can render your gun useless – or worse, dangerous!

By following the cleaning tips above and using some of the tools listed, you’ll find that cleaning your gun can be a quick and safe process that will make your range experiences much more enjoyable.