How To Clean The Outside Of A Gun

Image of a rifle in a carrying case to illustrate hot to clean the outside of a gun.

Learning how to clean the outside of a gun is like learning how to do a lot of routine maintenance. It often starts with asking questions. This process helps us think through a problem or a task before we begin.

And of course, if we’re not asking the right questions, we’re not going to arrive at the right solutions.

So what are some questions one might ask when learning how to clean the outside of a gun?

Two of the most important questions would be:

  • What kind of gun are we cleaning?
  • How does our knowledge of gun safety inform the gun cleaning process? (Sneak peek: Among other safety protocols, it means making sure the gun is unloaded when cleaning it.)

Cleaning A Gun

Keeping a gun clean on the outside is just as important as keeping it clean on the inside. Over a period of time, your firearm will collect residue, especially if it sees a lot of use. Ask Sporting Systems about cleaning kits, cleaning patches, and cleaning solvents if you’re unfamiliar with this process.

Like each and every tool in our garage, guns require regular inspections and maintenance to keep them operating at peak performance. That means regular cleaning and lubrication, especially if the gun has seen a lot of use.

Cleaning the inside of a gun helps keep it in good shape and will extend its lifespan. But a lot of grime can also accumulate on the outside of a gun over time: moisture, dirt, oil, grease — each of which can eventually damage the gun’s finish and its performance.

Responsible and experienced shooters, writes Magtech Ammunition, will pay close attention “to the proper maintenance of their weapons. The importance of good gun care is critical to safe and smooth operation of the firearm. Cleaning, lubricating, and rust prevention will ensure years of top performance.”

Simple, Safe Steps

The good news about learning how to clean the outside of a gun is that you don’t need any special polishes or soaps to get the job done. Some gun owners swear by WD-40 and a clean rag. Others use more traditional methods, such as Rem Oil, Inox or Lanox to clean the outside of guns.

Just be sure not to load it with too much of these cleaning agents. You don’t want to leave your gun with a greasy or slippery residue.

Make sure you wipe it down well enough so that just the gun’s finish shines through and there are no fingerprints visible.

It’s important to keep a gun lightly oiled, so avoid dry patches. But be on the lookout for excess gun oil or surface rust, too. These can all affect your gun’s performance.

As for the cloth itself — or a rag to wipe off the gun — a gun cloth is the perfect tool for this job. Most are treated with silicone lubricants to help get that finish to a beautiful shine. CLP (for Clean, Lubricate, Protect) Wipes are a good choice.

No matter what material you use to clean the gun, be sure to stick to your safe gun-cleaning habits. Clean your unloaded firearm in a work area that is well-lit and well-ventilated. Make sure the table or platform on which you are cleaning your gun is stable.

Learning how to clean the outside of a gun is important. It’s much less extensive and intensive than cleaning the inside of a gun. Keep an eye out for additional blogs on gun cleaning, especially about cleaning the inside of the gun.

There’s a lot more to cover when it comes to the insides: cotton patches, cleaning rods, bore snakes, bore brushes, cleaning the barrel, learning how to strip a gun (field strip), and more.

Sporting Systems

As always, reach out to Sporting Systems with any questions before you start cleaning — or to ask us about our inventory and free 1639 training.

We’re here to help you make the most of your gun purchase and your gun ownership. Along with that, we provide support and resources to help you maintain your guns. Gun ownership is a big responsibility, and it’s up to all of us to make sure we stay on top of maintenance and repairs, if and when necessary.

Cleaning the outside of a gun is a simple, effective way to keep your firearm performing and looking its best for many years to come.

As we suggested above, everybody has their favorite method of cleaning a gun’s outside. It often depends a great deal on personal preference. So make sure to do your research, ask other gun owners for advice, and turn to Sporting Systems with any questions.

We are a Vancouver WA gun store. We can also provide specialty items to different parts of the Pacific Northwest. This includes Spokane, Washington, Seattle, Washington, Pendleton, Oregon, and Boise, Idaho.


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