How to Clean A Shotgun: Shotgun Maintenance 101

How to Clean A Shotgun: Shotgun Maintenance 101

To make sure that your shotgun will work properly under any circumstance, you should work on it by cleaning it regularly. Regular maintenance is very important to keep your firearm clean and functional as well as durable.

Maintenance is also about making sure your shotgun is safe, because you do not want it to be unpredictable, but you want it to be constant and reliable even when facing the worst SHTF scenario.

How to Clean A Shotgun: Shotgun Maintenance 101

You do not want your shotgun to fail when you need it most to make it work, so to help you get everything set up and ready, we’ve created a simple tutorial on how to clean your shotgun and make it last longer. Stay as functional and reliable as the day you bought it.

Step # 1: Safety first

Safety comes first, of course, that’s why we’re starting to teach you how to safely unload your shotgun without hurting yourself and avoiding any possible accident.

  • The first step is to unload the shotgun and you will do it keeping your finger off the trigger. Point the shotgun in a safe direction, away from your body or away from anyone close to you or around you.
  • Then, you must press the action of the shotgun bolt; You will find it easily, since it is usually placed near the trigger guard. While holding the barrel pointed in a safe direction, you must unload your shotgun by pumping (using the pump action). Continue pumping until all casings appear in the tube or in the charger compartment.
  • Remove the ammunition and make sure you have removed all the charger / tube housings; This is extremely important, since you do not want any unexpected shots while you are cleaning your gun. That’s why we said that safety always comes first.
  • Take the bolt button to its place to check if there is more ammunition inside the gun.

Step # 2: Clean

You will need a cleaning sheet or a cloth for this step, since you will have to clean all the accumulated dirt and the caked carbon created by the prolonged use, that’s why you need to keep your gun, you do not want it to be corroded and dysfunctional.

How to Clean A Shotgun: Shotgun Maintenance 101

You will also find traces of old oil and dust, so you should clean all the parts very carefully. All holes must also be cleaned well. In addition to cleaning the shotgun from the outside to make it clean and bright, making it look like new, it is necessary to clean the area around the camera. Some parts of the shotgun will cause your cloth to turn black, which means you need to spend more time cleaning those parts of the shotgun.

Step # 3: Solvent

To clean a shotgun, you also need to buy a solvent: there are a lot of profitable and quality solvents available in the market. It is best to choose one that does not harm your health, since it will be in contact with the solvent (your skin will breathe it and continue to inhale while cleaning it).

How to Clean A Shotgun: Shotgun Maintenance 101

You need to spray it generously. Trust me, a lot of solvent is better than not having enough solvent sprayed on your shotgun! Let the solvent stand for 15 minutes or more so that all accumulated dirt can get very wet. Make sure all areas are well covered, especially those with more dirt and soaked oil, charcoal and gunpowder.

Step # 4: Scrubbing

Once the 15 minutes have passed, you should start scrubbing. For this part of cleaning, you will need to use a brush. Brushes can be purchased; You can find high quality bronze brushes and other materials specially designed and designed for cleaning guns and scrubbing. A brush of this type will help you to remove all the dirt from shotguns, pistols, pistols, etc.

How to Clean A Shotgun: Shotgun Maintenance 101

In the event that you can not or have not purchased one of these special brushes, you can always find great use in a normal toothbrush or any other similar brush. You will use the brush you have to clean your shotgun by thoroughly rubbing its surface. By rubbing the surface, the positive effects of the solvent will come into action and the accumulated dirt will be easier to clean and remove from the shotgun.

The brush will make all the apparently unavailable parts of the shotgun much easier to clean, such as corners.

Step # 5: cleaning vol. two

Make sure you get a cloth that is completely free of lint for a more effective and orderly cleaning. Once you have finished brushing and scrubbing the shotgun, you will use that lint-free cloth to clean the entire surface of the shotgun, making it completely clean and free of dirt. Also the solvent layer will be removed on the way.

How to Clean A Shotgun: Shotgun Maintenance 101

Again, the parts that make your cleaning cloth darker or black must be cleaned more than once and until they are completely clean. Instead of using cloths, you can use patches. You can buy special patches made and designed for the cleaning of firearms. These patches must be 100% cotton and are not reusable. Fortunately, you can buy them in batches of 50, 100 and even hundreds of patches to back up your patch pool and have enough patches to clean when you need them.

Step # 6: soaked solvent

Now you must re-take the solvent and soak the gun in solvent. You will use the soaked cloth to clean all the holes and areas that are a little harder to reach. Again, just to make sure you remember that you need to clean all the areas thoroughly, especially those that leave black wipes on the cloth.

Step # 7: Picking

You will need a selection for this part of the shotgun cleaning. Make a selection and clean up all the areas that are thought of and presumed to have carbon pools.

Carbon buildup can often be found in the chamber and to clean the chamber effectively, you must use a pick to clean the sides and corners of the metal, so you can clean it thoroughly.

Step # 8: Barrel

To have your shotgun completely ready and clean, you will also need to clean the barrel of the shotgun.

You will use a clean cloth, all soaked in solvent to clean the barrel. Instead of using a cloth soaked in solvent, you can use the cleaning rod to clean the barrel; however, this method is not so precise, so if you want a top-notch cleaning method, it is best to choose cloth soaked in solvent. .

How to Clean A Shotgun: Shotgun Maintenance 101

If you decide to go clean the cloth, you will have to change it until you have thoroughly cleaned the barrel. All the cloths should be soaked in solvent and once you have finished cleaning, use a dry cloth to wipe the rest of the dirt from the barrel. Once you have finished, grease another cloth and clean the entire barrel.

This will help protect the barrel from oxidation, so rust will not appear in the barrel of your shotgun.

Step # 9: oil it!

Some parts of the shotgun need more oil than other parts. In the manual that is included with the shotgun, there should be areas specified in the list so you know which parts should be greased and how often you should oil them.

If there is not a manual to help you discover what parts you need to take care of when it comes to using oil to preserve your weapon, you can solve it yourself by simply looking at the parts that are most likely to wear out. outside.

How to Clean A Shotgun: Shotgun Maintenance 101

To steer it in the right direction, we recommend that you lubricate the bolt and rails to avoid rust and wear. The area that should not be greased is the housing and the firing pin. This is the case that the oil will help the dirt accumulate and then your shotgun will not be able to fire when you need it, that’s how you get a dysfunctional firearm.

Step # 10: Finish!

Once you have finished greasing the shotgun parts that require oil for maintenance, you should use a clean cloth to clean the shotgun and remove excess oil from the surface of the gun.

What would also be useful to know is what you need to have in your house, so that you can clean your shotgun effectively. That is why we have compiled a list of all the necessary things for the maintenance of shotguns. You can choose what you need from the list according to your personal preferences, but for the most effective cleaning, we recommend that you buy a complete firearms cleaning kit, where you will find everything you need for a high quality maintenance.

Cleaning rod

The cleaning rod is designed to help you clean the barrel of the shotgun. And although many people use it to clean, we prefer to suggest that you clean your barrel as described in our tutorial.

If you are still interested in using a cleaning rod to clean your barrel, then you should definitely consider using a cleaning rod made of soft material, or at least constructed of any material that is softer than the barrel material.

If you damage the barrel of a firearm, you get a dysfunctional firearm, so you should be careful with your choice when purchasing gun cleaning equipment.


It is also recommended to have selections among your cleaning equipment. In our step-by-step guide, you will notice that there are some parts of the shotgun that are easier to clean with a selection. You can clean the camera and metal parts more effectively with a pick and eliminate all carbon buildup.

Jags and loops

Jags and loops are a class of accessories that should be used along with the cleaning rod. Both jags and loops are used by standing on the tip of the cleaning rod. You use it to clean the barrel of the gun. The half of the tip is attached to the tip of the cleaning rod, which prevents it from moving safely while pushing through the hole while cleaning the gun.

How to Clean A Shotgun: Shotgun Maintenance 101

The loops are a little different from the jags, and as you probably can guess from their name, the loops are shaped attachments that can be secured to the cleaning bracket (it looks like the end of a needle). You can use these accessories for a more effective cleaning.

Cloths, patches, swabs.

You can always use a lint-free cloth to clean and clean your gun, but you can also use patches that are sold especially as firearm cleaning patches. Using a clean cloth to clean all parts of the shotgun is more than correct, but to clean the hole with a cleaning rod, we recommend that you use 100% cotton patches available to buy in large packages at reasonable and low prices. prices. When cleaning the hole, be sure to change the patch as soon as it gets dirty.

It is very important to use clean patches if you want your shotgun to be thoroughly cleaned. There is also an option for you to use swabs. The swabs are also excellent for cleaning shotguns and other firearms. For cost-effective cleaning, you can buy reusable swabs that can be used once they are washed with warm water.

Cleaning brushes

To eliminate the accumulation of carbon and dirt, you must use a brush after applying the solvent according to our cleaning guide. However, you can clean the barrel with the use of brushes as well. Special brushes for cleaning guns are usually made of brass, nylon or bronze.

How to Clean A Shotgun: Shotgun Maintenance 101

For the most demanding dirt on the surface of the gun, we recommend brushes made of bronze, as you will need something strong enough to help you remove all the accumulated dirt and carbon. If you are using a brush in your barrel, we recommend that you use a softer material. We recommend a nylon brush so it does not damage the barrel of the shotgun.


The solvent will help dissolve and eliminate the accumulation of dirt, lead and carbon. It is strongly recommended to buy a suitable solvent to clean your shotgun. You can choose the one that is respectful of the environment and that does not harm you or your environment.


If your shotgun looks a bit oily (and the fact is that no shotgun should look oily), it’s probably due to the dirt that had accumulated on the surface of your gun. For effective degreasing, you can buy one of the many degreasers available in the market.


To protect the surface of your gun from oxidation, you can use oils and lubricants for guns. That way, it will create a protective layer that will keep your shotgun protected from rust.

Waterproof protect

There are many different products available to protect your weapon if your shotgun is often exposed to heavy rain or bad weather. This will keep it safe from corrosion and will make the gun last longer as a functional and corrosion-free firearm.


For all the corners that are quite difficult to clean with patches or cloths, you can use an old toothbrush for an effective complete cleaning. If you want to improve your game when it comes to the maintenance of weapons, you can buy a specially designed toothbrush to clean less accessible areas and remove all accumulated dirt effectively and without too much effort.

Regularly used toothbrushes can be a pretty good option, but the materials used to make special toothbrushes for gun cleaning are more suited to the needs and cleaning needs of guns and, as such, will probably add up. to the most efficient cleaning of shotguns.

How to Clean A Shotgun: Shotgun Maintenance 101

In general, cleaning a shotgun is quite easy and simple if you know which part of the gun requires which part of your shotgun cleaning equipment. For a more effective cleaning of the shotgun, you can buy a complete gun cleaning kit that matches your cleaning preferences, but you can also continue with our shotgun cleaning guide and a list of all the necessary items to maintain and preserve the gun. functionality of your shotgun and buy all the items. You need it separately, again following your own personal preferences.

To remind you once again (but as a true survivor, you are already familiar with that fact) to have your shotgun ready when you need it most and know that it will not fail you, even in the most demanding SHTF scenarios, you need to work on its maintenance by performing cleanings and periodic reviews. A clean shotgun is functional and the only type of shotgun you need!


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