Cleaning your gun is something that gun owners and gun lovers do for many reasons. The most obvious motivation is that it keeps your gun functioning normally despite tens, hundreds, or thousands of rounds at the range, or several boxes of shells on opening day. Gun cleaning can be relaxing too, if you know how to clean a revolver.
Some shooters practice field stripping their guns repeatedly so if the situation ever arrives that they have to repair a gummed up weapon amidst a firefight, they could do it in the shortest amount of time humanly possible. Operating with a freshly cleaned weapon is similar to wearing a brand new pair of socks, you’re not sure why, but your day is just a little bit better because of it.
Revolvers are popular carry guns, despite their relatively old technology level. Gun manufacturers are continuously coming up with new and exciting designs for their revolver lines, and there is no sign of this small part of the industry slowing down. That being said, we decided that it would be a good idea to go over some of the most basic revolver cleaning methods. Obviously, there is more than one way to do this, and you should always consult your manufacturer owner’s manual before attempting to clean any firearm.
The first step is to ensure the gun is unloaded. This is an obvious step, however, you can never be too careful with guns. Remember, an unloaded gun should be treated as if it was still loaded.
Gather your supplies. There are many gun-cleaning kits available. Most are inexpensive and will last a lifetime, just be careful with the brass rods, as handling them too rough or using them improperly will cause them to break.
Break the gun down. In this case, most revolvers will open to the side, exposing the cylinder. Tie a rag around the back of the gun to protect the firing mechanism. Some guns are more fragile than others, but doing this as a rule will prevent any accidents. It also gives you a nice place to grab the gun.
Grab the appropriate bore brush for your handgun. Remember, manufacturers of bore brushes use the same brush for many calibers. A 9mm Luger brush may be the same as a .357 Magnum, .38 Special and so forth.
If the gun hasn’t been cleaned in a long time, apply solvent to the bore brush and pull the brush out of the gun from chamber to barrel tip. If possible, you should always clean the barrel in the direction the bullet travels. Repeat these steps on each cylinder as well.
Grab an old toothbrush, and apply solvent to it as well. Brush the firing mechanism and the back of the cylinder. Push back the extractor rod and brush it as well. Spent gunpowder can collect around the extractor rod in a short amount of time. Once you have applied solvent to the cylinders and barrel, remove excess solvent material using a cleaning rod and cloth pad attachment.
Next, take the same cloth attachment and a fresh cloth. Apply gun oil and run the rod through the cylinders and barrel. Take another cloth and wipe away any excess oil. Finally, grab a clean rag and apply a few drop of oil to it as well. Polish and clean the outside of the gun until there is no visible dirt of fingerprints.
Conclusion: How to Clean a Revolver
This method of cleaning is what I have always used, and I have never had any problems with my revolvers. Remember to be safe when cleaning your firearms and always promote your Second Amendment right to self-defense!
For those new to firearms, do you have a tip or lesson learned about how to clean a revolver? Share your best cleaning tips or preferred products in the comment section.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in November of 2011. It has been updated for accuracy and clarity.