How to Clean a Shotgun (UPDATED 2023)

A disaassembled shotgun on a table next to cleaning supplies and tools. - Gator Hunting Florida

How to Clean a Shotgun


It is important to learn how to clean a shotgun to maintain it in safe operating condition and protect its value. There are six steps to cleaning a shotgun: download and disassemble, clean the barrel, clean the action, lubricate moving parts, reassemble and check function, and clean. This includes using a brass brush to clean the barrel, a cloth and brush to clean the action, lubricating the moving parts, and cleaning the exterior. Cleaning a gun should be done at least once a season, and more if it gets wet or stops working properly. A CLP (clean, lubricate, protect) is the best all-around cleaner. Lightly oil the barrel and pay attention to the chamber when oiling.

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Cleaning a shotgun is an important part of gun ownership and maintenance. Doing so can help increase the life of your gun, reduce the possibility of misfires, and improve accuracy. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, over 50% of gun owners believe cleaning their firearm is the most important part of gun ownership. Additionally, the National Rifle Association recommends cleaning your shotgun after every use. The steps to properly clean a shotgun include:

1. Disassemble the gun and separate the barrel from the receiver.

2. Clean the barrel with a cleaning rod and patch.

3. Clean the receiver with a brush and cloth.

4. Clean the trigger assembly with a brush and cloth.

5. Reassemble the gun.

6. Lubricate the gun with oil or grease.

7. Test fire the gun.

Following these steps will help keep your shotgun in top condition and ensure it is safe to use.


1. How do I clean the bore of my shotgun?
Answer: To clean the bore of your shotgun, start by using a cleaning rod and patch loop to run a patch soaked in gun cleaning solvent through the barrel. After the patch comes out clean, use a gun cleaning brush to scrub the inside of the barrel. Finally, use a dry patch to absorb any remaining solvent.

2. How often should I clean my shotgun?
Answer: It is recommended that you clean your shotgun after every use, or at least every few weeks. This will help keep the gun in good working order and prevent any build up of dirt and debris.

3. What type of cleaning products should I use on my shotgun?
Answer: When cleaning a shotgun, it is important to use the correct cleaning products. You should use gun cleaning solvent, a gun cleaning brush, and gun oil. Additionally, it is important to use a cleaning rod and patch loop to ensure that the barrel is properly cleaned.

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