How To Clean Your Shotgun

We love shotguns. They have such fantastic versatility. Whether hunting birds, bunnies or big game; home defense; trap, skeet or sporting clays; military/law enforcement.

Regardless of purpose, maintaining them is the same - and whether you have your sights on a turkey or a target, you want your shotgun to perform when you pull the trigger.

As simple and straightforward as a shotgun is, they still need proper maintenance to ensure peak performance and functionality.

The most important rule of all - make sure your shotgun is unloaded. Safety first.

Break it down. Your shotgun, that is. If it's endured anything like these guys put their shotguns through, trust us, you’ll want to do this. Consult your firearm owners manual if you’re unsure how to disassemble your shotgun.

Clean it. Use a cleaner like Shooter's Choice Shotgun and Choke Tube Cleaner and spray down the different parts. Then wipe it all down, paying special attention to all the little crevices where water, fouling and debris can hide. An AP Brush can do wonders to clean areas like the slides and receiver. Make sure everything is completely dry, especially the bolt to keep it from rusting.

Don’t forget to clean the bore. It’s easy when your tired to just wipe down the outside and tell yourself you’ll clean it tomorrow, but tomorrow can easily come and go. So just do it now with one of our shotgun cleaning kits and our quick and easy three step process to a superior 360 degree clean. Really pressed for time? Use the Ripcord® for an even quicker clean.

Lubricate it. Make sure you lubricate everything including all moving parts and any metal on metal contact points. Lubricants reduce friction and wear. Don’t over lubricate though as that can not only attract dust and dirt but if it gets into the firing pin area or slides, it may not fire or cycle the next shell. A lot of folks swear by Otis Dry Lube, especially in the duck blind or in wet spring turkey weather- it dries quickly and keeps shotguns protected and moving smoothly.

Protect it. Now put it all back together. Sometimes easier said than done, am I right? Reference the owners manual if you’re unsure. Over time, it will become second nature.

Spray your shotgun with a protectant to combat rust and corrosion.

You’re not done yet though - there’s still the choke tube. It can be easily neglected. Simply remove it, clean the choke tube as well and lightly grease the threads. Need a step by step on how to clean your choke tube? We've got you covered here.

Now that your shotgun is all cleaned up, store it properly in a gun safe. While your at it, throw a Bore Stick™ down the barrel to further combat rust and corrosion.