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How to clean air rifles

Updated April 17, 2017

Proper cleaning and maintenance of your air rifle is necessary to ensure its long life and continued accuracy. Cleaning your air rifle requires an assortment of tools, lubricants and oils; these can be purchased online or from many outdoor sports retailers. You should clean your air rifle at recommended intervals and no more. Always observe proper safety precautions when cleaning and handling your air rifle.

Place safety glasses over your eyes while working on your air rifle. Initiate the safety switch on your firearm.

Grip the stock and the barrel and "break" it open. If you own a break-barrel air rifle this will give you access to the seals. If you own a side-cocking-barrel air rifle, sliding the cocking lever back and opening the chamber will give you access to the barrel seals.

Insert two, felt cleaning-pellets into the barrel chamber. Ensure that you use cleaning pellets designed to fit the size of your air rifle barrel. Push the cleaning pellets through the barrel using a rifle cleaning rod until the pellet exits the opposite end. Repeat this approximately every 100 rounds that you fire.

Apply two drops of high flashpoint lubricant to the piston seal. This seal is located in the compression chamber of the firearm. Repeat this approximately every 1,000 rounds that you fire.

Apply one drop of high flashpoint lubricant to the breech seal. This seal is located at the back of the barrel and you can access it while the chamber is open. Repeat this approximately every 1,000 rounds that you fire.

Close the chamber or barrel of your air rifle. Locate the main spring. You can usually gain access to the spring on the underside of the forestock, near the barrel. Note that you must break down some air rifles to access the main spring. Apply approximately six drops of spring-cylinder oil to the spring. Repeat this approximately every 1,000 rounds that you fire.

Apply one drop of spring-cylinder oil to other moving parts of the air rifle; these include the break barrel hinge, the sliding levers of a cocking firearm and the trigger. Repeat this approximately every 1,000 rounds that you fire.

Clean all metal parts of the air rifle using a soft cloth and a high quality degreaser especially designed for gun barrels. Repeat this approximately every 1,000 rounds that you fire.

Warning

Never point the barrel of your air rifle at yourself or anyone else, even while cleaning. Always observe proper safety precautions when handling your firearm. Too much lubrication can damage your air rifle. Follow the maintenance schedule to take proper care of your firearm. Only use high flashpoint lubricants on your air rifle. Other lubricants can cause detonation because of the extreme heat inside the chamber of your air rifle when it fires.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety glasses
  • Felt cleaning pellets
  • Rifle cleaning rod
  • High flashpoint lubricant
  • Spring cylinder oil
  • Degreaser
  • Soft cloth
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About the Author

Dustin Thornton has been writing since 2003. He has served as a newspaper columnist for the "Troy Tropolitan" and a contributor to various websites. Thornton received a partial scholarship for an outstanding essay in 2003. He has a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Troy University.