How to Clean Air Guns

Written by derek savage
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How to Clean Air Guns
(gun image by Dragomir Uzunov from

Just like regular guns, air guns also need to be cleaned. Barrels can collect dirt in the bore from oil. If properly cleaned and maintained, an air gun will deliver its maximum shooting potential and remain trouble free for a long period of time. But ignoring basic maintenance can lead to wear, power and accuracy loss and ultimate breakage. Care and cleaning will increase shooting enjoyment and the longevity of your air gun.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Felt cleaning patches
  • Rifle cleaning rod
  • High flash point lubricant
  • Cylinder oil
  • Soft cloth

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  1. 1

    Unload the air gun. Turn the safety switch to the "on" position. Never point the barrel of your air gun at yourself or anyone else, even while cleaning. Always observe proper safety precautions when handling your firearm.

  2. 2

    Run a few clean patches through the bore of the barrel to remove dirt and grease. Put a couple of drops of a good grade gun oil on a cleaning patch and push it through barrel with a rifle-cleaning rod. Pure silicone oil works great. Do not use too much oil or lubricant. Never use solvents to clean an air gun.

    How to Clean Air Guns
    (cleaning a rifle image by caraman from
  3. 3

    Scrub a brass or bronze brush back and forth in the barrel, if the air gun is spreading its shots around, as excess lead build-up may need to be removed, but do this very sparingly so as not to damage the bore. Air gun barrels are made of soft metal.

  4. 4

    Apply one drop of lubricant to other moving parts of the air rifle, including the break barrel hinge, the cocking lever linkage, barrel pivot points, trigger mechanisms and the mainsprings--basically all the moving parts that you can get to. Repeat this approximately every 1,000 rounds that you fire.

  5. 5

    Put a drop of high flash point lubricant on the piston seal inside the compression chamber of the receiver. Depending on the air gun model, it's usually accessible where the barrel cocks open, or near where the barrel opens.

  6. 6

    Clean the exterior surfaces and wipe the firearm clean. Slightly oil the surface to maintain the quality of the finish. A silicone cloth 9400 works great. Then get ready to have a good safe fun with your air gun.

    How to Clean Air Guns
    (sport shooting image by Kostyantyn Ivanyshen from

Tips and warnings

  • Never over oil an air gun, and always use a high flash point lubricant on your air rifle.

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