If you are going to go through the cost, training, and hassle involved in getting a handgun, you really need to make sure you also keep your gun clean. After all, failure to clean your handgun on a regular basis could very well result in it not being able to perform when you need it most.
The first cleaning rule of thumb is to clean your handgun after every time that you fire it, yes, even if you have fired it just a single time. When you purchase your handgun you ought to go ahead and get yourself a quality gun cleaning kit at the same time. At the very least, this kit will contain gun oil, cleaning solvent, a cleaning rod, a bore brush, a patch holder and patches, a cleaning brush, cotton swabs, and a microfiber polishing cloth. Make sure you get the right size rod, brushes, patch holders and the like to fit your handgun.
Once you are done firing your handgun get ready to clean it by UNLOADING your gun and then double checking to ensure that the magazine has been removed and that there is not a round chambered by looking through the barrel and the chamber.
Next, prepare the cleaning area. Make sure it is well lit and well ventilated. And, prepare a surface to work on by laying down some old towels or newspapers. After you are sure that the weapon is unloaded and your work area is ready, disassemble your handgun, but only as much as the owner’s manual suggests. Do not disassemble your gun too far unless you are an expert. In fact, there is no need to disassemble your gun more than its manufacturer recommends unless it needs to be repaired, which is something that most gun owners are not able to do on their own.
Most semi-automatic pistols will break down to a barrel, guide rod, slide, frame, and magazine. Revolvers meanwhile don’t need to be broken down to be cleaned.
Cleaning the barrel is rather straight forward. You do this with the cleaning rod, patch holder and patches. Soak the patches in the cleaning solvent and run them through the barrel working from the backside of the barrel. Once the dirty patches exit the other side of the barrel, remove them so that they do not go through the barrel again.
After you have cleaned the barrel with the cotton patches, replace the patch holder with the bore brush and run the brush through the barrel using a back-and-forth scrubbing motion. This will dislodge all sorts of gunk. Then, go back to the solvent-soaked patches to clean out this gunk. When you think the barrel is clean, go with dry patches. Once a dry patch can make it through the length of the barrel and remain clean, the barrel is clean. The final step for the barrel is lubricating it with gun oil and a cotton patch. Only give the barrel a light coating of oil.
After the barrel is clean and lubricated, set it aside and pick up the action. Clean its inside and moving bits with a nylon cleaning brush and solvent. After it is clean, dry it and lightly lubricate it.
Finally, reassemble your handgun and then lightly polish its exterior with the microfiber cloth. That is it. Your handgun is clean and ready for the next time it is needed.