how to clean your handgun

If you’re a gun owner, you most likely use a variety of gun oils and solvents to clean, lubricate, and maintain your firearms.

Using the right products will help your guns work better and function safely, so it’s best to use the best stuff you can find.

Here are the gun oils, solvents, and lubricants I use to keep my guns clean and running smoothy.

Hoppes No. 9 Bore Cleaner

Hoppes No. 9 is a bore cleaning solvent that’s been in use by firearms enthusiasts for decades.

I like Hoppes No. 9 because it’s inexpensive, easy to find, and does an excellent job cleaning up carbon, copper fouling, and other residue left in the barrel after a day at the range.

As a side note, Hoppes No. 9 smells rather pleasant, but make sure to be careful not to spill it. Speaking from experience, it can take a while to clean up and for the smell to go away of you spill it.


Ballistol is a multi-purpose spray oil similar to WD-40 but works very well for cleaning and lubrication all kinds of firearms.

I use Ballistol on all my guns after taking them to the range. It’s easy to use and cleans up powder residue and lubricates moving parts very well.

Ballistol is also great for guns with blued finishes. It cleans and protects bluing better than any other product I’ve used and leaves bluing looking shiny and beautiful.

JB Bore Paste

I like to use JB bore paste at least once a year for my rifles, or if I have a rifle bole that’s exceptionally dirty.

JB bore paste polishes and cleans rifle bores by removing copper and carbon residue. After using JB bore paste, bores are left shiny and spotless.

If you’re a precision shooter, I’d highly recommend JB bore paste to keep your bores impeccably clean.

Lubriplate No. 130-A Grease

While you may not need a firearm grease very often, it’s a great thing to have around.

I use Lubriplate No. 130-A grease for high friction areas on my M1 Garand and for the buffer spring on my AR-15.

A little grease will go a long way, so a small dab is all you’ll need. It can often be a better alternative to other lubricants for high friction metal-to-metal areas on some gun parts.

Shooter Lube

Shooter lube is another great product that I highly recommend for all firearm owners.

Their two-part system includes both a spray solvent and a lubricating oil. The spray solvent is used for for multi-purpose cleaning of various parts to remove powder and copper residue. The lubricating oil with its convenient applicator allows you to place small amounts of lubricant where you need it.

I really like shooter lube because the solvent is odorless and leaves little to no residue. The lubricating oil doesn’t have much of an odor either, and the bottle it comes in makes it easy to apply to parts that need lubricating.

The minimal mess and odor from shooter lube mean you can use it indoors without any complaints from the wife, at least that’s the case for me.


Gun oils are crucial to keeping your firearms working properly and lasting a long time. I own firearms that have lasted generations because they were cleaned after each use.

There isn’t a product that can do it all, so make sure to pick up a few of these products to have on hand. Some firearms will just respond better to different oils, so take some time to experiment for yourself.

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1 Comment

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    I consider, that you are mistaken. Let’s discuss it.

    October 25, 2022

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