Airguns are very clean machines; rarely, if ever, do you need to clean one. If you do ever find yourself in need of it though, here are some easy steps that you can use to clean your barrel.
Clear The Gun of Unused Ammunition
This will help to prevent unfortunate accidents and make sure that anything that you need to do is wide open.
Place a Drinking Straw In the Muzzle of The Gun
I know that this sounds really weird, but trust me, if you have a silencer on the end of your gun, you are going to want to do this. Its an optional step that keeps your rope of choice getting stuck in the silencer. If you can’t fit a straw into the barrel, don’t worry, you’ll just have to be more precise with this next step.
Feed a Pull Through Rope Through the Barrel
There are ropes specifically designed for this task, and you can purchase them here. Fishing line will also work, but is a bit more technical. If you choose to go with fishing line, you will need to fold it in half and crease it. The line will hold on to your cloth at the crease.
Feed the rope into the gun from the muzzle and out the breech.
Pull a Cleaning Cloth Through the Barrel
Attach a cleaning cloth to the end of your rope, if you used fishing line, then make sure it is firmly in the crease. You will also want to put some kind of oil on it, Ballistol will work, as this will help to gather up offending particles in the barrel. There are cloths specifically intended to help scrub away lead.
Gently pull the cloth through to the muzzle. This will pull your straw out.
Repeat these last few steps until your cloth comes out of the gun clean.
Pull a Dry Cloth Through the Barrel
Once the barrel is clean, pull a dry cloth through the gun. This will mop up any extra oils in the gun.
Are There Other Ways to Clean an Airgun?
There are other ways to clean an airgun using cleaning pellets, small felt pellets that you shoot through the gun to clean the thing. Simply chamber them and shoot the gun until you are satisfied that it is clean.
Cleaning pellets are not always recommended though, as they are prone to getting stuck in silencers, so if you cannot remove the silencer, or are unwilling to, we do not recommend you use these. Also, because they are so light, shooting them in a springer airgun is akin to dry firing them, so chamber them with a regular pellet to spare your gun the extra strain.
When do I Need to Clean my Airgun?
Airguns do not burn any powder, so there is very little, if any, residual buildup on the inside of the barrel, making the need to clean an airgun a rare event. Really, the only time that you need to clean your airgun is when you notice a drop in accuracy in a gun that has been working well before and has all other systems in order.
Or, if you drop it in the mud. If you drop it in the mud, I’d wager that you need to clean the thing.
The reason that you rarely need to clean the gun is two fold. Firstly, as we said before, you don’t burn any powder in an airgun. A firearm generates a controlled explosion that it uses to force a bullet out of the barrel. The chemical reaction used leaves behind a layer of waste on the barrel that gets bigger and bigger with each shot.
With an airgun, you do get buildup on the barrel, but it comes from the lead of the pellet or the materials used to coat the tiny things. One pellet will come along and deposit material that the next pellet will scrape off, and then replace with its own material, each pellet constantly cleaning the gun for you.
In fact, cleaning the airgun will reduce its accuracy, and you will need to rebuild a healthy layer of lead by firing about ten shots from the gun.