Regular maintenance on your handgun is something that is essential to keeping it in good working order. While you are undertaking that task, you should also know how to safely clean your handgun. Cleaning your gun can be a dangerous prospect if not done the right way.  Recently in Georgia, a man was cleaning his gun when it went off and shot his wife, who later died from her injuries. Over the decades, there have been countless cases of people being shot by their gun while looking down the barrel as they clean it. Here are a few things that will help keep you safe when cleaning your handgun.


This tip would seem an obvious point, but many people forget to check to see if their gun is loaded before they start cleaning it. Make sure to take the magazine out of your pistol to ensure it does not fire. You should also be sure there is not a round in the chamber or the barrel. The same procedure should be followed for a revolver, with the exception there is no magazine. We cannot stress enough that not unloading your gun is the number one cause of people being accidentally shot. You don’t want to be a statistic, so check more than once to be sure your gun is unloaded. Make sure the barrel of the gun is not pointed at you or anyone else as you unload your gun. Unloading it outside, pointed at the soft ground would be best. There is no chance of a ricochet if the gun accidentally goes off when it is pointed at the soft ground.  Be sure that children and pets are inside when you unload the gun so no one can potentially be injured from a misfire.


The solvents used to clean a gun can be very strong; overpowering, in fact in areas with poor ventilation. Make sure that you clean your gun in a well-ventilated area with good air circulation. The noxious fumes have been known to cause nausea, vomiting, headaches and dizziness, among other symptoms. Be sure to put down a drop cloth or plastic to cover the area where you are cleaning your handgun. You don’t want the cleaning solvents to get on furniture or carpet and leave a lingering smell after You have finished.


Be sure that you follow the manufactures instructions on taking your gun apart. The instructions should be in the owner’s manual. If you no longer have the owner’s manual, you may be able to obtain a copy online. If you can’t find the owner’s manual at home or online, go to the store where you purchased the gun for assistance.


The best way to ensure your gun is cleaned properly is to follow the manufactures instructions. They will tell you how to clean a handgun. If you want to maintain your gun’s readiness and long-term durability, you should clean it after each use. You are less likely to encounter any issues that could potentially cause an accident if you keep your handgun clean.


So if you want to know how to clean a handgun safely, just follow these simple tips.  Be aware of what you are doing as you clean it.  Thinking about safety through the entire process of cleaning your gun is the key to avoiding any accidents. So, if you are safe, you will be able to clean your gun without incident and keep it in good working order. 

Read a related article about a fatal accident while cleaning a gun