How To Clean a Bolt Action Gun


Begin by taking the bolt out of the GUN. This ensures that the gun is unloaded and it makes it possible to run the cleaning rod from one end of the gun to the other.

Spray a generous amount of cleaning solvent into the bolt. A 5 to 10 second spray will likely be enough to get things running clean. Then set the bolt to the side on a paper towel to dry.

Attach the bore brush to the cleaning rod and spray it with solvent. Run the brush through the barrel twice. There are two schools of thought on this technique—some believe that it can damage the gun to pull the brush back through the barrel and others believe that it is fine to do so. We have found that in most cases, pulling the brush back through will not damage our gun. However, you should always be sure the brush goes completely through the barrel and out the other side before pulling it back through. After brushing the solvent through the barrel, set the barrel to the side for 5 to 10 minutes.


While the barrel soaks, go back to the bolt and use a cotton cloth to wick out any excess solvent.

After allowing the barrel to soak for several minutes, spray the bore brush with solvent again and run it back through the barrel ten times.

Put the slotted end onto your cleaning rod and thread a cotton patch into it. Run it once through the barrel but do not pull it back through. With the rod still through the barrel, remove the dirty cotton patch off and replace it with a clean one. Now pull the slotted end back through the barrel.

Switch back to the bore brush and run it through another ten times, followed by another swipe through with the cotton patch in the slotted end. Repeat these steps three more times.

With the slotted end on your cleaning rod, run several solvent soaked patches down the barrel. Keep in mind that you will probably never get the barrel so clean that the patches come out completely white. This is fine so long as they are not coming out a bluish-green or black.

Finally, take a clean swab with some light oil on it and run it through the barrel. Then take a cotton cloth and rub a few drops of oil onto the bolt before replacing it into the gun. Then rub down the barrel and receiver with several drops of oil, as well.



What We Use

Paper towels – Cotton cloths – Cleaning rod with a bore brush and a slotted end – Cotton patches – Cleaning solvent – Gun lubricant/oil

Click here to check our video on how to clean a gun. 

Martin Andrada

Head Guide at Pointer Wingshooting


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