Rifle cleaning basics by Nosler (12 PHOTOS)

Intro- Wes

Meet Wes. Wes and Nosler have teamed up with us here at Guns.com to illustrate the basics of cleaning a bolt-action rifle.

Materials Needed FINAL

Here is a list of things you should have. Not all of these are necessary but it’s better to have these around for cleaning. For instance, you might not think you need tweezers until you’ve lost a patch somewhere hard to reach with your fingers.

Step 1- Secure Your Rifle (FINAL)

A vice makes things a lot easier. It’s an extra set of hands that don’t get tired.

Step 2- Insert Bore Guide (FINAL)

A bore guide will ensure that you don’t damage the chamber of your rifle accidentally. It will also make it easier to file patches through the back of the rifle over the action.

Step 3- Cover the Stock (FINAL)

This is good practice to prevent scratching your stock with your rod. It will also keep solvent off your stock, which may damage the finish.

Step 4- Soak Patches (FINAL)

See, they do come in handy.

Step 5- Select Jag (FINAL)

Not too big, not too small. Be sure to use a jag sized appropriately to the bore of your rifle.

Step 6- Fasten Jag (FINAL)

To hear is to obey.

Step 7- Run Patches Through (FINAL)

By going through the receiver you minimize any risk of damaging the crown, preserving the rifle’s accuracy.

Step 8- Repeat Until Clean

This is way cleaner than it will be when you bust out your patches. This is your end goal; if they don’t come out bright and clean, keep at it.

Step 9- Dry Excess Solvent (FINAL)

At least one dry patch to wipe down the inside of the barrel.


1898128_10152227798257808_613685631_nLastly, you’ll want to remove the bore guide to clean the chamber. Fouling and build-up in the chamber can be potentially dangerous, as it can cause cartridges to headspace incorrectly. But you want to be careful to avoid scratching the chamber as well, so be generous with your patches.

Give the action a cursory wipe-down, lube as directed and your rifle is now good to go.

If you want to see more, check out Nosler’s Facebook page. They’ve just rolled out the .26 Nosler which is an interesting new cartridge. It’s a very flat-shooting 6.5mm round for hunting and target shooting.