Tony Bracci, instructor at Bisley, takes you through step by step

At the end of a shooting lesson I usually give some time to show a pupil how to clean a shotgun. It’s an important part of gun maintenance. 

Whilst professional shotgun cleaning at the end of the season is always worthwhile, every shooter should know how to clean a shotgun safely and efficiently.

How to clean a shotgun

  1. First, it should be checked that the gun is empty and clear. The gun will then be closed in a safe direction and the barrels kept pointing up into the air.
  2. The fore-end comes off first using the fore-end catch; it is removed from the barrels and action and put to one side.
  3. The barrels are then removed from the action using the top lever, as if opening the gun, and then placed away from the action.
  4. The barrels are cleaned by spraying some oil down them and using a brush on a rod, cleaning each barrel.
  5. Then a mop or jag with some cloth on a rod is pushed through.

This process can be repeated until the barrels are clean. While the gun is apart all the metal surfaces are wiped over with a cloth sprayed with oil. This is preferable to spraying oil onto the gun itself, which can cause an excess of oil to soak into the wooden parts that, over time, can cause dark staining and a weakness. Once clean, a little oil or grease can be put onto the hinge trunnions and shoulders or any metal-to-metal surfaces.

To reassemble the gun, the barrels are positioned onto the action first, moving them into a closed position, again pointing in a safe direction. Then, the fore-end can be fitted, locating the metalwork end first, then pivoting the wood around to the barrels. The gun should then be opened. Sometimes I demonstrate this first, then let the client try for themselves.

This video will show you more.

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