The home of Shooting Times and Sporting Gun

Difficulty cleaning a rifle

Q: I am having difficulty in cleaning the crud and debris from my rifle’s bolt lug recesses. I can’t get to them — can you help?

gun cleaning kit

Sinclair lug recess tool

A: Cleanliness is next to godliness but when cleaning a rifle, especially the action area, it is very difficult to clean the section where the bolt recesses into the action. The locking lug area in a rifle’s action accumulates primer residue, cleaning solvents, debris and brass chips. These can all affect a rifle’s performance.

I use a Sinclair lug recess tool (pictured here), which is a stainless steel rod with a green handle that has a clamp at its top to accept swabs or felts.

Attach the rectangular felt to the rod by loosening and tightening the lock screw, then insert into the action from the back end and rotate 180° to clear the crud from the lug recesses. There are also small cotton swabs that attach in the same manner and are used to clear the bolt raceways to ensure a smooth bolt action. BP