Airguns don’t need as much cleaning as firearms, but they definitely benefit from routine maintenance. I’m going to share a simple cleaning kit that I use to keep my airguns shooting at their best. You’ll need an old pellet tin, a bit of plastic weedeater line, a pack of patches, and some 91% isopropyl alcohol. A small, leak-proof bottle of oil can also be added to round off the kit.
I started my kit by cutting a 30″ length of weedeater line. This needs to be an all plastic line to keep from damaging the barrel. I then cleaned a old pellet tin, added in several patches, and moistened them with alcohol. There shouldn’t be any liquid alcohol in the bottom of the tin. The weedeater line can coil up and be placed in the tin for storage:
The lid is then screwed on and the tin is placed in with the dry patches. It makes a simple kit that is easily stored in a backpack. Over time, the patches can dry out, so before taking it afield, be sure your patches in the tin are moistened.
Here’s my airgun cleaning procedure: first, make sure the gun is empty and on safe. If at all possible, I try to clean from the breech end. On multipump and PCP airguns, I turn the airgun upside down to prevent debris from entering the transfer port. A dry patch is added to the end of the weedeater line and pushed through the barrel to push out any large debris and to soak up excess lubricant. That is followed by several moist patches, until they start coming out clean. A couple of dry patches later, and the barrel should be spotless.
Got a really dirty barrel? Use a couple of patches soaked with Goo Gone, followed by dry patches, followed with rubbing alcohol patches, and finally followed by dry patches.
If you are going to put up your rifle after cleaning, lightly oil a patch and give it a couple of passes through the barrel to provide a protective film. Most airguns work well with 30 wt non-detergent oil and this oil can also be used to lubricated pumps and pump linkage. Consult your owner’s manual to find out what is recommended for your airgun.
Your airgun’s barrel should be cleaned when first purchased. I normally don’t clean after that until I notice my groups start opening up. If you wash, dry, and lightly lubricate your pellets prior to use, your barrel will stay cleaner, requiring less maintenance.