Guns & Weapons

How to Use a Bore Snake | Gun Care



gun with bullets | How to Use a Bore Snake | Gun Care | Featured

Failing to clean your gun will lead to its poor performance. Check out how you can keep your gun at its peak state using a bore snake.

RELATED: Locked and Loaded – How To Do Proper AR-15 Rifle Maintenance

How to Clean Your Gun With a Bore Snake

Click here to jump to the infographic.

Parts of a Bore Snake

parts of a bore snake | bore snake | orig

How to Clean your Gun with a Bore Snake

1. Make Sure Your Gun Is Unloaded

unload your gun | bore snake | orig

This is the most crucial step! To avoid any accidents, be sure that your gun is empty. Prep your gun well and choose a well-lit area for maximum visibility on what you are doing.

Also, stay as far away as you can from any open flame. An added precautionary measure is always better than compromising your safety.

2. Spray Gun Cleaning Solvent on the Bore Brush

gun solvent on bore snake | bore snake | orig

Gun cleaning solvents supposedly help with the breakdown of grime and dirt in your gun's barrel. After spraying it on the bore brush, it's recommended that you wait 2 minutes before cleaning your gun with the bore snake.

Not all gun owners see this as a crucial step, however. But we're throwing this in just in case you also want to explore if this will work for you.

RELATED: Muzzle Loaders: Proper Loading and Maintenance

3. Feed the Brass Weight Through the Barrel and Pull

feeding brass weight in gun | bore snake | orig

This is actually the first step to finally cleaning your gun with your bore snake. Once you're done with the first two steps, you can get started by gently slipping in the brass weight into the barrel. As soon as you see it go through the other end of the barrel, you can start pulling.

4. Resistance Is Normal When You Reach the Bore Brush

resistance from bore snake | bore snake | orig

Bore snakes come in different sizes. This is to ensure that it precisely fits in your gun's barrel to cover all areas that need cleaning.

So if you experience a bit of tension when you start pulling your bore brush through, that's normal. Your bore snake is just doing its job of removing the dirt and grime that the first floss area wasn't able to remove.

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To see if you have the right bore snake size, check the stamp on the brass weight to see if it's compatible with your firearm's caliber.

5. Continue to Pull

pulling bore snake out of gun | bore snake | orig

After the bore brush is done with the heavy cleaning, it's the main floss area's time to shine. Its purpose is to make sure that it catches all the residue that the bore brush was able to scrape off, leaving the inside of your gun as pristine as it can be.

Don’t forget to download, save, or share this handy infographic for reference:

How to Use A Bore Snake | Bore Snake | infographic

The purpose of the bore snake is for quick and easy cleaning. To make sure that you're really getting all the dirt and grime out of your gun's barrel, run through the five steps a few more times until you're satisfied.

Want a deeper clean? After your trip or once you've settled, bring out your cleaning rods to make sure that you can really get into the parts your bore snake can't reach.

A bore snake, after all, is a quick fix. We still suggest that from time to time, take those cleaning rods out and give those guns of yours their well-deserved TLC.

Got other tips on how to keep guns in tip-top shape? Comment them down below!


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  1. Sherman

    February 25, 2021 at 11:24 AM

    Teardown visually inspect and assembly fire ready. I’m slippen over two minutes. NoGo hadn’t given any thoughts on it in too damn long. Thanks for the reminder

  2. lbrac

    February 25, 2021 at 8:49 PM

    I often seem to have trouble finding a snake in the correct caliber for the barrel I want to clean. That is, if I can even find a snake when I need one. Even if it is the right caliber, it is sometimes just too short. Sometimes all I can do is clean a different gun barrel that matches the snake that I found. Any suggestions that might help me find the right snake when I need one?

  3. Doug

    March 9, 2021 at 6:44 AM

    Is there a poster available for the “How to Use a Bore Snake”?

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