Cleaning and maintaining your bolt-action rifle require a lot of things to take note of. There are things that you need to prepare beforehand. Handling a bolt-action rifle improperly may also cause it to malfunction. Therefore, following the tips below ensures that you have a smooth experience in cleaning your bolt-action rifle.

Remember that Safety is Your Priority

First and foremost, you need to make sure that your gun and workplace is out of reach from children. Your safety should always be your first priority when handling weapons. For instance, unintentional injuries caused 169,936 fatal unintentional injuries in 2017, and 486 came from a firearm.

You also need to avoid using TCE-based products for cleaning your bolt-action rifle. Scientists linked TCE exposure to abnormally low sperm counts. New Jersey’s Public Employees Occupational Health and Safety even issued an alert to law enforcement regarding the use of TCE.

Have Something to Hold the Bolt-Action Rifle in Place

You need something to hold your bolt-action rifle in place. A good gun vise makes cleaning easier. It keeps your rifle stable during the whole cleaning process.

Before placing your bolt-action rifle on the gun vise, make sure that it’s not loaded. The gun vise does not only hold your gun in place but also has additional features to make gun cleaning fast and convenient to work on.

Make Sure You Have the Necessary Materials

Before cleaning your bolt-action rifle, you need to prepare the necessary materials to help you with cleaning. This includes:

  • Cleaning rod: cleaning rod make the best cleaning tool for your rifle barrel
  • Gun cleaning patches: for wiping off the gun powder and dirt residue
  • Solvent: sometimes refer to CLP meaning clean, lubricate and protect
  • Rust protector: most people use gun cleaning oil to keep off rust

These are the necessary materials that help you with cleaning your bolt-action rifle.

Follow the Disassembly Guide

Most bolt-action rifles come with a manual on how to disassemble your rifle. Make sure you follow the instructions word for word. You can also get some disassembly manual at local gun stores specific to your firearm model.

There are even manual and guides available for you on the internet for gun disassembly and even guides on how to clean a bolt-action rifle. If you don’t like reading instructions and guides, you can look for instructional videos on the internet for a visual guide on proper gun disassembly.

Secure a Place to Store Small Parts

Your bolt-action rifle contains small parts that may be hard to keep track of. Prepare a number of small containers to put these small parts while you continue disassembling your rifle. It’s also better to have them labeled so you don’t get confused when reassembling the rifle.

Create a Clean Place to Work

Having a private room makes gun cleaning a lot safer for your kids. The room or area needs to be clean in case the small parts get lost you would be able to find it easier. A clean environment also makes you motivated to clean and maintain your bolt-action rifle.

A private room exclusive for gun cleaning and maintenance would be ideal but if you can’t have that, a simple table would do just fine. Just make sure that you exercise extreme safety steps like locking the room and ensuring the gun isn’t loaded when you do clean your bolt-action rifle.

Store in a Secure Gun Safe

Gun maintenance doesn’t end with just cleaning your bolt-action rifle. Where you keep your gun when not in use also affects the longevity of your gun. Humidity can cause guns to form rust and ultimately affect the effectiveness of your bolt-action rifle.

Storing your bolt-action rifle inside a gun safe would be your best option. The gun safe has low humidity inside that ensures your bolt-action rifle won’t form rusts. It’s also great for keeping your guns away from children or from thieves.

You can even store your gun cleaning equipment inside as they are also susceptible to rust. Overall, gun safes make the best safe and secure storage equipment for anything gun-related.


Owning a bolt-action rifle requires regular cleaning and maintenance. Following the tips above will ensure that you are safe and doing the correct way of cleaning your bolt-action rifle. Make sure you make time to clean and protect your bolt-action rifle or it will form rust and may shoot inaccurately or won’t even shoot at all.