Airsoft guns, like real guns, need proper cleaning to maintain gun performance and shooting accuracy in tournaments or playing random games with friends. To ensure this, you just need to follow a complete guide on cleaning an airsoft gun, starting at the barrel.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean the barrel of an airsoft gun:
- Prepare the cleaning materials needed
- Switch off the hop-up system
- Put a cleaning cloth at the tip of the cleaning rod
- Put a few drops of cleaning solution on the cleaning cloth
- Insert the cleaning rod into the barrel
- Replace the cleaning cloth to dry the barrel
- Return the airsoft gun to its initial settings
Whether you’re a fan or a player of airsoft, you should keep the barrel of your airsoft gun clean. Proper cleaning and maintenance will significantly increase the useful lifespan and prevent damages to the airsoft gun. For details on cleaning the barrel, keep reading.
Things mentioned in this article that you will need:
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|Gun Cleaning Patches 600PCS - Silicone Gun Cleaning Cloth Set, 2''×2'' Cotton Gun Cleaning Patches - 12"x12" Microfiber Gray Towel Polishing Rag Cleaner Suppliers - for All Gun Cleaning Protection…||PrimeEligible||Check on Amazon|
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1. Prepare the Cleaning Materials Needed
For cleaning the barrel of an airsoft gun, there are a few items you need. Some of these cleaning items come with the airsoft gun as a package, especially when you purchase them firsthand with a box and accessories. Others may require a trip to your local store.
Here’s the essential list of cleaning materials you need:
This is the rod or stick that comes with your airsoft gun upon purchase. It usually has two ends. The first is the loop end for inserting the cleaning cloth, and the second is the unjamming end for removing snags and hitches inside the barrel.
If you’re looking for a cleaning rod for your airsoft gun, I recommend Evike’s The Old Fashioned Cleaning Rod on Amazon.com. This product is designed to help you unjam your airsoft gun from 6mm BBs, as well as make cleaning the barrel a lot easier. It also has an old fashion design that’s simple to use and easy to carry.
For the cleaning cloth, you have the option to use a microfiber cloth or a specialized cleaning patch.
- Paper towel: Some players tend to use this as a cleaning cloth for the barrel. This is commonly used as kitchen and bathroom rolls in the house. However, although paper towels seem soft, they’re actually hard enough to scratch the inner barrel walls if used regularly for a long time
- Regular tissue paper: Others would even use this in cleaning the barrel. Tissue papers are softer than paper towels, but they’re so weak that they easily break into tiny fragments, especially when wet. These small fragments are usually left inside the barrel and can affect your shooting performance
- Cotton cloth: This is an alternative cleaning material for gun barrels. It doesn’t scratch the inner barrel walls, and it doesn’t leave any residue in it. However, this is relatively expensive since you cannot re-use a cotton cloth cut down into smaller pieces when it’s already dirty
- Microfiber cloth: This cleaning cloth is one of the better alternatives for cleaning the barrel. The regular size of this cleaning cloth is relatively large for the cleaning stick. So, just take a small piece by cutting it with scissors to fit into the cleaning rod’s loop end
- Specialized cleaning patch: This is the most recommended material of cleaning cloth as it’s specifically designed for cleaning gun barrels. It comes in different sizes, but you can use either a 0.22 or a 0.27 cleaning patch for airsoft gun barrels. This is already specifically cut down to small portions upon purchase to fit into the eye of the rod. So there’s no need to cut them down to smaller sizes
If you’re looking for a high-quality cleaning cloth for your airsoft gun, I recommend the PINGMIC Gun Cleaning Patches on Amazon.com. This cleaning cloth comes in 600 pieces, which is the perfect choice if you’re a regular player in your local field. It’s an all-around gun cleaning patch capable of removing debris from your airsoft gun, keeping it in its best condition. In addition, this cloth is specifically designed to clean your gun without harming its exterior.
There are various suggested cleaning solutions on the internet for cleaning an airsoft gun.
- Silicone oil: This is the most common cleaning solution. On the other hand, professional airsoft players don’t use it because of its residue after cleaning
- Teflon gun oil: Some professional players use this because it doesn’t leave any residue and doesn’t attract dust. If you’re looking for high-quality gun oil, I recommend DuPont Teflon Non-Stick Lubricant on Amazon.com
- Water: Others use this as a cleaning solution to prevent unwanted residue from silicone oil that hardens up with the barrel when left undried. The problem with water is it can cause rust to metallic parts of the airsoft gun over time
- Rubbing alcohol: It’s also recommended by professional airsoft players since it doesn’t leave any residue due to its quick-drying quality. Most prefer to use a ninety percent concentrate of isopropyl alcohol for best evaporation. In using this, you don’t have to bother yourself in drying up the barrel because it dries up itself
2. Switch Off the Hop-Up System
Before you start cleaning out the barrel, you need to switch off the hop-up system of the airsoft gun. This is a safety procedure to avoid damaging the hop-up bucking when inserting the cleaning rod into the barrel.
You can turn this off by turning the switch to the no-backspin position on the BBs. If you forget or neglect this procedure, the fragile rubber bucking may be damaged upon ramming in the cleaning stick.
Aside from switching off the hop-up bucking, you also have the option to remove the whole barrel before cleaning it out.
In getting the barrel out, you can refer to this nine-minute tutorial video on how to dismantle the inner barrel of an airsoft gun:
This video teaches you how to correctly do this without missing any pieces and changing any settings.
3. Put a Cleaning Cloth at the Tip of the Cleaning Rod
When using a microfiber cloth, make sure that they are cut down to small sizes so you easily slip them into the loop end of the cleaning rod. After doing so, just form a small triangle and insert one corner to the eye of the loop.
For specialized cleaning patches, there’s no need to cut them into smaller pieces. You just need to insert them directly in the eye of the loop, and you’re all set.
4. Put a Few Drops of Cleaning Solution on the Cleaning Cloth
Regardless of the cleaning solution you’ll use, you need to put one or two drops on the cleaning cloth. You don’t want your barrel to be soaking wet with the cleaning solution since it could leave some residue after cleaning. Residues can drastically lower the performance of the airsoft gun and damage it.
5. Insert the Cleaning Rod Into the Barrel
Gently push back and forth the rod with a damp cleaning cloth. Apply steady pressure against the inner walls of the barrel from the tip to the gun’s feed port. You can always check the end of your cleaning rod if it’s already at the feed pipe by turning the gun on its back.
Never apply extreme pressure on the barrel, even if something is obstructing the cleaning stick. Always gently rub the end of the rod to remove the obstruction.
If you feel an obstruction inside the barrel that you don’t see, like the one at the feed tube, do some caution first before continuing. Check the hop-up system if it’s turned on, and you might be pushing too hard on the barrel.
When you notice that the cleaning cloth is already full of dirt and stain, remove it from the cleaning rod and replace it with a clean one. Put a drop or two of cleaning solution on the new cleaning cloth, and gently push it back and forth in the barrel. Repeat until the cleaning cloth is no longer dirty when you pull it out of the barrel.
6. Replace the Cleaning Cloth To Dry the Barrel
When the cleaning cloth is no longer full of dirt and stain when you pull it out of the barrel, you can now replace it with a new cleaning cloth, but this time don’t put a drop of cleaning solution. This is for drying up the barrel from the excess cleaning solution left inside.
Always make sure that you dry the barrel completely. Excess cleaning solution will leave a residue that can affect the gun’s shooting accuracy and performance when left inside. This could sometimes damage the barrel or other parts of the airsoft gun when being used.
Here’s a list of the effects of not drying the barrel after cleaning it with an oil-based solution:
- Misaligned trajectory of BBs upon shooting: Hardened cleaning solution inside the barrel can misalign the trajectory or path of BBs after shooting. This is because the barrel is like a guiding rail of a train. If it has obstructions, it will derail the BBs’ course being shot out of the barrel. Thus, drastically reducing the accuracy of your airsoft gun
- Broken BBs upon shooting out of the barrel: BBs can be damaged with a hardened cleaning solution with grime stuck to it. When you shoot BBs out of the barrel in this condition, they’ll be forced out in a more narrow space than they usually do, damaging them upon shooting. BBs are made from non-metallic materials such as plastic or biodegradable resin, so applying external force or pressure could break them
- Jammed BBs upon shooting: If the hardened cleaning solution is pretty large inside the barrel, it’ll be jammed instead
- Inner barrel scratches: Suppose the hardened cleaning solution isn’t that large; the tendency is either the BBs are broken, or the inner barrel walls will suffer from scratches. Either way, you still have the bothersome hardened cleaning solution stuck inside the barrel, so you’ll never truly clean it
- Broken rubber bucking: Ever heard of a ricochet? BBs will have a tendency to bounce back after hitting a relatively large hardened residue. If this happens, they’ll hit one of the most delicate parts of your airsoft gun, the rubber bucking. This part is so fragile that you need to switch the hop-up bucking off when cleaning the barrel to avoid any damages. Imagine how much damage it’ll do with a BB that bounced back into it.
If you don’t want to perform this step as it takes too much time, you should use quick-drying isopropyl alcohol, preferably at least ninety percent concentration. So the barrel will be left entirely dried up, and you don’t need to worry about any residue hardening inside.
7. Return the Airsoft Gun to Its Initial Settings
After drying up the barrel, it’s now time to return the gun to its initial settings. Switchback on the hop-up system and put back all the removed parts of the airsoft gun. This is to prevent it from losing some components, and you could also check if it’s functioning correctly.
This is the perfect time to remember all the things you did with your gun after cleaning it. You’ll prevent any missing parts and settings in your airsoft gun. So by the time you’ll need to use it in an airsoft game or competition, you’ll have less time doing physical and performance checks.
An airsoft gun requires proper handling of its multiple fragile parts. Even though you need to clean it after using it, always consider the step-by-step procedures in cleaning the airsoft gun. This way, you can guarantee your gun’s performance and shooting accuracy whenever you need to use it on any airsoft games.
Always remember that it’s more affordable to clean an airsoft gun than to replace broken parts due to an accident. So make sure that you handle it like how you care for a loving pet.