How to Correctly Clean Your Revolver Gun: 13 Steps

Even if you have little to no knowledge about firearms and ammunition, you still would recognize a revolver the moment you get a sight of it. With handguns being the most common form of firearm, a revolver is a type of handgun alongside the more modern automatic pistols.

But a revolver can be easily separated from its counterpart due to the use of a certain mechanism. A revolver is basically a repeating pistol, possessing a multichambered cylinder at the back of the gun barrel. It is mostly made from metal components with the exclusion of the grip.

Due to its popularity, the chances of you owning a firearm that is a revolver is very probable. And you must be always looking for ways to keep your revolver in a good condition.

Here, we have gathered 13 easy steps on how to clean a revolver. Read this article to know tips and tricks to keep your revolver clean and functional.

What Happens if You Do Not Clean Your Revolver?

A revolver is a piece of machine and just like every machine, it needs maintenance. Gun cleaning is something that varies among gun users. Some do it before hunting, some do it after, while some users clean them regularly after certain intervals.

know how to clean your revolver

Regardless of how often a revolver is in action, you should clean yours to avoid common problems like malfunction and corrosion.

Here are a few things that you can prevent by keeping your revolver clean:

  • Rusting is a very common problem in case of revolvers because of its mental composition. There are many catalysts out in the air which corrode the metal of the revolver. Not keeping a revolver clean and properly stored causes this rusting.
  • Residual fouling causes precision and reliability issues. After release of every bullet, residual remains of carbon, lead and copper create fouling residue inside the barrel.
  • Failure to fire is another common issue with unclean revolvers.
  • Failure to feed and eject are also common problems with revolvers that have not been cleaned.

Why Should You Know How to Clean Your Revolver?

A regularly cleaned revolver not only keeps it well functioning but also ensures a good lifespan for the machine. If you own a revolver, it’s an essential part for you to know how clean a revolver. Knowing how to clean your revolver will benefit you in the following ways:

Getting Familiar with Your Weapon

A revolver has different components to its build. While cleaning the outside and ins of your revolver, you will get to understand more about its formation and mechanical process.

Reliability and Safety

With every use of your revolver, waste like residue, dirt and debris accumulate inside the weapon. These waste materials stored in your revolver make it less reliable in your hands.

Your uncleaned revolver might cause safety issues overtime if you never clean and maintain it.

Durability and Longevity

For how long you can use your revolver depends on how frequently you clean and maintain it. The durability and lifespan of your revolver can be increased with a well-maintained cleanliness routine.

Durability and Longevity

If the purpose is to get the most out of your revolver, cleaning it is a must.

Proper Lubrication

When cleaning a revolver, lubrication is not that difficult of a process but it is a very important one. The key is to know where to properly apply lubricants. And it is also necessary for a user to know the right balance between too much and too little use of lubricant.

How to Correctly Clean Your Revolver?

As you already know, a revolver should be cleaned to ensure it is not getting ruined or rusted. A clean revolver also maximizes the performance of it. So, by this time you are well aware of the significance of keeping your revolver clean.

Before you find yourself confused as to how to begin this process, here is a complete step-by-step guide to how to clean a revolver:

1. Find a Spacious and Clean Area

Before starting the cleaning, it is very important that you get yourself a clean spacious area. Make sure you keep the area well-lit with proper scope for ventilation to avoid any reactions from the cleaning chemicals.

It is suggested that you avoid indoor places. Gun cleaning substances contain harmful elements which might contaminate the inside of your house. The ideal place to clean your revolver is somewhere outdoors or in the garage.

2. Make Sure Your Revolver is Not Loaded

Get to the cleaning of your revolver by unloading it first. Point your revolver in a safe direction to avoid any accident. While holding the revolver by the grip, push the cylinder to open it. Use your other hand to reach the top of the revolver and push the cylinder out.

if you do not clean your revolver

Look for cartridges inside the cylinder and take them out if there are any. To keep an account of all the ammunition, mark down the number of bullets removed. You can use your instruction manual to get a better idea of this.

3. Gather Cleaning Essentials for Revolver

Collect all the essential elements that you need to clean your revolver at once before starting the process. And keep them nearby for ease of cleaning. Don’t bring dirt from other places by picking up new things from different places. Wash your hands and dry them to begin cleaning.

Here’s a list of cleaning essentials that you will need for cleaning your revolver:

  • Cleaning rod
  • Lint free blanket
  • Bore brush
  • Cleaning swabs
  • Cleaner jags
  • Mops
  • Gun cleaning patches
  • Bore Snake
  • Silicone gun rag
  • Cleaning solvents

Stores have pre-made cleaning sets for purchase. You can grab one of the sets from your nearest store. Or you can also collect them individually.

4. Use Sock to Cover Cylinder Opening

Take a piece of old sock and tie it around the opening of the rear part of cylinder. It is the part above the trigger which helps fire a shot. By doing this, you can protect the weapon when the brush is pushed through to clean the barrel.

5. Pick the Right Size Bore Brush

Firstly, make sure you grab a bore brush that fits your calibre revolver for a thorough cleaning. Bore brushes are made of different materials based on their use. Bronze, steel, and nylon are some of the materials that you will find on the bristles of the brushes.

Pick the right size Bore Brush

To be on the safe side, use the bronze one for your revolver. Depending on the use of jacketed or non-jacketed bullets, you will find copper or lead fouling inside the barrel. Now dip the brush into an appropriate solvent to clean the barrel.

6. Push Brush Into Barrel

After dipping in solvent, push the brush through the barrel. Let the cleaning solvent dissolve all the fouling residue for 1-2 minutes. Revolvers have rifling in the interior of the barrel for greater shooting accuracy. While pushing, you will find the brush naturally twisting in your hands to follow the grooves.

Make sure you feed the brush all the way into the barrel exiting at the opposite end. Then pull the brush back in the opposite direction. Depending on the condition of the barrel, you might have to do it a few times to remove all the fouling residue.

7. Use lubricated Cleaning Patches in Barrel

Put a patch attachment on the rod. Attach a piece of cleaning patch on the attachment. Dip this patch inside the cleaning solvent. Feed it through the interior of barrel properly to lubricate the inside of the barrel.

Now pull it back from the opposite direction. Remove the dirty patch and replace it with a new clean one. Again, put it through the barrel. Depending on the condition of the revolver, you might have to repeat this step a few times.

8. Dry the Barrel

After cleaning the inside of the barrel, push dry patches inside the barrel. You must take as much solvent out as you can from inside the barrel.

Dry the gun barrel

Do this process gently to keep the barrel dry.

9. Clean the Cylinder

Clean the cylinder the same way you cleaned the barrel using a bore brush and cleaning solvents. Take a bore brush soaked in cleaning solvents. Now gently push the brush through each of the cylinder chambers and pull it out in the opposite direction to clear unwanted residue.

After clearing the residue, take dry cleaning patches and dip them in the solvent. In the very same manner, feed the patch through the cylinder until each individual cylinder chamber is clean. Use 2-3 patches for best results.

10. Clean Other Various Parts of Revolver

Use cleaning solvents, scrub the outsides and the ins of the revolver lightly. You also need to clean and lubricate other parts of a revolver. The trigger, the action, the muzzle, and the cylinder need to be cleaned with solvents.

Then you will need to clean the extractor rod. Push the rod out and clean the rest of the rod. All of this should be cleaned using nylon cloth, toothbrush, and cleaning solvents.

11. Lube and Polish Revolver

Apply small portion of gun oil or lubricant on a clean rag. Polish the entire gun using the rag carefully except the handgrip and the interior of the barrel and cylinder. Make sure to use an appropriate amount of lubricant.

Over lubricating can cause problems which might lead to reliability issues.

12. Remove Excess Oil

The purpose of polishing a revolver with lubricant is to give it a shiny look. Don’t make the revolver greasy by applying more gun oil than necessary. Take off any excess oil on the revolver with a different piece of rag.

If it still looks greasy then you are required to clean some more. It is ideal to leave a light film of gun oil to prevent rusting.

13. Final Inspection

After you are done with all the steps above, check all the parts individually to see if they are functional. This step is not essentially part of the cleaning process. But you never know if any part of the revolver got damaged while cleaning.

So, it is advised to complete the cleaning with a final check.


If you are someone who owns a revolver, then you must clean it from time to time to keep it in its original condition. Cleaning a revolver is not about keeping your revolver shiny and appealing. Rather cleaning preserves the appearance and usability of the revolver. It keeps the firing accuracy intact while enhancing the comfort of the user.

Even if you are someone who has never cleaned a revolver, the mentioned steps will guide you without any confusion. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get it done!

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