Take a Shot At This Firearms Maintenance Quiz


By: Becky

6 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Are you a firearms enthusiast? Do you like to play, but rely on others to maintain your firearms? Take this How Stuff Works quiz to find out what you need to do to take proper care of your guns.

Firearms can be fun and useful, but they also take a bit of work. Now, you're not going to be spending hours every day taking care of your guns, but there are some basic steps you need to take to keep them maintained properly. 

These basic steps are important because a firearm that is not maintained will not work properly for long. And by properly, we mean that your firearm must hit the target and do so safely. Firearms that are not cleaned regularly and adequately may misfire, which may result in injury to the user or others in the area. 

To maintain your firearm, you'll need to know how to clean it, but first, you need to know how to identify each part of the gun, because different parts of each firearm will need to be maintained, or cleaned, in a particular manner. You'll also need to know what to use to clean and maintain your gun.

Let's find out how much you know about firearms maintenance.

How often should you clean your firearm?

Although, ultimately, how often you clean your firearm depends on how often you use it, most experts insist that a twice-annual cleaning is the minimum. How you clean it depends on the firearm and the usage.


Why do most people postpone gun cleaning?

Although there are numerous reasons why people put off cleaning their guns, the main reason is that it simply isn't any fun. Putting it off indefinitely, however, is not a good idea.


How often do you need to swipe the bore?

Although your manual will give you the best idea of how to clean the bore, the reality is that most of the gunk that has accumulated will be removed on the first swipe. And, most gun manufacturers will admit that even just one swipe is better than nothing.


Do you have to disassemble your firearm every time you clean it?

Although you do not technically have to, it is a good idea to, at least occasionally, take your firearm apart, and give it a thorough cleaning. How you do this really depends on the gun and how you use it.


For a hunting gun, when is the best time to clean it?

The best time to clean your hunting gun is at the end of the season, before you put it up on the rack. Don't let it sit until next season before cleaning.


What is the first thing you should do when cleaning your gun?

Make sure you clear all the shells before you start cleaning your gun. Leaving them is a safety issue and prevents thorough cleaning of the firearm.


What should you do when you finish the cleaning?

Before you shelve your firearm for the season, make sure you work the action after cleaning. Make sure everything feels smooth and gunk free.


Which component(s) are the most critical to the performance of your firearm?

The chamber and the bore are the most important components of your firearm. Sure, it's nice if it looks pretty, but function is really what it's all about.


What can get trapped between wood and metal and make your firearm less functional?

Grit and moisture can be a problem. Make sure you pull the stock and clean thoroughly between all wood and metal parts.


Wipe your firearm down with an __________ lube before you store it.

Wipe your firearm down with an anti-rust lube before you store it. This will help prevent the firearm from rusting while stored.


Where should you store your firearm when not in use?

Actually, your gun needs to air out when stored. Cases can hold moisture, which may cause your firearm to rust.


What is the most often overlooked auto-shotgun maintenance item?

The recoil spring in the buttstock is the most often overlooked auto-shotgun maintenance item. This is an ideal place for grit and gunk to build up.


Failure to clean the recoil spring in the buttstock can lead to what problem?

Failure to clean the recoil spring in the buttstock can lead to autoloader failures. Make sure you pay special attention to this part.


What brand of cleaning solvent should you use?

Although there are special cleaning products for special issues, even the least expensive cleaning solutions are better than none. If you have stuck-on gunk, you might need to invest in a specialized cleaner, but otherwise, just use what you have.


True or False. You don't need to clean modern firearms.

This is false. Even though modern firearms are made with materials and processes that hold up better than guns of old, you still need to clean and lubricate them.


Disassembling your weapon is also called what?

Disassembling your weapon is also called takedown. Your firearm manual will detail how to do this properly.


Which of the following is NOT a firearm cleaning must?

Dish soap is typically not used to clean a firearm. Solvents, lubricants, and brushes are staples in most gun-cleaning kits.


After you make sure your firearm is not loaded, what is the first step in cleaning?

After you make sure your firearm is not loaded, you should engage the safety. After that, field strip the firearm.


In which direction should you clean the barrel?

You should clean the barrel forward toward the muzzle. This is the direction the bullet travels.


Where should you apply lubricant?

Apply lubricant to all moving parts. This will ensure that they continue to operate properly.


What does rust do to a firearm?

Rust can be harmful to your firearm. It can make it inaccurate and unsafe to use.


What should your visual inspection cover during cleaning?

Look for both excessive wear and cracks. Both can make your weapon inaccurate and unsafe to use.


What is the main goal of cleaning your firearm?

Although a pretty firearm is nice, the main goal is to ensure that your firearm is safe and that it functions properly. Regular maintenance is key to this.


Shotgun cleaning rods are _______.

Shotgun cleaning rods are thicker than handgun cleaning rods. Rods are designed to fit specific bores.


True or False. A self-cleaning firearm needs no maintenance.

Although a firearm may claim to be self-cleaning, you will still need to perform regular maintenance. All firearms need to be cleaned.


What is involved in the catastrophic failure of a firearm?

A firearm that is not cleaned and maintained may explode. This is termed a catastrophic failure of the firearm.


What is it called when a semi-automatic firearm fires repeatedly?

Slamfire happens when a semi-automatic firearm fires repeatedly. This can happen if the bolt assembly is not cleaned religiously.


Using a cleaning rod that is too hard can do what?

A cleaning rod that is too hard can nick the inside of the barrel. Always use a rod that is made of material that is softer than the barrel.


What goes on the end of the cleaning rod to hold the cleaning patch?

A jag or a loop fits on the end of the cleaning rod to hold the patch. Use brass or plastic to avoid damaging the bore.


Use a ______ patch with every swipe.

Use a clean patch with every swipe of the bore. Using a dirty patch will just move the dirt around.


A cleaning brush should be made of which of the following?

Make sure your cleaning brush is made of a soft material like nylon or brass. A brush that is too hard will damage the bore.


Which of the following is NOT suitable for use with guns?

WD-40 is not suitable for use with guns. Your best bet is to purchase the proper cleaning and maintenance supplies.


True or False? You can use a toothbrush on your firearm.

This is true. Although, even better than a toothbrush would be a cleaning brush specifically designed for cleaning firearms.


Is it ok to use a Q-tip to clean your firearm?

Technically, the answer to this is yes. However, Q-tip might leave cotton fibers in the nooks and crannies of your firearm.


Who best knows how to clean a gun?

Although your family members may know a lot, it's best to follow the recommendations of the manufacturer. This will ensure that your firearm is safe and efficient to use.


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