Airsoft guns are replica firearms that shoot small plastic BBs using compressed gas or spring pressure. Keeping your airsoft gun clean is essential for accuracy, range, and preventing jams or damage. Cleaning the barrel regularly removes built-up residue so BBs can travel smoothly down the bore. A dirty barrel can drastically reduce your accuracy and enjoyment of the sport.
Cleaning an airsoft barrel only takes a few minutes and basic supplies. With some simple steps, you’ll keep your gun shooting straight and hitting targets. Here is a complete guide on how to effectively clean an airsoft gun barrel.
Why You Should Clean Your Airsoft Gun Barrel?
While airsoft guns don’t fire explosive gunpowder like real firearms, they still build up fouling over time which can negatively impact performance. Here are some key reasons to regularly clean your airsoft barrel:
- Improves Accuracy – Built-up residue in the barrel can make BBs veer off course. Cleaning removes debris so BBs travel straight.
- Increases Range – A clean, smooth barrel reduces friction so BBs can travel farther. This improves effective range and accuracy at distance.
- Prevents Jams – Dirt, oil, and grease in the barrel can cause BBs to get stuck. Cleaning removes these jams before they happen.
- Extends Barrel Life – Fouling can erode and damage the inside of the barrel over time. Regular cleaning preserves the rifling grooves.
- Maintains Gas Efficiency – Grease and debris create more resistance for gas-powered guns. Cleaning keeps valves and o-rings working properly.
- Improves Safety – Ensuring BBs fire straight and truly prevents accidental hits outside the target zone.
Regular cleaning ensures your airsoft gun shoots like new. A basic cleaning after each day of play only takes a few minutes and will maintain optimal performance.
Supplies Needed to Clean an Airsoft Gun Barrel
Cleaning an airsoft barrel is a simple process with some basic supplies. Here is what you’ll need:
- Cleaning Rod – A barrel cleaning rod with a slotted tip or threaded eyelets to attach patches. Match the caliber size.
- Barrel Cleaning Patches – Cotton squares sized for your barrel that attach to the cleaning rod.
- Cleaning Solution – Airsoft cleaner, isopropyl alcohol, or silicone oil work well. Avoid harsh solvents.
- Paper Towels – For wiping down the gun, drying the barrel, and cleaning the hop-up bucking.
- Q-tips – To clean the hop-up unit and chamber without damaging them.
- Small Container – To soak patches in the cleaning solution. Can also spray the solution directly into the barrel.
- Eye Protection – Safety glasses to protect your eyes from cleaning solutions, debris, and BBs.
It’s handy to keep a small kit with these supplies ready to clean your airsoft gun after each use. High-quality barrels may also benefit from occasional polishing with a nylon or brass brush to further smooth the surface.
Step-By-Step Guide to Cleaning an Airsoft Barrel
Follow these steps to thoroughly clean your airsoft gun barrel:
Step 1 – Clear the Gun
Always start by clearing your airsoft gun according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Remove the magazine and clear any BBs from the hop-up chamber to make the barrel accessible. Engage the safety.
Step 2 – Select a Cleaning Rod
Choose an appropriate caliber cleaning rod. The rod diameter should be slightly smaller than the barrel bore to slide in smoothly without getting stuck.
Step 3 – Attach a Cleaning Patch
Take a cotton cleaning patch and fit it snugly over the cleaning rod tip. A jagged slot or threaded eyelet will hold the patch securely.
Step 4 – Apply Cleaning Solution
Wet the patch with a cleaning solution. Airsoft cleaner, isopropyl alcohol, silicone oil, or water are good options. Avoid aggressive solvents that could damage seals.
Step 5 – Run the Rod Through the Barrel
Insert the rod with a wet patch into the barrel muzzle. Run it all the way through the ejection port. Twist the rod slightly to scrub the entire inner surface.
Step 6 – Inspect and Repeat
Inspect the used patch. If very dirty, repeat steps 3-5 with a new patch until it comes out clean. This removes all loose debris inside the barrel.
Step 7 – Scrub the Barrel
For a deep clean, run a nylon or brass barrel brush attached to the rod several times with cleaner. This will polish out lead deposits.
Step 8 – Dry the Barrel
Attach a clean dry patch to remove any excess cleaner. Wipe the barrel dry by running several fresh patches through. Moisture can tarnish metal barrels.
Step 9 – Clean the Chamber
Use a Q-tip soaked in a cleaner to gently swab out the hop-up chamber and barrel-locking lugs where BBs sit. Remove all debris here.
Step 10 – Clean and Lubricate Seals
Wipe down any accessible o-rings and seals around the hop-up, bolt, or valves with a silicone oil-dampened rag. Keep them supple.
Step 11 – Test Functionality
Reassemble the gun. Load some BBs and test fire in a safe direction to confirm the smooth operation. The barrel is now clean!
Regularly cleaning using this method will keep your airsoft gun shooting accurately for a long time. Cotton flannel or microfiber strips can substitute for patches. Remember to properly store your gun after cleaning to prevent dust buildup.
Cleaning Tips and Tricks
Here are some additional tips for effective airsoft barrel cleaning:
- Always use a caliber-matched rod to prevent damage to the rifling grooves. Don’t force one that’s too tight.
- Change patches often until they come out clean. Reusing dirty patches pushes gunk further into the barrel.
- Alternate wet and dry passes to lift debris out. Finish with a dry pass.
- After cleaning, apply silicone or Teflon lube to the barrel interior to prevent rust and aid BBs.
- Clean plastic barrels the same way. They harbor dirt, oil, and grime. Don’t use solvents.
- Inspect your hop-up bucking for wear, dirt, and debris that could affect BB spin.
- For deep-cleaning, let solvent or cleaner soak for 5-10 minutes before brushing.
- Clean barrels after each play day. Wipe down externals with a silicone cloth before storage.
- Consult your owner’s manual for any special considerations regarding disassembly or cleaning.
With just a few basic supplies and following these steps, you can keep your airsoft gun shooting straight and hitting targets. Don’t neglect regular barrel maintenance between games. A clean barrel is critical for accuracy, range, and safety.
What Fluid Do I Need To Use?
When it comes to cleaning your airsoft gun barrel, there are a few different fluids that you can use. The most common and recommended fluid to use is denatured alcohol. This type of alcohol will evaporate quickly and will not leave any residue behind. Another option that you have is isopropyl alcohol, however, this type of alcohol can leave a residue if not evaporated completely. For this reason, we recommend using denatured alcohol instead.
In terms of how much fluid you should use, we recommend using enough to just cover the inside of the barrel. You don’t need to soak the barrel in alcohol, as this will not make the cleaning process any more effective. Once you have applied the alcohol to the barrel, use a cleaning rod with a patch attached to it to scrub the inside of the barrel. Be sure to scrub the entire surface area, including the muzzle and chamber areas.
After you have finished scrubbing the barrel, use a clean patch to remove any excess fluid. Once the barrel is dry, you are finished! Regular cleaning of your airsoft gun barrel is important in order to maintain optimal performance and accuracy. Be sure to clean your barrel after every game or practice session, and more often if it is exposed to dirt or debris.
What Fabrics May I Use?
When it comes to cleaning your airsoft gun barrel, it is important that you use the right type of fabric. This is because different fabrics can cause different levels of damage to your barrel. For example, using a coarse fabric such as sandpaper can damage the inside of your barrel, which will lead to reduced accuracy and performance
On the other hand, using a soft cloth such as a microfiber cloth will not damage your barrel and will actually help to remove any build-up that may be inside. Therefore, we recommend that you use a microfiber cloth when cleaning your airsoft gun barrel.
If you don’t have a microfiber cloth, you can also use a cotton swab. However, be sure to use a soft cotton swab so that you don’t damage your barrel.
With that said, let’s take a look at the steps on how to clean an airsoft gun barrel.
Cleaning your airsoft gun barrel is important if you want to keep your gun in good working condition. There are a few different ways that you can clean your barrel, so choose the one that best suits your needs. Be sure to use a Teflon-based oil or lubricant to protect the metal from corrosion and excessive wear.