How to Clean a Firearm’S Extractor Spring?

To clean a firearm’s extractor spring, disassemble the firearm and remove the extractor spring for inspection and cleaning. Properly reassemble the firearm before use.

A clean and well-maintained firearm is essential for reliable and accurate shooting. The extractor spring is a critical component that helps ensure proper extraction and ejection of spent cartridges. Over time, debris and residue can build up on the extractor spring, hindering its performance and potentially causing malfunctions.

Regular cleaning and maintenance of the extractor spring can help prevent these issues. In this article, we will discuss how to properly clean a firearm’s extractor spring to keep your weapon in top condition.

How to Clean a Firearm'S Extractor Spring?


Step-By-Step Guide To Cleaning A Firearm’S Extractor Spring

Unloading The Firearm And Ensuring It Is Safe For Cleaning

Before starting the cleaning process, ensure that the firearm is unloaded and safe for cleaning by following the below steps:

  • Remove the magazine and eject any cartridges from the chamber.
  • Ensure that the safety is engaged and the gun is pointing away from you and others.
  • Double-check that the chamber and magazine are empty.

Dismantling The Firearm And Identifying The Extractor Spring

The dismantling process may differ depending on the firearm. Nonetheless, here is a generalized process to dismantle the firearm:

  • Remove any attachments such as scopes, lasers, or accessories.
  • Disassemble the firearm as described in the owner’s manual.
  • Locate the extractor and extract it.
  • Identify the extractor spring, a small spring underneath the extractor.

Properly Cleaning The Extractor Spring Using An Appropriate Cleaning Solvent

Cleaning the extractor spring requires a cleaner that can penetrate and dissolve the buildup of debris and grease. Here are the steps:

  • Soak the extractor spring in a cleaning solution or solvent.
  • Gently scrub the spring with a nylon brush.
  • Ensure that all dirt and debris are removed from the spring.
  • Rinse the spring with clean water after cleaning the spring to remove any remaining solvent.
  • Dry the spring with a lint-free cloth.

Inspecting The Extractor Spring For Any Damages Or Wear And Tear

A damaged or worn extractor spring can result in functionality issues of the firearm, so inspect the spring for any visual signs of wear and tear. Follow these steps:

  • Look for any sign of corrosion, pitting, or broken coils in the spring.
  • Check if the spring fits in the extractor properly.
  • Look for any bent or weakened areas in the spring.

Reassembling The Firearm After Cleaning

After cleaning and inspecting the extractor spring, it’s time to reassemble the firearm. Follow these steps:

  • Apply oil to the extractor spring.
  • Reassemble the firearm parts in reverse order of disassembly by following the firearm’s manual.
  • Check the firearm’s functionality once reassembled.

Common Mistakes To Avoid

Using Improper Cleaning Solvents That Can Damage The Extractor Spring

Cleaning a firearm’s extractor spring is a vital task for ensuring its smooth operation. However, using the wrong cleaning solvents can cause significant damage to the spring, leading to costly repairs. Here are the key points to keep in mind when cleaning the extractor spring:

  • Avoid using harsh or acidic solvents that can corrode the spring’s metal.
  • Stick to specially designed gun cleaning solvents to ensure the extractor spring’s longevity.
  • Read the cleaning solvent’s label instructions carefully before using it on the spring.

Over-Cleaning Or Under-Cleaning The Extractor Spring

Another common mistake people make when cleaning their firearm’s extractor spring is either over-cleaning or under-cleaning it. Over-cleaning the spring can lead to excessive wear and tear, while under-cleaning can cause buildup and damage. Here are a few tips for appropriate cleaning:

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions for your firearm.
  • Avoid cleaning the extractor spring more than necessary.
  • Cleaning every few months or after each use is sufficient.
  • Use a clean, soft cloth or gun cleaning brush to remove buildup and carbon buildup from the spring.

Failing To Inspect The Extractor Spring For Signs Of Damage Or Wear And Tear

When cleaning your firearm’s extractor spring, it’s essential to inspect it for any signs of damage or wear and tear. A damaged extractor spring can cause significant malfunctions that may result in unwanted accidents. Here are a few tips for inspecting the extractor spring:

  • Look for any visible signs of rust, corrosion, or chipping.
  • Use a magnifying glass to inspect the spring closely.
  • Pay attention to any changes in the extractor spring’s color, shape, or size.
  • If you notice any signs of damage or wear and tear, replace the extractor spring immediately.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can clean your firearm’s extractor spring like a pro and ensure that it operates smoothly and safely. Remember, proper maintenance and care are crucial for any firearm, and neglecting them can have severe consequences.

Tips For Proper Maintenance

Proper maintenance of your firearm’s extractor spring is crucial to ensure that it functions efficiently and smoothly. Here are some tips to help you maintain your firearm’s extractor spring and get the most out of your gun:

How To Store The Firearm Properly To Prevent Dust And Debris From Building Up On The Extractor Spring

Storing your firearm in a clean and dry place will prevent dust and debris from accumulating on the extractor spring. Here are some tips for proper storage:

  • Store your firearm in a clean and dry place. Cover it with a breathable fabric or gun sock to protect it from dust and debris.
  • Keep your firearm away from humid areas and direct sunlight.
  • Clean your firearm before storing it to prevent any debris or dirt from getting trapped in the extractor spring.

How Often To Perform Routine Maintenance On The Firearm To Ensure The Extractor Spring Works Optimally

Performing regular routine maintenance on your firearm is vital to ensure that the extractor spring is working correctly. Here are some recommendations for how often to perform maintenance:

  • Clean your firearm after each use. Use a cleaning kit that includes a lubricant to clean the extractor spring.
  • Check the extractor spring for any damage or fatigue after every 500 rounds.
  • Take your firearm to a gunsmith for a thorough inspection and cleaning every 2000 rounds.

The Benefits Of Using High-Quality Ammunition And How It Can Reduce Build-Up On The Extractor Spring

Using high-quality ammunition can reduce the build-up of debris and residue on the extractor spring, making it work more efficiently. Here are some benefits of using high-quality ammunition:

  • High-quality ammunition is consistent in size and shape, reducing the risk of debris build-up.
  • High-quality ammunition has a cleaner burn, leading to fewer residues left on the extractor spring.
  • High-quality ammunition reduces the chance of misfires, reducing the wear and tear on the extractor spring.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your firearm’s extractor spring works efficiently and lasts longer. Ensure to always handle your firearm safety, and only use the right ammunition for your firearm.

Frequently Asked Questions For How To Clean A Firearm’S Extractor Spring?

How Often Should I Clean My Firearm’S Extractor Spring?

You should clean your firearm’s extractor spring after every use to ensure its longevity and proper functioning. A dirty or worn out extractor spring can cause misfires and failures to extract shells.

What Should I Use To Clean My Firearm’S Extractor Spring?

You can clean your firearm’s extractor spring with a small brush, such as a toothbrush, and a solvent that is safe for use on firearms. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the solvent and use it in a well-ventilated area.

How Do I Know If My Firearm’S Extractor Spring Needs To Be Replaced?

If your firearm is experiencing frequent failures to extract shells or you notice that the extractor spring appears visibly worn or damaged, it may be time to replace it. Consult with a gunsmith or manufacturer to ensure you are using the proper replacement part.


Cleaning a firearm’s extractor spring is an essential task that responsible gun owners must take seriously. Neglecting this task could lead to malfunctions and even endanger lives. By following the simple steps mentioned above, you can easily clean your firearm’s extractor spring and ensure that it operates smoothly and efficiently.

It is recommended that you clean your extractor spring after every use to prevent dust, dirt, and other contaminants from accumulating. Regular maintenance is the key to keeping your gun in tip-top shape and enhancing its longevity. Remember to wear protective gear and use the right tools when handling firearms.

Lastly, it is vital to check your firearm’s manual for specific instructions on how to clean your extractor spring before starting the process. Practice safe shooting and happy cleaning!






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