How to Clean a Lever Action Rifle?

To clean a lever action rifle, begin by unloading it and disassembling it. Then, use cleaning brushes, patches, and solvents to clean the bore, chamber, and exterior parts of the rifle thoroughly.

A lever action rifle is an essential firearm for hunting, shooting, and other recreational activities. However, like any other gun, it requires proper maintenance and cleaning to function correctly and last long. Regular cleaning removes dirt, powder residue, and other debris that accumulate in the barrel and other gun parts.

Neglecting to clean a gun can lead to rust, corrosion, and other issues that affect its performance. Cleaning a lever action rifle involves a few straightforward steps, including disassembling the gun, using cleaning solvents, and reassembling it. In this article, we will explain how to clean a lever action rifle, step by step.

How to Clean a Lever Action Rifle?


Understanding The Parts Of A Lever Action Rifle

Lever action rifles are loved by shooters because of their classic design and easy-to-use mechanism. But before you dive into cleaning your lever action rifle, it’s important to understand the different parts and how they work. In this section, we’ll break it down for you.

Explanation Of The Different Parts Of Lever Action Rifles

A lever action rifle is made up of several key parts that work together to create a functioning firearm. Here are the main components:

  • Barrel: The long, tubular part of the gun where the bullet travels through.
  • Magazine tube: Located underneath the barrel, it stores and feeds the bullets into the chamber.
  • Lever: The part of the gun that you use to activate the cartridge lifter and load a new round into the chamber.
  • Receiver: Holds the internal parts of the firearm, such as the trigger group and bolt.

Technical Description Of How Lever Action Rifles Operate

Lever action rifles use a lever and spring-loading mechanism to cycle rounds through the gun. Here’s a detailed breakdown:

  • Loading: When you load the gun, a spring-loaded cartridge lifter is pushed up by the lever. The magazine tube feeds the cartridge into the lifter, which is then pulled into position in the chamber.
  • Firing: When you pull the trigger, the hammer strikes the firing pin, which ignites the primer in the cartridge. The gun recoils, ejecting the empty casing and loading the next cartridge.
  • Unloading: If you want to unload the gun, you need to work the lever to cycle the cartridges out of the chamber and through the ejection port.

Understanding the inner workings of your lever action rifle is crucial to proper cleaning and maintenance. Now that you have a solid foundation, let’s move on to the actual cleaning process.

Preparing To Clean A Lever Action Rifle

Step-By-Step Guide To Unloading A Lever Action Rifle And Ensuring It Is Safe For Cleaning

Before you embark on cleaning your lever action rifle, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the process of unloading and ensuring the firearm has no live rounds. Here is an easy, step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

  • Clear the firearm: Ensure the rifle is pointed in a safe direction as you carefully open the lever action to expose the ammunition chamber.
  • Remove any live rounds: Check the magazine tube, chamber, and any other parts of the lever action rifle to confirm that there are no rounds of ammunition inside.
  • Visually inspect the firearm: Run your fingers through the barrel to feel for any ammunition obstruction. Then, visually inspect the chamber and magazine tube to ensure that no leftover debris, oil, or grease is present.

Selection Of The Appropriate Cleaning Products And Materials

Purchasing high-quality cleaning products and materials is essential to the longevity and optimal functioning of your lever action rifle. The following bullets highlight the essential cleaning materials that you will require:

  • Bore brush and cleaning rod: These tools aid in removing carbon and lead buildup inside the barrel of your firearm.
  • Cleaning patches: These patches help in wiping away oil and debris from the inside of the barrel.
  • Solvent: Depending on the condition of the rifle, you may require a specific solvent designed to remove lead or copper buildup.
  • Lubricant: It’s essential to apply lubricant sparingly to the moving parts of the lever action rifle for optimal functioning.
  • Microfiber cloth: These cloths come in handy in handling the firearm and wiping off oils, grease, and debris.

Preparing to clean your lever action rifle is the first and most essential step towards maintaining the longevity and optimal functioning of your firearm. Use the above guide to unload your firearm and purchase the right cleaning products and materials.

Cleaning Process For A Lever Action Rifle

Owning a lever action rifle means that it’s essential to maintain it regularly to ensure that it remains in good condition. Cleaning your rifle will not only lengthen its lifespan but also guarantee it operates safely and fires correctly. Below is a step-by-step guide to cleaning the rifle thoroughly, beginning with the barrel and then moving onto other parts.

Step-By-Step Guide To Cleaning The Rifle Thoroughly

  • Disassemble your rifle: Before you begin cleaning, ensure that the firearm is unloaded and disassembled. Remove any ammunition from the rifle, then take the lever action apart by removing the stock, trigger, bolt, and lever.
  • Clean the barrel: After removing the lever action rifle’s different parts, take a cleaning rod and a patch holder with an appropriate patch (generally cotton), and clean the bore. Ensure you stroke the rifle barrel from the breech end to avoid damaging the muzzle’s crown. Remember, never reverse the patch through the bottle and use fresh patches regularly. Repeat the process until the patches come out clean.
  • Clean the chamber: Next, attach a bore brush to the cleaning rod and clean the rifle chamber. You can use a chamber brush and put it inside the chamber, rotating it clockwise and counterclockwise to clean the debris off the walls. Run a patch through the chamber to ensure the chamber is clean.
  • Lubricate the barrel: After cleaning and drying the barrel, apply an appropriate lubricant on a patch and move it through the barrel as a final step.
  • Clean other parts: Get a clean patch or brush and clean all the other rifle parts thoroughly. It’s essential to ensure all the parts are free of debris, as well as carbon, which tends to accumulate around the chamber, bolt, and lever.
  • Lubricate the lever action rifle: Once you’re sure that all parts are clean, apply a lubricant to the surface to take away any residue that may cause malfunctions from friction.

Tips And Tricks To Ensure Effective Cleaning

  • Start with the barrel: The barrel is the critical component of the rifle and needs to be clean, dry, and lubricated to guarantee smooth operation.
  • Use appropriate cleaning tools: Never use any harsh chemicals or bore snakes to clean your lever action rifle as they can damage sensitive parts. Use appropriate brushes, patches, and cleaning solvents that are gun-specific.
  • Use protective gear: Wear protective gear to protect your hands and eyes from chemicals and debris during cleaning.

Addressing Common Issues That May Be Encountered While Cleaning

  • Jammed or dirty parts: If you encounter a jammed or dirty part, disassemble the rifle and clean each part thoroughly. Lubricate the parts only after ensuring they’re clean and dry.
  • Using less oil: Always remember, a little oil goes a long way. Excessive oiling can lead to malfunctions and attract excess debris.
  • Inspection for damages: Inspect the rifle before cleaning to ensure there are no damages. If there are any, consult an expert and avoid cleaning the rifle unless the problem is fixed.

Regular cleaning of your lever action rifle guarantees its long life, proper functionality, and safe operation. Follow the above cleaning process, tips, and address the common issues to have a clean and smooth lever action rifle.

Maintaining A Lever Action Rifle

Shooting enthusiasts understand the value of maintaining their firearms to keep them in top working order. One of the most popular firearms on the market is the lever action rifle. Owning one of these rifles calls for proper maintenance to ensure its longevity, safety, and functionality.

This blog post will explore the importance of maintaining a lever action rifle and best practices for doing so, as well as tips for proper storage.

Explanation Of The Importance Of Maintaining A Lever Action Rifle

Maintaining a lever action rifle is critical to ensure that it keeps working correctly, and the shooter can continue to use it safely. As a firearm owner, you have an obligation to be familiar with your weapon’s functioning and safety measures.

Neglecting maintenance can cause your rifle to rust, corrode, or experience other malfunctions. Over time, these issues can be detrimental to the rifle’s performance, rendering it unsafe to use or causing it to stop working altogether.

Proactive maintenance of a lever action rifle includes disassembling the firearm and cleaning it after every use. Regular maintenance checks can ensure that it operates at peak performance, and you can also detect any issues early on, making repair costs more manageable.

Best Practices For Maintaining A Lever Action Rifle

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance and cleaning.
  • Before cleaning the rifle, ensure that it is unloaded and that there are no rounds in the chamber or the magazine.
  • After disassembling the firearm, use a cleaning kit that includes solvent, lubricant, and cleaning brushes that match the rifle’s caliber.
  • Clean each part of the rifle piece by piece, inspecting each piece for any wear and tear or damage.
  • Use a bore snake or a patch and cleaning rod to clean the barrel, making sure to remove all excess debris.
  • Apply lubricant sparingly to the moving parts and mechanisms.

Tips For Storing A Lever Action Rifle Properly

Proper storage is also crucial to maintain the rifle’s integrity and protect it from damage. Here are some tips:

  • Store the firearm in a dry, cool, and well-ventilated area, away from moisture or direct sunlight.
  • Use a quality gun safe or cabinet that is locked, preferably with an anchor bolt to secure the safe or cabinet in place.
  • Wrap the rifle in a silicone-treated gun sleeve to prevent corrosion or rust, and store it in an upright position.
  • Store ammunition in a separate locked container, away from the firearm.

By following best practices for maintenance and proper storage, a lever action rifle can last for generations. Taking good care of your firearm, staying familiar with its functions, and conducting regular maintenance checks ensure safe usage, peak performance, and longevity.

Frequently Asked Questions For How To Clean A Lever Action Rifle?

How Often Should I Clean My Lever Action Rifle?

It’s recommended to clean your rifle after every use or at least every few months to maintain its performance.

What Supplies Do I Need To Clean A Lever Action Rifle?

Some cleaning supplies you’ll need include a cleaning rod, bore brush, cleaning patches, gun cleaning solvent, and lubricant.

How Do I Disassemble A Lever Action Rifle For Cleaning?

Before cleaning, make sure the firearm is unloaded. Then, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for disassembling the rifle. Make sure to keep track of all pieces for reassembly.

Can I Use Any Type Of Cleaning Solvent For My Lever Action Rifle?

It’s recommended to use a solvent specifically designed for gun cleaning. Some solvents can cause damage to the firearm’s finish or internal components.

How Do I Properly Lubricate My Lever Action Rifle?

After cleaning, use a high-quality gun lubricant on the moving parts of the rifle. Use a clean cloth to remove any excess lubricant and avoid over-lubricating.


Proper maintenance of your lever action rifle is crucial in maintaining its performance and extending its lifespan. Over time, dirt, dust, and grime can accumulate, causing rust and corrosion that can severely affect the rifle’s ability to function efficiently. By following the simple steps outlined in this post and using the right tools, you can easily keep your rifle clean and ready for use whenever you need it.

Remember, always ensure that you’re cleaning your rifle in a well-ventilated area, and never leave any cleaning solvents or oils on the rifle’s surface. With regular cleaning and maintenance, you’ll be able to enjoy the full benefits of your lever action rifle for years to come.

Happy shooting!






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