One way to learn how to clean your airsoft gun is by following the instructions included in the user’s manual or maintenance guide included with the equipment you purchased. However, those guides are often complicated, or badly made with incorrect translations. Here you will be shown the basics of removing any accumulated dirt and grime from your airsoft gun to keep it functioning at optimum condition.
Getting your own airsoft gun is an important point in an airsoft enthusiasts’ growth in the sport. Learning how to clean your airsoft gun is just part of growing your airsoft equipment maintenance skill set, but it is a critical one. Mastering the act of removing dirt and residue will include you learning the parts of your airsoft gun, which ones you can or cannot disassemble and clean by yourself, and how to check if your airsoft gun is working properly.
Here are the items you need to clean your airsoft gun:
- Your airsoft gun
- The airsoft gun’s user manual or maintenance manual, if available.
- Barrel cleaning rod or unjamming rod
- Soft-bristled brushes
- A compatible screwdriver or allen wrench to the screws used in your airsoft gun
- Cotton swabs
- Rubbing alcohol
- Compressed air
- Paper towels or clean rags
Make sure that any rags that you use are free from dirt and oil as this may contaminate the gun and its internals. The same applies to paper towels but with the added requirement that they do not leave any small fibers on the gun after use as even tiny debris can impair the performance of a high precision device like the airsoft gun.
- Teflon or silicon oil
There is a huge debate online regarding which lubricant is better for use in airsoft guns. The first reference you should check out is your gun’s manual. Whatever the manufacturer will recommend should work best. However, if you can’t find an official recommendation, you should consider using Teflon or PTFE on parts that are more exposed to the environment, and silicone oil for those parts that interact with rubber, like o-rings and seals.
Step by Step Instructions on How to Clean Your Airsoft Gun
Here are the general steps on how to clean airsoft guns:
Inspect your Airsoft Gun.
Before starting any type of cleaning or maintenance job, it is important to know the conditions of the gun. First you need to ensure that it is not loaded and that the power source, whether gas or batteries, are disconnected. Turn off devices like the hop up if there’s any attached. These will help ensure your safety when handling the weapon. It can also prevent any unnecessary damage that can happen during the cleaning process.
Next, check if the breach and barrel are clear. After this, you may begin to look closer and check the exterior.
Take special note of the location of any screws and tabs and fasteners so you know their location later on. If any of these are loose, remember their location as the areas or panels that were supposed to be secured by the loose fasteners will often ingest dirt and grime.
Check the internals of the airsoft gun that are accessible next. Why? This is because any internals that you are able to see is also likely to be easily exposed to the outside environment. Such places often get dirty or greasy as the gun is used.
Field stripping and Cleaning the Gun.
This might not be necessary for all airsoft guns but it’s needed for pistols. If you’re cleaning for the first time, refer to your gun’s user guide before taking it apart. This way, you can be sure to do it properly.
Wipe down all of the removed parts using a clean rag or paper towel. Be thorough but don’t be rough in handling to avoid causing unnecessary damage to the parts.
Clearing and Cleaning the Barrel.
The tremendous speed at which the BBs pass through the barrel, as well as the large opening right in the front of the gun, make this part one of the easiest to get dirty. You’ll often notice if the barrel is dirty when your shots start going in random directions.
To clear and clean the barrel, first, check visually if there are any visible obstructions inside the tube and its entrance and exit points. If there are any, take your unjamming rod, which is often included in the kit that came with your airsoft gun, and clear the jam or obstruction.
Then, you can attach a cleaning cloth to the rod and start cleaning the barrel. Try to rotate the cloth around the entire surface of the barrel so that all of its parts get cleaned. Keep going until the cloth comes out clean after going through the barrel.
Be careful with the motions you apply when cleaning the barrel. Try not to jam into the hop-up as damaging this device will have a negative impact on the backspin of the bb.
Finally, do another visual inspection of the barrel to confirm that there are no pieces of cloth or fibers left inside the barrel from the cleaning procedure. Any leftover debris may interfere with the performance of your airsoft gun so be sure to do this step meticulously.
Cleaning the Exterior.
The exterior of the gun also needs some TLC if you want to operate it properly and keep it in top-notch condition. To clean this area, dust and take out crusted dirt and debris using a soft-bristled brush. For areas that are hard to reach, use cotton swabs.
If you skipped step 2, dismantling might be necessary for this part if there are removable parts where dirt and grime could have gone under. For that, carefully remove the parts and then clean it off. Refer to the user manual for extra caution when taking off and putting parts back.
The lubrication process can be the most confusing part of cleaning an airsoft gun as there are some contrasting opinions on certain points. This is mostly regarding the inner barrel and hop up, however, as other parts truly require lubrication to work properly.
Some do not recommend lubricating the inner barrel and hop up at all. This is mostly because they believe that the lubricant can attract and trap more dirt and debris which can affect the performance of the weapon. Others, however, insist on only using 100% silicone oil on both parts.
The gearbox, side rails, and many other movable parts will need some lubrication, however. Most of the moving parts would have been dismantled already at this point so you just need to put in a drop or two of your choice of lubricant in them to get the job done.
For the gearbox, however, you might need to do extra tinkering and disassembly, so remember to be extra mindful in this process. Be careful and try to remember which screws go where. If you’re not certain about what you’re doing, it’s best to seek professional assistance instead.
In case you dismantled some parts of your airsoft gun for more thorough cleaning, it’s time to put it back together now. To make sure that you’ll put parts back to where they should be, check your user manual for further information.
Cleaning Your Magazine.
Your magazine also requires some cleaning as it needs to be in top shape in order to deliver your ammunition properly. Here are the quick steps in cleaning an airsoft magazine:
- Remove the actual magazine from its sheath then open it up to take out the spring. This may require the use of a screwdriver or allen wrench. Make sure to apply some pressure on the top shell of the magazine as you take out the screws as the spring might fly out once it’s been loosened up.
- Take out the spring and inspect the spring for any dents, bends, and other kinds of damages. Wipe it down to remove any dirt and debris. Be careful not to lose the follower.
- Some magazines can be opened up completely while others are pretty intact. If your magazine opens up completely, wipe down the channels using a clean rag or tissue that’s dampened with some rubbing alcohol. If it can’t be opened, you can use compressed air to blow out the dust from the inside channels. You can also use a cotton swab to clean out the tips.
- Once everything is clean, put everything back together and you’re done.
How to Clean Green Gas Airsoft Guns
Cleaning green and other gas airsoft guns is pretty similar with the steps above except for a few details. Below is a step-by-step guide to follow:
Follow steps 1 to 4 in the guide above.
The process of cleaning most parts of gas-powered airsoft guns are similar to cleaning AEGs or automatic electric guns so you can follow the same steps above.
Lubricate the piston cap seal.
The piston cap seal is a key component to gas-powered airsoft guns and you need to keep it in top condition to ensure that your gun will work at peak performance. Lubricating this part regularly is essential.
To do this, you can either try to get to the part by dismantling the part it’s in. But that can be too complicated for newbies so what you can do instead is to shoot some lubricant into the loading nozzle. It should already reach the seal when the part moves.
A Few Do’s and Don’ts in Cleaning and Maintaining Your Airsoft Gun
Cleaning and maintaining your airsoft gun is a relatively delicate matter as a wrong action can damage or negatively impact the performance of your non-firearm. Keep these key items in mind so you can avoid mishaps in caring for your airsoft gun.
Do: Handle your airsoft gun with care.
Don’t be too harsh and forceful when doing anything towards your airsoft guns. Aside from scratches that can create unsightly damage on it, there are also small parts inside these items that can get damaged when handled roughly.
Do: Use a small amount of silicone oil when lubricating parts.
You only need a small amount of lubricant to smoothen the surfaces in your airsoft gun. Using more than what’s necessary can create gunk build up.
Do: Read your airsoft gun’s user manual and follow its instructions.
The most important details on the maintenance and use of your specific airsoft gun are included in its manual so make sure to check it out if you wish to know more about your item.
Don’t: Use any abrasive materials when cleaning your airsoft gun.
Scratches are undesirable may it be on the inside or outside of your airsoft gun. They can cause aesthetic and performance issues so it’s best to avoid them at all costs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I clean my airsoft gun?
There are several reasons to clean your airsoft gun but the most important out of them all is the fact that it will keep your gun accurate and fully functional. The dirt, residue, and gunk inside the barrel can affect the movements of the BBs, so it’s ideal to keep it clean.
A clean airsoft gun can also last longer. Since it doesn’t have to deal with the challenges of performing despite having obstructions of various kinds, it’s less likely to get unnecessarily strained and damaged.
How often should I clean my airsoft gun?
The answers to this question vary greatly. Some say that it should be done after every use. Others say that it’s best to do every after shooting about 2000 rounds. Lots of seasoned players like to do it by feel as you can definitely tell when your airsoft gun is starting to do funny things. Just always keep an eye out on your airsoft gun and you’ll know when the best time is to clean it out.
When is the best time to clean an airsoft gun?
If your gun is well-maintained and regularly cleaned, it doesn’t matter when you clean it next. It should be the same whether you do it before or after a game day and its performance should be the same. However, if you haven’t been cleaning it regularly and you have a big day scheduled, it would be ideal to clean it before your schedule. This way, you can get your airsoft gun to perform better.
Do I need to get a professional to clean my airsoft gun?
In some instances, getting a professional to do the job for you would be way better than doing it yourself. There can be situations where your inexperience can do more harm than good on your dirty airsoft gun. Also if your gearbox needs opening, it’s better to leave the job to someone who knows what they’re doing.
Cleaning an airsoft gun is a major chore but it’s tradeoffs are definitely worth the effort. It can promise continued top-notch gun performance and longevity which can help you enjoy airsoft better, so why not take it on, right? It’s not even that hard to do and lots of folks find it enjoyable and even relaxing, so you might get more out of it.
The instructions on how to clean your airsoft gun above are rather general but hopefully, they gave you a pretty good idea of what you have to do to get your replica gun spic and span once again. If you have additional notes or recommendations or you want to add more details to the steps above, share them in the comments section. It will also be great if you can share this article to your friends and airsoft buddies if you found it useful.