Picture of How to clean a shotgun
After spending the weekend hunting some local game with my trustworthy shotgun, I put it away in the gun cabinet. During my next hunt, two weeks later, I noticed that the gun was chambering shells slower and had some visible oxidation damage (rust). I then realized that I had forgotten to clean and oil the gun before storing it after my last outing. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced hunter, there are some essential steps you should take to maintain your firearm. Dedicating fifteen minutes to cleaning and oiling your shotgun after each weekend outing will keep it operating smoothly and reliably for years to come. Failing to do so will, at the very least, cause short-term oxidation damage and could result in long-term damage to the firing mechanism. I will be cleaning my Benelli Super Black Eagle II as an example, but these simple steps can be followed to clean and maintain virtually any shotgun. Necessary materials include: Remington gun oil, scissors, barrel-cleaning rod, 1 kitchen towel, 1 bathroom towel, and 1 rag.

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Step 1: Turn on the safety

Picture of Turn on the safety
Ensure that the safety is on by clicking the safety button so the red firing stripe is not showing.

Danger: Even though the safety is on, the gun should always be treated as if it is a loaded weapon. NEVER point the gun at yourself or others under any circumstances.

Step 2: Unload the gun

Picture of Unload the gun
Open and close the chamber several times, until all shells are ejected from the chamber and magazine. When finished, close the chamber and ensure that the safety is still on. The weapon is now ready for disassembly.

Step 3: Disassemble the gun

Picture of Disassemble the gun
1.  Remove the barrel by first unscrewing the stock of the gun.
2.  Holding the barrel and stock together, slowly pull them away from the butt of the weapon.
     When removed, set them on a full sized bathroom towel.
3.  Remove the firing pin by gently sliding it out of the chamber rails and set it next to the other
     parts on the towel.
4.  The gun is now disassembled.