How to Clean a Ruger Red Label Shotgun




Introduction: How to Clean a Ruger Red Label Shotgun

This Instructable will guide you through the process of thoroughly cleaning a Ruger Red Label over/under shotgun. The importance of keeping a shotgun clean cannot be understated, as it increases the life of the gun, and keeps the gun operating safely and correctly. A poorly maintained shotgun can develop rust, which can weaken the gun, reduce its value, and detract from its overall appearance. A thorough cleaning of a Ruger Red Label shotgun will only take 20-30 minutes, and will get easier and quicker with practice. Anyone with an understanding of safe firearm handling is capable cleaning the shotgun. Cleaning the gun may take practice to perfect, but will keep the gun in great condition, allowing you to enjoy shooting it more often.

Required Materials:

  • Ruger Red Label Shotgun
  • Gun Cleaning Oil - Rem Oil
  • Cleaning Rod with Wool Mop
  • Small Lint-Free Gun Cleaning Rags
  • Large Rag - Old Kitchen Towel
  • Small Brush - Soft Bristled Toothbrush
  • Small Dish


  • Latex/Rubber Gloves

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Step 1: Gun Safety

1. Press the safety switch downward to ensure that the safety mechanism is on.

Note: The safety switch is located on the top of the action and should always be in the downward position when not being fired. The “S” above the safety switch should be visible when the safety mechanism is activated (See Figures 1 and 2).

2. Press the top lever to the right (Figure 3), and open the gun. Check that the gun is not loaded.

Step 2: Basic Gun Disassembly

1. Pull the lever located on the underside of the forend, and hold the lever in this position (Figure 1).

2. Pull the front of the forend downward (Figure 2).

3. Push the the forend forward (Figure 2).

4. Release the lever on the underside of the forend.

5. Place the forend aside.

6. Grip the barrels with one hand, and the action with the other hand.

7. Press the top lever to the right (Figure 3), and allow the action to open (Figure 4) while still gripping both halves of the gun.

8. Slide the barrels upward, allowing them to separate from the action (Figure 5).

Step 3: Ejector Disassembly

1. Set the barrels on a table, so that you can comfortably work on them.

2. Hold the barrels in place with one hand.

3. Press the ejector inward as far as possible, and carefully pull the end upward (Figure 1). This will free one ejector from the gun.

Note: Pressing the ejector inward requires a great amount of pressure. Do not be concerned by the amount of force required.

Tip: If you have difficulty pressing the ejector inward far enough to remove it, place a rag between your hand and the ejector. This makes it more comfortable to apply the necessary pressure.

Warning: It is possible that the spring located under the ejector will suddenly release. This could cause minor injury if not careful. To avoid incident, pull the ejector out slowly.

4. Place the removed ejector into a small dish containing gun cleaning oil.

5. Remove the ejector spring and the two pins from the groove (Figure 2 and Figure 3).

6. Place the ejector spring and two pins into a small dish with gun cleaning oil (Figure 4).

7. Flip the barrels over, and repeat steps 2 through 6.

Step 4: Cleaning the Barrels

1. Spray gun cleaning oil into one barrel (Figure 1).

2. Cover the wool mop with a small gun cleaning rag (Figure 2 and 3).

3.Push the mop and rag through the oiled barrel using the cleaning rod (Figure 4).

4. Remove the dirty rag (Figure 5) from the wool mop, and dispose of it.

5. Pull the wool mop back through the barrel.

6. Repeat steps 1 through 5 until the rags no longer have black residue coating them after being pushed through the barrel (Figure 6).

Note: Typically, it takes 3-4 passes through the barrel for it to be sufficiently clean.

7. Repeat steps 1 through 6 on the second barrel.

Step 5: Cleaning the Action

1. Spray a small gun cleaning rag with gun cleaning oil.

2. Wipe the inside of the action with the gun cleaning rag, removing any black residue (Figure 1).

Note: This should require very little time, as there is usually very little carbon build up.

Tip: Any heavy carbon deposits can be scrubbed away with a small brush.

Caution: Avoid getting gun cleaning oil in the firing pins, as this could cause damage to the gun (Figure 2).

Step 6: Cleaning the Ejectors

1. Spray gun cleaning oil into the groove where the ejector spring and pins were located.

2. Scrub the groove with a small brush (Figure 1).

3. Wipe the groove out with a rag, removing any residual oil.

4. Flip the barrels over, and repeat steps 1 through 3 on the second groove.

5. Remove the ejectors, ejector springs, and pins from the dish containing gun cleaning oil.

6. Scrub the ejectors, ejector springs, and pins with the small brush (Figures 2 and 3).

7. Wipe any residual oil from the ejectors, ejector springs, and pins.

Step 7: Ejector Reassembly

1. Press both pins and the ejector spring back into the groove (Figure 2).

2. Hold the barrels securely in place with one hand.

3. Place the ejector on top of the groove.

Note: The ejectors will only fit on the side that the belong, so there is no concern of putting them on the incorrect side.

4. Press the ejector inward, and press down into place (Figure 3).

Note: You will hear a small click when the ejector goes back into place.

5. Release the ejector. It is now securely back in place (Figure 4).

6. Flip the barrels over and repeat steps 1 through 5 on the other side.

Step 8: Gun Reassembly

1. Hold the barrels in one hand, and the action in the other.

2. Slide the barrels downward into the action (Figure 1).

3. Close the action until the barrels lock into place (Figure 2).

Note: The top lever will move back to center when the barrels are locked into place.

4. Slide the forend back towards the action (Figure 3).

5. Press the forend upward, into the bottom of the barrels, until the forend locks into place (Figure 4).

Note: You will hear a click when the forend locks into place.

Step 9: Remove Skin Oils From Surface

1. Spray a large rag with gun cleaning oil (Figure 1).

2. Hold the gun by gripping either the stock or forend, and avoid touching the metal surfaces with your bare hand.

Note: The reason for avoiding contact of your bare hand with the metal surfaces is to avoid getting skin oils on the gun. Over time, these oils can cause rust or ware to the surface finish.

Tip: If you find it difficult to avoid touching metal surfaces with your bare hand, latex/rubber gloves can be used to keep skin oils off the gun.

3. Wipe the gun barrels, action, and any other exposed metal with the large rag from step 1, removing any skin oils and leaving a thin coat of gun cleaning oil (Figures 2 and 3).

4. Place the gun into your secure storage location.

You have finished cleaning the Ruger Red Label over/under shotgun. It is now ready hit the fields, or be stored for the off season. A thorough cleaning should be done at least once per year, and more often if the gun is used regularly. Additionally, the shotgun should have it’s barrels, action, and surface cleaned after every use. Regular cleaning may seem like a burden; however, you can look forward to enjoying the use of your Ruger Red Label shotgun for years to come.

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    3 years ago

    Thanks for sharing!