How to Clean a Rifle without a Bore Guide

Gun cleaning is a painstaking task requiring high concentration and dedication. While most people tend to use bore guides to clean their rifle bores, it is not a necessary item. So, do you know how to clean a rifle without a bore guide?

Well, if you are not going to use the bore guide for cleaning your rifle, you will need to clean the rifle the same way that you would clean any other gun. Unload the rifle clean and lubricate the parts. Finally, reassemble them and check to ensure the best performance.

So, are you interested in knowing about the complete guide? Well, you are in the right place to do so. Scroll down below and keep reading!

Do I Need A Bore Guide for Cleaning?

bore guide

Bore guides are a convenient tool that can help ease the cleaning process of a rifle. They work by allowing the rifle to be straight so that you can clean the insides easily with a cleaning rod.

However, that doesn’t mean that a bore guide is mandatory for cleaning rifles. If you have a good eye for detail and are proficient in cleaning rifles, you are more than welcome to clean your gun without using a bore guide.

Note that a bore guide is mainly used to decrease the probability of causing damage to the rifle while speeding up your task. So, if you are still up for it, move with the utmost caution.

How to Clean a Rifle without a Bore Guide?

When cleaning your rifle without a bore guide, there are several necessary steps that you must follow. We have compiled and stated the step by step procedure of cleaning a rifle without a bore guide below:

Step 1: Strip the Rifle

rifle striping

Stripping the gun from all of its auxiliary parts is a very crucial step that can take a very long time. It is even more complicated for someone who has never worked with guns or rifles before.

To start off with, unload the rifle first. Then turn the recoil plug from the rails so that the rails have been unplugged. Slide the slide stop so that frame and barrel can be freed. Finally, remove the trigger and any other smaller internal gears.

Step 2: Clean the Rifle

rifle cleaning

Lay the unassembled gun and its loose gears on a table mat on top of a horizontal table. Plan out properly which parts you will be cleaning first and organize the gears as such. Remember, the small pieces of the gun are very small, and so it is easy to lose them.

Use a wipe or rag and dip it in a cleaning solvent or gun cleaner. Wipe the frame and body of the entire unattached rifle. Put cotton swabs into the same solvent and wipe down tight corners and the barrel where your fingers can’t reach specifically.

Step 3: Lubricate the Rifle

rifle lubricating

After you are done cleaning, you can move on to lubricating the shotgun and its auxiliary parts. Start with the larger parts before moving on to the smaller gears. Proper lubricant is a must in the procedure if you want to keep using your shotgun for a long time without replacing it.

This is because lubricants decrease the chance of rusting in the gun’s metal parts. Furthermore, the shotgun will show a smoother performance once it has been oiled.

Step 4: Reassemble the Rifle

Once you are done with the cleaning and oiling, leave the gun and its parts in the open for some time for them to dry. Alternatively, you can wipe the parts to remove any excess moisture and fasten the drying process.

Once dried, you can move on to reassembling them back into their original form. Make sure to check for anomalies and ensure the best performance by the rifle.

Is A Bore Guide Necessary for AR 15?

Yes, it is a necessary tool for properly cleaning any rifle, and it’s no different for cleaning Smith and Wesson ar 15. There are numerous reasons why they are essential, including precisely aligning cleaning rods with the bore and preventing damage to the rifle and cleaning rod.

Ease of Usage

Bore guides make it easier for the user to clean their rifles. Allowing the AR-15 to align properly will reduce a lot of labor and observation requirements from the user.

Reduces Chances of Damage

Since the gun has been aligned, you won’t be required to apply too much pressure on the gun and its barrel. Using too much pressure could cause damage to the AR-15.


Bore guides come with a bore cleaner that has been designed to clean the rifle with a sophisticated and detailed mechanism. It gets rid of any rust formation and also reduces the chances of dirt accumulation.

What Is the Point of A Bore Guide?

A bore guide is meant for easing the operation of cleaning the rifle. It allows your rifle to align with the cleaning rod perfectly. It also helps in reducing the chances of damage from many other cases like overexertion of pressure by the user and overflow of excess solvent in the system.

Can You Damage A Rifle Barrel by Cleaning It?

Yes, it is quite possible to damage a rifle barrel while cleaning it. We have compiled some of the more common reasons that could cause your rifle to be damaged while you are cleaning it:

  • Too much oil or lubrication
  • Forcefully aligning the barrel for cleaning
  • Cleaning the barrel in reverse
  • Plug the barrel when not in use
  • Do your cleaning in a dark or damp room


Gunsmithing is one of the most delicate and tedious jobs. While cleaning the gun doesn’t require smithing experiences, it is still a complicated chore that requires a lot of dedication and an eye for details.

As long as you are willing to increase your proficiency in cleaning guns, you will manage to learn how to clean a rifle without a bore guide in no time. Do remember to never be hasty! The more impatient you are on your task, the more damage you will do to your rifle!

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