The best way to clean a gun magazine is a question I get a lot, and there’s never a perfect answer.
It really depends on what kind of gun you have, how much time you have, how dirty it has gotten, and the materials that are available to you at the time.
In this tutorial, I will outline the way I cleaned my Beretta 92 series gun magazine.
You can watch the video here, if you prefer a video format for learning.
Remove the magazine from the gun and remove any live rounds that might be in it.
Put on gun safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying springs, oil and other debris that may go flying in any direction.
Put on a pair of safety gloves to protect your hands from chemicals and to protect your gun from the oils and salts on your hands.
Disassemble the gun magazine following the manufacturer’s instructions.
I’ve put up a video showing how to disassemble a Beretta 92 series magazine on YouTube.
For this article and video I used the Boosteady Universal Handgun Cleaning Kit that you can find on our Best Universal Gun Kits page.
The CLP came with the Otis Technologies Elite Gun Cleaning System found on the Best Gun Cleaning Kits – in 2021 (and that hasn’t changed).
I like to go with the big parts first, so we’ll start with the magazine. I also like to start with the inside then the outside.
There are probably as many ways to clean a gun magazine as there are videos on how to clean a gun magazine.
Use the method that works best for you.
Put some CLP on a clean gun patch and place it on the bottom open end of the magazine.
Push the patch inside the magazine using a gun cleaning nylon brush or bronze bore brush.
Most magazines are not big enough for your fingers to push the patch all the way in and get all the insides.
Slide the patch back and forth getting all four inner sides of the magazine and the inner corners.
Depending on how dirty your magazine is, it could take one or several patches to get the job done.
Once you are satisfied the inside of the magazine is clean, wipe off the outside of the magazine with a freshly oiled clean patch and set the magazine aside.
Go ahead and grab the base plate of the magazine, put some CLP on a clean patch and wipe off the top and bottom of the base plate.
If necessary, you can use a nylon brush to get in the grooves that align with the magazine.
When finished cleaning it, wipe it off with a clean patch or rag.
Now, grab the bullet feed and do the same thing with it. Clean it and wipe it dry.
For the spring I like to roll up a patch, put some CLP in the middle of it and twist it around the spring.
I then slide it down the spring coils from one end to the other.
This way I don’t miss any part of the spring.
If there is a plate attached to the bottom of the spring, clean it as well, using the same method you used for the base plate.
Check again to make sure there is no excess oil on any of the parts and reassemble the magazine.
Test the magazine to ensure that it functions correctly now rather than later when you really need it to work.
Be sure to check back often as we are going to continue with more of these information articles and videos.
Can you clean gun magazines?
Yes, you can clean gun magazines. Regular maintenance, including cleaning and lubrication, ensures proper functioning and reliability of the magazine.
Should you clean your mags?
Yes, regular cleaning is essential for gun magazines. It removes dirt, debris, and residue that may affect feeding and reliability.
Is it good to keep gun magazines loaded?
Keeping gun magazines loaded for extended periods does not typically damage the magazine or the spring. However, rotating the ammunition occasionally is recommended to maintain reliability.
Do gun magazines go bad?
Gun magazines can deteriorate over time due to wear, corrosion, or damage. Regular inspection and proper maintenance can extend their lifespan.
Is it OK to leave magazines full?
Leaving magazines full for an extended period is generally safe for modern magazines and ammunition. However, rotating the ammunition occasionally is advised to maintain spring tension.
Is it worth it to save old magazines?
Saving old magazines can be worthwhile for sentimental or collector’s value. However, regular inspection and maintenance are essential to ensure functionality if used.
Does ammo expire?
Ammunition can last for decades if stored properly in a cool, dry place. While it doesn’t have an expiration date, it may become less reliable over time.
How long can a mag stay loaded?
A magazine can stay loaded for an extended period, even years, without significant loss of spring tension. However, it’s good practice to rotate ammunition occasionally.
How long can bullets stay in a magazine?
Bullets can stay in a magazine for a long time without causing significant issues. However, regular inspection and maintenance are important for reliable performance.