Shotgun Care and Cleaning Tips from Purdey

James Purdey and Sons Ltd. released three videos about how to clean the shotgun and treat it for storage. The first video is about the barrel cleaning.

I’d add a small trick that I use when cleaning my shotgun barrels. When the bronze brush comes out of the barrel it launches a nasty spray of oil, lead and carbon mixture to any surface it is facing. So in order to prevent that, I usually place the muzzle portion into a plastic bag or sheet protector, which effectively captures all that stuff. After the bronze brush cleaning, you just discard the bag. That helps to keep the bench and surroundings clean. Here is how it looks like:

The second video is about cleaning the action (breech, lugs, trigger mechanism etc.).

The third video is about the wood parts care (stock and forearm). Purdey recommends rubbing a thin layer of boiled linseed oil into the wood. In this video, they also tell how to prepare the gun for storage both for short and long term. They also recommend releasing any spring tension from the internal parts for storage. Particularly, dry fire the gun (with snap caps in the chambers) releasing the mainsprings’ tension.

If you know any interesting and useful tips concerning shotgun cleaning, please let us know in the comments.

Hrachya H

Being a lifelong firearms enthusiast, Hrachya always enjoys studying design, technology and history of guns and ammunition. His knowledge of Russian allows him to translate and make Russian/Soviet/Combloc small arms related information available for the English speaking audience.
Should you need to contact him, feel free to shoot him a message at


  • Will

    Not a cleaning tip, but a storage one and a carrying one.

    Make sure your shotgun is drop safe. Seriously, people would be amazed to find out that so many aren’t (looking at you 870s and Ithica 37s). The number of people who have a loaded “one in the chamber” shotgun leaned up against a shelf or wall or in a closet is astounding.

    Will it go off from falling over? Probably not. But us gun owners (especially carriers) aren’t about the 99.9999% of the time things go right, but the .0001% of when they go wrong.

    And this isn’t just about storage. If you are out hunting or hiking and have one in the chamber and the gun in a pack or in your hands, you could trip and boom. Trust me, I consider myself through experience and training to be very “all-terrain” and have personally fallen down mountains and up mountains and off rocks and over nothing many times.

    • Joshua

      My Grandfather nearly lost his leg that way, leaned the pump gun against the truck for a minute while he adjusted something, dog bumped the gun, gun hit the ground and discharged, the dog took most of the shot, and was killed, but enough shot ended up in his leg to make him very uncomfortable for a very long time afterward.

    • Anomanom

      Any idea on the Benelli Nova?

      • Will

        Doesn’t look like Benelli says anything either way, so probably not drop safe. From the diagram, it doesn’t look like there is anything actively retaining the firing pin when the gun is “safe”. I would call them directly.

      • iksnilol

        Just put a snap cap in one and drop it on the ground.

        • Joshua

          snap cap or primer only shell

  • Rusty S.

    Surely this is a task for one’s butler!

    • Sianmink

      Oh please. The butler’s responsibility is the household.

      This task would normally fall to your valet.

      • Rusty S.

        Egad, my mistake! Perhaps one’s footman or scullery maid?

  • iksnilol

    Regarding maintaining a Purdey shotgun: Isn’t it enough to just tell your manservant to do it for you? I mean, if you can afford a Purdey, you can also afford a manservant.