How to Clean a Mossberg 500?

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It can take you between 15-45 minutes to clean your Mossberg 500. If you happen to be a seasoned user, it will take you 5-10 minutes to disassemble your shotgun. And it will take you another 5-7 minutes to thoroughly clean it, even if you do it really slowly.

However, if you’re doing it for the first time, set aside at least an hour. That’s because familiarizing yourself with the gun, overcoming hesitance, and learning will take time too.

We’ve formulated this guide regarding how to clean a Mossberg 500 to ease the process for you. The reading time is two minutes, so you can expect to educate yourself thoroughly about each bit of Mossberg maintenance in under 2 minutes. But we advise you to either save this page for offline reading, screenshot it, or keep the tab open so you can refer to it as you begin cleaning. You’ll need it!

How often to clean Mossberg 500?

First, you ought to know how often you should clan your Mossberg 500. The frequency of cleaning depends on three things. These include:

  • The climate of your area
  • Frequency of usage
  • Expertise of handling

If you live in a humid area, you’ll need to clean it every two weeks, even if you’re not using it. But if you live in a cold climate, you can clean it once every six months if you’re not using it.

In terms of frequency of usage, some users prefer cleaning it after every shooting session. And some clean it after every three uses. We’ll suggest you clean after every use unless you’re a seasoned user who handles his Mossberg 500 with absolute care and efficiency.

In Mossberg 500’s Owner’s manual, the manufacturing company recommends cleaning after each shooting session and when the shotgun is exposed to extensive moisture. Ideally, you should deep clean your firearm after 200 shotshells.

Also, they say periodic cleaning will help the gun last longer. It will ensure efficient performance. So, in case you’re thinking you’ll skip the cleaning part now and then, know that it comes with a cost. You’ll lose your Mossberg 500’s accuracy and efficiency.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Deep Clean Mossberg 500?

Before you dive any deeper, read the title of this section again. We’re going to discuss the deep cleaning process of Mossberg 500. And that means this cleaning guide is best suited for those who are cleaning their shotgun after intensive usage or after years.

If you seek a cleaning guide after light usage only, follow only steps 2-6 and step 8.

Step 1: Disassemble the Gun

In our previous posts, we’ve repeatedly emphasized the fact that you should ensure that your gun’s unloaded and disassembled when cleaning or maintaining it. So, naturally, step one here involves:

  • Ensure there are no rounds or shotshells in the barrel or magazine tube.
  • Ensure that the safety of Mossberg 500 is on.

Once that’s done, disassemble your Mossberg 500.

Step 2: Brush Down a Cleaning Solvent

Often people categorize gun oils, protectors, lubricants, and cleaning agents all under one umbrella, i.e., cleaning solvent. Hence, before you implement this step, understand the difference between gun oil and a gun cleaning solvent.

We’re talking about cleaning solutions that come in handy to remove surface dirt, debris, and grease. These solvents do not aim to improve functioning directly or anything else. It is also known as a gun bore cleaner. Scroll down to the FAQ section to discover your best options.

When you’ve picked the best cleaning solution for your Mossberg 500, apply it to the brush head and use the brush head to rub the insides of the barrel and chamber (up through the muzzle).

Alternatively, you can dip a cleaning patch in cleaning solvent, attach it to a cleaning rod, and use that to rub-down the cleaning solvent. Let the solvent sit for at least 10-15 minutes.

Tip: Do not pull back the brush or cleaning rod. It will redeposit the collected dirt. Keep your hand movement one-way only.

Step 3: Wipe Down the Barrel, Chamber, and Other Parts

For this step, you will need dry cleaning patches. Use these to wipe the cleaning agent you applied. Wipe through the barrel, chamber, and every other component upon which you applied the cleaning solvent. These cleaning swabs or patches will collect the remaining residue. Also, run them through the tubular components and the surface until they start coming out clean.

Step 4: Clean the Smaller Parts

You’ve cleaned the surfaces and the big tubes of your shotgun. Now, it’s time to clean the smaller parts like:

  • Bolt
  • Trigger Guard
  • Trigger

Similar to step 3, you will need to soak a cleaning patch into cleaning solvent and apply it to these parts. But note that the application should be in one direction and one stroke. Back and forth movement will only make your shotgun dirtier. Then use a needle applicator with a dry-cleaning patch attached to wipe off residues.

Step 5: Reassemble & Wipe with a Cleaning Cloth

Now, your entire Mossberg 500 is clean. Reassemble the parts and perform a function test. If it sticks anywhere, that’ll mean you’ll have to recheck assembly and cleaning again. In case of cleaning, pick a dry patch and run it down the insides of the shotgun.

Even if the shotgun works perfectly fine, give a final wipe to the insides and outside of the gun with a clean cloth.

Step 6: Store the Shotgun Properly

Lastly, you might want to apply a protector or a light lubricant for better functionality. Place your Mossberg 500 inside its case and store it in a proper place. Ensure that wherever you store it, it’s out of the reach of children, pets, guests, and the elderly.


Should I clean my Mossberg 500 immediately after purchase?

It’s not necessary. But yes, it’s one of the best practices to clean your Mossberg 500 before the first usage. That’s because the surface of the gun is covered with oils and lubricants for safe shipping, which may affect performance.

What are the best cleaning agents for Mossberg 500?

The best cleaning agents for Mossberg 500 are offered by Hoppe’s, Ballistol, and Break-Free. You can explore more options here in this list of the best gun cleaning agents.

Final Words

Now that you know how to clean a Mossberg 500, we hope you can conveniently clean it when required. Note that excessive accumulation of dirt may affect the performance of the gun such that it may accidentally discharge. And that means the shotgun can become dangerous. So, don’t you ever neglect this duty towards your Mossberg 500!

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Hi, my name is Daniel and I'm an avid shooter who loves everything from shotguns to handguns (both bolt action rifle hunting rifles). My goal when writing new articles has been to make them fun but informative so that people can learn something while being entertained by reading what they are looking at - not unlike myself!

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