Home Gun Maintenance What Is The Bore Of A Gun?

What Is The Bore Of A Gun?

by Tom Ginevra

what is the bore of a gun

Looking after your gun well is one of the keys to keeping it in great condition for years to come or in case of an emergency at any point.

Firearms that are treated with a lot of loving care will carry on looking as good as new for a long time. More importantly, they will also carry on functioning exactly as they are meant to each time that you fire them.

Yet, what if you don’t really know about the different parts of your gun? Maybe you aren’t yet an expert and just bought one to give you some added protection at home. You may now wonder about questions such as, what is the bore of the gun and how do I clean it?

We have looked in great depth at the issue of cleaning guns elsewhere. However, you might need a bit of help even before you do this. For example, what if you need some guidance on where to find the all-important bore and discover what it actually does?

What Is It?

The bore is, basically, the inside space of the gun barrel. This is the long metal tube where the bullet passes through after the gun is fired. It is a fairly long space that helps to guide the bullet as well as speed it up on its way. This part of the gun needs to be made of tough, resistant materials, with high strength metal the most popular choice for obvious reasons.

What else do you know to know about this part of a gun? Well, there is the fact that you can work out the caliber of a firearm according to the diameter of the bore on it. This is measured in terms of hundredths of an inch. So, if it has a bore diameter of .45 then it has an interior diameter of 0.45 inches.

As this is the interior of the barrel, it is a space you will never really see clearly. It is worth pointing out that it isn’t completely smooth as many people imagine it to be, though. This used to be the case, but modern firearm technology means that the bore isn’t smooth in most guns produced now.

Instead, a gun bore has ridges or grooves on it. What are these for? The idea is that they cause the bullet to spin as it comes out, which makes it easier to shoot it accurately in a straight line every single time. It also picks up speed while in this bore, making it a hugely important part of the gun.

Why Does the Bore Need To Be Cleaned?

Now you know the answer to the question, what is the bore of a gun? The next point you might want to know about it why it needs to be cleaned regularly. After all, many of the gun cleaning products that you see for sale will be for this part of your gun. Is it really necessary to use all of them?

Since the bullet passes through the bore, it is vital that it is kept clean and lubricated. Any build-up of rust, copper or of some other material can cause the bullet to fire off-target or for the gun to malfunction altogether.

When you fire the gun, this can cause metal deposits to get left behind. The bore can also have rust on it due to a humid climate or the build-up of dust over time.

Of course, since you can’t see the bore it is difficult to know how dirty it really is at any given time. This is why you need to set up a regular routine to clean it. You won’t know how dirty it is until you get started, so it is important to do this regularly, whether you think that it is needed or not.

How Do You Clean the Bore of Your Gun?

Cleaning the bore of your gun isn’t quite as tricky as you might imagine that it will be. This is partly because of the range of different cleaning products around that you can use to make this job quicker and simpler. What are the main types of product that you should be interested in?

  • Bore Snake. This is a long type of cord that you pull through inside of the barrel to get it clean. You need be sure to choose one that suits the caliber of firearm that you plan to clean with it.
  • Cleaning Rods. This is similar to a bore snake. But the difference is that the rod doesn’t do the work on its own. Rather, it is used to push a cleaning patch through the barrel of the gun. You can alternate these cleaning rods together with a bore snake or on their own.
  • Cleaning Patches. As we just saw, these patches work with cleaning rods. You push the cleaning patch through and will see it come out dirty at the other end. Once you push through a patch and it comes out clean then you know that the bore is now clean.
  • Cleaning Solvents and Liquids. The patches that we just looked at work better when soaked in a good cleaning solvent or liquid. This will help to shift the dirt and rust a lot more easily.

The first step is always to safely disassemble the firearm. This might seem like a tough task at first. Yet, it is something that will get easier the more you do it.

Once you have taken the gun apart it is easier to appreciate the barrel and the bore. You will want to put a lot of your time and attention into this part.

Different people then suggest varying approaches for cleaning the bore. Some will pass through patches a certain number of times or leave the solvent to soak for a fixed period of time. It is worth looking into a number of suggestions, to see what suits you best of all.

Here’s an awesome video from Jim Green on how to clean your gun.

What about Other Gun Parts?

Naturally, there are a number of other gun parts that you may want to find out more about. This isn’t absolutely essential when you are buying a gun, as it is possible to own one for years without really understanding how it works. However, it can be good to know the different parts when it comes to cleaning the firearm or looking at instructions.

A good idea for newcomers is to look for a gun cleaning mat with illustrated graphics of the different parts. This makes it easy for you to learn all about your gun as you clean it.

So, what are the main gun parts you need to be aware of? The following are a few parts that you might like to know the names of.

  • The stock. This is the part of a rifle or long gun that you hold. It is designed to make life easier when it comes to aiming and firing the rifle. Since it is held against the shooter’s shoulder, some people call it a shoulder stock. Buttstock is another name that is sometimes used for this part.
  • The frame. Handguns don’t have a stock like rifles, but they have a frame instead. This is the metal housing that includes the grip and that has the other working parts connected to it or inside it. The frame doesn’t actually do much, but it is important at it keeping all of the parts together and also determines how easy it is to hold and fire.
  • The action. In any type of gun, this is the element that is used to load and fire the bullets. Some of the different types of action around include semi-automatic, pump action and lever action types.
  • The barrel. This is the metal tube that the bullet has to travel through after firing. As we have already seen, the bore is the interior of this barrel. So, if anyone mentions the barrel to you, it is important to understand whether they are talking about the exterior or whether they mean the interior, which is really the bore.
  • The muzzle. This is the very front part of the barrel. This is the point at which the bullet will leave the gun. It is another critical element, as the bullet’s last point of contact with the gun, so it needs to send the projectile off in the right direction and at a good speed too.
  • The chamber. This is the space at the back of the barrel where the bullet is placed prior to being fired. Different types of guns have varying chamber designs.


What is the bore of a gun? The answer is that it is one of the firearm’s most vital parts. Yet, it is something that a lot of gun-owners know surprisingly little about.

The main thing to understand about your gun’s bore is how and when to clean it. If you do this, then you should find that it carries on doing a great job for you for a very long time without any problems.

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