How Often Should I Clean My Guns? 7 FAQs and Answers

How often should I clean my guns? That is a question you should ask yourself as soon as you buy them. However, there are several potential answers to this question based on the type of gun, how often you use it, and how well you care for it. It will also depend on the conditions in which the gun is stored.

7 FAQs of "How Often Should I Clean My Guns?"


01. Why Should I Clean My Gun?


If you don’t clean the gun at all, it will eventually rust and become useless. Cleaning your gun is, at a minimum, necessary to maximize its performance. Don’t clean it often enough given wear and tear, and you could create a dangerous situation.

For example, fragments of metal from the casing and bullet add to the dirt and grime. This will eventually cause the bullets you fire to change trajectory if they don’t explode in the chamber.

02. Why Do I Need to Clean the Gun?


Every time you shoot your gun, traces of the explosives will build up on the surface of the gun. The gun is likely going to pick up traces of moisture, dirt and contaminants from the environment. This is why people who use the gun regularly need to clean it regularly, regardless of its age.

Suppose the gun is only sitting on the shelf. It is still exposed to the moisture in the air and dust. This will cause the gun to rust if it isn’t cleaned and oiled. Note that this will still happen in an arid environment or a gun safe with a dehumidifier. It will just happen more slowly.

03. How Can I Determine the Right Cleaning Cycle?


Ideally, you’ll clean the gun after every trip to the range. However, those who just shoot on the range aren’t exposing the gun to as many contaminants as those going hunting in the woods.

If you only shoot at the range, you can get away with giving it a general cleaning every 200 to 300 rounds. But you must do a more thorough cleaning after you’ve shot 3000 rounds.

Advice for Competitive Shooters

The only exception to this advice is for competitive shooters. Clean the gun after every match. It gives you extra points during the competition, and it reduces the odds something hurts your score.

Clean the gun after you return home from a hunting trip. This will help you remove dust, moisture and debris that accumulated on the gun. If the gun gets wet while you’re on the hunt, you should try to break it down and clean it the next time you set up camp.

04. How Often Should I Clean the Gun If I Rarely Shoot It?


This is a common question when you rarely take a shotgun or rifle off the shelf. You might not shoot it for months. In this case, deep clean the gun at least once every three months.

If you’re concerned about your safety, break down, clean and inspect the gun every two weeks regardless of how often you shoot it.

05. How Do You Clean a Gun?


The general cleaning process of the gun starts with removing the magazine and making certain the firearm is unloaded. The next step is cleaning the bullet and the chamber with a dry brush.

This removes the metal fragments and some of the large carbon pieces left by those repeated cartridge explosions. Put a cleaning patch in bore solvent. Then use a cleaning rod to clean the inside of the barrel.

cleaning solution work 

Let the cleaning solution work for at least 10 minutes. Use the bore scrub to break the residue up. Then use a clean patch to remove the traces. Keep making passes until the gun cleaning patch comes back clean.

Use a pull-through tool soaked in a lubricant to clean the surface and cover it with lubricant. However, you don’t want to use gun oil on the bore. Clean the bore again. Then you can go on to lubricating the barrel.

Only the barrel of the gun should be lubricated with the best gun oil. That has to wait until after you’ve cleaned it with dry cloth and an action cleaner solvent. Let the cleaned parts dry before you reassemble the gun.

 next step to Disassemble

The next step is to disassemble and clean the magazines. There are special brushes for cleaning these. Wear protective goggles while cleaning the magazines, since the springs inside of them could uncoil and hit you in the face. Do not lubricate the magazines. Instead, clean them with a residue-free solvent.

Reassemble the process and do a functional check. Check the trigger mechanism, safeties, slide operation and ejection systems. The manual should have a checklist to follow. Once done, clean the outside of the gun. You can buy gun cloth that already contains silicone lubricant.

Create a Process to Avoid Mistake

Create a process for general cleaning the gun, taking it apart in the same order, in the same place, before reassembling in the same way. Then you’re less likely to make mistakes.

You’ll also speed up the process, since it will become routine. It will take thirty minutes or more the first time you do it, but with practice, you can get it down to twenty minutes.

Deep cleaning a gun often involves taking it apart into smaller pieces and cleaning each one before reassembling it. For example, deep cleaning may require field stripping the gun.

06. Are There Any Safety Tips I Should Follow When Cleaning the Gun?


Always make certain the gun is unloaded before you start work. Cover the work surface before you start work, so that lead fragments and grime don’t get on your desk or your dinner table.

Work in a well ventilated space, so that the solvent fumes don’t make you sick. Wear protective goggles while you work. It is a good idea to wear protective gloves, too.

07. What Can I Do to Reduce How Often I Need to Clean the Guns?


Store them in a cool dry place. Keep them in a temperature control location like a closet inside your house instead of an outdoor shed. Store them in a sealed case, so that they don’t get dirt and grime on them. Put a lock on the case to prevent unauthorized access.

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