Question: How Often Should You Clean Your Gun?
A clean, well-lubricated and properly stored gun indicates responsible ownership.
If you want to retain the accuracy, reliability, and the life of your gun, then cleaning must become a part of its regular maintenance routine. The question that arises therefore is ‘how often should you clean your firearm?’
Some owners feel that firearms should be cleaned after each and every use.
They advocate that you need to clean your weapon within 24 hours after use. This is because residual particles are discharged every time you fire. A build-up of these particles will affect the dependability, precision, and durability of your weapon.
Those who support cleaning after every use may find great pleasure in dismantling and reassembling the gun. Others find it relaxing to clean their weapons, and are likely to do it often. This can be done literally anywhere and may not require that you dismantle your weapon. It requires little preparation.
Another school of thought feel that the frequency depends on how often you use your firearm. They suggest that regular users need not clean their firearms after every use.
They propose that those who do not use their guns every so often should clean them thoroughly before storage. If you keep away a firearm that is developing flash rust for a long time, you are giving the rust time to advance and do great damage to your weapon.
The kind of activities you engage in also determines how often you should perform the maintenance of your gun. If you are a professional hunter, it is advisable that you do it after every session.
Precision shooters clean their guns after every use. Copper residue inside the gun’s barrel can greatly affect the bullets speed hence the overall performance of the firearm.
If you use corrosive ammunition in your weapon, it is recommended that you clean it after every use. Corrosive ammunition like Black powder and Berdan-Primed ammunition contain salts in the ammo primers.
These salts require immediate cleaning as they can cause corrosion. It is also advisable that you clean the bore severely during a prolonged shooting session.
There is yet another group of users who propose that lubrication is more important than cleaning. They feel that a well-lubricated gun lasts longer than a clean, poorly lubricated firearm.
Those that belong to this school of thought can go for a long time without cleaning their guns. They wait to see the effects on neglect so that they can be bolted to action.
Others recommend that you set a schedule indicating when you will be doing your cleaning.
For example, you can decide to clean your firearm after firing 50 rounds or 100 rounds. Stick to these schedules and conduct thorough maintenance. Visually inspect your weapon.
Whatever the preference, remember that your firearm requires regular maintenance. Keep it spotless, well-greased, and properly stored to avert glitches and stoppages.
Neglect routine care at your own risk. A good cleaning kit (preferably one with a jag) is a good start.