Cleaning your gun is essential. It prevents the gun from jamming, and it also helps keep you safe from potential accidents. Most people in the United States own firearms for protection.
However, many of them are not aware of the frequency that they should clean their gun. So, how often should you clean your gun? There is no set rule for how often you should clean your gun.
Each gun owner must decide how often they should clean their guns. It is recommended to clean your gun every time you use it and then once a month as a maintenance cleaning.
What Will Happen If You Don’t Clean Your Gun?
Routine maintenance is essential for firearms because they are complex machines. With regular cleaning and tune-ups, you can keep your gun shooting accurately and safely while maintaining its condition to last for years.
A few things can happen to your weapon after a long day at the range or out hunting, such as corrosion (rust) and residue buildup. It is also possible for the residue to build up on the inside of a gun from routine use (fouling).
It is imperative to clean your firearms after every shot if you use corrosive ammunition, such as surplus ammunition. After a few rounds, a firearm can build up grime, gasses, and powder residue, which can negatively impact its performance in the long run.
When you fire your ammo, the primers may leave salts (potassium chloride or sodium chloride). In combination with moisture in the air, these salts can cause corrosion that can seriously damage the inside of your weapon.
You can delay the corrosion by cleaning your weapon and storing it in a dry, clean pistol safe. Fouling can be left behind whenever you shoot due to materials such as carbon, copper, lead, and plastic.
In addition to causing corrosion and rust, this residue will also prevent your gun from firing properly.
Are You Cleaning Your Guns After Every Use?
Every time you go to the range, you should clean your rifle. Cleaning should also be done occasionally on defensive firearms that are not used very often.
A deep cleaning and inspection every month is a good idea. It is unnecessary to clean hunting rifles as often, but you should clean them at least at the beginning and end of the hunting season.
How Often Should You Clean a Gun You Carry Every day?
Unlike practice guns, carry guns aren’t usually exposed to harsh conditions so that they won’t rust or corrode as easily. Additionally, if you are lucky enough, your concealed firearm may not need to be drawn often, and it will remain there, ready to defend you if necessary.
When it comes to concealed firearms, you don’t want to take any chances. In certain situations, concealed firearms can mean the difference between life and death. Guns should always be kept clean so that you feel confident that they are reliable.
It is recommended that you clean your carry gun every two weeks and make sure every time you hit the range with it, you have cleaned it by the time you slip it back into its holster and carry it.
Prepare your disassembly tools so that you can inspect your gun meticulously once a month. As you disassemble your firearm, make sure every part is examined carefully for cracks, breaks, rust, or corrosion.
Can A Gun Go For A Long Time Without Being Cleaned?
In general, if a gun is not used regularly, it can go for about six months without needing to be cleaned. You might decide it needs cleaning more frequently depending on how often it’s used. Any time the gun may come in contact with moisture, it should be cleaned before storing it.
For a gun to function properly, you should clean it at least once every six months. Several factors determine how often you should clean a weapon in storage, including the weapon’s age and make, where it is stored, and the weather in the area.
You won’t need to clean your gun as often as someone who uses it frequently. Still, you should clean it regularly. The typical time between cleaning a gun if it is not being used regularly is about six months.
Make a judgment call if you use it frequently. In any case, where moisture could come into contact with the gun, it should be cleaned before being stored.
In addition to the gun type, the cleaning frequency also varies. For example, you must clean your firearm after each use if it uses corrosive ammunition. Those using modern non-corrosive ammunition, on the other hand, can go longer between cleanings.
The place where you store guns will also affect how often you clean them when they aren’t in use. The gun will need to be cleaned more often if it is in a dusty area than if it is in a less dusty area so that it keeps working properly. Make sure you decide on a schedule for proper maintenance.
What Should I Use to Clean My Gun?
I recommend a good gun cleaning kit, which is an essential tool for firearm owners. You’ll usually find that the kit comes with various tools necessary for cleaning the different parts of your gun.
It is necessary to disassemble and clean the insides of the gun every once in a while, even though you don’t have to do it every time. Gun cleaning kits differ, and you may find different supplies in each of them. There are a few essential items that all kits should include, such as:
- Bore Brushes
Two types of bore brushes are included in every gun cleaning kit: bronze and nylon brushes. Carbon buildup in the barrel is removed by the bronze brush, which is usually used first. After that, silver brushes are used for more sensitive parts of the gun.
- Bore snake
Those who fire their guns frequently and don’t have time to clean them after each firing will benefit from this tool. With the bore snake, you can easily clean the gun’s barrel without having to disassemble it completely.
The friction against the gun should be kept to a minimum when cleaning it. Because of that, you need to use a cleaning lubricant to get rid of the gun’s dirt.
In addition, the lubricant helps eliminate friction in the bolt action during rechambering. Including other tools such as double-ended brushes, cleaning swabs, cleaning patches, cleaning mats and cleaning rods would also be beneficial.
What Is The Best Way To Clean Your Gun?
Investing in a high-quality gun cleaning kit and cleaning your guns after each range trip is the best way to clean a gun. Cleaning should always be done in a well-lit, safe environment. Make sure your gun is unloaded before beginning.
In the owner’s manual of most firearms, you will find detailed cleaning instructions, so be sure to read those before beginning. In addition, here are some additional gun cleaning tips.
1. Keep It In Its Proper Case
Keep your weapon clean, dry, and well-protected by storing it in a protective gun case. To prevent further damage while storing your pistol or rifle, pick a case that is air- and water-tight. You can also store your guns inside a gun safe.
2. Make Sure Your Gun Is Lubricated
Keeping your gun lubricated is crucial to ensuring that it moves smoothly. It would be frustrating to have to deal with a jam while you’re shooting. No matter how many shooters recommend it, use lubricants designed for firearms – never use motor oil.
3. Apply A Solvent
Solvents for firearms can be used to break up and dissolve the fouling we discussed previously. Choose the right type of solvent, as there are types for dissolving lead, copper, and other types of fouling. When working in and removing the solvent, use dry patches.
4. Clean The Barrel By Wiping It Down
Use a toothbrush to remove any gunk and grime from your gun after wiping it down thoroughly with a clean, dry rag. Cleaning the barrel will be done with a bore cleaning brush (pick one that matches the caliber of your gun).
Can Too Much Cleaning Damage A Gun?
People who store their firearms often overclean their guns, especially when they have them in gun cabinets. It’s no secret that you want your guns to be shiny and polished at all times if they’re on display. If you clean the guns correctly, there is not much of a problem.
Unfortunately, many gun owners are unaware of the possibility of overcleaning their weapons. Overdoing it can also cause some damage to the weapon, just as not cleaning your gun in storage has some effects.
When you clean your gun correctly, it won’t cause any problems. However, if you use the wrong products and techniques, improper cleaning done frequently can result in devastating issues. If you would like to learn how to clean a gun properly, you should visit a local firearm dealer.
It is possible to damage certain parts of your firearms if you clean it incorrectly every now and then. For example, if the wrong cleaning tools are used, the crown and barrel’s chamber are especially vulnerable to damage.
Cleaning Guns Stored In Storage
Even when stored properly, moisture and dust can find their way into your firearms and cause rust to form. Moreover, residues or particles left behind from your last session on the range could pose a threat over time.
Corrosive chemicals can eat away at the metal parts of your firearms and cause them to corrode. Because of all these reasons, it is important to clean your stored guns to ensure your investment retains its value.
Two times a year, you should remove the curtains from your gun storage compartment and do a thorough cleaning. Once you start using your guns again, this should ensure that they remain as good as new and never present any hiccups.
Regardless of how often you use your guns and how much time they spend in their storage cases, they still need to be properly maintained. So even though you will not have to clean them as often as the firearms you actually use, you still have to watch out for them.
It is more important than you might think to keep your weapon clean. Regular firearm cleaning can help keep your arsenal safe and well-functional for a long time.
Dirty weapons are more prone to malfunctioning and becoming permanently damaged over time. If you were in a self-defense scenario, the last thing you would want is for your gun to malfunction. So, make sure you keep your gun clean and maintain it regularly.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of factors that accelerate the wear and tear of your firearm. As long as you keep such factors in mind, you’ll be able to determine when your gun needs a makeover to prevent corrosive particles from accruing.
Larry, who is a family man and a gun enthusiast, enjoys keeping his collection in pristine condition. He also likes to take his kids shooting as often as possible.