When I started growing interest in guns and hunting, there are a lot of questions I keep asking myself including the frequency of time for me to
clean my gun. This problem is very common especially to those who are still new gun owners, and yet it remains to be a common question without a solid and definite answer since there are some passionate opinions about gun cleaning among owners that one can find out there.
I realized then that maintaining and cleaning my firearms is also a crucial factor for them to function adequately and for me to assure its safety and reliability. However, I also learned that aside from these obvious reasons, there are still some things to know to determine when to clean a gun which would be discussed in this article.
This article aims to deliver the best reasons and appropriate circumstances that will provide ideas for those who share the sentiment with me and are having issues determining how often a gun should be cleaned. The following are the helpful tips to come up with the best decision:
If The Firearm Was Exposed To Water, Moisture And Other Damaging Elements
A lot of circumstances would require one to clean the gun immediately after use especially if one is using corrosive ammunition or if it was exposed to damaging elements such as water, moisture, salts, dust and dirt. This action will promote prevention of rusting and corrosion from happening which may lead to wear and tear and even failure of the firearms.
For those who are using stainless steel barrel and receiver, yes you might not need to worry about the moisture since the stainless steel components help the corrosion to slow down. However, please be reminded that these stainless steel parts are more vulnerable to excess wear from dust and dirt. So, it is always best to prevent these cases from happening to avoid spending too much for repair or worst, to buy a new one.
The Primary Use Of The Firearm Should Also Be Considered
1. If A Gun Is Only Used For Plinking, Target Clays And Punching Holes In Papers.
One can allow a few months to pass or 3-4 trips to the lapse range before an in-depth cleaning can be done. Guns that are semi-automatics and rimfire firearms are also included since these types of weapons only show performance and reliability issues upon excessive fouling.
However, it is best to regularly clean the bore, wipe everything down and re-lube every after a session to remove dust and dirt and prevent them from piling up since every fire of the gun leaves a residue to the barrel. Again, it should not be a deep or intensive cleaning.
2. For Match Guns And Firearms Used As Defensive Firearms
For match guns and firearms that used primarily for defensive purposes, it is always best to keep it clean, oiled and ready-to-go all the time to avoid reliability issues. Revolvers, for example, are not immune, to fouling since carbon builds up on the cylinder and eventually makes the double action trigger to be very impossible to pull because the cylinder gap is clogged. This goes the same with match guns which work accurately and reliably when clean.
Thus, it is only best to clean your defensive handguns immediately after every trip to the range regardless of the number of shots fired since this will assure you that the gun will not have any fouling-related issues in the future and this will spare you time and energy and will help you avoid any accidents. They should be cleaned and lubricated more often since it suffers more abuse and is greatly exposed to damaging elements.
For Firearms That Are Rarely Used And Are Stored In A Safe Most Of The Time
Even those firearms that are rarely used and are only kept in the storage should have a regular cleaning and maintenance session at least once a year since most of the time, storage places are also prone to humidity and moisture which can cause small rust spots and affect the performance of the gun. One thing that one needs to consider is the usage of desiccants which can maintain the humidity of the air in the storage place and can decrease the rust caused by the moisture in the air.
It is recommended that the internal parts of the gun should also be checked at least once a year, especially those parts which can be overlooked and cannot be seen without taking other parts. Deep cleaning is best done with the help of an expert gunsmith that will make the job easier for you since this will include working on unfamiliar parts which piles of debris have piled up.
Other Benefits of Regular Cleaning and Maintenance of the Gun
Aside from keeping the performance and the reliability of the gun, a regular cleaning and maintenance of the gun will give you a chance to check the different parts of it which may not be easily noticed upon looking at it. This will enable you to inspect the entire gun for cracks, rust, erosion corrosion and other defects that may need repair or replacing. This will prevent an unexpected failure and accidents in the future.
In addition, keeping a regular check-up of your gun will allow you be more familiar with the way the gun works. This will help you understand firearms more and how each part interact with each other and how to lubricate it properly. By taking the necessary steps to clean and maintain your gun, you are becoming a responsible gun owner which results for a lot safer gun owning and handling.
My Take Away
As a conclusion, there is no definite way as to when and how often a gun should be cleaned. It depends on to on the level of usage and the purpose of its usage as indicated above. The bottom line is, the more often you use the gun, the more often you should clean it since a clean gun is a safe gun. This is one way to take care of your investments and to make sure that your weapon is ready for use when the need to use it arises.
You can also watch this video for easier understanding: