If you have firearms, you must take good care of them. It can be a little confusing that how often you need to clean them! Basically, it depends on the type of firearm you own and some other additional factors.
Accordingly, there are few indications you have to be aware of which can fit your cleaning schedule. As a gun owner, you must understand when exactly you need to clean your firearms so that you can utilize their full potential for a long time.
Why Cleaning Matter?
Let's perceive why cleaning matters and why you need to clean them regularly. Some basic reasons stated below for your understanding.
- Protect from Corrosion and Rust
Guns are mostly made of metal. Here is the catch! All metals are prone to corrosion and rust through oxidation. Oxidation on steel is known as rust, but the rust-free metal is also susceptible to corrosion since the often oxidize, for instance, are titanium and aluminium.
Metal corrosion completely ruins the metal finish, and it looks ugly as well. Besides, due to corrosion, more areas get exposed and result in getting oxidized. Metal can be eaten away until it gets weak.
Likewise, the metal guns often come into contact with a lot of sources of corrosion like sweat, open-air, water, skin oil, humidity, moisture primer compounds, cleaning solvents, etc. If you clean them regularly, you will be able to prevent these and keep your guns in good shape for a long time.
- Maintain Mechanical Operation
Firearms are mechanical devices; hence, you need to handle them properly. They depend on an accurate balance of mobile parts to work each time. Grit and grime sometimes create issues for the gun's mechanical function.
As the moving pieces getting gummed up, foreign matter makes it difficult to fire, eject, and feed properly. And the worst-case scenario is, a dirt gun can be a safety hazard by creating situations like out of battery discharges or bore obstructions.
Therefore, cleaning regularly and maintaining it properly is important to keep your gun operating in good shape.
Frequency of Cleaning Gun
You have to evaluate some aspects like how often you use your gun and under what circumstances etc. you use it. To answer this question, let’s look at these points:
Almost all the handguns need to be cleaned right after they are being used for a shooting session. Each time you shoot your gun, you are exposing it to different sorts of contamination like oil, powder residue, sweat, carbon, etc.
These can be very much harmful to your gun if it is left uncleaned for a long time and not good for the accurate functioning of your weapon.
Therefore, every time you use your gun for shooting, make sure you at least give it a little wipe-down. You will not have to put much effort into doing it, and this will keep your gun lubricated and clean until you use it for the next session.
After Heavy Use
After participating in a competition, long-lasting shooting sessions, do a detailed cleaning of the gun. Take a look at the bore if it contains any debris or obstructions, and you cleaned all the moving parts along with lubricating them.
It is just an approximation that after around 3000 to 5000 rounds fired, you are supposed to do a full detail cleaning of your gun. Qualified gunsmith or the manufacturer mostly do this job. Every single piece of the gun has to be cleaned and scrutinized.
You can also replace some parts like extractors, at this time. Since the work has a lot of precisions, any unprofessional hands should not do that; instead, take it to someone professional who can handle it properly.
Intense Hunt or Competition
Have you worked on your gun recently when you fired hundreds of rounds in snow and rain? It does not matter if you did it already, but make sure next time you do it, clean your gun thoroughly. There is no way of knowing where sand, dirt, and mud can get stuck inside your gun.
Hence, clean it and pay good attention to each of the crevices where debris could be hiding.
Barrel Filled with Mud
After you dropped the gun and it rolled down somewhere in thick mud, sand, dirt or debris, just stop at that moment and clean the gun right away. If your gun has a bore obstruction, for now, it may seem okay, but the consequence can be fatal in the near future.
If the bullet that you have just shot gets stopped by sediment in the barrel, the pressure that has formed has nowhere to go. Thus, it becomes too much for the gun to endure and later on it can turn into a grenade. If you do not have a cleaning kit with you, do not take the risk of using your gun while you think if got foreign particles in it.
Shooting Corrosive Ammo
Surplus military ammo is both cheap and powerful. It is fun too, but sadly, it can be filthy. Some old aged military ammo is filled with corrosive primers. These primers hold residue left inside the gun that eventually attracts moisture.
However, moisture is a big threat to metal. If you do not clean your gun after shooting corrosive ammo, your gun will get rusty, and some structural damage will take place in it. In that case, after shooting corrosive ammo, always clean your gun immediately.
Experiencing Poor Accuracy
If you ever feel like your gun is not functioning properly, the first thing you need to do is, give it a thorough clean. Sometimes, your gun will refuse to extract spent shells, and it is its way of saying that it requires cleaning. Often, when the barrel gets dirty, rifles start holding poor groups too.
So, the very first step to troubleshooting when your gun is not working properly is giving it a good cleaning.
Make a Schedule
It often turns into a hard task to keep track of when the last time you cleaned your gun. In such a case, pay more attention to the gun that you use the most. To lessen your burden of keeping track of the cleaning, make a schedule and set it as the cleaning day.
On that very day, you will bring all the guns from your storage and clean each of them in a day. This idea works pretty well even you have a large storage of firearms.
Firearms need to be cleaned regularly. Cleaning a gun includes multiple tasks like dismantling the gun, unloading it, cleaning all the parts, and reassembling it again. How often you should clean your gun mostly depends on how often you use it for shooting purposes.
Many experts have mentioned that you need to clean them after 250 rounds of fires. But if you use your firearm for target practising, cleaning is more like an urgency as in shooting range you fire a large number of shots. In this case, you have to clean your gun after every visit to a range.