Gun cleaning practices vary from person to person, and there are differing ideas as to how often people should clean their firearms. Some gun owners choose to clean their weapons at the beginning of a hunting season and then again at the end of the season. Other times people opt to clean their gun after every use, maybe after activities like range shooting. One fact is clear, however. Eventually, your gun must be cleaned.
There are benefits to having a clean firearm, and reasons why you should clean your gun regularly.
BEING FAMILIAR WITH YOUR GUN
Maybe you aren’t the most mechanically savvy, but you should at least be familiar with how to disassemble and reassemble your gun, and the functionality of each part of the gun. The easiest way to get familiar with your firearm is by cleaning it. The more you know about how your gun works, the better you will be able to repair it when something goes wrong.
Firearms are built to last a long time, and many safety features are put in place to prevent accidents. But if you use your firearm consistently, the chances of something happening will always be present. In most cases, any malfunctions that take place with a gun aren’t due to manufacturer error, but due to negligence and user error. In order to minimize these problems, and ensure gun safety, cleaning your gun on a regular basis is the smart thing to do. In fact, some gun malfunctions are caused by a dirty gun, as best described by the firearm experts on the site Gun Vault:
Incomplete Discharge – This is when a round is fired but gets stuck inside the gun barrel. This can be caused by damage to the inside of the barrel or by residue buildup from previous rounds. If you tried to fire another round in this scenario, it can cause the gun to explode.
Failure to Eject – When a cartridge is fired, it must then be extracted by the gun’s mechanism and ejected. The problem here is if the gun is dirty, rusted, or corroded, it could fail to extract the used cartridge. A live round would then be forced into the base of the jammed cartridge, potentially causing the gun to explode.
Don’t believe everything you read online. The internet can be the source of misinformation. One such rumor that often surfaces, related to gun cleaning, is that you don’t need to clean your gun for it to function properly. While it’s true you do not need to clean your gun every time you use it, it does not mean that you never need to clean your firearms. Just by searching on the web, it is very easy to find different forums listing people’s experiences with better accuracy or more efficient firing after multiple uses of a gun without cleaning. You may take what these posts say to be truthful, but do not interpret it as “not cleaning your gun ever.” You have consistency with firing a gun that has been used versus one that has been freshly cleaned, but if going too long without a thorough cleaning, your gun will get too dry, or fouled up, and begin to have trouble firing. So in this case, you may not need to clean your gun after every use, but still make sure to clean it after a few uses, otherwise you will risk ruining your gun, or endangering yourself and others with the chance of a malfunction. In an article on American Rifleman, an NRA sponsored site, it further supports the idea of cleaning your firearms to keep them in their best condition, but your guns may be cleaned less or more often depending on how often you use them.