How Often Should A Firearm Be Cleaned to Keep It in Top Condition?

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How often should a firearm be cleaned to keep it in top condition? This is one of the most common questions that new gun owners often ask.

Whether you own a pellet gun for shooting in the backyard or a real gun for self-defense, it’s always recommended to regularly clean your firearm.

However, it’s important to note that several factors should significantly influence your cleaning routine.

How Often Should a Firearm Be Cleaned to Keep It in Top Condition

To figure out how regularly you need to clean your gun, you should first figure out how regularly you use your firearm and under what conditions.

After Heavy Use

If you participate in long shooting sessions or probably use it in extreme outdoor weather conditions, then it’s always recommended you perform a thorough cleaning.

When cleaning, ensure you check the bore for any debris or obstructions and make sure every moving part is properly cleaned and lubricated.

Daily Use Treatment

Most air rifles, including all the .177 air rifles in our guide, should be cleaned after every use.

This is because every time your fire your gun, gun powder residue scatters all around the weapon, and your sweat or oil hands could leave it dirty.

These contaminations can significantly affect the effectiveness of your weapon if unattended in the long run.

Every time you use your handgun, it’s recommended you at least give it basic cleaning.

However, ensure that you use a suitable gun solvent and gun cleaning patches that won’t ruin the effectiveness.

In my previous article, I detailed reviewed the 7 best gun cleaning solvents you can get on the market today- click to view the guide.

Service Intervals

It’s also recommended your service your handgun after certain intervals- most people service after 3000-5000 rounds fired.

How Often Should A Firearm Be Cleaned to Keep It in Top Condition?

However, you should note that this is a detailed service and should only be done by the manufacturer or a professional gunsmith.

They’ll often strip down the weapon to the last spring and pin and give it a thorough servicing.

Your handgun will also be inspected and worn-out parts replaced.

You shouldn’t or let someone inexperienced in performing this type of service- as it’s easy to lose or even damage the small parts of your gun, which could then void your warranty.

Why Should You Clean Your Firearm After Each Time You Use It?

Now that you know how often should a firearm be cleaned to keep it in top condition, let’s have a look at the reasons why you should regularly clean your rifle.

Proper Mechanical Operation

For proper effectiveness, firearms require a perfect balance of all mechanical moving parts.

If any of the moving parts don’t work in harmony with the rest, it could result in jamming and ruin your shooting activity or fail to defend yourself if you’re attacked.

Dirt, debris, or even dust can significantly affect the mechanical function of your weapon.

In worst cases, a poorly maintained gun can be a safety hazard and can result in out-of-battery discharges or bore obstructions.

Prevent Corrosion

All metal is susceptible to corrosion, and so is every gun made of metal.

Even some metals marketed as rust-free, such as titanium and aluminum, can corrode, especially when exposed to oxidation.

Final Thoughts on How Often Should A Firearm Be Cleaned to Keep It in Top Condition

I hope that I’ve answered your question on how often a firearm should be cleaned to keep it in top condition.

Just a recap, you should clean it after every use, after heavy use.  And don’t forget to take it to a professional for thorough service cleaning.

However, if you carry your handgun for concealed self-defense- ensure that you regularly wipe it to remove dirt or sweat that could have accumulated.

This is because sweat is acidic and can result in corrosion in the long run, resulting in lower operational efficiency.

You should also consider purchasing one of these concealed carry bags (click to read my detailed guide); alternatively, you can invest in a portable gun safe to protect your weapon from dust as well as conceal it from the public.

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