How often do you clean your firearms? This has been an often discussed issue at my range lately with answers varying wildly from “every time I use it” to “never”. It’s a contentious issue and one that everyone seems to have an opinion on, but the truth is that the answer for you will probably be different to the answer for me depending on a number of factors including what kind of gun you own, how often you shoot it and what you shoot.
I for instance most often shoot a 1911 with resin coated lead bullets. 1911s as a general rule drink oil, mine certainly does, so it’s important that even between cleanings I keep it well lubricated, however because of this I also find myself cleaning it very regularly so it doesn’t get gunked up. The resing coated bullets I most often shoot also leave some leading, again making it important that I clean often, for me that works out to every 200-250 rounds, or every 1-2 times that I shoot.
So how do you decide for yourself how often to clean your firearm? Well lets look first at what makes the gun dirty and what will happen if you don’t clean often enough.
Why Do I Need to Clean My Gun?
Every time you shoot carbon, lead and copper leave a residue in the chamber barrel and action. This residue builds up regardless of the type of ammo you’re shooting. Additionally dust, sweat and other environmental factors conribute to this issue. This fouling ultimately can effect the reliability of your firearm, resulting in malfunctions, potentially at a critical moment.
The problem with a malfunction is that you never know when one is going to happen until it happens, so while you might be able to say you’ve shot the same firearm every week, never cleaned it and never had a problem, are you willing to stake your life on never having a problem in the future?
For me this is the crucial issue with gun cleaning, whether I’m shoting for fun, competitively or carrying my firearm for personal protection, I want to do everything in my power to reduce the liklyhood of a malfunction. And that is why I clean my gun as often as possible
As a Brit living and working in the USA, her views on gun ownership and the second amendment have evolved over the years, allowing her to fully understand both sides of the gun control debate and she regularly speaks on the matter to help others understand why she feels the second amendment must be protected and why she chooses to be an advocate for the shooting sports.
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