You’re probably one of two types of people: Either you are obsessive-compulsive about cleaning your gun every time you use it (or on a set schedule), or you don’t clean it until something goes wrong. So which one do you best identify with? Hey, no judgments here.
But maybe you’ve wondered just how often you should clean your gun. Unlike a car, many firearms don’t have regular “service intervals” based on a set amount of time or “mileage.” Sure, your owner’s manual will give you recommendations (and you may want to take a peek and see what it says). What’s that you say? Oh, you threw out the owner’s manual? Well, no worries. We’ve got you covered.
Today, we’ll give you our best recommendations when it comes to cleaning your firearms. The consensus among our highly knowledgeable and experienced staff at Big Daddy Unlimited is…. All the time and it depends.
To Clean or Not to Clean.
Sure, many gunsmiths recommend always cleaning your firearms immediately after shooting them. However, there are other factors to consider including the ammunition used, the firearm itself, and how many rounds you shoot through it.
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If you shoot steel or corrosive ammo, all of our staff recommend cleaning your firearm immediately after shooting it. Some even recommend cleaning it while you’re still at the range. If you use brass and higher-quality ammo, at the very least they recommend cleaning your firearm after 250-500 rounds or even every other range session (if you shoot frequently; at least weekly).
If you only shoot 100-150 rounds, you may not necessarily need to perform a full takedown and cleaning. But you should at least perform a thorough inspection and wipe it down immediately after shooting your firearm. This is a good habit so you can see if anything is starting to wear or needs to be replaced.
But What if I Own a Glock?
When it comes to the firearm you shoot, the consensus is that a lower-quality firearm should be cleaned every time you shoot. The same goes for older firearms, collector guns, and competition firearms which need to be in pristine shape at all times. If you own a Glock, or a firearm known to work even under the worst of conditions, then you could clean it every 250-500 rounds (or more) or after every few trips to the range.
And, yes, the same recommendations go for your AR or other carbine rifles. However, a case can be made that a direct impingement gas system found in many ARs should be cleaned every time it’s shot due to the carbon build-up. Piston-driven systems run cleaner, so they may not need to be cleaned as often. You could choose to just inspect and thoroughly wipe them down after each range session, or you could perform a full takedown and cleaning every other range session or after shooting 250-500 rounds.
Wipe It Down or Perform a Full Cleaning?
How much cleaning do you need to perform? At the very least, you should perform a full inspection, wipe down the barrel, and lubricate the slide. A thorough takedown and cleaning is always a good idea. For a handgun, a thorough takedown and cleaning includes inside and outside the barrel, magazine well, around the firing pin/springs, and along the slide. There’s no need to take out your trigger. An AR platform follows a similar procedure as a handgun. A takedown and cleaning of the bolt carrier group (BCG), barrel, and the trigger spring should be performed.
What about your everyday concealed carry firearm that doesn’t get used? Technically, if you don’t shoot it, you don’t have to clean it. But the reality is that your firearm will most likely get dirty and filled with hair or lint from your holster or clothes, or begin to rust in certain areas if you sweat on it (depending on where you carry on your body).
We recommend performing a full takedown and cleaning of your EDC firearm every 3-4 months to get the lint out, make sure it’s properly oiled and functioning properly, and get off any rust that may occur from your firearm being exposed to sweat, rainwater, or even body lotion (yes, some of us like to keep our skin silky smooth). In between cleanings, be sure to inspect it on a weekly basis to make sure there’s not excessive lint or dirt buildup or signs of rust.
It’s Better to Clean than Not to Clean.
With all of that said, it’s always better to clean your firearm more often than not. So, yes, all of our Big Daddy Unlimited staff agree that it’s perfectly fine and highly advisable to clean your firearm after every range session. In fact, it’s a good routine to get into so it becomes a habit. In addition, the sooner you takedown and clean your firearm after shooting it, the easier it will be to get off the carbon and other junk that builds up and solidifies over time.
Remember, you need your firearm to function properly whenever you need it. Regular inspections and thorough takedowns and cleanings should be performed to make sure it functions properly and effectively whenever called upon.
If you’re looking for cleaning supplies or other gear or accessories for your firearms, join Big Daddy Unlimited today!
Big Daddy Unlimited (BDU) is revolutionizing the online gun, gear, and ammo-buying process with the largest selection of in-stock products at everyday industry-leading prices! Our mission is to help our members exercise their Second Amendment right at prices they can live with while giving them the VIP service they deserve! Our passion for the 2A is unyielding, and we patriotically defend the freedoms upon which our great country was founded.
Our sales and services teams are the greatest benefit of our membership program and truly what sets us apart from other companies in the firearms industry. A quick call into BDU is the fastest way to solve a problem or grab that hard-to-find item! Give us a call at (800) 915-7709 to become a member today!
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Cleaning a Pistol:
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