Should You Clean Your Gun After Each Use?

disassembling 9mm shield pistol for cleaning

Keeping your firearm in top shape depends on how you take care of it. In this article, we’ll answer every question you have about gun maintenance and how often should you clean your gun.

We always tell our readers to clean their firearms after each use if possible, even if they just fired one round. This way, debris build-up is prevented, and you can sleep soundly at night.

If you only fired a few shots, light cleaning and oil will do. But if you shoot for competition or a busy bird shoot, deep cleaning is a good idea.

What is light cleaning?

Light cleaning involves dipping a few patches in a solvent or a lubricant, then wiping the bore and the slide with them, followed by a coat of oil.

How often should you clean a shotgun?

Two Guns And Shotgun

Shotguns should be cleaned after each use. Most importantly if you’re using your shotgun for hunting, as it’s more exposed to dirt and water that will cause harm to your gun in storage.

How often should you clean your Glock?

cleaning pistol barrel

Like any other firearm, you should clean your Glock after each use to prevent residue buildup. While they’re known for going bang when you need them, a deeper disassembly and cleaning every 100 rounds or so is smart.

After how many rounds should you clean your gun?

The number of fired rounds doesn’t actually matter, we recommend that you clean it after every use. If it’s just a few rounds and it’s not raining when you’re hunting or shooting, you could get away with a quick wipe down. Otherwise, you’ll want to do at least a partial disassembly and full cleaning every 100 rounds or so in good conditions.

How often should you oil your gun?

applying oil to rifle barrel

If you use your gun regularly on hunting trips or at the range, then we suggest you lubricate it every time you shoot. If it’s just in storage in good conditions, you’ll be fine checking on it every 6 months or so just to make sure moisture and rust are under control.

How to clean your gun properly

Aside from cleaning your firearms regularly, you also need to clean them properly. Follow these tips and you’ll be on the right track.

Use the proper cleaning kit

cleaning rod and solvent

Having a high-quality gun cleaning kit is essential in gun maintenance. I’d stay away from low-priced kits that only seem efficient at the beginning but don’t last for long. Brands like Hoppes have been doing this for years for a reason and have a lot invested in their reputation.

If you want to properly take care of your firearms, investing in a solid gun cleaning kit is the way to go. These kits are slightly more than bottom-of-the-barrel kits, but it’s worth the price to prevent rust and corrosion for a valuable asset! But if you’re starting to build your cleaning set, here’s a gun cleaning supplies article to guide you.

Use the proper solvent

cleaning a pistol, S&W Shield

A lot of bad things can happen to your gun from buying the wrong solvent.

First, it can ruin your gun’s metal or wood finishes. Second, it can leave residue that builds up and inhibits proper cycling, rendering your gun useless when you need it most!

So always read the label and make sure that what you’re buying is intended for guns. If the label isn’t clear, ask someone who shoots regularly to recommend their favorite brand.

We also suggest you buy solvents from known manufacturers. We’ve reviewed the best cleaning solvents on the market today, so be sure to check it out.

How often to clean your gun in storage

It’s best to clean stored guns at least once or twice a year. Because no matter how sealed those firearms are, they can still collect dust and potentially moisture over time. It’s also important to give extra attention to stored firearms with or after using corrosive ammunition, as they are more prone to corrosion.

If your safe isn’t in an ideal environment or you don’t have moisture control measures like desiccant or a dehumidifier in a place like a basement or a garage, I’d suggest checking on things every few months just to make sure everything’s working well.

If you’re looking for ways to store ammo properly, check out this article.

How long can a gun go without cleaning?

If you don’t have time to clean your firearm after going home from shooting, you can push cleaning back a few days. But, storing an uncleaned gun can lead to corrosion, and rust can begin to set in overnight. So, be sure moisture from rain or condensation is not an issue before putting it away!

What happens if you don’t clean your gun?

First of all, your gun’s performance and reliability may drop if you don’t clean it. Secondly, it can become a safety hazard because of corrosion and the formation of rust. Imagine if a breach doesn’t close properly due to dirt but it’s close enough to still fire the round!

Final Thoughts

People have conflicting opinions about gun maintenance. But at the end of the day, it all depends on how much you want to take care of your firearm. So if you value your gun, be sure to clean it regularly!

Is your gun protected from getting bumped around during transport? Check out our article about how to cut foam for a gun case!

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