A firearm's maintenance can be crucial to having a highly-functional and dependable firing experience. From the range to the field, a little bit of TLC goes a long way to keeping your gun in shape for whenever you need to use it. It’s even more crucial for firearms that you use for self or home defense. Protecting yourself or others is the last moment you can afford your firearm to fail.
Regularly cleaning your gun is a part of its maintenance. Whenever the components are clean and lubricated, they tend to perform much better.
The Importance of Regular Firearm Cleaning
A gun is only as good as its ability to fire with consistency and accuracy. Reliability issues diminish a firearm's worth. Proper care and maintenance are crucial to keeping your firearm in peak condition. Like having a secure, discreet place to store your gun, cleaning your firearm is a great way to ensure you are keeping your investment at peak condition.
What Causes Firearm Damage?
While there are several ways the elements can damage your gun, three common ones that can harm your firearm or keep it from performing at its best are dirt and dust, corrosion and fouling.
- Dirt and dust are contaminants that can cause damage by getting into the gun's components and creating friction between the parts. This wear and tear over a long period can cause reliability issues with your firearm or expensive damage. Excessive dirt or mud in the barrel of a gun can cause a pressure buildup, which can be dangerous for the shooter.
- Fouling is metal from the bullet left inside the gun's barrel after it's fired. Fouling can cause inaccuracy due to the buildup of metal inside of the boring of the barrel. This buildup causes the bullet to exit the barrel at a slightly different position than its intended design.
- Corrosion can happen to a gun whenever it is exposed to moisture for long periods or is not cleaned correctly after an outing. Corrosion is a common problem because most firearms rely on metal for their construction. When the metal is exposed, it leads to oxidizing of the metal, which then leads to rust.
How Often Should I Clean My Firearm?
There isn't a single answer for this question, and it is up to the owner on how many times he or she should clean the firearm. The frequency of cleaning is dependent upon a few different factors:
- What type of gun is it? Whenever you are trying to decide how often you need to clean your firearm, the first factor to consider is what type of firearm it is. You will need to frequently clean and inspect performance rifles and concealed carry handguns while a field rifle used for plinking or clay target shooting may be able to go a few weeks or months without a detailed clean.
- How often do I use or fire this gun? The more often you use your firearm, the more it will have to be cleaned. A large amount of fouling from a firing session or two left over time can permanently affect the accuracy of the gun. Regular cleaning also goes for concealed carry. If you carry your handgun close to your body, sweat and other oils from the skin can corrode the exterior, and lint from clothing can block the firing pin.
- Where is this gun typically stored? If you store your firearms in a low moisture, temperature-controlled safe or piece of concealment furniture, they won't need to be wiped down and oiled as often as a weapon that is more exposed to the elements. Concealed carry or hunting weapons you leave in your vehicle need more attention than rifles you keep in a gun safe.
- What type of ammunition do I fire with this gun? The kind of ammo you use is important to note whenever you are trying to lay out a cleaning schedule for your firearm. Different types of ammunition can be more or less corrosive than others, and copper and lead fouling vary in how they affect your gun's barrel.
- What is the body of the firearm made out of? Rifles vary in their composition due to their style, age and purpose. A newer gun may have more plastic on the exterior, making it more resistant to moisture and corrosion. An older style firearm with more metal or wood may be more susceptible to warping or rust than a modern design. Another consideration is how soft the gunmetal is. A steel chassis of a gun will be more resistant to scratches and dings than aluminum.
How to Keep Your Firearm Clean
Whenever you are cleaning your firearm, it is vital to be in a well-lit, ventilated area. A garage or spacious workshop space both work well for a routine cleaning. Before cleaning, always make sure to double and triple-check that your gun is unloaded. Safety is the biggest priority whenever you are handling a firearm. Make sure the surface you are cleaning your gun on is clear of any objects or debris that may cause a misfire or damage.
What Items Do I Need to Clean My Firearm?
Before you begin cleaning, it is crucial to lay out everything you will need to make sure that you are ready to go. Because of the variation in size, construction and design of each firearm, make sure to consult the owners manual before you being your cleaning. Some of the most common items you will need to clean your gun include:
- A bore snake and cleaning rod or other barrel cleaning instruments
- Nylon or cotton patches for cleaning out debris and oiling the barrel
- A high-quality cleaner and lubricant
- Cleaning rags for the exterior of the gun
- A container for any smaller components to your gun
Make Sure You Have a Secure and Discreet Place to Store Your Clean Firearm
After you have given your trusted firearm the cleaning and maintenance it needs, having a place to store it to keep it clean, safe and accessible is just as important. Concealment furniture and wall art is a great way to stash your freshly cleaned gun.
If you are looking for a better way to store your firearm of choice, contact Liberty Home Concealment for well-designed, secure storage options.