How often to clean guns?


August 1, 2008, 05:29 AM
I took my M&P 9mm and AR15 out the other day, shot 150rds through the 9mm and 45 of .223. I disassembled and cleaned them both, including bore brushes, etc. and it looked like neither gun really needed it. I've also heard things about overcleaning being bad for your guns... I think the next couple trips to the range I might do a quick wet/dry patch job and be done with it. I can see how scraping the bore out with a brush every time may do harm, when it's not needed.

How often do you guys clean your guns? Do you recognize overcleaning as a valid concern?

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August 1, 2008, 05:44 AM
I know I couldnt clean it for 500 rounds or more without any kind of problems, but since I have time for that, I clean it every 2 shooting sessions ... at least the barrel. (for ARs)

Pistols ? I clean them every 6 months...

cap and balls and black powder guns ? after every session.

August 1, 2008, 05:59 AM
Carry weapon = after each session.
Others = every 2-3 sessions.

August 1, 2008, 06:38 AM
After each session.

August 1, 2008, 06:50 AM
My carry pistols will usually get cleaned sooner or later between range sessions.

My 22's which I shoot far more often, I try to clean every February 29th or so.

August 1, 2008, 06:58 AM
I'll try to clean after each session. Nothing fancy, just swab out the bore, wipe everything down.

August 1, 2008, 07:03 AM
I'm concerned that the powder residue will wreak havoc on my firearms so I try to clean them up right away after I shoot them. I've got it down to a science so it doesn't take me too long to clean them up.

August 1, 2008, 07:18 AM
I enjoy the time I spend cleaning weapon systems so I do it sometimes for something to do. I can totaly break down my Ruger standard I have owned since I was 11 and clean every nook and cranny.
When an action is as smooth as butter then you know you have it right.

August 1, 2008, 07:32 AM
After each session. ;)

August 1, 2008, 07:47 AM
Everyone has their own regiment, I clean mine after each range trip, whether I shot 10 or 110 rounds. It'd be kinda like putting a baby to bed with a dirty diaper to not clean after use.:D

August 1, 2008, 08:00 AM
I clean my guns after every firing, especially black powder guns. The problem that most often occurs from "over" cleaning is oil residue. Only a very thin film of oil should be left afterwards. Basically, if you can see oil it's too much.

August 1, 2008, 08:04 AM
After every session.

I agree with ronwill about the amount of oil you leave on. I'll clean off all the dirty oil/carbon/gunky dirt and then use a clean rag to spread some oil around and wipe off the excess.

August 1, 2008, 08:06 AM
I clean all of my firearms within a couple days of them being used. That goes for all of my range weapons. Depending on the weather conditions or if they get wet or something I clean them within hours of them being used. My hunting firearms get cleaned daily when I am at the camp and my carry weapon gets cleaned once a week.

August 1, 2008, 08:50 AM
I was always taught to clean after every use.

I do the whole sha-bang... brass brush and bore wipes. Wipe it down with a lint free towel, and lightly oil. Then wipe it down again, until all finger prints are gone and I place it in it's box for storage in the safe.

My HD piece then gets loaded and put in my fingerprint safe for easy access in the master bedroom.

August 1, 2008, 09:53 AM
Once upon a time, (a few years ago) I was duck hunting for the first time of a new duck season and my Rem 11-87 would not cock. (the hammer would not lock back). I had to use a nylon comb to punch out the pins that hold the trigger group in the receiver and remove the trigger group. I found that the trigger group was full of oil, grease, gunpowder residue, mud and rice straw. I picked out the big chunks and swished the trigger group in pond water until I could see most of the parts. I put it back together and finished the season. I cannot remember having cleaned the trigger group for the past five or six duck seasons.

I wipe my guns down after every use and now throughly clean them once a season or once a year.

August 1, 2008, 10:14 AM
anything blackpowder or having fired corrosive ammo, I clean as soon as I get home from shooting.Anything else, I just do when I get the time or inclination, or when its getting gunky enough to need it or is bugging me.

August 1, 2008, 10:18 AM
Anything that I shot corrosive ammo gets cleaned as soon as I get home. .22's get cleaned whenever I feel they need it...Usually about 300rounds down the tube. Larger rifles and AR's get wiped down completely and the bore gets some oil. Hanguns are wiped down and the bore is oiled.

August 1, 2008, 10:26 AM
i clean them every time i go shooting with them, or every 6 months, whichever comes first

im a bit OCD, so every time i clean them they get at least field stripped and the Q-Tips come out

i like being thorough when i clean them, it gives me time to go through and inspect them and check for any issues that might be popping up before they get serious

August 1, 2008, 01:22 PM
I over-cleaned in my youth--
I used to enjoy it.
As I've aged I've learned about diminishing returns, losing small parts needlessly, and just got lazier.

Now, meh, when the spirit moves me or the thing starts to malfuntion I clean.

I DO clean the little Colt .32 ACP and my wife's mod. 36 when they are used as they are blued and have sentimental value.

August 1, 2008, 01:25 PM
Usually when I'm bored. Lately that's not often. Sometimes it's every other day.


August 1, 2008, 01:28 PM
Most guys seem to like to clean their guns, its extra play time with guns after the range time is over. For me its just a chore and added exposure to toxic things. If the gun isn't that dirty or accuracy isn't suffering I don't see any real benefit. As you can guess I don't clean much and am not one of the guys that thinks you need to clean a gun if it was shot no matter how few rounds.

Old Grump
August 1, 2008, 01:36 PM
But developing a sensitivity that makes my hands burn after exposure to my cleaning materials so I have to wear rubber gloves now. Do a barrel swab after every session and a tear down and complete cleaning after a few hundred rounds whether its a day or 6 months to shoot that many out of a particular gun.

August 1, 2008, 02:02 PM
When I first got my Glock, I cleaned after every range matter how many rounds I put into it.

I've been going to the range almost every week, so I'll begin to clean when I miss two or three weeks.

But maybe you should just get a Snake Bore so you can do a "quick" cleaning rather than a detailed cleaning.

August 1, 2008, 04:11 PM
I quite cleaning my .22s except for a quick wipedown on the outside and around the chamber/action. If they stop working, I'll break them down and clean. I clean everything else after every use... but I probably don't need to.

August 1, 2008, 04:15 PM
When you're bored.
When your teenage daughter has teenage boys over.
When the !@#$ thing stops feeding every few rounds.
When accuracy degrades.
When you feel guilty about paying a grand for something, then letting it get caked with crud.
Whenever you use it, immediately (black powder and corrosive milsurp ammo only)

August 1, 2008, 04:19 PM
When your teenage daughter has teenage boys over.

LOL! I've used that one.

Sadly, however, it has the opposite of the intended effect. They ditch her and come talk to me. Then she's mad at me. :(


August 1, 2008, 08:34 PM
I clean my firearms after each use. Even the ones that don't get fired get cleaned at least once or twice a year.

It's a good idea to clean and inspect firearms after each use. If there's something not working or broken, I would like to know about it right away and not later if I really need it.

August 1, 2008, 08:43 PM
The simple answer: whenever I feel like it.

I usually don't clean unless I've ran a couple of hundred rounds through it, although sometimes only a hundred. I will run a bore snake through it after each session.

Joe Demko
August 1, 2008, 08:48 PM
The whole anal-retentive gun cleaning regimen is a holdover from the corrosive-era military. In those times, guns needed to be cleaned immediately and thoroughly after firing in order to avoid damage from the corrosive priming compounds. That hasn't been the case for a long time now, but the military still likes to be anal about cleaning for several reasons:
1. In the dusty environments, it actually is a good idea to clean frequently.
2. It's military policy to minimize GI Joe's idle time, so why not keep him cleaning that rifle if he's looking unoccupied?
3. It's way, WAY easier to quickly judge if a rifle is spotless than if it is just clean enough during an inspection. It's also something about which to scream at GI Joe.

I don't use corrosive ammo and I'm not in Iraq. I don't have to hand my weapons over to anyone for inspection. They get wiped down after each use and thoroughly cleaned when I think they need it. I have no reliability problems or wear problems. My exposure to toxic chemicals is minimized. Therefore, I see no need to be pulling things apart and needlessly scrubbing at them.

August 1, 2008, 08:48 PM
But developing a sensitivity that makes my hands burn after exposure to my cleaning materials so I have to wear rubber gloves now.

In the same boat on that one, mate.
I have gloves for doing the dishes, others for nasty chemicals in the garage, and for weapon cleaning also.

I'm in my late 30's--this jazz just cropped up in the last year or so--makes me feel like a woosie but I just don't have the temperment for exposure to toxic nastiness I used to.

Plus, we were all (mostly) raised by folks who were trained by THEIR mentors who knew of the damage caused by old school black powder and chlorate primers on weapons left uncleaned--those days are largly gone (thankfully!).

And yes, it is good practice for 'joe', and that indoctrination is not lost on me, but I am realistic and not under supervision of some lunatic Drill Sgt. with a white glove at present nor under serious threat---and if I NEEDED one there is one in a repressed portion of my brain likely still viable in some mimetic format that will require me to clean my weapons until the phosphate rubs off.

August 1, 2008, 09:14 PM
for me it depends. if the gun that i shot at the range is a primary hd/sd/ccw gun then i clean it when i get back form the range everytime. otherwise i am not to worried about them and they can wait. if i shoot lead through a gun the barrel gets cleanned out before i go shoot it again. just to prevent too too much lead build up in the barrel. i have three phases of cleanning, which consist of just a wipe down and relube, all the way to getting the gun scrubber out and spraying the gun out. i normally do that once every 1000rds or so. i have never and never plan on detail striping a gun, my xd is fine without doing that 6000rds +, the other xd almost 2k, ar almost 3k, ak 3k, etc.

don't forget the magazines too, they need to be cleaned out every once in a while too.

Snapping Twig
August 2, 2008, 01:42 AM
Use it - clean it.

Depends on how long you want to own it or how dependable you need it to be.

Want it to work every time you point it? Clean it.

Major breakdown for the action? Not needed every time. Do a test and go a while before taking the trigger group out or cleaning the gas section. See how dirty it gets and clean accordingly.

Barrel and action...every time you fire it. Copper and lead destroy accuracy, cleaning prevents build-up and a big job. Extractors and chambers get dirty fast and must be kept clean.

August 2, 2008, 07:21 AM
Every time use them, ofcourse clean too.

Exept, if have surplus Mosin Nagant, never. I havīnt no those junk.

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