Many people treat their guns like their children or pets and must give them everything they need in order to be happy.
A popular question we often get is if it’s possible to over clean your guns? No but you can damage your gun AND effect its accuracy by cleaning it improperly. Let’s discuss some tips to help you avoid damaging your firearms.
Use Good Cleaning Rods
If you clean your gun very often you may find yourself in danger of damaging the rifling or the crown IF you use bad cleaning rods. This is the biggest concern because aluminum cleaning rods can EASILY scratch the inner barrel, assuming you clean from the muzzle.
You can easily avoid this by using a good cleaning rod, such as carbon fiber cleaning rod which will make it damn near impossible to damage the barrel.
These are a bit more expensive but totally worth it. I own several Tipton carbon fiber rods and it’s a night and day comparison between these and cheap brass cleaning rods.
However, the question is: Just how easy is it to damage the rifling?
If you’re using bad cleaning rods, cheap brushes, bad cleaner and you’re an average shooter, it’s still pretty hard to damage the rifling. You want to stay away from the aluminum cleaning rods, as these are the most likely to scratch your barrel.
Metals such as brass and carbon allow are MUCH better for this and won’t scratch the barrel.
Use a Bore Guide
The easiest and more inexpensive way to avoid all of this is to use a universal bore guide with your cleaning rods. This should be used when you clean from the breech and make sure you use the right size brushes and tools.
This is probably the best thing you can add to your kit for a few dollars in order to ensure that you don’t accidentally scratch the rifling.
A bore guide is easy to use and comes in very handy when you’re dealing with several different firearms.
Use Good Cleaning Solvents
A bad cleaning solvent, such as a gummy oil like REM Oil will tend to give you a long-term buildup of crud.
You want to use the best gun cleaning solvent you possibly can in order to avoid dust from attracting to your guns, which will lead to gunk and crud.
Use a Bore Snake
A simple way to prevent damaging your gun is to use a good bore snake. While you’ll still want to use your cleaning rods, it’s a good idea to use a bore snake in order to prevent damaging the crown and rifling.
Bore snakes won’t clean the barrel 100% and its considered the lazy way to clean a gun but it does have it’s place.
If you use a good cleaning rod and clean your bore after using a bore snake, you’ll notice that you missed a lot of gunk in all of the groves.
Why Cleaning Your Gun is Important
Below, we’ll go over the benefits of cleaning your gun.
Safety and Reliability
You’ll be able to keep your gun in the best shape if you regularly clean and maintain it. Cleaning your gun makes sure that it will operate at its peak performance and that there won’t be any buildup or gunk from use. It’s crucial that you routinely clean your gun in order to rely on it and safely use it.
Residue, dirt, and debris can collect when you’re shooting your gun, and they can build up in the internal mechanisms of the firearm and the barrel. Something that sticks in the barrel every time that you shoot is residual fouling, which is made up of burnt gunpowder. In addition, regularly lubricating your gun encourages residue to stick to the gun.
If you leave this unattended for too long, it can cause your gun to gum up, and as a result, you might need repairs or a firing failure might happen. Furthermore, the precision of your firearm can be decreased by the gunk that’s been collected in the barrel.
Getting to Know Your Weapon
You’ll better understand how your gun works and how its parts function by taking it apart and regularly cleaning it. Even though the gun seems like a single part when you’re looking at it from the outside, guns are made out of many different parts that work in unison to shoot a bullet.
It can be either challenging or easy to reassemble the gun after you’ve disassembled it, and it all depends on the type of gun that you own.
You’ll become more familiar with and learn to respect your firearm once you learn about its internal workings, even if you aren’t really into learning about the process that makes your gun shoot. You’ll also learn how to maintain your gun, discover why it needs cleaning, and which parts of it get the most residue and dirt stuck on them.
Based on whether or not you properly take care of your gun, your gun can last from a few years to a few generations. The lifespan of your gun can be increased notably with a simple cleaning routine.
If you’re wondering how often you should clean your gun, it’s best to first note how frequently you use your gun. While some gun owners clean their firearms once every several months, there are also gun owners that make sure they clean their firearm after each use.
How often you clean your gun will depend on how long you want your gun to last and how often you’re actually using it. All you need to do is lubricate, clean, and store your gun properly in order to get the most use out of it.
When you’re doing a thorough job while you’re cleaning your gun, you’re ensuring that there will be very few instances in the future where you’ll need to replace parts of your gun. You also reduce the risk of accidents.
A bore snake is great but it won’t remove copper fouling all the way. However, some guns such as AR-15s can get away with just a bore snake and a AR cleaning tool.
How Dirty IS Dirty?
What may be dirty to me may not be dirty to you. Have you ever cleaned something thinking that it’s clean, only to hear other people say it’s a mess?
When it comes to your guns, it doesn’t matter if you think it’s clean, what maters is if it IS clean.
Back in the days of black powder and muskets, you had to clean your guns to make sure they worked properly. It was usually advisable to clean your gun after every use.
The older black powder, smokeless powder and primers ALL have corrosive elements that would almost instantly rust a gun barrel if not cleaned.
Modern ammunition is very clean in comparison and doesn’t require you clean as much.
Also, keep in mind the copper fouling is different from residues left by powder and this is another reason you need to clean your gun more often.