Cleaning Your Gun: How And Why You Should Do It

Being a gun owner requires a good deal of responsibility. After all, guns are rather complex pieces of engineering that demand respect. If you fail to treat your weapon with the proper respect, you will end up drastically shortening its lifespan or worse.

There are many ways you can improve your gun's maintenance routine. For example, you can ensure that it is always properly stored so you can minimize its exposure to dust and corrosion. One of the best ways to ensure that your gun remains in good condition for a longer time is to dedicate time to cleaning it regularly.

What Is Gun Cleaning

Before we go any further, we will give a short overview of what gun cleaning consists of. The name is rather self-explanatory. When you fire a gun, there are many chemical byproducts left over from the burning gunpowder which can accumulate over time and end up doing long term damage to your gun.

Disassembled Pistol On Table

Gun cleaning is a process in which you attempt to remove the chemical buildup and residues from the interior and exterior surfaces of your gun. There are several reasons for cleaning your gun, which we will be going over shortly.

Why You Should Clean Your Gun

You may be wondering why it is so important to clean your gun regularly. There are many reasons why gun cleaning is an important practice for any gun owner. Regardless of whether your own a handgun, a rifle or a shotgun, cleaning your gun is mandatory.

The first reason why you always want to ensure that your gun is clean after the end of shooting session​ and after you've stored them away in the cabinet we've mentioned in our top reviewed gun and rifle cabinets review​​​ is that of the aforementioned corrosive residue that ends up accumulating in your guns components. This residue can end up caking the barrel, the firing mechanism and almost any other part of the gun when exposed to a part of the firing action.

When these residues end up accumulating, some things start to occur. First, as you may have guessed, they begin to damage the components of your gun, especially the weaker ones. The corrosive residue begins to eat away at the internals of your gun, stripping away layers of the metal over time and reducing your gun's reliability. Know that this can happen even to the​ best gun storage safe ever, so might want to stay away from those things when dealing with weapons and firearms.

This degradation process can even be dangerous if left unattended for too long, potentially resulting in catastrophic misfires and other situations in which the shooter may be endangered. Keeping your gun well maintained is about more than the well being of your gun, it is also about your well being.

While less important than catastrophic malfunctions, neglecting to clean your gun after several firing sessions can also greatly increase the risk of jams.

This can result in anything from mild annoyance down at the shooting range to a worst case scenario during life or death moment. Ensuring that your gun is kept clean may end up saving your life if you carry a gun for self-defense.

Man Shooting With Pistol

Another reason why you want to keep your gun clean is that the cleaning process is an excellent way to get acquainted with the internals of your gun. Having a better idea of how your gun works is a good way to become a more effective shooter.

More intimate knowledge with your weapon's operating mechanisms will improve your ability to clear jams among several other maintenance procedures. Some replacement components and attachments will require a good degree of knowledge about your gun, so gun cleaning will also be a necessity if you plan on using aftermarket parts.

Of course, you always have the option of professional gun cleaning, but it is a waste of both time and money to pay others to do something as simple as cleaning your gun. Every gun owner should have at least some idea of how to clean their gun, as it is one of the core maintenance principles of gun ownership.

How To Clean A Gun

We will now be looking at how to clean a handgun. As with any other process involving guns, you will want to be careful and always treat the gun as if it is potentially loaded. The first thing you will want to do is ensure that your gun unloads in any way by ensuring the magazine is removed and racking the slide to eject any possibly chambered rounds.

Hold back the slide and check the chamber to ensure that it is clear once you have done this, as you can never be too safe. Once you are sure that the gun is clear, lock the slide back and get your gun cleaning materials, including your brush, rods, solvent and lubricating oil.

You will first want to coat your brush in whatever liquid you are using to break down the accumulated gunpowder residue. You must then run the brush through all of the interior components which are exposed to gases during the shooting process, including the barrel, chamber and even the ejection port or use a bore snake.

Once this is done, you will want to lubricate the interior components of your gun to ensure that they run smoothly and do not end up jamming.

Cleaning Gun

The next step is to clean the exterior surfaces of your gun with a microfiber cleaning cloth to ensure that there are not bits of dust or dirt left behind that might end up getting back inside the gun. Once this is complete, work the slide and check your gun's mechanisms to ensure that all is well.


Gun maintenance is not a hard task, though it can at times be tedious. Ensuring that your gun remains clean is all part of being a responsible owner, however. We hope that this guide has proved to be useful to both new and longtime gun owners. If there are any comments or concerns, feel free to leave them down below.

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