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  • Jennie Cruz

When to Clean your gun . . .

One of the first questions beginners usually ask is, “How often should I clean my gun? Do I need to clean it after every time I shoot it?” The answer to that question is, “It depends.”If you are cleaning a range toy rather than a defensive gun, you can probably allow the crud to build up a little bit before cleaning it, even though it is usually somewhat easier to remove the crud when the cleaning is done immediately.

Years ago, back when buffalo roamed the plains, everyone shot black-powder rifles which absolutely positively had to be cleaned immediately after shooting, because black powder was (and is) such a corrosive substance that it would ruin the gun if the fouling were left in the barrel. Modern powder is not corrosive, and so it won’t eat its way through the metal of your barrel if it gets left in there for awhile.The fouling can and often does affect reliability, however.

Uncleaned guns are more apt to jam when you most need them. Because the crud can slow down the slide, dirty semi-automatic firearms are prone to failures to feed or failures to completely eject the spent cases. Uncleaned revolvers are prone to binding up, and the double-action trigger can become difficult or impossible to pull if the cylinder isn’t turning easily. Poorly-cleaned or uncleaned firearms are thus far less reliable than their well-cleaned and properly lubricated counterparts.

For this reason, I highly recommend that you clean your defensive handgun immediately after every trip to the range, no matter how many or how few shots you fire. Since you will be betting your life on the function of your gun, it’s a good idea to keep it as clean as you can, in order to avoid fouling-related problems.

Why Clean Your Own Gun?

Cleaning your own gun helps you become familiar with how your gun works. Although the mechanical function of the gun may not be fascinating to you, it’s still a good idea to know how it works. That way, if it ever stops working when you need it most, you will have a solid idea of what went wrong and whether you will need a professional to fix it.

Taking the gun down and putting it back together again on a regular basis helps you develop confidence in your gun-handling skills. This confidence carries over to how you handle the firearm on the range and in real life.

Cleaning your own gun allows you to visually inspect all the inner pieces of your gun, so that you spot the signs of wear and tear and are able to replace worn pieces before they break on you.

Learn To Clean Your Own Gun?

We at Equip-4-Conceal offer several classes that teach students how to clean and maintain their handguns. We teach the NRA Basic Pistol and the FIRST Steps courses in which you'll get to fire your handgun at the range and then return to the classroom where you learn to take-down, clean and reassemble your handgun. We also offer a handgun cleaning segment as a part of every private class we conduct.

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