How To Deep Clean Your Gun

Gun Cleaning Tip: When To Detail Strip & Clean Your Firearm

An early episode in the long-running spinoff series CSI: Miami featured a plotline involving an investigator who was shot and killed during a jewelry store robbery. As part of the subsequent investigation, the ballistics lab examined the fallen officer's department-issued weapon and determined that he was unable to return fire because the pistol was fouled with lead and debris.

Unfortunately, poor firearms maintenance ultimately prevented the firing pin from striking the primer with sufficient force to discharge even a single round as their colleague desperately tried to defend himself against armed gunmen. While the show's writers undoubtedly chose this extreme scenario for dramatic effect, the lesson it conveys is one that every gun owner should still take to heart.

Conducting regular, thorough cleanings is not only a great way to extend the service life of your firearm, but it can also prevent serious malfunctions that could render the gun inoperable when you need it most. We recommend that in addition to running a patch through the barrel and lubricating any metal contact points after every two or three range trips, you also detail strip your firearm to eliminate lead and carbon buildup from the firing pin and other internal parts at least twice a year.

A Down & Dirty Deep Clean

When disassembling a defensive firearm for deep cleaning, there are a few internal components you should always touch up. These parts are difficult or impossible to access via a quick field strip and require a little extra effort to maintain. They include, but are not limited to: the striker / firing pin assembly, extractor, trigger bar, trigger bar spring, sear, and disconnector.

Essentially any part that moves, and particularly those that may stop moving efficiently when fouled, could induce a catastrophic failure if left unchecked for an extended period. Refer to the user's manual for your firearm to learn about any other parts you should include in your detail strip and cleaning routine. And of course, be sure to use a quality solvent as well as lubricating gun oil (where appropriate).

Disassembling, Cleaning, & Reassembling Your Pistol

Although it isn't strictly necessary to deep clean every firearm you own, we always recommend frequent cleaning for guns that are designated for home defense and concealed concealed carry. Watch our video to learn how we break down and clean our EDC handguns.

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