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Why Cleaning A Gun Is Important

The Marine Corps has no official religion, but if it did, it would be weapon’s maintenance, aka cleaning your gun. As a Machine Gunner, my post field op cleaning involved my M240, my M16A4, and my M9 pistol. I had my hands full. When you begin seriously using a weapon, be it high-quality training, competition, or operational use, you begin to understand the importance of keeping your firearms clean. There are three big reasons why cleaning your gun is essential. 

Ensures Reliability 

As you shoot a gun, the cartridges will deposit carbon, lead, copper, and brass shavings in the weapon. As these deposits build up, they can cause your firearm to fail. If you were carrying a gun for self-defense, you need it to work, and the last thing you want in a gunfight is a jammed gun. Cleaning your firearm properly and routinely ensures you are less likely to encounter failures to fire, failures to extract and eject, and failures to feed. As a machine gunner, I will tell you a firearm that’s clean and well-lubricated is a happy gun. 

Red Army Standard AK-47 Deluxe Cleaning System

Increases the Gun’s Lifespan 

Outside of ensuring the gun works, keeping it clean and lubricated ensures the gun lasts a lifetime. If a firearm is dry and unlubricated, there will be extra heat and wear that’s easily avoidable by keeping it clean and prepared. On top of that, proper cleaning keeps the gun from rusting and wearing away. Oh, and if your weapon has a wooden stock or wood components in general, taking care of those portions ensures it holds together and keeps looking great. 

Dac Technologies AR-15 17 Piece Cleaning Kit


A clean gun is a happy gun, but it’s also a safer gun. If a gun fails in any way, that’s a bad thing, and good enough reason alone to clean the weapon, but sometimes failures can cause breakages. Keeping the firearm running reliably means keeping it running safely. Also, when you are taking the gun apart and cleaning it, you have an opportunity to inspect the weapon and look for cracks and breakages, which could cause issues later. 

Ramrodz PRO GUN Cleaning Master KIT

How Often Should You Clean Your Weapon? 

A lot of people clean their weapon every time they fire it, and I find that a bit silly if you are only firing 50 to 100 rounds at a time. It’s not necessary. I would suggest a basic cleaning every 500 rounds and then a deeper cleaning every thousand rounds or so. This is presuming you are using quality ammo and modern smokeless powder weapons. Should you be using some questionable ammo from former Soviet states, you may need to up your cleaning regime. Also, if you are shooting black powder guns, then, yes, you need to clean up your gun every time you fire it. 

Use a good dose of common sense. An AP brush, some cleaning oil, and lubrication, a bore brush, and a rag will take you and your gun a long way. 

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