When you initially obtain a new firearm, you may be uncertain of what to do and how to care for it properly.
Should you clean a gun before first use?
It is wise to clean your gun before shooting. By doing so, you are able to remove all factory grease and oils from the barrel.
In addition to cleaning your gun, you are able to take the time to thoroughly inspect and check your firearms parts for manufacturing errors, imperfections, and obstructions in the barrel. There is always a chance that there may be problems acquired while the firearm was in storage, from thick cosmoline residue to barrel blockings.
Why is it important to clean your firearm before the first shot?
This will prevent the oil and grease from, “baking in”.
What is “baking in”?
“Baking in” is the effect that residual fouling oil, grime, and grease on and between the firearm pieces have on the firearm. If these particles are left on the pieces, you are putting your firearm at risk for firing malfunction and scratches that can alter the operation and components. Failure to fire is a common issue with guns that don’t see routine cleaning. Baking in makes the firearm barrel and pieces harder to clean down the road.
How Often Should I Clean My Gun?
Inherently, the next question that many ask is how often should my gun be cleaned to avoid “baking in”? Your firearm’s cleaning regimen is determined by the firearm type, purpose, and ammo.
As a general guide for stored guns that don’t see frequent use, you may want to clean them about two times a year. Cleaning and inspecting the firearm about twice a year should be sufficient to ensure it stays in good condition since it spends the majority of the year sitting in its case.
For a frequently used firearm that sees the shooting range, you should clean the components after about 250-300 rounds. Determine the depth of cleaning needed by inspecting the amount of debris left on the components after shooting.
Cleaning is Specific to the Firearms Individual Condition
Keep in mind that this is a general guide for firearm cleaning frequency. This routine cleaning can differ for every firearm.
Take these factors into consideration:
- Amount of grime
- Dirt and dust
- The enviorment the firearm is stored and shot in
Why Cleaning Your Gun is Important
With every shot fired, some carbon particles are left behind by the propellant combustion. These carbon particles can build up in the chambers over time. Also, as the bullet travels through the barrel, microscopic metal fragments are chipped off of the firearm. This adds more remains with every shot.
Since firearms come with many metal pieces, rust is another significant concern. If moisture finds its way to your gun compartment, there is a chance for rust-related problems that are costly to fix.
What is Needed to Clean a Firearm?
It is highly recommended to consult your firearms manual and take every safety precaution before cleaning. Make sure to properly clean your firearm to avoid damage. If you are new to gun cleaning, seek help from a gun specialist.
Before you start cleaning, ensure that the cleaning area has plenty of space to work. Choose a space that has good lighting, clean surfaces, and good ventilation. Avoid areas with chemicals nearby.
Reference The Firearm’s Manual
Do not throw away your firearm’s manual. This manual has important information for your firearm that will explain in-depth directions regarding how to safely care, disassemble and assemble, and clean it.
Use the Correct Gun Cleaning Tools
Many gun owners have a gun cleaning kit that includes every tool necessary for cleaning their firearm.
A proper gun cleaning kit should include the following essential tools:
- Cleaning rod
- Cleaning jags (slotted and form-fitting)
- Utility brushes (double-ended)
- Caliber-Specific Bore brush
- Cleaning swab
- Cleaning patches (Ensure the patches are caliber specific, lint-free, and fiber-free.)
- Cotton swabs
- Luster cloth
- Reel cloth
- Bore snake
- Action cleaners
- Bore cleaners
- Firearm lubricants
- Cleaning chemicals
Take Care of Your Firearm
Knowing how to clean a gun is an important part of being a responsible and educated firearm owner. A clean gun is a reliable and safe gun. Ensure proper function of your gun by keeping up on routine maintenance.
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