Owning a gun is a big responsibility – one not to be taken lightly. In addition to regular maintenance appointments, and adhering to firearm safety procedures, every owner should know the importance of regular gun cleaning.
Inexperienced firearm owners may be wondering why it is so important to clean your gun. The fact is that after a certain amount of use, guns can build up residue in the chamber that may cause them to experience mechanical malfunctions – including misfires, which have the potential to be lethal. Many other things can go wrong when a gun isn’t properly cleaned. A few of these include:
- bullet fragments becoming lodged in the chamber
- the outside of the gun can become greasy, slick, or oily, which could cause your grip to slip when firing
- if applicable, gun sights can become too hazy or cloudy to see out of
- debris and residue can build up in the gun locking mechanism, causing it to malfunction
- and many more.
Now that you know the importance of regular gun cleaning, let’s take a look at a few tips and precautions to ensure the task is carried out in the safest way possible.
Tips & Precautions
When cleaning your gun, you should always first make sure it is not loaded. Even if you feel positive it is not, always double check. We are all only human, after all, and prone to forgetfulness or errors.
Once you have ensured your gun is not loaded, refer to your firearm manual. Check to see how the gun comes apart and goes back together, BEFORE starting your cleaning. Every piece must be fit back together precisely as it was meant to in order to ensure the gun works properly and safely.
Once you’ve referred to your manual, take your gun apart slowly, one piece at a time. A good trick is to lay everything out in the order you take it off, as this can help you to put it back again properly. When doing this, always ensure that the gun is pointed away from you. Never point a gun, even one you know is not loaded, at yourself or others. Once the pieces have been cleaned according to your firearm manual, you can put them back together again.
A final precaution is to double check your work before putting the gun away. You may not remember to check prior to your next use, so a quick check that everything is in working order, right where it should be, will be the final step in keeping your gun working in a safe, reliable manner.