Not cleaning your gun at all is, understandably, not advised. However, some gun owners go in the opposite direction and treat their firearms with an abundance of care and attention. The biggest potential risk with overcleaning is damaging sensitive or essential parts of the gun. This could, in turn, affect accuracy and reliability, which can present some safety issues when you use your firearm. If you’re new to gun ownership, the ideal first step is to take a gun safety class to learn how to handle your firearm safely, including the proper ways to clean it. Generally, you can’t really overclean a gun if you take some precautions, including the ones discussed below.
Use High-Quality Cleaning Rods
The rifling or crown could be damaged if you’re doing frequent cleanings with poor-quality cleaning rods. For example, aluminum cleaning rods could scratch the inside of the barrel if you clean through the muzzle. Instead, use higher-quality cleaning rods made of carbon fiber or similar less abrasive materials to avoid damage.
Use a Universal Bore Guide
A universal bore guide is something to consider using if you clean your firearm on a somewhat frequent basis. It’s designed to ensure proper alignment with the cleaning rod to prevent bowing and damage to the chamber. Additionally, bore guides reduce solvent overflow.
Invest in a Higher-Quality Cleaning Solvent
Another way overcleaning could affect your gun is if you’re not paying attention to the solvent you’re using. Take a look at what’s generally suggested for your type of gun or what the manufacturer recommends to get a better idea of what kind of solvent to use. Lower-quality solvents can become gummy or contribute to a buildup of residue, especially with frequent cleanings. Always use oil and solvents designed for cleaning firearms. Other cleaning products could damage the firearm.
Replace Your Cleaning Accessories as Necessary
It’s not unusual for attentive gun owners to assemble their preferred cleaning supplies and accessories in a homemade cleaning kit. It’s perfectly fine to do this, but make sure you periodically replace anything showing signs of wear or other types of damage. Also, keep your kit well stocked so you’re not defaulting to more generic cleaning supplies that aren’t intended for safe use on firearms.
In addition to what’s already been mentioned, recommended firearm cleaning accessories typically include:
• Gun oil
• Patch holders
• Cotton patches
• Specialized luster cloths
• Muzzle guards
If you clean your gun often, you may want to invest in a firearm cleaning mat as well so you’ll have a clean, smooth surface that reduces the risk of damaging your firearm or losing smaller parts. Some mats also have diagrams that show where parts are located for times when you disassemble your gun while cleaning it.
Opt for Spot Cleanings between Thorough Cleanings
Finally, if you feel a need to be proactive about cleaning your gun on a relatively frequent basis, mix things up with spot cleanings and more thorough cleanings. For instance, you’re less likely to accidentally damage your firearm if you do regular spot cleanings after each use. But be more cautious about thorough cleanings (e.g., ones that involve taking apart your gun to fully access and clean all its parts). Cleaning of this nature tends to be more effective if you do it once or twice a year or if you’re noticing issues with accuracy or performance.
If you own a firearm, it’s essential to make sure you learn how to clean it safely, and a high-quality gun safety class can teach you how to do that and much more. Gun Safety Training Pros is committed to providing the finest gun safety class online. If you want to learn more about the crucial aspects of safe firearms ownership and gun handling, contact us today at [email protected].