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Too much gun cleaning

This is a discussion on Too much gun cleaning within the Maintenance forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Most of my life I have been in the habit of cleaning any gun that I shoot, even if I only fired a few rounds. ...


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Old January 26th, 2017, 04:11 PM   #1
 
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Too much gun cleaning

Most of my life I have been in the habit of cleaning any gun that I shoot, even if I only fired a few rounds. On rare occasions I would skip cleaning a gun because I would be returning to the range for more shooting, but I don't think I've even done that too often. Part of it may be that I fondly remember cleaning guns with my Dad who has been gone 41 years now, and every time I open the bottle of Hoppes #9 I think of my Dad, but partly its just a habit. I am increasingly becoming convinced that my guns would do just fine if I only cleaned them after I fired several hundred rounds, and maybe not even then. The other day I ran into someone that I was mentioning how I find it a real pain to reassemble the Mossberg 500 after cleaning it, and he laughed and said he has used his Mossberg 500 for numerous hunting trips as well as clay shooting and had not cleaned the gun in almost 15 years! I know of stories of Glocks dropped in the mud and still working perfectly well. I'm tempted to try to see how many rounds I can fire from my sr40c or lc9s without any cleaning at all before I start to have any reliability issues. Does this sound foolish?



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Old January 26th, 2017, 04:19 PM   #2
 
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Only if they are your carry guns.
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Old January 26th, 2017, 04:25 PM   #3
 
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I don't think foolish is the correct term.

I was taught to clean guns after shooting them and there were no exceptions to that rule. As a result, to this day I cannot put a gun away without cleaning it. However, there's a difference between running a bore snake down the barrel of a shotgun and wiping the exterior with a slightly oiled rag Vs. completely disassembling a firearm and doing a detailed cleaning.

I think that if you know you are storing a gun for a long time you should make sure it is clean and will not rust. When I was shooting trap on weekends I would open the gun, pull an oiled bore snake through the barrels and wipe the gun down before putting it up for the week. I knew I would be shooting it again in a few days.

If I pull out my father's old rifle and shoot that gun it will be thoroughly cleaned before going back in the safe.

I've seen many guns that were neglected and worked fine but I've also seen those same guns fail.

You've got to find some acceptable middle ground.
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Old January 26th, 2017, 04:35 PM   #4
 
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You should clean your firearms after firing and for three consecutive days before storing. Also keep up periodical maintenance to assure nothing, like rust from careless handling develops.
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Old January 26th, 2017, 05:01 PM   #5
 
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I'm also from the old school...I always clean my firearms after using them. It's a habit that I've gotten into. I also love the lingering smell of Hoppes.
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Old January 26th, 2017, 05:15 PM   #6
 
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self defense guns cleaned after ever use otherwise only if fired with corrosive ammo.
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Old January 26th, 2017, 05:20 PM   #7
 
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I clean each time I shoot. Just doesn't feel right not to. Of course I usually shoot 75 to 125 rounds, so it needs it too.
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Old January 26th, 2017, 05:21 PM   #8
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No brainer for me.
Shoot, clean, shoot, clean.
Don't see the logic of failing to clean a dirty firearm.
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Old January 26th, 2017, 05:31 PM   #9
 
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I do clean my guns, not always right away but they get done. I am more particular about carry guns.
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Old January 26th, 2017, 06:58 PM   #10
 
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I wouldn't say it would be foolish, but I think it's unwise.
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Old January 26th, 2017, 07:36 PM   #11
 
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I never heard of a weapon failure caused by being too clean or too highly maintained~
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Old January 26th, 2017, 07:39 PM   #12
 
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The problem with neglect is that it gets easier and easier. Once you start neglecting to clean it, you start neglecting to wipe it down, you start neglecting to remember when it was last taken out, etc. Some firearms can withstand a lot of neglect though. Modern polymer pistols for instance are very resistant to corrosion and neglect for the most part. But all firearms in general need to be taken care of and inspected on a regular basis. Guns are expensive... doesn't matter what brand, model, or caliber it is; they are expensive (and a pain in the rear to purchase) and for that reason alone they should be properly cared for. In addition, guns tend to hold their value most of the time, and many increase in value over the long-term, so that's even more justification for meticulous care. Like most shooters, I clean mine after every range trip. Now, "cleaning" for me means field stripping to the best of my ability, cleaning the bore with solvent and patches/rod, and a good oiling. But I also take out and wipe all my guns down every single day, especially my blued guns, because I live in a constantly humid environment and corrosion is always a step or two of neglect away. Damage like corrosion is irreversible and absolutely devastating to a beautiful firearm. You must be vigilant if you care about maintaining and preserving the value of your guns!

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Old January 26th, 2017, 07:59 PM   #13
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Clean 'em after you use 'em.

Maybe I let mine go a day or two on the cleaning bench if I'm really busy, but not usually. And certainly any good old nicely blued shotguns or rifles get wiped down ASAP.

This is why I've become more partial to pistols over revolvers in recent years. I find pistols easy to quickly clean. Cleaning cylinder chambers and other revolver nooks and crannies used to be a labor of love, but I just don't have as much time for it these days.
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Old January 27th, 2017, 03:36 AM   #14
 
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Like most have said here, I clean mine after every use and then once or twice a year if I don't use them. I HATE the sight of neglected guns. Gun powder has corrosive chemicals in it. Even the oils on your hands can cause corrosion, not to mention moisture in the air. A clean gun will last will outlast you and can be handed down from generation to generation.
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Old January 27th, 2017, 04:17 AM   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrol and Powder View Post
I don't think foolish is the correct term.

I was taught to clean guns after shooting them and there were no exceptions to that rule. As a result, to this day I cannot put a gun away without cleaning it. However, there's a difference between running a bore snake down the barrel of a shotgun and wiping the exterior with a slightly oiled rag Vs. completely disassembling a firearm and doing a detailed cleaning.

I think that if you know you are storing a gun for a long time you should make sure it is clean and will not rust. When I was shooting trap on weekends I would open the gun, pull an oiled bore snake through the barrels and wipe the gun down before putting it up for the week. I knew I would be shooting it again in a few days.

If I pull out my father's old rifle and shoot that gun it will be thoroughly cleaned before going back in the safe.

I've seen many guns that were neglected and worked fine but I've also seen those same guns fail.

You've got to find some acceptable middle ground.
^^^THIS MAKE SENSE
There is no one cleaning regimen for all guns in every situation. The type of gun, metal finish, and humidity where the weapon is stored are all variables affecting the care and maintenance required. Direct impingement AR-15 rifles need to be broken down and the BCG cleaned and lubed every time it gets used. Revolvers and pump shotguns need bores, chambers, and actions cleaned and lubed, but rarely need to be field-stripped. My Glock and 1911 get a quick pass down the bore, a wipe-down, and a few drops of lube every use, but only get broken down after at least 100rounds have been fired. Hunting rifles need to put the first round on target so the bores don't get touched after confirming zero (unless rained on). They get a wipe-down after each hunting day. Precision rifles are subject to damage from excessive cleaning. I hang string tags with a round count down the pipe since last cleaning on them in the safe. I typically only shoot ten rounds at a time from my varmint rifle, so I only clean the bore (1pc rod w/ bore-guide) every three or four outings. I grew up in a humid salt-air environment (Miami, Fl) and have seen firsthand how quickly blued steel rusts if neglected. I could never let fouling and dirt build up on the outside of any gun. It isn't pretty, and guns deserve to look good.
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