Cleaning a Firearm, How Often?

How often one feels they must clean their firearm varies person to person. Some will wait thousands of rounds in a torture test. Others will clean it once a week whether it needs it or not. Personally I am somewhere in the middle. If I go to the range and shoot a magazine of defense ammo through the gun and that’s all, I might not clean it. If I shoot 100 rounds through it, I am very likely going to give it a good cleaning especially if it is my everyday carry pistol (EDC).

I heard a story about a guy who kept an AK47 in a locker at the range he belonged to but never cleaned it. When he would shoot it, infrequently, he would have to hit the bolt open to load it and then it would fire after that. I personally don’t think I would ever go that far. It would be a lot like driving a car for 30,000+ miles without doing an oil change. Would the car still run? Maybe. But I wouldn’t count on it to get me to work or anywhere else for that matter.

Guns like cars are mechanical devices which are subject to failure at times. Abusing them by not cleaning them regularly MIGHT be ok for a gun that you use only at the range but to me would be a horrible idea for any gun you’d use for defense.

I personally keep my EDC clean and shoot it somewhat infrequently and not a ton of rounds when I do. I have another pistol that is very similar, controls in the same place, that I primariliy shoot and train with. That allows me to put a lot of ammo down range and still keep and add to the muscle memory I have worked on.

Torture testing to see where a gun may fail with the gun you carry or use for home defense seems to not be the best practice and somewhat foolish. My advice: keep your firearm clean, inspect it for any damage it may have received. And train as often as you possibly can.

Be safe and carry on!

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