View Full Version : How Often Do You Clean You Guns?

08-16-2010, 6:04 AM
I was just curious because I am super anal about keeping mine clean. If I go shooting and have been home for more than an hour without cleaning them I start to freak out. If my guns have just been sitting there on the rack for over a month, I'll take them down and clean and oil them.

Anyone else as anal as me?

08-16-2010, 6:09 AM
It's not being anal... it's having respect for your equipment and keeping it in a proper state of readiness. :)

Being anal would be cleaning them over and over again each day because of carbon seepage whether they needed it or not.

08-16-2010, 6:26 AM
When I get home from the range, it's cleaning time. A clean gun is a happy gun.

Big Jake
08-16-2010, 6:27 AM
I like to keep em clean!

08-16-2010, 6:30 AM
Usually no later than the next morning.

08-16-2010, 6:39 AM
It depends, I am meticulous about certain guns, others not so much.

I just detail cleaned my CZ75 a few weeks ago for the first time in about a year.

08-16-2010, 10:05 AM
When I get home from the range.

08-16-2010, 10:09 AM
cleaning them today

08-16-2010, 10:19 AM
Right after, and the barrel three days later to get any crud that might exude from microfissures.

08-16-2010, 10:26 AM
It depends on the gun. Handguns don't get cleaned every time. Hunting shotguns, get a wipe down after every hunt, and get cleaned at the end of the season. Bolt action rifles, they get a cleaning after every range session. If I will shoot the rifle again soon, it gets a quick cleaning to get out most of the fouling. Only a rifle that is going out of the rotation will get a thorough cleaning.

I used to be more fastidious about it. But now I think with guns I like to shoot a lot, thorough detail cleaning every time is a waste of time and can be detrimental to the gun.

08-16-2010, 10:35 AM
depends. AR, alot, SU-16 not much, Browning BAR Sefari's a few times per year, pistol as needed.

08-16-2010, 10:47 AM
You guys clean too much. I'll break down and clean a newly purchased used gun. After that it is a patch down the barrels and a cleaning of the cylinders for revolvers maybe every 5 range trips (probably 500 rounds) Autos I'll pull the slide and clean the barrel every few range trips (300-500 rounds) then re lube. On bolts I'll wipe down the bolt and gun every range trip and clean the barrel when accuracy drops off. Ar's I'll clean the bolt every trip and the barrel every 500-1000 or so. If any gun is blued I make sure to wipe it down well after shooting but no cleaning besides what is above.
Cleaning guns is over rated and more guns are ruined or damaged from improper cleaning then from use.
Would rather spend mytime reloading than cleaning.

08-16-2010, 10:48 AM
Forgot to add 22lr get cleaned more often.

08-16-2010, 10:54 AM
Forgot to add 22lr get cleaned more often.

haha, Im the opposite, my 10/22 has at least 12 bricks thru her and I havent cleaned it yet...I gotta say thou...its one ugly mess when I do decide to. I want to see its breaking point thats why shes seeing hardship in her. LOL.

08-16-2010, 10:56 AM
If not immediately upon getting back from the range then later that night or the following day. Every once in a while that is not an option. A lot of my trips to the range are about entertaining friends and/or family that is visiting for the weekend. In which case, we usually grab a bite to eat or hit a movie after the range. If I am entertaining guests cleaning the guns has to wait. But the moment the guests leave, the guns get cleaned.

08-16-2010, 10:59 AM
If I shoot corrosive ammo, thet get cleaned that day. otherwise they get a functional cleaning

08-16-2010, 11:02 AM
depends , handguns that I keep for home defense always checked and wipe down if they need it and rifles a day or 2 after the range

tuna quesadilla
08-16-2010, 11:17 AM
When they need cleaned. For example...

The Glocks: Rarely. Maybe once a month I'll swab the barrel, and every couple of months I'll do a deeper cleaning.
The 10/22: It gets some lead solvent and a bore snake after every range trip. Further cleaning as needed.
The Rem 870: I'll clean it when it starts to malfunction, i.e., never.
The Mosin: Standard "corrosive ammo" cleaning regimen after every range trip.

...et cetera. You people that clean EVERY ONE of your guns after EVERY SINGLE range trip, unless you own something really high-maintenance like a 1911, are overdoing it in my opinion. Do all of you change your motor oil every time you drive your car? Yeah, right. shooting4life has the right idea. It's literally just a waste of time, money, and effort to be so strict about cleaning. In the time it would take me to detail-clean all of my firearms, I could probably load up 50rds of ammo.... on my single-stage press. You own modern firearms that are capable of vast feats of reliability; have some faith in them.

08-16-2010, 11:42 AM
The way some people talk about flaming in this thread it is like they shoot 1k rounds per week out of each gun. I'll bring 4-6 guns to the range each time and maybe put 50 rounds through each of the centerfires and more through 22. I reload and can't afford to shoot like some on here talk about.

08-16-2010, 11:46 AM
Right after shooting them...

08-16-2010, 11:53 AM
soon as i get home or the next day for sure. some times i let it slide if i know im goin again within a few days....
if its corrosive or suspect corrosive ill try to do a quick clean while still at the range then another soon as i get home!

Chris M
08-16-2010, 12:22 PM
Shotguns - Trap / Skeet - once every couple range visits (every 200-300 rounds)
Shotguns - Hunting - After each outing.
Rifle - Usually as soon as I get home, or the next day. Except for my Marlin 60 (.22). I can't remember the last time I cleaned it. I rarely clean the barrel. I usually clean only the action when it needs it.
I don't yet have any handguns, but I imagine I'd clean them at least after every other trip to the range.

08-16-2010, 12:29 PM
I think as long as swabing it, its fine but brushing and all the steps...it can wear the barrel and chamber faster then not cleaning it.

08-16-2010, 12:41 PM
HD guns gets cleaned after everytime they are shot.

AR every 500 rds or so if I am not feeling lazy.

My shotgun has not been cleaned since the initial cleaning when I got it.

08-16-2010, 12:49 PM
I think as long as swabing it, its fine but brushing and all the steps...it can wear the barrel and chamber faster then not cleaning it.

Brass brushing should only be done with heavy crap deposited.

I think Nylon brushes should be used for maintenance cleaning. That won't wear any of the metal.

Lots of conflicting info on brass vs bronze though: http://benchrest.com/showthread.php?31576-Brass-brushes-or-Nylon-for-barrel-cleaning

A bronze brush probably has a Brinell hardness of about 70 or so. Your stainless barrel has a Brinell hardness of 200-320, depending on the brand of barrel. It's for certain the bronze brush will not scratch the fine, match grade, finish in the bore. Matter of fact the powder fouling that imbedds into the nylon bristles would probably inflict more damage.

I think the consensus is pretty much if you do use a brush, use nylon brushes whenever you're using very aggressive copper solvents like Sweets, and bronze brushes for everything else. Sweets will quickly dissolve a bronze brush, but will have no effect on the nylon. The thing that must be taken into consideration when using brushes is that they be kept very clean. Periodically flush them out with lighter fluid, mineral spirits, etc. The reason for this is because the brush can easily hold small grit particles like sand that's abrasive to your bore just as if you ran sandpaper down it. The brush itself doesn't wear out a bore; it's too soft. It's the contamination that's easily captured by the bristles that can cause damage to the bore.

08-16-2010, 1:09 PM
I never shoot corrosive so I can clean on my schedule, not the firearm's. Sometimes that day, sometimes a few days later.

08-16-2010, 1:11 PM
Personally I don't spend much time at all cleaning my firearms.

Glocks? Rarely if at all, maybe once a year.

1911's? For my carry 1911, it gets wiped down and a fresh bit of grease re-applied weekly. The rest that aren't carried daily I just keep lubed.

ARs? Almost never. I've got one with 8,000+ through it without cleaning (or lubing, I might add). My SPR and the rest just get fresh lube applied at the start and end of range sessions.

Same goes for my Saiga SBS, all it gets is fresh lube from time to time.

The rest of my stuff, like my Ruger MkII and other rimfire stuff gets wiped down after usage. No time spent q-tipping or running pipe cleaners into nooks & crannies.

I use Slip2000 stuff exclusively after switching over to it about 4yrs ago. Throw a crudded up AR15 bolt into their Carbon Killer for about 15-20min and see what you get. Heck of a lot better than the scraping tools I see people buying. ;)

08-16-2010, 1:25 PM
I always run a Patchworm through the barrel a couple of times before I pack up to go home. Figure it's easier to get whatever crud is in there out while the bore is still warm. Then I wipe the gun down with a silicon cloth. To most people, that's not cleaning, but that's all I do.

I detail strip and clean my guns only when they need it. If it still functions properly and accuracy is acceptable, why mess with it? I think you'll find most guns get screwed up by over-cleaning rather than under-cleaning.

08-16-2010, 1:38 PM
I clean my guns whenever I feel like it, normally when I'm bored.

I would rather detail the Lexus.

08-16-2010, 1:43 PM
When the voices tell me I should..... :TFH: ;)

08-16-2010, 1:45 PM
If it's a gun I shoot every few weeks I'm pretty lax. I'll clean when I feel like it ~ 500-1000 rounds. Wipe down where my grubby paws have been with eezox whenever I dry fire or range trip.

If it's a gun I shoot once in a blue moon, after a range trip.

I wonder if people lie online about their strict cleaning regime like they do group size?:p

08-16-2010, 2:14 PM
Dad taught us. me and my 3 brothers to clean our guns when we got home!...part of the trip!

08-16-2010, 2:24 PM
Try to clean mine within a few days of the range trip. But cleaning process can vary from a boresnake and quick lube to full detailed breakdown, soaking and patching. Depends on how many rounds went through, whether it's my home defense gun, and when I think my next range trip with it is. And the phase of the moon of course.

08-16-2010, 2:25 PM
If I do not clean em when I get home I feel like I did something wrong. I bought a cheap Heritage revolver to try and break me of that habit. It did not work. That gets cleaned every time just like the rest.

Chris M
08-16-2010, 3:23 PM
While visiting my father, who's got a HUGE gun collection - and his own private shooting range, I noticed that he doesn't clean his gun after use. He cleans them before use, and only if they're really cruddy.

He has a Remington 870 clone (Interstate? can't remember) that he's had for several years. Anyways, he said it had thousands of rounds through it (waterfowl & target loads), and he's never even field stripped it. When I unscrewed the magazine cap, and popped the barrel off, he had a somewhat confused look on his face and said "Is that all that keeps the barrel on???"

I figured with the abuse he puts his guns through, that they would shoot like crap...but he had absolutely no problem hitting a baseball-size target at just under 400 yards with his .243

08-16-2010, 3:50 PM
My good intention is to clean them within a few days after a trip, but in the end it usually comes to be just before the next trip.

08-16-2010, 5:24 PM
my bolt gun and mosin gets cleaned each range trip no matter how many rounds went through them. i don't do the detail clean but clean enough that they are ready to go.

my 10/22.... i am testing it now to see how long i can go before cleaning. at only 200 rounds so far from the last trip...

08-16-2010, 6:42 PM
For those of you who do it X number of days and or range trips - what is the time frame on that? I.E. you go to the range X number of times a year, month, etc or You fire approx X number of rounds a year, month, etc.

08-16-2010, 7:02 PM
If I plan on going like 3 times a month then the only thing I clean is the barrel before each range trip. Each range trip I'll only shoot like 100 rounds per rifle. Now if I go shooting and I know I wont be returning anytime soon like next month or months, then I'll clean it. I'll make that rifle spotless even though I only put 100 rds through it. I don't clean it asap either I'll let it sit in the safe for a few weeks cause I'm lazy.

08-16-2010, 7:04 PM
I used to clean religiously. Now I'm like, eh... it's only a range toy. I think I generally clean at around 1000rds through most of my centerfires and 500rds through rimfires. My precision build gets a thorough cleaning before or after a range session tho.

08-16-2010, 7:10 PM
I'm in the Eh, whatever... group
It would help if I could get out more that once in a Blue Moon.

08-16-2010, 7:34 PM
After every range session.

08-16-2010, 7:35 PM
To the guys who say they clean their weapons only after several hundred or several thousand rounds do you guys not clean the barrel inbetween trips?

08-16-2010, 8:05 PM
When the voices tell me I should..... :TFH: ;)


I do what my pops always told me...you gots to always keep them clean son. :D

08-16-2010, 8:23 PM
When the accuracy drops.

08-16-2010, 8:29 PM
Usually, when I get home from the range, unless I have something else that needs to be done. Then it'll get done when I think about it, or maybe after the next range trip....

With modern non-corrosive ammo, it's not that big of a deal.
I look at cleaning more as a preventative maintenance routine... a time for inspection.

The one exception, if I had a 357mag, would be after firing .38 out of it.
Even just a few rounds of 38 will leave deposits in the cylinder at the edge of the brass that will cause extraction issues with 357mag.

08-16-2010, 8:35 PM
Unless I shot corrosive out of it or it's rusting, pretty much never. I just don't buy guns that need a lot of cleaning. I have one AR, with about 300rd thru it, no cleaning. ;)

08-16-2010, 8:40 PM
I believe that well-made, modern firearms don't have to be cleaned that much. I'm told time and time again that over cleaning wears the barrel down faster than normal shooting will.

The one exception is if you shoot corrosive milsurp, however. I agree that cleaning is a waste of time for the most part, and I am a fan of the boresnakes. I think they are great for in-between the occasional "deep" cleanings. And I remember how cool cleaning was at first, but it doth get old very fast.

08-16-2010, 11:36 PM
A HD weapon should be spotless and lubricated at all times. :)

08-17-2010, 5:18 AM
To the guys who say they clean their weapons only after several hundred or several thousand rounds do you guys not clean the barrel inbetween trips?

I'm comparing a SIG556 and a M&P15 to see whether accuracy and reliability drop over time. Siggy is at 11,000 round count. M&P way behind - <2,000. Never cleaned any of them. Throw some lube in and off we go. RUnning a G17 at 2,900 round count that is now beginning to have some FTE. That could have been the mud pit that I was mooching around in at the time, but suspect its just real dirty and is trying to tell me its time for a clean.

Now my VTAC version of the M&P gets lite cleaning and a bore snake evry couple of weeks and a basic field strip once a month.

08-17-2010, 8:04 AM
Thou shall not let the sun set on an uncleaned gun.

08-17-2010, 8:24 AM
I'm comparing a SIG556 and a M&P15 to see whether accuracy and reliability drop over time. Siggy is at 11,000 round count. M&P way behind - <2,000. Never cleaned any of them. Throw some lube in and off we go. RUnning a G17 at 2,900 round count that is now beginning to have some FTE. That could have been the mud pit that I was mooching around in at the time, but suspect its just real dirty and is trying to tell me its time for a clean.

Now my VTAC version of the M&P gets lite cleaning and a bore snake evry couple of weeks and a basic field strip once a month.

Can you take a picture of the inside of the barrel so we can see the end result of 11k rounds with no cleaning? I can't imagine how long itll take to clean 11k rds of mess out.

08-17-2010, 8:28 AM
I usually put a load of CLP on it after shooting then, clean it in a day or two after the CLP breaks up the buildup. Makes it easier plus putting it away with CLP will protect from rusting....

08-17-2010, 8:53 AM
Most of the time they are cleaned within a couple hours after each range trip: They all get a tear down, a complete cleaning, and then rebuilt. I was always taught to respect firearm and keep it spotless and that if you do two things is will treat you nice and last a lifetime. I am teaching my kids the same as it has worked well for me. Do I think it is over the top? No, I don't think so.

There are times where they might sit overnight, but never do they go back to the range without being cleaned and oiled.

08-17-2010, 9:04 AM
After every trip to the range. If I haven't been to the range in the last month I will inspect and oil.

08-17-2010, 10:17 AM
To the guys who say they clean their weapons only after several hundred or several thousand rounds do you guys not clean the barrel in between trips?

Nope. My SPR set-up is probably the closest thing to a precision gun I've got, it routinely shoots under 1" groups with 77gr ammo if I'm doing my part. I've yet to punch the bore and I'm getting close to 2000rds thru it.

08-17-2010, 11:22 AM
There is more damage done to guns from cleaning than from firing and leavng them dirty. What exactly are you cleaning in most cases other than a bit of soot and some copper fouling?? It just doesn't make sense to tear them apart and brush them down unless you fire 1000 rounds of super dirty ammo through them..unless you want to use them at eating utensils.

Read White Oak precisions comments on the damage he sees done to guns from cleaning.

08-17-2010, 11:26 AM
Whenever I watch TV. I rarely watch TV though.
Mosin and 870 I clean them once every 3-5 range trips, with corrosive I clean right after for the Mosin.

08-17-2010, 11:30 AM
Safe guns after I shoot em, carry guns once a week just to clean out the lint, dust and debris that collects in them.

08-17-2010, 11:40 AM
Dad taught us. me and my 3 brothers to clean our guns when we got home!...part of the trip!

Haha im the exact same way....except when I bring like 4 or 5 my brain cant take it so I wait until the next day.

08-17-2010, 11:43 AM
As needed. I shoot my guns a few times without cleaning. I know when I should clean them, and after every range visit isn't usually the case.

08-17-2010, 11:48 AM
After a range trip, unless I fired less than 10 rounds for function test.
About once a month, I take them out of safe and rub em down quickly with some hoppes or clp to make sure they stay rust free.

08-17-2010, 12:22 PM
1911, thorough cleaning and oiling regardless of round count. I don't like the idea of crud sitting in tight tolerances built handgun even if it is a modern Springer Loaded.

Other autoloaders, thorough barrel cleaning, feed ramp scrub, wipe down. That's all until it really needs it.

Bolt action, bore snake, feed ramp, wipe down.

AR15, I'll need some advise as I just purchased my first upper :D
I know there's a strict cleaning regiment during intial breakin, but after that I hope I can get away with a KISS method cleaning as I'm apparently a fan of that.

08-17-2010, 12:32 PM
within 24 hours of a range trip. I like my guns clean and reliable.

08-17-2010, 9:41 PM
More guns are damaged by cleaning than by not cleaning. If you have a precision rifle, cleaning it is guaranteed to change your point of impact until it "settles" back in to a fouled bore zero. I cleaned my guns until they were spotless in the military but I got older and realized that it is just one of those fun activities your NCOs found for you to do to keep you busy while you were hurrying up an waiting. I only clean my guns when accuracy is being effected or before I am going to sell them.



08-18-2010, 9:02 AM
I try and clean them that very same day after shooting. If it is a late day, i will CLP them really good them clean the the next morning.

08-18-2010, 9:44 AM
If it's really late, I spit on them after I've shot my loads and tell them they are... hmm nevermind.

08-18-2010, 10:18 AM
Immediately after shooting.

Red Devil
08-18-2010, 11:09 AM
Dad taught us. me and my 3 brothers to clean our guns when we got home!...part of the trip!


My Dad, ...and My Uncle... Sam. :D

We started cleaning guns before we were old enough to start shooin'em.

Great chore for young kids because it needs to be learned and done anyway (like wipin' your butt), ...and it removes the stigma and excitement of handling them.

A few years of "just cleaning", ...including an inspection afterward, ...and they become as exiting as hammers.

08-18-2010, 12:01 PM
every time after I dry fire or when ever I feel like it....

08-18-2010, 2:05 PM
You clean your guns after dry firing? You know, there is such a thing as cleaning your firearms too much. Like brushing your teeth too much.

08-18-2010, 3:02 PM
I clean my gun every time after the range. I clean it to brand new. Why? Because when I give it to my son or daughter decades from now I'd like it to look brand new.

Anybody with an old rifle given to them understands what I've said.

Plus, do you really want all of that lead all over your rifle or pistol?

08-18-2010, 4:56 PM
I do what doesn't make sense. I'll clean the barrels of my shotguns all the time for no reason and then never clean semi auto guns with silencers until after some necessary part is no longer functional because it's so gunked up. It's just stupid.

08-19-2010, 9:01 PM
You win.

08-20-2010, 8:57 PM
I usually clean after a certain number of rounds.