View Full Version : If I don't clean my guns...

05-01-2011, 7:54 AM
Newbie here again...

If I don't clean my guns, in what way do they fail?

Do they just jam more often? Do they explode? Do they shoot less accurately?

If it makes any difference, I'm currently talking about ruger mark III and 10/22, although I intend to expand my collection as soon as I work through some newbie ignorance.

05-01-2011, 7:55 AM
They probably won't cycle and will wear out faster.

05-01-2011, 8:28 AM
Depending on the type of ammo fired may start corrosion in the barrel e.g. lousy accuracy .

05-01-2011, 8:32 AM
Cleaning is over rated. Moisture is the enemy not carbon or metal residue. I have a 10/22 thats probably 30 years old and I never cleaned it. It works fine. I just wipe it off and keep the moving parts lubed.

05-01-2011, 9:26 AM
For some guns, reliability and accuracy decreases as carbon buildup increases. If you have a gun with tight tolerances, then you will want to keep it clean.

05-01-2011, 10:28 AM
GSwain said it. It will wear out faster. Don't need to clean it every outing but for Semi-autos I clean the action and chamber about every 1500 rounds to prevent loading, jamming and ejection problems. Clean the barrel when the accuracy goes south.

23 Blast
05-01-2011, 10:30 AM
Not cleaning your guns is a sin. Whenever you put a gun away dirty, God kills a puppy.

Seriously though, not cleaning a gun (which includes lubrication afterward) will eventually degrade accuracy as the bore gets more and more fouled, reduce reliability as the action and moving parts get more and more buildup, and will accelerate wear as the gritty particles wear on your gun like extremely fine grit sandpaper. It's kind of like routinely driving your car 10,000 miles between oil changes when the manual says change every 3,000. You can probably get away with it, but you'll wear out your car's engine faster and it won't run as well as it should.

However, .22LR makes relatively little residue, as some have stated, they literally NEVER clean their .22's. I have a Ruger Mark II that, when I bought used, was apparently from an owner who firmly believed in the "I don't need to clean no steenking guns!" school of thought. The Ruger was absolutely filthy, but when I examined it before I broke it down for cleaning, it appeared to cycle fine, it passed the function check just fine, everything was normal - just dirty.

05-01-2011, 10:46 AM
I clean my semi auto rimfires when they stop cycling reliably or accuracy degrades. Most of my guns have stainless steel barrels though. On carbon steel guns the moisture in the air can attach to the residue and lead to general corrosion but with modern ammo that don't contain salts or chlorides in the primers and powders it's not as much of a worry. I clean my carbon steel guns after shooting them regularly and even the safe queens get an oily patch down the bores on an annual basis.

Full Clip
05-01-2011, 11:25 AM
For some guns, reliability and accuracy decreases as carbon buildup increases. If you have a gun with tight tolerances, then you will want to keep it clean.

Exactly. My Ruger Mk II starts jamming relentlessly after about 300-400 rounds without a good cleaning. My .223 AR does the same after about 1500 rounds with FTFs.
But the SKSs and AKs? The keep going, and going, and going...

05-01-2011, 11:47 AM
The day you need your weapon for self defense and it fails due to lack of maintenance, you will wish you had learned how to properly clean and maintain it.
While your 10-22 may run dirty, your future AR will not run well dirty.
Learn good habits now.
As far as your "newbie ignorance", your on the way already. Ask good questions, weigh the answers and use your common sense.

05-01-2011, 12:29 PM
after about 1000 rounds, my mkIII has a tun of crap left in the chamber and the trigger starts feeling gritty or crunchy. starts to jam a lot more once it's dirty. once it's cleaned up, it shoots flawlessly.

05-01-2011, 1:06 PM
Depends on the gun. I've never owned a gun that has had stoppages due to carbon build up. I have a .22LR conversion kit that did, but never any of my guns. I've seen plenty of threads and magazine articles of plenty of rifles including ARs going through thousands of rounds without stoppages, mine included. If your gun is stopping due to carbon build up, it isn't a very good gun. Many modern designs like the AR and the AK are self cleaning in the most critical parts of the rifle.

Carbon increasing wear is baloney. Obviously metal is much tougher than a tiny tiny bit of carbon. People are using picking and scraping tools to remove carbon or overbrushing their barrel are causing more harm than a little bit of carbon.

05-01-2011, 2:54 PM
On .22 LR I always clean action, but bore almost never. If I do clean bore, I ran patch with Shooter's Choice and/or Break Free. I never use brushes in .22 LR and never clean from the muzzle. I more worry about damaging throat or crown with cleaning rod, than fouling in the bore.

I once ran 5000 rounds through Ruger Mk Ii without cleaning, just to see what will happen - nothing, just kept on shooting.

05-01-2011, 3:06 PM
I mostly shoot Wolf MT which is lubricated. I wipe down the action and never clean the barrel. I won't say I never will but accuracy just keeps getting better the longer I go without cleaning. I'm somewhere between 6000-7500 rounds through my 10/22

05-01-2011, 3:11 PM
Clean it, man.

Clean it. It is in the bible!

05-01-2011, 3:17 PM
Keep it lubed up and sloppy so it will not rust . Then clean it every once in a while.

05-01-2011, 3:31 PM
Clean the gun ever time it will last a life time to many things to list. Next time after 25 shot touch the barrel.

05-01-2011, 3:37 PM
I normally clean after every time I shoot. The exception to this is my .22 rifles. I will only clean them once they start to have problems functioning.