Many people argue over how often it is mandatory to clean a firearm. Experts suggest lightly cleaning of the gun as often as it is fired and thoroughly clean the smallest parts once every few months no matter how often or how seldom they’re used. 

First, it is crucial to understand why guns require maintenance and cleaning at all. Generally, when a weapon is fired, the primer ignites to burn the gunpowder in a chemical reaction that leaves behind a slight residue of gunpowder ash inside the barrel as well as on the side of the gun and between the inner parts of the Action. 

How Often Should I Clean My Gun: When And Why is Gun Cleaning Necessary in the First Place?

As soon as a bullet is forced through the barrel by the energy released by the expansion of gases, a small amount of metal from the bullet (usually copper or lead) is scraped onto the bore. Repeatedly firing the weapon results in more bullet metal being left by the sides of the bore and eventually builds up, affecting the firearm’s accuracy and reliability. Also, the ash leftover can be corrosive and cause damage to essential parts. Smaller parts may not hold up well and eventually might get completely worn out. 

Also, the buildup of the black material may impede the correct functioning of vital parts. Sometimes, the weapon may not fire, while unexpected misfires can happen at other times. Guns are generally pretty expensive, and due to the working of the forces of nature, they function much better if they are regularly cleaned and lubricated.

If the ammo you’re shooting is corrosive, or if your weapon is exposed to liquid water, or if the internal parts are vulnerable to moisture or any other damaging elements, you must disassemble your gun and clean it right away. Corrosive ammo, particles of salts, dust or dirt, and water are all leading factors to rust, erosion, excessive wear, and corrosion within the weapon. All of these can eventually lead to worn-out parts that lead to early failure or unexpected misfires.

Some shooters use firearms with stainless steel barrels and receivers and act carefree, thinking that the stainless steel won’t be damaged by moisture or corrosion. That is true, but only to some extent. Stainless steel can only partially reduce the effects of corrosion and its causing elements. Stainless steel is much more susceptible to wear and tear erosion and breaking down due to dust or dirt particles. The reason behind it, stainless steel is much softer than the metals used to make different parts of other weapons.

How often is cleaning necessary?

How often is it necessary? It depends on many factors, like how many rounds are fired through the gun or what role it’s usually used for. Depending on how often the firearm is used, it has to go through a professional disassembly and in-depth cleaning to function smoothly. Most shooters detail strip and thoroughly cleanse, oil, and reassemble their weapon at least once a year. Likewise, the condition in which the firearm is kept and stored also affects how often it must be cleaned. Rust might show up on weapons kept safely due to the moisture and humidity inside. Drying silica gel or any other desiccants can help reduce the moisture content in the air and prevent the risk of the weapon being vulnerable to rust. Cleaning all your weapons annually also lets you observe each firearm closely in detail for any problems that are not common.

When your firearm has been completely dismantled, you should inspect the gun for any weak points (corrosion, erosion, cracks, or other indicators) of a damaged part that could be replaced. Usually, shooters find many small pieces that have been worn out and are bound to fail soon. Thus, they can easily replace those damaged parts before they wear out completely and prevent unforeseen misfiring or failures.

Safety note

While dismantling your weapon, always remember to make sure all precautionary measures are being taken. When cleaning, wear the proper gear for safety and make sure your cleaning workspace allows active ventilation and is well-lit. Many chemicals are dangerous to the human body and release toxic fumes that may not be safe to breathe. Proper goggles or other protection for the eyes, a respirator, a nice and clean pair of gloves are thoroughly recommended to anyone working with gun cleaning solvents.


The maintenance of firearms is essential to help them function properly. If a gun is used more often, cleaning and lubricating should be taken care of accordingly. The shooter should also take precautionary measures to prevent damage to the weapon in the first place. But even if the gun isn’t used as much, it is thoroughly recommended to clean the firearm by first disassembling it once every few months.

🤔 When and why is gun cleaning necessary in the first place?

Generally, when a weapon is fired, the primer ignites to burn the gunpowder in a chemical reaction that leaves...

🔍 How often is cleaning necessary?

Depending on how often the firearm is used, it has to go through a professional disassembly and in-depth ...