This is one of the most asked questions we receive. How often an owner should clean their firearms is dependent upon many moving factors. Frequency of shooting, of gun, type of ammunition shot (some ammo is REALLY dirty), and weather conditions can all be determining factors on how often you should clean your gun.
In general, your gun needs to be clean to function safely and efficiently. Think of it like this - a gun is a mechanical wonder. All of the moving parts inside any mechanical operating machine need a clean and lubricated surface to operate so that nothing can interfere with any of the mechanisms that require the gun to fire. The cleaner your gun and the more consistently you lubricate the parts, the more reliable your gun will be to operate.
Some people like to clean their gun after each use. A clean and well-lubricated barrel – especially for rifles and pistols -- prevents rust and corrosion and maintains accuracy. That being said, most guns do not absolutely need to be cleaned after each use. More frequently, it depends on how many rounds you're putting through your gun, whether the ammunition is lead or copper, and again, your climate. If you live in a moist environment where rust can easily penetrate your firearm, we recommend cleaning after every use. If you've been hunting, you'll also most likely want to clean the gun. You’ll likely have exposed it to some extreme temperatures along with moisture, dirt, and debris. If you took it to the range to pop off a few shots, your gun might just need a good wipe down or a quick clean with our Fast Blast Spray Cleaner.
Shotguns require less frequent cleaning -- especially if they are not semi-automatic. We know Olympic athletes that cringe when they think about cleaning their shotguns because they are afraid they’ll mess up their mojo. One of the reasons that shotguns can require less cleaning is the lack of rifling inside the barrel. Maintenance isn’t quite as critical because of that, however, semi-automatic shotguns absolutely need regular cleaning to the action to prevent gumming and sticking in the field.
Storage counts, too. Depending on the atmosphere the rifle is stored in (i.e. Arizona - dry, Texas - humidity, ocean - salty air), a diversified cleaning schedule would apply. If you live in extremely dry conditions, wipe down the rifle with a light coating of XFR lubricant inside and out as needed.
In humid or salty storage conditions, cleaning the bore using a bore brush followed by a medium coat of XFR lubricant in the bore is recommended along with a light oil coating on the exterior of the gun. In humid or salty conditions, a cleaning maintenance at least once a quarter is recommended.
Also remember—metal dries out no matter what the conditions. A good oil wipe down once a month can never hurt -- and, will make your gun happy and shiny.
Check out Blue Wonder Gun Cleaner. It micropenetrates the pores of the bore for deep cleaning action, completely removing copper and lead deposits, powder residues, and build-up. It also removes black powder corrosion, leaving a chemically clean, bare metal surface – in minutes! Our gun cleaner is of the highest quality, non-toxic, biodegradable and will keep your gun running like new. Be sure to lubricate well with XFR after cleaning.