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  1. #1
    hyfly1 is offline Junior Member
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    How often do you really clean your guns?

    I know the best practice is to clean a gun after any shooting session. Sometimes I may put a couple of hundred rounds through a semi-automatic. Other times I may just shoot 50 or less. I have settled into a routine of cleaning maybe every other time, depenting on how many shots. I try to shoot at least once per week, so the guns never get real dirty. Am I bad?

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  3. #2
    cashinin is offline Banned
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    I always shoot more than one gun and I shoot a min. of 150 rounds in 9mm and up...When I shoot 22lr I generally shoot 250 and up....I never fail to clean every gun after I shoot it...it`s just a habit I started when I started to practice...Once a year I break my guns down completely to check parts and see if there is and unusual wear....My guns always look excellent and that's the way I like it. Jim

  4. #3
    berettabone is offline Banned
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    Clean after EVERY shooting session, no matter how many rounds.......

  5. #4
    Baldy's Avatar
    Baldy is offline Senior Member
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    Range/target guns about every other trip out. Self defence guns every trip out they get cleaned, lubed and inspected.

  6. #5
    chessail77's Avatar
    chessail77 is offline Senior Member
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    Clean after shooting.....JJ

  7. #6
    1jimmy's Avatar
    1jimmy is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by hyfly1 View Post
    I know the best practice is to clean a gun after any shooting session. Sometimes I may put a couple of hundred rounds through a semi-automatic. Other times I may just shoot 50 or less. I have settled into a routine of cleaning maybe every other time, depenting on how many shots. I try to shoot at least once per week, so the guns never get real dirty. Am I bad?
    your pretty much right on target from what you say. i shoot multiple guns when i go to the range and clean them every time for two reasons: one it doesn't hurt the gun and you know there all good to go at anytime, and two, i don't want to mess up the lining in my safe. however at my local gun club there is one person who is much more experienced than me and he cleans his every 300 rounds. my carry gun is totally different it gets clean every few weeks whether i shoot it or not. its incredible how much dust and lints gets in there just from carrying.

  8. #7
    rex
    rex is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baldy View Post
    Range/target guns about every other trip out. Self defence guns every trip out they get cleaned, lubed and inspected.
    Closest to my philosophy but tighter.I don't carry a clean bore or shoot before at least a couple fouling shots.If I can't have 100 rounds through it and trust it to work,it's strictly a target piece.That's low for a good lead round,a jacketed should run 10X that.My use guns show normal use marks,but are still in very good to excellent condition,my for fun guns look NIB except for operating wear spots.

    Keep the guts clean,the barrel isn't in a benchrest rifle so you may not be capable of it's potential to begin with.Clean is great,butr overzelous scrubbing has ruined more than 1 bore.

  9. #8
    Rockhound's Avatar
    Rockhound is offline Junior Member
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    I clean mine everytime I shoot them, no matter how many rounds I fire.

  10. #9
    SteveC's Avatar
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    I clean every time as well, but reality sometimes intrudes on my good intentions A second trip before cleaning should not be a big deal (see Rex's comment about guns that aren't reliable after 100 rounds) but for me no more than that. Like 1jimmy I want to know that every gun is good to go when I'm packing for the range. When I'm checking each gun before packing up I don't want to have to stop and clean.

  11. #10
    yeti's Avatar
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    Every time I fire them, I clean whatever has been fired. I kind of enjoy cleaning after a shoot.
    Once every other year is a complete break down and inspection.

  12. #11
    Yiogo is offline Junior Member
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    I clean them after each session. Yogo

  13. #12
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    How often do you really clean your guns?
    As opposed to pretending to clean them? Or do you mean getting them "really" clean?

    Seriously though, I clean them ASAP after shooting. Less to forget that way.

  14. #13
    ronmail65 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockhound View Post
    I clean mine everytime I shoot them, no matter how many rounds I fire.
    Me too.

  15. #14
    Lee Hunter's Avatar
    Lee Hunter is offline Junior Member
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    I clean my firearms after using them.

  16. #15
    draak's Avatar
    draak is offline Junior Member
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    I clean them the same day I shoot. Every time.

  17. #16
    Grayhair's Avatar
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    Wow. Hypothetically speaking, what would happen to one of those guns didn't get cleaned so often?

  18. #17
    Rockhound's Avatar
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    I guess a better question is, "Why wouldn't you clean your handgun?"

    1. To me, a handgun represents is significant investment, and I want to take care of that investment so it will last my lifetime and I can had it down to my children, and they in turn can had it down to their children - kind of a family heirloom.

    2. If I am going to depend on the handgun for self protection or to protect my family, then I want to ensure it is in perfect working order. One way to do this is to make sure it is well maintained.

    If you don't clean and maintain your handgun, it may develop surface rust (especially true on older, non-polymer handguns), because the oils in your hands are slightly acidic.

    You may experience a degradation in accuracy due to the buildup of dirt and fouling in the bore.

    You may experince a failure in operation if the handgun is allowed to "dry out" or get dirt buildup in the rails of the slide.

    These are just a few examples of what could happen if you don't clean and maintain your handgun(s).

  19. #18
    870ShellShucker's Avatar
    870ShellShucker is offline Junior Member
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    I used to be religious about cleaning a gun every time I shot it, even if only one round was fired. Short guns and Long guns alike. Now I'm only that picky with the home defense revolvers. However, the outside of any gun always gets a wipe down, because I detest rust on a firearm.

  20. #19
    prof_fate is offline Member
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    You need to clean them? Really?

    OK, when they quit working I clean them. No, really.
    I inspect the bores and action and if I see a mess in there I'll clean them, or if accuracy drops off.

    My 22 rilfe...cleaned 15 or 20 years ago, I'll get it out to shoot rabbits in the back yard. Never had an issue, no rust or corrosion.
    My 22 Ruger I did clean recently..second time I've cleaned it since 1986ish wen I bought it.
    XDm...cleaned it when I moved from lead to plated bullets - the bore was a mess. Put 400 rounds through it and installed a PRP trigger kit. Didn't even get my hand dirty. (I reload using W231 powder). At about 1100 rounds now and no cleaning.
    Got a SW MP 15-22 and i'm waiting to see how it does. About 400-500 rounds now with out an issue. And like my other 22s, it's working perfectly - and 22s are way dirtier than centerfire rounds.

    I guess I'm in the minority...More realistically I just don't have the time and don't feel a need to clean them as often as others.

  21. #20
    Grayhair's Avatar
    Grayhair is offline Junior Member
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    Referring to prof_fate; I certainly would never go "15-20 years" or since "1986ish" between cleanings. But at what point does cleanliness slip into neurosis? The durability of modern firearm metal processes, treatments and finishes maybe under appricated. Of course we all want to take good care of our investments, but look at what the firearm tool is doing, it's harnessing explosives to throw hot chunks of metal at amazing speed to kill people and break things. I like a clean gun as much as the next guy but if she goes one or two or maybe even three range trips between cleanings no damage will have been done.

  22. #21
    prof_fate is offline Member
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    I'd take the 22 rifle out at times to plink 50 rounds or put half dozen into rabbits in the year each summer. Then put the gun back in the case and back in the closet. In a case it wouldn't get dusty.

    So if powder isn't corrosive what's the point of cleaning? To keep appearance, function and accuracy. So how often does a gun need cleaned for that to happen? Every trip to the range? Probably not. Every 200 rounds? 500? 1000? Depends on the gun and ammo to some extent.
    Tests have shown guns are more accurate after a few rounds vs freshly cleaned. A 223 may 'copper' the barrel and lead can accumulate (at times).
    Some powders are dirtier than others.
    Is a dirty gun gonna deteriorate? Probably not. Will cleaning them over and over cause more surface wear (of the finish perhaps) than not cleaning them?

    I've seen people clean their cars too much (wearing off the paint) and i've seen them not cleaned enough (with paint so dull and flat it can't be made to shine again). There is a happy medium somewhere in the middle.

  23. #22
    FearNot is offline Junior Member
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    I clean every time, check my flints, restock the patches and round balls. Refill the powder horn. Just generally get things read for next time.

  24. #23
    rex
    rex is offline Senior Member
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    I like prof_fate's post,a little light controversy is what makes these discussions interesting and I can relate to some of what he says.

    True on 231 powder.I've used it for years and can be dirty or clean.Atarget load of 4.7 with a 200 lswc in a 45 can be real dirty,but in a Milspec would go 500 rounds before you noticed sluggish cycling.Dumo another grain of powder in and it cleans right up.In general 231 burns cleaner the more you turn up the pressure.

    I have a few guns the bore hasn't been touched in a year plus but still look great.I popped a few rounds out of it,wiped it down and threw it in the safe.The lockwork is the more important part to me because dirt and grime are what cause operating and safety problems.Shy of "barrel burner" calibers or serious neglect,most barrel damage comes from overzelous cleaning.Most people are taught or think cleaning like benchrest or precision shooters-clean,clean.Here's the problem:did you break in or lap in your barrel?Is your gun,ammo,and you even capable of realizing the difference between the 1st and 20th shot?Precision shooters do their thing because painstaking measures have been taken to achieve that performance,your average hunter or shooter isn't close to the same league.Think about the time and money these guys spend building a rifle and developing the most consistantly perfect and accurate round for it,to have to rebarrel it in 5K rounds because they lost 1/4 MOA-I don' need that and know few that can shoot at that level to begin with.

    If you go to Shuemann Barrel's website,Will has alot of info on barrels he makes for 1911,and they are reguarded as some of the top barrels like Bar-Sto and comparatively recent Kart.His page on cleaning is quite controversial,I don't necessarily believe everything he says,but I do a great deal of it.I've yet to ruin a barrel by not scrubbing and oiling it before putting it away.I also don't shoot filthy rounds or bullets that aren't proper for the bore or desired performance,where lead becomes a problem easily if you don't pay attention to what's going on.

  25. #24
    wayno's Avatar
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    Carry and HD gun often the rest just lay there and beg for attention

  26. #25
    yeti's Avatar
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    Most makes of pistols and especially revolvers can take plenty of neglect before they give you any sign of trouble. I am not the guy to neglect them... because I care.
    Same goes for the wife, too.

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