Each time a gun is fired, carbon residue builds up within the bore and barrel. Over time, this build-up negatively affects bullet trajectory and gun performance. Shooting dirty guns can result in malfunctions and permanent damage. There are four major benefits of cleaning your gun:
Longevity. Simple maintenance and cleaning will allow your gun to last for generations, not years. A simple cleaning, oiling, and storing the gun in a case or safe can preserve it for a long time.
Knowledge. Cleaning and maintaining your gun will help you learn about how the gun works and how the parts interact with each other. Some guns are easy to tear down, and others are more complicated to disassemble, clean, and put back together. Being able to field strip, clean, and oil your guns is valuable knowledge.
Functionality. Cleaning your gun will help you periodically inspect it. If your gun has too much or too little lubrication then it could have performance issues. Dirt build-up from too much lube can cause light primer strikes and failures to fire. If lube get into parts of the gun and magazine that transport the round from magazine to chamber, you can experience a failure to eject.
Reliability. Clean your guns, especially your self-defense firearm, regularly after each training session. Having rust in the barrel or crud collecting in any over-lubricated areas could prevent your firearm from working when you need it most.
Gun Cleaning Procedures
Safety. Always obey the 4 Rules of Gun Safety. Before cleaning your guns, always make sure that your firearms are safely unloaded. Keep the gun pointed in a safe direction, remove the magazine, and check that the chamber is empty and that the firearm is completely inert and safe.
Instructions. Read the owner’s manual for any model-specific information.
Chemical Protection and Ventilation. Take care to protect yourself from dangerous cleaning chemicals, lead poisoning, and physical trauma. Always clean your guns in a well-ventilated area and put a small room fan at the door to draw out the fumes.
When using cleaning chemicals, use textured black nitrile medical-grade gloves because they will not melt or get sticky from solvent and keep nitrobenzene and carcinogens from absorbing into your skin. Use cleaners, lubricants, and preservants from reputable brands.
When you are finished, wash your hands well with a de-lead soap.