How Often To Clean a Gun | Gun Cleaning FAQ

Gun cleaning FAQ

Here are some Gun Cleaning frequently asked questions that I see and some quick answers:

Can I over-clean my gun?

Not really. However, if you super-clean it, you must always apply oil to the gun after cleaning for 2 reasons. One is to protect the finish and keep rust away. The second is to make sure the moving parts slide easily.

Can I use WD-40 to clean my gun?

Absolutely. I would use it on metal parts ONLY. WD-40 is an outstanding low cost cleaner and lubricant. It also excels at keeping moisture from causing rust. WD-40 is also decent lubricant, BUT it is very thin and will not lubricate for long. Use a heavier gun oil to lube the moving parts of your firearm such as Slip 2000 EWL made for guns. WD-40 is good for coating metal parts to prevent rust during storage.

Basic Gun Cleaning Supplies
Basic Gun Cleaning Supplies

What is the best gun cleaning kit?

Any kit will work fine but if you want high quality then go with Real Avid, Otis, or M-Pro kits.

Does Walmart sell gun cleaning supplies?

Yes. They have a fairly good selection of gun accessories. They used to be the best place to get ammo but they have stopped carrying most common calibers.

What gun cleaning supplies do I need?

For most gun cleaning you will need:

  • A solvent such as Hoppes Number 9
  • A Boresnake or rod and patches to clean the inside of the barrel
  • A micro fiber cloth to clean the outside of the gun
  • Some Q-tips or paper towels to clean the inner parts of the slide and frame
  • A good quality gun lubricant to lubricate the moving parts and to protect the metal from rust

See article on Do-it-yourself gun cleaning station.

What is the best cleaner for guns?

Any cleaner that is made specifically for guns such as Hoppes No. 9 solvent is a good cleaner. If you have a Glock or other gun with polymer (plastic) parts, be sure to use a “synthetic safe” cleaner. Some solvents can harm plastic guns.

I just ordered a bottle of Original Gun Oil that was recommended to me by a good friend of mine. It is supposed to be safe for all metals, plastics and even wood stocks. It says it cleans, lubricates and protects all in one formula. They share some of the profits with Veterans and their families.

I will review it when it comes, but you can check it out here in the mean time. Original Gun Oil.

What happens if I don’t clean my gun?

If you shoot a lot and don’t clean your gun, it will eventually start to malfunction due to build-up of carbon fouling and accumulating dust and dirt. The moving parts will not move very well and the pistol will not cycle correctly, leading to failure to feed, failure to eject and stoppages that could render your gun useless in a self defense situation. Some guns will work better than others when dirty. Glocks in particular have a reputation of working under extremely challenging conditions, even when muddy, dirty and not well lubricated. However, most guns, especially 1911s work best when cleaned and lubed properly.

On the other hand, if your gun just sits in a safe or a drawer, cleaning is not necessary, BUT you need to be sure it is coated with a light oil or the gun will rust and the finish will be ruined. If a gun is stored dirty, this will happen even faster. Clean your Guns!!

How often should I clean my gun?

Most guns should be cleaned after use. Firing just a few rounds may not require a proper cleaning, but maybe run a Boresnake through the barrel to prevent carbon build up.

Also, if you carry concealed, the gun is getting dirty even if you do not fire it. It may exposed to dirt, dust, pocket lint, etc. This means you need to clean it every so often so it will function flawlessly if and when you need to use it for self defense.

How often do you have to clean a Glock?

According to the Glock User Manual, it should be cleaned and lubricated when it is brand new, before it is fired for the first time. After each time it is fired. Once a month if it is not used during that time. Do most people follow this to the letter. I doubt it.

Your Glock will work just fine if you keep it reasonably cleaned and lubed. This means clean it after you go to the range and fire it. Also, if you concealed carry, clean it once in a while as it will accumulate dust, pocked lint, environmental dirt even if you never fire it.

Should firearms always be disassembled for cleaning?

disassembled gun

Yes. You need to get to the moving parts for best results. Consult the manual for your particular gun for disassembly instructions. Here are some helpful articles for some particular firearms:

Disassembly & Cleaning a 1911

Disassembly & Cleaning a Springfield XD or XDM

Disassembly & Cleaning a Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380.

Here is a video on cleaning a 1911 pistol complete with disassembly steps:

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