How Often Should I Clean A Firearm To Keep It In Top Condition?


Most firearms should be cleaned daily or after heavy use. Keeping a firearm clean has both short and long-term benefits. It can help preserve the life of the firearm due to the lack of contaminates and rusting and protect you from negligent discharges by preventing fouling or gunk from obstructing parts.

Most firearms should receive a basic cleaning daily or after heavy use. This can help preserve the life of your firearm due to the lack of contaminants and rusting. Every 3,000 to 5,000 rounds fired, your firearm should have a complete detailed cleaning.

Understanding how much cleaning a firearm needs to keep it working in top condition is essential. In this article, experts at WINCENT discuss when and how often you should clean your firearm and the process behind specific cleanings.

How Often Should Firearms Be Cleaned?

Ensuring your firearm is clean will benefit you and your firearm in the long run. The longevity of a firearm, and the safety it provides to you, depend on numerous factors: materials used, frequency cleaned, and proper maintenance throughout time.

Firearms should receive a full detailed cleaning: including the barrel, bolt, and moving parts, in intervals of between 3,000 and 5,000 rounds. However, you should field-strip and clean your handgun every time you fire it.

Everyday use will diminish the quality of your firearm while neglecting cleaning will cause corrosion and rusting, resulting in misfires or jams that can lead to the damage of parts such as: 

  • Triggers
  • Springs
  • Barrels, or
  • Receivers.

Even if your firearm goes unused, you should establish a routine for cleaning. Every two weeks or once per month, cleanings apply here.

How Do I Clean My Firearm?

First, it is essential to be sure to have the proper supplies to clean your firearm. These include cleaning rods, brushes, rags or patches, degreasing solvent or cleaner, lubricant, and safety glasses. Cleaning kits, like the WINCENT Universal Gun Cleaning Kit with full brass jags, can be a beneficial tool for firearm cleaning.

To clean your firearm: 

  1. Unload the gun
  2. Swab the Bore
  3. Scrub the Bore
  4. Run Bore with Patches
  5. Apply Lubrication
  6. Wipe Down Exterior and Reassemble

Let's look at each step in detail. It is crucial to understand how cleaning works to maintain a smooth-working firearm.

1. Unload the gun

This is crucial - you should never clean a gun with live ammunition inside. It is dangerous, for one thing, but it is also just common sense to clear any firearms before handling or working on them under any circumstances.

2. Swab the Bore

You want to swab the bore because this gets rid of excess crud that has been loosened from other parts of your weapon. The proper way to do this, for best results, is to use a bore snake or cleaning rod and brush soaked in gun solvent. Allow this to sit for 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Scrub the Bore

When the time has passed, you can attach a brush (a jag or patch holder) to your cleaning rod and run it through the bore several times. Use solvent as required for this step.

4. Run Bore with Patches

After scrubbing, run several solvent-soaked patches down the barrel, replacing each time. This will remove excess solvent and any loosened lead, copper, or other fouling. Repeat if necessary.

5. Apply Lubrication

The barrel and bolt require only a light coat of rust prevention oil. Wipe down the gun's metal surfaces using a clean, soft cotton cloth with oil. Overdoing it is never a good idea.

6. Wipe Down Exterior and Reassemble

Now wipe down all parts of your firearm exposed to touch (grip panels, receiver, screws (take out mags), etc.) with a clean, dry cloth to prevent corrosion. Also, wipe off sights if necessary.


Regularly cleaning your firearm will keep it in top condition. Basic cleanings after every use and detailed cleaning after heavy use or in intervals will keep your gun performing at its best. 

The steps to cleaning your firearm should not be performed by beginners, as the risks of damage are high. Take firearm safety seriously, and always do your research. Contact your gun manufacturer for additional cleaning details.  

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