Sunday, May 06, 2007

Guns: Cleaning

I think way too much attention these days is lavished on cleaning the bore of a firearm. While it's certainly a good idea to give the barrel a scrub with patch and brush (or a BoreSnake, pictured above, if you're so inclined), it's not as critical in today's world as it was a century ago. Modern ammunition almost universally has non-corrosive primers, so there's little chance a barrel will go south just from the gunk that accumulates after a range session.

While I still clean the barrel almost every time I shoot, honestly, if you shoot every week, you could probably get away with cleaning the barrel once a month. Not so with the chamber. In any firearm, if some foreign particle or severe fouling is present in the chamber, your chances of getting a malfunction increase. I highly recommend getting a dedicated chamber brush for an AR-15, for example.

Cleaning the rest of a gun is a largely individualized affair. With most handguns on most shooters' schedules, a good detail strip and cleaning once a year wouldn't be considered lax. Some people like to deliberately refrain from cleaning guns like GLOCKs and AKs to test their reliability. I wish I had money to burn like that. :-)


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