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Clearing Up Gun Cleaning Rumors And Myths

Key takeaways:

  • It is not necessary to clean your gun after every use; a simple wipe-down will suffice unless the weapon is used in extreme conditions.
  • Use cleaners and lubricants specifically designed for firearms; anything else could damage your gun.
  • A toothbrush is not an appropriate tool for cleaning a firearm; opt for a brass bore brush instead.
  • General-purpose lubricants like WD-40 are not adequate substitutes for specific gun oil.
  • Cleaning guns is fairly simple, but always follow basic safety precautions when handling firearms.

Whether old wives’ tales or well-meaning but misinformed advice from friends, gun cleaning myths can cause severe problems for gun owners if they’re believed and followed. In this blog post, experts at Eagle Arms will set the record straight on some of the most common gun-cleaning rumors. Read on to learn the truth about gun cleaning!

Myth #1: You Should Clean Your Gun After Every Use

This is one of the most common gun-cleaning myths. People think you need to disassemble your gun and give it a thorough cleaning every time you use it, but that’s not the case. Unless you’re using your gun in extreme conditions (like shooting in the rain or mud), a simple wipe down with a cloth after each use should be enough to keep it clean.

An article on American Rifleman promotes the notion of cleaning your firearms to maintain them in good condition. However, your guns may need to be cleaned less or more frequently, depending on how frequently you use them.

Myth #2: You Can Clean Your Gun with Anything

People believe all sorts of things when cleaning guns—from using WD-40 to running a patch down the barrel after every shot. You should only use cleaners and lubricants specifically designed for firearms. Using anything else could damage your gun or even render it unsafe to operate altogether.

If you’re unsure about what product to use, consult a professional gunsmith or the manufacturer of your firearm. As a general rule, you should always clean your gun after firing it and storing it away. This will help protect it from corrosion and keep it in good working order.

Myth #3: Guns Pretty Much Clean Themselves

Another common gun-cleaning myth is that guns pretty much clean themselves. While it’s true that modern firearms are designed to be low-maintenance, that doesn’t mean you can neglect them altogether; even if you only shoot a few times a year, it’s essential to give your gun a thorough cleaning at least once per year. Neglecting to do so can cause severe problems like rust and metal fatigue.

Myth #4: Toothbrush Is the Best Tool to Clean Your Gun.

A toothbrush might seem like a good tool for getting into small crevices and scrubbing away stubborn dirt, but using one on your gun is a bad idea. First, bristles can break off and become lodged inside the firearm. Second, toothbrushes are often made with nylon or other materials that could scratch or damage the finish on your gun. Instead, opt for a brass bore brush sized appropriately for your barrel. 

Myth #05: End the Gun Cleaning with A Simple Solvent Spray-Down.

There is a common assumption that gun cleaning should finish with a simple solvent spray-down to preserve your handgun before storage; however, this is not the case. Although the gun may appear clean, spraying it with a little solvent will dissolve surface fouling and grease and deposit it in hard-to-reach cracks and corners. This causes accumulation in particular regions, and the residues are tacky and sticky when the solvent evaporates. Sticky bolts and actions cause feeding and firing problems, which can lead to a severe scenario with misfires.

Clearing Up Gun Cleaning Rumors and Myths

Myth #06: Using General-Purpose Lubricants Is a Great Way to Offer Long-Lasting Protection.

A general-purpose lubricant like WD-40 is not an adequate gun lubricant. It’s quite the opposite – a water displacement formula that will wash away any existing lubrication on contact. The solvent evaporates rapidly, and the remaining residues tend to leave gun components exposed to the elements. As a result, it won’t be long before the gun has to be cleaned again. In the long run, this will be exhausting. On the other hand, a specific gun oil functions as a long-lasting, rust-resistant lubricant that does not evaporate.

Myth #07: Cleaning Guns Is Dangerous and Complicated.

Cleaning guns is straightforward as long as you know what you’re doing. That said, it’s always important to follow basic safety precautions when handling firearms. Ensure the gun is unloaded before beginning the cleaning process, and always double-check that the chamber is empty before proceeding. If you’re unsure how to properly clean your gun, consult the owner’s manual or take it to a professional for service.

Myth #08: Cleaning Your Gun Will Make It Wear Out Faster.

Another common rumor is that cleaning your gun will cause it to wear out faster. This is not true. In fact, not cleaning your gun can accelerate the wear and tear process. Dirt and grime can clog up moving parts and cause them to break down over time. If you want your gun to last for many years, you must ensure you keep it clean and well-maintained.

Ending Note:

Keeping your gun clean is essential for both safety and performance reasons—despite what some common misconceptions would have you believe. Now that we’ve cleared up some common myths and rumors about cleaning guns, you can rest assured that you’re doing everything possible to keep yours in tip-top shape! Eagle Arms has been serving Lebanon since 1974. We are a family-owned business, and each generation upholds the same principles and commitment to our clients. We can handle all of your weapons and gunsmithing requirements. Why spend extra at a large chain store when we have everything you require? Visit our shop to speak with one of our experts and browse our vast collection of firearms and equipment.