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I was taught to clean after every outing but I sometimes bend that a little. My rimfires get shot a lot, so I don't clean them but 3 or 4 times a year. I also have a couple of target style 9mm's that get shot more frequently, so I may let them slide a little longer. Hunting rifles are cleaned after the season is over unless they are exposed to rain, then they are cleaned at the end of the day. My muzzleloaders are cleaned after each firing session is over. The AR's are cleaned after a few hundred rounds. My carry guns get checked over once a month and I will normally clean them after 100 rounds or so have been through them.

I personally like bore snakes for a quick cleaning if I know I will be shooting the firearm again in a few days. I have one for every caliber I own except the hunting rifles. I also use Pro Shot 1 piece micro polished stainless steel cleaning rods and the appropriate bore guides for the rifles. I have seen some damaged barrels from people incorrectly cleaning or using the wrong tools to clean their barrels.
 

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My habits were formed by nearly 5 years of Army active duty (plus a few more in Reserve status). A weapon used for range firing was always cleaned and inspected before turning in. In combat each weapon was field stripped, inspected, and cleaned as necessary every day whether or not it had been used. We learned to field strip, clean, and reassemble our personal weapons in the dark, and over 50 years later I can still field strip and disassemble a M1911A-1 or M16A1 behind my back without using my eyes.

All of our military ammunition used jacketed bullets, which leave metal fouling in the rifling. The best practice is to clean the weapon after each use, using bore cleaning solvent (which is formulated to help remove fouling from the bullet jacket material), then clean the weapon again the next day, allowing the solvent to work on the fouling overnight. A second cleaning always results in more residue removed. That is how I continue to treat my good hunting and competition rifles (and I continue using GI-surplus bore cleaning solvent because it is easily the best ever developed, regardless of the advertising from some makers).

My carry handgun is removed from the holster at the end of each day, inspected, and wiped down. About once per week I do a quick cleaning with bore brush and patches, and a toothbrush to remove all the debris that seems to gather (lint, dust, etc), whether or not the piece has been fired. After each range session I will field strip and clean the weapon by the end of the day.

Firearms in my safe for storage are inspected at least once per year, quick patch through the bore, and wiped down with lightly oiled rags. This includes removing the stocks and wiping down those areas not usually exposed. Removing a firearm from storage to use for a range or hunting trip means a quick cleaning and inspection prior to use.

This may sound a bit anal retentive, but it was drilled into me a half-century ago and I won't change what I know to work.

By the way, I don't spend hours cleaning any firearm. My usual procedures seldom require more than 5 or 10 minutes.
 

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I generally wait until my dishwasher is full before cleaning my guns. To do otherwise wastes a lot of hot water.
 

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If you keep your weapons in a high state of cleanliness and lubrication you can wait a bit.
My black power rifle needs to be cleaned ASAP as will rust just looking at it
Sometimes if I am n a hurried and do not have time to field strip I will run a bore snake down the barrel
The barrel is the part I want to protect the most right away.
I can’t think of the last time I let a gun sit unclean for more than two days.
 

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Is there a downside to waiting a while to clean your guns after shooting them?


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Downside? I suppose it depends. There is nothing to be gained by it that I can see. I like to clean, inspect, and re-lube after any range session. I've been doing this for over 50 years of comparatively little gun trouble. My guns are potential defensive tools. I take care of them.
 

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My revolvers always get cleaned soon as I get back from the range, just cause it's so danged easy.

I just spray em down with Ballistol, hit em with a toothbrush, bore brush, a few patches, a couple of Q-tips, and finish with a boresnake. No more than 10 minutes.

Long guns on the other hand get cleaned when I get around to it. Maybe as many as 2 or 3 weeks later.
 

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If you live in a humid or salty area it is an issue. If you keep them in a controlled atmosphere, like the house, you can wait. Rust is the issue. Some people can just touch a firearm and it starts rusting! Modern Powder doesn't attract moisture, Black Powder does. There are some off brand primers that seem to also.

The smart move would at least wipe the firearm down with a lightly oiled rag to keep rust at bay.
 

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Unless it is black powder I don't think there is much of a downside to not cleaning them right after. I choose to and will do it within a day or so after shooting and usually the same day. The only time I do not do it anymore with is after I sight in my hunting rifle I leave it alone until after the season is over. I have found the first shot can be a little bit off with a completely clean barrel.
 

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There is no downside and it would be hard to prove. I guess if you just ignore doing it and keep shooting eventually you might start to see a problem - like with some 22s.

I know someone who says he doesn't clean his guns except for maybe once a year, he even argues some point about over cleaning - whatever the hell that is. We've debated more than once about doing it.

I'm the opposite. I find cleaning therapeutic so I don't mind.
 

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I don't clean a .22 after every outing. My Ruger MKIII once went over 2700 rounds without cleaning (except for an occasional bore snake) and it functioned fine.
I made it past 8000 rounds with my Mark III. Eventually I had to actually learn how to take the the thing apart and clean it as it became unreliable.
 

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I clean my guns every time after they've been fired. I train with my EDC & SHTF guns 3-4 times a week. Cleaning is not a chore to me and never has been. It's more of a Zen thing for me. Sitting at my work bench with my favorite music cranked up and the smell of the cleaning fluids puts me at peace. Of course I always have one "locked & cocked" just because some old military habits won't die. Once cleaned, every weapon is reloaded with 1 in the chamber (if applicable). FYI I have 10 magazines/speed loader for every gun and they're refilled as well.
 

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I gotta clean 'em each time for otherwise they go to the safe. Dirty guns multiply and it bugs me that I haven't kept up.
 
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OK, OK. I'll clean today, durn it. The 9 and .380 are pretty clean, but the 1911 has a couple-three hundred rounds since I did it a couple weeks ago. Nag, nag. :embarassed:
 

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I clean mine when they need it.

I shoot a lot, couple times a week this time of year in addition to matches. Some of my shooting sessions are as little as 50rds to a couple hundred depending on what I'm working on at the time. My CCW guns, get cleaned after each firing, just because I don't want to leave the house with a gun that's been fired. For a couple of those though I have duplicate "range guns".

My match guns get cleaned when I get around to it, or when I start to see issues. This may be 1500-3000 rds for my pistols and a couple matches and practice sessions for my AR15. My 3Gun shotgun, gets cleaned after the match season. After a match I wipe them down.

My precision rifles get cleaned once I start to see a degradation in accuracy, which is usually around 200rds or more. My hunting rifles get cleaned after the season. My normal procedure is to spend some time in the fall practicing, clean them, then foul the bore/confirm zero before the season starts. I then clean after the season's over.
 

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Guns are like my rear end, its getting cleaned right after I'm done even if I only used it a little. :lol:
 

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If I know it's going to be a while before I can get around to cleaning guns, including black powder, I'll give 'em a shot of WD-40 to displace any moisture & soften up any residue that then cleans up easy when I eventually clean them , usually within a few days.
 

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I clean all my firearms right away after each use. I actually enjoy cleaning them and it makes me appreciate them more after doing it.
 

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Most of the time, whenI get home from the range, I wipe them down with a dry rag. Dry brush the bore and chamber 3 to 5 times and run a bore snake thru the tube.
I put them in the safe till needed again.
I used to obsess about cleaning them very thoroughly. It would take me 45 minutes to clean a revolver and 30 minutes for a semi auto. I found out that it wasn’t necessary to clean anywhere near that much.
 

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I went to the range with my son today and shot my XDS 9mm,Colt Competition 45, and my LCP ,which I had just replaced the trigger with a Gallaway peacekeeper flat trigger, and a stainless steel guide rod.All had been field stripped and cleaned and lubed after shooting them a couple weeks ago.I didn't run a lot of rounds thru either since we were tight on time,but when I got home I did a quick strip and clean,relubed and reassembled.I had the time and I guess I am just a little OCD about clean guns.
And anyone that has an LCP that has the dreaded finger pinch,the Peacekeeper trigger made a big difference to me.Even my son said it felt like a different gun.Note:I did not change any springs in the LCP since I carry it in a pocket holster a lot.
 
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