HANDGUN CARE AND MAINTENANCE
A concealed carry weapon takes a lot of abuse, even if you never fire it. Guns that are carried inside clothing pick up lint. Some weapons are carried close to the body, which exposes them to sweat, moisture and dirt. These guns get banged more easily than your range-only guns. High temperatures from body heat and the outside can dry up the lubrication. Caring for your firearm keeps it operating its best for when you need it. Check the owner’s manual for specific cleaning and maintenance, but here are some general guidelines for taking care of your gun.
Every time you strap on your weapon, you should give it a quick onceover. Take one minute to check whether there is a round in the chamber and how the magazine is seated. Look for corrosion or rust. Check the screws, sights and grips.
Most guns need to be broken down weekly to lubricate the moving parts. You’ll need to know how to take apart your gun to access the parts that need lubrication. There are lots of videos online that can help you learn how to assemble and disassemble your weapon. It may take a few times to get it right, but you’ll be glad to have this knowledge to take care of your gun. Even if you don’t fire your weapon, this weekly breakdown will keep your gun working well.
Get a firearm cleaning mat and tools for cleaning:
- Bristled brush to stick down the barrel – the bristle needs to fit the caliber
- Gun oil
- Cleaning solvent
- Cloth wipes or paper towels
Apply a light coat of gun oil. If you do this weekly, you don’t need to go overboard. Check the barrel of the gun for lint balls. Check for rust and dirt and wipe it out. Apply the lubricant to the places where things rub together. After you reassemble, wipe off excess lubrication.
Cleaning Your Gun after Firing
After you fire your gun, you need to clean the powder residue and scrub the bore along with the weekly oiling regimen. You can use the solvent to clean the bore. You should check the gun for metal shavings that may have broken off.
Don’t forget to change your carry ammunition every three to four months. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines for when the springs need to be replaced. Your support gear for your weapon should be checked out regularly, too. Holsters can malfunction or lose tension with age. Your pistol mounted light needs new batteries periodically.
Don’t neglect your guns, because you want them to work smoothly without running the risk of malfunctions. Make the time to clean your gun to keep it in prime condition.