Responsibilities of ownership: Why you should keep your guns cleaned

As any responsible gun owner will tell you, owning a firearm is about a lot more than simply taking it to a gun range on the weekends and carrying it with you for self-defense; it’s about maintenance. If you don’t take care of your firearm – or, worse still, if you don’t know how to take care of your firearm – then it may fail on you at a time when you need it the most. Indeed, properly taking care of your gun could be a matter of life or death.

Of course, the consequences of failing to clean your weapons varies from firearm to firearm. Some pistols, such as the Kalashnikov or a Glock, can take quite a beating and last several years before it finally kicks the bucket. Even if you choose to equip your Glock with some kind of attachment like a sound suppressor (which make guns filthy in a relatively short amount of time), the Glock should be able to withstand the abuse. (Related: Obama has said that if you don’t believe in global warming, you’re too ‘mentally ill’ to be allowed to buy a gun.)

But even though the Glock is durable, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take care of it or any other type of carry gun that you have in your possession. One of the fastest ways that handguns become dirty and unusable is by keeping it inside of your pocket day in and day out without properly cleaning it. Lint has a mind of its own, finding its way into small holes and openings in your firearm, which, even though it might not sound like that big of a deal, could render your handgun completely inoperable by the time you go to use it. Be sure to clean out the inside of your firearm on a regular basis, including the inside of the magazine.

It’s also incredibly important that you shoot your carry guns from time to time, as opposed to simply keeping it in a holster or inside your pocket all day every day. Even though ammunition can be expensive, going to the gun range and running a few magazines dry is a small price to pay for a functional firearm that can effectively defend you whenever you need it to. (Related: Read about the full history of gun control, and how the political left has tried to separate the American people from their firearms.)

B. Gil Horman elaborated further on the importance of cleaning your handgun in an article published back in 2011 on AmericanRifleman.orgHe said that carry guns should be cleaned immediately after use, every single time. “Not everyone agrees with this approach, but my thought it this: Self-defense situations are driven and shaped by many factors outside of my control,” Horman wrote. “Why would I willingly sacrifice one factor I can control, namely, keeping my handgun in the best state of maintenance possible?”

As far as rifles like the AR are concerned, allowing these types of firearms to get dirty can result in everything from failures to extract, failures to eject, and bolt malfunctions. Solutions to these potential problems include scrubbing off the bolt, the bolt carrier, the bolt carrier key, and other small parts. Will Dabbs of explained that he uses a short bit of a coat hanger to clean his rifle, hammering it into the shape of a small paddle and then using that to scrape carbon out of the inside of the bolt and the carrier. Dabbs noted that he has used this technique for several decades, so one can assume that it is both convenient and effective.

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