How Often Should A Rifle Barrel Be Cleaned – 2024 Guide


Proper maintenance of your rifle is essential for its condition. It does not matter how often you are using the gun and for which purposes, avoiding cleaning it regularly can only lead to issues. Whether you are going to the shooting range or you are a hunter, bringing a gun that was not cleaned properly for a longer time might have lower accuracy and an increased chance for some problems.

Moreover, it is important to learn how to clean it in the right way. First of all, you should know how to disassemble the rifle. Besides that, the best option is to use a solvent trap. If you are interested in buying solvent traps, check out In this article, we are going to analyze more about the required frequency of cleaning that will keep the gun in a good state.


It Should be a Routine

It is a common misconception for beginners to think that dust and small particles of dirt won’t affect the weapon. You have to know that dirt will directly interact with the gunpowder and it can affect the main functions and accuracy. Using such a weapon will lead to lower durability of the parts as well. In that matter, this process should be a routine.

Furthermore, you should learn more about the main processes that occur after you are using the gun. Each time you shoot a bullet, there will be small particles left in the barrel and other parts. After you use a rifle for a long time without cleaning, the amount of these particles will increase and significantly reduce the main features.

The frequency of cleaning depends on how often you are using the rifle. However, even if you are keeping it at home without using it at all, it will still require some level of maintenance. The gun must be stored in a proper place, away from dust and moisture. Simply leaving it at some spot and not paying attention to it at all can lead to corrosion of the main parts. In that matter, passive users should clean it at least twice per year.

On the other side, people who are using guns more often should pay more attention to their condition. There are certain types of ammo that can increase the corrosion of the parts when left uncleaned. The reason why many people are choosing corrosive ammo is its low price.

Still, a lot of them are not aware of the negative sides. Also, the frequency depends on the quality of the rifle. For example, chances are much lower than you will have any problems if the parts are made of stainless steel. On the other hand, even a high-quality rifle will require proper maintenance.


Activities Are an Important Factor

As we already mentioned, the frequency of use is the most important thing that will help you to determine how often you should clean the barrel and other parts of the weapon. In case you are using weapons for hunting, the frequency of shooting ammo won’t be so frequent. It is common for beginners to think that it also means that you should not clean it more often as well.

The conditions on the field can be quite challenging, and the biggest issues are moisture and dirt that could get on the rifle, especially when you are hiding in the bushes. Therefore, a great solution would be to carry a special kit so you can remove water and dirt whenever you notice them.

If you are using a gun for practicing at a shooting range, the conditions will be much easier. The best routine is to quickly remove the dust and deposited particles after shooting around 10 full magazines, which is around 300 rounds. That will prevent the interaction of ammo with dirt, and help you keep your weapon in good conditions for a much longer time.

Longer sessions will require more attention to maintenance as well. For example, shooting over 100 magazines means that you should completely disassemble the rifle and clean every part. You can use some additional products as well, like the protection from rust, and a lubricant.

We already mentioned that deposits of dust and dirt can affect the accuracy, which can especially become an issue if you are using the rifle in some competition. Therefore, it is important to prepare for such an event by securing the perfect condition of your weapon.


How To Properly Clean the Rifle?

The complexity of cleaning depends on the type and size of the weapon. The best option is to have a special kit for cleaning. The first part of the process is to use a wipe and a brush so you can remove the particles. Be sure to use a brush with the proper size compared to the barrel.

Besides that, the solvent will help you remove more challenging particles like grime. After you finish with the cleaning, you can use a lubricant to secure proper functions. At the end of the process, it is important to store the rifle in a place where dirt and water won’t affect it. Don’t forget that cleaning your reloading brass and other frequently used accessories is also important.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, it is never a good idea to simply store your weapon after using it without cleaning. Even if you are only keeping the gun at your home for safety, and you are not taking it out of storage rarely, keep in mind that small particles and moisture can affect its main functions. Also, different models of rifles require more or less cleaning over time. One of the main reasons is increased safety.

There will be less room for mistakes when you are using a rifle that is properly maintained. The biggest issue would be to get into a situation with stuck ammo, which can be very dangerous. You can ensure each part of the weapon lasts for a much longer time when you are using the right products for maintenance and pay attention to the process after each time you were using the rifle.