I was reading the February 2011 issue of The Blue Press. Someone had written in that was up in hackles about people not cleaning their guns. He couldn’t understand why someone would want to brag about never (or hardly ever) cleaning their guns. He asserted that if you don’t clean your guns your lazy or don’t care.
I beg to differ.
It’s good to know your gun can run despite being very dirty; that you can give it that level of abuse and it still runs. If your gun craps out after 50 rounds, would you trust your life to that gun? If you know you’ve put 2000+ rounds through it without a cleaning and it doesn’t hiccup, at least to me that instills a level of confidence in the gun that it can run even in less than ideal conditions. Life isn’t full of ideal situations, and I like to know my gear will run regardless.
Is it that we’re lazy or don’t care? Perhaps for some. For me, I’m not religious about cleaning my guns because I have only so much time in a day and too many other things taking priority. I know my gun will run dirty, so do I really need to agonize over ensuring it’s sparkling clean after every range trip? How about when I take a weekend-long shooting class where we’ll put 1000-2000 rounds down range? When the days are that long, it’s nice to know I can reholster my carry gun and know it will still work for me while I travel home, sleep, and drive back the next day. Sorry, but in a case like that, spending a little time with my family, taking care of chores around the house, and tending to other matters (like sleep) tend to win out over cleaning my gun before the next day’s class. I know the gun will run. And honestly, if I can discover it won’t run, if I can discover its limits, I’d rather know that when things are calm than when the fur is flying.
I’m not saying to never clean your guns. After hunting season I clean my hunting rifle and prep it for storage, figuring it probably won’t be pulled out again until next Fall. After a good training session I will give my handguns at least a quick boresnake, wipedown, and oiling. I don’t think it’s wise to never clean your gun, because a dry gun is going to wear, a dirty gun is going to have build-up that will eventually cause a problem. But I just don’t feel a need to worship at the altar of the spotless and shiny gun. I buy guns that are rugged and dependable, so if I miss a cleaning, I don’t sweat it. To me, it’s about finding a reasonable balance.
To each their own tho. And hey… if you’ve got a lot of time on your hands, you’re welcome to come clean my guns. 🙂