Alternate title – “You don’t need to clean your gun every time you shoot it”. JayG experienced a malfunction with his 1911, according to his post he failed to seat the bushing correctly after the last time he cleaned the gun, which caused it to fail in a rather sporty fashion at the range. No one was injured and more importantly (I kid) the gun was fine, but it brought me around to a conversation I’d had not too long ago with Todd from Pistol-Training.Com. The specific topic was cleaning guns, and how often he cleans. The HK45 he’s currently running he cleans every (I believe) 5000 rounds or so, but more importantly he lubricates the gun quite regularly. Similarly, I’ll field strip and clean the Ruger SR9c every 1000 rounds or so, but I’ll lubricate the gun every range trip almost.
Which brings me around to my point – stop cleaning your gun so much. You don’t need to clean it every 50 rounds or 100 rounds, or even 500 rounds. I actually can’t remember the last time I really thoroughly cleaned my S&W 625. I’ve run a bore snake through the barrel and the cylinders, but it’s probably been 2 or 3 thousand rounds since I really scrubbed the gun. The reason is that there isn’t any point in cleaning your guns every 100 rounds or every range trip. You’re not going to break your gun or hurt it by cleaning it (unless you’re careless during disassembly and reassembly) but most modern firearms do not need to be cleaned more than every 1,000-5,000 rounds. Lubricated yes, cleaned, not so much. Unless your gun is a pristine mint condition collectible (in which case I wouldn’t own it, much less shoot it) cleaning your guns every range trip is hardly necessary.
Now, I’m not saying you can’t clean your guns every range trip. If you enjoy cleaning guns (I don’t) and really like field stripping and cleaning individual parts (I really don’t) then knock yourself out. Do you also change the oil in your car every 100 miles instead of the 3000 to 5000 that your manufacturer recommends? To my mind, there are a lot better uses of your time than cleaning guns, like dry fire practice. Instead of cleaning that 1911, lube it up and do some dry fire practice with it and then clean it after you’ve shot it 1000 times.