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Why it’s Important to Keep your EDC Gun Clean

Keeping your everyday carry gear reliable and ready

A lot of my students ask, “How often should I clean my gun?”

It’s an age-old question with lots of philosophies and varying opinions regarding best practices.

Most gun owners are careful to keep their firearms clean, taking the time to disassemble their rifles or pistols every time the gun has been fired and so they can scrub every part with their favorite cleaning tools and solvents.

An in-depth cleaning will remove the build-up of copper, carbon, and just plain dirt from every nook and cranny, including the magazine well, the action, and the bore. Cleaning the gun will keep moving parts properly free to travel and protect the metal parts from corrosion, rust, and wear.

Cleaning a gun can be a time-consuming task, even if you only do a cursory job. However, if you don’t clean the gun each time, the metalsWhy it’s Important to Keep your EDC Gun Clean | Pew Pew Guru and dirt built-up inside can impact performance and reliability and also become even harder to remove.

A good cleaning can take several hours depending on the gun, or even longer if it has been a while since the last time maintenance was performed.

For that reason, a common question in shooting circles is – should you clean your gun completely after each use, whether that means one bullet passed down the barrel, or 100, or can you get away with a little spray cleaner and a few drops of lube and skip disassembling it?

Some people will argue that it’s important to clean a gun after every single use to keep it protected from wear and tear, and from rust when the protective oils wear off the surface. Others believe a quick trip to the range is not enough to require a full cleanup.

Whether you carry a concealed firearm in Idaho or Illinois, there are several very important reasons why your everyday carry, or “EDC” gun needs to be the most well-maintained gun in your collection, whether it has been fired or not.

For concealed carry permit holders, the most important reason to perform regular cleaning and maintenance on your carry gun is – your life may depend on it.

Here are a some of the reasons why you should regularly invest the time and effort to keep your EDC gun properly cleaned and protected.

Your EDC gun must be absolutely reliable.

No other tool in your self-defense toolbox is more important than your EDC gun, so you must ensure that it will fire and cycle properly if it is ever deployed to protect you or your loved ones.

Although practicing at the range can help ensure you are ready if a bad situation ever arises, there is no perfect way to make sure your gun will fire at that time. However, there is a simple way to reduce the possibility of your gun failing to operate when you need it most.

Keep your everyday carry gun clean and well-maintained.

Your concealed gun attracts dirt and lint.

Why it’s Important to Keep your EDC Gun Clean | Pew Pew GuruWhile tucked in your favorite concealed carry position, dirt and lint can build up inside the gun. Dirt can affect the gun’s reliability, but lint can work its way into the gun’s cavities, building up inside the frame, in the action, and under the slide until the gun no longer runs as smoothly as it should.

Lint can also clog up the trigger and action, creating the potential for a failure to fire when those parts get sticky, or their travel becomes limited. Lint can create more unsafe situations than people realize, so clean it out of your EDC gun regularly.

Body oils can damage the finish.

Many of today’s EDC holsters make carrying a concealed firearm more comfortable by protecting your body from the uncomfortable edges of the gun. They also protect the gun from the oils and chemicals that build up on the concealed carry license holder’s skin.

However, there are many different holster designs and what one person finds comfortable may make another person miserable. Although many carry guns are protected by modern holster designs, others still let the gun lay up against parts of the CCW holder’s body when carried out of sight.

Oil and chemicals can leach from the skin, damaging the finish on the metal parts of the pistol. Those same chemicals can affect wood grips. Different parts of the gun can also become worn by the natural motion of the carrier, causing protective finished to be worn away from metal and wood parts when they are present.

It’s important to keep your gun coated with products that protect the pistol’s entire assembly. Although its primary purpose is for your protection, guns are not cheap and keeping them cleaned and oiled also maintains their value.

Moving parts can wear with use and need to be inspected.

Cleaning is critical, but it is also important to carefully check the functions of your EDC gun, inspecting all of the moving parts for wear and tear. You need to look for signs that a part may be failing or has build-up present that limits its range of motion.

While inspecting the gun’s parts and functions, also look for lint to ensure it hasn’t built up in a hard to see spot that can cause the gun to be less reliable. Look for anything that might be worn or dirty, and then – after carefully ensuring the gun is empty and there is absolutely no ammo in the magazine or chamber and while keeping the barrel pointed in a safe direction – cycle the action and dry fire the gun to ensure everything works as expected. That includes the safety.

You can also purchase dummy rounds to insert into magazines to test feeding and cycling. That will allow you to load the magazine, cycle the slide to ensure proper feeding, and pull the trigger to ensure all of the moving parts are doing just that – moving.

Wherever you place the holster for your concealed carry firearm, keeping it covered and out of sight does not mean it will stay clean when not fired. The exact opposite can be true.

No matter how often you fire your EDC gun, even if you don’t fire it at all, it is still extremely important to disassemble, inspect, and clean the gun to ensure it is safe and reliable.

If a self-defense situation happens and that gun becomes the one thing standing between your safe passage home and a more direWhy it’s Important to Keep your EDC Gun Clean | Pew Pew Guru outcome, the last thing you need to worry about is whether or not your self-defense firearm is going to fire.

Experts recommend you perform a thorough cleaning every time the gun is fired. But, honestly, the world won’t end if you miss a cleaning.

The more practical answer would be to set a regular cleaning schedule, like once a month, then make sure the firearm is properly lubricated and regular preventive maintenance is completed to ensure your firearm will perform as intended when it’s pressed into service.

At Pew Pew Guru, we carry several cleaning kits and can recommend the best solvents and solutions to keep your gun clean and protected. If you would like more information on cleaning your firearm or the supplies needed to do it right, or if you need information on upcoming concealed carry license classes, or any other reason, please visit our Contact page and let me know how Pew Pew Guru can help you.

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