With time and use, even the most durable of objects begin to wear down. It’s true for trucks, houses, our bodies, and even our firearms. Of course, we can stall this steady process of entropy by taking care of our objects, including our firearms.
Regular maintenance is part of owning a firearm and an important one at that. Keeping a firearm in clean, working order ensures that you don’t experience any jams or other issues. While you should do your best to keep your regular range firearms clean, you should never skip cleaning your concealed carry piece.
Setting a Cleaning Schedule
You might subconsciously already have a cleaning schedule for your weapons. After every trip to the range, you like break down the weapon into its major components and wipe them down with solvents and oils to clean it of any powders, dirt, and debris. Maybe once a year or so, you might tear down your range firearms into its detailed parts and give everything a complete once over. And that’s enough. You never have any hang-ups at the range, or if you do, you just put that weapon away and bring out another one.
But when it comes to your concealed carry piece, you can’t follow that same schedule and you don’t have that same kind of luxury.
That’s because your concealed carry firearm stays with you all day every day. It’s your near-constant companion, and as such, it is subjected to a much higher degree of wear and tear than your range guns. That means that you need to clean your concealed carry pistol or revolver more often. But why?
Your concealed firearm accumulates dust, pocket lint, dirt, and sweat much faster than the firearms in your gun safe at home. While this may not cause issues at first, it can if left unaddressed.
So, just how often should you clean your concealed carry gun? The answer, of course, is “it depends.” Your environment may impact your need to clean, as will your frequency of use, where and how you carry, and what kind of holster you carry. All of these things can dictate just how much debris accumulates on and in your firearm.
But, if you’re looking for a general rule of thumb or just our opinion, keep this in mind:
- After every range trip, your concealed carry piece should be carefully cleaned without exception.
- Every one-to-two weeks, your concealed carry piece should field stripped, wiped down, and oiled.
Remember, your carry gun needs to work no matter what, and keeping your firearm clean and maintained eliminates the chances for errors and mistakes.
Storing Your Concealed Carry Gun
When your firearm isn’t in its concealed holster on your hip, it’s likely being stored somewhere. For some, that means the firearm is returned to a gun safe at the end of each day. For others, that means it goes to a dedicated location that keeps it available and near at hand.
Storing your concealed carry piece is part of its cleaning schedule. While in a gun safe, the pistol or revolver is fairly safe from the elements and will stay dry and dust free. But left on a nightstand leaves it exposed to the elements. Consider keeping your concealed firearm in a small, easy-to-access safe in a drawer instead of out on the counter. It’s safer for you and your family and keeps your firearm cleaner longer.
Don’t Forget Your Ammo
Finally, consider your carry ammo. If the finish of your slide can corrode in reaction to the salts and sweat of your body, so too can your ammo. While you may not ever need to discharge your weapon in a self-defense situation, you’ll still want to know your ammo will do its part when needed.
Most suggest shooting the ammo you keep in your carry magazines every two months or so and replacing it with new ammo. This ensures that your magazines are being stored for a long period of time with dust and grime packed in them alongside the rounds. If nothing else, it’s an excuse to hit the range and sharpen your skills.
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