The Importance of Proper Firearm Use and Maintenance

Learn why proper use and maintenance of firearms is essential for gun owners. Gain insight from our experienced staff at Wisconsin Gun Workz.

1/1/20253 min read

In this blog post, we discuss the importance of understanding how to properly use and maintain firearms. Our staff at Wisconsin Gun Workz shares their real-world experience to provide you with valuable insights. Whether you're a seasoned gun owner or just starting out, this article will help you enhance your knowledge and skills.

black semi automatic pistol on black textile
black semi automatic pistol on black textile

We can start off this blog post with the obvious, the importance of a well-maintained firearm. Your improper maintenance is just as bad as not doing maintenance at all. Whether that is a simple inspection of your firearms parts; a basic level fieldstrip cleaning or a thorough complete breakdown of your firearm to facilitate a thorough inspection and cleaning. You are using your firearm for a purpose; that could be hunting game or for self-defense. Regardless of the reason why you own your firearm (God bless the second amendment) you need it work at the moment you pull the trigger. There is nothing worse than missing a shot at that game animal you have been watching for years, losing that firearms competition or even worse, your life in the vital moment because your firearm was too dirty to function or was rusted and seized up.

All of these near misses can be avoid with routine a routine inspection of your firearm, and its components, and properly cleaning and lubricating it after use. But my firearms collection very rarely gets used and it remains in the gun safe or gun cabinet when not being used. That's great that you are securely storing your firearms (that another post for another time, but one we do recommend), but they can still get caked with pet hair and dander, dust, and other particulate, which can gum up actions and triggers. Not to mention that the climate in your home or even safe can cause rusting and corrosion which can lead to harmful pitting and rust damage, even with the use of a dehumidifier, or silica agent present.

The only true way to stop corrosion, protect the gun metal and provide lubrication to ensure it functions is with oil. These are many good lubricating oils on the market and we would be happy to recommend (or even sell you some); regardless, you need to apply it, and in the correct amount.

If you just don't know if you have used enough, well you probably applied too much, stop on by the shop and we can look at it and let you know. We would also be happy to show you how to fieldstrip and clean your firearm so you are aware of how to do it in the future. If you don't want to do it, we can always clean it for you, for a small fee of course, and usually while you wait.

With everything you just read above I have one more piece of advice. Often I hear people talk about someone cleaning their firearm "to much" that they ruined the accuracy of that firearm. It is my firm belief that there is no such thing as "cleaning your firearm too much" to the point where it will affect accuracy. You can however improperly clean your firearm and ruin its accuracy and performance. What do I mean by that? Well Larry Potterfield (How to Clean a Rifle Barrel) has a very good article on his page. He describes the selection of and proper use of tools (cleaning rods, Jags and Solvents) in the cleaning process.

A few things he doesn't touch on is that a cleaning rod is preferred to be either nylon coated or made of brass so that we don't have steel-on-steel contact between the rifling in the bore. If we do the cleaning rod is damaging that rifling and our accuracy is going to be affected. The other is that copper fouling in the rifle or pistol bore isn't necessarily a bad thing. Your firearms barrel is going to build up with copper fouling as its fired. it only becomes a problem when there is too much fouling and the firearms accuracy starts to drop off. For many precision shooters that's their prime indication that the firearm needs to be cleaned. Now, we don't have to remove all of the copper fouling out of the bore during cleaning. If its excessive buildup we need to knock it down to well below the top of the lands for sure, but we don't have to remove all of it.

Proper cleaning after firing, removing all of the powder residue will actually help keep a slight coat of copper in the bore but not the harmful carbon deposits or corrosive residue that can damage the bore.

Stay safe and keep your powder dry.

Wisconsin Gun Workz, LLC

Larry Potterfield, How to Clean a Rifle Barrel, Jan 18, 2023,