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Dangers of Neglecting Your Firearms; How Gun Cleaning Can Prevent Fouling & Erosion

Even new firearms require regular care and cleaning. Each time you fire your gun, it is exposed to carbon, copper, plastic and lead residue around the ejector, chamber, action, and inside the barrel of the gun. As these contaminants build up, this is known as fouling. Fouling is the result from the bullets, powder, and wad, combined with moisture exposure. Corrosion will occur affecting several components of the firearm. However the big question is what will happen if the fouling is left unchecked and how will it affect your gun? Today Shooting Range Industries will share what can happen when guns are neglected and not properly cared for along with the possible dangers.

Types of Firearm Fouling

Most bullets are either a rim-fire or a center-fire with a lead core and are encased with a copper jacket. Even lead free rounds will contain copper which exposes the firearm to carbon along with one of these three other emissions. Copper from copper jacket bullets, lead from lead bullets, or plastic from shotgun rounds can be left inside the barrel and chamber of the gun. All bullets or ammunition will leave behind some form of emission inside the guns, causing fouling. Combined with black powder that contains different levels of salt, fouling occurs inside the barrel and chamber of the gun. This promotes erosion.

Preventing Fouling

There are no rules or manual that tells you how often guns should be cleaned. This often leads to the misconception that it isn’t important and guns can go years without needing to be cleaned. However, you will find most military or law enforcement personnel have a much different perspective. Since both military and law enforcement rely on their firearms as part of the job and know their life is on the line in many situations, they clean the gun each time they use their weapons. To prevent erosion from occurring inside their guns they clean and care for their gun after each time they go shooting on the range.

Gun Fouling & Erosion Damage

Fouling can lead to rust and erosion damage that eats the metal of the gun, typically starting inside the barrel of the gun, then around the chamber, ejector and firing mechanism. During fouling, parts have been known to rust and fuse together, causing failure to feed as well as fire. Other failures can occur, but essentially the gun loses all reliability once rust and fouling occurs. Depending on the firearm, they can be rather expensive and for those who depend on their gun for work or to protect their home and their loved ones, an unreliable gun is useless. This is why it is important to clean your gun, and like our law enforcement and military, for complete reliability, clean your guns each time you go to the range.

Cleaning the Firearm

Cleaning a firearm can prevent fouling. A quick and basic cleaning where the barrel, chamber and outer surfaces of the gun is cleaned is essential. Oil can go a long way too. However dissembling the gun provides a deeper and better clean, where all of the moving parts can be cleaned and oiled. Remember never use too much oil as the dirt can get stuck inside and cause dirt to build up everywhere and erode and damage the gun as well.

Custom Indoor Shooting Range Design & Construction

Shooting Range Industries wants to encourage proper firearm care and remind everyone to keep their guns cleaned. For all of your indoor range design and construction needs, contact Shooting Range Industries.