Care and Feeding of Your Firearm

A revolver and a handgun laying on a pad in preparation for cleaning

Perhaps you’ve finally decided to purchase your first firearm, or perhaps you’re simply adding a new gun to your collection. Either way, now that you’re home with your new purchase, it’s time to go over a few things to make sure that you know the proper way to take care of this precision tool.

No matter how long you’ve owned firearms or how experienced you are with them, it’s always good to touch on the basics from time to time.

Follow these tips to ensure that all of your firearms have a long and failure-free life.

Learn the proper way to field strip your firearm.

I can’t stress this enough. Unless you are able to properly field strip your firearm, you will not be able to properly clean and lubricate it.

Read the firearm manual that came with your gun and learn how to safely disassemble it.

Keep your firearm properly lubricated.

Your firearm owner’s manual should contain information on the correct lubrication points of your gun, as well as how much and what type of oil to use.

Read the owner’s manual.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, the owner’s manual that came with your firearm has lots of good information in it. Read it!

Store in a cool dry place.

Always keep your firearm stored in a cool dry place. Heat and humidity are the bane of modern firearms. By storing your guns in a cool dry place you will help to prevent damage from rust caused by moisture or cracking and delamination of the stock.

We recommend you also store your firearms with a dessicant to ensure the ambient humidity level remains low.

Store firearms unloaded and secured.

Firearms should always be stored unloaded and locked up, away from children or other unauthorized individuals. Remember that it is your responsibility to keep firearms out of the hands of children.

Regularly take your firearms out of storage for inspection and cleaning.

Just because a firearm hasn’t been used doesn’t mean that it doesn’t need to be inspected and cleaned or re-oiled.

Over time, a light, rust-preventing oil coating evaporates or slowly flow down, and eventually off, of your stored firearms.

You should regularly take out your firearms at least one a year, inspect them for rust or corrosion, clean them if necessary, and then relubricate them.

Wipe down firearms that are carried frequently.

Your concealed carry pistol should be given extra care. It is constantly exposed to heat, rain, sweat, lint, dirt, and dust, and your life may depend on it functioning correctly at a critical moment.

For this reason, make sure to wipe off your concealed carry pistol every night with a silicon impregnated cloth. This drives off corrosive oils and moisture and prevents rust.

Check for the collection of lint and dirt in the cracks and crevices of your pistol and gently wipe them out with a lightly oiled cotton swab.

What is your best tip for taking care of your firearm, making sure it is in working order when it’s time to use it. Share your thoughts in the comment section.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (3)

  1. Very good advice. May I also share something I once heard. Do not store your firearms in soft gun cases having insulated linings in areas having sudden temperature changes (as mentioned in the article) such as in rooms, hunting camps, back of trucks, etc. It could cause the gun to sweat and then rust sets in.

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