Whether you’re a hobby shooter or a pro, your shotgun is more than a tool, it’s part of your identity as a shooting enthusiast. It’s no surprise, then, that you’ll want to take good care of it. One of the most involving aspects of that care (and the easiest to procrastinate) is proper cleaning. A clean gun can be the difference between a day full of fun at the range or in the brush, and a day wasted fixing jams and dismantling and reassembling gummy components.
Understand first, that not everyone makes it a habit of cleaning their firearms. In fact, there are strong proponents of never cleaning your weapon. While there’s nothing wrong with being part of that community, after a certain point you sacrifice any guarantee that your gun will fire when you want it to.
Each time you fire your shotgun, a collection of residue is left behind. Metals, carbon and plastic start to accumulate in the barrel, the chamber, and the action. That’s to say nothing of moisture and debris from weather, the environment and your own oils and sweat. Depending on what kind of shooting you do, that residue can build up slowly, or very quickly, which is why it’s beneficial to simply make a regular habit of cleaning your gun.
Fortunately for you shotgun fans, shotguns tend to be more durable than handguns and not as sensitive as semi-automatic rifles. They’re also not designed to be as competitively accurate as a precision rifle. This combines to mean that you probably don’t have to clean as often as others do. There’s no rule to it, though, as every gun faces different stresses. If your shotgun is from Gray’s Shotgun Cache, we’ll have done our part to make sure it’s in working order when it gets to your hands. The best practice after that is to be attentive; take note of places where buildup seems to develop, or how reliable your shooting experience is over time. Doing so will help you get an idea of what kind of cleaning your gun needs, and how often. Happy shooting!