Don’t Want Your Gun Going Down in the Apocalypse? Here Are the Top 10 Common Mistakes to Avoid

October 26, 2016

Bullets, Firearms Training

Your gun must be ready to address a situation at any given moment. When the time comes to use it, you have no extra seconds to repair your broken weapon. It must always be in top shape and respond to your reaction as if reading your mind. Since your life depends on the functionality of the security gear, here are 10 common mistakes that can get your gun down to the apocalypse.



1.    Using the Same Cleaning Patch Surface When You Go Down the Barrel

Cleaning your gun is a matter of life and death. Every time you shoot, the barrel will gather residues of copper, lead or plastic. While there are no exact cleaning rules to cover all the types of weaponry, there are some safety checks that can maintain the efficiency of the gun for a longer period of time.

These residues can build up over time, and affect the performance in matters of bullet velocity and barrel’s rifling. To avoid these corrosive agents, you should make it a habit to clean your gun periodically. Nobody can tell you how often you should do it, so the best method is to test several periods and record the performance after.

Furthermore, it is important to use a clean patch surface every time you go down the barrel. If you use the same twice, you will encourage dirt to gather in the neck and chamber. The next bullet you shoot will rub the dirt against the throat and damage it.

2.    Running a Brush in the Barrel First

While many people believe that a brush is more effective than a patch surface, the truth is that your gun can suffer the consequences if it receives an inadequate cleaning treatment. First things first, you should use a lubricated patch. If you skip this step and jump directly to the brush, you can almost certainly damage your gun.

The brush will pick up the dirt from the muzzle end, which will easily be transported way up to the chamber and forcing cone. The bristles will only make the impurities settle even better in these locations that usually remain clean even after a shot.

3.    Letting the tip or rod rub the inside the barrel

The barrel of your gun suffers most of the impact produced by a shot bullet. It must be able to resist the expanding gas that creates a lot of pressure that can be fatal for your weapon. This is why the maintenance should be delicate and effective.

It is said that the barrel records the entire history of the gun. One look down it, you can count how many times you cleaned and used it. Many of its scratches can be a result of a too astringent cleaning. The best way to consolidate its durability is to make sure to center the rod and tip. Otherwise, you will damage the inside of the barrel.

4.    Using Flammable Chemicals such as Gasoline or Kerosene

Some people don’t have the patience that a cleaning process requires when it comes to weapons.  This is why they are willing to choose flammable chemicals instead of other solvents to get rid of unwanted residues.

However, gasoline and kerosene that seem to be a popular choice these days are not cleaners but fuel. Whether you use them inside or outside the gun, you can create only opportunities for hazards. The thin layer of these dangerous chemicals will ignite the moment you shoot a bullet. The optimistic scenario includes damaging the metal finishes that protect the firearm or melting the plastic parts away.

5.    Using too Much Solvent

We are programmed to think that the more means, the better. However, this will never hold true in the gun world. Too much solvent will form a denser mass that can make its way through until some drops reach the trigger mechanism. Once there, it can cause premature failure of the wood, and the result will be a gummy trigger.

6.    Pushing the Cleaning Rod Too Far

People can easily mistake a damaging procedure with a thoroughly cleaning process. The cleaning rod has too much length for pistols and 22 caliber rifles which can confuse their users into using it entirely. However, if the cleaning rod reaches too far, it will chip and even damage the crown at the end of the barrel. This can lead to an unwanted loss of accuracy.

The trick here is to understand how this can happen. The part of the rod that actually does this kind of damage is the jag where the cleaning product is screwed in. So, the next time you clean your gun, make sure that only the jag exits the barrel.

7.    Forcing Parts Back Together

The reassembling process should be managed with delicacy. It is going to take you a long time before mastering this part with your eyes closed as the movies showed us. However, Hollywood is only there to romanticize the scenes and fast-forward the ugly truths.

When reassembling your gun, nothing should be forced. If the parts do not fit, you can only disassemble them and try to put them back together again.

8.    Having Ammunition Present


No matter how much we think we are in control, there’s nothing more dangerous than overlooking the idea that a gun is a deadly weapon. Before the cleaning process, you must always ensure that there is no ammunition present in the gun. Human nature will always welcome mistakes that can either lead to evolution or extinction.

So, it is of utmost importance to check if the gun still has ammunition after every end of a shooting session. Even though you think that you shoot any existing projectile during your training session, there’s nothing wrong with an extra gesture of caution. A mind trick to make sure you avoid this mistake is always to think that the gun is loaded.

9.    Not Using the Proper Materials

A cleaning process shouldn’t be time-consuming or considered a waste. However, the best way to minimize the time spent on it is to acquire the proper materials in the first place. Periodic cleaning will keep the build-up at bay and protect the instrument against rust.

So, always use tools that are specifically designed for guns. They will have an as little damaging impact as possible and will streamline the cleaning process.

10.    Ignoring The Safety Measurements

Even though you know your gun like the palm of your hand, the hell can still break loose when ignoring the safety measurements. These include wearing eye protection, never cleaning your gun with someone else in the room, function testing your gun after cleaning, and maintaining it properly. But first and foremost, always make sure that you point the muzzle in a safe direction.

So, these are the top 10 common mistakes that get people into trouble when handling a gun. However, some common sense and a good grasp of weapon maintenance will save you from a gun gone down the apocalypse.

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About Mike Jones

Mike Jones is a professional writer. After he graduated from Boston University, Mike chose this career path because he wants to share his knowledge on topics like personal growth, self-defense and gun control. He is now a contributing editor for GunsmithU

View all posts by Mike Jones

One Response to “Don’t Want Your Gun Going Down in the Apocalypse? Here Are the Top 10 Common Mistakes to Avoid”

  1. Chris Says:

    #10. Never cleaning your gun with someone else in the room? Really? WTF? We used to have gun cleaning parties after an all day range session.

    Also, if you want/have your firearm all tricked out with lasers, optics vertical grips , rails, side saddles, etc., etc. Make sure you get to the range and try everything out. Don’t just bolt the stuff on and think you’re good to go. Try everything out and run it hard! Run it repeatedly, you’re looking for ZERO failures!


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