Just as it’s important to perform regular maintenance on your car, proper cleaning can help to ensure your gun’s longevity and safety. However, one question that many gun owners have is how often to field-strip a firearm. The answer may vary depending on a few factors but read on to find out the general rule of thumb for field-stripping your gun.

What Is Field-Stripping?

Field-stripping is when you disassemble your gun to clean its internal components. This process involves removing the slide, barrel, recoil spring and guide rod.

The frequency of your field-stripping can depend on how often you use your firearm. If you use it frequently, then you might need to field-strip it more often. On the other hand, if you don’t use it as often, then you might be able to get away with field-stripping it less.

A general rule of thumb is to field-strip your gun every 30 days. However, if you notice any problems with your firearm, don’t wait to address them. Instead, field-strip it as soon as possible to inspect and clean the affected parts.

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It’s also important to note that environmental factors can also impact how often you need to field-strip your gun. For example, if you use your firearm in a dusty or dirty environment, you may need to field-strip it more often to remove debris that could cause malfunctions.

Consider Your Firearm

And it’s important to consider the type of gun you own. Every firearm is different, so you should consult your owner’s manual for a recommended field-stripping schedule. Additionally, if you’re unsure about how to field-strip your firearm, seek the help of a professional gunsmith.

As a gun owner, maintaining your firearm is crucial for both its safety and longevity. How often you clean your gun can also depend on how often you use it, environmental factors and the type of gun you own. Remember to always consult your owner’s manual and seek professional help if you’re unsure about how to field-strip your firearm. By properly caring for your firearm, you’ll be able to enjoy it for years to come.


Alright, I’m calling you out. Like when the dentist asks you how often do you floss, I’m asking you how often do you field-strip your carry weapon and rotate the ammo. This video will answer that question. How often should you field-strip your carry weapon, clean it up and rotate the ammo?

I am of the opinion that a concealed carrier should clean — as in field-strip and thoroughly clean if it’s an autoloading pistol; swing out the cylinder and thoroughly clean it if it’s a revolver — his or her EDC sidearm at least … wait for it … monthly. Once every 30 days. The biggest threat to a pistol carried inside the waistband or in a pocket is the lint that will accumulate inside and out a lot faster than you think. Most lubricants also dry up or run off of a gun, so that will have to be addressed as well. I prefer to disassemble and clean my carry gun every Saturday morning. But as long as you can find the time that works for you, and no more infrequent than at least every 30 days, you’ll be fine.

How Often Should You Rotate Ammo?

The ammunition is a different matter. If we’re talking about a revolver and you never sweat or it never gets rained on, it is entirely possible that you could carry the same rounds for decades and never experience any failures to fire when you do finally drop the hammer. If, however, you’re constantly racking your rounds into and out of a semi-auto’s chamber, you will want to both rotate your ammunition within your magazine — as in do not keep chambering and ejecting the same round — and completely replace the rounds about once or twice a year. Some swear that it must be done more frequently, and some swear it’s a waste of money. But about once a year works well for me.

And then again, we have that discussion about magazine springs. You don’t want to be over-flexing your magazine springs; they’ll be fine. Check your ammo after cleaning your firearm and inspect your carry ammunition. All the bullets should be protruding from the front of the case the same distance. Line them up and confirm this. None of the rounds should be discolored or look any different than they did when they came out of the box. This would also be a time to rotate your rounds within your magazine.

As you rack a round into and out of your pistol’s chamber, the rims at the bases will begin to wear and the bullets can begin to creep backwards. They can take a few cycles in and out, but don’t ask for much more than that. As for revolver rounds, they should be similarly inspected and replaced if there’s any bullet setback or any corrosion on the bullets.

If your pistol gets soaked with rain or sweat and you cannot dry everything off within an hour or so, you’re going to want to move these rounds to the training pile. But as for both cleaning guns and rotating ammunition, I treat them both like I treat visiting the restroom. Even if I kind of suspect that maybe I should visit the restroom, I do. And if I even kind of suspect that maybe I should clean my gun and swap out some ammunition, I do. This is something you’re betting your life on. Make sure it’s clean and functional and working properly all the time. That’s your gun, not the restroom reference, just to be clear.