The Ideal Frequency: How Often Should You Clean Your Shotgun?

Shotguns are powerful tools, but how often should you clean your shotgun to ensure it operates efficiently and safely? While there are varying opinions on this topic, it's critical to understand that maintenance is key to prolonging the life of your firearm and ensuring its optimal performance.

The Rule of Thumb

As a general rule, cleaning your shotgun each time you've finished shooting is a good practice. This rule ensures that your shotgun is always in optimal condition, ready for your next shooting activity. It also helps maintain the gun’s accuracy, reliability, and safety.

Shooting Conditions Matter

While cleaning your shotgun after each use is recommended, you should pay extra attention when shooting in harsh conditions. Rain, humidity, and dusty environments can accelerate the wear and tear of your shotgun, making it essential to clean and lubricate it immediately after use to prevent rust and damage.

Storage Times

If you store your shotgun for prolonged periods, it's advisable to clean and lubricate it before storage. It's also good practice to check it every few months for any signs of rust or corrosion, even if it hasn't been used.

Regular Maintenance Vs. Deep Cleaning

Regular maintenance, which should be done after each shooting session, generally involves cleaning the barrel, action, and chamber with a quality shotgun cleaner, such as Napier's Gun Cleaner Lubricant, and applying a thin layer of gun oil to prevent corrosion.

Deep cleaning, on the other hand, involves dismantling the gun to its major components and thoroughly cleaning each part. This type of cleaning is more complex and time-consuming, but it's necessary to ensure the overall longevity of your firearm. It's typically recommended to perform a deep clean at least once or twice a year, depending on how frequently you use your shotgun.


Keeping your shotgun clean is crucial to its performance, safety, and longevity. Cleaning it after each shooting session and before long-term storage can ensure that it remains in excellent condition and is always ready for use.

Remember, using a high-quality shotgun cleaner, such as Napier's Gun Cleaner Lubricant, can make the process easier and more effective. It not only effectively cleans your firearm but also lubricates and protects it from corrosion.

So, how often should you clean your shotgun? The answer largely depends on your usage and the conditions in which you shoot. However, regular cleaning after every use is a good habit to develop. With proper maintenance, your shotgun will continue to serve you reliably for many years to come. To get your hands on Napier's Gun Cleaner Lubricant, click here.