Maintenance Guide: Air Gun Cleaning and Regular Care
It is important to understand that most air guns do not require regular cleaning. In fact unlike traditional firearms, which are subjected to carbon deposits from gunpowder and metal filings from jacketed bullets, an air gun barrel can often go thousands of shots without ever needing to be cleaned.
So, instead of a cleaning that follows every shooting, air gun care is more dependent on the type of gun you are using:
- Lead or brass barrel?
Air guns with brass barrels, like the Benjamin line of multi-pump pneumatics, will not fall prey to lead deposits, meaning they never need to be cleaned. In fact, cleaning a brass barrel may cause more harm than good.
- Shooting velocity?
Air guns that shoot at a velocity of less than 800 feet per second rarely need cleaned. For example, Olympic target air guns that shoot between 400-600 feet per second almost never need to be cleaned.
- Type of pellets?
Are you using pure lead pellets? Then unless your gun’s velocity is more than 1100 feet per second, the barrel will probably remain free of any deposits. On the other hand, hard lead pellets with antimony may leave deposits, and lightweight synthetic pellets are the dirtiest of all types of pellets, requiring you to regularly clean your steel barrel.
Of course the best way to know if your air gun needs cleaning is if the accuracy is affected. If you notice that your target shooting is not quite as dead on as it once was, this may be a good time to think about inspecting the barrel.
Remember, cleaning the barrel is not the only type of regular maintenance needed. All air guns are different, and depending on what you are shooting (e.g. spring piston, pre-charged pneumatic, multi-pump pneumatic) different methods of oiling and maintenance are required. So in order to ensure your gun is receiving the care it needs, be sure to consult the owner’s manual.
Air Gun Maintenance and Cleaning Supplies