Some people, including myself, often get filthy after a good game of airsoft. Obviously a shower and throwing clothes in the wash is a must. But I often find myself putting my airsoft guns away without as much as a quick wipe down. Recently this got my thinking….. So how often should you clean your airsoft gun? Should it be after every match? Lets just straight to the answer.
Airsoft guns should be cleaned after every match, especially the barrel. Airsoft BBs leave very small amounts of residue when fired and debris can also accumulate in the barrel. If left uncleaned, it can lead to damaging your barrel or your gearbox.
Well shit….looks like I’m guilty. But I have a feeling a few of you are too. So lets dive into some more details on this topic we’re all guilty of committing.
When Is The Best Time To Clean My Airsoft Gun?
I do my best to clean my airsoft gun right after a match or as soon as I get home. I usually take a damp cloth and wipe away all the dirt and mud on the frame. Next I clean the barrel (follow the steps below). Last I take a small amount of renaissance wax to prevent rust.
Cleaning the Barrel
The barrel of the Airsoft pistol needs occasional cleaning and it’s pretty easy to do. You’ll know your barrel needs a good cleaning if your BBs start firing all over the place with little to no accuracy. Follow these steps to get your gun firing like new again
NOTE: Before cleaning the gun, make sure the magazine is taken out. Then dial off the hop-up to avoid damage.
You Will Need:
- A paper towel or cleaning cloth
- Cleaning rod
- Lubricant or Teflon based oil
Barrel Cleaning Steps
Before cleaning the gun, make sure the magazine is taken out, and the magazine chamber is empty. Then dial off the hop-up to avoid damaging it. Here is how you clean the barrel:
- STEP 1: Fold the paper towel or cleaning cloth (about 3 inches long) in half and thread through the tip of the cleaning rod.
- STEP 2: Lightly spray silicone lubricant or Teflon oil on the piece of material you’re using.
- STEP 3: Insert the rod with the attached cleaning cloth into the barrel
- STEP 4: Slowly and gently spin the rod and move it along the length of the barrel. Stop when you feel resistance.
- STEP 5: Start removing the rod out of the barrel while gently twisting and pulling.
- STEP 6: Repeat the process as needed
If you follow these steps you should have a nice squeaky clean barrel. But I’m going to assume this is your first time and it’s kinda hard to find a good cleaning kit at your local corner store. So here is a few cleaning kits I recommend.
Recommended Cleaning Kits
- Raiseek Airgun Cleaning Kit with Cotton Mop
- Gamo .177 Cleaning Kit for air rifles and pistols
- Umarex .177 and .22 Caliber Air Gun Cleaning Kit
Unjamming Your Airsoft Gun
It doesn’t matter how clean you keep your airsoft gun. The truth is, jams can happen at anytime and for a variety if different reasons. Some of the reasons are:
- Excessive dirt or residue inside of the barrel
- Debris or dirt within the magazine
- Defective, reused or dirty BBs
- Damaged hopup
Some of these things can cause your gun to jam. In order to avoid this I recommend you clean your gun after every match. But if it happens in the heat of battle it’s going to be a pain in the butt. I suggest you bring with you a barrel rod and a couple pieces of cloth. Follow the steps we listed above and don’t forget to remove that magazine and turn off your hopup.
Magazine Maintenance and Care
Magazine care and maintenance for your airsoft gun will vary depending on the type of gun you own. The 3 types of guns consist of spring, electric and gas.
For both the spring and electric airsoft guns you’ll have to empty your magazines after your match. Doing this helps preserve the strength of the spring within the magazine. Thus increasing the life of your magazine and saving you money!
For gas powered airsoft guns, the magazine should be left pressurized. Doing this ensures all the components within the gun remain unharmed and undamaged. I would also recommend you add a few drops of silicone oil on the internals. When expelling gas it’s important to NOT use the release valve. I know it sounds weird, but if you use the release valve you risk freezing the O-ring which could lead to future gas leakage. Nobody wants gas leakage.
Airsoft Maintenance Do’s and Don’ts
- Clean and lubricate your gun after every match. This will help keep your metal parts from rusting, O-rings lubricated, and overall extend the life of your airsoft gun.
- Empty your magazine when not in use. This will ensure the spring within the magazine remains strong.
- Leave gas in the magazine. You only need a little bit, this keeps the O-rings well lubricated and will help extend it’s life.
- Keep your pistols with the slide in the forward or “normal” position.
- Do Not use an Airsoft Gun in below freezing weather
- Do Not leave the magazine full of gas. It will deform the O-rings
- Do Not slam a magazine into the gun. There’s a tiny nozzle in the magazine that can break off, leading to constant misfiring.
- Do not press the gas valve release. Doing so will cause the O-rings to freeze and lead to future gas leaks.
Tools You Might Need For Airsoft Maintenance.
These tools aren’t required, but it will surly help in making sure your airsoft gun is running like a top. Remember, routine maintenance will keep your beloved gun shooting straight and extends it life. Ultimately saving you money!
- Grease and Oils
- Hex and Nut Drivers
- Sharp Picks
- Gun Cleaning Kits
Out of all of these options I tend to use my gun cleaning kits and grease the most. If you don’t have either, I would highly recommend you get some. They can easily be found on Amazon and usually run pretty cheap.
How Often Should You Clean Your Airsoft Gun Final Thoughts
Making sure your airsoft gun is clean and that you practice good maintenance is vital. Not only does it keep your gun running at it’s best during matches, but it improves the overall life of your gun. As most of us know, some airsoft guns run hundreds of dollars, which can be a big investment for some. The last thing you want is to have your gun break within a year because you lacked general maintenance.
Is there anything you think we missed? When was the last time you cleaned your airsoft gun? Let us know in the comments below and as always feel free checkout our latest article here