Do Guns Need To Be Fired? Six Maintenance Tips

do guns need to be fired

Guns, in general, were designed for a purpose, whether it is for hunting to feed your family, as a sport discipline, or for personal protection. Most gun owners go to the target range at least one day per month, but there are times that it’s not possible. Guns have a few mechanical parts that need to work in conjunction to fire the bullet, so what happens when you can’t practice or shoot? In order to keep working, do guns need to be fired?

Guns typically do not need to be fired. The mechanical parts will work regardless of whether the gun is maintained, well-lubricated, and appropriately stored. Proper gun maintenance is the key to keeping your gun fire-ready even if it is not in use. Lubrication, a desiccation agent, and adequate storage keep rust and dust out of the working parts of the gun.

I can not say enough about a good maintenance schedule for your firearms. That is the key to having a gun that works even if it will not be fired for a long time. Even saying that guns were made, for one thing, firing bullets and lots of them. It is always important to check your gun regularly and, when possible, go to the range and fire off a few rounds. Let’s look at some beneficial maintenance tips that you can apply even if your gun is not being fired.

Are Guns Ready To Fire Out The Box?

Typically, guns come from the manufacturer stored in their box. The factory will send it out with only the packing grease. The weapon is not lubricated for use straight away. The correct thing to do with a brand-new weapon is the following;

  • Unbox the weapon.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s guide and disassemble the gun.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s guide on lubricating the firearm.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s guide and reassemble the gun.
  • Always load the magazine according to the manufacturer’s guide and with the correct rounds of ammunition.
Do Guns Need To Be Fired? Six Maintenance Tips 1

Should You Clean A New Gun Before Firing?

This needs to be done before a single shot gets fired off. If the gun is not lubricated, it could seize up, and a bullet can jam in the chamber or damage the hammer.

The only gun that might be an exception would be a Glock. They come ready to fire off rounds out of the box. Either way, it’s recommended that you check the weapon properly before testing or firing.

How Long Can You Store A Gun Without Firing?

A gun can typically be stored forever without firing it. This, however, is subject to specific, very crucial criteria being met. Back in the Wild West, guns were wrapped in rags or animal skins and buried in the most precarious places like caves, inside graves, and water wells.

Guns back then had a straightforward firing mechanism and used front loading powder and a lead ball. Today, it’s a different story. Guns are made to fire off hundreds of rounds should the need arise.

Storage of your weapon is almost like long-term maintenance. Let’s look at some of the six most essential maintenance tips for your firearm;

Six Maintenance Tips

gun cleaning

Gun Cleaning Protocol

Always place a cleaning cloth under the firearm; this helps you to see every part and keeps the gun from getting scratches on tables or gun oil messing everywhere.

  1. Disassemble – Following the correct procedures, take the gun apart as far as possible.
  • De-Cock – Keep the firearm in the de-cocked position. It will ensure no tension is placed on the spring during storage.
  • Clean – Take a special soft cloth uses for gun cleaning and dust the gun off. Take the brush in your kit and brush in between all moving parts. Always use a firearm-approved and ammonia-free cleaner. Materials such as plastic copper and lead will attract moisture, so it is vital to use the correct cleaner.
  • Barrel/Bore – Make sure you lean the barrel’s exterior, the lug, feed ramp

and the barrel hood. It is advisable not to use a standard lubricant for the bore. If you are not going to fire the gun for a long time and plan to store it, lubricate it with a heavy viscosity lubricant such as Ballistol Clever.  

This lubricant is alkaline and will dissolve corrosive ammunition residue and black powder and make a thin moisture resistant layer on the gun. This is helpful in high humidity areas. Remove the lubricant before firing the weapon by cleaning out the bore thoroughly. 

  • Fingerprints – Take a soft cloth and remove all fingerprints and smudges after lubricating the entire metal part of the gun and barrel. The last wipe down will ensure no residue is left to where more moisture or dust can accumulate.
  • Wax – If you have a revolver with a wooden handle or a rifle with a wooden stock, clean it thoroughly, and then using a good quality stock wax, give the entire stock a good layer. Remember to wax the inner exposed part of the stock as well.

Best Storage Procedures

For a gun that will not be fired for a long time, approved storage space is a legal requirement. Let us look at what is expected from you in terms of keeping the gun securely stored away;

  • Inspection – Inspect the storage area beforehand to check for any mold, moisture, or damp and excess dust. Any sites containing any of the above should not be used to store a firearm.
  • A Gun Safe – In some states, this is a legal requirement for storing a weapon. Buy an approved gun safe from your local gun shop and install it according to the legislation. A gun safe is the most secure way of storing your firearm for long periods—some open with a key, a fingerprint, or a code.
  • Gun Bag – Specially made gun bags allow you to store your weapon for many years protected from corrosion, moisture, or dust.
  • Silicon-Treated Sock – A gun sock treated with silicon helps protect the gun against scratches and moisture entering the weapon.
  • Barrel-down Storage – Your shotguns and rifles should be stored with the barrel facing the ground. This prevents oil from running into unwanted areas.
  • Desiccant Packs – In high humidity areas, it’s a great idea to puta few desiccant packs inside the safe or storage area. These packs help draw out any excess moisture and prevent corrosion.


gun storage

Things To Avoid When Storing A Gun Long Term:

  • In high humidity areas, avoid sheepskin-lined bags or cases. They will attract moisture easily, and you can have rust and corrosion forming in a day.
  • Unless your gun came in a hard case, avoid using cardboard for storage. It is a moisture trap and has no strength or safety integrity.

Should You Dry-Fire A Gun?

There are a few exceptions to dry firing a gun. Specific handguns like some rimfire firearms like revolvers have an angled firing pin, and some older shotguns should not be dry-fired as it can damage them. Most damage will occur to the mouth of a rimfire firearm.

In most modern firearms, there is no problem with dry-firing. A snap-cap is another alternative, especially in shotguns. This allows you to dry fire several times without the risk of any damage occurring. A snap-cap is also a guarantee that the barrel is empty.


While guns do not need to be fired to stay in working order, they need maintenance and care to stay corrosion and dust-free. While many owners do not regularly practice with their weapons, they should be tested at least once a month.

Practicing with your weapon is vitally essential. It keeps you aware of areas that need work and forces you to clean and lubricate your gun. Always do the maintenance thoroughly and take your time while doing it. The maintenance protocol is the most crucial factor to follow for long-term storage and for firearms that don’t get tested at least once a month.