Regular care improves the accuracy and the reliability of any machine, and this is even truer for handguns: regular cleaning, lubrication and replacements of parts like the recoil spring or the handgun guide rod will make your weapon function better and live longer.
Though there are new cleaning technologies invented every now and then, the best way to clean your gun is the good old technique of using a wire brush. You need to disassemble your gun after every shooting session and remove all the lead stuck to the bore. Using this old method, you can make sure your gun is completely clean and you can also prevent any damage to the bore, avoiding corrosion.
Lubrication is the next step of any cleaning session. After cleaning the gun, you need to apply a thin film of lubricant on the moving parts. The film of oil applied must be neither too thin, nor too thick: if it is too thin, the friction between the parts will be too strong, which may damage your gun, while if the film is too thick, it attracts gun powder and other dirt particles, which may cause your gun to get stuck. As for the type of lubricant to use, you must always use one of the oils specially designed for firearms.
Another important step in handgun maintenance is parts replacement. If you own an auto-loading pistol, it is recommended that you replace the recoil spring after every 2,000 rounds, to avoid breaking.
Most pistol users replace the handgun guide rod as well, right after they buy the gun. The role of the guide rod is to add some extra weight to the muzzle, thus making the grip more secure on the gun and the recoil energy more controllable. Most pistols come out of the factory with a plastic guide rod. Though some users say they are perfectly fine with the original plastic rod, many shooters prefer to replace it with a metallic handgun guide rod usually made of steel, stainless steel or tungsten, for more accuracy, reliability and safety.
Regular maintenance is essential if you want to use your gun safely and extensively. Clean your weapon after each shooting session, lubricate the moving parts with the proper oil and replace parts like the recoil spring or the handgun guide rod, and you can rest assured your weapon will function properly for a long time.