How to clean an airsoft inner barrel, and why is it important?

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It is nothing new to say that the inner barrel of an airsoft gun is one of the most important parts of an airsoft gun. Some people just simply don’t think about cleaning it until they notice decreases in their accuracy and range. I hope after reading this you will always think about cleaning your inner barrel as part of your regular airsoft gun maintenance

In this article we will be looking at such topics as why cleaning your airsoft inner barrel is so important, what benefits you will experience from it, and how easy it is to clean it properly and effectively.

Take a read.

Table of contents

  1. Why should you clean your airsoft inner barrel?
  2. How often should you clean your inner barrel?
    1. Precise, tight bored airsoft barrels.
    2. Regular, and some stock airsoft barrels.
  3. How to clean your inner barrel?
  4. Summary

Why should you clean your airsoft inner barrel?

Every single BB you shoot through your inner barrel may leave micro sediment of dust or dirt behind, now, imagine how much worse it can get while playing in the rain or in a dusty area. You might say that using higher quality BBs would prevent your airsoft inner barrel from getting dirty, but let’s be serious. There are no airsoft bbs on the market that will leave absolutely no sediment or dirt behind. Let’s not forget about bio airsoft BBs. They are required in certain areas, and it has been claimed that they are even worse at leaving behind sediment in barrels then normal BBs.

So with that in mind, here are some signs that could tell you that your AEG’s barrel needs to be cleaned more often than once a year:

  1. You may feel that your airsoft gun has decreased its FPS (or m/s).
  2. You may notice that your accuracy has gotten worse for no apparent reason.
  3. Your airsoft gun sounds a bit louder than it used to.
  4. You may notice that your favorite airsoft bbs start jamming more frequently in the inner barrel.

The reason for all these signs is most likely caused by a dirty gun. Why does it happen? The answer is more than obvious – dirt creates friction and resistance causing decreased performance.

I hope I have managed to make you certain that the cleaning of an airsoft inner barrel is important. Let’s go further.

How often should you clean your inner barrel?

I doubt it will surprise you but it depends. It depends on the frequency of your plays, the airsoft BBs you use, the type of airsoft inner barrel you have in your airsoft gun and even simply your way of playing. Some people prefer to shoot thousands of airsoft BBs per game, while others will us just a couple of mid-cap magazines. It makes a huge difference in the amount of sediment being left behind in your barrel.

Precise, tight bored airsoft barrels.

If you are an owner of so-called precise inner barrels – sadly, I don’t have good news for you. You will need to clean it even more often, than users of other types of barrels, but believe me, I personally use a precise inner barrel and the increased accuracy is worth the price.

When looking for how often you should clean your barrel different sources will give you different answers. Many of them say that you should clean your inner barrel after or before each game. And others say you should clean it once every one or two weeks during the playing season. 

As a player who almost never shoots more than 1000 airsoft BBs per game (just a couple of mid-cap magazines), I did not see a big difference between cleaning it after every airsoft game or after four games. But skipping the cleaning for 8.000 – 10.000 airsoft BBs and then cleaning the dirt in the airsoft inner barrel can make a visible difference during a game. 

Regular, and some stock airsoft barrels.

Here it is less strict than for the more precise airsoft barrels. Averaging the Internet sources, it appears that cleaning your inner barrel every 3-4 airsoft games should be okay. Still, that’s just a rough estimate. With my mid-cap magazines’ playstyle, I was cleaning my barrel every 8 games when I had my first AK airsoft gun and it worked well for me.

Airsoft inner barrel of an MP5 airsoft gun
Airsoft inner barrel of an MP5 airsoft gun

How to clean your inner barrel?

There is a huge misconception that airsoft inner barrels should be cleaned with a silicone spray, but if you read the description on the back of the bottle, where it says it should be used to lubricate and to protect plastic and rubber elements. So, it is not intended to be used for barrels

Instead of using silicone spray, use a microfibre cloth. Like the ones provided with most pairs of glasses. It is too big, so you may need to cut it into 2 pieces small enough to use it with the cleaning rod for guns.

It works best with rubbing alcohol, which dissolves the dirt and then evaporates compared to silicon spray which does not evaporate.

Simply fold the cloth to fit into the eyelet of the cleaning rod, soak it in alcohol and with a twisting move put it through the barrel. But be you need to be careful not to go through the hop-up as you may damage it. Repeat these steps as long as there is dirt remaining on your cloth.

Shortlist to remember what you will need to prepare:

  • Cleaning rod for guns,
  • Microfibre cloth,
  • Scissors,
  • Cleaning alcohol.


Remember to practice frequent maintenance of your gun to maintain the best accuracy. Whenever you feel that something has decreased, the barrel should be the first thing to check and clean. The first time is the hardest, but after you do it once, you will realize that it is not complicated.

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