A caulking gun is a piece of equipment that can last for quite a while if stored properly. You can avoid throwing money down the drain by knowing the right way to keep it working through proper cleaning and storage.
Keep the plunger of the gun tidy and clean. You may get seepage in this area from the back of the caulk tube. This seepage can clog the plunger and prevent it from operating correctly.
Oiling the Ratchet
The ratchet should stay oiled to prevent caulk to freezing on to the ratchet teeth. You can generally use any kind of oil to prevent this from happening.
Preserve the Caulk
You can keep the caulk in the gun fresh by protecting it. The easiest way to do this is to push a small nail in the end of the tube to plug up the hole. A new tube of caulk has a small foil seal to keep it fresh, using a nail will do the same thing. It will prevent air from getting in and drying out the caulk. A small piece of wood, or even a toothpick (if the tube nose is small enough) will work as well.
You can save quite a bit of money if you take some simple steps to preserve the caulk and keep the caulking gun clean.