We are well into summer and most of you hunters are getting your rifle or handgun out and ready for the coming hunting season. If you properly stored your gun it should take more than a wipe down and a patch down the barrel to get it into ship shape. But then there are those that maybe stored a dirty rifle or handgun and worse yet left it in a holster or case. The result of this is usually immediately apparent especially those of you that live in areas that have high humidity. Rust pitting can ruin the finish, rifling in the barrel and the action. Now this doesn’t mean all is lost.
Minor rust and even some pitting can be removed when using a quality gun oil. In these instances avoid the temptation to use solvents not intended for use on firearm finishes such as WD40. A thorough cleaning followed by applying a coat of lubrication can work wonders. I recommend using a CLP or cleaner, lubricant and protector. There are many out there and they are readily available.
Cleaning your gun is not difficult and sometimes can take on the tediousness of sorting socks. But if you follow these few steps your firearm will work well for you for years to come. First, practice gun safety rules. All guns are always loaded! Make certain your gun is not loaded. Second, most firearms require field stripping or minor disassembling to properly clean and lube. If you go too far you might be one of those folks that bring your “bag o parts” to our gunsmith to have your gun put back together. If you are not sure how to do this try accessing the manufacturer’s website for a manual or instructional video. There are many good ones on Youtube if you get stuck.
Clean and inspect all parts, make certain your barrel is free from any obstructions, apply coating of CLP especially if you see where metal against metal rubbing is occurring. Lube makes everything better, but not too much. While going overboard on the lube won’t necessarily hurt your gun it acts as a magnet for dirt and grit. When storing your firearm, clean it first then apply a light coat of oil with a soft cloth. Do not store in a case or holster. Use humidifiers if needed.
We might think that these simple rules are a no-brainer, but when guns come to us for repair the most common cause is the lack of maintenance and cleaning. Follow these steps and have a worry free trip to the range or the field.