After reading a couple of reviews online, you have invested in a powerful gun for your next hunting trip. You have ensured that all the necessary paperwork is done and in order, as well as researched your state’s gun laws.
But before you make use of this powerful tool for hunting or target practice, it is important to understand that regular gun maintenance is essential to ensure its reliability and long-term use. To maintain the ballistic and aesthetic qualities of your firearm over time, you must take proper care of it. And with a huge variety of devices and means for the proper firearms care, it won’t be hard.
Here are essential gun maintenance tips to help make sure your gun lasts through many hunting trips and target practice sessions.
1. Read the Manual
One of the most overlooked steps in gun maintenance is reading the manual with your gun. This manual should contain useful information about cleaning, lubrication, and storage techniques for your specific model of gun.
Read up on this information and ensure you understand it before attempting any maintenance procedures. Even if you are an experienced shooter, reading over the manual can help you familiarize yourself with the specific features of your gun, such as how to properly take apart the gun for cleaning and lubrication.
You can also visit review sites such as bang-inc.com. These sites contain essential tips and insights that could help you keep your gun at its best always.
2. Clean Your Gun After Every Use
Cleaning your gun after each use is important to maintain its accuracy and extend its life. When you shoot, the gun is exposed to dirt, dust, and other debris that can cause corrosion and wear down parts.
You should clean your gun every time you use it, even if you have only fired a few shots. Start by breaking the gun down into its individual components. Then use an appropriate solvent to remove any dirt or residue from the inner components of the gun. Finally, use a lubricant to coat any moving parts and ensure they move smoothly.
If your gun has a wooden stock and fore-end, it also needs proper care. The most important thing that kills wood is moisture. Therefore, if you got caught in the rain, were hunting on the lake, or accidentally dunked your gun in water, the first thing to do is to dry it upon arrival. It is better to dry it in natural conditions, which means no radiators and no sources of heat next to it because the wood will simply deform.
If you were hunting in winter or in snowy hunting grounds, don’t hurry up to take the gun to the house for drying immediately after the hunt. When in contact with warm air after a frost, the wood can also delaminate. In this case, it is better to leave the gun in the anteroom for a couple of hours and then bring it in for drying at room temperature.
To take care of the wooden parts of the gun, you will definitely need a product that protects the wood from moisture and prevents it from drying out. Take a rag, apply a special oil, and cover the fore-end and the stock. After the oil is absorbed (after about 5-10 minutes), we recommend wiping your gun to remove any excess oil.
3. Clean Your Gun Storage Area
Cleaning your gun storage area is just as important as cleaning the gun itself. The buildup of dust and moisture can cause your gun to corrode over time, so it is important to keep it clean and dry.
Regularly check for any signs of moisture or condensation; if found, use a dehumidifier to remove it. Also, make sure to clean out any accumulated dust and debris from your gun storage area.
4. Inspect Your Gun Regularly
Inspecting your gun regularly can help you detect any worn-out or damaged parts before they become a problem. To do this, take your gun apart every few months and inspect all its components for any signs of wear and tear.
Common parts that need to be checked include the firing pin, safety components, and magazine release.
Look out for scratches, dents, rust, or any other irregularities that could affect your gun’s performance. If you detect any such issues, replace the part as soon as possible. If you can’t do this yourself, take your gun to a qualified gunsmith for help.
5. Only Use the Right Cleaning Product
One mistake many gun owners make is using the wrong cleaning product. Not all cleaners are suitable for all gun types, and using the wrong one can damage your gun or even void your warranty.
Make sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions before purchasing a cleaner and follow it carefully when applying it to your gun. Additionally, pay attention to what type of gun cleaning oil you use as well, as not all types are suitable for every gun.
Some cleaning tips:
- Before cleaning a barrel with synthetic oil, you can apply WD-40 to the barrel, as this readily available product is good at displacing moisture.
- After a couple of days following cleaning, you can run a couple more passes through the barrel to remove the protruding excess oil.
- Never use a rust dissolver, as it can wash away the bluing.
- You can wash your whiskers after the cleaning in a simple, mildly alkaline solution of water and soap.
- If you are not using your shotgun during the off-season, we still recommend cleaning it periodically.
Bonus Tip: Store Your Gun Safely
The best way to protect your gun from any unnecessary damage is to ensure that it is stored safely. Make sure to keep it away from heat, moisture, or anything else that could potentially damage the gun.
Ideally, you should store the gun in a hard case and place it in an area where no one can access it without your permission.
By following these gun maintenance tips, you can ensure that your gun will remain reliable during every shooting session and last through many years of hunting trips and target practice sessions.