TIPS FOR CLEANING YOUR HUNTING GUN
Article Written By; M. Sampson Kristopher,
I am not really one those who find cleaning guns boring or even stressful. This doesn’t mean I find it so exciting either but I just realized that much of my personal safety depends on how well my gun is maintained.
That said, I am going to be sharing some tips I think you will find useful in cleaning your rifle. But before I proceed, I’d like to make this very clear: ensure your rifle is unloaded and pointed in a “safe” direction before you start cleaning.
After all, we are all used to hearing stories of “unloaded” guns that killed people.
Get the tools ready
You seriously don’t want to take your gun apart before realizing that you do not have some vital tools. It is, therefore, necessary that you first get the needed tools. One of the most important tools that you will need is a bore snake or cleaning rod. There is an ongoing debate on which one of them is better and we shall look into that in a moment.
Other tools you should also get include a multi-tool (if your rifle doesn’t come with tools for disassembly, a bore brush to remove material built up in the barrel and an organizational tray. Organizational trays are very useful since they allow you to keep track of all your working tools. Other useful materials include a cleaning solvent, a patch holder and patches, gun oil, cotton swabs as well as a nylon cleaning brush. Once you have them all ready, then you are good to go.
Bore snakes vs. cleaning rods—which one is right for you?
Everyone knows how important it is to clean a gun barrel but picking the right tool is usually the problem. One reason why bore snakes have been highly favored is that they are less likely to damage the gun’s muzzle or chamber. In contrast, cleaning rods, especially the steel ones, are known to wear down the muzzle area.
However, cleaning rods made of soft aluminum or brass will not scratch the bore of your gun. Moreover, cleaning rods are considerably cheaper than bore snakes. Regardless of which one you choose, it is very important to know how to use it properly.
How to use a bore snake
Using a bore snake is quite a straight forward process. First, you should soak the bore snake in a suitable gun oil and then swipe through the barrel a couple of times with it. You could also spray the barrel with solvents and let it soak for about 30 minutes and then pull the bore snake through in the same direction a bullet would travel through the barrel; that is from the chamber to the muzzle.
In most cases, one pass is usually enough to loosen particles, but you may have to do it for about 3 times. However, for better cleaning, a bronze brush can be attached to the bore snake and then pulled for about 2 times.
How to use a cleaning rod
To use a cleaning rod, you will needs some patches as well. The first step in using a cleaning rod is to soak the bore using the cotton patches of appropriate size. Next is to soak the patch with a good solvent and push it through the bore till it comes out from the other side.
This should be done only in one direction as pulling the patch backward will simply redeposit the dirt in the barrel. After using the patch a few times, remove the patch and replace with the bore brush and then proceed to run the brush along the bore for about 3 times. You should continue to alternate the brush and the patch until the patch comes out clean.
Clean and lubricate the chamber and action
There are some other seemingly “irrelevant” things you will still have to do even after cleaning the bore. In fact, they are quite important if you want your gun to function perfectly well. One such thing is to clean the barrel with gun oil as this helps to remove moisture or water from the rifle.
It is equally important to apply solvent to the action (do not neglect any part) and wipe with a clean, dry cloth. Finally, you will have to slightly lubricate all the moving parts of the action to prevent them from rusting.
Clean in an open space
It hardly needs to be said that cleaning a hunting rifle should be done in an open space. In any case, it is important that you know that the chemicals which are normally used for cleaning guns can be quite dangerous to inhale. Regardless of whether it is a lubricant, solvent, or even an anti-rust spray, you can rest assured that toxic fumes are released into the air once they are opened.
That being the case, it is advisable that you carry out your cleaning outside or in your garage with the door open (if the weather is cold).
How often should you clean your rifle?
Most people who own rifles are still at a loss on how frequently it should be cleaned. Well, I am one of those feel that it all depends on your kind of rifle and what you use it for. Personally. I clean my rifle about once every 500 rounds.
However, there are times when I just have to clean it immediately after use. I usually clean my rifle immediately if it has been exposed to water and dust. Not doing this will cause the gun to corrode, thereby reducing its lifespan.
Patience and safety
I began by saying that you must ensure your gun is unloaded before being taken apart. This has to be repeated since many people tend to miss it. Also, you should take other safety precautions such as wearing safety goggles, protective gloves, and even a respirator. Most chemicals used for cleaning guns are quite deadly, never forget that.
Above all, you must not be in a hurry when cleaning your rifle. You should take things slowly in order not to damage any of the parts. In the end, you should test your rifle to see if it works fine; and hopefully, you will have a great time on your next outing.