With the 2015 pheasant hunting season quickly approaching, what better way to pass the time than spit-shining some of the season’s most important accessories? Below we’ve covered a few general refreshers for keeping your gun in tip-top shape for continued success in each season.
Why is Regular Cleaning Important?
While far from breaking news, it’s important to remember that all varieties of guns require regular maintenance and cleaning in order to function properly. Consistent upkeep is recommended for removing debris that can lead to fowling, unnecessary wear, and cause the gun to perform below standards of its intended accuracy.
The rule of thumb is that a gun should be cleaned after each use, as many guns will begin to function inconsistently when cleaning is avoided. Regular cleaning also uncovers any of the gun’s potential malfunctions that wouldn’t be found otherwise, which can be extremely helpful if the issue calls for the attention of a gunsmith.
Cleaning Materials You’ll Need
There are many all-encompassing cleaning products and kits available for general gun upkeep, which are readily available at the recreational store of your preference. Typically, gun cleaning kits will include a solvent for cleaning the residual metals left in the barrel by shots passing through, along with a wire or brush to scrub all possible particles out of the bore and prevent corrosion in the barrel. Gun oils and lubricants are also available to help prevent wear and enhance the gun’s overall performance.
Basic Gun Cleaning Tips
Here are a few general steps to get your pre-season prep started off on the right foot:
- Most importantly, always double check to make sure that the gun you are cleaning is unloaded.
- Brush the gun’s exterior with a solvent for cleaning, and then wipe dry.
- With a solvent soaked brush, cleanse the bore and let it set for 10-15 minutes to help loosen any remaining lead and powder. Depending on when the last cleaning was performed, this step may need to be repeated.
- Use the soaked brush to scrub particles down the barrel and out of the muzzle.
- With a cloth, apply a light coat of oil on the gun’s metal exteriors.
- Protect your gun from moisture on a long-term basis by storing it in a dehumidifying case or vault.
Since these cleaning tips are only the basics, it is important to become familiar with the in-depth instructions for your gun’s specific cleaning needs.