Now that spring is approaching you’re probably starting to imagine how amazing you’ll feel as you step out onto the shooting range for your first practice round of 2019. Before you grab your gun bag and head out for target practice, it’s imperative that you make sure that your firearms are ready for action. Here are some excellent gun maintenance tips that will lead to a season filled with successful shooting experiences.
Why You Can’t Skip Cleaning
We know that firing a gun is a whole lot more fun than cleaning it. Still, there isn’t a substitute for gun maintenance if you plan to keep your favorite weapon in tip-top working condition. A poorly maintained firearm can suffer from fouling and erosion that results in rust. A rusty gun isn’t a reliable one, and it has no place on a shooting range.
How Often Should You Clean?
Did you know that there isn’t a hard and fast rule about how often you need to clean your firearm? To be sure, if you’ve served in the military, you’re used to performing maintenance tasks more often than civilians who only fire a gun a few times a year. The Daily Shooting blog suggests that you pull out your cleaning supplies
- After each trip to the gun range
- After firing approximately two hundred rounds
It’s also a sensible idea to dismantle your firearm and give it a thorough cleaning quarterly if you haven’t had the opportunity to do much shooting. Remember that a well-maintained weapon will perform correctly every time that you need to hit the target.
Gun Maintenance Tips
Now that we’ve hopefully motivated you to start a gun maintenance program, here are five tips that will have your guns in excellent shape in no time.
Tip #1: Know What You’re Doing
Don’t worry if you don’t have much experience with proper gun maintenance since gun manufacturers do an excellent job in providing complete step-by-step instructions for cleaning most of the firearms on the market today. You can also rely on the NRA Guide to Firearms Assembly for help in cleaning your gun.
Tip #2: Put Together an Appropriate Work Space
Forget about the old movies that show the hero cleaning their guns in the kitchen. The NRA recommends that the best cleaning location is outdoors where you won’t need to worry about ventilation as fumes from cleaning oils are too potent to use them in a confined space.
Set up a flat work area that gives you plenty of room to dismantle your gun. You might want to invest in a gun cleaning mat to keep cleaning fluids from soiling your work surface. The benefit of using a mat made specifically for gun cleaning is that the solvents stay on top of the protective covering so that you can wipe it off the mat after you’re done working on your gun.
Read here for more information on a variety of gun cleaning mats.
Tip #3: Invest in a Cleaning Kit
Unless you’re one of those do-it-yourself kinds of people with a garage filled with every conceivable type of tool, we suggest that you make cleaning your gun easy by investing in a gun cleaning kit. Trust us; even the most experienced riflemen often opt to purchase a ready-made gun cleaning kit instead of buying each tool separately. Unless you have specific tool maker requirements, it’s usually cheaper and less time-consuming to go ahead and get a kit.
Tip #4: Don’t Skimp On the Oils
You don’t need to spend time trying to find the best cleaning lubricant because there are many terrific choices on the market. Grant Cunningham, a firearms expert, argues that you shouldn’t get overly concerned about gun cleaning oils since shooting doesn’t stress the substances to any significant degree. That’s good news since, as Cunningham notes, there aren’t any miracle lubricants on the market that will wonderfully clean your gun while turning you into the marksman of your dreams at the same time.
Tip #5: Take the Time to Reassemble Your Gun
Given how essential firearm performance is when you’re shooting at a target, it’s stunning how many people don’t take the time to make sure that each part of the gun is reassembled correctly after cleaning. Savvy owners avoid the hassle of missing parts by reassembling their weapon as quickly as possible.
Don’t forget to do a light oiling to the exterior of your gun to protect against potential damage caused by things like sweat and body oils.
Professional Gun Maintenance Service
Let’s face it; sometimes life is hectic, and it’s impossible to devote enough time cleaning your firearms. The solution to your not enough time to clean situation is to pay a professional to complete the job. That’s right; you can hire an expert to rejuvenate your gun in time for the spring shooting season.
It’s essential to practice gun etiquette if you choose to bring your gun into a shop for service. You must not ever carry a loaded weapon into a gun shop. Range 365 also reminds you to place your firearm case onto the store counter with the muzzle facing away from the employees and other customers. Do not open your gun case until the clerk is ready to check the chamber and clear the gun.
Whatever you do, make sure that you check and double check that you have an unloaded firearm before you leave your home. Too many tragic accidents happen at gun shops that wouldn’t ever have happened if everyone followed strict gun safety strategies.
Lastly, now is the time to wake up your gun maintenance routine if it slept through the long winter months. Taking the time to care for your guns properly is one of the best ways to make sure that you’re ready to get the most out of your time at the shooting range and hunting locations.
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