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Author Topic: Dutch's Gun Care  (Read 376 times)

Offline TalkHunting Mag

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  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Posts: 44
Dutch's Gun Care
« on: April 02, 2013, 06:01:47 AM »
Dutch says; ďTake care of your gun and itíll take care of you.Ē
Regular cleaning, lubrication and rust prevention, you will get many enjoyable years from your firearm. If you prepare your gun correctly for any type of field condition and clean it at the end of each day you use it. By ďuseĒ it I donít mean firing it, Iíll explain this later. Your reward will be smooth operation and excellent accuracy.
The four biggest enemies of your gun are:
Powder Fouling:
If your gun isnít cleaned properly powder deposits eventually build up and will affect the accuracy of the weapon. It can also attract moisture, which will lead to rust!
Metal Fouling:
Metal fouling occurs mostly in handguns and rifles that use copper jacketed high velocity loads. The copper leaves tiny fragments behind in the barrel, which create rough spots, which can cause further fragmentation on each shot. These deposits will build up and will eventually affect accuracy.
MoistureÖ.The absolute biggest problem for your gun!
Moisture can seriously cut into the life span of your gun. Sometimes the problem doesnít present itself until itís too late. Moisture can damage a gun to the point that it becomes useless. Any type of condensation or moisture, whether itís from moist air, rain, snow, fog, water, etc. will start the rusting process within 24 hours. If any of these conditions are experienced it is important that you dry your gun immediately.
Simple Neglect:
One misconception most gun owners have is that if a gun is cleaned and lubricated correctly before being stored it can stay in storage indefinitely without any further maintenance. This is simply not true. Even if youíve taken all the proper precautions before storing your gun you will still need to strip the gun down periodically and clean it thoroughly.
Dutchís No Excuses Way of Effective Gun Maintenance
Very few hunters take care of their guns the way they should. There are two primary reasons, both tied to basic human nature. The first reason is the simple reality that cleaning and maintenance is a pain in the _ _ _. No matter how much we love our guns, caring for them is ultimately no more fun than doing the dishes or laundry.
The second reason is that most of us have been preconditioned to think that if we do any gun cleaning at all, we need to get out all the rods and brushes and chemicals and rags we have accumulated over the years and spend at least an hour or two really cleaning, then we probably ought to get out every gun we own and make a whole dayís project of it. The result is that we put it off, and we put it off, and we wind up letting dirty guns sit for weeks or months, or we never even get around to doing any maintenance at all because we think weíre not really doing any good unless we go whole hog cleaning and lube job.
Dutchís Gun Lesson No. 1: Any maintenance is better than none. Yes, I know that all the instruction sheets with your cleaning kits say you need to keep running solvent and lube soaked brushes and mops back and forth through the bore at least bazillion times until the last fresh white patch comes out pristine. Dutch says HOG WASH! What the guide sheets donít tell you is that your first simple swipe down the bore with that very first solvent/lube-soaked patch takes care of about 90 percent of the whole process.
The point is simple. You can be as compulsive and thorough about gun cleaning and appearance maintenance as you want. A full-treatment disassembly (only teardown as far as you are comfortable with) and the cleaning of individual parts every time you take the gun to the field certainly cannot hurt. I admit, every once in a while thatís exactly the kind of treatment I do, at least annually. I donít do that kind of cleaning every time. Generally speaking, a 90 percent one-swipe is a lot better than a 100 percent no-swipe.
Of course, common sense should be your basic guide. A routine swipe for a behind-the-door gun will keep the weapon in pretty good shape. A hard dayís work in sweaty hands or a couple of days of hunting in a dusty wind or muddy marsh calls for a different approach.
Personally, Iím mainly concerned with function, but I do pay more attention to finish and matters of appearance on a few of my favorites. And thereís no law against having a gun that looks good and works well.
So, if you want to be practical and keep your gun working and looking as much like new as possible (not counting the unavoidable nicks and scars of honorable use) but not invest a career in the process, this is what works:
The time to do your most ďoverallĒ cleanup is when the gun is going back on the rack until next season (whenever that may be). My routine is to first make very sure Iíve cleared all shells from the chamber and all magazines, especially any spare box magazines. Aside from the primary safety issue, shells get cruddy and soak up moisture when left in magazines or tubes. Do a quick field-strip and then brush, wipe, lube any apparent grit, grime, or gunky firing residue; reassemble; and work the action, making sure it still feels right. Clean the chamber and the bore with the level of effort (the number of swipes/wipes) you feel is necessary.
For the guns I most prize for accuracy this is the time when I do my own most thorough fouling-removal cleanup of the bore, using a high-grade copper solvent, bore guide, graphite rods, and bench vise the whole nine yards. But thatís just me. Basic reality is that the chamber and the bore are the elements most critical to your gunís continued performance. You can let the finish and appearance go completely if you want. As long as you maintain the chamber and the bore, the gun will shoot where you point it.
For most frequently used guns, Iíll also yank the stock(s) off and make sure thereís no grit or moisture worked into the cracks and spaces between the metals and the wood/plastic. With a fully-bedded rifle, that probably means Iíll need to do a careful zero check when I take it out next to use, but you ought to do that every year with every gun anyway. Finally, wipe it overall with an anti-rust lube and then store it. Do not store the gun for the season inside a soft case or foam-lined travel case. They draw moisture. Keep the weapon in a real gun safe (best) or a locked open-air rack or cabinet.
There are dozens and dozens of different brands and formulas of cleaning/lubing/rust-protecting materials on the market, all of them making all sorts of special performance claims. So whatís the best?
Dutchís Gun Care Lesson No. 2: All cleaning materials work, and the worst is a lot better than nothing.
Generally speaking, for modern firearms youíll be just fine with just one bottle of any general-purpose combination solvent/lubricant. If you have a special need, there is definitely a special purpose product you can find. To remove stubborn copper fouling from a rifle bore, get a strong specific copper solvent. For a gun that heats up a lot in normal use (like a high velocity rifle), get a non-dissipating high temperature lubricant. Invest in a good bore rod.
Graphite or polymer is better than any metal. Any of the compact stick-in-your-pack field cleaning kits on the market will be worth its weight in gold the first time youíre in a swamped johnboat or you fall down in a mud hole or it rains or snows in deer camp, or any number of things happen that arenít supposed to happen but eventually do. Buy only what youíll use. The simpler you keep the whole issue of maintenance and cleaning in your mind, the more likely youíll be to actually do it.
Finally, I strongly recommend you buy the new ďsnake-typeĒ bore-cleaning ďropesĒ that have overwhelmed the market in a variety of brands and different configurations. Get one for every caliber and gauge gun you own. Carry one with you on every hunt. Combining a bore brush, patch and swab all in one simple compact drop-through device, these are the greatest thing to firearms maintenance ever invented. I keep mine in a little plastic pocket bag, with the brush areas soaked with a solvent and the trailing swab-end moist with a lube. When I clear the gun, I run the snake through the bore and chamber, even if I didnít fire it. This keeps everything polished, dry and clean. If you do this religiously your bore and chamber will never corrode. Plus it is ready when you are.
Dutch Tip: I only pull snakes, swabs and brushes from breech to muzzle, I never ever reverse pull. Donít forget to get a bore guide to protect the action.

Dutch-Hunter
« Last Edit: April 02, 2013, 06:03:23 AM by TalkHunting Mag »

 

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