Gun Care by Shane Hurkmans
Caring for your gun is a big part for your success in the field. Taking care of your gun will take time and tender loving care from you. Most guys use an oil to lube their guns thinking they’re doing a good thing, however, this is not the case. Oil lubricates yes, but it also collects dust and powder. The big problem is after the temperature goes down below 23 degrees, the oil turns to gel. This can cease up the gun! This also means the more parts that work in a gun, the more chances of problems occurring. When I go into the woods I never use oil-basted product for my guns. Most of the time I do not use a thing. I leave them dry. This helps with keeping the risk of my gun freezing up. Guns now days are made to work with nothing at all. The manufacturers tell you to use oil on your guns. All oil does is wear the gun out faster. The build up of dirt and powder puts stress on the gun and wears out the inside faster. Most people use WD 40 to oil their guns. They do not know what they are doing to their gun. WD40 turns to a gum like state after a few years. This can hinder the performance of the gun. The safety does not work, the firing pin freezes in place, and makes the gun overall unsafe.
Then there is the question about what do you do when you are in the field and the gun gets wet and snow gets into it. Well take the gun in and break it down. Take a dry rag and wipe the gun down. You can oil the outside of the gun and leave it sit upside down. Up side down? Yes, upside down! When you oil a gun the oil will seep into the wood and too much oil will rot the wood. In addition it can also discolor the wood. It will also swell the stock of the gun. With the stock swelled, the pounding of the recoil will put more stress on the stock. Most guys do not think of that when putting oil to there guns. To keep them for as long as you own them you do not want to replace the stock of the gun every 10 to 20 years. This costs money and the use of your gun for a bit while the gun is in getting a new stock put on.
The barrel of the gun is the next thing that needs to be addressed. Most guns use jacketed bullets and leave copper in the rifling. What can be done to clean the copper out of it? Get a copper solvent to get the copper out of the lands and grooves. What I do is make a plug for the chamber and pour the solvent down the barrel and leave it sit for two to three hours. Most of the time I let them sit for the night. Then I drain the solvent out of the barrel and use a brush to clean the rest of the copper out of the gun. Ok you shoot shotgun more then a rifle. Plastic will build up in the barrel and the choke of the gun also. So how do you get that out? Easy. The same way but you are going to use a plastic solvent instead of a copper solvent. Choke tubes are the main place that plastic is going to build up the most. At the choke the barrel is reduced down and is harder for the wad to pass though. The plastic will reduce the choke of the gun. Gun care is an easy thing to do, when you know the right way to keep your gun in good shape.
Products that I use are gun scrub, break free, and Rem-Drilube. Remdrilube is what I use on the inside of the guns. This is a Teflon coating for the inside of the gun and it will not freeze up and hold dust and gunpowder. For older guns that use oils to work right, like a browning auto5 and older, guns that were made to have oil, I use rem oil or similar oil. But you have to clean them more and keep them from siezing up. And if you were going to use them in cold weather I would use as little as you can. This will help in two ways. One, it will work the way the gun is meant to work and two, it will have less chance to freeze up. The worse you can do to a gun is not clean it or give the outside some oil or a wipe down so the rust don’t start to show. On the other hand if you clean too much you can wear out the barrel or bore of the gun.
Keep it simple. If you shoot trap or skeet your going to clean more than someone who just hunts for deer. If you get caught out in the rain or snow and the gun is wet I do recommend that you take your gun, or guns, down and give them a real good cleaning and look for parts that are worn or broke. When the time comes to go hunting or heading out to the range. You’ll know that your gun is in tip-top shape.