Maintenance and care are necessary to keep a firearm in a reliable and safe working condition. Firearms need to be cleaned to ensure accuracy, correct working order, and long lasting gun finish that can last several lifetimes. Ideally a firearm should be cleaned after every shooting session. Guns should be carried in a case when possible to provide extra protection. Most gun parts are made of steel and are blued. All metal parts need a light protective coat of oil to prevent rust from atmospheric conditions. It is also a good idea to have a silicon cloth or a lightly oiled wiping rag so that finger marks can be wiped off after the gun is handled. The salty perspiration from your hands and fingers can cause rust. Just like any other piece of fine machinery, the guns mechanism should be kept clean and lubricated. A gun used in the field will gather dust that can work its way into the working parts. Bits of unburned powder and carbon from shooting can also work their way into the action. Previous lubrication can dry up and get gummy or sticky. Before you start to work on a gun or clean it, be sure that it is unloaded and that there is no ammunition in the magazine. SAFETY FIRST ALWAYS. Always try to follow the manufacturer's directions when taking apart and putting back together a firearm. It's not necessary to take the gun down to the last pin and part, just far enough that the gun can be cleaned properly. The less you take apart the better off you are.

Basic Cleaning

        The first step is to open the guns action, inspect the chamber, and remove any ammunition from the gun. If at all possible , always insert the cleaning-rod tip into the breech end of the barrel. Primarily, this is to prevent wear on the rifling at the muzzle end from the cleaning rod. This last fraction of an inch of a rifles barrel is very important, as any wear at all will reduce the rifles accuracy. Another reason for cleaning any gun from the chamber end toward the muzzle is to keep debris out of the receiver. If you clean from the muzzle end to the chamber, the cleaning patch will push all of the gunk from the bore right into the action, making additional cleaning necessary.

        The first cleaning patch saturated with bore cleaning solvent, ran through the bore, will contain the bulk of the loose residue and should be discarded at the muzzle end after the first initial run. If the first patch is pulled back through, it will redeposit residue back into the bore. Insert a new patch and repeat this operation as many times as necessary, usually 15 to 20 times. Then use a dry patch to dry the bore. Change patches often until the last one comes out clean and dry. Finish the bore cleaning by lightly oiling a clean patch and running it up and back through the bore.

        The receiver will collect debris and must be cleaned periodically as well. An old toothbrush or other soft nylon bristle brush can be used to get into actions and hard to reach places. A standard cleaning spray like WD-40 sprayed into the action along with scrubbing with a brush will do wonders to keep actions cleaned and working correctly.

        When cleaning a revolver, careful attention will need to be given to the front of the cylinder and rear of the barrel. Powder residue builds up in these areas and should be cleaned frequently.  

        The outside of the gun should be wiped off with a silicon cloth to prevent rust and corrosion. Also remember to wipe off any fingerprints from handling the firearm.   If a gun is stored in humid areas, it will need to be cleaned or at least wiped off every few days.

        The cleaning rods used on rifled barrels should have a swivel joint so the cleaning patch can rotate in the bore as it's ran back and forth. Without this rotation, the cleaning patch will drag at right angles across the lands and destroy the sharp edges of the rifling, impairing accuracy.

Metal Fouling and Leading

        Metal fouling and leading can also play a factor in the accuracy of a firearm. Metal fouling is caused from jacketed bullets and leading from lead bullets. These terms are used for the build up of metal or lead deposits left in the barrel. Any fouling will be visible as long streaks, flaky deposits, or lumps of particles sticking to the lands and grooves of the barrel.

        To correct fouling, we recommend J-B Non-Imbedding Bore Cleaning Compound. For cleaning handguns we recommend a Lewis Lead Remover along with the compound. Even the best match ammunition will cause leading that can have a disastrous effect on accuracy. Your local dealers can provide you with both of these fine products.

Removing Rust

        One of the most difficult problems confronting gun owners is how to remove rust from firearms without damaging the bluing finish. The first attempt can be made with a rough bath towel coated with WD-40. Rub the area vigorously for as long as it takes to remove the rust. If the bluing comes off with this method, it was probably bad anyways.

        When a lot of rust is present, you can use No. 0000 steel wool dampened with WD-40 or a similar gun cleaner. A product called The Eliminator is a nontoxic product that has been developed to safely clean and remove oxidation, rust, grease, and etc. from gun parts with professional results. Please read the instructions that accompany this product. Another use for this solution is to remove oil and sweat stains from gun stocks.

        The old theory that a coat of oil on a rusty gun will prevent furthering deterioration is false. There is enough oxygen and moisture within the rust to continue the process.

Storing Firearms

        When storing firearms, we recommend a security chest or safe for fire and theft protection. We also recommend the use of moisture absorbing silica gel packs. Silica gel packs are an effective moisture absorber that can be used over and over by reactivating them in a conventional oven for about 3 hours.

        For long term storage we recommend coating with a grease called Rig Rust Preventive. This grease will provide absolute rust prevention to any firearm and it's unaffected by long term storage. Your local dealer can provide you with this product.

        If possible, gunstocks should be removed from metal parts for long term storage to prevent the wood from soaking up oil, that will stain or darken the wood.

Dealer Recommended Products. See your local dealers to purchase.

J-B Non-Imbedding Bore Cleaning Compound

Lewis Lead Remover

Rig Rust Preventive

The Eliminator



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