30 Tips On Cleaning And Maintaining Your Hunting Firearm:Which One Is The Best

Your hunting gun is a high accurate mechanical instrument, which can malfunction and create danger if not properly used and maintained.

Only by some traditionally proved methods, you can keep your hunting rifle in good condition, and work well on the field.

30 Tips On Cleaning And Maintaining Your Hunting Firearm:Which One Is The Best
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Last update on 2018-08-20 PST - Details

Step 1 : Prepare

During the hunting season or if you are on a regular training course, a regular cleaning is sufficient. Constantly cleaning the barrel and excessive lubricating can cause wearing the barrel and reduce accuracy.

You need a heavy duty cleaning method in the end of a hunting season, before a long time storage, or after a long hard hunting trip, when it gets dirty or wet by dropping into mud, water..

You need a high quality cleaning kit. It’s worth to pay attention to your working tools, since improper ones would damage your expensive firearm. You will need:

  • A cleaning rod
  • A bore brush
  • A cleaning jag
  • Cotton patches
  • Cleaning solvent and oil
  • Dry lube
  • Lint-free cloth or even an old T-shirt
  • A bristle brush
  • Maybe an air compressor or air bottle
  • A flashlight
  • And multi-tool.

You should work in a well ventilated area, so that the toxic gas from solvent and lubricant won’t do any harm.

You also need a decent bench or a rifle support to hold your firearm upright when working on it.

Step 2: How To Cleaning And Maintaining Your Hunting Firearm

Use proper tools that fit perfectly the items on your gun to disassemble them. You will only need to open it to the extent that instructed in the manufacturer’s manual.

If further repair is needed, you should consult a gunsmith.

Basically, you will need to clean the outside and the inside of the gun. Salt and dirt on the metal surface, under humid condition will damage your gun over a long time.

While the dirt in the muzzle will reduce the gun accuracy, although rarely damages it.

To clean the large surface, you need a cotton cloth, which might from an old shirt, to thoroughly wipe up the dirt and salt with a little cleaning solvent.

For the uneven surface that is likely built up with dirt caked on for a long time, you need a bristle brush that can reach the nooks, recesses which can be cleaned with a rag.

Brush it with cleaning solvent to remove the heavy residue and fouling. Then wipe it again with a dry cloth.

You will need a light gun oil on the external surface to avoid excessive moisture building up, which can make the gun rusted.

To clean the inside part, you must unload your gun first. Many people got shot when maintaining their firearms by ignorance.

First, remove your magazine (if it has a detachable one). Open the action. Inspect the chamber if there is any round left.

Last update on 2018-08-20 PST - Details

Step 3

You should use cheap, disposable nylon gloves to keep the solvent off your skin, and also avoid your gun stained by your sweat. Throw it off when your work done.

To clean the carbon and powder caked on the bolt or other types of action, you should use a bristle or barber brush, with cleaning solvent to get rid of heavy gunks. A clean bolt will function properly and smoothly. Apply similar method to other particular parts like firing pin, receiver..

Use a dry lube to slightly lubricate the cocking cam, the rear of locking lugs. Do not use wet, greasy oil, because excess oil will attract and build up dirt on the bolt.

Bore guide is not optional. You can not clean your gun bore without a bore guide into the lead of the barrel.

The bore guide will avoid chipping and cutting the chamber end by the cleaning rod. It will keep the cleaning rod straight when it enters the bore, so that it won’t bend and collide with the throat of the barrel.

The bore guide will also protect the chamber from solvent and oil used for the barrel. It also keeps the solvent from getting into other parts of the gun like wood stock and trigger. These chemical agents can make the trigger rust and degrade the glass and wood material.

Use a good cleaning rod that has a rotating handle that can follow the rifle,remove the dirt in the groves.

Last update on 2018-08-20 PST - Details

Step 4

​Choose a carbon rod instead of a stainless steel or stainless steel rod coated with carbon and plastic. A steel rod will bend and warped. This can damage the gun barrel. A carbon rod is flexible and does not bend over time.

Choose a rod that fits tightly the barrel and a bit longer than the barrel. For example, a 32 inch rod would work well on a 26 inch barrel. Do not choose excessive long rods, as they can bend due to weight and harm the barrel.

Along with the cleaning rod is a pack of lint-free cotton patch. Somebody use the cheap kitchen cleaning paper as an alternative. The patches need to fit the barrel so as to not stick or loose when enter the barrel.

Put the bore guide into the barrel. Keep your gun muzzle down so as to let the solvent come down the barrel. Put a towel under the bore guide to avoid the solvent spilling to stock and other part of your gun.

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Step 5

Soak the patch with the cleaning solvent and run it down the muzzle by the cleaning rod several times.

Wait for 5-10 minutes for the chemical to work on copper powder fouling and in the barrel.

Squirt the cleaning solvent onto the bore brush and run the brush several times from the chamber to the muzzle. Normally you will run it 20 times to completely break the loose fouling and toss them out.

You will need to add the solvent during brushing, this time through the hole on the bore guide.

If the brush wears down when brushing due to cleaning solvent (and it will be eaten out soon), you have to replace it and use a new one.A brush needs to fit snugly to the barrel.

You can use a jag with or instead of a bore brush. A jag fits tightly to the bore and clean it perfectly if there isn’t too much dirt built up. Do not use loops.

Use another dry patch to run through the barrel to wipe out the dirt and solvent used to clean it up. Do it several times until the patch comes out almost white.

Several early patches will be almost black with green, blue, red tint. The black color is the powder and other colors are copper fouling, they change color when react with the solvent.

If your barrel has a serious problem with copper fouling (the patch comes out are too bright with colors), you will need some heavy ammonia-based bore paste, like J&B to rub those fouling off.

You can condition your barrel with a light amount of gun oil to reduce the building up of the moisture.

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Last update on 2018-08-20 PST - Details


​Regularly maintaining and cleaning your firearm right after the hunt will keep your gun function well and prolong its life span.

It will take time and cost some amount of money but it’s much cheaper than buying a new one or paying for damages if it malfunctions.

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Kristopher M. Samson

"Hello ! My name is Kristopher M. Samson .I'm a firefighter. I love my job and hunting sport. For me , hunting is a sport good for my health . It help me relax after job time"

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