It is widely recognized that timely and high-quality maintenance, which mostly include cleaning and lubricating the rifle during the hunting season and storing it during the off-season, is crucial for a long and trouble-free service life of hunting firearms. Most people view a gun as an almost lifelike thing that they adore, revere, or even worship. Guns are frequently handed down from one generation to the next as priceless artifacts. This is possibly the reason why cleaning firearms develops into a sort of ritual for some hunters. But it happens frequently that the failure to achieve the desired outcome overshadows this practice. Above all else, because maintaining a firearm is a difficult procedure that calls for not only patience and time, but also certain knowledge and abilities.
Getting the right equipment, consumables, and accessories is the first step in preparing for weapons maintenance. How quickly and well you organize your firearms can greatly influence how well you choose.
Ramrod. The most crucial piece of equipment for cleaning firearms since a poor ramrod can seriously harm the barrel in addition to making the job more difficult. The ramrod needs to be as rigid as possible and long enough (slightly longer than the bore with the chamber). The ideal option is a single-piece, polymer-coated steel ramrod with a spinning grip. To stop the ramrod itself from causing harm to the firearm's components, a polymer coating is required (barrel, rifling fields, chamber, extractors or ejectors). Ramrods with wooden or aluminum coatings are available often, however they are inferior to polymer ones. Wooden: Due to its limited lifespan and ability to gather different grains, it becomes abrasive. The same abrasive can also be produced by an oxide film on an aluminum coating. When cleaning rifled guns, the rotating handle is simply necessary because the ramrod nozzle rotates as it passes along the rifling, substantially simplifying the operation with the ramrod. Widely used composite ramrods typically have less stiffness than solid ones. However, their biggest flaw is the potential for the weapon to be harmed by the ramrod section joints, which are typically not protected by a coating. As a result, it's best to employ a composite ramrod only in real-world situations.
Nozzles. These include different types of wipes or jags, metal, polymer, and bristle brushes, and mop. Wipes, which typically take the form of a nozzle with an oblong hole at the end or many transverse ribs running the whole length of the nozzle, are intended to hold the wiping substance on the ramrod. Brass or bronze work best for wiping because they are much softer than steel and are therefore absolutely safe for the bore's surface.
Depending on the material used in their construction, brushes can be used for a variety of tasks. Thus, old soot, rust, lead, and residues of polyethylene from containers are eliminated with the use of metal brushes (including spiral ones) in the bore. Be extremely cautious not to harm the bore surface when using steel brushes. Use bronze or brass wire brushes instead. Brushes made of bristles or polymers are used to apply different lubricants and cleaning agents.
Mops are frequently used to lubricate the bore after cleaning it and to flush the bore with aqueous solutions.
Bushings (guides for the ramrod) (guides for the ramrod). They are employed while cleaning the barrels of rifled rifles in order to prevent ramrod contact with the rifling fields and restrict nozzle movement along the bore. Typically, the sleeve is put into the barrel's breech. However, the sleeve, which doubles as the lid for the case containing the accessories, is occasionally placed on the muzzle, particularly on some domestic carbines. The employment of a sleeve minimizes the distribution of dirt cleaned from the bore in addition to safeguarding the rifling fields from harm by a ramrod. Materials with a high cost. These are first and foremost cleaning supplies. Pure cotton fabric is the ideal choice. The fabric is already cut into the necessary size parts. Cotton buds are very handy for cleaning confined spaces in receivers, gas mechanisms, closures, etc. Any nitro-lacquer can be used to remove minor flaws in the varnish coating of wooden items. But significant effort and a total coating replacement will be needed to remove significant damage to the varnish layer.
It is ideal to use a particular gun oil as lubricant; with the appropriate choice of such oil, extra lubricants are not required to lubricate the gun. Some individuals also believe that using WD-40 is sufficient, however because of its properties, it can leave a wax layer that attracts dust and debris. You will also want a thinner, degreaser, and rust remover if you use WD-40. Then the workplace is ready, and the gun is disassembled and cleaned. It should be mentioned that incomplete disassembly is sufficient for cleaning firearms. Without a specific necessity, it is typically not advised to completely disassemble a firearm.
The preparation of the work area is the first step in the cleaning and lubrication of firearms. At the same time, it's important to rule out the chance of dust, sand, or other abrasive elements getting on the handgun when it's in use because they can harm the protective coating on parts or the inside surface of the bore. Then the workplace is ready, and the gun is disassembled and cleaned. It should be mentioned that incomplete disassembly is sufficient for cleaning firearms. Without a specific necessity, it is typically not advised to completely disassemble a firearm.
It should be mentioned that cleaning rifled and smooth bore weapons differs. It is advisable to clean smooth bore weapons in the order described below:
The wipe is used to hold a piece of cloth that is gently wet with gun oil and driven through the bore only once (preferably from the breech to the muzzle). A new fabric should be used each time this procedure is repeated, usually 2-3 times. Using a brush, liberally apply gun oil to the bore and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. After that, a metal brush is fitted onto the ramrod, and we use it to make 5-7 reciprocating motions along the bore's length. You can make a cylinder out of regular paper that is 3–4 cm long and has a diameter that is roughly equivalent to the diameter of the barrel bore. It is then wrapped in a dry wiping cloth and forced through the barrel 3-5 times while changing the cloth each time. To guarantee that the tissue is completely clean after passing through the trunk, it is important to repeat these procedures. The chrome-plated bore has a mirror-like shine due to thorough cleaning. A matte surface means that residues of polyethylene from packaging have not been removed, and longitudinal stripes or strokes show that lead has been left in the bore.
The barrel must next be properly cleaned on the outside and lubricated with a thin layer of grease. It is required to apply 1-2 drops of lubricant into the base of extractors when they are present. We clean the remaining components of the pistol using a towel that has been gently wet with gun oil (receiver, metal parts of the forearm, etc.). Cotton swabs work well for getting dirt out of tight spaces. With an old toothbrush, you may easily clean some components. When eliminating significant pollution (in the sockets of the strikers, surrounding the gas exhaust mechanisms of semi-automatic devices), it is advised to first thoroughly lubricate the contaminated regions with lots of oil, hold for 10–20 minutes, and then repeat the cleaning. After cleaning, we lubricate all metal components with gun oil and wipe wood components with a wood care product. Avoid getting gun oil on wooden components while lubricating firearms since this causes the wood to quickly deteriorate and become black and brittle.
The cleaning procedure is a little different when cleaning rifled rifles; take these things into account: It is important to avoid making contact between the metal portions of the accessories and the bore, especially at the muzzle, when assembling the equipment for cleaning rifled rifles. Additionally, it is only worthwhile in unusual circumstances and with the utmost caution to remove the copper plating of the bore using a variety of techniques. The rest of the process is essentially the same, with this being the biggest variation.
Remember to always clean your firearms carefully after each hunt, whether you shoot or not, so that you are not left dealing with their restoration or repair instead of cleaning. If the firearm has been in contact with moisture, it is crucial to follow this rule. In dire situations, liberally lubricate the outside and interior of the firearm with neutral oil after a hunt, and clean it thoroughly as soon as you can. Good fortune!