Friday, July 18, 2008

Basic Gun Maintainance

People seem to buy guns and hoard ammo and forget one of the most important this with regard to firearms…maintenance.

One should have ample supplies of the following:

Solvent – needed to get that nasty build up off your weapon. Many firearms will perform fine dirty, many will not. One of the dirtiest calibers in .22, cheaper ammo also may burn dirty as well. This is all well and good if you have some solvent. There are many brands Hoppes, Gun Scrubber, etc.

Gun Oil – used to lubricate moving parts and keep everything running smoothly. If you are going to store your weapon for a period of time I would oil a rag and wipe down the entire gun to keep it protected.

Patches – they are dipped in solvent and run through the barrel of a gun to clean powder deposits and grime.

Rubber Gloves – these protect your hands from the harsh chemicals used to maintain a gun…namely the solvent.

Rags – preferably cotton and lint free. Used for everything from cleaning to applying lubricant to a firearm.

One should have for each caliber:

Wire brush – attached to cleaning rod to dislodge particles that may have accumulated in the barrel.

Bore snake – this is optional but I use it to run through the barrel after I shoot but didn’t get the gun dirty enough to warrant an all out cleaning.

One should have one or more of these:

Cleaning rod – make sure you have one that has extensions so it can be used for pistols and rifles.

Assorted brushes – these are used to scrub parts and dislodge stubborn particles from a firearm. I have found toothbrushes to be great for this purpose.

A set of gunsmith screwdrivers – these don’t have to be top quality. You can get a decent set for less than $40.

A punch set to remove those pesky pins holding things together.

You should always have SEVERAL magazines for each weapon you own.

You should have any spare parts needed for each weapon – springs, recoil buffers, screws or anything else which can commonly fail on a firearm. I would only have the basics…most firearms are well built and will last a long time if properly cared for. I for example have a S&W 22A which has a small plastic recoil buffer that could fail. I have had the same one in the gun since I bought it but I have several spares in case they are needed. The gun has thousands of rounds though it and the buffer finally looks like it is nearing replacement time.

Make sure you clean your weapons after every firing…if it was a short session, wipe it down with a rag and run a bore snake through the barrel. If you fire it heavily make sure you disassemble and clean the entire weapon. Make sure you clean and maintain your magazines as well…they can get gunked up pretty fast if you don’t. Firearms will last a LONG time if properly cared for…

...that is all.

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  1. Unless you use a muzzle protector, a cleaning rod can ding the lands and grooves at the muzzle and degrade accuracy.
    Best to rest muzzle on floor, clean bore with rod but never allow rod to pass through muzzle. Clean the muzzle area with a Q-tip.
    I use carburetor cleaner which washes out dreck and leaves an oily residue; then run an oily patch through the bore with a pull thong.
    Affix six inches of bead chain to one end of a stout nylon cord twice as long as the barrel of your rifle. At the other end tie a bowline. Eight inches in from the loop on the end tie another bowline. When you wish to clean the rifle, place a patch in the inner of the two loops. Hold rifle muzzle down, drop bead chain into chamber. It will pull the thong down through the barrel. If the patch is too large and gets caught, grasp the end loop and pull the patch out backwards. It is not well to have the thong break leaving a patch in the bore of your rifle.

  2. I keep a cleaning kit for each item in my arsenal in an ammo case, along with extra rounds. If I need to go, I grab the appropriate ammo box and I've got rounds & clening supplies ready to go.


    BTW, excellent ideas there vlad.

  3. Great Post! Most people just get the "important stuff" like the gun and ammo but they forget about all the things that can go wrong without proper maintenance and repair supplies. It's the little details that derail your good intentions....

    Thanks for the info!

  4. I keep a large shooter box from plano everything in one place along with a sepperate pouch with my ar cleaning kit and primary pistol supplys..