For many gun cleaning is a chore but for me it is a time to relax and reflect on my days shooting. I love my gun and want to look after it and make sure it is always looking it’s best. Regularly cleaning and inspecting your gun will ensure it fires safely and functions properly.
Having the right tools to start with is a must! You can buy different cleaning kits for different calibres of gun, so having the right one is essential. You can pick up cleaning kits from most dealers and they range from basic and affordable to more sophisticated luxury sets. At the end of the day the tools all do the same thing so it’s all down to your personal preference. As you all know by now I would rather spend more money on clothes so I opted for a fairly low end cleaning kit. I certainly see the appeal of the luxury sets and covet one like the one below.
We all have different ideas on how best to clean our guns but here is my gun cleaning routine. I was taught by the master – my husband – so I know it is a good routine to follow:
- Spray gun cleaner down the barrels and leave to sit for a few minutes – if doing this indoors make sure to plug the barrels with tissue or cloth to prevent this going all over the floor.
- Run the wire brush through each barrel at least twice applying a small amount of clockwise twist as you do – again if doing this indoors make sure you have a bag around the end of your barrels as the black residue that is produced will make an awful mess.
- Spray some gun oil down the barrels and using the plastic/metal brush/’jag’ with a piece of cloth attached and run this down each barrel twice to clear out the oil and any remaining residue. Again apply a small amount of clockwise twist.
- You can then run the ‘mop’ (the soft fluffy one) down your barrels a few times. If you’re not likely to use your gun for a few weeks it is worth giving each barrel a half second burst of gun oil before doing so. This leaves a fine coating of oil in the barrels to help protect them.
- I use a cloth sprayed with gun oil to clean my ejectors, the action and metal elements of my forend.
- Once I have re-assembled the gun I will use the oily cloth to wipe over the barrels to ensure no fingerprints and oil from my skin is left on them as this can cause the bluing/blacking of your barrels to come off.
- Now to my favourite part – feeding the wood! I bought my gun based on its beautiful stock so looking after the wood is so important to me. There are various things you can use to treat the wood, but by far the best thing to use is Walnut oil. I have used various things before, but was recommended Walnut oil by Kevin Phillips at Sportarm as this is best for natural wood and helps to bring out the grain. Using a small amount on my thumb I rub it over the stock and then using the palm of my hand I palm it off so that it dries and is shiny. Be careful not to leave any finger prints at this point as you will see them!
If like me you like a highly ‘polished’ finish on your wood then this can be created by regularly polishing the wood with Walnut oil or by employing the services of a gun smith. I try to oil my gun on a weekly basis whether I am using it or not.
Kevin from Sportarm kindly hosted a Gun Cleaning Masterclass for a group of ladies on a recent Femmes Fatales day at Lady’s Wood and it was fantastic. Kevin gave us the benefit of his thirty or so years experience in the industry; cleaning and maintaining guns, gun fitting and gave us an insight into some of the exciting innovations Sportarm have created with a number of gun makers specifically designed for female shooters.
Buying a gun is an investment, and cleaning it regularly will help to ensure that it will serve you well and better hold its value. You should also consider periodically getting your gun serviced by a gunsmith to keep it tip top order.