Now that hunting season is over for most of us, it’s the perfect opportunity for us to give our firearms a little tender loving care.
“It is important; you’ve been out in the snow and the rain and the wind. You need to get it cleaned up," said Dave Tobel, co-owner of Capital Sports in Helena.
Before we get into how important firearm maintenance is, we need to talk about firearm safety. Because that’s where you always need to start.
“You go get your rifle out of the gun safe," said Tobel. "First thing you want to do, open the bolt action – whatever type of action it is – open that action up. Make sure the magazine is not loaded, check the chamber, make sure that it’s not loaded. And keep it pointed in a safe direction. Every time you pick that firearm up, check the magazine and check the chamber.”
Now back to safely cleaning your rifle. The biggest problem is all of that snow and rain building up in and on your gun over time – and let’s face it – after a full day in the mountains cleaning the gun falls down the list of things to do once we get home.
“Not cleaning them after they’ve been wet and then putting them back in a rifle scabbard and zipping them up or putting them back in a safe or a closet," Tobel said. "Those cases and a safe, because most of those safes have carpet in them, they’ll attract a little bit of moisture, and if you store them for longer periods of time they will rust.”
And when that rust gets there, it could cause some serious problems.
“If you don’t completely clean your firearm, any of the oil residue on there, it collects dust and dirt and it can cause… we’ve seen firearms in here that haven’t been out of the stock for 20 years," added David. "And the trigger mechanism, it’s got dried oil, dirt, it can cause misfires, it can cause the gun to fire when you don’t want it to. Just because of the build-up of grunge over the years.”
So do your future self a favor and do a little cleaning at the end of this hunting season so your next season can be a successful one.
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