Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Rifle Cleaning

I've gotten a few inquiries lately on how I clean my rifle so I thought I would share my procedure here.  By no means am I an expert on this subject but I have been lucky to have had good mentors.  I don't do anything super special or tricky, just follow the directions on the bottles and do everything thoroughly.  I also believe it's better to clean my rifles too often than not enough.  Certainly every time prior to long term storage and most often after every trip to the range.  During a hunt, I do pack along an oiled cloth to wipe the weapon down if there was any contact with moisture.  Here is a quick breakdown of the tools and products I use to get the job done.
  1. MTM Case Gard gun vise/cradle.  This one piece of equipment makes this chore twice as easy.  By securing the rifle, I'm able to focus on the task at hand.
  2. Dewey Cleaning Rod.  The coated rod protects the barrel.
  3. Nylon Brush and Brass Jag
  4. Bore Guide  Essential for keeping the rod true, and again, protecting the barrel.
  5. Patches
  6. Gun Scrubber Hoppe's 9 or similar product
  7. Sweet's 7.62 Bore Cleaning Solvent
  8. Rem Oil or similar product

If I buy the smaller containers of the products above, they all fit neatly into the MTM portable gun maintenance center.  This makes for a very portable kit.  Next are the basic steps I take to clean my rifle.
  1. Alternate between a few solvent saturated brush strokes and patches soaked in your chosen powder solvent.  Always follow with a dry patch.  Once dry patch comes through clean, go to step two.
  2. Use Sweet's solvent to get the copper fouling out.  This step usually takes me the longest.  About an hour.  I just follow the directions.
  3. Run one lightly lubed patch down the barrel.  Use Rem Oil here.  At this point the barrel is done.
  4. Spray the bolt with the aerosol Gun Scrubber.  A toothbrush works great to loosen crud that is really caked on.
  5. Once a year, usually following the hunting seasons, I take apart the stock from the action so I can clean the underside of the barrel as well as other nooks and crannies.  I oil those areas prior to putting the stock back on.

I believe even basic cleaning such as this helps my rifle shoot better and will keep it in better overall condition.

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