A shotgun is a treasure when it comes to hunting. There is nothing amazing as hitting your targets with a shotgun every time you are in the woods hunting. To ensure the gun operates as it should, there is need to have it maintained regularly.
Cleaning a shotgun helps minimize its tear and wear while at the same time preventing it from shooting loose faster. So how can you clean your shotgun immediately you’re done hunting? What are some of the things you need to accompany yourself with to the woods for a proper cleaning job?
Here is another interesting but educative reading for any outdoor enthusiast who absolutely loves hunting.
Step by step shotgun cleaning guide
Removal of moisture
Once in the field, there is a high possibility of some moisture getting onto your gun. The moisture is in most cases found in or out of the barrel, crevices and nooks and at times in the action as well. You need to run a paper towel or any dry rag over it just to get rid of such moisture.
Exposure to moisture over a long period of time is harmful to a shotgun. There is a likelihood of your gun rusting and corroding if the moisture isn’t wiped off immediately. The process of moisture removal from the gun should start from the outside while the gun is still intact and later on taken into the crevices.
Disassemble the gun into its parts
After you are done with the wiping of moisture on the gun’s body, it’s now time to break it down into its parts. For automatic shotguns, make sure that you get a touch of all the moving parts as it’s in such places where there is buildup of gases.
You can remove the pumps but ensure that you don’t rip off the smaller pieces in the action area. You might find it rough assembling these components back after you’re done. Again, be keen to know which component was removed from what part so that as you’ll be doing the assembling, there won’t be any issues.
There are usually oil buildups, heavy ones to be precise, in shotguns after use. These should be cleaned as well. There are degreasers and aerosols designed for use in guns in wiping off oil residues. If you happen to be using aerosols, be careful not to blow away small components like springs.
You need to be extremely careful not to mess yourself around. Your major areas of concern should be the gas chambers, choke tubes, barrels plus any metallic parts that are fond of rubbing onto each other. Be sure to spend a significant amount of time on each section you clean so that you leave it in the best condition ever.
You’ll definitely need to have gun cleaning mats and pads to avoid making your workplace messy. The mats and pads will provide your table with some protective layer so that the oily stuff from the gun don’t mess up your work table. If you don’t want to run into trouble with your wife over a messy table thereafter, then arm yourself with any of these.
Clean the barrel
There are brass brushes that are usually bought together with gun cleaning kits that are perfect in cleaning the barrels. You simply need to apply some cleaning solvent onto the brush then use it to clean the barrel. Remember to run the brush a number of times so as to help remove even the most stubborn stains.
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In case the barrel has some threads meant for the choke, it’s important that you concentrate a little more on such areas. After you’re done, remove the brush and attach a paper towel onto the rod and run it into the barrel after being sprayed with cleaning oil to help remove all the residues that were knocked off by the brush.
You can as well consider using a bore snake for cleaning the barrel. The good thing with bore snakes is that they are simple to use as all these components discussed above are connected into one rope-like device. Very simple to use indeed.
Clean the choke tubes
You can soak choke tubes but that can take long. Either, you can use a cleaning rod that has a brass brush attached to it to remove any dirt in the tube. Just spray a little solvent into the tube, then scrub off all the grime in there.
One area that you need to pay a lot of attention to when cleaning the choke tubes is the threads. If the brush isn’t doing it as you want, consider going for an aerosol and paper towel. Do the cleaning till you’re satisfied with the results then reinstall the chokes with little grease to eliminate cases of seizure.
Lube the action
Cleaning the action area is usually not recommended as you can attract dust and powder into it and this can lead to serious gun complications. You can use a paper towel just to remove the obvious and visible filth especially in the movable parts.
If your shotgun is an autoloader, then clean the spring assembly and piston next to the gas ports. Thereafter, lubricate your gun using either oil or grease.
Carry out a spot check and re-assemble the gun
Run your eyes over the gun and clean areas that look like were never cleaned to the standard. Apply some thin layer of oil onto the gun’s exterior before starting the re-assembly process. You can try it out just to be certain that the assembly has been done right. Just as simple as that and you’ll be done.
The process of cleaning a shotgun after hunting is a simple and straightforward one as you’ve seen above. It, however, calls for carefulness as simple mistakes can render the gun obsolete. In that regard, don’t be in a hurry to do the cleaning when on the road, for example, as you might end up losing small gun components.
Just get home first and follow these simple steps. You’ll be surprised at how efficient your gun will be thereafter! Thanks for reading this.