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Cleaning Kit

It’s That Time: Quarterly Firearm Maintenance

Pistol stripping and cleaning tools

Like any other machine with moving parts, your guns need regular maintenance to keep them in proper working order. 

Guns are marvels of modern engineering. Beyond their basic utility, they are beautiful pieces of design and engineering. However, it doesn’t matter how nice they are – if you’re not maintaining them they can quickly turn into a glorified paperweight. That’s both frustrating and expensive. 

What’s more, regular maintenance is an important part of keeping the value of your investment. A well-kept gun is something that can be passed down for generations or, at the very least, sold for a tidy sum many years down the line when what’s old is new again. 

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Finally, there’s the small matter of safety. Well-kept guns are safer than ones that spend lots of time collecting dust.

So here’s a friendly reminder on how to maintain your weapons on a quarterly basis. 

Step One: Get Your Space Ready

Preparing your space is absolutely crucial so that you don’t make the weapon any more dirty than it already is. You want to work in a clean space that’s well ventilated to ensure that you’re doing more good than harm and that you’re keeping yourself and your family safe. 

Once the space is ready start getting your tools out and ready so that you’re not hunting around for this or that in the middle of cleaning your weapon.

Step Two: Break The Weapon Down

This is maybe the least pleasant step of the process, especially if you’re talking about a semi-automatic, which might have tons and tons of moving parts to remove and put back together again in the right order in a maddeningly specific way. 

The good news is that once this is done, everything is laid out in front of you, making it easy for you to move from one step of maintenance to another. You can also get a good look at all the parts together to see if anything needs replacing or if anything is experiencing abnormal wear and tear, which could be the sign of a deeper issue with your firearms. 

Step 3: Clean and Lubricate

One of the main rules of firearms maintenance is that some things are supposed to move and some things are not. Cleaning can help the moving parts to keep moving and the stationary parts to stay still. Lubrication is essential for the moving parts to operate properly.

This can literally be a matter of life and death: If your weapon isn’t properly cleaned and lubricated, there’s a much greater chance that it’s not going to work when you need it. And when you need it might be when a home invader is making for your kid’s bedroom. 

Start with the barrel, then move onto the action. 

Step 4: Putting It All Back Together

Step 4 can be as frustrating as step 3, but some people enjoy the process of assembling their weapons. 

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Remember that guns can be extremely fussy machines, so it’s very important to put everything exactly where it needs to be in the exact way that it needs to be there. 

Once you’re done putting it back together, wipe down the exterior with a soft cloth to get any excess lubrication off of the weapon, and to give it a little extra shine.

All of this together shouldn’t take you that long and it’s absolutely essential if you want to have a gun that shoots perfect grouping year after year – or even just one really good shot when it counts. 

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Cleaning Kit

Winter Firearm Maintenance: Keeping Your Guns in Top Shape

Pistol stripping and cleaning tools

Winter hunting and shooting sports come with unique challenges demanding extra attention to the maintenance of your firearms. The winter months are harsh, coming with extreme temperatures and moisture, which can impact the performance of your firearms. To ensure safe and reliable working order, you must follow a regular and thorough winter firearm maintenance routine. 

Why You Need To Perform Winter Firearms Maintenance

The gunsmith is sitting around cleaning the gun and disassembling and maintaining the pistol

Extreme cold can significantly impact firearm performance. Metal components will come into contract with cold weather. This can cause significant issues with your cycling, trigger pull, and, ultimately, your accuracy.

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Snow, rain, and winter condensation and other forms of precipitation and winter humidity can introduce moisture to your firearm. If you’re not properly maintaining your firearms, this moisture can cause corrosion and rust.

Don’t forget winter debris, either. Those who live in cold environments know that even after the snow stops falling it’s going to stick around for days, weeks or months. That exposes your firearms to snow, ice, and dirt, which potentially interferes with actions, mechanisms, and moving parts.

The Essential Winter Firearm Maintenance Routine

Like most things in the world of firearms, you can go totally crazy if you want… but there’s a basic minimum of maintenance that your firearm requires if you want it to remain in good working order year over year. 

Field Stripping and Inspection 

Before heading out on a hunt or going to the range, field strip your weapon to its major components, then inspect them. This includes the barrel, the action, and any moving moving parts. Look for any signs of fouling, corrosion, or damage. Clean and lubricate each part as necessary.

Proper Lubrication For Winter Months

In the winter months, get yourself a firearm-specific lubricant rated for lower temperatures. Apply the lubricant sparingly to moving parts, which will reduce friction. Don’t over-lubricate, though – excess oil can attract dirt and freeze.

Clean Your Barrel

It’s important to regularly clean the barrel of your guns thoroughly using a bore brush in conjunction with a solvent. Ensure there’s no fouling or residue, which can impact accuracy. After cleaning out the barrel, swab out bore with an oil-soaked patch, which will protect against moisture.

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Protect Against Moisture 

The best way to preserve your firearms in good working order is to prevent problems before they occur. So you should invest in a firearm cover or moisture-resistant sleeves. These will shield your firearms from the elements when you’re not using them.

Magazine Maintenance 

Don’t forget the magazines when you’re maintaining your weapons. Take some time to disassemble and clean your magazines regularly. You want them to be free from dirt, snow, or ice that can affect feeding.

Safeguarding Your Optics

For many firearms enthusiasts, the glass is arguably more important than the weapon itself. In fact, you might have even paid more for your glass than you did for the firearm that it sits on. All of this underscores the importance of safeguarding your optics through regular maintenance, including specialized maintenance for the colder winter months. 

Protecting Your Sope And Your Lens

Investing in scope covers will help to protect your optics from snow, rain, and dirt. Be aware that sudden temperature changes, which can lead to lens fogging.

In the case that you do experience lens fogging there’s an easy solution: anti-fog solutions or wipes specifically designed for optics. Apply these on an “as needed” basis to prevent condensation and maintain clear visibility.

Holster Maintenance

Your holster, likewise, will need some kind of maintenance. Remember that, especially for those who carry on a daily basis, your holster is arguably as important as your weapon. 

Ensure that all of your holsters are in good condition and not cracked or compromised. Holster covers can help to shield your handguns from the elements while they’re holstered.

It’s not just your weapon that needs lubrication. Holsters should also be well-lubricated to maintain smooth draws when the weather gets cold. Silicone-based lubricants are great for keeping your holster in good working condition.

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It doesn’t matter if you’re a hunter, sports shooter, survivalist, every day carry enthusiast or just like going to the range. You have to maintain your firearms properly and prepare them for the winter months. Proper maintenance and protection ensures that your firearms will work like you want and need them to when you have to use them. 

Following proper maintenance techniques for all seasons ensures that you will have a working firearm for many years to come. 

Keeping your firearms in top shape during the winter season ensures their reliability, safety, and optimal performance. By following a thorough maintenance routine and protecting your firearms from the elements, you can confidently face the challenges of winter while enjoying your chosen outdoor activities. Remember, a well-maintained firearm is a reliable companion in any season.

Do you have a specific firearms maintenance routine or schedule that you follow? Share your maintenance routine in the comments below. 

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