Monday, June 23, 2014

Gun Cleaning - Still Enjoyable After All These Years

For some reason, I have always enjoyed cleaning guns. At first I think it had to do with pride of ownership and pride over knowing I responsibly and properly maintained them. I guess it also had something to do with Hoppe's #9 gun cleaning solvent, the aroma of that stuff is truly invigorating and I know only a few gun owners who do not like how it smells. Nowadays I use Gunzilla although I have a good stock of Hoppe's #9 on hand for when I run out of the Gunzilla. I have got to admit, Gunzilla is not to bad in the aroma department either.

This morning, I've been puttering between cleaning guns and messing around on my laptop. So far, I've cleaned four rifles and I have plenty more to go before the whole job is done.  The whole job consists of cleaning all of my firearms - pistols, revolver, rifles and shotguns. It's not a Herculean task but there are a good number of them to clean. No, I am not telling how many but will say it should take me several hours to field strip them, clean & lubricate the metal parts and also clean the wood on those that have wood stock or grips. Heck, I may run into tomorrow if I spend too much time online but since every day is a another Saturday in Paradise (retired life) all is good in the man-cave and I have time to spare as long as I get the job done within a day or three.

This cleaning fits in with it being early summer. The days are long, warmer and more humid and days like that invite rust, mold, mildew and other nastiness to stealthily creep up on and overcome guns that have been sitting around unused in the ammo locker or safe for any amount of time. It used to be that I would clean my guns after using them and that was about it. Maybe once or twice per year, I also would give some of them a rubdown with solvent and then with oil but to my dismay I found out that was not enough. At least that was the case once I had moved back to NY from the Imperial Valley, CA where it pretty much was bone dry most of the year; NY has much more humidity. I once opened my gun locker, several years ago now, to see a sight I never want to see again. Many of my rifle stocks were at least partially covered by mold or mildew (what the heck is the difference anyway). You know, that fuzzy looking coating that builds up on organic things when they are subject to too much dampness over time. I cleaned it off pronto but it took several cleanings over time for at least one of the rifle stocks not to appear stained from it; the others looked fine as soon as I wiped it off and then used some Orange Glo to clean/polish them up some. (I find Orange Glo to be great for cleaning and preserving wood stocks, but it sure makes them slippery. I speak from experience when I say be careful you don't drop a rifle on your toes when you pick it up right after cleaning the stock with that product.) So now, I clean all of them, whether they have been fired or not since the last cleaning. do that pretty regularly as part of a quarterly maintenance schedule. I also clean them after firing them.

Yep, that means I clean them, just about no matter what, at least four times per year - each and every one of them and I do that regardless of whether or not they look like they need to be cleaned. If nothing else, it keeps them in good shape should I ever decide to sell them. Of course, it also keeps them ready to go should I decide to go shooting. Mind you, I am not perfect, sometimes I miss a scheduled cleaning or two during any given year. That is usually because I forget all about it or maybe skip a cleaning because I am The Great Procrastinator and, before I know it, it is time for the next scheduled cleaning. I also have been accused (by my wife among my accusers) of being lazy but that almost certainly never comes into play when it comes to my guns (fingers crossed as I type). With that in mind, let me say that the two most important times of the year to perform a scheduled cleaning and otherwise maintain your firearms (in my neck of the woods) are at the start of summer (because of increased warmth and humidity) and in the fall before hunting season (in other words right after all that higher humidity of the summer). That is, as I said above whether or not they have been fired. Still though, it is best to maintain them at least four times per year. Guns that have been fired or otherwise subjected to fouling, dirt, dampness to even getting wet, such as a hunting gun taken afield on a lousy rainy day (although, how could a day hunting be a lousy day) may need cleaning right after use to prevent rust. They get what amounts to an essentially unscheduled cleaning almost immediately after use.

Okay, I guess that more than covers it and before any mold, mildew or rust start to cover my guns, it's time for me to get back to work at giving them a good inspection, cleaning and lubrication. I could keep writing forever, you see I am not lazy as my wife claims - just preoccupied with things other than I should be doing.

Later 4 U,
Glenn B


Glenn B said...

Well, it is now four hours since I posted this post and in that time I have gotten another 4 long arms - 3 rifles and one shotgun - cleaned and lubricated. Granted, I have been doing other things like letting the dogs out (and making sure they don't attack the guys redoing my concrete patio with pavers), having lunch and whatever) but most of the time has been spent maintaining guns. Just got done with my son's stainless steel Ruger 10/22. The bore was clean as spit but the receiver was filthy and man oh man does stainless steel let you easily see how much fouling is on it. Pretty clean now though. Taking another break before proceeding and will get some more done today because if I put them off until tomorrow they may not get done until after the summer.

Glenn B said...

This may take longer than I expect, I still have several long guns remaining and only have cleaned one of my pistols so far. Could be three days of gun cleaning in store for me. I could melt from all the gun cleaning solvent. "You cursed gun nut, look what you've done. I'm melting, melting. Oh what a world, what a world..."