Proper maintenance and care of your hunting rifle are essential to keep you on top of your game and to keep you safe.
Maintaining and caring for your hunting rifle should be on your mind both during the hunting season and when you store your equipment during the offseason.
Rifle care can help ensure that your weapon never malfunctions on you. Out on the field, you often have limited tools and resources so if something goes awry, your whole hunting day may be over.
It’s best to prepare ahead of time by regularly cleaning your rifle.
How Often Should You Clean Your Hunting Rifle?
This is primarily determined by how often it is used. It’s likely you would need to clean a shotgun used for bird hunting more frequently than a rifle used for deer hunting – solely because of how commonly the gun would be used.
A good rule of thumb, however, is to clean your rifle exceptionally thoroughly both before the season begins and immediately after your last hunt of the season. Between those two periods of time, a daily examination to ensure no dramatic presences of debris should suffice.
When Cleaning Your Hunting Rifle, Ensure You Keep All Parts in Order
You never realize how complicated a firearm is until you’re tasked with disassembling and reassembling it.
Fortunately, there is a tool to help out with this.
Most firearms will come with a diagram showing all of the parts of the gun disassembled. This layout can also be used to place the small pieces on top of to make sure they don’t get lost.
Should you discover a faulty component while cleaning your rifle, the diagram will also likely show part serial numbers and model numbers so that you can easily order a replacement part.
You should never hunt with any faulty rifle components, no matter how insignificant they may seem.
If you don’t have a diagram for your firearm, you can probably obtain one by writing to the manufacturer.
Oiling Your Rifle is Essential – Just Like Cleaning It Is
You probably thought regular cleaning of your rifle was about the only care and maintenance step you could take.
However, proper oiling of a rifle is essential as well.
Lubricating a rifle is a relatively straightforward process, but it helps ensure safety and improve accuracy.
There’s one important factor to keep in mind when oiling your rifle. Oil tends to attract dirt and grit. So never over-oil and only apply lubrication to the parts of the gun that need it.
Parts of the rifle that rub together directly, especially those under force, are the key areas to look out for. The best example of this would be the lugs on the bolt of the rifle.
When lubricating your rifle, you have options between liquid lubes, oils, and greases. All have different viscosities and will attract different levels of grit and dirt.
Additionally, each will be easier to apply and remove while in the field. Try out several different types to find the kind that works best for your particular environment and firearm.
Rifles are Quite Sensitive to Temperature
Rifles are quite sensitive to temperature changes and are often exposed to extreme lows and highs during the hunting season. It’s best to minimize the temperature stress that your rifle is put through.
One critical way to make sure that this happens is by leaving your rifle outdoors if it was exposed to multiple hours of extreme cold.
Hunters often don’t realize that bringing a rifle indoors afterthe extreme cold is a no-no. Doing so causes condensation that will create rust, or the melted ice can refreeze the next morning.
Leaving your rifle in an outdoor storage room, a cold vehicle, or on a semi-exposed patio is better for your gun than bringing it into a warm home.
Proper Storage is Imperative for Proper Maintenance and Care of Your Hunting Rifle
It’s easy to do so, but you’d be amiss to take proper care of your rifle all season long and then store it away for the offseason improperly.
While it’s best to store guns in a padded case when traveling with them when you plan on storing them long-term, a gun cabinet or rack is best.
Closed gun cases do not allow for circulation that gun racks or safes do. If you must store your rifle in a gun case for an extended period, it is helpful if you leave the zipper or clasps partly open.
Additionally, gun safes and racks tend to be safer. They can be locked and stored away securely in the home.
Take Care of Your Hunting Rifle for a Better Hunting Experience
There are multiple factors to keep in mind when considering proper maintenance and care of your hunting rifle.
From storage to cleaning, to lubrication there is a certainly a lot to keep in mind.
However, for your safety and the safety of those around you, maintenance is paramount.