Those new to sport shooting and hunting might be thrilled with their new hobby. With all the enjoyment hunting brings however, there are also responsibilities. To shoot safely while also preserving the life of your gun, you have to clean it. Whether you are cleaning a rifle or a shotgun, you must avoid making common novice mistakes that can cause cause damage and ruin your prized hunting tool.
Buy A Cleaning Kit
Do not solely rely on bringing your firearms to a gunsmith for a good cleaning. Doing so can be costly and trips to a gun store can be time consuming. While having a gunsmith do a nice cleaning for you before and after hunting season is a good idea, so is buying a cleaning kit at a hunting supply shop. This way, the ability to give your gun a good cleaning is always in arm's reach.
Clean with Frequency
In order to be a successful hunter, you must be a good shot. Putting 100 rounds through a rifle at the range or shooting 200 target shells skeet shooting definitely improves aim. Practice also dirties a gun. Any time you put 100+ rounds through a firearm, give it a basic cleaning and oiling to be sure the action always operates properly. Remember, a dirty firearm is prone to jams, misfires, or, worse, explosions due to clogged bores and chambers.
The Only Cleaning Kit is the Correct Cleaning Kit
Only use cleaning supplies that are appropriate for the caliber of weapon you are cleaning. Even if you are on a tight budget, it is unwise to wad up a ton of cleaning pads on a .22 ramrod to clear out the bore of a .10 gauge shotgun. Different sized rifles and shotguns have different sized bores. This means they require ramrods and cleaning pads that are specifically designed for a particular gun. In addition to the wrong sizes not working efficiently, you run the risk cleaning pads getting separated and stuck in the bore, which is extremely dangerous.
Never Rush Through Cleaning Sessions
Newbies usually consider it tedious to soak a single small pad in a cleaning solution, run it back and forth through the bore, replace the pad, and start the process over. While painstaking, this method also does the most thorough job and helps sufficiently clean out the gun. A gun in good condition is your most valuable hunting supply and will last for many years.