There are many reasons for owning a gun including entering competitions, hunting expeditions, and protection. However, the one thing they all have in common is the need for proper maintenance. If your rifle isn’t looked after properly, it can lead to accidents, which can bear heavily on your conscience if you’re not careful. If you’re a newbie rifle owner, we’ve got you covered with the following maintenance tips.
Unload Your Rifle
This should be common sense, but you need to unload your gun whenever you’re not using it. If your magazine has been laid dormant for a while, we suggest replacing it every 4-6 months. Further, you should shoot your rifle at the range every so often to make sure everything works properly – you’ll also improve your skills.
Your rifle will need checking regularly – we suggest before and after every use. When your rifle is stored away, it can fall victim to rust and debris build-up, which will impact its functionality. If you carry your gun daily, you should carry out routine inspections just out of curiosity – it’s always safer to check too much than not enough.
Use Correct Products
Rifle owners are known for taking the DIY route, which can lead to problems if incorrect cleaning supplies are used. Buying gun-specific lubrication and cleaner may seem like the more expensive option, but your average can of WD-40 won’t get the job done. Your rifle faces pressure from speed, heat, and friction, which is why they have specially formulated products.
Replacement Parts Readily Available
Whether you’ve just finished cleaning your rifle or it has been a while, your gun can always fail unexpectedly. Therefore, you should have back storage of essential parts. For example, if you have a laser sight and the batteries run out, you should have spares for a quick replacement. Further, for additional peace of mind, you should invest in an iron sight because they’re classic yet reliable and will work in a pinch.
The majority of regular rifle owners don’t have access to sonic cleaners or gun-soaking vats, which means they’re left to scrub parts to remove debris. You can use any brush to do the job, but we suggest a toothbrush soaked in solvent. As well as a brush, you will need a rod, bore solvent, and patches – you can usually get your hands on all of these in a cleaning kit. When cleaning out debris, you should be careful not to put too much pressure on the rifle, which can damage the parts; only scrub enough to remove dirt.
Taking apart your gun is part of the job, but you need to wipe the exterior too. This cleaning task is simple, and you’ll only need an oily rag, which means it can be completed daily. While you’re cleaning the outside of the gun, you can check around for any loose parts.
Read the Manual
Sitting down to read the manual might feel like a dad’s game, but it’s the only way to find out how to care for your rifle properly. Disregarding the instructions for your rifle can cause serious injury or death. Inside the manual, you will find instructions on disarming the rifle and carrying out proper maintenance. If your gun was second-hand, it’s important to retrieve the manual online or ask the manufacturers.
Carrying out regular rifle maintenance will prolong its life and ensure it operates safely. You need to carry out maintenance before and after every use. If your gun is sat for 5-6 weeks, it’s good practice to swap out the magazine. Remember, whether you’ve handled guns for one or 50 years, take time to observe the manual every time.