Gun Care And Cleaning Tips
General gun care and cleaning are fundamental responsibilities of gun ownership, and beg regular re-visiting. Remember that in order to ensure proper function, shotguns need to be cleaned on a regular basis.
An easy way to accomplish everyday maintenance is to keep a quality gun cloth in your car or truck, and to wipe down the exterior of your gun after any hunt, regardless of the weather. This quick wipe-down not only removes particles and debris that could trap moisture, but also gives you the opportunity to notice a loose screw, chipped or cracked stock, or dented rib, and generally to catch the little problems before they become big problems.
You may not need to give your gun a deep and thorough cleaning after every adventure, but if the gun is shot, or if the gun gets at all wet, it should be disassembled and inspected, the bores should be scrubbed and lightly oiled, and all surfaces should be wiped dry. Be sure to use a light hand with oil, as excess can and will seep into stock wood, softening it and compromising its integrity.
Remember too that guns should ideally be stored in a well-ventilated or dehumidified space. Guns left for extended periods in a soft case, or in contact with cotton rags, will often bear the burden of rust. At the end of the season, be sure to thoroughly strip your autoloaders and pump guns and break down your over/unders and side-by-side shotguns for a complete cleaning.