Cold, wet weather demands proper gun care
If we are out hunting in cold and wet weather it is natural that when we get home we want to change into warm, dry clothing and take care of our gear later. But don’t put off giving your gun basic care.
Never put away a damp, or even cold, gun into a carrying case and leave it in the closet. Moisture will cause rust which will destroy the bluing and even pit the metal. At the very least, make sure the gun is room temperature and dry it before putting it in the case. Guns are prone to corrosion and rust in storage as well as in the field.
Your gun is more likely to be damaged from abuse and neglect than overuse. Care for it properly when you are finished and be sure that it is stored correctly. Guns that have been fired should be cleaned prior to storage. This involves cleaning the bore and the action with cleaner and lubricant.
My personal choices for gun care products are Shooter’s Choice by Venco. Many years ago I was at an outdoor show gathering of sportsmen and there was a demonstration of gun cleaning. A shotgun had been fired several times and then cleaned with a popular brand of cleaner until it appeared to be clean. Then it was cleaned again with Shooter’s Choice and we were amazed at the fouling that was removed. Needless to say this made a believer out of me and I have used these products ever since.
A lot of people know that the gun should be cleaned but put the chore off and manage to forget about it. Fouling will quickly cause pitting that will eat away at the smooth inside bore of your shotgun or the rifling grooves of your rifle. It may not be obvious but there will be a smooth residue of burnt powder, copper and lead inside of your barrel.
Whenever possible, clean the gun by pushing from receiver end to muzzle to minimize the possibility of residue getting into the action. On double barrel shotguns etc., just open the breech. For bolt action guns, just remove the bolt. On many shotguns such as pumps you can remove the barrel for cleaning.
Insert the patch soaked in solvent like MC 7 Bore Cleaner and push from the receiver end towards the muzzle whenever possible, to force solvent out the muzzle. Remove the brush or patch before making the next pass. Wipe the rod after each pass to remove gritty residue. Once the inside of the bore is thoroughly saturated, use the brush to remove dirt and residue in a straight motion.
Keep using fresh patches to remove all residues until the patches pass through and emerge clean. When the barrel is clean and dry, lubricate it using gun oil or Shooter’s Choice FP 10 on a clean patch. Then use spray lubricant such as Rust Prevent on the inside of the barrel and all metal parts.
For shotguns one of the handiest ways is to use a 5/8ths inch thick wooden dowel to push the patch through. Use the same procedure of pushing solvent through, then removing it with clean patches. If you use the wooden dowel, you can use an absorbent paper towel folded and rolled to bore filling diameter as a cleaning patch.
Use a rest to hold the firearm steady while working a cleaning rod through it. The rest should be padded to protect the gun’s finish and it should be designed so that the muzzle is lower than the receiver, which allows solvent to drain out through the muzzle.
The action should be cleaned using an old toothbrush and cleaner then sprayed with a de-greaser such as Quick Scrub III. Give it a coating of the FP 10 lubricant to reduce friction and wear as well as protecting it from rust and corrosion. The action and all the metal should be sprayed with a water-displacing lubricant such as Rust Prevent. Spray it again an hour later and wipe it down before storing.
For the complete line of Shooter’s Choice products like MC 7 Bore Cleaner, FP 10 lubricant, and Rust Prevent, and their uses see the website www.shooterschoice.com. You can also use it to find distributors. There is a complete four-step guide to gun cleaning that you can download or print for easy reference.
If rust has formed on the surface of the finish or in some hard to reach spots like the sights, etc., put a few drops of solvent on a toothbrush or use an old hard rubber typewriter eraser to remove the rust.
Do not leave paper towels, rags, etc. stuffed in the muzzle of the gun while storing. It can be dangerous if you forget it is there. At the very least it will probably attract and keep moisture which will eventually cause rust.
So whether for greater accuracy, protecting your investment or just rewarding a faithful friend, take good care of your guns, including a thorough cleaning.
Fishing Report: Although the majority of sportsmen have been big game hunting the past few weeks there has been some exciting “big game fishing” in the Salmon River. Last week there were a lot of big brown trout, steelhead and even some late run king salmon in the Salmon River. Most of the fish, and consequently most of the fishermen, were found in the upper portion of the river between Pineville and Altmar.
According to Jim Button of Salmon River Sports Shop the fish were being taken on beads, egg sacks and power bait worms. Lighter colors of egg sacks were working best. Whitakers Sports Shop said that a variety of flies, including estaz eggs and Wooly Buggers, were working well for fly fishermen.
During the mild weather over the weekend the steelhead trout were resting in the deep pools but feeding on the edges of the fast water. The best bite occurred during the warmer afternoons. Fish the bait or flies along the edges of the fast water or just out of the strongest current. Use just enough weight to give the bait a natural presentation.
Joe’s Jerky: With deer hunting seasons well under way, many local residents have a fresh supply of venison in their freezer. Several people have asked me about having products made from their venison such as jerky, summer sausage and other products. One of the best places for this type of processing is Joe’s Jerky in Sherrill. Joe Robinson is a veteran meat cutter who makes a variety of great products.
I have had summer sausage and Italian sausage made from venison and they are excellent. He makes either hot or sweet sausage by mixing the venison with pork butt and I can highly recommend all his products. Call 367-0237 for more information.
Joe also has excellent regular cuts of meat such as beef and pork for sale. He makes seven flavors of beef jerky that he sells at his store on State St. in Sherrill and all are tasty and high quality. His store is a local outlet for several Pride of New York items such as local maple syrup, cheeses, sauces and seasonings such as Iron Skillet Seasonings.
YPOD: One small but handy device that I recently acquired is the YPOD. This is a small “Y” shaped device to rest the fore-end of your rifle in while shooting from a tree stand. It can also be used to support your gun on a bench while sighting in your gun.
Most ladder style tree stands have a safety rail in front of the seat but naturally it is designed for the bowhunter. Rifle hunters who want to rest their hand or forearm on the rail for stability have to hunch over to line up the sights or use the scope. The YPOD fits on the shooting rail and easily screws up to the desired height to provide the hunter with a more comfortable position.
It also comes in handy on the shooting range where a hunter can set it on the table, adjust the height, and rest the front stock in the “Y” for stability so you can accurately tell where the gun is shooting. It is light, adjustable, durable and fits into a cargo pocket while traveling. Check out www.liveoaktek.com.