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Keeping a Squeeky Clean Firearm

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My S&W Model 1500 7mm Remington Mag

Cleaning You Firearm

When it comes to hunting, your firearm is the one of the most important assets you have. Maintaining your firearm can not only help with future hunts, but it also can prevent  harm to yourself and the people you are hunting with. I spent eight years in the Marine Corps, and as a Marine, your firearm is extremely important. Like our motto says, “Every Marine is a Rifleman.” Using my experience in the Marine Corps, this column will explain the basics when it comes to cleaning your firearm.

First and foremost, you will need to get yourself a cleaning kit that is specific to the firearm that you own. These kits can be bought at your local sporting goods store, retail store (ie. Walmart), or any shooting range. The kits range anywhere from $20-$150 depending on the brand and the type of firearm you are purchasing it for. Remember, the high-end kits may look easy on the eyes but you don’t necessarily have to spend that much to get a quality kit. The simple, cheaper kits will have everything you need to get the job done effectively.

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Second, it is now time to clean your firearm. You can start by one of two ways: 1) Use a table, old bath towel and cleaning kit or 2) Purchase a stand for your firearm, old bath towel and the kit. I currently use the table/towel method to clean mine but it is all personal preference. Make sure that you are familiar with the components and how to assemble/disassemble it. If you have problems disassembling or assembling the firearm, utilize a search engine. There are many videos and online manuals out there that will make the job less frustrating.

Now that your firearm is disassembled, make sure to clean every part thoroughly, removing all signs of gunpowder and residue. Work to clean all parts of the firearm, adding small amounts of lubricating oil after you have finished cleaning each piece. Focus on the bolt assembly  and barrel to make sure that they are the cleanest. Those two components are the most important components to your firearm. Keeping those two parts clean will best help you from misfiring and to maintain the utmost safety. And last but not least, assemble the firearm the exact way you disassembled it in the beginning.

Cleaning your firearm is not that big of a task and won’t take up much time in your day. Even if it takes a little longer than expected to do the job, it is well worth the invested time and effort. Firearms are not cheap so if you take care of it, it will take care of you. Happy hunting and be safe out there.

A.J. Fick

Born and raised in northeast Pennsylvania, I’ve lived in southern California, central Texas, and currently reside in western Idaho. I consider myself a western hunter at heart, enjoying being part of vast landscapes and the thrill of the stalk. One of my hunting mottos is “stretch the stalk, not the shot”. My motivations as an outdoorsman are rooted in the sustenance, independence, and challenging physical aspects. In fact, my largest driving factor for physical fitness is preparing for upcoming hunts and ensuring I’m well-prepared to climb mountains and cover ground with a heavy pack. I also recognize and respect the importance of conservation efforts for our wild animals and wild places and the close connection to hunting and fishing. If we want future generations to experience the wonder and adventure of the outdoors, and gain the countless benefits, we must continue to make wildlife conservation today’s priority to ensure continued opportunity.

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