Nov 11, 2007

The Armorer's Report: Firearm Maintenance

Keeping your firearm clean on the battlefield is an essential and life-saving practice that should be carried out frequently. I would suggest cleaning one's firearm every 500-1,000 rounds, depending on the type of long arm and type of ammo being shot. Obviously, extreme care should be taken when shooting corrosive ammo. YOU SHOULD IMMEDIATELY CLEAN THE BORE AND BOLT/FACE OF YOUR FIREARM AFTER SHOOTING CORROSIVE AMMO. I learned this the hard way after shooting corrosive ammo through my non-chrome lined Yugo. I neglected to clean the bore for about 3-4 days and when I disassembled and peered into the bore it looked like a dirty sewer pipe. Luckly I was able to scrub it to pretty much good as new with a bore brush and lots of clean rags, but this stuff will eat away at all metal components it comes into contact with.

The right kind of solvent and oil is key when it comes to proper maintenance of your firearm. Gun solvents are used to cut through burnt powder fouling and residue left over in the bore and in the action after firing your weapon. Gun oil is used to lubricate all moving parts and keep rust from setting in. I like Hoppes brand solvent and oil which is a classic here in America. If you do not have access to brand name solvents and oils, there are a few things that I have heard of that will suffice in a pinch. Kerosene can be used as a substitute for solvents to clean out powder fouling/residue. If your shooting corrosive ammo and don't have access to solvents you can use boiling water with soap to clean out your rifle, or Windex or any ammonia based glass cleaner to cut through the corrosive salts. WD-40 is always a good standby, but I wouldn't rely on it as a good lubrication substitution because it is water based. Automatic Tranmision Fluid can be used for lubrication instead. I have also heard that good, clean motor oil works well as a gun oil. Most people swear by Mobil 1 Synthetic and for around $5 a quart, that is a lot of good, cheap gun oil that is gonna last you a long time. Still if you don't have access to these things, bacon grease or some other kind of animal grease can be used to lubricate your long arm, although I'd imagine it might get a bit dirty.

Proper knowledge of the disassembly/reassembly of your firearm is crucial. Most militaries make their soldiers learn how to do this this while blindfolded so it can be done in the dark, if needed. After your firearm is disassembled start with the bore. Run a clean rag soaked with solvent through first. You don't want to start with a bore brush because it will grind the fouling in. Always run your bore brush and rod from breech to muzzle, as going the other way brings fouling and grime back into your action. After running the solvent soaked rag through then go to the bore brush and use as necessary. I then usually swipe another clean solvent soaked rag through just to mop up after the bore brush. I then switch to a rag soaked in oil which I run through the bore until it comes out looking clean. Some people leave a thin sheen of oil on the inside of the barrel but this can affect accuracy. It is up to the shooter. After cleaning the bore, I use a solvent rag in the action and in the magazine to clean up any excess powder. I then switch to a lubricated rag and wipe down all metal parts and the outside of the receiver and then I am done. Reassemble firearm and go. Have fun!


Renegade Eye said...

They can use those in Venezuela. See my blog.

The Red Son said...

Comrade Eye- I'm not sure that I follow. How does gun cleaning relate to student clashes in Venezuela?

Comrade al-Azad- Excellent report, I am glad that you decided to contribute again. Keep it up. I will be seeing you very soon for some training exercises.