Rifle seasons have wrapped up in most states, which suggests it’s time to stash your deer rifle within the secure and neglect about it till the Fall.

Whether or not you stuffed a tag or earned a Ph.D. in Squirrel Statement, your rifle deserves a bit TLC. It caught by your facet by the rain and snow, the chilly days and the humid hunts, and now it wants a bit loving.

Hopefully, you’ll spend your summer time honing your rifle expertise, and your lengthy gun will see the sunshine of day earlier than subsequent season. However no matter your offseason apply periods seem like, now is a superb time to verify your deer gun stays correct (and devoted) for a few years to return.


After double- and triple-checking that the gun is unloaded, give it a great once-over.

Search for dust and particles embedded within the motion or between the barrel and the inventory. Be particularly cautious to search for areas of rust on any of the metallic components. An extended gun can simply outlast you, however rust will shorten its lifespan extra shortly than anything. Even in the event you have been cautious to wipe down your rifle after each journey to the tree stand, moisture can nonetheless penetrate into the motion, set off meeting, and beneath the barrel.

To be sure you spot any drawback areas, it’s a good suggestion to take away the inventory from the motion and examine all the things with a flashlight.

Lastly, do your finest to look contained in the bore. That is simpler mentioned than accomplished, however bore lights can illuminate some corrosion and pitting.

In case you actually wish to stand up shut and private, you should utilize a borescope. Amazon provides cheap choices, however I wouldn’t waste my time with these. A high-quality borescope particularly designed for firearms can produce photographs you’ll be able to really use. It takes apply to be taught what to search for, however it may be an excellent device to trace a barrel’s erosion.

Alternatively, some gunsmiths supply bore scoping providers. In case your rifle isn’t taking pictures as precisely because it used to and also you’re involved about pitting, see if an area gunsmith will have a look for you.

No matter device you utilize, pay particular consideration to the final two inches of the barrel in direction of the muzzle. That is the part probably to get moist and broken within the components, particularly in the event you’ve shot the gun and haven’t oiled it since.


When you’ve inspected the firearm and recognized any drawback areas, the following step is to offer the gun a great scrubbing.

In case you’ve recognized any areas of rust, use some oil and gentle metal wool to wash it off. Don’t scrub too exhausting, as you can too take away the metallic end beneath the rust. But when it’s simply flash rust on the floor of the metallic, the gun received’t be any worse for put on. That is additionally why it’s a good suggestion to often use a metallic cleansing brush on the within of your barrel. A nylon brush can often clear out lead and copper, however a metallic brush can scrub away floor rust. It’s also possible to buy merchandise (like this one) designed to take away rust with out damaging a rifle’s end.

If the rust has eaten away the end and leaves pitting within the metallic, the metallic could must be refinished relying on its location on the gun. If the rust is on the surface of the barrel, for instance, you’ll be able to re-blue it at dwelling (if that’s the suitable end).

If the pitting is contained in the barrel, you could must make a journey to the gunsmith or strive cleansing it with J-B Bore Cleansing Compound. This barely abrasive paste polishes the bore in addition to cleans it, which may easy out irregularities within the bore. Don’t count on it to magically repair a badly broken barrel, however it might probably assist.

In case you’ve taken care of your rifle within the discipline and saved it in a dry place, you’re unlikely to seek out a lot severe rust harm. Give the firearm a deep cleansing by disassembling the firearm as a lot as is affordable and eradicating all of the fouling from lead, copper, dust, carbon, and many others. Clear the bore based on the instructions in your favourite gun cleansing merchandise till the patches begin popping out squeaky clear.

Put the firearm again collectively, and also you’re prepared for the ultimate step.


Regardless of the place you retailer your firearm, it’s vital to use a light-weight coating of oil to all metallic components—inside and outdoors the bore. As you most likely discovered in grade faculty, oil and water don’t combine, so this layer of oil will maintain water from reacting with metallic and creating rust.

Gun house owners usually overlook correct firearm storage. A good friend of mine has a good looking Henry Golden Boy lever motion rifle, however he used to maintain it in a gun case in his storage. Once I requested to see it lately, he pulled it out and located rust alongside the barrel and on the iron sights. I most likely shouldn’t discuss. I’ve additionally stored a .22 LR lever motion rifle in my store to take care of the occasional pest, and I only in the near past needed to clear some flash rust from the barrel.

Your storage or store isn’t an excellent place to maintain your weapons. Even in the event you reside in a comparatively dry space (not like East Texas), humidity will, if given sufficient time, harm your firearms. That’s why you must at all times maintain your weapons in a secure with a dehumidifier put in. Safes aren’t hermetic, however they’ll defend your weapons much better than a gun case (which may really entice humidity and exacerbate the issue).

When you have a flowery secure with {an electrical} outlet, there are tons of plug-in dehumidifiers that do an excellent job holding the air dry. For the remainder of us, these silica gel dehumidifiers work simply superb. The silica beads take up moisture within the secure, and the unit might be plugged into the wall to dry out the beads once they’re saturated. I’ve had these in my secure for years, and I’ve by no means had any issues with rust.

Final Shot

Firearms might be among the coolest household heirlooms. If you wish to guarantee your rifles, shotguns, and pistols final lengthy sufficient to cross all the way down to your youngsters, take a while this post-season and ensure they’re taken care of. It’ll take a couple of hours and a bit elbow grease, nevertheless it’s value it to have firearms that stay correct and practical for many years to return.

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