Regular maintenance will make your sport safer and more enjoyable. The two key aspects are cleaning and servicing. Servicing and repairs are best left to a professional because specialist knowledge and tools are required. However, cleaning your gun every time you use it will ensure that it remains in the best possible condition between visits to the gunsmith.
The process can be broken down into a few, simple steps:
- Disassemble the gun into its three main components, stock and action, barrels and fore-end
- Remove traces of lead streaking or plastic fouling, caused by shot and plastic wads, from the bores using a phosphor-bronze brush. Use a bore cleaner to dissolve stubborn deposits
- Thoroughly clean the chambers. Being slightly larger than the bores you will need to use a proper phosphor-bronze chamber brush
- Remove multi-chokes if fitted, clean, apply a light film of oil and replace
- Remove any deposits from the barrels and chambers using a jag and patch
- Run a second, clean patch through the bores to make them sparkle before applying a very thin film of oil
- Remove any traces of powder and dirt from the face of the action
- Wipe metal components with a lightly-oiled cloth to protect them against corrosion
- Apply a good quality stock oil to the woodwork
- Wipe the gun with a silicone-impregnated cloth before storing it securely in a proper gun-safe
Every responsible owner should have their gun serviced, ideally at the end of each season so that it is stored in the best possible condition. Compared with the overall cost of shooting, servicing is inexpensive, and will ensure the reliability, safety and condition of your gun, as well as protecting its value.
Factors such as the gun’s age, how much it is used and the conditions in which it is used will be a factor in terms of how often it needs attention. Game guns will generally need servicing more often than those used for clay targets.
William Evans shops are located at:
The Old Armoury, Bisley Camp, Brookwood, Surrey, GU24 0NY (Tel: 01483 486 500)
67a St James’s Street, London SW1A 1PH (Tel: 020 7493 0415)