Maintaining Your Shotgun

If you are like us, you kind of like to shoot your guns, even when you are not hunting big whitetail bucks. Target practice keeps you sharp and ready for when that next hunting season comes around. But you know that every time you shoot your gun, there is residue left over, and over time, that residue can build up and ruin your gun. A dirty gun can cause lethal implications, and you definitely don't want that. So today we are going to take a look at how to do some basic maintenance of your shotgun.

First, we hope that you understand the first rule of holding a gun, but we are going to repeat it anyway. ALWAYS treat a gun like it is loaded, and ALWAYS point the gun away from you and anyone else. Keep your finger away from the trigger too.

Second, unload the shotgun. If it has a magazine, make sure the magazine is empty before proceeding. Double (and triple) check, and then put away the ammunition in a safe place.

Third, remove the barrel. If you have a pump-action shotgun, twist off the end-cap located at the top of the pump, right next to the barrel. Sometimes the barrel will stick – if your barrel is sticking, slide the pump arm all the way down and then open the breach, which will release the barrel.
  • Twist the barrel off away from the gun itself.
  • For single-shot shotguns, take off the forearm and then remove the barrel.
  • For semi-automatic shotguns pull the action all the way back. Unscrew the forearm cap and then slide the forearm off.
Now, wipe off all the pieces with a clean cloth. You will find that after cleaning certain areas, your cloth will be black. Clean these areas more until this no longer happens. You want to make sure to remove all residue. Scrub the pieces with a soft-bristled brush. An old toothbrush will work. Wipe down again.

Next, clean the barrel with a solvent-soaked cloth. There are special solvents you can buy, but be careful because they can contaminate the air, so have open windows or do it outside. Now, gently oil components that your user's manual recommends oiling. Wipe off the excess, and now you can reassemble your shotgun.

When you are looking for a place to hunt big bucks in Ohio, Hidden Hollow Whitetail Ranch wants to help you take home a big whitetail deer and great hunting experience to look back on for years to come.