Hunting season is upon us. It is time to get those rifles and shotguns and muzzleloaders ready to go. There are some things that really should be done early whether it is the hunt of a lifetime or a normal hunting season.
Rifles should be cleaned. Action screws checked for proper torque. Scope mounts checked. One thing often overlooked is to make sure your sling swivel studs are tight. These often become loose and as the rifle gets bounced around they eventually strip out the hole and there goes the rifle. I’m sure everyone has heard of that mysterious cold bore shot being different than subsequent shots. My experience is that it is not so much a cold bore as much as a clean bore being different. The solution is to clean your rifle, then go to the range to verify zero (as we all need to do anyway) and then go through the season with that fouled bore. Unless weather or something else requires a cleaning, the rifle will be good to go until the season is over.
For those of you with busy schedules, no access to a good range or without proper equipment to sight in your rifle, you may look into having your gunsmith sight in your rifle for you. This is not an excuse for not shooting your own rifle after he sites it in to verify, but often the cost of having it done for you is made up for in time and ammunition. Having the proper equipment and range I can usually get a customer’s rifle sighted in and grouped with under 10-12 rounds.
Shotguns should be cleaned. Choke tubes checked for tightness and have an application of some type of anti seize lube. Make sure that barrel nuts and stock screws are tight. For those hunting in wet areas and having hollow synthetic stocks, make sure that moisture is removed so that action springs and tubes do not rust. As with rifles, they need to be “sighted in”. Shotguns should be patterned with the same type of ammunition you plan to hunt with. Believe it or not, each shotgun has its favorite loads just like rifles.
Muzzleloaders these days range from very primitive to being modern rifles. Some things remain common. Just like the others, make sure all screws are tight. Check slings and studs. Make sure sights are strongly mounted whether iron sights or optics. Synthetic ramrods, while not traditional, are a good idea. It is a really bad day when the wood ramrod splits and goes through your hand. Due to the nature of the propellants in muzzleloaders, they should be cleaned every time they are used. Regardless of true black powder or some type of substitute, it is still very hard on the barrel and nipple or flash hole if left uncleaned. Probably the best way to clean these is still old fashioned hot soapy water. Consider applying bore butter after cleaning rather than traditional oil as it is more compatible with the propellants. Always fire a cap or primer before loading the rifle to burn out any lube that may cause misfires.
Happy Hunting and remember that Tacdrivers is the full service gunsmith shop at Gunsite. We can provide all of the services suggested above while you take a class at Gunsite or ship your firearm to us.
Remember that the GAS Match(Gunsite Alumni Shoot) is only a month away. Tacdrivers will be running a suppressor side match sponsored by Gem Tech. (Thanks to Gem Tech for this!) . We will also have some suppressors on sale at the match, some being demo models and some being new.