New Native Nation Maintain a Shotgun


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How to Maintain a Shotgun

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit
Properly maintaining a shotgun is an obvious step for any gun owner, but when the shotgun is your personal or home defense weapon, it is absolutely necessary! Improperly maintained, or unmaintained, firearms become increasingly less reliable. Lack of reliability could have detrimental consequences if you get a malfunction when your shotgun is absolutely needed to function properly.

Safely Unload the Shotgun

Pump-Action Shotgun
  1. Be sure you always handle your firearm safely. Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, treat the firearm as if it were loaded, and keep your finger off the trigger.
  2. Press the bolt release (usually in front of or behind the trigger guard).
  3. Cycle the pump action. Repeat until no shells are visible in the magazine tube or in the chamber.
    • Be double-sure your firearm is unloaded. You do not want an unexpected boom while cleaning your firearm.
  4. Keep your ammunition separate from your shotgun while cleaning.
Auto-loading Shotgun
  1. Be sure you always handle your firearm safely. Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, treat the firearm as if it were loaded, and keep your finger off the trigger.
  2. Pull the bolt-grip back, and release it. Repeat until no shells are visible in the magazine tube or in the chamber.
    • Be double-sure your firearm is unloaded. You do not want an unexpected boom while cleaning your firearm.
  3. Keep your ammunition separate from your shotgun while cleaning.

Clean the Shotgun

Cleaning a pump-action shotgun doesn't need to be a lengthy process. As long as undue amounts of sand or dirt has not gotten into the action, the shotgun shot function extremely reliably. But if you need to do a more extensive cleaning, or are using a auto-loading shotgun, the following is the process. No stripping is necessary, and just opening and closing the bolt as require is sufficient.
  1. Wipe down all components using some paper towel (or cloth, but this is less important to be lint-free).
    • Remove as much of the thick, caked-on carbon buildup created by the friction of use. Also wipe off any old oil and all unburnt powder buildup.
    • Be sure to wipe the ejector and the area around the chamber. You will find certain areas turn the paper towel black (clean these areas more).
  2. Spray solvent (preferably designed to be safe to continually contact your skin, like M-Pro 7) on all possibly dirty components.
    • A liberal amount of solvent is better than not enough.
  3. Let the solvent sit for a couple minutes. Make sure any area with dirt, carbon buildup, or unburnt powder has a healthy amount of solvent on it, soaking in.
  4. Scrub the whole gun with a brush (no metal bristles — like a toothbrush). This works in the solvent and loosens up the buildup on the gun. Try to get into all the nooks and crannies.
  5. Wipe the gun clean with lint-free cloth (you can buy pre-cut cloth, but a clean old shirt or socks also work). Get everywhere you put the solvent (should be pretty much everywhere) and wipe it until it wipes clean.
  6. Wipe down the whole gun (inside and out) with a solvent-soaked lint-free cloth again, and look again for any areas turning the cloth dark, and clean it.
  7. Use the pick to get off any thick chunks of carbon or powder buildup, or buildup in tight parts of the gun.
    • The most common area with carbon deposits is in the chamber. Buildup occurs in the corners of the pieces of metal.
  8. Swab the barrel with a cloth soaked with solvent. Repeat with clean cloths (still soaked in solvent) until a cloth comes out clean. Then swab it with an oil-soaked cloth, this coat of oil will protect your barrel from oxidation (rusting).
    • A quick-and-dirty method for a less precise cleaning would be just to run a bore snake through the barrel.
  9. Oil all the components requiring lubrication. Often the manual for the gun will have specific areas needing oil, but a quick look at where the gun is wearing will give you a good indication of the needs.
    • Be sure to oil the rails for the bolt and the bolt itself.
    • Try to keep oil away from the openings into the firing pin housing (oil is a collector of dirt and powder buildup, and buildup around your firing pin can prevent it from firing).
  10. Wipe down the whole gun and remove any excess oil.

Tips

  • If you are having a tough time with some thick buildup, apply more solvent and let it soak for a while.
  • If you aren't able to wipe all the areas solvent has gotten into, no worries. The solvent will eventually evaporate or the oil you spray on later will neutralize it.
  • A very light (almost invisible) coat of oil on the exterior of metal parts will prevent rusting by preventing moisture saturation.
  • A quick-and-dirty method to clean the barrel is a bore snake. As shotguns do not need to be precisely accurate, a quick run through with a bore snake is often all the barrel may need for day-to-day use.

Warnings

  • Keep oil away from the openings into the firing pin housing (oil is a collector of dirt and powder buildup, and buildup around your firing pin can prevent it from firing).
  • Be sure the solvent is safe for your gun, and preferably, safe for continual contact with your hands.
  • Wash your hands after handling the gun and cleaning suplies.
  • Always clean your gun in a well ventilated area, as fumes from solvents or oils can be unhealthy if inhaled.

Things You'll Need

  • A dirty (used) shotgun.
  • Paper towels (optional).
  • Lint-free cloth (you can buy pre-cut cloth, but a clean old shirt or socks also work).
  • Solvent (preferably designed to be safe to continually contact your skin, like M-Pro 7).
  • Oil (oil specifically designed for use with a firearm — grease or other lubricants are also a viable option, but often require more work).
  • Pick (or other sharp, soft-metal object — such as an aluminum pick).
  • Barrel swab or bore snake (both are caliber specific).
  • Brush (no metal bristles — like a toothbrush)

Related wikiHows

Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world's largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Maintain a Shotgun. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

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