Monday, October 12, 2009

Operation Clean the Guns, 2009.

Part of the burden of maintaining a fair-sized gun collection is keeping them from deteriorating over time. So what we (Lagniappe and I) do here is that once a year, usually in the Fall, every gun gets a light cleaning and oiling, whether if got shot in the last year or not. This includes an oil patch down the bores and a wiping of all metal parts with a fresh coating of preservative oil. In past years, I've worked straight through and knocked them all out in short order, but this year, I've spaced it out over the last couple of weeks. It usually goes pretty quick unless I hit the odd one in the batch that got put back without being cleaned after it's last range outing. Despite my best efforts, that does happen from time to time, and more so this year because I took so many of them out with Nicki and her young'uns this summer and we didn't always follow up with a timely cleaning due to the hour or the weather. Some of them wound up getting re-racked and they've been a joy to discover because each one then has to be taken down for a detail cleaning. But Hallelujah, I'm almost finished!Here are some of them getting their bores punched: Four 1903 Springfields (one'03 and three '03A3 models) and three Mausers. (Some would say "seven Mausers" since our 1903 Springfield's action was basically an unlicensed copy of the '98 Mauser action.) It goes quicker to line them up and punch all of the bores at once instead of trying to do each individual rifle by itself.

The bolt guns are pretty straightforward, but when it gets down to the semi-autos, they have to be field-stripped and that takes a bit more time. And of course one or two are always going to have a bit of incipient rusting or other problem that needs attention, so it can take a bit to get them all back in the safe nice and clean. Most of them weren't even shot this year, and many of them won't be shot next year either, but come Fall, they all get this maintenance no matter if they were taken out fifty times or not at all.

And every year around this time, I really start asking myself if I honestly need each and every one of them. And the racks will thin out a bit, especially with Christmas coming. But somehow, other ones always seem to pop up over the course of the next year or so.

Funny how that happens.

Now the gun room smells like Hoppe's #9, Break Free and Tetra, and the trash can if full or dirty patches. But if the guns could talk, they'd be happy, because they're all clean and ready for action. And in another year, I get to start all over again.

So are you taking care of your tools like you should be?


  1. fatfred7:47 PM

    The US Army ordnance dept did pay license fees to the Mauser brothers by order of Teddy Rosevelt. TR also rejected the first bayonet design which was a really useless spike.

  2. Now, you have made me feel guilty! Oh man, that's a "lot" of cleaning!