A Gun Care Bleg

The Complementary Spouse and I are spending the week in southern Illinois and Missouri visiting family. One of my self-imposed chores for the week is to clean and oil all of her late father’s guns. He was quite the collector  and had a goodly number of shotguns and commemorative Winchester 94s.

Unfortunately, while kept in an air-conditioned house, a few are showing signs of spotty rust. I have heard 0000-size steel wool when used with gun oil will take care of the rust and not harm the blueing. Is this correct? Do you have other suggestions for removing little bits of rust without harming the blueing?

Any suggestions for a gun oil to use for longer term storage short of covering them in cosmoline? I planned to use a light oil like RemOil. Should I go with something heavier like RIG Gun Grease instead?

Thanks for the help.

Army Says – Lube Heavily in Desert Conditions

I don’t live in the desert. Far from it, given that there are areas in Western North Carolina which can get up to 90 or more inches of rain a year. Still, this is good advice for people who live in more arid climates.

The Army is recommending that weapons be “generously lubed” in desert conditions. What is “generous”?

Generously lubricated is defined as applying MIL SPEC CLP heavy enough so that it can be spread with a finger. According to USAMC Logistics Support Activity, CLP is the only authorized solvent. The training manual states that the use of other solvents will wash away the teflon lubricant that CLP imparts.

 The Army also has four rules for taking care of your firearm in the desert:

1. GENEROUSLY lube internal moving parts only
2. CLEAN the gun often, paying special attention to moving parts
3. Keep the gun COVERED as much as possible. Overall weapon protection cover, muzzle cap, and spare magazine protective bags will help protect the weapon. Keep the bolt and ejection port cover closed and a magazine in the weapon.
4. Unload and dry ammo and inside of magazines daily. Do NOT lube magazines.

Guns, Shooting, and the Dog Days of Summer

For shooters who live in locations where it gets just too damn hot comes this excellent advice from Jim Shepherd, editor and publisher of The Shooting Wire.

With temperatures (and humidity) near triple-digits for the next few days, I’m thankful that the majority of the new gear doesn’t need to be taken to the range to be prepped. In the deep South, summertime is the equivalent of the dead of winter in other parts of the country. You can get outside, but not without paying quite a price.

It’s also a time when your firearms and other gear are highly susceptible to one of the most damaging of all threats – rust.

High humidities cause guns to attract condensation like a leaky double-paned window. Going from air conditioning to sweltering heat will fog more than your glasses. When cold firearms are quickly taken into heat and humidity, the oily residue from physical contact with metal parts shows up as what it really is- a powerful corrosive.

For that reason, I treat my firearms the same way I do my camera equipment. If I’m going outside with advance notice, I put my gear in the garage well in advance. When I leave, it’s far closer to ambient temperatures – and prevents condensation.

And before you accuse me of being reckless, there’s a safe in the garage for that transitioning. Being cautious about your gear doesn’t mean you have an excuse to be reckless. If you own a gun – rusty or not – you’re still responsible for keeping it under control at all times. For me, that means on my side or locked in the safe during the day. At night, well, where my gun is is none of your business.

Anyway…If I find myself going out unexpectedly, I’ve been known to put my spare magazines inside a sandwich bag until they’ve had the opportunity to warm up. It’s not such a problem if you carry a polymer sidearm, but you might want to think a little about your favorite 1911 if you run in and out of air conditioning. Keep it well lubricated – inside and out – to protect it from the elements- and contact with your skin.

You don’t have to live in Alabama like Jim to get near triple digit summer days – or high humidity.