The downside of a day of shooting — cleaning all the guns

I had quite a bit of time off from work between Christmas and New Years, so I’ve been doing a good bit of shooting lately. That was the fun part. But unfortunately, it also means I’ve spent a fair amount of time cleaning guns.

We’re pretty lucky here in Wyoming to have a climate that isn’t absolutely ruthless to blued steel. In some parts of the country, if you so much as expose a gun to the air, you better take it completely apart and wipe it down as though it were a museum piece before you put it away again. And when it goes back in the gun safe, you’d need to make sure your dessicants and dehumidifiers are all working properly.

But here in Wyoming, we don’t have to worry about that quite as much. We do have some bentonite mud in areas where wild turkeys like to roam, and that stuff’ll eat the bluing off your shotgun barrel in a matter of hours, if not minutes. But for the most part, our state is pretty hospitable for guns.

That doesn’t mean you can neglect your firearms when you get back from hunting or shooting at the range, though. You still need to break ‘em down, swab out the barrels, rub down the metal parts with your gun oil of choice and a silicone-impregnated rag, and wipe all your fingerprints off the metal and the wood. If you don’t take care of your guns, they won’t work properly when you head out to the field, and worse yet, they won’t last as long as they should. A gun that’s cared for well should be able to be handed down for several generations.

With all the shooting I’ve been doing lately, it seems like all I have time to do when I get home is clean guns. I don’t usually mind cleaning my guns, because it means I got to shoot ‘em. But it does sort of spoil the fun when you realize you’re going to have to clean all the guns you shoot.

So next time you go to the range, make it worthwhile. Don’t just shoot a few rounds; fire off a case of ammo. Get a bunch of good practice and a hefty dose of recoil therapy to make cleaning that shootin’ iron well worth your while.