10 AirGun Cleaning Tips - AirGun Tactical

10 AirGun Cleaning Tips

10 Tips for AirGun Cleaning and Maintenance

Cleaning AirGun bores is a topic with varying opinions on frequency. Suggestions range from not cleaning at all to cleaning after every use. It's important to consider different perspectives and find a maintenance routine that works best for your AirGun.

Although AirGun bores are not affected by fouling from ammunition, it's important to note that most air rifles feature rifled bores. These lands and grooves have the potential to accumulate moisture if not adequately maintained. The presence of water can lead to rust formation, which ultimately compromises accuracy. To ensure optimal performance, proper care and maintenance of AirGun bores are essential in preventing moisture-related issues and preserving accuracy.

AirGun barrels often possess similar rifling to firearms, but they differ in material composition. Made from softer steel or sometimes brass, AirGun barrels require caution when cleaning. Traditional gun cleaning methods, such as using solvents, should be avoided as per manufacturers' recommendations. It is important to use appropriate cleaning techniques specifically designed for AirGun bores.

  1. Protect the bluing: The outer metalwork of your traditional AirGun has a finish called 'bluing' that needs to be shielded from rust caused by moisture. Use an oily rag, such as a linen tea towel with Ballistol Gunex or WD40, to wipe the dry surfaces. This will help prevent damage even during heavy rain.

  2. Invest in a rifle rest: Make working on your gun easier by using a combined toolbox and rifle stand or a dedicated rifle rest. Having your air rifle supported allows you to have both hands free for maintenance tasks.

  3. Care for your scope lenses: When hunting in rainy conditions or under trees, rain can get on the front element of your scope. To maintain a clear sight picture, treat your lenses with Rainex or look for scopes with special lens coatings. Carry a lens cloth with you for cleaning purposes.

  4. Preserve your gun: While a gun cabinet is a safe storage option, it can sometimes be prone to condensation. To be extra cautious, place a sachet of Napier VP90 corrosion inhibitor in the cabinet and ensure your rifles are dry and oiled before locking them away.

  5. Choose the right barrel cleaning method: AirGun bores rarely need cleaning, but when necessary, there are two accepted methods: using a pull-through or firing felt pellets through. A pull-through provides more control and is suitable for piston-powered rifles, but it requires effort and technique. Felt pellets are best for PCP rifles and should not be used with piston-operated guns unless a pellet is loaded behind.

  6. Use a suitable rifle bag: Opt for a smooth-lined rifle bag that doesn't retain moisture in the fabric and dries quickly. After coming indoors from the cold, allow your rifle to reach room temperature before drying, oiling, and storing it to prevent locking in moisture.

  7. Take care of your stock: Properly maintain your gun stock by oiling it to retain its appearance. Various stock oils, typically a blend of linseed oil and other wood oils, are available. Ensure the wood is dry before applying stock oil by hand, using the heat from your hand to help it penetrate the grain. For lacquered stocks, protect them with furniture wax polish or beeswax.

  8. Be cautious with camo wrap: Although popular among hunters, self-clinging bandage-style wraps can be problematic. When wet, they store moisture that can damage the metal beneath. Regularly remove the wrap to inspect for any unseen damage.

  9. Consider flip-up lens caps: Many AirGun shooters use flip-up lens caps for their scopes. Select the correct size for your scope, and these push-fit caps will provide a semi-permanent lens cover that can be easily opened in the field. Flip-up lens caps protect against dirt and rain when closed, and they keep the glass elements clean during storage.

  10. Store pellets properly: It's best to store pellets in their original tins, as soft leather or improper storage can cause oxidation. Alternatively, you can use hard pouches like the Wilkins brand and line the inside with foam from pellet tins to prevent rattling and provide a soft cushion. Some competition shooters use pellet clams to carry just enough pellets for the day.

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