Shotgun Maintenance

12 Gauge Cleaning Kit Hoppes

12 Gauge Cleaning Kit Hoppes

In years past the breakaway shotguns could be cleaned in literally minutes using kerosene, oil, rags and a stiff piece of wire. Shotguns today in some cases can be cleaned virtually the same way, but you may not have kerosene available and transporting it is always a concern so of course you would use solvents and oils that come with your shotgun cleaning kit. However, in a field situation you can use WD-40 and kerosene for lubrication and cleaning the fouling from your barrel.

Ideally, you would have a shotgun cleaning kit.

Recommended product:

Basic Shotgun Cleaning Kit from Brownells

Basic Shotgun Cleaning Kit from Brownells

Bore solvent is important as well as lubricating oil designed for firearms. As stated earlier however, you can use other solvents and lubricants in an emergency, but you should get in the habit of carry products designed for your firearm. Some shooters have their rituals and may even make up their own solvents. This can be a safety hazard unless you have specific knowledge of the chemicals you are using. You can be overcome by vapors from some solvents that are not specifically designed for firearms.

Gun oil is important because some parts of your shotgun will get extremely hot and having the wrong oil may mean some moving parts will not be properly lubricated. Heat can literally evaporate some oils leaving the moving parts susceptible to wear by friction. However, in a field or survival situation, motor oil can be used and you can pull the dipstick from your vehicle’s engine block to get some oil. Use a clean cloth to absorb the oil from the stick to wipe down metal parts. Do not use oil on wooden or composite parts.

Pieces of tee shirts can be soaked in solvent and pushed through the barrel, let the solvent work on the buildup for a few minutes before pushing more cloth through the barrel.

Some shooters do not clean their shotguns according to their own accounts until they notice the accuracy is off. You can go for some time before cleaning your weapon if it is a breakaway single or double barrel, but pump actions and semi-automatic gas operated weapons should be cleaned if not every time you shoot at least every other time.
The more moving parts a weapon has the greater friction and heat there will be. Grit build up will cause faster wear and can cause some pump actions and semi-automatics to jam caused by short strokes. Dirt will build up in the receiver, and carrier/ lifter, which will can cause problems as well.

In a shell lifter/carrier for an 870, you can see the small moving parts would be affected by grime buildup and may fail to function if not cleaned properly.

Oil wherever metal touches metal and occasionally strip off the layer of oil and reapply fresh. Dust and dirt will mix in the oil over time and may create an abrasive compound that can cause wear to moving parts, so it is a good idea to remove it periodically.

After you have cleaned your shotgun and put it away, it is a good idea to bring it out once a month to give it another wipe down. This is especially import if you store your weapon in any time of case that may wick the oil from the metal parts.

Recommended Product:
Froglube - Cleaner, Lube, Protectant

Froglube - Cleaner, Lube, Protectant

You can get Froglube – Cleaner, Lube, Protectant on Brownells