December 1st, 2015

TEN TIPS for Winter Firearms Storage

winter gun storage tips

It’s December already. That means winter has definitely arrived — no doubt about it. If you plan to put away all or some of your firearms for the winter, here are TEN Tips for winterizing your firearms.

Barrel Crown1. Bore Cleaning and Coating — Clean your barrels and neutralize any solvents you may have used. Then run a couple patches with a corrosion-fighter down the bore. We recommend Eezox or CorrosionX. Eezox leaves a glossy dry film shield with excellent rust resistance. CorrosionX is more like a conventional oil, but with special anti-rust additives. Other products may work well too. Just be wary of the “all in one” products that have a strong solvent, and don’t use any fluid that contains ammonia — this can actually promote corrosion. Here’s a test of various anti-corrosion products: Rust Block Comparison Test.

2. Crown Inspections — After cleaning the barrel, inspect the crown with a magnifying glass. If you see any unusual wear, abrasion, or “shark’s teeth” at the very outer edge of the rifling, make a note — it may be wise to recrown the barrel next spring. Before you place your rifle in the safe, we recommend putting a piece of electrical tape or blue masking tape loosely over the muzzle to protect the crown. This is just to protect the delicate crown during handling — you are NOT trying to seal off the bore.

Bore-Store Gun Sacks3. Optics Storage — If your gunsafe is crowded, you may wish to remove the optics and rings from your rifles before winter storage. You can use a white crayon to mark the ring position (on the rail) for next season. We recommend that you store your optics inside a warm part of your house, where temperatures and humidity are relatively stable.

4. Trigger Group — Inspect your trigger assembly. Trigger housings accumulate dirt, grit, and oily gunk over the course of a season. If you have some basic mechanical skills, you may wish to remove the trigger from the hanger and clean it per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Don’t flood it with any kind of thick oil.

5. Bolt and Action — Clean the gunk off your bolt and raceway in your receiver. Put a thin coat of anti-corrosion product on the bolt, and re-grease the lugs and camming surfaces as recommended by the manufacturer. Don’t forget the fasteners and pins on the action and scope rail — these may not be stainless even if you have a stainless steel receiver.

Bore-Store Gun Sacks6. Use Thin Gloves — When oiling firearms during the winterization process, we recommend you wear thin latex or nitrile gloves. This will prevent you from leaving skin oils and acids that can actually promote corrosion. This will also protect YOU from any chemicals in the corrosion-blockers you put on your guns.

7. Applying Surface Protectants — For blued firearms, put Eesox or other rust-fighter on a cloth and wipe the barrel and exposed metal. Eezox works best with a couple light coats. Don’t forget iron sights, bottom metal, trigger guards, bolt handles, and sling swivels — they can rust too if not protected. Use Q-Tips or small swabs to reach small, internal parts.

Bore-Store Gun Sacks8. Use Gun Sacks — We put rifles and pistols in Bore-Store Gun sleeves. These thick, synthetic-fleece sacks cushion your guns, preventing nicks and scratches. The breathable fabric wicks away moisture, and the fibers are coated with corrosion inhibitors to help fight rust. Bore-Stores are offered in a wide range of sizes, so you can find something to fit everything from a Snub-nosed revolver to a 32″-barrelled 50 BMG. Rifle-size Bore Stores can be purchased for $9.00 – $22.00 from Brownells.com or Amazon.com. While we prefer Bore-Stores for regularly-used guns, if you have heirloom firearms that will be kept in storage for very long periods without seeing any use, you may want to grease them up and place them in the thin, but rugged three-layer storage bags sold by Brownells. Here’s one VITAL bit of advice for using these bags. Be absolutely sure, before you seal up the bags, that your guns are DRY and that all metal surfaces have been coated with an effective rust-blocker, such as BoeShield T9 or Eezox.

Foam-lined hard case9. Take Your Guns OUT of Foam-lined Cases — These common foam-lined cases are Rust Magnets. This may be the most important Tip in this article. Just about the worst thing you can do in the winter (short of leaving your rifle outside in the rain) is to store firearms in tight, foam-padded cases. The foam in these cases actually collects and retains moisture from the air, acting as the perfect breeding ground for rust. Remember, those plastic-shelled cases with foam interiors are for transport, not for long-term storage.

10. Make Your Gun Safe Ready for Winter — If you don’t have a Goldenrod (or equivalent), buy one. Sold as a “dehumidifier”, the Goldenrod is a simple electrical element that can maintain temperature in your gun vault. This helps prevent moisture in the air from condensing on your guns. A small incandescent light-bulb can help as well (just make sure it cannot touch any flammable fabrics or objects). In addition, you may want to purchase Dessicant packs to put inside the safe to absorb moisture. If you have an electronic keypad for your safe, we recommend replacing the batteries at least once a year.

Permalink News 4 Comments »
December 1st, 2015

Record Number of Firearms Transactions on Black Friday 2015

Black Friday Gun Sales

Based on NICS data, a record number of firearms were sold on “Black Friday”, the day after Thanksgiving. More background checks were recorded on Friday, November 27th, 2015 than on any day in American history. And for the 4-day period, 26-29 November (2015), a total of 368,774 NICS background checks were completed — nearly 10% more than the year before.

Black Friday Gun SalesBlack Friday 2015 Was Biggest Single Day Ever for Gun Sales
Thanks to attractive promotions from many vendors such as Brownells and Cabelas, all types of firearms flew off the shelves last week, which was the highest Black Friday period in the history of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

The FBI, which administers NICS, reports that NICS processed 185,345 transactions on November 27, Black Friday, making the day the highest Black Friday ever and the highest day in NICS history. The highest previous day was December 21, 2012 with 177,170 background checks. For the entire November 26-29, 2015 four-day Black Friday period 368,774 checks were completed, a 9.9% increase over the 335,555 checks conducted over the corresponding 2014 4-day period.

Background Checks Vs. Actual Sales
NICS statistics represent the number of firearm background checks initiated through the NICS. They do not represent the number of firearms sold. Based on varying state laws and purchase scenarios, a one-to-one correlation cannot be made between a firearm background check and a firearm sale.

Permalink News 2 Comments »
December 1st, 2015

Nancy Tompkins, America’s ‘First Lady’ of Shooting

Nancy Tompkins High Power long range shooting rifle

Nancy Tompkins bookProfile by Kyle Jillson for NRABlog
In the December 2013 issue of Shooting Sports USA, Barb Baird of Women’s Outdoor News sat down with Nancy Tompkins, one of the most accomplished shooters out there. A past World and National Champion, Nancy likes to reach out and touch targets at 1,000 yards with accurate rifles. She’s been competing in Palma (.308 caliber at 800, 900, and 1000 yards), Long Range (1000 yards) and Smallbore prone for 41 years. Thanks to her father, Nancy began competing in the seventh grade and now shares the love of shooting with her daughters Michelle and Sherri Gallagher, her husband Mid Tompkins, and her goddaughter, Danielle Makucevich. Nancy has competed on numerous international Palma teams, traveling from her home base in Prescott, Arizona.

“There is nothing better than traveling, making new friends and competing with the best shooters in the world,” said Nancy. And she only shoots with the best equipment. Her 2013-vintage Palma rifle featured a McGee stock, Stolle Panda action, Krieger barrel, Anschütz trigger, Warner rear sight and a Right Sight (front sight). Her .22 LR Smallbore rifle sports an Anschütz action and trigger with a Hart barrel, McGee stock, Right Sight (front sight), and Warner rear sight.

As always, interviewer Barb Baird had a key question for Nancy: “What’s in your range bag, Nancy Tompkins?” Actually, Nancy stores stuff in her Creedmoor shooting stool for High Power matches and in a large plastic box from Home Depot for her Smallbore matches. Here’s what Nancy keeps at the range:

  • Sinclair timer
  • Allen wrenches, small screwdriver, and grease
  • SPF-15 lip balm
  • Magnifying glass
  • Two slings
  • Creedmoor shooting glove
  • Decot shooting glasses
  • TLC Gunworks elbow pad
  • Champions Choice shooting visor
  • CeCe’s custom ear plugs

One More Item — Nancy’s Lucky Mouse
Nancy’s cat, Sierra, placed a toy mouse in one of her shooting stools a few years ago. Nancy now considers it her lucky charm. To learn more about Nancy’s recommended equipment, and glean great tips on Long Range marksmanship, get Nancy’s excellent book, Prone & Long Range Rifle Shooting.

Nancy Tompkins has been shooting competitively for over 38 years. She has won the National Long Range Championships 5 times (1986, 1997, 1999, 2003, and 2015), the across the course National Highpower Championships (1998), the Metric Smallbore Nationals (2012) and the Fullbore Nationals (2012). She has also been the Wimbledon Cup winner (1993) and a 7-time Leech Cup winner (1995, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2011 and 2012). She has won both team and individual medals in the World Championships and has been on eight Palma Teams (as both a shooter and a coach).

CLICK HERE for December 2013 SSUSA Issue with article about Nancy.

Permalink - Articles, Shooting Skills 5 Comments »