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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.

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February 18th, 2014

New Bore-Tips Foam Bore Swabs for Barrel Cleaning

Wouldn’t it be nice to dispense with patches and jags when cleaning your guns? The folks at Super Brush, LLC, had the same idea, so they invented Bore-tips® swabs. These reusable foam “mops” provide 360° of contact with the bore, reaching both the grooves and the lands. Bore-tips thread onto standard cleaning rods. They are offered in a variety of sizes, from .22 Caliber up to 12 Gauge. Rifle Bore-tips come in .22 (5.56mm), .243 (6mm), and .308 (7.62mm) diameters.

Bore-tips foam bore swab

We saw samples of this new product for the first time at the Berger SWN. We’re intrigued. The product may be useful for some applications, particularly pistols and shotguns which require minimal brushing. For rifles they do a good job of applying solvents because they hold more liquid than a patch. However, you probably won’t want to abandon your jags and patches. Sometimes a tight-fitting patch is still the best tool for the job. Patches are cheap and it’s easier to discard a used patch, rather than fuss with cleaning foam swabs. But for shotguns (and lightly used pistols), these things make sense.

Bore-tips® Claimed Benefits:
• Each tip is reusable and can be cleaned with solvents or soap and water.
• Tough and fiber-free, Bore-tips will not shed or leave lint behind as cotton will.
• FAST PATCHLESS CLEANING — solves the shortcomings of the jag and patch.
• Foam fills the lands and grooves of the rifling, not sliding over the top like a patch.
• Quick threading on a standard 8-32 cleaning rod. Shotgun sizes use a 5/16 x 27 rod.
• Can be used with most commercially available solvents and oils.

How to Use Bore-tips®
Bore-tips foam bore swab
Use a Bore-tip to apply solvent to the barrel. After allowing the solvent time to work, brush the bore to break up any fouling. Next use a clean Bore-tip to push the fouling out the bore. When the now dirty Bore-tip clears the bore, wet it with a little solvent and then squeeze it with an absorbent rag or paper towel, this will blot the dirt off. After blotting the Bore-tip should be clean enough to continue using to remove the fouling until you are finished cleaning. When you are satisfied with the cleanliness of your barrel, use a clean Bore-tip to dry the bore.

Click for Full-Screen Images
Bore-tips foam bore swab Bore-tips foam bore swab

How to Clean Bore-tips®
Bore-tips foam bore swab
For faster cleaning, apply mineral spirits to the Bore-tip and squeeze/blot into an absorbent rag or paper towel. When the Bore-tip is clean, let dry and reuse. Using soap and water, squeeze to blot out any excess solvent or dirt. Next, wash the Bore-tip with a grease-cutting soap and warm water. Once clean, rinse then let dry completely. See cleaning video below:

Bore-Tips Foam Swab Cleaning Demonstration

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September 9th, 2013

TECH TIP: How to Apply Wipe-Out from the Breech

Wipe-Out foam bore cleaner is a product we’ve used with great success on many rifles. With sufficient dwell time, it removes both carbon and copper fouling. You can combine it with Wipe-Out Accelerator or Patch-Out liquid to speed up cleaning time. Many shooters, including this editor, find that bore-brushing has been virtually eliminated with the regular use of Wipe-Out. (With some barrels however, you may still have to brush or use a bore paste if you notice stubborn carbon build-up in the throat area.)

wipeout brushless bore cleaner foam

Out standard procedure with Wipe-Out is to insert an O-ring-sealed cleaning rod guide into the chamber and then squirt through the muzzle in short puffs. Put a towel or rag on the comb of your stock and watch for a little bit of foam to exit the rod guide. We usually wait 30 minutes for the bubbles to dissipate, then do a second foam application. Be sure to clean off any excess foam before it drips on your stock.

Applying Wipe-Out from Breech
You can also apply Wipe-Out from the breech. To allow breech-first application, Wipe-Out cans now come with a short plastic tube and a plastic tip that fits in your chamber. These can also be purchased separately for $2.50. However, we’ve found the plastic tip is too big for some chambers and it is not always easy to get a good, secure seal even if it does fit. Jason Baney has come up with a solution. READ Jason’s Wipe-Out Article.

Use Fitted Tubing for Breech-First Applications of Wipe-Out
You can apply Wipe-Out through the breech very effectively if you use fitted, plastic tubing. While this works well for bolt-actions, breech application is particularly handy for the Garand, M1A and other semi-autos. Jason Baney has written a short article describing this process. In a nutshell, you need one piece of tubing that fits the chamber tightly and then connects with a second, smaller diameter tube that attaches to the Wipe-Out can. This avoids any “over-spray” of foam in the action area, providing a clean, simple solution. Just squirt for a second or so, and wait for white foam to come out of the muzzle. Be sure to keep Wipe-Out off fine wood stocks.

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January 20th, 2009

SHOT Show Report: Carb-Out & New Wipe-Out Formula

Jason interviewed Terry Paul of SharpShoot-R™ Precision Products. Terry is the inventor of the Wipe-Out brushless bore cleaner, Carb-Out carbon remover, and Patch-Out, a formulation that works like Wipe-Out but without the foam. This Editor has been using Wipe-Out for more than two years now, and I’m very happy with the results. While some barrels (and cartridge/bullet combos) DO need brushing, some wet patches and Wipe-Out every 40 rounds or so is all my Pac-Nor 3-groove 6BR barrel has needed to stay competitive for nearly 1000 rounds. That barrel has stayed clean with no brushing and there has been very little throat erosion.

Wipeout foam bore cleaner

Terry Paul announced that SharpShoot-R has improved the formulation of Wipe-Out. The foam cleaner is now 25% stronger than before. Wipe-Out is now sold with an applicator tube and chamber plug. This makes it easier to apply Wipe-Out from the breech. (However, in our tests, the hard plastic chamber plug worked well in a 6.5mm chamber, but was hard to seat in a .223 Rem chamber. We would rather see a longer, softer tip with an O-ring.)

Carb-Out is another SharpShoot-R product popular with Benchrest shooters. Terry revealed that Tony Boyer, the all-time BR Hall of Fame points leader, uses and endorses Carb-Out. Tony believes the product helps remove harmful carbon deposits while reducing the need for abrasives or aggressive brushing. Watch the Video below to learn more about Wipe-Out and Carb-Out.

YouTube Preview Image
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