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I used to be better about putting my guns away after the hunting season. I’d go through them from butt to muzzle, oiling the metal, cleaning the bore, checking the fasteners, and making sure all was ship-shape before putting them to bed for the off season.

These days I’m a little less rigorous and I blame Montana. When I lived in the Northeast, lax gun care wasn’t an option. Any exposed metal or dirty bits would invite pitting and rust in the humid environment. After every range session I’d give each gun a thorough cleaning. Looking back, I have no idea where I found the time.

These days, I will go a whole season–and beyond–before giving some of my rifles the love they probably deserve. Unless I dunk a firearm in a river, toss it accidentally into a snow drift or get caught in a downpour while carrying it, I don’t fuss with them much. And, so far, so good.

If they do get wet, however, I pull out all the stops. I take the action out of the stock, make sure all is dry, and apply a thin coat of corrosion resistant protection to it. I’ll also clean and oil the bore and make sure I shoot a few rounds out of it to refoul the barrel before hunting again.

Likewise, if it is hot and I’ve been handing a gun with sweaty hands I’ll wipe it down with an oily rag to protect it.

What’s your gun care routine?

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