Zen and the Art of Firearm Maintenance

Zen and the Art of Firearm Maintenance

Posted by Greg Cohen on 3rd Jun 2022

In good times or bad, and whether or not you have the time or the ammo to get to the range, you should not put your investment in firearms out of your mind. Over time, and under different environmental conditions, rust and corrosion due to exposure to oxygen and humidity will damage your gunmetal. This can also be accelerated in the presence of high pH solvent residue on these surfaces.

So, when it comes to care, we recommend a two-step cleaning and conditioning process. First let’s talk about cleaning. An essential step for protecting your investment is to always thoroughly clean firearms before storage. However, that also means removing cleaner and solvent residue. A great test is to soak a cotton patch or swab with high percentage (91%+) isopropyl alcohol and wipe a gunmetal surface, preferably in the bore. If the white cotton shows any kind of color, especially amber, then you still have residue present that needs to be removed. As it turns out, cleaning with isopropyl alcohol as a last step isn’t the worst idea, especially since it evaporates quickly after removing any remnants of solvent residue.

For light duty cleaning, we recommend using Tetra® Gun Cleaner Degreaser, which is a water-based cleaner that is buffered with a rust inhibitor. For black powder and rimfire hardware, our powerful Carbon Cleaner formula is a good bet. For removing harder buildup, Tetra® Gun Copper Solvent is the way to go. And, if you prefer an aerosol, then Tetra® Gun Action Blaster™ II is the best choice.

As a side note, if you’re shooting regularly, then Tetra® Gun Spray II, which is a CLP, will do the trick for regular maintenance. But for more complete cleaning and conditioning, the two-step method is preferred.

Now let’s take a look at the second step in the process: conditioning. Lubricating firearms parts is as least as important as cleaning. Bone dry gunmetal is not ideal, neither for getting into fire ready condition, nor for storage, let alone providing protection against rust and corrosion. Based on the parts you are treating, in general, we recommend applying our Tetra® Gun Grease for slow moving parts, and Tetra® Gun Lubricant or Triple Action™ CLP oil for fast moving parts, including the treatment of the bore itself. In both cases, do not over-lubricate. That’s a topic for another blog!

These recommendations can be applied to all firearms, from pistols to long guns, and if you take them to heart, you wil thank yourself later for taking the time to clean, lube, and protect your investment.

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