Saturday, November 2, 2013

Did You Clean It?

If you've noticed, I haven't been fishing much because well, I've been hunting...a lot. I moved back out here in 2005 because I missed everything about Montana like the fly fishing but also the hunting, skiing and everything else. So 'tis the season and today I'll be out duck hunting again and hopefully, some of those Northern ducks will be hitting the river soon. It's been pretty slow.

As for the fishing, I'm sure it's been good and I'm sure it will stay good as long as the weather is favorable. I'm sure I'll get the itch to throw some line at some point but right now, let's go shooting.

If you've been reading this blog, you'll know that I've had a real problem with my guns and their performance. I just bought a new Ruger American .270 because I couldn't get a grouping with the Remington 760 .30-06 that was my dad's gun. Although the Ruger is a very accurate gun and I love shooting it, it's also had a problem with mis-firing. Twice now I've pulled up on either a deer or antelope and all I got was a "click." That can be a real problem so I brought it back to the shop I bought it from and the guy asked me if I cleaned it.

Cleaned it? It's brand new and although I clean the bore of my guns and the barrel and obvious parts regularly, why would I completely break it down when I've only shot it a few times?

Apparently, when new guns are shipped, they are packed with a packing grease called cosmoline, which when heated up and then cooled down from normal firing, can become incredibly thick causing the firing pin to stick. If you have a shell in the chamber for a while without moving the action, the pin mechanism can cease up just enough to foul. I didn't know that.

So I was perusing the isles looking for solvent and ammo when I bumped into another guy doing the same. I was in Bozeman and literally could not find any .270 shells anywhere so I wound up at Walmart. Seriously, they were the only place in town with them and what it comes down to is that everyone and their brother is hoarding ammo because they're afraid the government is buying it all up--idiots. What they don't realize is their unfounded fear is what is causing the fricken problem. Walmart actually limits people to three boxes per customer now, which is why they are the only ones to have them.

Anyway, back to the point. I was talking to this guy and was explaining to him what the problem was and he suggested a couple products. We got around to the initial problem with my dad's Remington and talked about the fact I couldn't hit a paper plate at a hundred yards with it anymore and he asked, "Well, did you clean it?"

That's the second time someone has asked me that. Of course I cleaned the fricken thing. I'm not an idot.

"No," he said, "Did you REALLY clean it?"

"What do you mean?" I replied, "I cleaned the barrel. I use solvent and a brush..."

Another thing I never knew about rifles, and I've been shooting since I was five years old, is that after a while, a rifle gets a build-up of copper residue from the bullets that can clog up the rifling. When the rifling clogs up, the bullet doesn't spin as it leaves the barrel and acts a lot like a knuckle ball.

So we researched some of the cleaners on the shelf and found the Hoppe's Elite Copper Terminator and for $8 so I figured I'd give it a try.

I cleaned the gun barrel with the solvent and also pulled the trigger mechanism out and thoroughly cleaned it. I re-mounted the old Weaver scope that was originally on the gun and took it to the range. At 50 yards I was a little bit right of center but the bullet holes were overlapping. I moved the cross-hairs left and shot at  a hundred...dead on.

I shot a half a box of shells through the old .30-06 and although I pulled a couple, I was close to dead-center on every shot keeping all the shots inside an 8 inch circle. My last shot was at a clay pigeon I hung from the corner of the box. I told myself if I had only one shot and absolutely had to make it count, how accurate could I be? I hit the pigeon dead center. Eight dollars worth of cleaner saved that old Remington and allows me to not only have a keep-sake from my dad collecting dust in the corner, but actually have that as a viable gun for years to come.

Keep 'em where they live...

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