Most hunters realize that even simply handling a firearm warrants some simple polishing before putting it away, but some of the worst damage to firearms happens in storage.
It’s that initial polishing after handling that can be vital to protecting the steel or alloy finish and integrity of your gun’s or rifle’s barrel and action.
Beyond that, though, during the long periods of storage between uses, your firearm needs some additional attention.
Especially for hunters, this period of time can begin at the start of hunting off-seasons; when you will not be using that particular firearm again for as long as a year.
With at least bi-yearly cleaning, significant rust, which threatens the integrity of the piece, can usually be thwarted. But to keep even surface rust at bay, you may need to add another cleaning or two to your yearly maintenance schedule.
Affordable and universal cleaning kits, readily available at many retail outlets, are suitable for the cleaning needs of all sizes of shotguns and calibers of rifles.
Many varieties of “gun oils” are available in the packages of many brands, but the interior and exterior blued or polished metals of your firearms can be well protected by the periodic application of most any medium-weight oils or penetrating oils.
Based upon personal experience, even the slightest variation between storage locations for your firearms can make a big difference.
I once stored my shotgun and rifles in a wall rack. This worked well until that rack and its treasures were moved nearer to a less than satisfactory insulated window.
I discovered they suffered some significant surface rust as a result of this slight change.
Sealed cabinets or safes can help safeguard against these problems, but in any case, you can’t go wrong with regular cleanings.