Mark Camoccio tells us why caring for our guns repays our efforts
Love your shooting? Then look after your equipment, says Mark Camoccio
I’ ve said it many times, but it really is the case that the shooting sports can be enjoyed on any level and that, of course, is part of the attraction, but as with many activities, for those of us who take their fun seriously, there are a few basic checks and procedures that can make all the difference. Keep your kit in tip- top condition, and it’s unlikely to let you down when it matters most. So, here’s my basic check list for keeping all our hardware in good working order:
DUST AND DIRT
Shoot for any length of time in a dusty environment, be that a dry, wooded area or inside an old farm building, and the dirt will begin to leave deposits on the gun. I shoot HFT regularly, and standard practice now is to carry a gun case round the course and slip the rifle away between lanes. Obviously, this protects from rain, but also excess dirt. It still builds up, so periodically, or after the season finishes at least, remove the gun’s stock and clean off any dirt, then oil over the hidden section of the action.
OK, it’s basic stuff, but it really is key that we oil the gun, after every shooting session. Chemical bluing, used as a traditional finish on our rifles, is no protection from the elements, and whilst it looks great when properly applied, it needs looking after. Even the acid in our sweaty palms can cause rust, but the simple answer is to keep a small rag in a bag, which is coated in a thin gun oil, designed for the job – avoid silicone oils. I’ve always used Express Gun Oil, an old Parker Hale product, but there are many alternatives. Just give all the metalwork a good wipe over before you put the gun away, and rust shouldn’t be a problem.
PELLET HANDLING AND STORAGE
It’s stating the obvious, but the pellet is the key link between the rifle and shooter, and if this is compromised, results will never be satisfactory. Of course, if you’re a happy plinker, content just to grab the rifle and tin of pellets and get down to business, then fine, but for those of us who glean a level of satisfaction from pushing for ultimate accuracy, taking care of the precision lead projectile is a prerequisite to success.
Whether an obsessive HFT
BELOW: Take your shooting seriously? Then look after the hardware