Rifle Maintenance 101

Maintenance is one of the most important parts of your shooting process.  Preventative Maintenance is a better word to use. The more effort you put into keeping your rifle in the highest operating condition, the more successful you will be on the range or in the field. This doesn’t take a lot of effort or time – just the proper techniques and products.

There is a lot of talk about which is better: a rod or bore snake. I will tell you that you cannot properly maintain the bore of your rifle with a snake. If at all possible, use a 1 piece rod; preferably coated. If you do acquire a sectional rod, make sure that the threads holding each individual piece together are strong enough to force a difficult patch through the bore without flexing excessively. Sectional rods are normally frowned upon due to the sharpness of the shoulder of the individual rod pieces, but I have seen rods that have a stronger thread pitch and mate with very tight tolerances. So there are sectionals that will work well out there.

The main consideration is the condition of your bore. If you have a custom rifle, made by a custom gunsmith, then odds are your bore will not foul as heavy as a factory barrel. This cuts your maintenance time dramatically and makes the hardest part of cleaning a bolt action rifle – the bore – a snap. But if you have a factory barrel, there’s no worries with this method either. BoreTech’s Eliminator targets the copper specifically and is very efficient. This is the product that we like but there are many others out there that may work just as well.

One thing we didn’t touch on in the video much is lubricants.  We also have been using Militec for years with no problems – despite whatever deficiencies military reports have found. So you make the call on that. I’m not so sure on a one stop Cleaning Lubricating Protecting oil.  It will work, and the military has used it for years.  But if you had a choice, would you use synthetic or regular oil in your car?

I have been using the procedure outlined in the video on all of my rifle platforms and calibers for years. It works great and does not take a lot of time.  Send us your success/not so successful maintenance stories in the comments below. We’d like to hear from you.


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