Are you ready for turkey season? If you haven’t touched your shotgun since last fall or, shudder, spring, here are easy steps to assure your precious firearms store well and are ready to go for spring. Doubles, over-and-unders, pumps, and autoloaders will last for many generations with proper care and Derrek Sigler over at Outdoorhub lays out an an easy-to-follow plan.

The season came and went. The fowl is in the freezer (hopefully) and maybe that one special bird is at the taxidermist getting prepared into a beautiful mount. You’ve got the gear stowed back in the closet and the shotgun is safely tucked away. You’re done with waterfowl hunting for the year.

But, did you take care of your shotgun? After the season is over, take care of your gun now to avoid problems later. There are a few things you can do to make sure your trusty gun is ready for another season.

Clean it

SouthDakota Turkey 2009 246Give it a thorough cleaning, making sure to clean the bore and use the right kind of tools for the job. I like to use Tipton bore rods. They ride on ball-bearing drives so they are easy to use. Hoppe’s BoreSnakes are also awesome tools for cleaning. I use them in the field during the season and after the season is over, they make cleaning the bore a snap.

I wipe down all of the exposed metal surfaces of the gun with a good cloth and nice oil. There are a lot of good oils and cleaning solvents out there, but it’s hard to beat Hoppe’s stuff. Plus the smell just says guns to me. Maybe I’m just nostalgic. Hoppe’s, by the way, has been improved with a sweet synthetic blend that has all the advantages of newer synthetic cleaners, but it still smells like Hoppe’s No. 9.

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