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Firearms maintenance: Lubrication and protection

Editor’s Note: The following is one of many excellent pieces of advice offered by Police1 Firearms Columnist Ron Avery in his column entitled Pro tips for cleaning your firearm.

Some manufacturers claim their firearms don’t need lubrication. It has been my experience as well as the combined experience of a great many shooters and trainers that ALL guns benefit from the proper amount of lubrication. The key is to use the right kind of lube and to not use too much.

If there are any surfaces that are shiny or exhibit wear marks, they will benefit from a very light coating of lube. This would include the outside of the barrel and the hood.

I also very lightly lube the surface of the chamber ramp to avoid any possible bullet stoppage there.

I use SLiP 2000 and have tested it extensively in the field from 27 below zero to well over 100 degrees in all my weapons systems. It works. Pat Rogers gets the kudos here for making me aware of this product.

Now, with your barrel nice and clean, take a patch and run a very light coat of oil down your bore. Then run a couple of dry patches down the bore to remove all but a very thin sheen.

For true precision rifles, if you are trying to achieve a good cold bore shot, you will want to test how this affects your first shot. Only testing will show how your particular rifle will perform after cleaning it. I find that it doesn’t matter for carbines that are used for general purpose shooting as it doesn’t affect the accuracy standards required of them for that mission.

For my precision rifles that need to have a good cold bore shot, I clean the rifle at the range and then fire one to two rounds on target to lightly foul the bore. Then I run a dry patch down the bore to remove the powder granules and leave it alone.

Don’t forget to disassemble your magazines and clean out the powder fouling as well. For my pistol magazines, I use a very light trace of oil on the sides of the magazine and follower to make sure the ammunition doesn’t hang up in the magazine tube. Use a very thin film. This will not affect your ammunition. For really fine dirt/sand conditions in desert environments etc., a light film will still work.

Ron Avery is President and Director of Training for The Practical Shooting Academy, Inc. and Executive Director of the non-profit, Rocky Mountain Tactical Institute - both training institutions dedicated to professional firearms and tactics courses, higher police standards and training and use of force research.

Ron is a former police officer with many years of street experience, which he brings into the training environment. He is internationally recognized as a researcher, firearms trainer and world class shooter. His training methodology is currently being used by hundreds of agencies and thousands of individuals across the US and internationally.

He has worked as a consultant and trainer for top level federal agencies, special operations military from all branches of the armed forces and law enforcement agencies across the US.

He is a weapons and tactics trainer for, handgun, carbine, select fire, precision rifle and shotgun, as well as advanced instructor schools, defensive tactics, team skills and tactics, low light tactics, arrest and control and officer survival. He is also a consultant for firearms training programs, use of force and firearms research, range development, instructor development and other firearm related topics.

For over 25 years he has consistently ranked among the best shooters in the world in national, international and world championship competitions, winning many different titles including two-time National Law Enforcement Champion. In 2002, he represented his country as a member of the first place, United States Practical Shooting Association’s “Gold Team” in the Standard Division in the World Championships in South Africa.

As a published writer, his articles have been featured in SWAT Magazine, Petersen’s Handguns, American Handgunner, U.S.P.S.A.'s Front Sight, Colorado State Shooting Association and other law enforcement publications and journals.