It is my heartfelt wish that you were very good this year, and Santa showed up with a Ho-Ho-Ho and a nice new air pistol or air rifle for you to enjoy.
So with that in mind, it seems proper to revisit the issue of cleaning and maintaining your newest airgun. Jared Clark of Airguns of Arizona was kind enough to share his expertise with me.
“The very first rule,” he says, “is, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Virtually all of the precharged rifles and pistols and many of the springer rifles and pistols go out the door at www.airgunsofarizona.com having already been checked out by the expert staff there. They shoot the gun, chronograph it, and make sure that all is well before it is sent to you. By the time it gets to your door, it’s ready to shoot, so shoot your new gun and enjoy it!
Clark says, “With precharged guns, let the gun tell you when it needs to be cleaned. I have some guns with upwards of 10,000 pellets through them with no cleanings, but if I start to have accuracy problems, maybe it is time to clean the barrel.”
When it is time to clean the barrel, Clark recommends using a pull-through with a non-petroleum-based cleaner/degreaser on a patch. Run a couple of patches with the cleaner degreaser, then dry patches until you are getting mostly white cotton patches coming out the other side.
He says, “With really inexpensive springers, you might have some gunk in the barrel from the manufacturing process, so it doesn’t really hurt to clean, but most of the time you really don’t gain much.”
He adds, “Over time, make sure your precharged gun is holding air. Check the gauge to make sure everything is tight. In my experience, seals tend to last the longest when guns are used often.”
The big issue with springers is making sure that the stock screws are snug. Loose stock screws are the number one cause of accuracy problems in springers, according to Clark. It’s worthwhile to buy good tools like the Chapman gunsmithing kit for maintaining your airguns and tightening up those stock screws. If you are plagued by continually loosening stock screws, Clark recommends Vibratite for helping to keep them snug.
For springers over time, Clark recommends a drop or two of spring lube on the spring once a year.
He also recommends Napier VP90 as a basic treatment for the metal surfaces of any airgun that helps to seal them and prevent rust. It can be sprayed directly on the metal or sprayed on a cleaning cloth and wiped on.
Clark also flags a couple of things that airgunners should never do: don’t dry-fire springers and only dry-fire a precharged airgun when there is air in reservoir.
Finally, do not, under any circumstances, take your brand-new airgun apart. You will void the warranty and Airguns of Arizona will charge you a fee to put it back together.
Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.