Hunting is much more enjoyable in the warmer months of the year when you can be out and about in nature all day and night without worrying too much about the conditions becoming dangerous. As soon as the leaves start to fall not only do animals become harder to find but hunting can feel a lot more like a chore than a fun experience. That is when you know it is time to pack up your hunting rifles and ammunition for the year and get ready for the long, cold months. If this is the end of your first hunting season then here are some important things to remember when storing your hunting rifles.
Clean, Clean, Clean
It cannot be said enough but once you go to put your hunting rifles away for the year you need to do a very thorough clean of every component. That means taking the gun apart, looking for signs of dirt or build-up, and then using delicate cleaning tools to scrub it clean. Usually, your gun comes with the necessary tools but you can also buy cleaning kits. Dirt and grime might not seem like big deals but they will cause consistent jams the longer they are left in, and can eventually even ruin the rifle if you are not careful.
Avoid Water Damage
Guns and water do not mix well, even if they are mostly made out of plastic or metal parts. Water will test the architectural integrity of your gun no matter how it was manufactured and can cause rusting, cracks, weak points, and a lowering of overall quality. Even if it is just a little bit damp or your gun had a little bit of moisture left on it from a hunt, this tiny amount of moisture can become a big problem over the many months you keep it in storage. Always properly dry your hunting rifle as best you can before storage.
Follow Safety Requirements
There are certain legal requirements when it comes to how you store your hunting rifles but they often don't go far enough if you have curious kids around. A gun safe is an absolute must, but an even better idea is to make the guns virtually unusable without quite a bit of effort. That can mean keeping components of the guns separate, taking all the ammunition and storing it somewhere else or even keeping your hunting rifles stored in a commercial storage area. Safety is paramount when it comes to owning guns and while you want them to work properly next year, you also want them to be safer for your family.