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5 Ways to Maintain Your Guns in the Winter


Guns are subjected to extra moisture and low temperatures during the winter months. 

These 5 tips will help keep those firearms happy and rust-free.

From the wet snowy marshes of the duck blind to the frozen ridge lines in search of big game, our firearms take quite a beating from the cold and wet conditions. Rust and breakage can occur to a mistreated firearm quicker in this winter season that in any other.

1. Keep those barrels and actions cleared of snow, ice, and debris.

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Take a small collapsible cleaning kit with you. If your gun muzzle hits the snow or mud, it will become obstructed. This could lead to a deadly catastrophic failure. Also, watch for sleeting conditions. A ring of ice can form just inside of your long gun's muzzle. That also causes a dangerous obstruction.

2. When bringing guns indoors, let them air out fully outside of a gun case.

Cold metal instantly starts to 'sweat' when brought into a warm building. If the firearm is inside of a gun case or put away too early, it will rust. Let that gun fully warm up to room temperature and wipe off any water or debris.

3. Clean your gun.

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Sadly, many hunters and shooters are still terribly lacking in this department. Disassemble the firearm via the manufacturer's instructions, and clean the the inside and out very well. Put a light-coated patch of a reputable gun oil, such as Clenzoil down the barrel, and wipe the outside of the gun completely with a soft cloth with gun oil.

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A gun wax such as Flitz Gun Wax also makes also an excellent barrier against oxidation from sweaty fingers, mud, and snow. Clenzoil and Flitz products are personal favorites of this author over the last couple decades.

4. Lightly lubricate your firearm.

No need to gob grease in your gun's action. A little bit goes a long way, especially when too much lubrication may become gummy from cold weather and jam your gun.

5. Keep your ammunition clean.

Jamming wet and muddy shells or cartridges into your long gun will cause some serious internal-functioning problems. It will start a rust problem in short order.

These steps, if thoroughly followed, will keep your gun in tip-top condition through many winters to come.

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5 Ways to Maintain Your Guns in the Winter