CARE OF GUNS IN THE FIELD
When out shooting always be alert for obstructions in the barrels. Mud or snow, broken twigs etc. can easily lodge in the barrels, particularly when moving through thick cover or in adverse weather conditions.
It is sound procedure to look down the barrels after every shot, between drives or after shooting to ensure that no obstruction is present. An obstruction in the barrel will cause a ring bulge and, in the case
of a substantial obstruction, the barrel may burst. Always examine barrels after any unusual occurrence when out shooting, e.g. a weak or strange report
on firing a cartridge. Cartridges should be kept dry and at an even temperature. Do not expose them to extremes of heat or moisture.
Never leave an unattended gun loaded with a discharged or undischarged cartridge before, during cleaning or storing. If you wish to protect your firing pins always use snap caps recommended by your gun
smith for your gun. Dirt and grit sometimes get lodged behind the extractors. A stiff wing feather from a pheasant or chicken is ideal for cleaning here. Pay attention also to
the gutters on each side of the barrel rib and lightly coat the outside metalwork with oil. Fore-end woodwork and stock should be wiped over with a soft dry rag. A good wax polish is better than linseed oil; lubrication oil should not be used on wood. Excess gun oil will rot a walnut stock. The face of the action should be scrubbed occasionally with an old toothbrush dipped in lubricating oil. Special attention should be given to the striker holes. Do not overdo the oiling – it can cause trouble by attracting grit and clogging working parts.
Keep in a secure dry place. Do not keep a gun in a case or slip for lengthy periods without examination. Condensation will cause rust. Occasionally take the gun out of the case and leave the case open in a
warm dry atmosphere so that the lining can dry out.
Eley cartridges cannot cause rusting of barrels, excluding black powder products, but guns still need to be cleaned after use to avoid damage by damp, dirt
and grit, especially if they are to be put away for any length of time. Clean the barrels with a dry flannel patch or a face tissue. Use a bristle or phosphor-bronze brush
moistened with a cleaning oil or nitro powder solvent to remove any persistent fouling. Never use a steel tool, as this will roughen the surface of the bore and
make things worse. If you have used oil, wipe the barrels dry before applying a final thin coating of cleaning oil with a wool mop.
Apart from cleaning regularly, taking care to prevent damage during shooting days, and keeping it in a canvas gun sleeve. Take your gun to a gunsmith
once a year for a check-up. When a gun is sent to a gunsmith for overhaul or repair you must take or send in your shotgun certificate. Cartridges should only be used in suitable, properly functioning firearms. Always check the barrels for any obstructions before loading. If the gun fails to fire, keep it pointed in a safe direction. Wait 30 seconds before unloading.