Those Tiresome Rifle Maintenance Chores
By Darrell Holland
How many times have we neglected our rifle maintenance over the years? Tired and wet, we return home to hibernate and replenish those vital body fluids lost during the hunt. Oftentimes we toss aside our most trusted friend in our selfish desire to seek comfort on the home front. Sound familiar? You bet it does!
A hundred and fifty years ago such slothful rifle maintenance behavior would not have occurred... Back then, the rifle was a useful tool that kept pesky Indians and desperados from taking our scalp. If we neglected maintenance of our rifle the results would have been our removal from the "Gene Pool", not a pleasant thought?
In today's world we seldom need our rifle to save our skin, depending on the neighborhood we live in? We do however trust that rifle to put meat on the table and trophies on the wall depending on our preference? Why then are we neglectful in taking care of our closest friend through poor rifle maintenance?
Laziness and lack of fear are probably the best two descriptions. Its time we put a little TLC back into our game and get back to good rifle maintenance. I can recall my grandfather setting at the kitchen table sharpening his knife as a kid. He indeed had one of the sharpest knives in the county and as a kid I was in awe at how effortlessly it sliced paper. My uncle would always wipe down and nurture his rifle after a day in the field, another positive impression that was left on me in my youth. They were good maintenance role models that helped shape my future and nurturing ideals for guns and the outdoors.
Back then guns were wood and steel, the fiberglass and Tupperware stocks we now enjoy would have been a sacrilege. Oil finishes and blued steel were the yardsticks men were measured by. This in part created a bond between the rifle and its owner, something that has been lost in the age of stainless steel and plastic.