Humans have very associative memories. By that, I mean something we see, hear or smell immediately makes us think of something else. It takes us back like a time machine to memories from long ago.
Music is a well-known way of forging links to memories of the distant past. As a child of the ‘80s, I can’t hear a certain song by Madonna without flashing back to a club outside my alma mater, Michigan State University. It isn’t necessarily the greatest memory, but it’s mine.
When it comes to guns, ammo and shooting, smells trigger the ol’ memory parade for most people. Every time I smell bleach, I think about my first job as a dishwasher at a seafood restaurant—even though that was almost 30 years ago. The smell of guns and bore cleaners ping my memory banks just as hard, and I know I’m not the only one. Throw out the term “nostalgic smell” to most gun owners, and I’d bet nine out of 10 folks would respond with “Hoppe’s No. 9.” Hoppe’s is just one of many odors which trip the mental triggers of gun owners. Here are our top eight most nostalgic smells in shooting:
- A man only needs a couple things in his tool box. If it moves and it shouldn't, you need duct tape. If it doesn't move and it should, you need WD-40. Tried-and-true WD-40 remains the ultimate multi-tasker for all things mechanical. From door hinges to gun parts, you should always have a spare bottle lying around your workbench. It works especially well to keep those pesky fingerprints off stainless steel frames. Just soak a cotton patch or rag in WD-40, and wipe down the steel with a light coating before stowing it away in the gun cabinet.