I grew up hunting and still spend my autumns chasing deer, ducks and rabbits and turkeys in the spring. In college I began shooting competitive skeet, trap, and sporting clays, and I'm currently learning the ropes in IDPA and 3-Gun competition formats. And while there are lots of exciting activities involving firearms I wouldn't add gun cleaning to the list.
Keeping your firearms in good working order is critical, however. Regular cleaning not only ensures that your gun functions properly, it's also critical to preserve the investment value of the weapon. Relatively few firearms lose value because they've been "shot out," but a pitted, filthy bore, surface rust, or other signs of long-term neglect will cost you money in the long run. Cleaning your guns — and cleaning them effectively — is an integral part of firearms ownership. But it doesn't have to be a laborious task if you have the right products.
Birchwood Casey offers an extensive line of firearm cleaning products, everything from their Universal Gun Cleaning kits to scrubs to cleaning mats and black touch-up paint pens. For decades, serious hunters and shooters have relied upon their products to keep their firearms in working order — even guns that see hard use like competition shotguns and service pistols. Here's a closer look at three of their most popular products, essential items for every serious shooter, hunter and collector. Best of all, they make cleanups easy!
"If there's an all-star in the Birchwood Casey lineup, it would have to be Gun Scrubber," says Jess Benson, Senior Product Developer at Birchwood Casey. "A revolutionary gun cleaner that allows the user to clean their firearm whether its assembled or disassembled, Gun Scrubber blasts away fouling then dissolves. The results are a clean firearm with little effort or mess to cleanup."
Gun Scrubber is popular for two primary reasons — it's simple to use and it is effective. After a hunt or a match there isn't always time for a thorough cleaning, but you can get that thorough cleaning anyway with a dose of Gun Scrubber. The special chemical formula (which remains Birchwood Casey's secret recipe) does an effective job of breaking down nasty fouling and keeping your firearm running effectively.
It's also an excellent item to have on-hand during more detailed cleanings where the goal is to remove the accumulated gunk from the moving parts of your firearm since a quick shot of Gun Scrubber does just that. The small 1.25-ounce aerosol bottle from Birchwood Casey is the perfect addition to any range bag, but there are various sizes available up to 13 ounces. Additionally, Gun Scrubber is available in combo packs with other Birchwood Casey products including Bore Scrubber (which is formulated, as you might imagine, to flush nasty copper, lead, and carbon fouling from barrels) and Synthetic Gun Oil, so you'll have all the chemicals you need to keep your firearm in top condition. A 1.25-ounce aerosol can of Gun Scrubber costs $7.60, and a combo pack with 1.25-ounces each of Gun Scrubber and Synthetic Gun Oil is priced at $15.20.
Hopper Spit is, to the best of my knowledge, the only gun care product ever named after insect saliva, but when you're in need of extreme corrosion protection nothing else compares to this Birchwood Casey product.
"Hopper Spit is kind of like four-wheel drive on your pickup," Benson says. "It's not something you use all the time but, when the going gets nasty, there's nothing you would rather have. Hopper Spit is corrosion protection for extreme environments. In third party salt spray testing, it survived more than 20 hours longer than the next nearest competitor. It did so well they stopped the test before Hopper Spit actually failed. Our customers who hunt ducks and geese on the coast rave about Hopper Spit's ability to stave off rust even after repeated hunting trips.
"Hopper Spit is also an amazing long-term storage solution. Many of us have firearms that hold tremendous intrinsic value but don't get shot very often and spend most their time in gun safes. A coat of Hopper Spit on these firearms, before they go in the safe, is the best protection you can provide your firearms."
An 11-ounce aerosol can of Hopper Spit costs $14.80, money well-spent for this level of protection.
Barricade Take-Along Wipes
There is always room in the pocket of your hunting jacket or shooting vest for a few Barricade wipes. And when the weather turns bad, it's the simplest and easiest way to effectively protect your firearms from Mother Nature's fury. According to Benson, Barricade wipes are Birchwood Casey's most popular rust prevention solution, which makes sense because their lightweight, easy-to-carry packets make short work of field maintenance.
"Barricade's formulation actually bonds with the surface of the metal its applied to, forming an airtight barrier that further enhances its protection power even beyond its chemical makeup," says Benson. "Like a flashlight or a knife, these wipes belong in range bags, hunting packs, gun cases, and even in your vehicle. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure so, after an afternoon at the range or a morning in the field, I always wipe down my firearm before it goes in its case."
A box of 25 Barricade wipes costs just $9.40, or you can opt for the larger plastic bowl that holds 100 packets (perfect for a gun shop, office, or range clubhouse) for $37.40. Additionally, Barricade comes in both aerosol and spout cans.
When I'm getting ready to compete or head out into the woods on a hunt, the last thing on my mind is rust prevention. But Barricade wipes make it extraordinarily simple to take care of my firearms. A quick wipe-down before an IDPA match in the rain or a fast cleaning after a morning's hunt and I know that my guns are protected. It's simple-yet-effective gun care maintenance for those who'd rather shoot than scrub.