When you invest in an air rifle, you will also want it to last. Keeping your air rifle in a good condition is the way to do it, and regular maintenance not only helps with their aesthetic but also with their performance.
We have put together some top tips for maintaining your Daystate air rifle, for example, according to each part of the rifle, so you can keep it in the best condition.
Airgun barrels do get dirty but don’t need cleaning constantly. The main problem with barrels is that there is a build-up of oil or deposits of metal from firing pellets. One rule of thumb is you should never oil your barrel, as it can get inside and damage the mechanisms and any oil left inside the barrel can ignite when firing (called dieseling) and causing inaccuracy or at worst, seriously damage the inside of your rifle.
There are two schools of thought on barrel cleaning frequency but, first off, we recommend that you always clean your barrel when you first receive it to clean out any protective oil that was applied for transit. Most air rifles require just the minimum amount of maintenance, as it can mean the barrel will last a lifetime. Barrels can be cleaned using felt cleaning pellets which have been lubricated with a light oil, as this will help to reduce any build-up of lead and prevent corrosion from inside the barrel. A pull through or cleaning rod can also be used to clean your barrel but must be done carefully.
School of Thought 1: With some rifles, you should only clean your barrel when you find you are having accuracy problems or when you change pellet type. This is because pellets can leave a lead residue pattern in your barrel that is specific to the pellet type and your highest accuracy comes when your barrel has been leaded by the pellet.
School of Thought 2: On other air rifles, the barrel should be cleaned periodically (after every x amount of shots) as they can shoot better with the barrels clean. It is a good idea to have a rule of thumb to know when to clean, unfortunately the only way to know when is to experiment: if you clean your barrel and the accuracy goes down for the first 30-50 shots choose S.O.T.1; if your accuracy goes up after you clean your barrel choose S.O.T.2.
Just like the inner barrel, the outer barrel also needs to be maintained. The metal is prone to rust and wear, so it is important you look after it. This not only keeps performance to a high standard but also keeps your air rifle looking good. Whenever your barrel is exposed to water you should get a cloth and dry it. Water can damage and rot wood and metal work. You can also wipe it over lightly with rust protection oil. Doing this regularly means your barrel will be protected against rust and wear, keeping it looking new.
If you use a scope with your air rifle, this requires as much maintenance as the rifle itself and can be cleaned as often as needed. A neglected scope can cause problems when trying to line up your shot. They are very easy to maintain and needs to be cared for if your hands, rain or oil have contact with it. Dust can be removed with a clean, soft cloth which is smooth and will not scratch the lens. Marks from your finger or oil can be removed by wiping them off with a micro fibre cloth.
The beautiful woodwork, such as those seen on Daystate models, is often what draws people to air rifles. The wood gives a distinguished look to their appearance, and rifle stocks come in many varieties of woods such as beech, walnut, hardwood and more. Over time, the wood can show effects of ageing such as wear and tear and even dullness to the varnished shine.
Protecting the wooden parts of your rifles, you will be happy to know, is very easy to do. It is as simple as wiping your gun down when it is has been exposed to rain because water can cause damage and rot. You can also varnish your woodwork with a stick finish, giving it a high-quality polish and also protecting it from mild impacts.
The stock of the rifle offers a comfortable but firm support when firing your rifle, and allows you to get a steady aim. The stock also acts as a casing for internal mechanisms and so also requires maintenance. Though wiping the stock down will protect it, you may not realise that water can get inside and damage the mechanisms. To prevent this from happening, remove the stock casing using the appropriate tool and put a tiny amount gun oil inside the action.
The trigger is important to a rifle, and maintenance on the trigger is often best left to a gunsmith, as if it goes wrong, it could prevent the gun cocking. If you want to brave it and try some basic cleaning, you can take off the casing to reveal the internal mechanisms. After you have done this you can use a degreaser spray on the trigger mechanism and re-oil any appropriate areas. Please note that this will void your warranty if it is a new rifle.
There are also some other general things you can do to lengthen the life of your air rifle’s life and appearance.
Store your rifle in a dry place so there is no risk of water or other chemicals coming into contact with it, and when you transport it, keep it secure in a gun bag to protect from any knocks. Also, remember to wipe it down after every use to remove grease and finger marks – this simple task will help keep your weapon in good condition.
Regular gun servicing, just once every year or two, will also help keep your air rifle at peak performance and prolongs its life. The frequency of servicing depends on how often you use it.
It is also worth noting that performing any extensive repairs yourself could result in your warranty becoming void. If you are ever in doubt, please contact a professional!
Image by Hellbus