Advocate – Baton Rouge, La.
|Date:||Feb 1, 2001|
Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series on caring for equipment between the major hunting seasons.
Had a good deer season?
How about ducks?
These are sad days – indeed – because those seasons are being mentioned in the past tense.
Now that the allotted days for hunting whitetails and mallards are gone, the best most any of us can think about today is enjoying the table fare the hunts produced. True, there are days left afield for squirrels, rabbits, quail and geese – and there’s the still-to-come spring turkey season – but, ducks and deer are off the calendar for months.
Ah, but the season isn’t over, not from a wife’s perspective, not until “all that stuff” is put away. Properly storing all the equipment used over the last four months is important to get a head start into what now is a much-anticipated next season.
And, there’s lots of it: shotguns and rifles, ammo, camouflage clothing, rain gear, special hats, decoys, calls, hip boots, knee boots, waders, pirogues and the engines that pushed us through the swamps and the marshes helped make our seasons bright. All can go bad if not stored properly over the coming spring, summer and early fall.
Even more is that detail needs to be paid to all equipment no matter the size nor cost.
From outboards to Go-Devils and ATVs, Warren Coco, the in-the- workshop, hands-on owner of Go-Devil said post-season maintenance is a “do it now, or pay later” proposition. A Go-Devil uses air-cooled engines to run a straight shaft and propeller. It’s a favorite of duck hunters, who travel in shallow water and swamp hunters who traverse areas that would tear up an outboard.
“The No. 1 thing to do before storing a Go-Devil or any other engine is to add fuel stabilizer to the fuel tank,” Coco said.
The next step, he said, is to get the engine running and run out the fuel. It means either shutting off the fuel flow or disconnecting the fuel line from the engine.
“Since lead was removed from gasoline, the additives that have been used to replace the lead gums up in the carburetor. If left for a long time, the gum turns into varnish and will not let the engine work properly,” Coco explained.
He said the stabilizer removes the gum and goes a long way to eliminate the varnish problem. Stabilizer is available at all auto parts stores, small engine shops and the discount chain stores.
“It costs $3 to $5 to use, or you’re facing a $100 to $200 repair bill on the carburetor to clean or replace it before next season,” Coco said.
After that, cleaning the tank is next step. Coco said water and trash collects in the bottom of all gas tanks, and removing it is easy.
“Tilt the fuel can or the fuel tank on equipment with a built-in tank to a point where one corner is lower than the rest of the can. Water and trash is heavier than the gas and will settle in that corner. Then, it’s easy to take a siphon and get the trash and water out, and it’s more effective than dumping the contents of the can out,” Coco said. “This is a good time to do it. We’ve come through a cold time of the year when water condenses in gas tanks and becomes a problem. Most times what you get wouldn’t fill a coffee cup, but even that small amount can cause big problems.”
The third step is to fill the fuel tanks to the top to eliminate condensation and water build-up for the engine’s next trip. Remember to add stabilizer to the tank to equal the fill-up.
If storing the outboard or ATV, remember to cover all intakes. Mud daubers like to use water intakes on outboards and air intakes on ATVs for their spring and summer homes. Their mud nests make it all but impossible to start the engine next season.
SHOTGUNS & RIFLES
Central gunsmith David Reynerson and wife Lydia will see more than their share of other folks’ problems between now and next September. If history is a guideline most of those other folks will find out about the problems later rather than sooner.
“Safety first,” he said. “Before you think about cleaning and stowing a gun or rifle, you have to double and triple check to make sure there’s no round or shell in the chamber or the magazine and to open breeches and bolts.”
After that it’s pretty much standard operating procedures.
From his workbench, Reynerson said he recommends gun owners take rifles and shotguns down only if they’re completely familiar with the weapon and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter.
“Don’t fool with the trigger mechanism, because there are too many parts to handle for someone without the expertise and the proper tools,” he said.
Cleaning is what you’re after, and it’s time to use solvents to make sure brass and copper build-ups are removed from barrels. Run a solvent-damp patch down the barrel, set it aside while cleaning other parts, then run a clean patch, then an oil patch, and, finally, another dry patch.
Care is needed to remove all the solvent and to remove most of the oil.
“Most people load up on the oil. They use way too much,” Reynerson said. “One or two drops is all that’s needed for the barrel and other working mechanisms, because all too much oil does is attract dirt.”
More advice comes quickly.
Using compressed air helps blow out as much of the loose dirt as possible before using solvents and gun oil.
Use only high-quality gun oil only for rifles and shotguns.
A silicone-impregnated cloth on the outside parts of a gun is usually the only treatment these parts need.
Do not use oil sprays like WD-40: “It hardens . . . and forms a varnish on rifles and shotguns that becomes very hard to remove,” he said.
Never store guns in hard-sided or soft cases. The cases hold moisture and can lead to rust on the weapon.
Store guns upside down: “Oil seeping from the working parts of a gun will eventually seep into the gun’s stock and ruin the wood,” Reynerson said. “Turn them over when company comes so the guns look good, then turn them over so that you will have that gun for as long as you want it.”
For Warranty Repair or to order guns and accessories, go to http://www.Reynersons.com or call 225-261-4860.