Most of us who hunt and shoot are always looking for that one product that will truly clean, lubricate and protect our valued firearms. There are of course many products that make these claims and some work pretty well.
Many however have some downside that keep us from being totally satisfied with them. Some have very strong odors, some are flammable, some are harmful to various gun finishes, some must be heated or applied to warm or even hot guns and some, when you read the cautions on the label, are just plain bad for our environment.
Is there a product that does the job efficiently and effectively while, as much as possible, protects our environment as well?
I made a decision a few months ago that I would give one of the products that makes those claims a real chance to prove itself and that I'd take a chance by using it exclusively for the balance of the shooting and hunting season.
Since the still target season was in full swing when I made that decision, and that sport is very important to me, a lot would ride on just how well this product worked.
I looked back over the last 10 years or so to see just how many products that made these claims that I'd evaluated. I read all of my detailed notes as well as the published articles and made the decision to go with “PrOlix Lubricant Total Gun Care Product”. This was not an easy decision since I've evaluated many excellent products over that time period. It was however the one that really stood out for performance and for being environmentally friendly.
I began the process by following the PrOlix directions very carefully and cleaning the bores of all the shotguns that I planned to use in the remainder of the still target shooting season. I plugged the muzzle of each of the barrels, filled them with PrOlix and allowed them to soak. I did the same with each of the chokes for those guns. I allowed them to stand in a very warm shop, 80° - 90°, for the better part of a day. Then I emptied each barrel and choke, brushed them thoroughly with a new brass brush and followed that with cotton patches, until they came out clean.
I filtered the PrOlix that came out of the barrels and chokes, following directions, and put the clean PrOlix back into its container. You may use PrOlix many times before it becomes contaminated, a real sales point for me.
I wiped down the exteriors of each gun with a cotton patch soaked with PrOlix and let each of them air dry. I used a bit of PrOlix Xtra-T Lube on the threads of each choke tube and allowed them to dry prior to installing the chokes in the muzzles.
We have experienced near record high temperatures in the Upstate of South Carolina this summer. Venturing outdoors, especially to my range that has no shade, means I'm soaking wet with sweat in just a few minutes and my salty sweat has dripped all over my guns. Doris and I were also at a 2-day shooting event in Georgetown, SC where temperatures reached 102° with humidity levels in the high 90% range.
Our guns are subjected to heat, dust, sweat and all of the “gunk” that can accumulate in the action and in the bores from shooting shell after shell in competition. I will occasionally “dry brush” the choke and bore on some of my guns but on others, I just shoot them until the patterns visibly degrade. I know my guns well enough to know what works best for each of them.
There's not really much I can do about the sweat that drips on the guns and the sweaty hands that grasp and hold them. They are tools and unfortunately, take some abuse as they are used. Any product that can help preserve the finish is certainly helpful. While these guns are tools, I still like for them to look good and I don't want rust to damage them. I've had good luck so far with using PrOlix on the exteriors and have no visible exterior rust.
When I'm through shooting for the day, I wipe down the exterior with some PrOlix on a cotton patch and then inspect the bores. If the bores show signs of plastic build-up, I clean them by dry brushing and then running a patch dampened with PrOlix, followed by a dry patch. That normally does the job.
As I write this, I have about 2 months left in the still target shooting season. I'll continue to use PrOlix on my guns exclusively. It's worked well so far and I see no reason to change. My guns are free of rust and the bores and chokes seem to clean up much more easily and frankly, do not seem to be getting as dirty as they did previously.
The decision to use PrOlix was not without risk. I really depend upon the products that I use to do what I expect of them. PrOlix has done just that and I'm confident that it will continue to clean, lubricate and protect my guns.
Now it's up to me to put those pellets inside that little 3” red circle at 40 yards.