The most onerous task for shooters used to be cleaning and maintaining their firearms. It’s safe to say that has been exceeded in difficulty by finding affordable ammunition. In fact, taking care of your guns has actually never been easier. We may even be in a Golden Age of gun care.
Some of that is the result of the guns themselves. Blued, carbon (alloy) steel is a relative rarity these days. Often, steel parts (even blackened ones) are made of highly rust-resistant stainless steel. Or else carbon steel is given a high-tech polymer or ceramic coating, the latter typified by Cerakote. Also, many manufacturers have embraced nitrocarburizing steel components, which hardens the surface, improves fatigue resistance and protects against corrosion. To this, add the increased use of polymer or aluminum-alloy frames.
Then there is the BoreSnake and cleaner/lubricant/protectant (CLP) formulations. The first allows you to easily clean a gun’s bore from the breech and the second gives you an all-purpose product that adequately achieves everything you need to keep a gun clean, smooth-running and free of rust with normal use. Sure, a heavily used or neglected firearm may require a specialized product, but generally a BoreSnake, some CLP, a few swabs, a dental pick and old toothbrush will get you far.
However, in some ways, even this combination can be improved upon. How? Well, if most CLPs have a problem, it is that oil-based liquids tend to attract contaminants, be it dirt, dust or carbon fouling. Also, they can gum up in the cold, or leach out of actions or evaporate over time at high temperatures.
So, what can be done? One answer has been around a good while: Sentry Solutions Tuf-Glide. Tuf-Glide is a dry lubricant that is applied wet. First, it very effectively cleans away old oil, fingerprints, carbon and grime. Then it dries, leaving a thin layer of super-slick, dry CLP bonded to the surface of the firearm. The lingering surface treatment lubricates the gun, assuring smooth, reliable functioning regardless of temperature. Moreover, the treated surfaces don’t attract contaminants nor allow them to adhere. A quick wipe clears away carbon fouling. Tuf-Glide also displaces moisture, preventing rust.
Tuf-Glide is offered in several delivery methods. One is the Tuf-Cloth, a Tuf-Glide-saturated fabric square that comes in a resealable foil pouch. The dirtier the cloth gets, the better it seems to work. If it ever becomes ineffective, it can be recharged with a shot or two from a spray-pump bottle of Tuf-Glide. You’ll have to go through a lot of guns before that happens, though. There are also needle applicators for getting the product into every nook and cranny of a firearm. Wipe off the excess with the Tuf-Cloth, work the action and wait for the product to dry. Tuf-Glide doesn’t merely sit on the surface; it bonds to it. Both lubricity and protection are long lasting.
Tuf-Glide products are available individually or in convenient kits, including the “Gear Care Kit” ($24.99) that contains a Tuf-Cloth; Tuf-Glide pen; GATCO knife sharpener (Tuf-Glide is excellent for protecting pocket-knife blades and pivots); and lint-free, foam-tipped swabs.