Posts Tagged ‘shotgun care’

Many years ago I received an interesting item from Fred Bohm, founder of Sage & Braker. He sent me a snakey-looking gizmo that ultimately became my go-to shotgun barrel cleaning device. I’m still using that same one today. (Hint, hint Fred … )

Bohm hasn’t been sitting on his hands since then. A vision for heirloom-quality gun care products started with that bore cleaner and expanded. Like your favorite chaps, most are wardrobed in waxed cotton canvas and leather, outwardly manifesting the long-lived properties not only of the package, but the ideas and products … Fred’s legacy becomes our problem-solvers and something to hand down to the next generation.

More important than cosmetics, though, is an extra dose of thought put into every product.

Whether you’re paddling your boat with an old Remington 870 during duck season, or have a safe full of vintage A.H. Foxes, eventually you’re gonna need to care for your shooting sticks. When you want to go beyond old t-shirts and toothbrushes, it might be time to invest in Sage & Braker gear.

[So, when I started working on my Upland Nation podcast, Fred was the first guy I called. He will be a sponsor starting in August and I couldn’t be prouder of our association. Read his “About us” page to learn why.]

Here’s the breakdown on his “whole enchilada” package, aptly named “Father’s Day Cleaning Bundle”:

A leather-and-canvas quilted gun mat keeps surfaces clean and protects your gun from scratches and dings. Integral pockets hold your cleaning/care gear and it all rolls up into a tidy bundle that will elicit questions from envious buddies. The extra dose: I have a very nice Craftsman tool box for gun cleaning, but lugging it on a long trip is not an option. This gun mat is simply another piece of (good looking) luggage.

Fred’s high-tech CLP (cleaning, lube, protect) liquid does everything you’d expect, and this extra dose is a chemical composition that creates an anti-static shield on metal parts so they don’t attract carbon, dust and dirt.

The product that started it all is the Sage & Braker Bore Cleaning Kit. Fred has taken the “snake” concept a step further – his extra dose is the ability to detach the buffing rope from the bronze brush, using it for deep cleaning after inadvertently using your prized Beretta as a walking stick in Montana gumbo mud. Re-attach the rope and buff up the bore to a mirror finish. Mine is next to ammo and shooting gloves in my hunting box – a couple minutes, one pull, and clean bore.

Brushes and picks stay home most times, reserved for deep cleaning at the end of a long road trip. But neatly ensconced in a waxed cotton and leather roll, they will probably accompany me to South Dakota this fall. Extra dose: pick tips are soft brass so when you’re scraping away at the week-old pheasant blood you won’t scratch your sweet-shootin’ Sweet Sixteen. The grips are sturdy stainless steel; two brushes have brass bristles for stubborn corrosion or gunk, two have nylon bristles to baby your old Dickinson.

I threatened to share his favorite pheasant hunting spot unless he helped you, the end result being Fred is offering anyone who reads this a hefty discount for Father’s Day. So if your spouse won’t bother, save both of you some angst, be gracious about that ugly tie, and order your own kit (with free shipping) here.

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Watching him mature - finally - one of the many memories of last season.

Watching him mature – finally – one of the many memories of last season.

Maybe you’re at the same juncture: bird season, kaput. Training, sure, even when the weather doesn’t cooperate. But it is a pale imitation of the real deal.

Desperate to do something related to bird hunting and dogs, I paid homage to the chore gods by cleaning and putting my guns away. I put it off as long as possible every year, a feeble gesture that foretells the inevitable admission: We Are Done.

Partly out of hope, during the season I leave my go-to shooters handy: safely locked away in the TruckVault because you never know when you’ll be near a birdy field! This morning, with little hope for another hunt in the foreseeable future, I slid them from their drawer one at a time, swabbed and oiled, then locked them away in the safe. It was the definitive admission that the season is truly and finally over.

I know, it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of “reasonable facsimiles.” A few days of preserve season here, more just north in Washington. Clay birds of all species down the road a ways. And training birds (not just pigeons) are now fair game year-round if you did the paperwork (I did). But kissing goodbye to the “real” season is always a bittersweet affair. Memories of dogs and places, good friends. Regrets at the places not visited, those who couldn’t make a trip, or a season.

Spray, wipe, think about the missed opportunities. With each stroke of the rag, a destination for next year. How about you?

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