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Potting Scope - The Year Was 1969
To find something more constructive to do while waiting for the two feet of snow from the last winter storm to melt off, I decided to start the annual spring cleaning, inventory and inspection of rifles, handguns and the only shotgun I’ve owned in nearly 40 years, an early Parker hammer model 10 gauge.
Dave Scovill

To keep things simple, the process usually starts with Model 73, 92 and 94 Winchesters and Marlin 94s by caliber, starting with .44 so all the barrels use the same size bronze brush or cotton swab.

To speed things up a bit for cleaning revolver cylinders, an oversized .45-caliber (.45-70) brush, for example, attached to a short extension and mounted on a portable drill, is used to hone .457-inch diameter .44-caliber chambers. A .475/.480-caliber brush works to clean up .45 Colt and tapered .38 and .44 WCF chambers. When firearms pass inspection, they are set aside for a light oiling, very light, since the Arizona climate is relatively dry and the safe doesn’t allow much, if any, moisture to seep in anyway.

Cleaning Marlin leverguns is simplified by removing the lever pivot screw, then the lever and pulling the bolt out from the rear. The barrel and chamber are easily cleaned from the breech end with the oversized brushes mentioned above for respective calibers.

The removal of Winchester lever-action bolts requires a more detailed description, but with the lever down, it is easy enough to run a cleaning rod, sans brushes or patches, down to the breech end and attach an oversized chamber brush; the muzzle end of the rod is attached to an electric drill. Pull back on the drill to scrub the chamber. Using a bore guide, clean the barrel from the muzzle end first, to avoid pushing crud into a clean chamber.

I’ve used Lyman’s Butch’s Gun Oil almost exclusively for several years to clean up older but serviceable firearms. It doesn’t goo up the works and helps lift rust out of minor pits on elderly previously neglected guns, several of which are near, at or over a century old and have passed into my hands in the last 40 years or so.

Toward the end of what usually ends up as a two-day marathon cleaning effort, it was discovered that there are more .44 WCF rifles, carbines and handguns than any other caliber. How that happened I’m not sure, but it appears to have started in 1969. That’s about the time Winchester finally got a few of those Model 94 .44 Magnums into Oregon. I bought the first one that showed up at a local gun show.

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