On Cleaning – Guns, Bathrooms, and Anything else

I’m on-call this weekend, which means that I am chained to the pager for the better part of three days straight. Which means that it is difficult to accomplish much of anything outside the house. Even a trip to Wally World for groceries and shampoo can potentially be interrupted at least twice by calls about diaper rash and headcolds that can’t wait until Monday. (Don’t get me wrong — I’d much rather have these kinds of calls than an emergency call from the Nursery that they need me NOW!) But because of the potential for these kinds of interruptions, I usually stick close to home and don’t try to do any shooting. Which means that I feel like I should actually “do” something at home… like cleaning.

I’m a bit Elizabethan about house cleaning. Queen Elizabeth I is said to have bathed once a month whether she needed it or not. Actually, my house would be much dirtier than Ole Bess, if truth be told. Now, that’s not to say I don’t meet health codes — depending upon your interpretation — but the sign on the back of my front door clearly states that “Martha Stewart Doesn’t Live Here”. I just tonight cleaned a wad of cat hair out from behind the toilet … but my kitty has been gone for ten months. Suffice to say that if you have OCD, just don’t drop by unexpectedly. I need at least two weeks’ notice.

And no, I won’t hire a cleaning lady – I just don’t like the idea of strangers touching my stuff – not to mention that I’d have to clean before the cleaning lady came, just so I wouldn’t be embarrassed by my own squalor.
I’d love to know how the Pro Lady Shooters who spend their time on the road manage the housecleaning. Maybe if they’re not home, the house just doesn’t get dirty? Or maybe they just have husbands who actually do housework.

I’m not much better about my firearms. They probably get cleaned once every few hundred rounds. A few drops of oil and a boresnake – the equivalent of a PTA Sponge bath – is about all they get in between. Currently, I’ve been back from the AR-15 Rockcastle 3Gun match for two weeks, and my guns have not yet been touched. It was bad enough when it was just my pistol – but now it’s THREE guns that I have to clean. Do they make dishwashers for firearms?

Seriously, you should have seen me the first time I needed to field-strip and clean my then-new semi-auto rifle. I remind you that although I have long-distance gun guy friends, that there is no husband or boyfriend (or firearms elves) to do this for me. If the gun needs cleaning there is no use looking around the room and batting my eyes, because there ain’t nobody else. I “armed” myself with a book called Green Eyes & Black Rifles, and a how-to DVD video I picked up at the NRA Show. I also had the brilliance to remember that I had an old stained mattress pad in the linen closet. Viola! A [semi] white gun cleaning pad that spanned the width of the living room floor, and would hopefully show up any springs or little pieces that managed to escape. (I do occasionally surprise myself with a really good idea.) I was extremely proud of myself that I managed the entire process even down to the extractor pin, AND got it all back together again, AND didn’t have anything left over!

Pistol cleaning is pretty easy, but now there’s not just the AR process to go through, there’s the shotgun as well. Since it now has a magazine tube extension installed (done by myself as well, thank-you-very-much), it is a bit of a bigger pain to disassemble. It also involves another bolt to figure out, so I don’t think it’s going to happen this weekend. All I need is to have things half disassembled and get called to the hospital for an nursery emergency, leaving a partly functional (and unsecured) firearm lying in the middle of the living room floor. Then there would be the hassle of trying to remember where I was in the process when I finally got back…. “Hmmm… Was it this thingy going onto that thingy … Or the other way around?”

Anybody know if Brownells carries Firearms Elves?