If you are a gun owner, enjoy the sport of hunting, or just have a love and appreciation of guns, perhaps stemming from a military background, the odds are pretty great that your gun or guns are some of your most prized possessions in the world. If this sounds like you, we are certain you understand the utmost importance of caring for and maintaining your firearms—and we are guessing that up until now you have probably relied on a local gunsmith for the regular cleaning and repairing of your gun, in addition to performing other crucial services.
What you may not know is that a high quality gun vise may allow you the opportunity to perform all these cleaning and maintenance chores yourself, from the comfort of your home, thus saving you the money and time that you would have otherwise expended by taking your weapons to a gunsmith. With a top-of-the-line gun vise, cleaning up your firearm and maintaining it regularly can be a quick and easy process, as well as a safe one. Luxury tools like a gun a vise enable you to lubricate, clean and brush your weapon with the very best of stability and security.
In the following article we will briefly explain what a gun vise is, highlight the importance of using a gun vise for various cleaning and maintenance tasks, explain the benefits of a high quality gun vise and, of course, tell you briefly about how the tool is typically used.
What Is a Gun Vise?
To put it simply, a gun vise is a tool which is typically used in the repair, cleaning, and maintenance of guns. It can also be used when sighting in a scope, as the totally level base of these tools make for a great starting point when checking for scope accuracy.
A gun vise features a flat base which rests on a work surface—or is bolted to the work surface—and provides a sturdy base for the vise itself and a padded rest on which to place the forearm of the gun. The vise itself on a gun vise is located at one end of the base of the tool, and features a padded clamp for holding the stock of the gun securely. A padded (usually leather-padded) V-shaped rest is located on the opposite end from the vise and provides a secure place for the forearm of the gun to rest.
How to Use a Gun Vise (beginner’s guide)
As we mentioned, a gun vise can be an invaluable tool when cleaning or repairing your firearm. Although it is not mandatory to use one of these tools for those processes, it’s a good idea to have one. That’s because a gun vise will keep your rifle very stable and secure as you work on it, keep both of your hands free, and because the stroke of the cleaning rod will be consistent with the plane of your bore. There are plenty of people who also use a bore guide when maintaining their weapon. In doing so, you can clean the rifle from breech to muzzle, and you won’t scrape your crown on the muzzle end. In all cases, you want to avoid situations in which the cleaning rod contacts the crown. A high quality vise will help you clean consistently without scraping the sides. Also, that keeps all the mess in one area.
Gun vises go by many names, such as “iron monsters,” “machine rests” or “shooting sleds,” but whatever you decide to call it you will find that it is pretty simple to use. When setting up your rifle in the gun vise, the butt end of the gun, also known as the buttstock, is held against a leather padded vise. The fore end of the gun rests on a conventional bench rest bolted to the sled and the forearm is held down with a loose fitting leather ring that does not touch the barrel except under recoil. The back is adjustable from side to side with a hand wheel and the vertical is adjusted on the bench rest. Once you have firmly adjusted all of these gun vise components, you can confidently work on your weapon without the threat of it falling or coming loose.
The Importance of Having a High-Quality Gun Vise
There is nothing wrong with taking your firearm to a local gunsmith for cleaning and maintenance. This just shows that you take pride in your weapon, and you want to ensure it is always properly cleaned, maintained and ready to go when you need it. With that having been said however, if you owned your own gun vise and a simple cleaning kit you could save hordes of money that you otherwise fork over to the gunsmith.
According to those in the know, a good gun vise will extend the life of your weapon while also reducing the cost of cleaning and maintaining it. And given the price of firearms these days, it makes sense to extend their lifespan for as long as possible. Therefore, instead of taking your gun into the local gunsmith every time it needs a good cleaning, you can instead perform these tasks on your own from the comfort of your home. All you need is a gun vise and rifle cleaning kit, two tools that will literally pay for themselves after just a couple of uses.
Owning your own personal gun vise is imperative as a gun owner, as it facilitates the process of cleaning that firearm. It makes applying lubricant and oil fast and easy, and because these tools are so versatile you can bet that the gun vise you purchase will be compatible with a variety of different types of firearms. Furthermore, you can use a gun vise for repairing purposes or to zero in the sights and the scope on your gun. Learning how to clean and repair your weapon will also make you more familiar with the inner workings of your rifle, and place you among the elite shooters who prefer to service their own weapons.
The Benefits of Owning a Top-Quality Gun Vise
As with any tool around your house and garage, a top-quality gun vise offers several benefits, not the least of which is increasing the durability and longevity of your weapon. What most professional gunsmiths know (and maybe don’t tell their clients), is that the long lifespan of any weapon is heavily dependent on how well and how often you clean and repair it. Given all of the inner workings of a gun, it is also important for you to learn these tasks yourself, because you may not always be in a position to enlist the services of a professional gunsmith. A gun vise will give you an easy way to complete these chores yourself, and remove any excuse you may have for not keeping your gun cleaned, maintained and stored properly. To give you a better idea regarding the usefulness and advantages of owning a gun vise, below we have listed and explained some of those benefits.
- Increases Longevity. It’s no secret that a clean and properly maintained firearm will outlive the same type of firearm if dirty and in ill repair. A gun vise allows you to clean your gun regularly and properly, with all the parts lined up perfectly.
- Saves Money. The services performed by professional gunsmiths can be very expensive depending on your area and the type of weapon or weapons you possess. And while these experts are indispensable when something “really” goes wrong with your firearm, simple cleaning tasks can be done by you at home using a gun vise, saving lots of money over the lifespan of your gun.
- Saves Time. Just as going to the gunsmith can cost you a lot of money, it can also cost you a lot of time. In the time it takes for you to take your gun to the gunsmith, wait for it to be finished, and drive back to retrieve your weapon, you could potentially clean three or four weapons if you owned a gun vise for personal use.
- Provides stability and security. Is it possible to clean your rifle without the aid of a gun vise? Sure it is, but the process is made much more difficult without one. Not only does a gun vise offer the best in security and stability as you clean and maintain your gun, it also frees up both of your hands to work without restraint, rather than having one hand always clutching the gun to keep it upright.
Gun vises can be found almost anywhere they sell firearms, and some machine shops can even make special order gun vises that are tailored to your specific weapon. There are scores of different gun vises on the market today, including those specially designed for rifles, handguns and even automatic rifles. The best news is that most of these gun vises are very affordable, especially when you weigh the price against endless trips to a gunsmith for regular cleaning and maintenance tasks.
image: CC 2.0 Mitch Barrie/Flickr