Regular cleaning and maintenance of any firearm is a key component to attain maximum functionality and accuracy. Weatherby recommends that your Element or 18i shotgun should be cleaned, in general, after every range session, hunting trip (especially if hunting in damp areas) and before storage. During a lengthy range session, (more than 250 rounds or more), it may be that your shotgun starts slowing its cycling or become prone to jamming where it had not before. Keeping the shotgun clean and maintained will also extend the life of your Weatherby shotgun.
Weatherby recommends using only quality firearm specific solvents, oils, products, and tools on your firearms. You will need:
- A shotgun caliber specific bore “mop” Some of these screw on to a standard cleaning rod, or some are their own cleaning rod. Some require the attachment of cleaning patches. Two mops (one for solvent and one clean) is preferential.
- A soft nylon cleaning brush
- Quality cleaning patches
- Non-abrasive paper towels or rags
- GunScrubber or similar canned solvent are useful for cleaning these receivers as it allows a quick flush of hard to reach areas in the receiver.
- Quality cleaning solvent (Hoppes No 9, Barnes CR-10, Remington 40-X, etc.) Follow the directions for the use of your specific cleaning solvent.
- Quality lubricating and preserving oil (Many types of lubricants and preservatives are available, select one made for firearms and is suited to your locale, and needs)
- Generally, the Element and 18i can be cleaned without the use of a bench vise or a cleaning station, as they are field stripped into manageable halves.
These items can be easily sourced from a local sporting goods store, and many firearms specific retailers online such as Brownells or MidwayUSA.
Taking care to ensure the Element or 18i is completely unloaded and in safe condition, field strip the shotgun as per the Owner’s Manual. These can be found at Weatherby.com if you no longer have the physical copy provided with the firearm.
When field stripped, the barrel section, forend, and receiver section are separate. Using your shotgun bore “mop”, and cleaning solvent, push a solvent treated mop or patch through the bore and allow it to act for five to ten minutes. While the barrel is soaking in solvent, use a pin punch, ink pen, or similar tool to press out the trigger group retaining pin. Remove the trigger group by pressing on the bolt release button and pulling the trigger group forward and downward. Remove the bolt as noted in the Owner’s Manual, by removing the bolt handle and bringing the bolt forward out of the receiver. Using the nylon brush, or the canned solvent product, gently clean any residue or grime on the trigger group. Oil lightly after it is cleaned and set aside. Clean out the inside of the receiver, using solvent and paper towels. Take care to clean the rails where the bolt rides in the receiver. Lubricate the inside of the receiver when it is clean with a thin light coat of quality oil. Similarly clean the bolt of any residues and re lubricate when all residues are removed. You may strip the bolt completely or use canned solvent to flush out any carbon or material buildup.
Remove the choke tube from the barrel and clean the threads. Using your mop or clean patches, scrub the barrel of any solvent residues. Lubricate the choke tube threads with choke tube lubricant or anti-sieze grease, a pea sized amount will suffice to lubricate the entirety of the threads. Reinstall the choke tube. Re-assemble the shotgun and check that it functions. Directions for reassembly can be found in the Owner’s Manual. Slide the completed bolt assembly back into the receiver and align the tail end of the link with the recoil spring plunger in the rear of the receiver. Install the bolt handle. Press the bolt release button and slide the trigger group into and all the way to the rear of its area, and install the trigger group pin. Assemble the shotgun.
If you wish, you may wipe a light coat of oil on the outside of the shotgun as a preservative. Blued firearms benefit the most from this. Cerakoted or hydrographically dipped do not require this, but it is beneficial if hunting or shooting in damp environments. You may oil the inside of the bore lightly but only if storing the shotgun. Never fire a shotgun with a lubricated bore. It will result in damage to your shotgun that is not covered under warranty.
Please take note:
- Never clean your firearm with ammunition present in the area.
- Never leave solvent in the bore for an extended period of time. This can corrode your shotgun’s bore and ruin the barrel.
- Never fire the shotgun with oil, solvent, or liquid in the bore. This can damage your barrel in several ways, or create a high-pressure spike which may cause a catastrophic malfunction and destroy your shotgun, and harm yourself.
- Please follow the disassembly and assembly procedures in your owner’s manual for your specific model of firearm.
- Please use firearm specific solvents and oils. Other products may have corrosive agents, or leave residue which can damage your shotgun, or its finish.