How to care for your sound moderator
PUBLISHED: 11:12 03 April 2019
How should I care for my sound moderator? Do I need to clean it every time I go shooting? Dom Holtam offers some words of wisdom
Q: How should I care for my sound moderator? Does it need thoroughly cleaning after every use?
Dom Holtam replies: I have read so many different approaches over the years to this problem. My oldest mod is probably seven years old now and shows no signs of giving up yet so I can only say that this works for me! However, if any of you out there have a better set of guidelines, feel free to let us know at the usual address.
First of all, I always remove my moderator after shooting. Not doing so risks moisture and corrosive gases making a mess of the crown of your barrel – which will negatively impact on accuracy – or making it hard to remove the moderator at all.
I tend to wipe the crown with an oily rag and also clean and lightly oil the threads. If storing for any length of time, I will fit a thread protector.
I will let the moderator come up to room temperature in a warm, dry environment and give it a wipe down externally. If it has got drowned on a day’s stalking, I’ll leave it upright to dry out and then spray it with something like WD40 or Ballistol from both ends and then stand it on some kitchen towel to drain out.
I don’t really hold with the idea of stripping and cleaning them all the time. The by-products of shooting can be some fairly unpleasant chemicals and heavy metals. I don’t really want to be releasing that stuff into my workshop or my lungs.
I do consider a moderator to be a wear and tear item (like an exhaust muffler on a car). I expect it to have a finite life and while I want to maximise that, I don’t expect it to go on forever. If it costs £200-300 for a replacement after several years of hard use but your hearing is still intact then it’s a worthwhile investment. The fact that it is likely to have helped you shoot better and with greater enjoyment during those years is just the icing on the cake.