Q: I am about to take up a contract that will keep me out of the UK for over a year and, fortunately, a friend has agreed to put my two guns on his certificate and store them for me until I return. What precautions should I take against rust while my guns are in storage?

Mike says: A thorough clean, followed by a wipe-down of the metal parts with a lightly-oiled cloth should be quite sufficient for guns in storage, providing your friend is going to examine your guns reasonably frequently.

If the guns have chromed bores – and most modern guns have – there’s no need to leave the tubes internally oily. If you do leave the bores oily, then make sure the guns are stored muzzle-down, otherwise oil could run back through the firing-pin holes, and possibly dry out and gum up the mechanism and, at worst, soften the wood at the head of the stock.

If you wish to take a real belt-and-braces approach, the metal parts of the guns can be coated with grease, but I don’t think that is necessary in your case.