SUP­PORT WORKER

Ev­ery ri­fle owner needs a work cra­dle, the ed­i­tor says

Air Gunner - - CONTENTS -

The ed­i­tor tries out a main­te­nance cra­dle from Hoppe’s, a gun care com­pany from the US

Ev­ery air ri­fle needs at least some ba­sic main­te­nance, and un­less you have some means to hold it while you work, it can be a very frus­trat­ing and po­ten­tially costly busi­ness. There are lots of ri­fle cra­dles out there, each with its own good and bad points. I have a big tray- type one at home and whilst it does a good job of sup­port­ing my ri­fles, it re­ally gets in my way and is hard to store, which is why this sim­ple model from the well­known Amer­i­can gun care com­pany, Hoppe’s, caught my eye. It ar­rives as four pieces, two 16” long rods and the two moulded cra­dle ends, and assem­bly is so sim­ple that a child could do it in 30 sec­onds.

Once built, I found it held even the heav­i­est ri­fle quite solidly, in part due to of the wide foot­print and also the sticky ‘over- moulded’ rub­ber con­tact points in the ‘V’-shaped up­pers and wide feet. The rub­ber re­ally does grip the ri­fle stock well, which gave me con­fi­dence that it wouldn’t top­ple over and dam­age the ri­fle or scope. It might look quite lightweight, but it’s sur­pris­ingly rigid, once built.

Along the sides there are grooves to hold bore- clean­ing rods, al­though we air­gun­ners don’t need them as fre­quently as the firearm boys do.

GOOD VALUE

This cra­dle is just what you need whilst you clean your scope’s lenses, wipe down all the metal parts with a sil­i­cone cloth and ap­ply vi­tal lu­bri­cants in mea­sured amounts. One of the most im­por­tant jobs a cra­dle does for me is to hold a scoped ac­tion up­side down whilst I re­move the stock. This is a po­ten­tially tricky three- handed job and one for which I think a good cra­dle is es­sen­tial.

Just as quick as it is to build, you can dis­man­tle it and pack it away with­out the need of any tools. Once in pieces, it’s very easy to store be­cause it all lies flat and will fit into even a small drawer. It’s also light enough that you could have one in your bag to take to the range if you plan to work on your gun and set up there. I think it rep­re­sents good value too at £ 30, so if you don’t al­ready own a cra­dle, I can rec­om­mend this one.

ABOVE: The wide base and grippy rub­ber coat­ings make for a sta­ble sup­port

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