Every rifle owner needs a work cradle, the editor says
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.
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