IT’S YOUR CALL
Here’s what to do if you’re caught in a downpour
A reader asks how to care for a sopping wet rifle - sound advice here!
Reader, Tony Braithwaite, phoned the Air Gunner office recently after he’d been caught in a shower whilst walking around his shoot. Tony was a couple of hours from home and he was worried that his rifle would, in his words, ‘be a rusty wreck’ by the time he got it home where he could clean and dry it thoroughly. Tony wanted advice on what to do immediately after a soaking, and we were pleased to help him out. Here are the basic steps any airgunner can take to minimise the effect of getting caught in the rain.
PREVENTION IS BETTER …
The best way to prevent potential water damage, is not to let your gear get wet in the first place. That’s simplicity itself to sort out; just fold flat a couple of bin bags and stash them in the pocket of your shooting coat. Properly folded, they’ll take up no room at all, they weigh next to nothing, and they can be unfolded in seconds and slipped over each end of your, uncocked and unloaded, rifle, keeping everything perfectly protected until you get to your car or shelter of some sort.
GEAR SOAKED … NOW WHAT?
If you can’t prevent a soaking, the best way to deal with it is to get under cover as soon as possible and remove as much excess water as you can, before putting your rifle in its case for the journey home. Again, a little forethought works wonders, so keep a roll of kitchen towel in the boot of your car, and after wiping and ‘dabbing’ off as much water as you can, turn your attention to the barrel, or more particularly, its bore. A barrel pull- through that uses felt wads or bore cleaning material will dry and clean the inside of your barrel in no time at all, and a drop or two of oil on the final pass will leave a protective coating over the rifling. When your rifle is as dry as you can get it, place it into its case and store it securely in the boot – don’t leave it in the car, especially with the gun case open – and you can attend to it when you get home.
As soon as you’re home, take your rifle indoors and remove it from its case. Place the case somewhere warm to ensure that it’s thoroughly dried, but DON’T do the same with your rifle, which needs to dry at room temperature to avoid the slight possibility of splitting or warping the stock. Remove the stock if possible and dab out all accessible moisture, then wipe over all metalwork with an oil- impregnated cloth and place the rifle somewhere secure and allow it to dry naturally.
That’s it. Just wipe over the action with your oiled cloth every time your rifle is handled and the odd soaking will cause no lasting problems.
“The best way to prevent potential water damage, is not to let your gear get wet in the first place”
ABOVE: Getting your gear soaked need not cause problems, provided you follow a few simple steps