Here’s what to do if you’re caught in a down­pour

Air Gunner - - Contents -

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.


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.


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

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