If you’ve ever hunted in the rain, or even just cold temperatures, you know the toll adverse weather can take on your rifle. In a few weeks I’m headed down to Afognak Island to hunt deer, and although it’s a hunter’s paradise, the conditions can’t get much worse for a rifle. Between the constant humidity, rain and salt water, even an “all weather” rifle will rust in no time at all. Here’s how to fight back…
Oil: The best way to prevent rust is to use an oil wipe, or a product like Gunslick’s rust preventative. You want to oil all surfaces of the barrel and action (with the exception of the bore). This is pretty straightforward and if done on a daily basis, it’s a great way to stop corrosion.
Muzzle Tape:** I always, always, always keep a strip of electrical tape wrapped around my barrel so I can keep the bore covered. You can shoot right through this (the air forced down the barrel blows out the tape before the bullet gets there). I’ve taken a lot of animals this way, and it in no way affects the accuracy of the bullet. It is important not to oil the bore, however, as this will often change the trajectory of your first shot.
Scope Mount Screws: A trick I learned from my sheep hunting partner Steve is to use chap stick to fill the scope mount screw heads. Even while using oil, the screw heads always seem to get rust in them, and if you fill them with chap stick, it keeps water out, and dissolves easily with a cleaning solvent after you come back out of the field.
With these three steps, your rifle should be good to go for just about any weather you would possibly face. Do any of you have a special trick you use to weatherproof your rifle? Comment below.