Shooting in the rain.

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Dec 24, 2018
Northern illinois
Hey all.
Hope everyone's feeling good.

It may surprise you fine folks but I'm not made out of sugar. I'm not worried about getting wet but my precious guns are a little shy of the water. I've got a range day set for this Saturday and the forecast is calling for 40° and rain. I'm still going but I don't really want to bring blued/walnut guns out in it. I don't care about glocks and stainless/synthetic guns getting wet but I was planning to shoot some old rifles that I want to keep nice. I know they can get wet but I don't want to have to hurry home and hose these things down with oil and worry about what soaked into the wood ect.

Do you all shoot blued/wood stocked firearms in the rain? If so, how do you prevent damage when you get them home?
All my guns go out in the rain if need be. When I get home I dry, clean and re-oil/re-grease them. I find that if they start out well lubed they will repel much of the water they are exposed too and the rest can easily be dealt with at home/cabin.


Yes this is an all metal and plastic AR, but my Pre-64 Winchester Model 70 and Browning Citori have seen similar conditions, I just don't have pictures of those guns wet.
An old collector gun does not see rain. I live in the PNW too. On a nice day, I’ll take a drilling out to hunt. On a ******, miserable day, it’s all stainless and plastic. My pre-64 super grade? Yeah, it gets out on nice days.

Like splitting wood in my Sunday best,… Just not done.
Do you all shoot blued/wood stocked firearms in the rain? If so, how do you prevent damage when you get them home?

I do and I don’t. Use can cause damage to any tool, even more so in inclement weather. I keep my “for looking at” stuff in a controlled environment. The stuff I use, evidence of use should be a sign it’s a winner. ;)
I often shoot in the rain.

I have a 700 BDL that has hung hours on end in the rain at my treestand. I never did anything special except oil when I got home and let it air dry. I owned the gun about 15 years before taking it out of the stock for the first time. I expected a spot of rust or two. There was none. I guess the oil from regular wipe downs crept down into the hidden spots.
If it ain't rainin' we ain't trainin'! If it ain't snowin' we ain't goin'!

My primary hunting rifle is wood and blued. Before I go out on a trip (3-5 days in the rain in a tent), i coat all the metal surfaces with Birchwood Case Barricade corrosion preventative. Stuff. Works. Great. I also carry a cleaning kit which includes Barricade wipes that I can pull the through the barrel on a boresnake. I treat the gun every day I'm out in wet weather.

For the wood, SC Johnson wax will form a barrier on which water will bead. Clean the wood first with a wood cleaner.

Rifle stays in a gun case most of the time. You can do the same ting at the range. Carry a poncho to put over the rifle and bench when you're not shooting.

Still, I carry my really old (1930s) stuff afield less and less.
SS and synthetic is easier to take care of, but that doesn't mean wood/blue is going to fall apart in the rain. But yes, you do need to break down the firearms and give them a thorough cleaning ASAP. The blue metal is very likely to get some surface rust and some staining that will never come completely out. The SS/Synthetic guns can be neglected longer before damage shows up.

I have guns that are 50 to 100+ years old that have been in the rain multiple times. The finish is far from perfect, but those character marks are just part of the history of that firearm. To me a well used gun with the blue worn completely off from use in places is a thing of beauty. More so than a safe queen that is never used.

The biggest issue with wet weather is that the wood stocks expand and contract as humidity. altitude, and even temperature change. And they don't even have to be wet. The wood on a stock sitting in your safe is going to expand or contract as those conditions change and it could be enough to cause the point of impact to change. Maybe not enough to matter, maybe by several inches.

And there is always the chance a wood stock could expand enough to crack or split. It's rare, but does happen. The last time I hunted with a wood stock in the rain I noted a small 1/4" crack in the wood at sunup. By noon that crack was 3-4" long and the stock couldn't be saved.

I haven't hunted with a wood stocked bolt gun since 1983 when I switched to synthetic stocks, even most of my shotguns are synthetic. My lever actions and some 22's still have wood. But even with the synthetic stocks most of the rifles and shotguns have blued metal. It takes a while for the water to damage metal to the point of a parts failure. I'd call that neglect that could be prevented with just a little maintenance. Wood on the other hand can go from perfect to firewood in a short time with no advance warning.
Get an umbrella..... and am dead serious.

Snag a camo,golf sized umbrella and take good care of it. They are extremely handy to have in your hunting,or range vehicle.

Me and the dog(hunting Doberman),a lot of times wait for it,TO rain for our treks in the woods. Yes,I usually take a stainless/synthetic SPS 7-08 but would have no real reservations about one of the wood stocked rigs. Our shooting range here is covered,and I like shooting in the rain but..... still need the umbrella.
I have shot in the rain frequently. Hard to avoid it in western Washington. Hunting in the rain sure no problem, but when it’s target shooting I’ve recently been using the rain as an excuse not to shoot and save my primers.
My Remington 700 in 270 is matte blue with walnut stock. It sees all types of conditions when hunting

I usually have it clean and oiled prior to going out and then make sure it’s wiped down and oiled prior to going back in the case afterwards.

Same with my SA Mil Spec 1911, which has become my woods gun. Oiled well prior to going, wiped down and oiled prior to being put up.

Seems to work ok in my case.
They won't rust instantly. I have been caught in rain and snow both while hunting and did a through clean and wax with Johnson's paste wax after hunting with no rust to follow. I really don't care to get caught out in the rain here. It's COLD. I had heard of warm rain all my life but never experienced it until several years ago in Mississippi. It was, indeed, warm. My clothing was already soaked with sweat from the humidity and I didn't pay much attention to it.
Given the emotional attachments to my blue/wood guns, no I wouldn't shoot them while out in the rain. The local range is covered, under that circumstance I would bring them out when the precip is afoot. Like you, I would still hurry home and clean them. As for SS and synthetic furniture, no matter how expensive, synthetics will never have the feel or warmth of wood.
Purchased a SS/synthetic 10/22 several years ago and it is a great little gun, as would be expected. However, I immediately missed the feel of the wood stocked 10/22 from my youth. May have to invest in a wood stocked version one of these days. Bluing never really turned my crank, being a tactile person, I've always been drawn to Parkerizing. Something about the satiny sensation as fingers moved across the finish.
RIG gun grease and buff it before you go out.

Blackpowder rifle gunsmiths use to rub pure beeswax all over the interior/exterior of the stock and on the parts. This allowed the lazy users to place the gun in the rifle to rinse out. G. Brumfield (2nd gunsmith of Colonial Williamsburg) told me this. He said he used to do it himself. RIP GB.
I have one really nice rifle with exhibition grade wood, hand engraving, and some of the receiver left "in the white". That one I try to keep dry. All the others, including some fairly nice examples of blue-and-walnut, just get a good coat of wax - whatever is in the garage for the cars is fine - and a thorough cleaning and drying back at home. So far this has worked perfectly.
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I have done some of my best shooting/ competition in the rain and snow. Like, my first Straight 100 in trap in a snow storm with my 101. Garand match in a downpour at Camp Perry.... wait that's almost match. I find I can get out of my head if the weather is bad. I practice in all weather. I clean the firearm accordingly.
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