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Shooting in the rain.

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Obturation, Mar 16, 2022.

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  1. Obturation

    Obturation Member

    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?
    Twisted Chemist and .308 Norma like this.
  2. Heir Kommt Die Sonne

    Heir Kommt Die Sonne Member

    Dec 24, 2018
    I've heard about using wax on them. I used a product from Birchwood Caseys called Rifle stock wax and that works well enough.
    .308 Norma likes this.
  3. mcb

    mcb Member

    Feb 19, 2008
    North Alabama
    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.
    .308 Norma, EMC45, md7 and 4 others like this.
  4. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

    Aug 11, 2004
    on Puget Sound
    Yes. I live in Western Washington. It rains occasionally here.
    Renaissance Wax is my go-to, for action and barrels, all exposed metal parts.
  5. Bugster

    Bugster Member

    Feb 1, 2015
    I don't take mine out in the rain, but that's to protect them not me.
  6. swg1

    swg1 Member

    Feb 15, 2020
    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.
    Demi-human and Obturation like this.
  7. jmorris

    jmorris Member

    Sep 30, 2005
    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. ;)
    Demi-human and Obturation like this.
  8. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

    Jan 8, 2011
    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.
    wis bang, Duster340 and Obturation like this.
  9. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

    Oct 2, 2016
    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.
  10. Blue Jays

    Blue Jays Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    The true collectibles only see clear skies and fair weather conditions.
    The regular ones get used, properly cleaned/oiled, and then stored.
    jag1954 and Obturation like this.
  11. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    May 26, 2007
    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.
  12. BWS

    BWS Member

    Dec 6, 2017
    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.
  13. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

    Mar 15, 2009
    This is me in the rain:
    That is a good thing about an indoor range. :D
  14. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

    Feb 10, 2016
    Fl panhandle
    You can always bring some oil with you to apply at the range when you are finished before you case them up, then re-do it the "right" way when you get home. My range/hunting day isn't over until all guns and equipment have been maintained and put back into storage.
  15. trackskippy

    trackskippy Member

    Oct 2, 2010
    Shoot them. Clean them. Pretty simple.
    CapnMac and .308 Norma like this.
  16. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

    Jan 19, 2010
    Galveston Bay is an Hour Away ©
    Most of the year here, rain is from hard hitting thunderstorms with flooding possible. So, no I don't typically shoot in the rain.

    Last edited: Mar 17, 2022
  17. RETG

    RETG Member

    Dec 27, 2009
    Somewhere in Idaho But on the move; AGAIN!
    I have shot weapons in the rain. Guns won't melt like sugar either.
  18. Barbaroja

    Barbaroja Member

    Apr 9, 2020
    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.
    .308 Norma likes this.
  19. md7

    md7 Member

    Aug 18, 2006
    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.
    Heir Kommt Die Sonne likes this.
  20. doubleh

    doubleh Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    NM-south of I-40
    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.
  21. e rex

    e rex Member

    Aug 25, 2015
    I live in Nebraska and wish I could shoot in the rain. I do shoot in a drought every time every time I go out!
  22. Twisted Chemist

    Twisted Chemist Member

    Nov 23, 2021
    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.
  23. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 19, 2002
    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.
    DustyGmt and mcb like this.
  24. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    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.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2022
    Demi-human likes this.
  25. 1911JAS

    1911JAS Member

    Aug 4, 2004
    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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