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The "Rain Rifle"

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by DannyLandrum, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. DannyLandrum

    DannyLandrum Member

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    I would like to discuss The Rain Rifle as a concept, akin to the Scout, except in a sense the opposite in that the Scout is an an all-purpose rifle whereas the Rain (& snow) rifle is a specialized beast.

    Don't know if anyone has discussed this before, but the origin of this for me is that I enjoy hunting in the rain and wet snow, provided that it's not too cold, a light or moderate rain, and I have appropriate clothing. I like it mainly because it often turns into a harvest (at a higher rate than clear skies), because I find that game moves around a lot during a light rain, and above all, you can stalk silently. Also, few other hunters in the woods on those days.

    However, I've been frustrated over the years with *fogged scopes* (not to mention wet and fogged eyeglasses, but that's another story - now that I've had cataract surgery, I finally have good distance vision for the first time in my life, so I can dispense with glasses, making this rain rifle concept more important to me now). Yes, you can put anti-fog coatings on your glass, and many scopes come from the factory with coatings that are anti-fog and/or cause rain to bead up and eliminate better, but the problem is still there, I find, at least with the scopes I'm able to afford (low-mid-range to mid-range price).

    Flip up caps are not a solution, as it is simply not fast enough for stalking and taking a quick shot, whether deer or piggies or whatever. The fogged and wet scopes always hamper my vision, sometimes preventing a shot altogether. The other day, I shot a doe at maybe 70 yards during a light rain, and my scope was fogged and wet enough that I couldn't see very well. I killed it, but shot 8-9 inches farther back than I wanted to - I hit the liver but not the lungs. I can't say for sure that the fogged scope is the cause of the bad shot but it might have been. Not the kind of hit I like to get.

    Hence the rifle rig specialized for this purpose has been on my mind for a few years now. The idea is to (1) eliminate the scope, meaning iron sights or an ESD / RDS of some kind, where there is no "inner chamber" with a differential interior air temperature that can lead to condensation (fogging), and (2) of course, rain resistant - stainless steel or cerakote / duracoat, and weather-resistant stock.

    Which brings me to the rig I recently (finally) put together for this purpose. Behold the rain rifle - in this case a SS/ synthetic Rem Seven with RMR-DI 9 MOA dot on it (no batteries needed - always ready to go). Note that shots in the rain will never be really all that far, so that means that the rifle need not be that accurate (a 3 MOA rifle would be suitable), and the range limitations imposed by a 1X sight (and its crude adjustments) are not an issue with the rain rig; hence the dot sight that serves a couple of purposes. I have not extensively tested the RMR-DI in the rain, but initial cursory results from sprinkling water on the sight and looking through it around the house are promising. Also note that ESDs / RDSs with an internal chamber are probably out; need a holographic style of sight, or good iron sights, for this type of rig.

    So, should this be a thing? Am I reinventing the wheel and/or missing something? It's regrettable that there aren't more factory-iron-sighted options out there these days.

    I'd also like to note that your rain rig *could* be your scout rig too, if it meets the other requirements of a scout, but it doesn't necessarily have to be. This one is close but not close enough to be an actual scout (no stripper clip cutouts etc). You could make a good case that "all scouts are rain rifles, too" since scouts always have a BUIS (correct?), and therefore, in scope-off configuration, meet the rain rifle criterion. So I suppose all scouts are rain rifles, but not all rain rifles are scouts.

    Also note that, unlike a scout, there is no weight requirement of a rain rig, so it could definitely be a lever, pump, or even semi-auto... no problem there. Usually when it's raining, you're not going to walk that far in (though you could). There is also no need for a HSLD buttstomper chambering. Could even be a single shot in .357 mag or max, or similar.

    049.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
  2. Salmoneye

    Salmoneye Member

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    I always considered a lever action with peep sight to be a good foul weather rig...I hunt thick stuff, and do not need long range capabilities, so I removed all of my optics years ago...

    Stainless and synthetic stock is a plus, but not necessary if you appropriately deal with the moisture after returning from the field...

    I like your concept, but I just prefer levers over bolt actions...
     
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  3. adcoch1

    adcoch1 Member

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    I also hunt in the rain since its always raining here in the fall, and I commonly use rifles (or handguns) with iron sights. A red dot is also a great idea if it can handle getting wet.. I really don't think a scope is best for these situations, that's why I have so few scopes. I really like ghost ring iron sights, since a small peep can get a drop stuck in it and be worthless. Great looking rig you have there, I may set up my 35 whelen Savage 110 the same way...
     
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  4. DannyLandrum

    DannyLandrum Member

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    A lever is definitely an option.... something like the 1895 SBL with the irons meets the requirements, with the stainless steel and laminated wood stock.
     
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  5. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Looks good, what caliber are you running?

    One of my personal hangups is relying on optics without backup irons, so I would probably fit that with a railed bridge mount and a flip up MBUS at the rear and a M1 carbine-style eared sight band at the front- but that's just me.:)
     
  6. jak67429

    jak67429 Member

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    Don't have a picture right now but my bad weather rig is my super redhawk. I carry it in a bandoleer holster inside my coat. Keeps most of the crud off of it. Still handy enough for a reasonably fast shot if needed.
     
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  7. DannyLandrum

    DannyLandrum Member

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    Hey a precision handgun with irons is a rain "rifle" too isn't it? :D I want to be ready for elk and moose, so I went .260 rem with this one. .30-30 lever was the closest thing I had to a rain rifle previously (parkerized / laminated), but water would stay underneath the stock more so than a turnbolt, and the caliber was a bit marginal for elk (arguably), so I upgraded to full-on rain rig. Sure would be funny if I like this so much due to the light weight etc that it became my go-to fair weather rifle too. Probably not, because I really like scopes for dusk and dawn, but we'll see. I don't take shots on running game, but regardless, this should be a quick snap shooter. The only big drawback of this one is related to the RMR sight - the dot washes out when *you* are in a dark canopy, and the *game* is in sunlight (very rare). It works fine in the other 3 circumstances (both you and the game in dark, both of you in the light, or you in light and game in dark).
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
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  8. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    What about a skeletonized free-floating poly stock? Then you could just blow out most of the water w/compressed air or a water- displacing lube like silicone without having to dismount the action as often?
     
  9. Peakbagger46

    Peakbagger46 Member

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    My cheap (and overly simplistic?) rain rifle is my normal hunting rifle, stainless and synthetic of course. To convert it into a "rain rifle", I put a rubber bikini style scope cover on. The cover fits tight and I don't remove it unless a shot opportunity presents itself.
     
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  10. DannyLandrum

    DannyLandrum Member

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    I understand - that's all well and good until the game high-tails it while you're taking the covers off.

    "What about a skeletonized free-floating poly stock? Then you could just blow out most of the water w/compressed air or a water- displacing lube like silicone without having to dismount the action as often?"

    Now that is an outstanding idea!
     
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  11. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Member

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    I like the concept, even if it isn't original. I am very much a form-follow-function kind of person, and I've often thought of ways to deal with different environmental hardships in shooting. For me, I think I'd design a 'rain rifle' with the following attributes:

    1) Iron sights (a rear aperture and front post would be my choice).

    2) Synthetic furniture.

    3) A cerakote finish on all exposed metal.

    4) Some sort of barrel selection that would protect the bore as well - not sure what I'd do here. Military chooses hard chrome lining, which is pretty darn good, but not the best for accuracy. I'm still trying to select the bore of my "rain rifle".
     
  12. LoonWulf

    LoonWulf Member

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    I like your rig, it's about what I use for short range pigging.
    I prefer bolt guns to any other action type tho, so obviously I like it lol.
    Only difference is I would use a scope.

    Every rifle I own is a "rain" rifle.....sometimes it's a "4 letter word rain" rifle.
    I've switched to synthetic stocks, and prefer stainless, or coated, but otherwise they are no different than my regular setups.
    I have no issue with flip up caps, as I mount the rifle I'm flipping them off by habit. Even guns that don't have them I'll still try flip them off.
    The one time I had a button fail on my occular cap, I just turned the rifle and sighted down the barrel. Shot was only about 20yds so it wasn't difficult to connect.
    Farther and I'd probably have had time to pull the cap off or open manually.
     
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  13. cheygriz

    cheygriz Member

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    For sights, I like an aperture rear, with a screw out aperture that allows you to convert it to a ghost ring.
     
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  14. DannyLandrum

    DannyLandrum Member

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    Does anyone have specific experience with how well RMRs or other similar holographic-style sights work when wet - or not? Do they ever fog up?
     
  15. LoonWulf

    LoonWulf Member

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    I've had a cheap SightMark minidot on my shotgun, and muzzleloader for a few years. It's been thru the rain more than once and worked, tho water on a lense is still water on a lense.
    l also had water fill up the aperture if a wiliams peep sight. Had to take it out and use the sight as a ghost ring.
    Friend of mine uses rainx on his trs-25 and seems to like it pretty well. Says you just shake it and the water falls off.
     
  16. Garandimal

    Garandimal Member

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    Location:
    Lee of Death Valley, ...where Tigers feed.
    Well...

    - Marine grease patches on a jag to clean the bore.
    - Car wax on hidden metal and marine grease on exposed.
    - Aperture sights, or flip-up scope covers.
    - Polyurethaned wood or synthetic stock.

    Hut the woods and swamps of Louisiana - can't complain.




    GR
     
  17. DannyLandrum

    DannyLandrum Member

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    I want to point out two things with respect to sights ... scopes can fog, of course, without any rain at all - just the cold temp outside and the warmer air inside the scope can do it - which is one reason to leave your rifle outside when you sleep before the hunt. But fogging is worse the more humid it gets, and the worst in the rain (as a separate component from the rain itself marring vision). Also, the idea of "eliminating the scope" would have been absurd 75 years ago, for the average person (what is this 'scope' you speak of, future man?). Even 30 years ago, nearly all bolt actions had iron sights too. But this day and age, with everybody scoping nearly everything, myself included, and so few rifles coming new with irons, it's worth mentioning, particularly to the young whipper snapper generation (who actually have good enough eyes to USE them!).
     
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  18. LRDGCO

    LRDGCO Member

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    A refreshingly pragmatic hypothetical thread!
    If only it were Rain Rifle for Polar Bears....

    I like the OPs spec for a rain rifle. A lever gun would do it, but not one of my classic wood and steel Marlins! Perhaps there is a role for the vile Cerakote and laminate horrors in greens and tans that Marlin has been putting out? Or, maybe the Mossberg Tactikewl 30-30 has a place ?

    But, I would prefer the OP's set up on a bolt gun, bar one change IMO. Modern glass worth spending on should not fog due to internal/external temp differences. There's still the risk of some distortion from a hot face close to cold glass I suppose, but I would argue that the setup for the Rain Rifle would be both a good 1-6 or 2-7 scope in QD mounts with an aperture sight back up or perhaps those (to me) goofy high rings that allegedly allow an iron sight look through. A Scout setup or LER scope would greatly diminish the risk of hot face/cold glass distortion.
     
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  19. DannyLandrum

    DannyLandrum Member

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    "A Scout setup or LER scope would greatly diminish the risk of hot face/cold glass distortion."

    Very good point. One other advantage of the scout I hadn't thought of. But where can you get both high-end and IER? How *much* better do high end scopes battle fogging, as compared to something in the $200-$500 range?

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    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
  20. MikeInOr

    MikeInOr Member

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    Peep sites actually focus the light (through the aperture of the peep hole) and are a huge improvement over open sights for me. The first time I used a real peep site on a Winchester lever action I was amazed at how well it worked for me. An adjustable aperture peep is a really nice addition.

    For a cold wet weather rifle my choice is a rifle with a peep site and a quick detach scope... with the scope being very rarely used. Make sure the scope is kept in a case that does not get warmth from your body. A scope that is at ambient air temperature in its case should not immediately fog when you mount it on the rifle.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
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  21. Peakbagger46

    Peakbagger46 Member

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    Has anyone tried scopes with the rainguard type coating? Do they work as advertised?
     
  22. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    My well oiled 700 BDL with its glossy blue and shiny walnut stock has hung for hours on a hook at my stand in pouring rain. I have had the rifle 30 years and have only had it out of the stock once. I found no rust.
     
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  23. Cocked & Locked
    • Contributing Member

    Cocked & Locked Member

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    Yes...The Bushnell Elite scopes work great in rain, fog, high humidity, etc.
     
  24. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    My train rifle is whatever one I decide to use that day. I just dry it really well and wipe it with Rem oil.
    I like your set up. 260 is an often overlooked cartridge.
     
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  25. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Flip caps will actually cause fogging to be worse than having the lens open but shielded from the rain. Closing the caps traps moist air in the void, with nothing to do but find its way to the lens. Equally, if your flip cap gets drops on the inner surface when open, closing the caps can “plop the drop” from the cap to the lens. Learned all of this the hard way.

    I favor stainless rifles, in general, so when I have a match or hunting dahbin the rain, I don’t pay much mind. I keep a set of dry rags, a lens pen, and a bottle of Vortex anti-fog on hand on those rainy days. The only time I lose visibility is when the rain occludes visibility, not fogging or droplets on the lenses.
     
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