All skill is in vain when an angel pees in the touch hole of your musket – we believe the saying goes. And rightly so.
Rifles do not fare well in the rain. You simply cannot rely on a gun to properly function under rainy weather conditions.
When it comes to the types of gun-related water problems, they range from long-term rust and failure to function, to catastrophic blowup on firing. We’ll give you an overview at 3 of the most common problems.
Like all metal things exposed to large amounts of water, your rifle will rust.
You can mitigate the damage rust did to your gun with the use of stainless and chemically coated components, and plastics – but is only solved with careful maintenance.
Every time your rifle gets exposed to condensation, rain, or large amounts of water – it should be stripped and dried with water-displacing chemicals, towels and dry air.
Failure to Function
A more immediate problem is the failure to function—due to water collecting in the firing pin channel or interfering with feeding. Clean moisture is one thing, but standing water often deposits grit or silt into the weapon, greatly increasing friction between parts.
Exposed to large amounts of water, your rifle will simply fail to function – due to water collecting in the firing pin channel, and interfering with feeding. Furthermore, be wary of standing water getting in your rifle, since it deposits grit or silt into your gun – greatly increasing friction between parts.
Actually, a bolt-action hunting rifle barrel may well burst if a high-velocity bullet hits incompressible liquid. Opening the bolt and shaking the rifle usually dislodges the water, enabling a safe shot.
Of separate concern is the failure of sights. Small aperture sights have the same capillary action problem as the small-bore barrels. Open sights seldom get waterlogged, and neither do ghost rings.
Higher-end and mid-grade scopes are entirely waterproof, though they may well rust over time. The same is true of red dot sights, lights and lasers.
So, how well does your rifle fare in the rain? Can it survive having to take cover in a water-filled ditch, or crossing a stream? How have you taken care of your rifle so far? What steps did you take to waterproof your gun?
We are sorry for berating you with questions, but we must not forget the sentence from the introductory paragraph – stating how crucial it actually is to have your gun protected from water.
Remember – All skill is in vain when an angel pees in the touch hole of your musket.