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Elk hunting six days in the rain

14 Nov 2014
@ 11:00 pm (GMT)

John Smith

Hello Nathan et al,
Six days in the rain while elk hunting in Washington state this year. I need
advise on how to care for my Ruger No. lA in such conditions. After three
days there was some rust in the chamber. After three more days of rain
there was more rust which I got out with a bronze bore brush, Boretech
Eliminator and Break Free CLP when I got home. The rust made it
difficult to extract an unfired round.


15 Nov 2014
@ 12:04 am (GMT)

Mike Neeson

Re: Elk hunting six days in the rain
Hi John, from personal experience with rust, prevention is the best cure. Scotchbrite (maroon) will probably be required to really get the rust gone. Inspect the bore, if the bore is clean, but you can still see little flecks on the lands, it's probably corroded too. It may need a scrub with scotchbrite, similar to the barrel breakin procedure in Nathan's book on maintenance. If you do scrub the bore, remember to be careful with the muzzle and try to keep the scrubbing to a minimum. A sloppy bore with a tight muzzle will likely shoot better. To keep rust at bay out in the field, in heavy rain, a light oil to shoot over in the bore can be applied - WD40/CRC Softseal. Apply very small amount to a patch just so you can feel it when run over your fingers. At the end of each day, take your field kit and strip the gun down and get it dry and then relube. At home before the hunt, you can strip the gun down and hand rub the action with a fine layer of grease - lanolin is great. That way if water gets past the stock the action should be fine.
In my case, the barrel was corroded, it took a lot of scrubbing with scotchbrite and polishing with Autosol paste to get it back which left me with a sloppy bore. I would have to shoot about 15 foulers before I would get about 10 good accurate shots. I had to replace the barrel. RUST IS BAD M'KAY
Good luck and let us know if we can help out anymore.
15 Nov 2014
@ 12:27 am (GMT)

Mike Neeson

Re: Elk hunting six days in the rain
Hello again John, Nathan has made a video where he talks about keeping his SMLE rust free out in the field.

It starts 15 minutes in (the previous 15 minutes is all about bedding the SMLE)
15 Nov 2014
@ 03:12 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Elk hunting six days in the rain
Hi John, see if you can find CRC SP-350 (CRC Long life) for the internal bore when in the field. There are other options within the gun industry but this is a start point. CRC SP-400 (Soft seal) can be used on outer metal.

You'll need to spray some into a small field container, let it gas off, then close the lid. Needs to be a sturdy leak proof and small container that you don't mind keeping handy when hunting. Then you will need to keep a pull through handy and oil in the mornings and evenings whether in camp or in the field. Handy is the key, otherwise it becomes yet another chore when we simply want to doss down at the end of a hard day.

The book goes into much greater detail.

It has been humid here too with winds bringing misty rain off the sea which is only 750 yards from here. The soldiers camped in the gully across from our house have had to keep re-applying light lube to their kit in an ongoing fashion. Electrical tape has come in handy too.

15 Nov 2014
@ 05:06 pm (GMT)


Re: Elk hunting six days in the rain
I too hunt a lot in the rain, in western Oregon, USA. I had a brand new blued Ruger 77 barrel that showed rust on the outside after just one day out a couple of years ago before Nathan put me onto better kit. Recently I have found the electric tape idea to be a big winner. Deer season this year was especially wet with long walks to my stand with the rifle on my shoulder. The tape kept the bore nice and dry. I also took a nasty sliding fall while attempting to take a shortcut down a ridge. The rifle and I both ended up muddy and the bore would have been packed with mud but for the tape. A simple solution to a wet and muddy problem!
15 Nov 2014
@ 05:24 pm (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: Elk hunting six days in the rain
I keep my rifles lightly oiled inside and out at all times, with actions lightly greased (moly grease) into stocks because we also hunt in all weather conditions. Although we generally have lower humidity levels than Mike has to deal with but have below zero and mountain mist/fog most trips.

I electrical tape the barrels to help stop water & debris entering the muzzle, have also tried water ballons but they tend to tare a bit.
We carry an old 35mm film canister with patches lightly sprayed with a CRC like Mike/Nathan have suggested, these can be pulled through in the field then used to wipe action and outer. I have found no ill effects with this thin film of light oil.

It still amazes me how quickly my blued rifles begin to rust where we have touched them if l forget to wipe them down at the end of each day.
17 Nov 2014
@ 02:20 am (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: Elk hunting six days in the rain
years ago when we did a lot of hunting we kept a can of CRC in wagon and rifles got a spray down at end of day if too stuffed to give proper cleaning. they were left muzzle down overnight so any in bore could drain. this worked for a week long trip to Stuart Island where rifles were subject to salt spray from the sea air and we have used this on west coast wet bush hunting.
pretty lazy for sure but it kept the dreaded red stuff at bay.
we hunt waterfowl along a local beach area and always pull shotguns out of cabinet a couple of days after cleaning and putting them away...most times we find a spot we mist the first time around no matter how hard we tried.
17 Nov 2014
@ 11:41 pm (GMT)

John Smith

Re: Elk hunting six days in the rain
Thank you all for your thoughtful answers to
my problem of hunting in the rain. It seems
that CRC will be a great help, and I will surely
use it when hunting deer and elk in Washington
state in 2015.
19 Nov 2014
@ 11:17 am (GMT)

Randal Graham

Re: Elk hunting six days in the rain
I live and hunt right now in Nova Scotia, also have humidity issues here, quite severe at times, I use a product called Renwax, or "rennisance wax", it is used primarily by museums to protect all the metalwork in collections. Works extremely well. Also good on the woodwork.
Not a lube though, I just use it externally, but it has served me very well.

Second choice is breakfree clp or froglube.
14 Dec 2014
@ 01:37 pm (GMT)

Bryan Webster

Re: Elk hunting six days in the rain
I once many years back, watched in surprise as a gunsmith on wet Vancouver Island near Nanaimo, British Columbia, poured scalding hot water into a shotgun bore that was rusted not that long before it was taken to him. After an hour or so, he used a large jag with some kind of mildly abrasive paste material and ran it up and down the entire bore for quite some time, then cleaned it all out and oiled it using a light gun oil of some sort.

Have never been too sure really why the hot water treatment first, but he said that was his way. He did a pile of them at times.
15 Dec 2014
@ 08:51 am (GMT)

Randal Graham

Re: Elk hunting six days in the rain
Oldie but a goodie...
Hot water will help break the scale and rust loose from the surface of the steel, rust and steel have differing expansion and contraction rates when heated and cooled.


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