protecting rifle on fly-in float?
I'm doing this for the first time and was wonder what some of you experience outdoorsmen use or do. I've heard that some take their cases as far as the charter service and then just take their rifle, i saw one person asking about the Kifaru rain cover. I understand the idea that if you can't get to a rifle what good is it. In bad weather or while actually on the river do you protect your rifle somehow, and if so, what do you use? Any insights or thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated. The old Marine in me says to put a condom on the end and be done with it!
I use a Pelican style hard case for flying on commerical airlines. A gun sock in bush planes and I use the gun sock in combination with a gun dry bag when float hunting. I haven't tried the barrel condoms while actually hunting, but I've had good luck with black electrical tape over the end of the barrel when the weather is wet. I have taken several animals now with the tape in place and it doesn't seem to affect accuracy. The tape is blown off well before the bullet exits the barrel. I haven't tested it at the range, but I have made a couple long shot with out any interferance form the tape.
WA Woody has it right on. The charters will typically allow you to store your gun case and other things at their offices. I also use the electrical tape manuever. It works great.
My other suggestion is don't bring a really nice gun on your foat trip. Expect it to get beat up. If you dump in the river, it still might get wet in the dry bag or may be lost altogether.
Keeping your gun dry
I do a lot of float hunting as well as rent equipment to a lot of float hunters. I travel with a water proof “Gun Dry Bag”. They float and keep the gear dry. As far as keeping water out of the gun when I am hunting I use the electrical tape method. Just shoot through the tape and replace it. Keeps my gear dry and ready to go!
Northwest Alaska Back Country Rentals
Your best bet in rafts, canoes and camp rentals in all of NW Alaska
If you get dropped-off in a Supercub your rifle will probably ride in the air guide's gun boot on the wing strut. Whether you take a soft case with you inside the plane or not is up to you. I don't.
I take a barrel snake, some cloth, and gun oil with me. My gun gets cared for every night, wet or not.
As for the tape on the barrel? I've done it, and I've not done it. Rain, snow, brush....I haven't noticed any advantage or disadvantage either way. The tape is usually pulled off early by trees or brush. Most times I don't bother with it anymore.
Thanks wa woody for supplying the additional links containing the equipment that you use. I wish that others would take more time providing details like you when they comment or provide advice, its much appreciated. Iv'e learned alot on this forum and would like to thank all the members that participate and that are willing to share pearls of wisdom to us new guys..
On float hunts I always carry a waterproof gun sock, whether on the rifle or rolled in my bag. Doesn't take up much space, but invaluable in rough water or rain. With air in it before you seal it, there's a bonus. It will float your rifle in case of spills. Both mine are big enough to take a soft rifle case too.
waterproof gun sock
Brown Bear, who makes the sock that you use and where did you get it. I would like to take a look at the one you are talking about.
The one with the label intact is called a Float A Gun and it's made by BearCountryAlaska. The older one is slightly different and obviously a different brand. No idea who. They are both made of the same fabric as canoe drybags and close/seal the same way. I Googled those names and didn't come up with anything, but this is a Mad Dog model did pop up. It appears to close up like mine to be waterproof. Cabelas has a version that doesn't look waterproof, even if it floats. Prices for any of them is around $30. Good buy for the service they provide.
For you guys in Alaska I got my dry bag style gun case at Boondocks in Eagle River prior to a float hunt on the 40 Mile River. Great guys and good prices, around $20 on sale. They only had green so I tie a long strip of flourescent pink surveyors tape to the case, just in case. I figure I would have a chance of seeing the bright surveyors tape if I did accidently knock the case into the drink.
For oil, rust prvention, I like Corrosion-X. I've had the best luck with it. I keep my bore dry as possible, but do check it regularly with dry patches during the hunt to make sure no rust is forming. At any sign of rust I'll use a lightly (two or three drops only) oiled patch of Break Free 1st followed by a couple dry patches. On subsequent inspections, if Break Free wasn't enough I'll use a little Corrosion-X, it's a heavier oil, followed by a couple dry patches. When hunting really wet conditions, like Prince Of Whales Island, I sometimes end up leaving some oil in the bore just to keep rust at bay. I figured there the shots would be close and accuracy wouldn't be my first priority, so I could live with some oil residue in the bore. Before anybody berates my on hydraulics due to oil in the bore, I'm talking about only a couple drops on a patch, not a wet bore.
Boondocks Sporting Goods
Eagle River Loop Road
Eagle River, AK 99577 Phone: 907-694-2229