Shaman, what is a "rain gun?"

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shaman
 
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Shaman, what is a "rain gun?"

Postby shaman » Sun Sep 27, 2009 4:10 am

I've been talking about a rain gun here.  I've been getting email from folks wanting to know what I mean, and asking if this gun or that qualifies as a rain gun.  Let me explain.

For a lot of people, there is no such thing.  They take a rifle, take it out in whatever, and when they're done, they clean it up and take it home.  Rain, snow, whatever.

My situation is a little different.  I have several nice pieces that have wood stocks.  If they get out in rain the wood is probably going to warp enough to change the point of aim.  When I see rain in the forecast, they are probably going to stay home.  I have others with synthetic stocks or stocks with detached forearms that don't have this problem.  I finally decided to designate my Rem 7600 in 35 Whelen as my "rain gun."

What makes the 7600 so special?  For me, it was changing out the leather sling for a nylon one, and putting a coat of Turtle wax on it before season.  That's all.   Why did I pick the 7600?

1)  Being a pump, the forearm is detached.  I don't have to worry about warpage.
2)  I find that getting into the working of the rifle and getting them clean and dry is easy, and I don't have to worry about changing the point of aim while I'm doing it.
3)  It a rifle in my deer battery that really did not have a good reason for being there.  I have a rifle set up for close-in treestand work, and another for longer ranges.  I realized it wasn't going to be my #1 pick for anything during deer season.
4)  I had  previously  hunted with this rifle in some of the most extreme weather of my career--  snow, cold, rain, you name it. 
5)  It has a wood stock but the previous owner boogered it a little.  If anything DID happen to it, I'd probably spring for a Tupperware replacement.  No big deal.

That's my reason for picking a rifle and calling it my "rain gun." 

I've got a few more things to say, but I wanted to get this out there.  Angus and I are shooting the 30-30 this morning and then I'm switching to the front stuffers until the Bengals come on.

More later.
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shaman
 
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RE: Shaman, what is a "rain gun?"

Postby shaman » Sun Sep 27, 2009 7:31 am

I'm back in from the range.  Angus is printing a 2" group with the Marlin 336.  I'm printing a 2" pattern with the .54 Hawken and the new bullets.    The problem with Moose's front-stuffer is resolved.  It's back on the paper at 50 yards.

I've got several more things to say .  The thing with this "rain gun" idea is it's probably not going to work for everyone.  More and more guys are shooting all-weather deer rifles with synthetic stocks. However, I hate the idea of taking my Savage 99 or my  Winchester Mod 70 out in the elements.  The Rem 7600 doesn't seem to mind, and neither do I.

I think it's the last issue that's most important.  Part of this is practical-- you don't want a wet leather sling going back into the case with your rifle.  You don't want a wood stock warping or an old oil finish ruined.  A stainless action and barrel ? A synthetic stock?  Yes, this all works toward making a good rain gun  However, most of all you ask yourself: Is this really a rifle I want out in the rain? 

I used to think my M1 Garand made the ideal rain gun.  Heck! Mine had been through WWII, one more trip in the rain wasn't going to hurt it.  Then I spent a winter going over the stock and turned it into a show piece.  All of a sudden I didn't want it out in the rain again.  It also is probably the most expensive piece in my collection now, so that right there is a good reason to only bring it out when the sun is shining.

My Mosin Nagant M44 will eventually be a good rain gun.  I lopped off an inch of stock so Angus could shoot it.  I have another stock to put on it, so I could bring it back to as-issued condition.  On the other hand, I can glue that stump back on and then spray bedliner on the wood and make an ultimate who-care's banging-around rain gun. 

The other part of this is pure laziness.  Over the course of the season, I probably hunt with 4-5 rifles, and the kids account for another 3-4 between them.  If I've got to keep going over every rifle with the Works, it's a lot of work.  On the other hand, if all I have to do is worry about 1 rifle that's going to get the brunt of the weather and all the others get babied, it makes it a LOT easier.  If I have a lever action or a semi-auto that I know is going to cost me a half-hour to an hour to tear down every time it sees a little weather, that is the rifle I'm probably leaving home. 
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nhdeerchaser
 
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RE: Shaman, what is a "rain gun?"

Postby nhdeerchaser » Sun Sep 27, 2009 1:31 pm

Excellent points made, sham!

Still looking for a gun for just that purpose.

Mike
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RE: Shaman, what is a "rain gun?"

Postby mightyfofaad » Sun Sep 27, 2009 10:41 pm

I've been talking about a rain gun here. I've been getting email from folks wanting to know what I mean, and asking if this gun or that qualifies as a rain gun.


I hear you. I have a Belgian made BAR (30-06) that is just too pretty to take out in bad weather. It's not just pretty, it will print between .50" and .75" at 100 yards and that gas operated action cuts the recoil so much, you'd think you were shooting a .243. The accuracy of that rifle is just phenomenal for an automatic and I was dumbfounded when I first started shooting it.

The trouble is, sometimes you get rained on when you don't expect it. I got caught in an unusual warm December rain once ... it rained so hard that when I removed my navy sweater, my body looked like an Easter Egg from my neck to the belly button. I've never taken that gun afield since.

I'm an old fashioned guy who always believed that a gun had to have a deep shiny "Blue" and a beautiful hard gloss wooden stock. When they first started coming out with stainless steel & synthetic stocks I couldn't believe anyone would buy anything that ugly.

Well, now I know better. When I went to buy my Weatherby for a Canadian Caribou hunt, I could have gone for a fancy well finished Weatherby, but used my head and bought my 30-378 in stainless steel with synthetic stocks. I'm tired of having a "safe" full of guns that can only be looked at or taken to the range in perfect weather.

Although I'm not crazy about the way they look, I haven't bought a pistol in anything but "stainless" in 20 years. I make sure they're all rain guns now.

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shaman
 
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RE: Shaman, what is a "rain gun?"

Postby shaman » Mon Sep 28, 2009 1:19 am

There's another conversation like this going on over at the 24HourCampfire, and I mentioned the "Whelenizer."  Somebody brought up the point of cartridge selection for the rain.   I'm not sure I hold to this, but the fellow complimented me on picking a round that would leave nothing to chance.  It's true, blood trails get hard to follow in rain.   However, I know a fellow over there that has been hunting the Pacific Northwest for years with a .223 Rem. I can't argue with his success.

I'll be honest with you all, having hunted with a 35 Whelen now since 2005, I can say that it does not really do all that much that a 30-06 would not have done on a whitetail.   Where the Whelenizer would show its stuff is probably on bigger targets and at longer ranges.  So far, most of that "extra stuff " the Whelenizer offers has been spent tearing up the dirt on the far side of the exit wound. 

Recognizing that fact, every round I shoot outside of the 30-30 WIN has been downloaded at least 5% off the MAX listed in the reloading tables.  As a rule of thumb, I take the starting load  and figure that will make a nice round for whitetail deer.

Whatever you choose for a cartridge, make it your best shot.
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mightyfofaad
 
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RE: Shaman, what is a "rain gun?"

Postby mightyfofaad » Mon Sep 28, 2009 6:31 am

Somebody brought up the point of cartridge selection for the rain. I'm not sure I hold to this, but the fellow complimented me on picking a round that would leave nothing to chance. It's true, blood trails get hard to follow in rain


Hmmm ... a rain cartridge ... one that allows for plenty of "leakage."

Well, if we take that thought out to it's most logical (ill-logical) conclusion ... we know that mushrooming takes place inside of the animal ... so we want a bullet that will make a big hole at the entrance to allow for lots of leakage ...

Hmmm ... how bout a 450 Marlin loaded with a wad cutter bullet? That oughtta make a big enough hole! [:D][:D]

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shaman
 
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RE: Shaman, what is a "rain gun?"

Postby shaman » Tue Sep 29, 2009 1:31 am

I was digging around for something else and found this:

http://blackholecoffeehouse.blogspot.com/2006/11/shaman-gets-doe.html

It's my first hunt with the 7600 in rain.

I am frankly no expert on rain.  I don't run away from it, but usually I fill the freezer out of the Kentucky Rifle Season without seeing a whole lot of it.  This year, you could see a monster load of it coming from about a week off, and I fretted all week on how to get ready for it.  I was not disappointed.

As I remember, Opening Day was supposed to start out warm with drizzle, the rain was going to hit in earnest just after sunrise and hit a peak around 1000.  After that, the wind was going to come and blow it clear, but the temperature was also going to drop 20F. 

By the way, I had a nice warm house to go to only a half-mile away.  I've encountered several days like this in the KY and OH  Modern Weapons Seasons.  My advice is this:

First, invest in one of those war surplus nylon duffle bags with the pack straps.  They're waterproof.  Take along a change of clothes for the colder part of the hunt.  Bag them in a garbage bag, and then put your wet clothes in the garbage bag for the trip out.

Second , always carry a big high-gauge garbage or leaf bag with you when a sudden shift to cold is possible.  If you get really really soaked, pull off all your clothes , cut head and arm holes in the bottom of the bag and wear it like a shirt against your skin.  It works like a vapor barrier and keeps the moisture from sucking the heat out of you.  It's an old trick I learned as a caver, and had to put it to use once on a backpacking trip that went sour.  It works.  Cavers are taught to sit under the bag with their knees drawn up and conserve heat as a last resort.  Luckily I never had to crawl into my bag, but I was in on a trip where a couple of guys got flooded in and had to go to their bags  waiting for rescue-- not pretty, but without the bags it would have been much worse.
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