Top 10 Kit for Wet Weather
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- Last updated: 23/03/2018
As we’ve experienced what only can be classed as a ‘deluge’ of rain in the months before and after Christmas, not forgetting downpours can happen at any time of year, I thought I’d pen a piece concerning kit aimed specifically at the UK hunters’ biggest climatic problem – rain. However, as I feel it’s of equal importance to properly look after your apparel and the kit you use while ‘out’ in the rain, what follows is a look at items of peripheral ‘protective kit’ that many airgun hunters will find very useful, both before and after, a wet weather hunting session.
Rain on scope lenses quickly blurs your sight picture, so if not taking a shot it’s wise to keep at least the front objective lens covered at all times. This almost ‘iconic’ brand of ‘flip-up’ lens covers are available in sizes to suit virtually all optics and are pretty much the industry standard when it comes to quality and ease of use. They also offer ‘push button’ spring release ‘eye-piece’ lens covers.
Manufactured using a semi-flexible rubber collar for fitting over the front or rear lens housing with a hard ‘plastic’ flip up cover attached via a strong ‘steel pin’ hinge point. They can be positioned so that the cover ‘flips’ up vertically or to the side, depending on preference. The inner friction fit hard plastic rim keeps them securely closed when you require protection from the elements.
Name: Butler Creek lens covers
Prices: SRP from £12
Contact: Edgar Brothers Ltd www.edgarbrothers.com
Some shooters integrate a laser into their hunting rig to help assess range; however, they’re of equal use in wet weather when light levels are often low, as they also help ‘train’ the eye on the quarry targeted. Manufactured from black anodised aluminium, this 5mW eye-safe laser projects a 10mm dot at 10m and has a 50m range – ideal for close to medium range shooting. Windage and elevation are adjusted by two recessed grub screws that can be locked in place when set. The kit includes a Weaver Rail mount, 25mm scope mount suitable for clearing optics with 50mm objective lenses, an integral tail switch, remote switch and the 1x CR123A battery it takes power from. The laser is available with a green or red emitter.
Name: Hawke laser kit
Price: SRP £52.99 (Green) £29.99 (Red)
Contact: Hawke Sports Optics www.hawkeoptics.com
Dexshell specialise in the manufacture of weatherproof socks, gloves and hats for a wide variety of outdoor sports and activities. The Hytherm Pro Socks are an ideal example of the type of sock suited to hunting in the harshest of conditions, being both fully waterproof, highly breathable and also having excellent insulating properties. The 3-ply build consists of an abrasion resistant nylon outer shell, a Porelle® waterproof, breathable membrane and merino wool, anti-pilling acrylic nylon inner.
Also highly recommended is the Waterproof Beanie Solo Hat. This one size fits all ‘beanie’ has an acrylic outer and uses the same high-performing Porelle® membrane, with a Micro fleece fabric inner.
Name: Dexshell socks & hat
Prices: Socks SRP £28.95 Sizes S - XL Beanie Solo Hat (Black) £18.95
Contact: Fordville Ltd www.dexshell.co.uk
As your ammo is the physical link between you and the target, it stands to reason that it needs to be protected from the elements as you move around your shoot.
Measuring 4¼-inches wide by 4¾-inches when empty, this option is made from a very hard-wearing green Nylon, with double strengthened trim.
The front bottom section that holds the pellets is lined with a smooth waterproof inner. When the Velcro fastening front section is opened, both sides articulate out to reveal a spacious ‘holding area.’ The heavier duty Nylon material used above gives the pouch strength and can be folded back and over on itself to form a generously-size belt loop.
Name: Bisley pellet pouch
Price: SRP £6.99
Contact: John Rothery (Wholesale) Co Ltd www.bisley-uk.com
Key words that apply to outdoor wear for inclement weather conditions are they need to be waterproof, breathable and windproof. Due to these beneficial properties, cleaning in normal washing powder can have disastrous results on their effectiveness. To maintain their integrity, it’s necessary to clean and in some cases ‘treat’ them with specialised solutions, designed specifically for the materials used in the build of the apparel.
Nikwax specialise in the production of high-quality cleaning and waterproofing products and by far have the most comprehensive range of various solutions and treatment agents available. Also, their products are environmentally safe, don’t use propellant gasses, are non-toxic, and are waterproof based.
Shown here are a small selection of these agents – all can be purchased in 300ml containers, either as solutions or in pump action spray cans. Most are also available in higher capacity containers. Obviously, space restricts me from detailing every single product and sizes available but the products shown are all useful to the all-weather airgun hunter, as they prolong the life and enhance the performance of outdoor wear.
Name: Nikwax cleaning & waterproofing agents
Prices from: SRP £4.75- £8.25 for any product in 300ml format
Contact: Nikwax www.nikwax.com
‘Wellies’ aren’t a popular choice amongst airgun hunters, so a boot of this calibre is the option that I prefer for when conditions are inclement. A high leg design, manufactured from full grain wax leather treated to a waterproof outer, plus they feature a Hydro Guard membrane and a very generous Thinsulate insulating liner. All metal lace retainers are treated to be fully weather-resistant and are configured as four pairs of captive eyelets, a further four pairs of open hasp type retainers plus there’s also a ‘lace guide hasp’ set on the generously padded tongue.
The rugged build of the boot includes a very thick and deep cut outer sole, also fitted with a very generous full ‘wrap around’ rubber rand configured to give extra protection at the toe and at the heel. Above this, is a ‘flex panel’ for wearer comfort. The very aggressive cleat and lug layout of the rubber composite Hyper Grip outsole gives very good traction on a variety of terrain and is easy to clean.
Name: Ridgeline Warrior EXP hunting boot
Prices: SRP £189.99 Sizes 6 - 14UK
Contact: Highland Outdoors www.highlandoutdoors.co.uk
Should the heavens really ‘open up’, you have no other option than to take shelter, and in my opinion, no matter what quality of clothing you’re wearing, it’s advisable to quickly don a pair of ‘waterproofs.’
Manufactured using a Tasion Nylon outer, with a mesh lining, both the jacket and trousers are breathable, fully waterproof, and tough yet light in weight for ease of transportation and stowage.
The jacket boasts an internal mesh pocket, two lower front pockets with zips and a weatherproof zip closure chest pocket. The zip detachable, generously sized ‘peaked’ hood has a top adjuster and elasticated draw cord. Other features include an elasticated waist cord and elasticated cuffs, with Velcro fasten down cuff adjusters. The front fastens with a double-zip plus Velcro tab secured storm flap and underarm zip fasten vents help regulate body temperature.
The pull up over-trousers design of the separate bottoms feature an elasticated waistband plus toggle adjust/lock draw cord, two side pockets with weatherproof zips, and feature cordura reinforcement at the shin and ankle area. Side zips allow easy ‘pull on’ over boots and Velcro fastening ankle straps cinch them tight to your footwear. All zips are self-sealing, plus elongated tabs enable them to be gripped easily in wet weather.
Name: Jack Pyke Technical Featherlite jacket & trousers
Prices: Jacket SRP £56 Sizes S - XXL, Trousers £36.95 Sizes S - XXXL
Contact: Jack Pyke Ltd www.jackpyke.co.uk
It goes without saying that your rifle will get wet and moisture left on metalwork only means one thing – rust! Even if rain hasn’t been forecast, I now always take two items I feel are invaluable for protecting the metalwork of my gun. These are Napier Field Patches and in my gunbag I keep a sachet of Super VP90. The former are a quick and very efficient way of protecting your gun, as each sachet contains a full-sized Super Clean patch, which is impregnated with 2ml of Napier Gun Oil, this is sufficient to completely clean and rust proof your air rifle both inside and out until you can get home to do the job more thoroughly. It also contains the next product I wouldn’t be without – VP90 – a powerful Vapour Phase Corrosion Inhibitor that ensures that any metal surface is completely rust proof. It can be placed inside a gunbag or at home in a gun cabinet but in both instances it works the same. The advanced vapour phase action deposits/bonds an invisible mono molecular coating on any exposed metal surface but leaves other materials, such as glass, plastic, wood, leather etc. totally unaffected.
Name: Napier corrosion inhibitors
Price: Field Patch (Pack of Ten) SRP £6.98. One Sachet of Super VP90 SRP £4.37
Contact: Napier of London www.napieruk.com
Seal Skinz use what they term as ‘Aqua Dynamic Design.’ The 3-layer build incorporates rip-stop fabric on the outer back of the gloves, while their patented StretchDry membrane plays a major role in their effectiveness and overall performance. I say this because not only are they completely waterproof and breathable but due to the ‘StretchDry Technology’ they’re also able to ‘stretch’, which is something ‘some’ waterproof membranes can’t do. This results in the gloves fitting very closely to your body, giving next to skin dry comfort.
Name: Seal Skinz shooting gloves with fold back trigger finger
Prices: SRP £49.95 Sizes XS - XL
Contact: Bushwear. www.bushwear.co.uk www.sealskinz.com
After being out in the rain, your rifle needs to be allowed to dry naturally then it’s good practice after wiping fully dry to apply the right cleaner and oils to protect it before storing safely.
Ideal are the RWS Gun Cleaner and RWS Gun Oil, both available in 200ml aerosol cans for ease of dispensation. The Cleaner is designed with what RWS term a ‘two-in-one’ action for all types of weapons. It not only contains safe solvents to remove fouling from your gun without degreasing it, but also leaves a micro-film layer of gun oil to help protect it from corrosion – ideal for barrels, as it contains a lubricant. RWS Gun Oil is designed to penetrate all areas of your gun, giving complete protection to all metal parts from corrosion. It contains VP90 corrosion inhibitors that ensure oil penetration to even the most inaccessible parts of your rifle. This is the one to liberally spray onto a rag, and then clean all external metalwork wiping off too much excess. An extra bonus is they’re silicone free.
Name: RWS gun cleaner & gun oil
Price: SRP £8.95 each
Contact: RUAG Ammotec UK Ltd www.ruag.co.uk
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