Keep Water/Snow Out of Your Rifle Barrel

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I must admit that I have missed a big game animal with a rifle. And not only was it a bull elk, it was the largest bull that I have had in my sights with a tag in my hand. But, as with most "missed shot" stories, I have an excuse. Moisture doesn't really ever bode well for hunting equipment. When moisture (either rain or snow) gets into a firearms barrel, nothing good takes place. A couple rain drops down there can change the point of impact drastically and a barrel jammed with snow after a tumble could even pose a serious threat to one's safety. I am convinced I missed that bull because I had not paid attention to all the moisture that had made its way into my barrel on my hike in that morning. But there is a way of preventing this frustrating dilemma.

You need to put something over the end of your barrel that will keep moisture out but that will pop off when the air compresses in front of the moving projectile. I have achieved this through two methods. First, I have used standard black electrical tape. Two pieces criss-crossed has done the trick in the past. However I have now moved onto a new method. In the bandages section of your local grocery store you will find latex finger bandages. They are used as a sanitary precaution for fingers with open wounds. They are essentially a very small condom for your finger. I have slipped these over the muzzles of light to heavy contour barrels as well as muzzleloaders. I find this method even more essential for blackpowder hunters because if the powder in one of these rifles gets wet, there will not be a big BOOM following the pulling of the trigger.

Use this simple trick to keep your rifle shooting straight no matter what the weather.


WesternHunter's picture


Sounds like a pretty good idea.  Actually doing this is an old soldiers trick from WWII, except they used real lambskins back then.  These newer finger tip rubbers probably fit a muzzle (of your rifle) much better.  You know there is a difference bewteen your rifle and your gun, right? One is for fighting and one is for fun.....ha ha!!  I guess if you hunt in really wet conditions (ha ha, no pun intended) this is a good idea.  Personally I've never done any of this in the field and never had a problem.  By the way, speaking of wet conditions I once knew a girl in college who had tatoo'd on her inner thigh "Slippery when wet". 

hunter25's picture

I wll have to give this one a

I wll have to give this one a try. I have always worried obout the moisture when it's been snowing or raining out but don't know if it's caused me a miss or not or just bad shooting. I tried tape once but it fell off anyway so I'm gonna try the finger bandage method. They shouldn't cost too much so I'll try a couple at the range to see if it affects accuracy before I try to hunt with them.

Thanks for the tip

groovy mike's picture

Is there any affect on accuracy?

both the bandages and teh water balloons are a great idea.

I've tried black electrical tape and although I can see no logic in it in any way affecting the accuracy of the shot, all I can say is that I missed both shots that I fired with tape over the barrel.

It seems like the air ahead of the bullet should blow teh tape and or bandage clean out of teh way before the bullet arrives.

Has anyone else tried similar methods and had good or bad affects on accuracy?


Thanks for any info,


CVC's picture what age should a what age should a dad sit down and have a talk with his son about putting condoms on his gun?

I knew about the electrical tape trick, but didn't realize they made little condoms that would fit securely on the barrel.  My pack has a built in scabbard that keeps the barrel down, but I think putting a condom on the barrel would still be good protection.

Critter done's picture

Great tip

I don't shoot black powder but I do have lots of clients that do so I will tell them.I guess it will also work well for rifles as well.

ManOfTheFall's picture

Great tip, thanks.

Great tip, thanks.

numbnutz's picture

good tips, i use black water

good tips, i use black water balloons

One of the supply mfr's makes

One of the supply mfr's makes a little black condom just for rifle barrels, about 15 or 20 to a bag, Birchwood Casey I think it is.  I just used them for the first time this year.  I like em, easier than tape to put on.  I have had them pull off getting the gun out of the case though.