Mike Morton explains what to do with your gun when your arms need a rest out in the field, to keep it free of dirt
Q. I never know where to put my rifle down when I’m out in the field. How can I keep it free of dirt?
A. You’re right to want to keep your airgun as clean as possible, because dust, mud, dirt and other detritus can all interfere with the function and performance of our airguns. The easiest way to keep your rifle away from all this is to use a sling, but there are certainly times when you’ll want to put your gun down, even if it’s just to give your arms and shoulders a rest.
If you have a PCP that can take a bipod, this is a simple and easy way to support your gun off the ground, as the only contact areas will be the feet of the bipod and the toe of the butt. You may not always want to carry your rifle with a bipod fitted, if you’re stalking through woodland or long grass, for example, but you can always carry it in your backpack or jacket pocket so it’s there when it’s needed.
Another very effective way of keeping your rifle safe is to carry a shooting mat or bean bag. Bean bags in particular are usually much lighter than they look, being filled with expanded polystyrene foam. Even if you don’t intend sitting on the bag, it can still be worthwhile taking one with you – especially if it’s been raining – to keep your kit out of the slop underneath. A last resort – which costs next to nothing and is easy to carry in a pocket – is a large bin bag that you can just lay out on the ground, giving you a quick and easy platform on which to lay your prized possession to ensure some gloop-free airgun shooting.