Rifle Wrap

I’d like to take a moment to champion a few useful supplies that don’t get as much appreciation as they deserve.

Vet Wrap

Vet wrap is a self-adhering bandaging material used in veterinarian medicine and animal first aid to bind wounds. It is strong, has superb self-adhering properties, but does not bind to other surfaces. It is somewhat breathable, though not as much as some other bandaging material. The trade-off is that with only a few layers it becomes quite good at repelling water and keeping the wound dry. It is inexpensive and is available in a multitude of colours both online and in farm supply stores.

Vet Wrap

The first and most obvious “off-label” use for vet wrap is in the medical treatment of human animals. Using it as a top layer in a wound dressing gives you a somewhat padded, water resistant top coat that is perfect for getting back to work in dirty environments without risking further contamination of an injury. My favourite combination for a laceration is an initial layer of Bactigras, followed by gauze, followed by vet wrap. Since it has some elasticity to it, you can also use vet wrap to bind sprained joints, splints, or even as a tourniquet or a gentler compression bandage for use in bite or sting incidents to slow lymphatic circulation and immobilize the wounded area.

That being said, the potential is limitless and overlaps with some of the uses of duct tape. It can be used to bind, wrap or tie items. My suspicion is that anybody who can make a duct tape wallet or shoes could just as easily do so with vet wrap. I have used white vet wrap and some strands of jute to create an improvised winter camouflage wrap for a shotgun and have also used vet wrap and some rigid foam to raise the cheek rest on a rifle stock as seen in the image above. Since it is only self-adhering, it does not damage items wrapped in it — though anything sensitive to moisture damage should likely not be wrapped for too long.

Tuck Tape

Also known as sheathing or housewrap tape, this stuff is sold for sealing the seams on housewrap, rigid insulation, vapour barrier and other home construction uses. Unlike the much celebrated duct tape, this stuff isn’t properly appreciated for its broader potential.

Tuct tape

Tuck tape is very thin, highly water resistant and really rather sticky. While it is pretty sensitive to dirty or wet surfaces when it is being applied, once it is on it is quite good at repelling that which the world has to throw at it. It has a weird sort of resistance to shear as well, where it will resist fairly hefty forces unless it is pierced, in which case it breaks quite readily.

It is primarily its resistance to water which makes it so useful. It can readily be used as a temporary patch for a water vessel or pipe. It is also good at repelling the elements, allowing you to affix things together that will be left outdoors or even laying it out with slight overlaps to create a sheet of waterproof material.

Its thinness is its other benefits. It is great for sealing up packages for shipping. You can bind something with multiple layers without adding to bulk, making it good for tight spaces.

Silicone Lubricant

Silicone lube

Everyone loves WD40. The thing is, WD40 isn’t really a lubricant. It is meant to displace water and can help unseize seized items, but beyond a slight waxy residue, it doesn’t leave any long-term lubrication. WD40 is great at what it does, but when you actually need a lubricant — particularly a lubricant that is clean and doesn’t risk dripping like oil or grease — silicone spray lubricant comes into its own.

Door hinges are the most obvious locations to use silicone lubricant. There is some debate on the matter, but I have also found that locks can sometimes benefit from a quick blast of silicone spray. I have also used the spray on wheels and bearings or as a substitute for tapping lube when drilling through metal.

Comments are closed.