After a long drought, it finally began to rain. Being a Civil War reenactor, I wanted to go out as much as possible. That is when the problem presented - How do I keep the rain out of my barrel? Black powder is very unforgiving when it gets wet.
With rain in the bore, the musket fires the primer and then hangs ~ hangs ~ and hangs until the shooter feels good about pulling the bullet and then cleans out the corrosive "mud".
So I came up with many plans - a balloon or Saran Wrap over the muzzle, but that wasn't even close to Civil War times. I over thought it with a woven leather pouch and a tie down. And then it occurred to me that a sheepskin condom might be used.
Step 1: Items Used
Need: Sheepskin Condom, be sure it is leather
Large handle knife or a rod – roughly size of barrel
Twine, 12 inches
A hole puncher
Measurement of muzzle bore to the front sight
Leather dye or shoe polish(wax)
Wax from a candle to wax the twine
Step 2: Forming the Cover
1. Remove the sheepskin condom and wash off the lubricant with soap and warm water – do not stretch by filling it into a balloon
2. Place Condom on the knife handle, roll to a length just past the front sight
3. Turn backward and roll condom to where the bore will be
4. Twist the condom several times, make this tight
5. Roll back down the rest of the condom to the place past the font sight. You now have three layers of thin sheepskin rolled on top of each other.
6. Check all measurements, because now you may shorten or stretch the condom to fit the bore.
7. Allow the sheep leather to partially dry.
8. Lift the layers and wipe liberally with Rubber cement.
9. Allow to dry, test to be sure the leather covers the front sight.
Step 3: Complete the Camo Black and Attach to Rifle
1. Fold up the leather and punch one hole on the opposite of the front sight.
2. Tie a good square knot in this, with center of the twine. leave the ends with small knot
3. Add leather dye or wax with shoe polish for camo looks, use a heating blower to make it even, I simply did a streak of black shoe polish.
4. Wax the twine to make it easy to work with in the damp
5. Fit to the Muzzle, simply wrap the twine around the sight for rain protection
That's it! It works great for my muskets.