View Full Version : Restoring the "grip" to shooting coat shoulder and elbow patches
Hoping somebody has some tips to save my shooting coat. I have a Freeland Cordura NRA shooting coat that's around 8 yrs old (wow, time flies!). The grey rubber patches have been polished, or developed a glaze that's created a real problem keeping the rifle butt in place, or keeping my right elbow from moving in rapid fire. It's funny how this problem has been creeping up on me over the last couple of years without me realizing it, affecting my position and the way I sling up, in an effort to compensate for it. The days of watching the front sight come up and right back in rapid are a distant memory. Can it be saved or is it time for a new coat?
I haven't tried this with the patches on my shooting coat, but I do know that cleaning worn golf club grips with rubbing alcohol will restore their tackiness.
Good old shooter's stick'um was invented just for this! The "usual suspects" (Champion's Choice, Champion Shooter's Supply, Sinclair's) sell it all the time!
Thanks for the suggestion. I tried the rubbing alcohol, scrubbing with a toothbrush. Definitely cleaned the area, but still no comparison in grip between the worn and un-worn areas. Appreciate the help.
Looking up and down the line and seeing coats older than myself, I knew there had to be some product out there that would do the job. I'll give it a try. Thanks.
champion shooter supply (freeland) and champions choice both sell replacement rubber for their jackets...
the css is the new gravel texture vs the old cross-hatch pattern which should not get glossy and smooth for a long time...
the cc type is the black pebble kind that is found on their coats. it is a softer more flexible material but it holds very well...
i have some of the new gray gravel (CSS) for my jacket for this fall. i will cut it about the same size, contact cement them together and then have a gal i know with an industrial sewing machine, sew the edges together so they wont start to peel apart...
ive used the position in a can this year for sitting because my shooting hand elbow just slips and slides on my jeans, fatigues, bdus work pants and bare skin (wearing shorts of course!)
Jim in Salt Lake
My son glues in, it really helps him. Even shooting an AR, since he only weighs 120 lbs. at 5'10", he gets moved around in rapid fire. And in slow fire with glue, he can stay in position and maintain his NPA. He glues both elbows and his shoulder. Get a can of cleaner, too, the glue can make a pretty good mess.
In my experience, the junk sold as cleaner isn't worth the scrap value of the can it comes in :icon_tongue:
Get some Goo-Gone or Goo-Gone Gel. Put a generous amount on a rag or cotton pad, let it soak on the glue for a couple hours, then just wipe everything off. No rubbing, no scrubbing. Eazy-peazy :)
Thanks to everyone for the input. I've ordered a can of Stick'um. Can't wait to get it . It's really pointless to shoot with the coat in it's current state. Maybe I'll see if I can get my old canvas coat back from my son and give it a try. I'm also going to see if I can find someone, locally, to replace the pads with new material from CCS, and what it would cost. At this point I'm wondering whether the use of Stick'um can be viewed as a long term solution or am I just postponing the inevitable.
...I'm wondering whether the use of Stick'um can be viewed as a long term solution...
I would say no :(
There are issues with the glue that you don't have with good rubber:
-Sticking to places or things you don't want stuck
-Build up and removal (it works best with a slight build-up but not too much)
-Getting it in or on places you don't want it (face, eyes, hair, other gear, etc)
-Sticking too well (so your mat comes with you when you stand or you can't get the rifle out of your shoulder to reload)
-Tearing the pads off your coat
Glue would just be a band-aid. The pads on your coat should do the job but they're worn out. Replace them and fix your real problem.
Just in case you didn't know there are two types of stick'um:
-"Firm Grip" a rosin-like spray or powder similar to what bowlers or baseball pitchers use - more of a non-slip or skid than sticky - until it builds up or gets wet - then it's a mess
-"Shooter's Adhesive" or "Hawkeye" a rubber cement-like spray that never dries - similar to 3M 777 but not as permanent
Thanks for the advice. I got the Stick'um I ordered. Turned out to be the "Firm Grip" type. It definitely gave some grip, but it only lasted for a short time...had to re-apply often. Anyway, it was instructive in that it showed how much grip had been lost with my worn out rubber, and also what a compromise it is trying to fix the situation with Stick'um. I contacted Champion Shooters Supply about purchasing replacement rubber and was informed that they could supply the rubber and perform the transplant as well. I sent my coat back, got it back a few weeks later. All this just weeks before Perry. No nicer people to deal with and extremely reasonable for the work performed. What a difference.
what did they charge you to re-pad your coat? i left mine with them one year after perry and i had to end up calling them to get it back...
they never charged me (even though they had the coat from august until march) but i ended up getting a brand new coat from them. i think they might have put mine in the 'sell used for cheap' pile or it got lost someplace. i was hoping it would have had the new gravel stuff on it but it was the old crosshatch pattern which is now getting slick (again)...
will definitely be getting after it this winter!
what did they charge you to re-pad your coat?
It cost $50 and shipping. A super deal especially considering it requires partial disassembly of the coat. The gravel style rubber is very aggressive.
Can't you buy "FIRM GRIP" anymore? left lovely black plotches all over your rlfle, coat, fingers, glove, mat....
I still have it on some of my rifles... Came in tubs and aerosol and was sold in ordinary sporting goods stores. Sometimes - well, USUALLY - after it built-up, it set up hard like slick asphalt, does more harm than good; other times I have seen it crystallize and disintegrate as rosin powder which kind of helps.
Everybody used it in the 60's and 70's especially the military teams. Started going out in the 80's.
"Can't you buy "FIRM GRIP" anymore? left lovely black plotches all over your rlfle, coat, fingers, glove, mat..."
I dunno about Firm Grip. I used Hawkeye position-in-a-can and Hawkeye is long gone.
Still have Hawkeye/M1A butt tracks all over my antique Freeland shooting mat. Had to repair the rubber on the mat because my right elbow stuck so hard it ripped the rubber off the mat.
Bought a can of stick-um from Champion Shooters and it did not seem not near as sticky as Hawkeye.
I worked in rubber R&D and manufacturing for 30 yrs. Most types of rubber will surface harden over time due to the effects of UV light, oxygen and ozone. As it hardens, the coefficient of friction will go down. This is an irreversible chemical reaction.
If you sanded an aged pad you could get a fresh surface but lose the molded-in texture in the process.
Getting the coat retreaded with fresh rubber is the best option.
Firm Grip is still around http://www.championshooters.com/store/home.php?cat=287
Hawkeye morphed into CenterHold Shooter's Adhesive but I can't find it in any of the usual suspects' catalogs anymore. The 3M 77 sprays are reported to be suitable substitutes.
I'll never forget one year at Blue Trail Range in Wallingford, CT., in the spring.
The surrounding buttonball trees were doing their thing, and all the guys that had their equipment (jackets) coated with that sticky crap looked like a bunch of sniper wannabees in their Gilley Suits! --Jim
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