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Competition shooting is all about shooting as fast as you can, but that has a downside. Namely, heat. Shooting really fast is a great way to heat up your barrel, and whether you’re using a shotgun or a rifle, that hot barrel can start to make life more than a little uncomfortable. Especially for me and my shotgun reloading method of choice, I needed something that would come between the hot barrel and my hand to keep me from burning myself. That’s where Russel Phagan’s SHTF Wrap comes in . . .


For the “load two” or “load four” shotgun reloading method, the ideal position for the shotgun to be in is upside down with the loading gate staring you in the face. The problem is that, in order to hold the gun in that position, your hand needs to be right over the now blazing hot chamber of your shotgun. There have been entire articles devoted to the subject of how not to singe your hand while using this position, mostly using the Apple-esque response of “you’re holding it wrong” to explain the burns people are getting. But the easier solution, as always, is to simply wrap it up.

I’ve seen at least one other competitor at the pro level trying to achieve the same thing, namely Ryan Muller. He grabbed a sample of heat resistant fabric, attempted to dye it black (it ended up a sort of pukey purple color) and glued it to his shotgun. It worked, but it was time-intensive to make and looked God-awful. The SHTF (Stops Heat TransFer) wrap, on the other hand, completely encircles the gun and the Velcro allows it to attach to itself, holding itself to the gun using friction instead of adhesives.

I slapped a STHF wrap on my SLP Mk. I about a day after Larry Houck showed me the light and started me on the “load two” method — a day filled with hot barrels and uncomfortable reloads. After using it in every competition since, I can’t imagine going back.


That’s not to say that it’s for shotguns only. Back when I was competing in CMP/High Power competitions with my M-16 service rifle, the black handguards would eventually get unbearably hot from being in the sun all day. And shooting didn’t make it any better. So for those with black handguards or who shoot a whole lot of ammo, it might make sense to slap one on your rifle as well.


There’s another benefit to the SHTF wrap besides the obvious palm saving qualities. Namely, it allows you to quickly find your shotgun among the many others that look almost exactly the same. The wrap comes in a number of different colors to match your gear (or you) stand out.

Specifications: “SHTF” (Stop Heat TransFer Wrap) Heat Resistant Wrap

MSRP: $20
Available Only from

Ratings (out of five stars):

Overall Rating * * * * *
Cheap, effective, and comes in a variety of colors.

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  1. Won’t that restrict the rate of cooling for the barrel?

    Couldn’t you wear gloves?

    • If you have to grab a rifle stored in a hot environment in a hurry, gloves might not be an option. The inside of my car is 160 degrees in the summer here in AZ, metal free float tubes get similarly hot. The same is true in a match environment leaving it in a rack; I don’t like wearing gloves on stages that require a pistol due to reduced dexterity.

  2. Oh man, I should have patented that…someone cut up some bathroom carpet and stuck it on the barrel…why did I not do that? I could be filthy rich right now…

      • No he means the little rugs people put on the floor in front of the sink or toilet, the type you can (and should) throw in the washer every now and then

  3. Armaflex, the black pipe insulation used in hvac applications to keep refrigerant copper from sweating, is 5 bucks for an 8 foot tube. And it comes in black at no extra charge.

  4. Thanks for the review. When I started making these they were primarily intended for metal free float tubes like the Samson EVO or Troy TRX that rapidly get too hot to hold when stored in a hot vehicle, left in the sun, or during rapid fire. I wanted to be able to grab my rifle and go without gloves and the subsequent lack of dexterity. It’s interesting seeing them used on a variety of different firearms including FALs and Sterlings. The shotgun application isn’t something I had considered myself.

  5. I guess you guys have never heard of “AGrip™”. AGrip sticks on with a special pressure sensitive adhesive and it works even better with sweaty hands. One of the advantages of AGrip is the fact you can wrap it around a heat shield and then cut holes in the AGrip where the holes are in the heat shield to promote cooling. It’s VERY important not to keep the heat in and overheat your gun because, for starters, you can get what’s called “cook-off” where the heat of the barrel is so high it causes a round in the chamber to fire off unexpectedly. Not cool.

    I’m not trying to bash the product here being reviewed… it seems like a pretty good product/idea. It would be even better made with AGrip and then with lots of little holes punched in it to promote cooling. A lot of people appreciate products like this that can simply be put on or taken off at will because of the hook & loop (Velcro, etc.) fastening system like this SHTF wrap has.

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