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How does cold affect your barrel?

 
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  #1  
Old 11-25-2005, 07:44 AM
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How does cold affect your barrel?

I've noticed over the last couple of years that a rifle I had sighted in during hot humid weather(July 90 deg,90% humidity) will be off at ranges past 250 yards when shooting in 20 to 30 degree weather. Not very consistently either. Anyone else had this happen?
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Old 11-25-2005, 08:35 AM
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Re: How does cold affect your barrel?

Everyone will experience some shifting due to different weather changes. You will start to shoot lower as the temp and humidity drop. Also depending on powder, load, etc. you may be shooting slower at the muzzle in cooler temps. Drops in velocity can also change point of impact for windage also but tend not to be as much as elevation. Also do you change physical elevation by going to your hunting area? These conditions all make a difference at distance.
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Old 11-25-2005, 08:57 AM
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Re: How does cold affect your barrel?

That's what happens, it drops more. Quite a bit, really. I'm still at the same elevation, maybe 3 feet above sea level. Around here the highest point within 60 miles or so is the highway overpass. Maybe the landfill. I guess I'll have to shoot it on paper in the cold weather sometime, it just adds to the confusion to have a different set of numbers to go by.

Also meant to ask, is it the air itself creating these condiitons, or the barrel temp.? Would keeping the gun in the truck all week be better than taking it in the house at night, or putting handwarmers in the gun case while in the field help anything? Just curious.
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Old 11-25-2005, 09:35 AM
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Re: How does cold affect your barrel?

It is mainly the air that is doing it. In the cold, air is much more dense. Your initial velocity (depending on powder) could be lower as well. Barrels in general shoot worse groups in the cold also.

The benefit to leaving your gun in the truck would be that condensation will not get all over it when you bring it in the warm house. For this same reason I would not reccomend the handwarmer idea. If the gun was in the cold and then putting it in a warm gun case would form condensation on the gun.
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Old 11-25-2005, 09:55 AM
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Re: How does cold affect your barrel?

Take the gun in the house so it doesn't get stolen.

If you can keep some bullets in an inside shirt pocket where the powder will be up near body temperature then that will help on keeping up muzzle velocity. If you get the opportunity for a long range shot then just take out your cold cartridge and slip in a warm one.

For the first time in thirty something years I will miss opening day. Family obligations are just more important than chasing deer this Saturday.

Good luck to you.
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Old 11-25-2005, 10:21 AM
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Re: How does cold affect your barrel?

10-4 on the condensation deal. I'll just keep the ammo in my shirt pocket and the gun & case in the garage. I'm also going to limit my shots to 300, until I get a better handle on the cold weather ballistics. I blew the front legs off a nice deer 2 years ago, at 415 yards, and I was aiming at center of the shoulder. Had to get up and run all the way down there (coveralls/coat/boots, huffing & puffing). Don't want to make that mistake again. Sorry you can't go tomorrow buffalobob, but family does come first. Gotta do what you gotta do.
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Old 11-25-2005, 02:47 PM
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Re: How does cold affect your barrel?

i've seen a lot of guys come in to camp when it was fairly cold and have their guns shoot high.in fact i would say way more shoot high in cold weather than low.has nothing to do with the air but the stock can push up on the barrel.i always told the guys to put their gun and ammo in the freezer for 2 days,yes 2 days,then see where it will print.the added bonus with this is you get to see if the gun will even go off when it gets cold.
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