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Effects of rain on light projectiles

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  #1  
Unread 02-05-2011, 04:46 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Australia
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Effects of rain on light projectiles

Im sure this has been covered not only here but in many forums over the years but I thought I would report my findings.

Today I was firing 32gn .204 projectiles at roughly 3900fps during light rain. First shot hit the target like a shot gun. Bullet exploded.
After that bullets consistently hit lower and to the direction of the wind which was clearly visible by the rain, although the wind was not bad, maybe the rain exagerated the effects onto the projectile?
I adjusted for this factor and I was back on target. Then when the rain had stopped the bullet shot the opposite to the adjustments I had made and shot high and in the opposite direction of the wind. The adjustments were reversed.
Re-adjusted and back on target.
Next it began to rain really heavy with no wind. Bullets impact shifted spot on vertically but two inchs low.

Target distance, 150yrds

Me scratches me head
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  •   #2  
    Unread 02-05-2011, 09:02 AM
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    Re: Effects of rain on light projectiles

    The rain is denser than air and has a similar effect as wind. While you are not shooting through water the entire distance you are hitting some drops. Did you ever see the Mythbuster episode where they shoot guns into the pool? If I remember correctly, all of the bullets fragged. So a thin jacketed varmint bullet that is supposed to frag did so when it impacted enough water drops. Other shots did not impact as many or drops as big and did not break up. Ballistic crap shoot. I would think it would take a very heavy rain to frag bullets though.

    The lower impact from rain with no wind makes sense, as does the rain with wind deflection. The rain is slowing the bullets down and giving then an external down force along it's path.
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    Unread 02-05-2011, 09:34 AM
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    Re: Effects of rain on light projectiles

    I can't think of anything ballistically that would cause your POI to shift like that.
    Especially at only 150yds.

    I shoot in the rain as I shoot any other time, no problems.
    Wet air is actually lower in density overall.
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    Unread 02-05-2011, 10:04 AM
    dwm dwm is offline
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    Re: Effects of rain on light projectiles

    Pretty sure I saw pictures in one of the ballistic books that showed the pressure wave in front of the bullet moving the water droplets out of the way.

    Bullet never gets wet.
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      #5  
    Unread 02-06-2011, 02:57 PM
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    Re: Effects of rain on light projectiles

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dwm View Post
    Pretty sure I saw pictures in one of the ballistic books that showed the pressure wave in front of the bullet moving the water droplets out of the way.

    Bullet never gets wet.
    + I saw the same thing, but can't remember where.
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      #6  
    Unread 02-06-2011, 04:07 PM
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    Re: Effects of rain on light projectiles

    would love to see pics of the rain and it's effect on the bullet. if you find them
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      #7  
    Unread 02-07-2011, 03:25 PM
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    Re: Effects of rain on light projectiles

    Skip,

    One thing that's already been lightly touched on here, but bears repeating; moist air is less dense than dry air. We're not talking about actual water in the air, but water vapor. In the case of rain, you also need to factor in why it's raining. It rains because there's moisture in the air, and the barometric pressure drops. Changes in barometric pressure can cause some radical shifts in impact, though I'd be surprised to see it this pronounced at only 150 meters. If there's a noticable shift in impact, that's the first factor that I'd be looking at, not the raindrops themselves.
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