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How to see vapor trails??

 
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  #15  
Old 04-27-2010, 09:32 AM
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Re: How to see vapor trails??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chas1 View Post
Roy, tell us the what and how.
What and how are pretty much explained among the posts.

I had been seeing it for a lot of years but only noticed some kind of a brief weird distortion in the field of view. I was habitually concentrating on spotting the hit in the dirt or what ever.

When shooting with my son one day he mentioned that he was seeing the entire bullet path. I thought he was nuts. After explaining it to me, and I as usual saw only the brief ripple in the field of view I watched again and kind of broadened my focus I saw the initial ripple and the subsequent bullet path.

This was on a bright sunny typical Idaho summer afternoon. Humidity is usually in the teens.

Try it in the mountains shooting through a fog/cloud and you'll find yourself doing contortions like a bowler to try to influence the bullet to the target.

Some times we get so used to seeing what we usually see that we don't see all that is there.

However, I've never seen a bullet trail from the rifle that I was shooting. Always as an observer and then not all the time.
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  #16  
Old 04-27-2010, 10:51 AM
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Re: How to see vapor trails??

Roy, that's interesting. I've seen them when it's dryer than a pop corn fart and also when there is humitity. Could it maybe have to do more with training your self to find them? Maybe sun angle may aid this.
I think I may try to make some notes related to this when I'm shooting with a spotter or spotting to try to track down what gives a guy the best odds.

Is there tracer bullets available for reloading? I would smoke one of those out across some of the canyons I shoot to try to get an idea of the air flow when shooting drops during the of season.
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  #17  
Old 04-27-2010, 05:24 PM
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Re: How to see vapor trails??

For me they are easiest to see on cloudy days or when the sun is getting low in the sky. The more you are shooting away from the sun, and the higher the humidity, the easier they are to see. Also, if you can sit on the downwind side of the shooter (and behind of course) the entire bullet path is easier to see. If the shooter is in the prone position the spotter should be sitting on a stool or something to be just above the shooter. Dial your binos, or spotting scope (lowest power), focusing on the air in between you and the target. With some practice you can get very accurate on calling impacts and corrections. One of the hardest things to get used to is not blinking at the shot. BTW, the bigger the caliber the easier they are to see also.
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  #18  
Old 04-27-2010, 06:39 PM
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Re: How to see vapor trails??

Roy, that's what I was thinking insofar as it being easier to see if your the spotter rather than the shooter as the shooter's total concentration should on sight picture ect. and by the time the round leaves the barrel and you the shooter try to transition from total concentration on sight pic to looking for vapor trail...the bullets probably already arrived at it's target....maybe not depending on shooting distance.
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  #19  
Old 04-27-2010, 07:38 PM
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Re: How to see vapor trails??

ive never seen it as a shooter due to recoil. with muzzel brakes you can spot your own hit if its not real close. thats the main advantage to having them in my opinion. on shots under 1000 the trail is fairly flat on the big magnums. beyond that things change in a hurry. on closer shots of say under 700 its like stretching a rope. it would be fairly easy to call shots on the trail. at the longer distance however it would be best to see the hit before calling the shot. to my mind and all those who hunt here, a spotter is essential. unless your talking up to 500 or so. as for seeing the actual bullet in flight. ive never done it but then ive never concentrated on that either. ive known guys who have seen them, but only on bright sunny days, and usually just a glimpse. but n.c. pa. is usually not the best place to see anything. as for compiling information on wind accross wide valleys, i would personally forget it. use a spotter and listen to what he says.
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  #20  
Old 04-27-2010, 07:50 PM
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Re: How to see vapor trails??

I build my stocks so that recoil is pretty much straight back w/no muzzle rise. I can spot every shot, that is spotable, from 200 on out. A brake is used my LRH stuff.

I have observed the vapor trail as the shooter from 900 to 1400 yards but very very infrequently.

I have enough room behind the bullet to put several feet of fluorescent sting as I really think it would be helpful to discern wind currents on a particular spot where game is known to cross but I have difficulty hitting rocks at that spot in the summer.

What kind of string would hold up to the bullet launch?????

Also, I shoot a 169.5 gr bullet in a full length 195 gr jacket and pack the bottom with enough salt to keep the meat from spoiling by the time I get to the kill site.
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  #21  
Old 04-28-2010, 05:38 PM
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Re: How to see vapor trails??

thats very good roy, i like that salt idea. we usually park a pickup at the bottom of the hill were shooting at. as you know they dont like running uphill after theyve been hit. we usually hit them juuust hard enough that they make it down to the truck. weve never had one actually fall in the truck, but were working on that.
problem is a road is not always available. that salt idea of yours might just work. that way we could just go gather them all up after the hunt is over.
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