Shooting during hot weather.

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by JoeS1044, Jun 12, 2015.

  1. JoeS1044

    JoeS1044 Well-Known Member

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    What is everyone's thoughts on shooting during the hot summer months? What all does the extreme heat really effect besides keeping the barrel warm. I am wondering how much the heat can play in the accuracy of firearms I was out shooting the other day and my guns I took using their hand loads usually produce really nice groups instead no matter how I shot they would not group together. I was wondering if anyone has any tips and tricks for shooting during warm weather. I've seen match shooters shoot incredible groups in the hottest of weather and I was wondering what they might be doing that I could try. I have talked to a few people I know about this question and they were saying it was probably shooter fatigue due to the heat. Is this what you guys experience or does the heat actually do something more to my guns that I can better protect against so I can keep practicing all summer in preparation for the fall hunts!

    Thanks guys hope my post isn't to confusing or vague.
     
  2. AZShooter

    AZShooter Well-Known Member

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    I have to shoot in hot weather or I don't get to shoot as often as I like. Tucson is quite warm most of the year.

    I have several hunting rifles that had their loads developed for the conditions we will see during the cooler hunts. I don't shoot them during the hotter months.

    I have other rifles that I shoot year round to have fun and get in practice. Using powders that are insensitive to heat helps. The best I have used are Varget and IMR 8208 BR. 8208 is a newer powder and my 6BR and 308 just love that powder.

    An alternative is to make summer loads. Start low and work up for accuracy. Those bench rest guys often load for the day.
     
  3. Bbear

    Bbear Well-Known Member

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    Here in Texas its a lot like what AZShooter experiences, cooler/colder weather during the hunting season and hotter the rest of the year. IF I shoot my hunting loads in the summer, I'll usually keep them in an ice chest to at least keep the ammo at a temp closer to what it would be during hunting season. Otherwise, I work on a 'summer-time' load and a 'hunting' load.

    Though with some of the newer powders out and about, the summer-time and hunting loads are turning into the same load.

    Other than that, the effort is in cooling down the barrel. Letting 100+ degree air run through the barrel doesn't get it much closer to a 'cold' barrel shot but you can always put a damp cloth over the barrel to help cool it a bit. Just remember to wipe down the outside of the barrel with a slightly oily rag after you finish and after you've wiped/cleaned the outside of the barrel. Those finger print rust spots aren't pretty.
     
  4. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    Ross,

    +1! Quite warm is an understatement for Tucson summers! :D

    I remember those times I spent at the TR&GC from 1992-1996 while stationed at Davis-Monthan AFB. They used to have an awesome annual wildgame family luncheons before they lost the lease.

    Check out GG's #2 response on this thread >>> http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f28/powder-temperature-sensitivity-31096/

    Ed
     
  5. AZShooter

    AZShooter Well-Known Member

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    Ed,

    The Tucson Rod and Gun Club has been shut down for well over a decade. That is what we got for having it on Forest Service land. Regional directors come and go each with their agendas. Yep the wild game banquet was something.

    The link with GG's list seems old. He left out quite a few. Hodgon's extreme powders are pretty good too.
     
  6. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    Yep, that's pretty sad!

    GG's list is indeed pretty old but the 80F mark threshold he noted is something to seriously consider.

    Cheers!
     
  7. Dosh

    Dosh Well-Known Member

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    As I sit here it is 103 outside. During summer hot as hell months several of us often go north to around 7700 elevation to shoot which is near out usual hunt elevation.
     
  8. JoeS1044

    JoeS1044 Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate the responses guys thanks
     
  9. Reloder28

    Reloder28 Active Member

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    I went back & started from scratch with all of my loads once I learned about powders being temperature sensitive. I do all of my load development during the hottest days of summer. I have a barrel cooler. So, I don't have to wait more than 20 minutes between strings.
     
  10. lancetkenyon

    lancetkenyon Well-Known Member

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    I am in AZ too.

    A powder that is temperature sensitive and was developed in the winter, can have adverse effects during 100°+ days. I have a load for my .25-06 Ackley that uses RL22 that shoots amazing during the late fall/winter/early spring, but starts to get to be too hot of a load during the summer months. So I had to work up a separate load for that time of year. I mark my primers with blue or red Sharpie marker to identify which round to shoot when it is hot outside. With only one load (developed in either winter or summer), it could throw velocity off by 75-125fps. Not a big deal for 400 yards and under, but at 1000, it makes quite a difference, like 24" or more.

    On the other hand, my 6.5 SLR uses H4350, and I have seen no difference in velocity or accuracy from 30° to 105° this year so far.

    If I were to quit shooting when it was hot outside, I would only get to shoot from October to March.
     
  11. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    I'm of the same opinion as others that powder appears to play a major role in how a load performs across the temperature range/seasons. Until the introduction of the Hogdon temperature insensitive powders,, when I experienced differences in load performance between 20-85F I would tune my loads accordingly. The new Hodgdon powders that I particularly like are Retumbo, H4831sc, and Varget have given me excellent performance across the temperature range with little difference in accuracy and velocity. The older version of Varget was terrible with temperature changes and I always seemed to struggle with IMR4350 and the Reloader powders. Even with the improvements, my preference for load development is to begin after hunting season during the cold months of Jan-March and continue test through the summer, paying close attention to the typical temperatures I will be encountering for hunting or competition with a particular rifle/load.
     
  12. Reloder28

    Reloder28 Active Member

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    I hunt with either a 280 AI or 300 WSM.

    The 280 AI runs on VV N165 very accurately.
    The 300 WSM runs on Superformance very accurately.

    Both powders are specifically designed to be temp. stable.
     
  13. AZShooter

    AZShooter Well-Known Member

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    The thread is about shooting in hot weather. Phoenix's LOW for tomorrow is supposed to be 87 degrees, now that is some hot shooting. Bet it will be close to 100 by the time the ranges open.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2015
  14. lancetkenyon

    lancetkenyon Well-Known Member

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    I went on Sunday.....was set up and shooting by 5:00AM, and done by 9:00 when it hit 96°.