Shooting in the rain

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by The Oregonian, Jul 30, 2018.

  1. The Oregonian

    The Oregonian Well-Known Member

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    just curious what a good rain would do to 500+ shooting...if the bullet hits a good size rain drop will it deflect? Never been worried about it hunting in the south as most shots are close (200 and in)...just a question that popped into my brain today.

    Never heard anyone talk much about it so it may be a non-issue.
     
  2. Wlfdg

    Wlfdg Well-Known Member

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  3. Gwine

    Gwine Well-Known Member

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    I have no real world experience with this other than I had the same question. Did some research and found a pretty good write up with all the physics involved. The consensus was there would be no measurable change in trajectory from impacts with rain drops.
     
  4. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    The only time I've ever seen it really show any effect is with extremely high velocity small rounds like the .17 Rem, .204 Ruger, 220 swift etc.

    Until they go subsonic the bullet itself never really makes direct contact with the rain and when you have precipitation you have low barometric pressure so there is less air resistance.
     
  5. The Oregonian

    The Oregonian Well-Known Member

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    Many thanks. The range shooting area is covered so rain wouldn’t impact me there. Would actually be good to go shoot in it as temps will be lower - Tennessee heat and a 28N can make for slow shooting due to barrel heat.
     
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  6. tmmcampbell

    tmmcampbell Well-Known Member

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    I wondered the same thing. Read the same reports that rain doesn’t impact bullets. I live in Oregon too so have had chances to shoot in the rain. The only effect I have found is it is hard to see when your scope is drenched.
     
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  7. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    After a particularly nasty trip to BC, I asked the Sierra techs their thoughts. They didn't deal in absolutes, but generally operated on the thought the shock wave kept actual drops off the bullet.

    Pictures of the wave would tend to support that, but I've never seen both the rain, and wave in the same photo's.
     
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  8. Bravo 4

    Bravo 4 Well-Known Member

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    The only negative effects I’ve experienced is on the shooter himself. Wet, cold or hot & humid, limited visibility (optics & naked eye), you name it, all equal miserable.
    And keep your muzzle dry...
     
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  9. Schnyd112

    Schnyd112 Well-Known Member

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    My best score at one of our steel matches was on a rainy day. The rain makes it easier to read the wind and from what we saw really didn’t have any effect on bullet flight. All my dopes were the same from 300-850. I shot a 36/40 and think I missed 3 of the last 10.

    You do have to be careful to not get your ammo wet, that can cause pressure problems. It was discussed here before, I think the answer was it keeps the brass from sticking to the chamber so all the force is exerted back on the bolt. And liquids don’t compress so even a little water can coat the chamber.

    Like said above, rain will blow up little bullets going really fast. My dad has a 17/223 that you cant shoot in the rain, or tall grass for that matter. If that little bullet hits anything it vaporizes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2018
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  10. Target Tamers

    Target Tamers Official LRH Sponsor

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    Interesting post. I haven't particularly been shooting out in a really good downpour just for the reason it makes it hard to see and the wind we get with the rain makes it miserable, so you lose mojo fast. I would usually wait it out. It makes for a good discussion though, and it may call for a trip to the shooting range on a rainy day just to play and see for myself. Like Bravo 4 mentioned, I think it's more about how wind, environmental factors (temp and pressure) and other effects on the shooter (comfort, sight clarity, etc) could impact taking shots in the rain versus raindrops causing a change in trajectory. The stats are pretty convincing that rain alone shouldn't affect your bullet. I am curious about the small rounds tho.. thanks for the read!
     
  11. The Oregonian

    The Oregonian Well-Known Member

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    I want to shoot in it for no other reason than to give myself the confidence that rain won’t impact me. If I’m sitting in a box blind in Kansas the last thing I want to do is question the shot result. To me, confidence is huge in shooting. Timid postures and mindset lead to poor shots.
     
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  12. carl1775

    carl1775 Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't rain in KS, so no problem there. We could use some moisture, if you have any to spare. On a side note, you'd have to be a dang good shot to hit a rain drop. I do believe it is physically impossible for a bullet to impact a drop of rain, in flight.
     
  13. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    Whether the bullet physically contacts the drops or not they exert a force that affects them. The wind doesn't physically contact a supersonic bullet either but as we've all seen it exerts a great amount of force that affects the bullets flight.

    Once the bullet goes subsonic it definitely can and does make physical contact with them.

    Very small bullets running very fast show definite affects when fired in the rain, the bigger the drops and heavier the rain the more it affects them.

    I can't say that I've ever seen any measureable or noticible effect on anything larger than .223 caliber bullets but I definitely have with 17 Rem, .204 Ruger, and .220 Swift.

    With larger caliber bullets the lower barometric pressure and air density seem if anything to make them run a bit faster than they do on dry days.
     
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  14. jasent

    jasent Well-Known Member

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    I’ve had no troubles shooting in the rain except visibility. As long as you can see and keep your gear dry it’s no problem