Will the snow or rain affect my bullet?

Will the snow or rain affect my bullet?

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Thread: Will the snow or rain affect my bullet?

  1. #1
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    Will the snow or rain affect my bullet?

    Last Thanksgiving Day saw my house full of people. Most of them considered themselves to be well versed in the art of Weaponry and naturally the discussion of weapons of all sorts came up.
    One conversation of particular note and the by far the most entertaining was the one that was discussed about snow or rain.

    The question was this:

    If I am shooting outside and it is snowing, will my bullet be deflected if it hits a snow flake? Then, it morphed into rain drops.

    That discussion of highly intelligent beings went so far and so long that I wished I would have videoed it so that I could show it at future events. Many points were made, some of them even sounded plausible. Others, not so much.



    So, what do you think? Will shooting in the snow or the rain open up your groups?

    Not so concerned with the pistol, as ranges are short, but what about the long shots with the rifle?
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    It may affect the shooter, but not the projectile.
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    At handgun ranges, no. Further out, lots of things weather and temperature-related affect the flight of projectiles.
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    At typical shooting ranges, any effect would be un-measureable. Now if you're cranking out 1000-yard shots with your Glock 30, it may cause your group to spread if shooting in a torrential downpour and you could actually get an accurate comparison of rain/no-rain measurement. But it will be less than your inaccuracy.
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    For pistol, you are going to have a whole lots more to worry about than weather conditions, if you find yourself in a crunch time situation. And "not enough to worry about", is the correct answer, for pistol shooting.

    For some rifle rounds...its darn near the same answer, though I do think depending on the caliber, a heavy rain may well affect things. Saying that, I have shot deer in the rain, and they tasted mighty fine.
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    There are a lot of variables. Velocities, weights, mass, range, intensity and the like. Plain old physics. Consider two extremes:

    25 yards in a light mist with a 50 BMG with a smoking load: No effect in all likelihood.

    500 yards with a 69 grain bullet in a HEAVY hailstorm, or extremely dense hail. Yes, in all likelihood.

    Everything else is just somewhere between the extremes.

    Rain and snow........it just depends on physics and the variables.
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    Senior Member Array NightOwl76's Avatar
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    Not at self defense ranges. Even at longer ranges, you have to realize that even in relatively heavy rain the *vast* majority of space is occupied by air, not water. I seriously doubt you need to concern yourself with this at all, I bet that same rain/hail/etc. would affect your vision more than it'd affect your shot. Ie, you'd be unable to clearly see your target long before the range was sufficient to mess up the bullet's trajectory.

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    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    Last Thanksgiving Day saw my house full of people. Most of them considered themselves to be well versed in the art of Weaponry and naturally the discussion of weapons of all sorts came up.
    One conversation of particular note and the by far the most entertaining was the one that was discussed about snow or rain.

    The question was this:

    If I am shooting outside and it is snowing, will my bullet be deflected if it hits a snow flake? Then, it morphed into rain drops.

    That discussion of highly intelligent beings went so far and so long that I wished I would have videoed it so that I could show it at future events. Many points were made, some of them even sounded plausible. Others, not so much.



    So, what do you think? Will shooting in the snow or the rain open up your groups?
    No. I equate it to hitting a rabbit in my SUV doing 70 MPH, not going to change the path of the chevy....
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    VIP Member Array OutWestSystems's Avatar
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    Yes, rain and snow will effect your rifle shots, enough to even consider? No. A fly hitting a train will slow it down, but you won't be able to measure it.

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    For you novices it may not matter, but I'll do a calculation on the approximate number of raindrops it'll hit when I'm shooting the wings off a fly at 2,000 yards.

    ... and that fly walked home, Jack.

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    VIP Member Array Hodad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    At handgun ranges, no. Further out, lots of things weather and temperature-related affect the flight of projectiles.
    Yep!!
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    I agree with Glockman and Old Vet there should be no measureable effect on the projectile due to snow or rain. Having hunted in a wide variety of conditions including altitudes up to 8,500 ft in rain, sleet & snow at below zero temps when hunting mule deer in the Rockies. If I did my part the bullet went where it was supposed to go regardless of snow etc and put meat in the freezer. It definitely affects the hunter and to a certain degree the equipment especially scopes!
    Last edited by 5lima30ret; December 6th, 2013 at 02:35 PM.
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    Senior Member Array NightOwl76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHEC724 View Post
    For you novices it may not matter, but I'll do a calculation on the approximate number of raindrops it'll hit when I'm shooting the wings off a fly at 2,000 yards.

    ... and that fly walked home, Jack.

    If you don't believe me, ask Gecko45. He was there.
    Pfft, any fly that stayed out in the rain must have been drunk. Pick a harder target next time.
    WHEC724 and tcox4freedom like this.

  14. #14
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    I don't believe it would have measurable effect even on long range rifle bullets.
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    Wind will have a bigger effect than rain or snow.
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