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Thread: Effects on group size while shooting in the rain.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Default Effects on group size while shooting in the rain.

    I'll admit that I do very little shooting in the rain.

    Today I spent some time at the range shooting from a covered shooting area, through heavy rain, to the target. I noticed that all three rifles we were firing were shooting groups larger than they typically do. All three are .9 to 1.0 MOA rifles every other time they've been to the range. Today they were nearer to 1.5 moa all the time.

    Anybody else notice this, or were we just having a bad day?
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    Density of the rain, humidity, temperature and distance will all effect group size

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    I'm sure I will never be anywhere near a good enough shot to be able to tell any difference rain makes. In pure scientific terms, all environmental conditions (i.e. altitude/density altitude, temperature, RH, wind, etc.) will influence ballistics, but all the reading I have done seems to indicate rain has no real world tangible affect. Plenty of BR shooters report no degradation of accuracy due to rain.
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    I've done a lot of rain shooting, and yeah, there's some effect. My rule of thumb, formed only from lots of shooting and paper punctures is that the bigger/heavier the bullet, the less the effect. And of course, the lighter the bullet, the more effect. On typical "big" game including small deer with typical game calibers, it's not enough to even think about.

    But when we were shooting the 17 Remington back when it first came out, heavier rain would produce 6" groups from a rifle that otherwise was a tackdriver for ground squirrels and rock chucks. Not so good.

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    AkDoug: Are you expecting a very wet hunting season in the Talkeetna?

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    Interesting BrownBear... two of the rifles were .243 and .223

    AkDoug: Are you expecting a very wet hunting season in the Talkeetna?
    You never know. We shoot when we get a chance and yesterday was one of my rare days off.
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    All of the above is factors but one thing i left out was most of them do not really become big factors until you start reaching out past 3 to 5 hundred meter. Keeping in mind that the average weapon out of the box is a 1 moa rifle that is not saying there are not better rifles than that off of the shelf but on an average that is what you see.
    The heavier bullets will be more stable in adverse condition over a lighter bullet that is a given but itís always a trade off.

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    I told this story a couple of years ago and got called a liar.

    I once had a coyote caught in a trap that was placed in a fenceline a couple hundred yards from gramndpa's barn. I was on my way out to the barn with dad's 222 in hand to dispense of mr coyote. Half way to the barn it started to rain and by the time I got to the barn we had a full fledged downpour taking shape. I went in the barn and climbed the ladder to the hey loft as shooting him whilst leaning aginst the corner of the barn was out of the question. I opened the loft door and rolled a bale on edge to shoot off of. It was really raing....enough that mister coyote looked like he was in a dense fog. I shot at him several times with that little 222 loaded with Hornady 50 grain SX's at around 3000 fps. Mr Coyote was untouched. I sat there for maybe a half hour until the Iowa thunderstorm moved into the next county east. The rain was done and the next round fired made the defining whop sound that those bullets make when they find their mark. Montana Rifleman swore up and down and threw some numbers at me saying that it was impossible for the raindrops to hit that bullet. I talked with one of the guru's at Hornady and they agreed that those thin skinned bullets were going off before they got to the coyote.

    I know that there is a vortex that surrounds a bullet in flight and the bigger the bullet the greater the vortex and the less chance of it's flight being interupted by rain. However in the case of thin skinned varmint bullets being driven to the limit they can go off just from the friction with the air so I can't help but think that the heavier the air the better chance of them being upset midflight.

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    And I still agree with ya EKC, ainít no way the bullet or even itís vortex contacting anything in flight wouldnít have an effect on itĎs path. The bigger the bulletís mass the less effect it would have and the bigger rain drop or the more of them the larger the effect would be. Donít seem all that hard to understand ta me, curse if itís a light rain odds are real good that the bullet will miss all the rain drops.
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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    Montana Rifleman swore up and down and threw some numbers at me saying that it was impossible for the raindrops to hit that bullet.
    I can't understand how anyone can make that statement, considering the storm you were describing.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Rain will hit the bullet tip if it lies within it's path. Water is hard and will deform a soft bullet tip and affect it's accuracy.

    There isn't a wake of air traveling ahead of the bullet that will move the rain out of the way.

    Super sonic aircraft are slower than bullets and they pass their own wake making the sound we call the sonic boom. Rain drops blast the paint off the nose and leading edges of aircraft all the time.

    I'm going with, "rain will affect accuracy".

    Cheers,

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    A number of years back I read a article that a group of physics grad students had produced. They managed to calculate that a car's speed is decreased when a mosquito hits the wind shield. If a mosquito can slow down a car, then a rain drop can affect a bullet.
    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

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    Tiny bullet umbrellas ......
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    EKC, its all in the "timing" - U gotz to learn to shoot around and under them drops cowboy!
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Of course rain drops effect your group I think that's excuse number 17.
    Seriously if you are shooting at 100 yards in a moderate rain, the effect of the moon has just as much effect on bullet flight. We can't measure it and we can't avoid it (if it's raining) so just shoot. You can always use it as an excuse.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    EKC, its all in the "timing" - U gotz to learn to shoot around and under them drops cowboy!
    Yup, poor yote had to spend the last half hour of his life sitin there all miserable in the rain weighting ta die just because EKC hadnít learned to curve lead around rain drops . . . how cruel!
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshall View Post
    Rain will hit the bullet tip if it lies within it's path. Water is hard and will deform a soft bullet tip and affect it's accuracy.

    There isn't a wake of air traveling ahead of the bullet that will move the rain out of the way.

    Super sonic aircraft are slower than bullets and they pass their own wake making the sound we call the sonic boom. Rain drops blast the paint off the nose and leading edges of aircraft all the time.

    I'm going with, "rain will affect accuracy".

    Cheers,
    Good points. There are machines that cut steel like butter using a jet of water traveling about the speed of a bullet, water is dang hard and abrasive at those speeds.
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    Hmmm, so then frozen water ( hail ) enters the scenario - would it effect the traject - I say "Hail Yes"!
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    Hmmm, so then frozen water ( hail ) enters the scenario - would it effect the traject - I say "Hail Yes"!
    Long way to go for that but at least it was a fun trip.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    Good points. There are machines that cut steel like butter using a jet of water traveling about the speed of a bullet, water is dang hard and abrasive at those speeds.
    Hate to ruin the mood,but a water jet uses an abrasive in addition to water to cut steel,aluminum,granite,and lots of other products.

    Back on topic,if temperature,altitude,and humidity all affect a bullets flight path;I imagine rain could easily be thrown into the mix.After looking at all the atmospherics and variables extreme long range shooters use in their calculations,I'm surprised this isn't brought up more often.

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