Shooting in bad weather


February 24, 2003, 02:17 PM
Lets hear those bad weather stories!

I shot an IDPA match last Saturday. Tempetures were actually in the balmy twenties and thirties. However it was the thirty mile an hour wind combined with stinging hail that made it great fun. :p The wind chill was amazing. I made the mistake of jumping in to tape right before it was my turn to shoot and my hands would be too numb to feel the trigger pull!

Targets blew over non stop. Some stages that required head shots required a bit of timing as you would wait for the gust to stop blowing the cardboard heads down. When they popped up POW.

I actually had a better day than most of the shooters because I happened to have a ski mask handy. I shot the whole match looking like the guy on the cover of Rainbow Six. It was even an OD green mask. :)

It was fun to see the shooters on the COFs that required one handed shooting, if it was during one of the intermitant hail storms they would usually use their free hand to protect their faces. You won't see that technique in any shooting books.

Cool thing though. It is still fun. No matter how sucky the weather.

If you enjoyed reading about "Shooting in bad weather" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
February 24, 2003, 02:24 PM
Had steel targets fall over in the wind once.

Lots of sand in the eyes, I'll take rain over wind, thanks!

Steve Smith
February 24, 2003, 03:08 PM
You want a story? I'll give you a story.

Last year, about March I'd guess...Colorado Springs area. Reduced course Highpower match. Temp was about 33-34F, with steady rain and about 10 mph wind. Can you say hypothermia?

The first relay shot and those guys were really struggling. My buddy could barely get his rounds loaded in his rifle for single loading. Everyone was shivvering and soaked. After they finished, we went to check scores and paste targets. The targets had about 1/8" of ice on them so the pasters wouldn't stick. Had to replace the targets. Whe nI got up to shoot my standing, one of the other guys on the relay was whacking his stock with his hand. He was knocking the sheet of ice off of it. After shooting, I happened to look over my shoulder at something. When I did, a reflection on my back caught my eye...the entire back of my shooting coat was covered in ice. I decided to go to our target shed to get out of the rain and wind for a minute. When I got there, I tried to take of my gloves. They were frozen to my hands and my hands were blue. I said srew this and went and cranked my truck. Wasn't long before I had three guys in there with me trying to warm up. I told 'em to start their trucks and climb back into mine till they warmed up. Later we'd all go to a restaurant to warm up. So we left the match for the macho competitors and we when and had soup. I took my gear home on the way and laid it on the floor on towels...everything was coated in ice. Word was that everyone else at the range packed up as soon as they saw us leave!

Beat that.

February 24, 2003, 04:03 PM
April 2001:

Arrived at Powderhorn Ranch ( for 5 days of defensive training. Sunny low 60's. Got two days of training in and on the third it started to "cool" off. Temperature dropped to the mid 30's by lunch. Did a nighttime low-light shoot and I kept hearing something ticking on my muffs. It was sleet. Temp was approaching low twenties.
Awoke the following morning and shot in 6"of snow, wind howling like a banshee. Spent a good 5 hours in the cold and snow. Ear muffs quit being necessary for protecting hearing but for protection from frost bite. Last day was "Qualifying Day" Awoke to an additional foot of snow. But at least the wind stopped. My feet were wet, I was not dressed for the weather, I only had unlined leather gloves. But still shot very well. It was fun in hindsight.

July 2002

Once again at Powderhorn. Beautiful weather until one afternoon as we were shooting it started to rain. We kept shooting until the hail came. I rode in the back of the truck to the lodge to help hold gear. I and my guns got soaked.

Oct 2002

On the most recent trip to Powderhorn we had perfect weather. For the full time. A couple of small fronts but nothing severe. I left early (5:00am) and drove out in a foot of snow. Talk about good timing.

February 25, 2003, 02:50 PM
This thread made me kind of curious. You actually have "bad weather" down there south of the 60th...? :D

February 26, 2003, 05:04 PM
Warmed up to -12F, though.

I think back to a match last year in upstate NY where a couple of shooters on our squad asked if we should consider stopping due to rain.
My range bag was literally floating know, the one full of ammo.

And a couple of AWARE matches in the 'Dust Bowl'.
I'm (still) thinkin' BreakFree CLP.

pictures =

Next match March 9th. Should be healed enough from my surgery to hold a gun :what:

February 26, 2003, 06:07 PM
You Norwegians may beat us in snow, but we are a 5000 ft. elevation desert. We will take on anybody in the wind, cold, and grit department. :D

February 26, 2003, 06:13 PM
I'm there

February 28, 2003, 04:03 PM
Got the results back for that bad wind match. Good thing I brought my ski mask!

3rd overall ain't bad. Won SS-CDP. :)

Steve Smith
February 28, 2003, 05:01 PM
Larry, gotcha beat on elevation.

john l
March 1, 2003, 06:59 PM
That story that Larry told about the IDPA match he went to being a real crappy day is all true, I was with him and......

He took 3rd place overall!

good job Larry!

john l

March 1, 2003, 07:03 PM

March 3, 2003, 09:41 AM
John, good to see you here! :)

March 5, 2003, 06:48 PM
Nothing like shooting IDPA at clear creek in March.. it might snow.. it might be gusty and that kicks up sand and dust.. and then there are those occasions it sort of snows/rains mud.

My black jains always look mud splattered when we finish.

Still fun, though.

You guys have all heard about Morgan, Coinneach and I shooting up a range in Colorado Springs in a driving rain. I spent a full daycleaning and oiling all my weapons the next day. Still, we had a blast.

And who among us has NOT warmed their hands on the barrel of a shotgun during a round of trap?

Maybe I'm just too stupid to get in out of the rain.

March 10, 2003, 08:04 PM
That's about as bad as it gets for me... This was a few weeks ago in Houston, when we had a few cold and rainy days. I decided to go shoot some steel that weekend, and It started raining. Since I don't baby my glocks, I took my G34 out there (slide cutout and all) and shot steel for twenty minutes. It was kind of cool, actually, seeing rain bounce off the top of the slide, and collect on my shooting glasses. I was really close to seeing if my glock would hold up to those torture tests the company loves advertising, but I probably would've broken some range rules in the process, so I stuck to shooting steel.

Jon Coppenbarger
March 10, 2003, 10:20 PM
shot my first match back in the fall of 2001 and it was fun.
windy, rain and then turned to a sleet.
it was fun shooting highpower again.

with not alot of matches in the winter here in co. beggers can not be to picky.

in the 1 1/2 years since I started again its ranged from sleet, rain, a few snow storms, fog and over a 100.
but the worst for a mess is the summer rain storms cause with the heavy rain sometimes you can not get all your gear put away before it gets coated in mudd.

fun, fun , fun,

March 10, 2003, 11:14 PM
Wait till you see the pics from the MOUT class TI and Recon gave for the Arty guys at DCD last week. I went out to take it too (go figure) and it was snowing like a be-atch. We couldn't even police the brass. I will finish the roll on Saturday and then get it developed. The weather was unbelieveable.

March 19, 2003, 09:08 AM
Another good subject!

The worst I've done in a match was a LR prone match (600yds) with torrential rains and (what I found out later to be) pre- and all around the area- tornado winds. It was interesting, to say the least, to try to even see the targets at that distance with such rain and reading the wind proved a good challenge!

As far as practice goes, though - I make it a point to shoot in "challenging" weather conditions as much as I can. If all I ever did was shoot in perfect conditions I don't think I would be a very well-rounded (or realistic-minded) shooter.

March 20, 2003, 05:36 PM
After shooting in a snowstorm and twenty degrees in january , today at fifty and clouds seemed like cheating .


Bruce in West Oz
March 23, 2003, 07:43 AM
State titles -- 3-Positional and Field Rifle Matches (Rimfire and centrefire)

Temps: max ranged around 95 -- 100F
Wind: land wind, gusting to 35 knots before swinging 180 degrees and increasing to 45 knots
Humidity: around 75%

Last day of titles -- centrefire match.

Shooting at 100 yards. Cloud comes up -- pitch black, 8 octas

Lightning strikes from the sea, moving inland to directly overhead.

Driving rain begins -- targets at 100 yards just visible to naked eye. Temp drops 25 degrees in less than an hour.

Because it's a titles shoot, we have "backers" behind the target frames. These are steel free-standing frames with ply sheets covered in plastic -- the idea is to show bullet holes in case a shooter puts two on the target in the same hole. Each frame is about 6 foot tall by 9 feet wide. The steel legs are sandbagged -- each frame has 8 sandbags on it -- and each sandbag weighs approx. 40 lbs. So, 320 lbs of bags on each. Additionally, the legs are intertwined, so each is "linked" to the next. There's about 15 backers in all (from memory).

Last detail shooting -- wind gusts pick up to 50 knots or so. Suddenly, a miniature tornado rips across the range -- shreds targets from frames, blows plywood clean out of frames (they are torn into pieces less than a foot square and lifted to at least a hundred feet, like confetti) -- and picks up the sandbagged steel backers, lifts them at least 20 feet into the air, and blows them backwards another 50 feet up the range! :what:

Took 12 of us nearly 30 minutes to untangle the mess and get the competition underway again.

"Are we having fun yet?"



If you enjoyed reading about "Shooting in bad weather" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!