Ground too cold to shoot?


Ex-MA Hole
March 20, 2005, 01:13 PM
I need help. I realize that at times I am clueless, but this on has me baffled.

I went to the range today and was told that the outdoor range is closed for the winter, and is so until the ground thaws out. I have never heard this before. I have shot outside for many winters, no one has ever said anything to me before.

Was this chap being...well, difficult...or did I miss something (else) when they handed out common sense?

Please advise, as I VERY confused.

FWIW- there are no signs saying it's closed, the Web site indicates nothing (closed or that it is "seasonal"), at the orientation nothing was ever said, and the lock to allow members out there has not been changed. I even offered to walk, so as to not get the vehicle stuck, and he repeated himself like I was an idiot.

Am I?

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March 20, 2005, 01:21 PM
Although frozen ground could potentially be a contributing factor in increased incidents of ricochets, it sounds like an excuse to take the day off to me. Our ranges are open year round and our frost line usually goes 2-3ft down. I know guys in Alberta that were talking about shooting at -20F. :eek: I think I will pass on that!

March 20, 2005, 01:24 PM
My local club has a similar rule. I believe it's concern for ricochets: if the berm is frozen, low-velocity bullets may bounce rather than dig in. The club is smack in the middle of town so they're very conscious of stray shots, even if such a high-angle richochet would be unlikely to hurt anything.

cracked butt
March 20, 2005, 05:06 PM
No such problems here. People shoot in sub zero weather. The berms at the club I shoot at are 40 feet high and downrange of the range is 90 miles of lake michigan, so there are no worries. ;)

March 20, 2005, 05:44 PM
You've GOT to be kidding!!! :what: :banghead: :fire: :rolleyes: :confused:

We shoot year round, in sub-zero weather, with every firearm available. I will show up at 0900 and shoot ConTact with a Glock .40, go shoot skeet, move to the pin range and a .22, and then finish with rifle...... and there are days when the temp never gets into double digits.

The only topic of interest is what lube will keep an auto functioning in these conditions, and safe footing for the ConTact........otherwise it's business as usual.

Don't see too much reduction in participation either :evil:

El Tejon
March 20, 2005, 06:47 PM
We shoot all year. Backstops are clay. Unsure how this would affect anything.

March 20, 2005, 06:55 PM
Cracked Butt,

Are you speaking of the military/Club range in Racine? It sounds like you are. Yes, it is a great place to shoot Many Lanes of fire. I have shot IDPA there in the summer months.

March 20, 2005, 07:12 PM
My range is the same- outdoor ranges closed in the winter due to snow/ice conditions. The indoor ranges are still open 24.7 though. I'ts a pity, I love shooting outside, not so much inside.


March 20, 2005, 09:23 PM
In the Enfield OUting Club in Enfield, NH we shoot all year round. It does get cold but snow stops bullets very well. In the spring time you pickup them up off the ground where they ended up in the snow bank never making it to the berm.

March 20, 2005, 11:23 PM
Uh.... :confused:

Maybe you should ask them for some documentation on all the people shot by ricochettes of 'harder' ground in Korea, Battle of the Bulge, and other places where people have shot guns in the cold.

I mean....uh. Where's that BS flag icon? Sounds like the guy just wanted to go home or something.

March 20, 2005, 11:44 PM
If this is a private range I would ask the officers and complain of not being informed of all the rules when I paid my dues to join.

Standing Wolf
March 21, 2005, 12:58 AM
Was this chap being...well, difficult...

The deeper the ignorance, the greater the concern for the appearnace of factuality.

cracked butt
March 21, 2005, 01:07 AM
Are you speaking of the military/Club range in Racine? It sounds like you are.

No, I shoot about 90 miles north of there in Sheboygan.

March 21, 2005, 01:07 AM
Our only problem would be during thawing time, & with so much being clay, that parked or driven cages & plodding muddy feet end up making a mess of said area, so we ask them to hold off till it dries out. Same goes for our outdoor range as it even is deeper & much longer road of clay/silt.

March 21, 2005, 01:58 PM
I've shot in -20F. No more or less ricochets than at 70F. I think he was BS'ing you. If that were the case, battlefields all over the northern part of the world would have been rife with wicked ricochets. As an aside, I learned in the Army to fire slightly towards walls I was firing along(in full-auto), to increase hit probabilities by ricochet. ;)

May 19, 2005, 12:24 AM
Hudson Fish & Game has the same rule. Then again, they have lots of what I would call over-cautious rules. Some of which they make up as they go along... :cuss:

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