Weather Get Too Bad To Shoot?


November 15, 2010, 11:28 AM
I predominately shoot handguns at indoor ranges. Recently, I have acquired a Sig556 rifle and it is pretty darn nice.

The problem is my regular range only permits (expensive) frangible ammo to be used (understandably) AND only from 6-9 on Saturday night. This has made me look into shooting outdoors. I actually enjoy getting a little fresh air and can shoot at longer distances. Also, the reports don't seem as loud because I'm not in a confined space.

However, I live in Memphis Tennessee. Which means the weather is not the best for (IMHO) ENJOYABLE shooting outdoors. Basically, I have from mid-September through mid-November for great weather. (No rain and temperatures between 80-65 degrees.) The rest of the year it's extremely hot and HUMID or cold with some rain. We don't get much real snow. We get ice instead because of the humidity.

Anyway, I was wondering..... How bad does the weather have to be to keep you from enjoying a day at the range?

Don't count days when you force yourself to go for practice or risk frostbite for hunting. Just laid back days of leisurely plinking at paper.

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November 15, 2010, 11:39 AM
well i know over the summer we had MANY 90 degree days with 80-100% to say i didnt do a lot of shooting....

as for long as there isnt 4 feet of fine to shoot.

dont really enjoy rain all that much either.

November 15, 2010, 11:51 AM
However, I live in Memphis Tennessee. Which means the weather is not the best for (IMHO) ENJOYABLE shooting outdoors. Basically, I have from mid-September through mid-November for great weather. (No rain and temperatures between 80-65 degrees.) The rest of the year it's extremely hot and HUMID or cold with some rain. We don't get much real snow. We get ice instead because of the humidity.

I live in central FL- which means inland with heat and humidity, especially during the summer, that can get index factors into the 100's. We shoot sporting clays year round. We know when it is hot to start as early as possible, because when we finish in a few hours, it will be getting really warm.......You bring your water, and drink a lot of it and just realize when you go home, you'll need a shower.........

Carne Frio
November 15, 2010, 12:39 PM
I don't enjoy shooting at -20F and below.

November 15, 2010, 12:48 PM
The dominate factor in whether (excuse the pun) I get to go shooting has always been affording ammo and gas to get out into the woods. If I have both, then there isn't much that is going to keep me from shooting. I've shot in sub-zero temps (that's what gloves are for), in 100+ degree heat, torrential downpour, blizzards, and everything in between. It may not be as pleasant as a nice temperate day, but I can't afford to do much plinking any more anyways. Any time I shoot, I consider it more training that simply shooting, so I accept bad weather as a fact of life and consider it more realistic training. I do it on a regular basis, so now I know I can put rounds on target tired, wet, and cold in my winter gear. I also know I can cope with the sweat dripping down my face, focus on that front sight, and get rounds on target in summer heat after packing my M1A to the top of a mountain. Been there, done that. And since shooting is about the challenge for me, and inclement weather only increases the challenge, I do get some enjoyment from it. And finally, some people don't like shooting in bad weather, so the ranges/popular shooting areas are less congested during bad weather.

November 15, 2010, 12:54 PM
I've have shot in weather minus 30 degrees at home, in Afghanistan last year, I was on ranges with the ANP when it was between 135-140 degrees. Always, enjoy putting rounds downrange.

November 15, 2010, 12:54 PM
If I didn't shoot in bad weather, I would save a whole lot of money on ammo. The fact is that is either too cold, too wet, too hot or, too humid too darned often. This summer has been the exception, we have had the best weather ever.:evil: I only shoot at an outdoor range. While we do have covers over most of the ranges, it certainly isn't real warm in January. If the temps break 30 with sunny skies and little to no wind I am at the range in January, February etc.

November 15, 2010, 12:55 PM
I'd rather shoot in blowing snow and negative temperatures than 100 heat & 95% humidity.

I've done a lot of shooting in light sprinkling rain, but heavy rain ends it. I always try and take a video camera when I go shooting. One spring day within the last year or two, I headed out to the range and it was raining lightly when I got there, so I sat in the truck and listened to the radio, waiting for it to pass. After a while, I turned and looked up to the north, and saw a tornado running eastward. I guess it had been on the ground for a while, but I grabbed the camera and videoed it for another 10 minutes or so until it dissipated. Then I got out and busted some clays, but I kept an eye to the north. :eek:

November 15, 2010, 01:04 PM
Colorado has great weather for shooting. I live in the south western part of the state and we get a lot of sunshine. So even in winter when the sun is out it is usually O.K. to shoot. I shoot on B.L.M. land, and the roads is not always passable, so that stops me more than the weather.

November 15, 2010, 01:07 PM
I live in Idaho and only shoot outdoors. Hot in summer and cold in winter. In the summer I go in the morning or the evening to avoid the heat. In the winter, if there's not too much snow, i shoot midday to get the sun. I dress accordingly and stay home if it's raining.

November 15, 2010, 01:11 PM
I find that *I* and the limiting factor when it comes to the environment. The guns will perform under any circumstances, I on the other hand start to fade when the temp is below -10 or so....

I used to hunt with a sidelock Muzzle Loader and the weather did play a role in those days. I love the inline!

Shadow 7D
November 15, 2010, 01:24 PM
Just dress for the conditions, anything past that is all you, me I hate the heat, but like carne, when I have to start wearing arctic mittens to protect my fingers and my ears (thank Fairbanks...) get that tingling feeling under my beenie, I believe it's time to go in, or find more layers.

November 15, 2010, 01:26 PM
Speaking of which, this is the second year in a row I've opted to hunt with my M1A. It really gives you confidence in your equipment and your ability to use it when you see ice forming on your rifle--you know it is as cold and wet as you are--but it keeps functioning, and you continue to be effective with it. You also learn things shooting in less than optimum conditions--like knowing you have to constantly watch for snow, mud, foliage, and other debris getting stuck on your sight post or in your rear aperture. And that long flash suppressor on the M1A seems to collect stuff like that as well, so you have to be vigilant keeping it clean. When I am hunting by myself I stop, look, listen, do a 360 to orient myself and check my six, ect. every 50 to 60 feet. Every time I do this, I've gotten in a habit of sighting on something both to ingrain the movement as muscle memory and to confirm that I can still see through my sights. I wouldn't know to do this if I had never taken my rifle out in less than optimum conditions.

Rail Driver
November 15, 2010, 01:32 PM
I don't know about anyone else, but I grew up in Detroit, and now live in Florida... I've been from one extreme to the other when it comes to weather, and short of an active tornado or lightning storm I haven't found weather too bad to shoot in yet. Shooting in bad weather really helps build skills... Shooting when you can't see as well, when you're distracted by being pelted with rain, sleet or small hail, even just when it's very overcast and you can't see your targets as well all helps a lot in my experience.

When you NEED to shoot, the weather and situation isn't always going to cooperate.

Tim the student
November 15, 2010, 01:33 PM
I least like to shoot if it is above 85 or so, or below about 5. I really dislike the heat and humidity, but am generally ok if it is cold.

I'm ok with warmer temps if there is a breeze. In the winter, I tolerate cooler temps less if there is one.

November 15, 2010, 01:38 PM
I love shooting in different weather conditions it is just another part of the training for me. If I plan on shooting, I won't let weather keep me from doing what I love to do. Besides, it's good to practice in bitter cold with numb hands because I'll never know if one day I'll have to defend myself under those same conditions with limited movement in my hands due to the chilling cold.

November 15, 2010, 02:35 PM
The only thing that really slows me down is when the precipitation is so heavy I can't see the target any more. Usually I just move the target in closer, though. My morning ritual in the winter is often strapping on the snowshoes and tromping down a couple of feet of fresh snow in a 100M path to the target, so I can shoot prone.

November 15, 2010, 03:11 PM
I don't enjoy shooting at -20F and below.

Ditto here. Get much below -20 and it gets too troublesome to work with steel or remain still outdoors. That's also my switching point to change from regular winter clothes (fleece with a medium jacket) to cold weather clothes and insulated boots. Short of -20f thins are still pretty "normal", but then it starts getting weird. By -40f it's getting downright bizarre with LED freezing and materials behaving strangely. Then there's the deep cold below that, when the moose stand absolutely still and the trees are cracking their sap. Below a point my skin no longer seems to be able to distinguish temperatures. I like it down here in warm Anchorage!

Other than that snow is actually a lot of fun to shoot in. I ride my bike year round in the stuff.

I do draw the line at very cold, heavy rain. That's just not fun at all to go out in.

November 15, 2010, 03:33 PM
I live north of Laconia, New Hampshire and do most of my shooting outdoors. Our local range has covered shooting stations with benches. There's also an indoor pistol range, which I access 1x mo.

November 15, 2010, 03:48 PM
I live up in the far north end of Idaho, not far from MTMilitiaman and I agree we need to shoot in all weather and condition. Living up in Troy, MT shurely makes outdoor shooting that much better. It's beautiful country over there, plenty of reason to go outside to shoot.

Most of us hunt in the cold and snow, why not practice in the same weather? works for me.

November 15, 2010, 04:18 PM
My normal outdoor limits are 40 to 90 F. But I've got a 10m air pistol setup in my living room, and use it whenever the weather is inclement.

November 15, 2010, 04:34 PM
When it's really cold the wind chill factor plays a huge role.

The wind sends me scurrying for cover.

On windless days I'm game for almost any temp.

I love shooting in a snowstorm on a windless day or when it's sunny, white, and still.

THe Dove
November 15, 2010, 05:08 PM
I like to shoot when it's 110 in the shade and sweat is dripping off my nose. I hate shooting when it's 32 degrees or less. I love warm and hate cold!!!

That's just me though!!!!

The Dove

November 15, 2010, 05:10 PM
I'm pretty picky. I shoot in Northeast Wisconsin and the weather can change numerous times in one day. I try to leave my shooting for the perfect days: Good temp (60-80), little wind, if any. And definatly no rain. Also don't really shoot in the cold/snow.

My reasoning:
I shoot alot of antique/old firearms which I don't want to be exposed to water/snow/etc.
I'm only really combfortable in the conditions described. I don't like being hot, cold, or having to worry about damaging my guns while shooting.

Its personal preferance I guess, even though I'd love to shoot more than I do.

November 15, 2010, 05:33 PM
I made the mistake of shooting skeet in a light drizzle with a blued 11-87. Made the bigger mistake of not drying it completely before storing it for several months. Fast forward to me wiping a fine coat of rust off the barrel. I don't mind the cold days as long as the wind isn't blowing and there's no snow. I do mind the really cold days and the really hot ones too.

November 16, 2010, 12:03 AM
Here in Minnesota, if you don't go shooting in bad weather, you don't get to go shooting much.:neener:
I've been out in -20 degF, dress right and it's not too bad. In summer, if it's over 90 and humid, I can think of something better to do. I hate the sweat dripping off my nose.

November 16, 2010, 01:13 AM
I shoot every day. In high wind, rain, hale, snow, high and/or low temps, whatever Ohio throws at me.

November 16, 2010, 01:27 AM
How bad does the weather have to be to keep you from enjoying a day at the range?

hey bud, i feel your pain i live in knoxville tn. if my 2x4 dodge can make it to the range, i go! ive shot in the 20+ day freeze with temp below 10 and in this years hottest summer with 54+ days over 90 and several of them days over 100 with all kinds of flying critters!!!

simply put, when the trigger finger starts to itch, i got to scrach it!

November 16, 2010, 09:33 AM
Like others on here have stated, where I live we experience the whole gamut of weather conditions, sometimes all in the same day! I have gone to the range to shoot trap on days when it was 100* in the shade, and sight in my rifle when it was -10*. I don't even want to know what the chill factor was that day; at least the wind was to my back. Not necessarily the most comfortable times to go shooting but sometimes it's the only time I get to go; and besides that, you usually find you have the place all to yourself.

November 16, 2010, 11:35 AM
I also abide by the -20 rule more or less. I stay perfectly warm in my bunny boots and I actually like to spread out a poncho and lay in the snow. Plus when the river is frozen range is unlimited! The coldest I have shot was -53. My XD .45 worked flawlessly.

November 16, 2010, 02:45 PM
Memphis ... bad weather ... LOL. Seriously?

I'm from Nebraska. Last winter I shot for fun when the ambient temperature was about -10 F and the windchill was well below -30 F. Granted, we didn't stay out for hours and hours and your trigger finger gets a bit stiff, but we still had fun. In the summer, we regularly have temps and humidity levels in the 90's. I usually prefer cold weather to warm, but I'd rather shoot in warm temps than cold. I don't know about the 135 degrees or whatever it was that the guy a few posts back talked about in Afghan. but anything up to 100, I'm in.

November 16, 2010, 07:49 PM
You can always tell a non-hunter when its to cold or to hot to shoot. I to grew up hunting in florida swamps and shooting in general. Now live in the NC mountians and well go hunting or shooting if it's realy cold out if its dry, no problem . Sat stands at 5* and shot deer. Its a sport . Enjoy it. Go join a out door shooting club and you will learn the best days are the when its around freezing or the rainy days . Get under roof and enjoy.

November 16, 2010, 07:56 PM
The OP is in Memphis...I'm in Nashville. Last year I went to the range on a day with about four inches of snow. Wifey thinks...knows in her heart, that I'm a little crazy. :D

I must say, there are limits of both high and low temps that I enjoy, but I'll still go if I can find another nut to brave the day! However, If we have rain, I'll wait. If it starts raining while I'm there...well...depends on how hard. :D


lets go shooting

November 16, 2010, 08:18 PM
Yeah, I live in Memphis the winters are too bad. I laugh when people come from out of town and think 94 with 104 Heat Index at 90% humidity is an exageration. It's not.

Here we just call it June, July and August. You sweat like a pig just going to get the mail.

Typically, when buying a central A/C unit for your home around here, it is recommended that you get one that can do minimum 1 1/2 times what you need based on square footage. My experience days 2x is the real minimum if you want your house below 80 during the day. If you have a 2 story home, you better have a seperate unit for each floor. It is sweltering here. It already pushing 90 by 8:30am.

November 16, 2010, 08:41 PM
Mostly it seems to be in the mindset of the shooter. I've gone out when it was cold enough that I preloaded magazines so as to not risk sticking a bare finger on metal magazines.

Some of which also comes down to the quality of your "snivel gear" too. If your winter gloves let you feed rounds into magazines, and also keep your fingers warm, then you are ahead of the curve. (Or, if you have invested in stripper clips to take a bunch of the "fumble" out of magazine loading.) But, it's the little things, like boots that keep your feet dry. Or not relying on cotton socks. Having use-able rain gear and some way to keep range bags and cardboard ammo boxes dry.

(Most of the ranges here in Texas will shoo you off if it's a thunderstorm, as lightning hits on the customers seems to not be a covered liability.)

At the other end of the spectrum. Hydration is key. Both before and after the trip out to the range. Choosing breathable clothing, good shade, shading clothing and the like are key, too. Like not wearing shorts and open-toe shoes when you know you are going to be in a prone shooting situation (unless you have a superb shooting mat).

And, being in a hot humid climate, weapon care versus salt sweat can be more of a task than coping with sleet or snow or rain. (And each of those deserves the special attention they need, too.)

For me, around here, the limits are going to be around a Heat Index of 100 and then down to around a Wind Chill of 20-30. But, those are both extreme sorts of climate conditions, here, too. If the "jerk quotient" at the range is low enough, I can better tolerate HI of 90+; if we've not had an "ice event" then I can go out in colder conditions, too; if the jerks stay home.

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