How many of us shoot during bad weather at outdoor ranges?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by AK Hunter, Feb 15, 2021.

  1. mmb617

    mmb617 Member

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    I like to get some range time at least once a week, but in the winter there were times when the weather kept me away longer. Then a new indoor range opened 2 miles from my house. Now if the weather is not to my liking I shoot indoors. I still prefer the outdoors if the weather isn't really bad and have gone to the outdoor range on days when others might not have, but it's sure nice to have an option.
     
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  2. Dunross

    Dunross Member

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    Back in the day I used to be the range master for our local club. Most weekends we'd open the range to the public, during the week the local police academy and departments used it.

    Back in March of 1993 we got a monster cold front (1993 Storm of the Century). Gotta love the media! (laughing). Anyway, I was supposed to open the range that morning. Except that we'd had tornadoes hopping and skipping all over North Florida in the night and when I got up just after dawn the wind was a steady 40mph at 40 degrees F and very damp. Floridians do not generally have gear for those kinds of wind chill values!

    As you might expect we didn't have any power that morning, an oak tree had crossed my roof in the night on its way to parts unknown, and neither did much of the rest of the area. A buddy and fellow range officer phoned to say he was heading into town for supplies and offered to pick me up on his way. I said I'd go, but we had to go to the range first to put up a sign saying we wouldn't be opening that day. He was incredulous that anyone would want to shoot in those conditions, but I said it could be the Fimbulwinter and someone was gonna want to shoot! So, we drove to the other side of town to the range out at the airport and sure enough there was a fella there waiting in his pickup truck for me to open the gate! The wind was blowing 40mph across the target lanes so I asked him how he was going to compensate for the windage! I had to get some bailing twine to literally stitch the sign to the fence because the wind ripped off my first two attempts.

    Having closed the range for the day we realized there was a gun show at Steinbrenner's Ramada in Ocala that day so we set out to go. About thirty miles more or less from Gainesville to Ocala down I-75. Remember the tornadoes? In five different places tornadoes had snapped off the big billboard signs at the ground then dropped them into the traffic lanes so everyone was having to weave around them. Finally got to Ocala only to discover a tornado had hit the hotel. It's a big L-shaped building, but the show was in a separate building inside of the L. The tornado hit the outside of the leg of the L, jumped the gun-show building, then hit the outside of the foot of the L before crossing the highway to tear up another big sign, a gas station, jumped the Interstate and tore up a bunch of pines. The gun show was intact, but there was no power so it was closed for the day.

    This is Florida so shooting in the heat is no big deal. Thunderstorms are common so we would wait them out in the covered area and hope the lightning didn't hit too close. Reasonable cold weather was not a problem, but 40mph wind across the firing lines at 40 degrees was beyond the pale!
     
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  3. pairof44sp

    pairof44sp Member

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    I just went to the range in some of the worst weather Florida has to offer. Which meant that I put on gloves.

    What I learned is that Charter revolvers will not fire with a gloved hand, but Smith and Wessons will. I can’t figure it out.
     
  4. Phydeaux642

    Phydeaux642 Member

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    I don't get to go in any weather since our wonderful Conservation Department closed the outdoor range due to this virus nonsense. Outdoors...walls between shooters...10 feet apart...yep, makes sense to me.
     
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  5. Hokkmike

    Hokkmike Member

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    At my age I don't need early mornings or bad weather. I little rain or wind is ok - but no too much. Right now I cannot even get up to my range which is at the top of a mountain. It is covered with at least two feet of snow.
     
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  6. nofendertom

    nofendertom Member

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    I don't mind shooting outside during a tornado---I just have to allow for a little more windage !
     
  7. RETG

    RETG Member

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    Not a range, and if a foot of snow is considered bad weather, than yes; today.

    And shot while standing on a 24'x24' tarp spread over a foot of snow. Tarp put down to catch the brass; and snow made sure no worries about starting a forest fire.
     
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  8. 230RN
    • Contributing Member

    230RN Read the PREAMBLE to the BOR to see why it exists.

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    True, but I think I covered that with the word "calibrated." Also, I used "drizzle" as sort of the lower end of "bad weather."

    Hey, I too have read the wind flags down range as well as dust puffs on impact.

    Terry, 230RN
     
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  9. ericuda

    ericuda Member

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    I only shoot to try loads not for fun. Have snow and 5 degrees so I out 9mm cylinder in blackhawk to try out my newer 9mm loads. Just steel for a few.
     
  10. BobABQ

    BobABQ Member

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    I don’t shoot in lousy weather anymore. I don’t feel like wasting ammo or my time.
     
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  11. bob40caliber

    bob40caliber Member

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    I shoot in the winter (which here is about 5 months) more than I do in the nice weather..
     
  12. HB

    HB Member

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    It's my favorite time to shoot. When its nice out you have to dodge bullets from all the other "enthusiasts"
     
  13. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    Here in Southern California we don't really get "bad weather", at least in comparison to most places. When it does rain (or even snow, in the local mountains) I often get the irrational itch to take a flintlock along. At an outdoor range with a cover, the smoke and the boom seem that much bigger, and the pace is so slow that you don't need to walk out to change targets much at all. And woods walking in the snow with a flintlock is just a joy. I guess the only thing that really keeps me from outdoor shooting around here is the 100+ degree days that we tend to get during the peak of summer.
     
  14. mokin

    mokin Member

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    I remember hearing a driving caution regarding falling coconuts while I was stationed at MCAS Kaneohe Bay.
     
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  15. mokin

    mokin Member

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    I got an itch to blow up a snowman a while back. We finally got enough snow to scratch that itch. Yesterday my dad and I went out to the range and, since we had the place to ourselves, I built a short snowman, put a left over pumpkin (loaded with a tannerite target) from Halloween on the top and we took turns shooting until BOOM! I'm not sure how much it counts as bad weather - it was sunny when we started but light snow when we left. I took my M-39. I figured a winter rifle for winter shooting.
     
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  16. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Bad weather won't keep me off the range, unless it is so bad that its dangerous to travel to the range. Here, that basically means during a hurricane.
     
  17. 22250Rem

    22250Rem Member

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    I shoot year round on my club's range. Both the rifle and pistol ranges have covered firing points available so rain won't usually stop me. Sometimes it's nice to practice offhand in inclement weather which is what deer season usually is here in the frozen north so it's actually useful. I still occasionally test velocity and bullet drop at 200 yards with the same load at very cold winter temps versus very hot summer heat just out of curiosity. Winter weekday mornings I usually have the whole place to myself and summer weekdays occasionally one other guy may show up. Here's a shot of the range on a frigid morning last Jan. when I first showed up. - IMG_0059.JPG ...versus about 9 A.M. on an early September morning in 2019..- IMG_8184.JPG ...When it's real cold I bring a thermos of coffee and hop in the truck occasionally to thaw out my frozen trigger finger. Love the benches for accuracy testing & chronographing but offhand practice in the cold can't be beat because there's not that many steady rests in the woods when I need one and I can't recall ever harvesting a deer when it was warm out.
     
  18. Meeks36

    Meeks36 Member

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    We meaning my kids and I practice in the backyard in good and crappy weather. Cant choose when you have to defend yourself so. Practice in good and bad weather.
     
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  19. BlueHeelerFl

    BlueHeelerFl Member

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    I would not travel to a range in the middle of a snow or thunderstorm.

    When I lived in PA I would go to my local outdoor range during the winter. Very few people at the range those days which was nice since they would cater to tourists from NYC and Philly that would rent guns. I would also get some dusk/night shooting practice in before they would close
     
  20. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    I don't know... is 112 degrees *bad weather*?:evil:

    As far as rain at any temperature - aside from hunting - I keep my guns out of it. Just don't care to attend to the maintenance and in Arizona, clear weather's only ever 2-3 days away.

    Snow and cold up Apache County never slows me down. I don't note ambient cold unless it gets on towards needing to plug the vehicles in or wind-chills in the +teens. Too, in cold weather we usually shoot in one of a couple of abandoned cinder pits. Between being out of the wind, the red cinders and a roaring fire - it can be damn fun on quite cold days.

    So in the end, it's rain queers my play and I had plenty of that in the Army - don't need to be revisiting past miseries.;)

    I guess I no longer think of it as *training* too - so that helps my end.

    Todd.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2021
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  21. TomJ
    • Contributing Member

    TomJ Contributing Member

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    I believe it was five years ago that I and a friend fo mine joined our gun club, which is outdoors. It was new to us and we were so excited that we were the only two dopes shooting during sub zero temperatures (with the wind chill) and heavy snow that was blowing sideways. We're much smarter now and stopped doing that, but do go during bad, not not terrible weather. I'll go in 20 degree temperatures, but any colder than that and I'm most likely taking a pass.
     
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  22. George P

    George P Member

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    Was 45-50 today at noon on the 5-stand and a gentle zephyr made it a tad chillier and the targets more erratic, but the sun was finally shining for the first time in several days.
     
  23. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    Uncle Sam "suggested" I participate in some poor weather range work back in the day...
     
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  24. AK103K

    AK103K member

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    I shoot a couple of times a week, year-round. I dont normally shoot in the pouring rain, or heavy snow, but if it starts doing something while Im shooting, I usually finish out what I was doing. You wont melt. :)

    Ive worked outdoors, pretty much year-round my whole life, so its really no different than work, but usually a lot more fun. :)

    This was earlier this year at the first measurable snow here. Unless we have a good "crusty" snow, I tend to shoot more revolver than auto when theres snow on the ground. Brass recovery is about impossible if the snow doesnt have a crust (at least until the snow melts off, and as long as someone else doesn't scarf it up).

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    Luckily, snow comes and goes here, so we usually arent socked in. One week we get 15", two weeks later, it warms up and rains like hell and its gone. :)
     
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  25. Howland937

    Howland937 Member

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    I've always figured if I have to get out and go to work no matter the weather, I'm not going to let weather keep me from doing things I want to do.

    But it's single digit temps with light wind, and about 10-12 inches of snow on the ground. So I don't want to go out shooting.

    I've had some really good hunts here in fresh snow and light rain both. I did lose the first deer I ever arrowed hunting in the rain when I was about 14. Dad had always said if I shot a deer, don't pressure it. The half hour I waited was enough to wash away the blood trail after the first 30 yards or so.
     
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