View Full Version : Shooter's climates

Bob Lee Swagger
March 10, 2008, 07:16 AM
Hey everyone, i'm new to this forum and I have a question that would influence whether or not I become a firearm owner:

I heard others mention that the climate you live in will dictate how effective your shots are to a significant degree. Basically, cold temperatures are bad, warm temperatures are good. If there is any truth to this: how much should I consider training to compensate for it and will it matter if I purchase a pistol or a rifle?

March 10, 2008, 08:48 AM
The cold is not going to affect you ability to shoot unless you let your hands get cold. But then again it has the same effect on just about anything you do. If in a SD situation, the heavy clothing the scum bag reciever of the shot might have on could be a factor if you are useing a marginal round. But you would also be wearing heavier clothing so you can conceal a larger handgun. These minor factors would not affect my decision to go armed because the fact is being unarmed in a SD situation is the worst thing.

With rifles the cold can affect you shot, but usually only to a very small degree. Not enough to make a hit a miss in 98% of situations.

Bob Lee Swagger
March 10, 2008, 08:59 AM
That's interesting: the clothing aspect didn't even enter my mind :o.

March 10, 2008, 10:25 AM
With many firearms, the weather becomes a problem when in the "rusting" department, you can say.

Take that in consideration too, because there´s nothing as painful as storing your gun for a few days and getting it bak full of big brown spots and fingerprints.

Stainless guns are more resistant, but it´s all about cleaning patience, tastes, etc.

March 10, 2008, 11:57 AM
Whatever your weather, you should practice in it (hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. excepted).
I've been out to the range 5 times in the last two months. Four of those times it was below freezing. The other time it was a "balmy" 45 and raining. I do get tired of being cold and wet but the joy of shooting makes up for it.

When I get home, I clean my guns. No big deal.

March 10, 2008, 12:05 PM
The cold can affect you in multiple ways.

First, if you don't take steps to protect your weapon, lube can get very viscous. This takes some pretty cold temps, though. This is why Marines at the Chosin Reservoir often slept with their rifles and carbines inside their jackets. Most of us don't encounter that degree of cold, thankfully.

Second, as mentioned, clothing is heavier. This can gum up hollowpoints, and prevent expansion. Multiple layers may slow rounds down somewhat, but I don't think the velocity drop (if any) is the issue here.

Third, there is the phsyiological effect of cold. Blood is shunted out of near surface capillaries and into the body's core, to keep it warm. This means that flesh wounds which might in warmer weather cause a lot of blood loss will not cause much blood loss in the cold, because the blood isn't there. Also, blood will coagulate faster in the cold, also reducing blood loss.

A good center mass or CNS hit should still work just fine, despite the cold.