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Cold equals harder to break targets??

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by woodie, Dec 16, 2007.

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  1. woodie

    woodie TS Member

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    Winter is beginning and the discussion turns to how much harder it is to break the clay. The big loads are starting to come out. Is there any scientific data to back up the claims that the targets are harder to break in the cold? This should be fun, lets hear it.
     
  2. School Teacher

    School Teacher Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about the targets becoming more difficult to break but the extra clothing is a problem to me. I wear a Pavilion shooting coat and thermal underwear. I don’t wear gloves but other shooters do. When the wind chill gets below freezing, I get a little stiff. I am OK for about and hour or so but if my back gets cold and stiff, I do not shoot well.

    I shoot mostly games and bird races in the winter. As to ammo, I use a 3 / 1 1/8/ 7 ½ on call birds and 3 ¼ / 1 ¼ / 6 for back up loads and long range shots.

    If I feel like it, I also go to STS Nitro 27’s of 1 1/8 oz of 7 ½.

    IMO, most or all shooters seem to miss more in the cold. The extra clothing is probably the main factor.
     
  3. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Air density is the enemy of tight patterns. Cold air is more dense, to the degree that I've not found any full choke performance at zero degrees F. no matter what the constriction of the barrel.

    Neil
     
  4. ec90t

    ec90t Guest

    'teach,

    I agree! The extra clothing seems to be a problem, and the fact that it's just damn cold!

    I'd just be happy with the temps to be at freezing. I shoot mainly at night, and it cools off pretty quick this time of the year.

    ec90t
     
  5. pendennis

    pendennis Well-Known Member

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    Saturday, it was 28 degrees, slight wind. Remington Gun Club, #8's, Remington 90T, 34", full choke.

    No inkballs, even when centered; large chunks when broken.

    I wear two layers beneath a Cabela's Dry-Plus shooting coat. No binding, and the coat is warm. I added a pair of Footjoy winter golf gloves. I get good feel, and they grip well without bulk. The gloves have Thinsulate lining. $20/pair at Golfsmith stores.

    Best,
    Dennis
     
  6. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    The targets are brittle in cold weather, thus easier to fragment. HMB
     
  7. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Jim, you beat me to it. I was going to cite all those 25's I saw on the Jackpot sheet broken from the 16-yard line; there was red up and down the paper. That kind of rules out clothing, corporeal stiffness, and all the rest. The guns apparently continue to fit, MGC shooters can "swing to the target," and it even puts doubt to the "harder targets" theory.

    My speculation is: if it really is reduced pattern density that's causing the misses, people should be using eights, not the seven-and-a-halfs everyone switches to when it's cold.

    Neil
     
  8. Hipshot 3

    Hipshot 3 TS Member

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    Ditto what hmb said......the targets should break easier in cold weather! Right?
     
  9. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    I believe several factors are involved. First, increased air density as explained by Neil. Secondly, the increased clothing must affect gun mount and thus change the way a gun fits. Next, blood flow to the arms, legs and head is reduced in cold temperatures and these body parts do not function as well with a reduced oxygen supply. Also, in the Winter, light intensity is reduced and this has to play some part in seeing targets well. When shells get cold, the velocity decreases. This decrease is substantial in many discount shells. One brand I had tested dropped from ca. 1200 ft/sec at 70 F to 800 ft/sec at -20 F. For me, it is difficult to concentrate on shooting targets when much of my mind is thinking about being cold.

    Pat Ireland
     
  10. BIGDON

    BIGDON Well-Known Member

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    Now Pat where do you do go to get to -20.

    Don
     
  11. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Don- It was very simple. I gave a box of the shells to my friends at the Alliant plant. They test all powder at 120, 70 and -20 F.

    Pat Ireland
     
  12. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    With the possible exception of certain cold and wet biodegradable targets thrown by one club, I don't buy the hard target theory. I shot my new under barrel with a fixed .022 choke yesterday. I had no problem breaking targets using 8s @ 1150fps. It was 35 and raining.
     
  13. Ron Frazier

    Ron Frazier TS Member

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    ZZT,

    35 could hardly be considered cold.
     
  14. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    They break just as well at 9 degrees. Colder than that I have no experience shooing.
     
  15. VNVET

    VNVET Member

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    I always thought that cold air was LESS dense than HOT air, but I may have it backwards. Maybe some of the Pilots on here can shed some light on this. Something about Density Altitude and the amount of lift a wing can provide at a given speed. I'm not a Pilot and that's probably a good thing.
     
  16. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    VNVET, no, cold air is more dense, but you've brought to mind a common confusion, one I hear every foggy morning I set targets. Dry air is also dense, more so than air (at the same temperature and pressure) with moisture in it. So we English-speakers are dead wrong when we refer to the "heavy" air of a midsummer Iowa evening; we should be saying "light" air.

    It comes up in the context of target setting in the following way:

    Observer: "How fast are you setting them?"

    Setter: "About 42 MPH."

    Observer: "Oh man! Driving them into this heavy air? When is fog burns off they'll be flying ten yards past the stake!"

    Setter: "Actually, the air is heavier now than it will be later in the day, so if your theory held water, which it doesn't because it doesn't make any difference anyway, I should be setting them faster, not slower.

    The reason wet air is heavier is that water molecules - at a molecular weight of 18 - have displaced some molecules of the mixture of gasses we call "air" which have an average molecular weight of about 29. All this is based on "Avogadro's number" as you understand."

    Observer, to a friend five minutes later in the parking lot: "Who's that know-it-all SOB setting targets today? He's setting them way too fast in the heavy air and they will be flying ten yards past the stake by noon!"

    Neil
     
  17. lumper

    lumper TS Member

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    Ya know without reading all the babble on this thread isn't it always kind of amazing that those that complain about how much harder it is to break targets in the cold are the same ones who complain when its warm and when ... well ... that it is always hard to break targets?
     
  18. Hipshot 3

    Hipshot 3 TS Member

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    I refuse to shoot cold targets!
     
  19. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Lumper, in this case we have a thread which is not all babble, in that it makes a prediction - eights should be better in the cold than the seven-and-a-halfs everyone uses - which might actually lead to something.

    TS.com surely is a haystack (putting it as kindly as I can) but there are occasional needles here and all you have to do is look for them.

    Neil
     
  20. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    Avogadro's number is very useful to chemists mixing reagents. Since it refers to the number of "things" in a mole, which is a dimensionless number except for the special "quantity of material" dimension assigned to it, I don't see how it applies here. Water molecules occupy more space than Nitrogen molecules (the most abundant component of air), they don't "pack" as well, and they weight less. That is why humid air is less dense than dry air.
     
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