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Does rain affect bullet flight?

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by nehalemguy, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. nehalemguy

    nehalemguy Vernonia Well-Known Member

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    Raging debate going on right now while we are waiting for a heavy shower to pass (no one wants to get wet changing targets).

    Question:
    Is a bullet's flight trajectory impacted by colliding with a raindrop as it travels toward a target.

    I think the answer is yes, but to varying degrees based on size and number of impacts.

    Others here say it makes little or no difference.

    Thoughts?

    E
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2015
  2. d2the3

    d2the3 Eugene, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I don't see how it could not impact the the bullets travel path... so my vote is yes rain has an impact!
     
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  3. Lowpower

    Lowpower Spokane Valley Member

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    New kid on the block., so Hi!

    I've shot a lot of matches in the rain and there are more than one school of thought on the subject. One has to do with generally still air and the high humidity has a tendency ease the flight of the bullet along it's path. Another is if the bullet hits a raindrop it could go anywhere. There's more but I'm kind of in the first one I mentioned. as I've never had a bullet deflect, at least that I could notice, during a match.

    Lp
     
  4. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    The answer is yes.

    Ballistic calculators take into account humidity, so certain rain has an effect.

    The next question of course, is how much is the effect?

    I would say the degree of effect depends on how much rain, but there is an effect.
     
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  5. Arleyg

    Arleyg Willamette Valley Member

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    If you use RainX and wipe down each bullet before shooting it helps cut thru the rain, and keeps the raindrops from adhering to the bullet, thus slowing it down.

    OK, I just had to be a smarta$$.

    Consider the rain just like anything else (wind) that can impact bullet flight.

    Have a great time between showers.
     
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  6. edslhead

    edslhead Vanc Gold Supporter Gold Supporter Silver Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Considering how little water it takes to stop a bullet, rain must have an impact.
     
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  7. nehalemguy

    nehalemguy Vernonia Well-Known Member

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    Yep. Saw that today.

    E
     
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  8. Greenbug

    Greenbug Bend Well-Known Member

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    You'd have to be a pretty good shot to hit a raindrop...:)
     
  9. ZA_Survivalist

    ZA_Survivalist Oregon AK's all day.

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    Whos down to test this with various calibers?!

    Various distances in heavy rain versus a dry day with various common rifle calibers.

    Sounds interesting.
    Id think it would alter a projectiles trajectory within 100-250 yards.. But past that perhaps.. Like with wind if heavy enough. But the rain flow can vary greatly.
    What would be the standardization and immediate rain gauge?
     
  10. Heywood

    Heywood Prineville Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Actually it does not. Rain never touches the bullet. There is a pressure wave in front of the bullet which pushes the rain out of its path.
    Humidity is a different issue as water vapor is a gas and is homogeneous with the air in the atmosphere.
     
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  11. Reno911

    Reno911 Hillsboro Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    +1

    I used to think that rain had an effect till I read this in a long range shooting book. Now I enjoy long range shooting in the rain. Not only does it have no affect, there are no other shooters anywhere to be seen.
     
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  12. Heywood

    Heywood Prineville Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Exactly, and you can see the bullet trace much better in a heavy rain.
     
  13. Lowpower

    Lowpower Spokane Valley Member

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    As it happens the .45-100, 550 gr bullets I use have windshield wipers on them since the bullet is going so slow. Any water the wipers miss can't stand up to that freight train and jumps outa the way.

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it! :)
     
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  14. rick benjamin

    rick benjamin USA, Or, Damascus Secure the drama Silver Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    Must be so because I found this on the internet.
     
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  15. BillM

    BillM Amity OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Everything has SOME effect--whether it is significant or even measurable is the question.
    Rain. I've seen it rain in Mississippi and Louisiana hard enough that it appeared to be solid.
    So at that extreme it's darned near shooting underwater. THAT has to do something to the bullet!
    At the other end--heavy mist, drizzle, light sprinkle ( we have a lot of names for rain here in Oregon)
    the effect on the bullet probably isn't noticeable at normal ranges.
     
  16. edslhead

    edslhead Vanc Gold Supporter Gold Supporter Silver Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Good one for Mythbusters.
     
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  17. 40calruler

    40calruler Lake Oswego Well-Known Member

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    I think I have your answer. I read this as my wife was getting ready for work so I asked her opinion on it since I really do not know and her answer resolves this. It was "well I know I move a hell of a lot faster in the rain so the bullet probably does as well". You all may not find it as amusing as me but it made me laugh so I shared.
     
  18. Reno911

    Reno911 Hillsboro Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    To add to what was already stated.

    It doesn't have a true direct affect. Ie water hitting the bullet and slowing down the bullet, since the hypersonic field of air around the bullet hits the water and forces it out of the way.

    However the rain is considered moisture, like humidity. Therefor it is harder for the cloud of air around the bullet to push out of the way than dryer air would be.

    So the answer is yes and no. However, as far as most think, the drop of water itself doesn't touch the bullet.
     
  19. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    My late Grandpa moved from Kansas to Oregon over 60 years ago and he never could get use to the abundant rainfall in the Pacific Northwest.
    His favorite saying was "Everyone in Oregon should own 10 acres, and 9 of them undercover".

    Doesn't answer the question, but it brings back fond memories of the old guy standing outside shaking his fist at the sky and cursing the rain.
     
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  20. 40calruler

    40calruler Lake Oswego Well-Known Member

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    Ok this does make more sense to me. From the few things I remember learning in science class it seems that anything including a field of air would find at least a small amount of resistance pushing through heavy rain rather than a clear sunny trajectory with no interference.
    I just made that all up but that is what makes sense to me when I put a little thought in it. Maybe it is not even noticeable in most cases but it seems it would still affect it.