There's No Bad Weather...

Just The Wrong Equipment?

wet guns

Who would buy a UTV that was not all-weather capable? The same applies to guns. I own a few I don’t take out in ugly weather, mostly because the manufacturers were still manufacturing according to horse and buggy thinking.

The title originated while looking at a two cycle, straight-pipe mountain wilderness pollution machine. I commented to the owner I was no longer up to the cold riding his mountain sled entailed. His response was the title. He pointed out, “With modern clothing, the cold is manageable.”

It dawned on me, his observation applies to many things. I still didn’t go for a ride with him, by the way.

After a long winter of no shooting — but not because of the cold — I finally had a chance to practice and get caught up with a few article photos. I set up, and Murphy showed up in the form of rain. Bad words followed since deadlines reared. Then, the modern equipment idea oozed out of my subconscious, that bit of my brain that actually still works. The toys I was shooting are all stainless and/or painted, not the antiquated blued and wood sure to rust and rot if you look at it wrong. So — could I still shoot in the rain and actually get something useful done? And why would I do it?

Rite In The Rain target

Rite In The Rain “Storm Sight” targets are specifically made to be used in the rain. Note our diabolically clever use of side light so you can see the water beads! Proof it works.


This group is a good example of the benefit of “indicating” targets. Ray called the flyer when it happened and realized he screwed up trigger manipulation. He also found as the targets and guns dried out everything performed just fine. It was a good test to shoot in the rain.

What Rain?

Rain makes targets fall apart. His Editorship Roy was recently being unreasonable and complaining about, as he called them, “Your worm-eaten targets.” Hence, modern adhesive backed targets of the “indicating” kind were acquired. The targets were stuck to the board before Murphy showed up. And, much to my surprise, they performed very well in the rain, much better, as a matter of fact, than my normal meat wrapping paper, marker and freezer tape targets. The targets showed the rain in the form of bubbles, but stayed on the board. The pasters coming with the targets stuck to the wet target. I could even change targets in the rain as long as I peeled the old one off and put the new target on the dry spot promptly.

I had previously judged “indicating” targets to be silly. I maintained walking to the target is healthy, and the fancy targets are expensive. The healthy bit holds, but knowing where each round goes as you’re shooting is a very good skill building assist. They’re also not that expensive. I normally do my main practice at 25 yards off-hand. If you can hit at 25, closer becomes very easy. Practice is always more beneficial if you call your shots as you shoot each round. Even at 25 yards, I could see holes appear. Roy was right, damn him.

Also, stainless steel and modern paint speaks for itself. What is not obvious are smaller things like grips. The SIG P220 has Hogue rubber grips. The Taurus M66 has factory rubber of some kind. SIG does make good stuff but the plastic grips coming standard on the P220 are very slippery when wet. So I found out. Spend the time and cash to find the right grips, or in the case of plastic guns, grip enhancements. I like tape or texturing. Correct grip fit and feel will significantly help you put rounds where you want them. Even in the rain.

Handguns rain

Do this with your old all carbon steel, wood-gripped, fancy blued gun? Ray doesn’t think so. With stainless and alloys/plastic, just shake it off — make sure the bore is clear of water — and keep going. Note the water running out of the muzzle!

Off A Duck’s Back

Something else not obvious is modern eyewear. The glasses I’m wearing in the rain have Trivex digitally ground lenses. Trivex is a safety lens material. The glasses have a modern — I know, you’re tired of the word by now — anti-scratch coating that sheds water so you can actually see. In my case, the coating is combined with anti-glare and UV coatings. Trivex is optically very clear. Chances are good, if you have expensive, activity-specific glasses they are likely Trivex, not the cheap, prescription — what the trade calls daily wear — you buy at the big box stores.

Since you will be wearing glasses of some kind while shooting, the color of your lens also makes a difference to your ability to make holes where you want them. I’ve found sunglasses decrease my ability to see the sights, both iron and optical. Make the effort to have a clear set and switch back and forth when manipulating the trigger. And on overcast days (like rainy days) the sunglasses make it even worse. But, expend some ammo with the sunglasses on, even though your groups will likely suffer. Practicing variations on real life — like shooting up some of the stupidly expensive ammo you have in the gun when you carry it — prepares for the unexpected. Like, dare I say it — having to shoot in the rain.

My hat, which my nieces call my “Dork” hat — out of sheer kindness, or so they say — is another bit of equipment you should have. It’s made from a new modern (sorry) thin, UV blocking, breathable and water resistant fabric. The intended purpose of the large bill is to reduce skin cancer treatment bills but it also keeps the rain off my glasses. The fabric is designed to work in hot conditions, so drum-up something else for cold weather shooting.

Taget Shooting rain

The target is showing the effects of water but it’s still on the backing. The pasters are a bit curly but went on and stayed on. No PC whining about Ray’s finger “by” the trigger, please. As he says, “I’m old and my finger just doesn’t bend up higher!” Note his “modern” hat!

Stoic Concentration?

The reason for practice is to learn stuff. We’ve been gifted with the presence of gnats to help us learn to be stoic and concentrate while shooting. In this session of practice I “learned” gnats go to the ground when it’s raining. Yet another advantage of shooting in the rain, I guess?

I’ll go on record here too, and say the Pro-Shot and Birchwood Casey targets I used, both in the rain and out, performed just great. I was able to easily see the bullet strikes as they happened, which made tracking my technique easier. “Oh, I must have pulled that shot,” sort of thinking. More learning. Both companies have a large array of target-type products and you’re sure to find something to keep you and the kids interested.
Even if the pesky rain falls.

It really was interesting and sorta’ fun to shoot in the rain. Now I know and if I ever have to “for real” I won’t be surprised, at least by the rain!

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