Influence of weather on shooting

How the weather affects shooting is known, in all likelihood, even less than the influence of other factors. There are many different considerations and theories as to how best to shoot in the wind and when lighting changes, but the only thing that can be said about these theories is that some of them sometimes turn out to be correct. However, most of these theories are based on considering the effect of a single weather factor on shooting. In truth, no formula or position can accurately predict the effect of weather on shooting results.

Obviously, weather is even more complex than we might think. Probably for this very reason, forecasters, having a widespread worldwide information collection system, such extremely sensitive devices as / artificial satellites, and the most advanced computers for processing the data obtained, still cannot predict the weather with more than 70% -th probability. In our time, it is still impossible to take into account the influence of all the factors that make up the weather. In our rather simplified presentation, we will touch on the almost unaccountable relationships between wind speed, its direction, air density and its unevenness, temperature, humidity, air pressure, the influence of the terrain on the direction of the wind, the effect of shooting range structures on air flows, the ratio of reflection and absorption. heat in different areas of the shooting range and refraction of light when the ambient temperature changes. We will not always directly name all the factors listed above, but, of course, we will mean them when talking about different aspects of the influence of weather. We are sure that all of the above factors have a direct impact on the shooting, that there are also additional factors that we are not aware of. It is quite clear that if we were to derive a mathematical formula that takes into account all these variables, then to solve it, we would need a complex computer with sensitive input devices at each shooting range, but the shooter would not be able to synchronize his actions with the current results of the computer. True, the reality of such a situation is very problematic.

Whereas science can predict events based on known variables, the shooter is faced with so many interrelated variables when assessing the effect of weather that his analysis cannot have anything to do with the scientific method. “Feeling” the weather is still an art, not a science. Therefore, we cannot offer any one or a series of formulas for predicting the effect of weather on shooting. We could offer a mathematical expression for a particular case, but we must keep in mind that this expression is not a means of accounting for the influence of weather, but a tool that can only be used in combination with many other similar tools. Indeed, the formulas based on all sorts of "medium" and "strong" winds, etc., are almost useless in the conditions of international competition, when it is much easier to assess the effect of the weather by firing a couple of test shots. For the same reason, it is useless to study the effect of a mass of factors on ballistics and take into account the effect of wind. This is of no practical value to a shooter who, in a real competition, knows how many clicks he needs to make to bring the midpoint to the top ten. Practical wind shooting is the best way to learn how to account for the effects of the wind. Here we want to reiterate the axiom that underlies much of what has already been said in this book: no matter how much experience you have (i.e. how long you shoot), it is important what conclusions you have made for yourself.

The following material is divided into three sections on wind, mirage and precipitation. The separation of wind and mirage is probably quite artificial, but we did it deliberately for the sake of convenience. In reality, both of these factors are very closely related.


After the bullet has left the barrel, its direction is changed by two main forces - gravity and wind. The force of gravity begins to act as soon as the bullet leaves the barrel. Thus, a bullet fired from a rifle in a direction parallel to the ground will fall to the ground at the same speed and after the same time as a bullet that simply fell to the ground from that height. If we are already talking about practical things, then we recall that the force of attraction is a constant value and always deflects the bullet downward in the vertical direction, which is always strictly definite. Since this is the case, the shooter does not need to make any changes to the scope. However, the strength and direction of the wind are unstable and not predetermined, and therefore cause a lot of trouble for most shooters.

A tail or head wind (acting in conjunction with the force of gravity) leads to the need to introduce only vertical corrections into the sight. If the bullet is flying strictly against the wind, its velocity is reduced, and the hole in the target will be located lower. If the bullet flies in the wind, its speed increases; less time is left for the action of gravity, and the hole in the target will be located higher. But at shooting ranges, there is almost never a strictly headwind or tailwind. Usually the wind blows obliquely or across the line of fire and, as everyone could see, changes the direction of the bullet. The strongest effect is horizontal crosswind - in this case, the bullet is deflected to the right or left during flight. This wind will also cause some vertical displacement, depending on the direction of the bullet and the direction of the wind. The rotation of the bullet leads to the formation of zones of vacuum and increased pressure, therefore it affects the flight path much more than we think. (Likewise, spinning a baseball causes distortion and other changes in its trajectory after being hit by a good player.)

The inconstancy of the wind has a double character - the wind is inconstant both in time and in space. When looking at a lake or pond in moderate winds, pay particular attention to how the wind affects the surface of the water. At any moment, you can see that one part of the surface is smooth, like a mirror, and the other is rippled by the wind at the same time. Moreover, at the same moment the wind in different parts of the lake will have exactly opposite directions. In addition, these areas of the surface (where the wind blows) will constantly change shape and size. Now imagine a shooting range, and you will immediately realize how bizarre and contradictory the strength of the wind changes, affecting the relatively low trajectory when shooting while prone.

In order to better imagine the behavior of the wind at a low altitude above the earth's surface, someday observe the edge of an approaching fog or a low creeping cloud. A few feet above the ground, the fog moves in the most erratic fashion, advancing, receding, rising, falling, and curling under the influence of a weak wind that seemed to behave the same at different points on the edge of the fog. Standing facing the wind that blows at high speed, you can also feel its impermanence. The shooter's task is to fire a shot at a time when the wind can least affect the movement of the bullet from the muzzle of the rifle to the target. Now we will talk about what opportunities the shooter has for this.


No matter how strange and contrary to common sense it may seem, apparently, each rifle resists the influence of the wind in its own way. Bullets fired from some rifles are almost unaffected by the wind; bullets fired from other rifles deflect by several degrees under the influence of the wind. Why is this happening? On this score, we have several theories, but we do not present any of them here, because we do not have sufficient convincing evidence. Without going into explanations, we can say one thing - working as coaches for many years and observing the results of shooting through a telescope, we came to a firm personal conviction that there are rifles "for the wind", the shooting from which it affects to the least extent. This opinion is not all that new, and many weapon designers over the past years? worked and are working on the creation of such rifles "for the wind"; however, as far as we know, they have not yet achieved complete success in this matter. Some designers select materials for the barrels, while others believe that the matter is in the design and manufacturing features. There is no doubt that soon the principles of design and manufacture of such rifles "for the wind" will be developed. Recently, a weapons designer from South Africa said that he had found the key to solving the problem and there is information that this is true, but his method remains a secret, and, besides, we have not yet had one of his rifles to test and research. ...

By doing a relatively simple experiment, you can get evidence that there are rifles with increased resistance to wind. We have done this experiment more than once, and you can repeat it. Two equally strong shooters are located side by side, their rifles are targeted as accurately as possible in complete calm, they have the same sights and sight plates with the same hole diameters. During the experiment, it turns out that for the same change in wind, the shooters will have to make a different number of clicks to make adjustments to the sights of their rifles, even if it is known that the sights had the same calibration. The results of the experiment will remain the same even if the arrows are swapped and the rifles are swapped. Of course, such an experiment will not always give the results that we talked about, since most rifles are produced in batches and within the same batch, all rifles are more or less the same. But even among the rifles of the same batch, there can be found both exceptionally resistant to the effects of wind and completely unstable.

Most of the rifles "for the wind" are characterized by high barrel precision and excellent accuracy of combat. However, excellent accuracy in calm weather does not yet guarantee that the wind will have little effect on firing this rifle. Almost all "wind-resistant" rifles are extremely accurate, but not all extremely accurate rifles are "wind-resistant".

If the shooter, when purchasing a rifle, is deprived of the opportunity to first test it in the wind, he needs to choose a rifle with an extremely high accuracy of combat, obtained in calm. This means that he needs to choose the most accurate rifle and select the cartridges for it that provide the greatest accuracy of the battle. When shooting with small-caliber cartridges, the shooter has no choice but to buy cartridges of the best brand and choose the best series number of cartridges of this brand for his rifle.

When shooting from a large-caliber rifle, the situation is more complicated. Here you need to select not only the brand and batch number of cartridges, but also the weight of the bullet, its shape, scattering diameter and speed, that is, take into account all the factors that affect the bullet's resistance to wind. It is useful to recall that the velocity factor is not only in the initial velocity of the bullet, but also in the constancy of the velocity with which the bullets pass the target, and in the fact that the bullet loses its velocity to a minimum in the target area. It is true that bullets with higher initial velocity and / or higher weight are less deflected by the wind, but this quality can be offset by the increased scatter associated with increased speed and weight. In other words, the faster and heavier bullet is less affected by the wind, but it costs nothing if the cartridges have a large spread. At the same time, shooting even in strong winds with less heavy and less "fast" cartridges will bring much more points if these cartridges in calm weather have extremely small dispersion, and the shooter is closely watching the wind. Of course, this will only happen if the bullets are not designed to be highly sensitive to wind. Typically, the differences in bullet design are not so significant, and the resulting change in sensitivity to wind is not so great. It should also be noted that changes in the weight and design of the bullet in the central engagement cartridges require changes in the design of the barrel if the shooter wants to get the most out of the use of these new cartridges for him.

How to deal with the influence of the wind

Since fighting the wind is more an art than a science, there is not a single explicit combination of factors, the knowledge of which would guarantee the shooter's complete success. In general, it is true that each shooting range has its own specific wind conditions and wind indicators. It is also true that at the same shooting range at different shooting locations the wind behaves differently depending on the direction, speed, arrangement of the shooting range facilities, and possibly on other factors. Therefore, a shooter who wants to learn to take into account the wind must improve hour after hour and day after day. To be successful, he needs to study all the wind indicators inherent in a given shooting range. These indicators are not only flags, but also the movement of grass, tree leaves, dust, clouds, mirage and anything else that may indicate the presence of wind. All of these indicators should be studied in connection with the effect of the wind on bullets fired from a rifle either by the shooter himself or by others, the results of which he can observe with the help of a telescope. Over time, the shooter will gain experience and learn to "read" the change in the state of these numerous indicators, which will allow him to very accurately take into account the wind. What is the most important indicator? It is impossible to answer this question with confidence, since in different conditions the indicators work in different ways. As noted earlier, the most reliable indicators include the movement of everything that is close to the surface of the earth: tall grass, bushes, tree leaves, etc. (but only if they are located exactly in front of the shooter). If there are no indicators listed above in the place of interest to the arrow, then the second group of indicators becomes the next in importance: everything that lies on the surface of the earth - dust, dry leaves, etc. Under sheer lighting, a mirage is a good indicator, usually it is the first wind direction change indicator (see the Mirage section). Wind flags are also almost always reliable indicators, but they are usually located differently at all ranges * and also vary greatly as they absorb moisture from the air or get wet from precipitation.

Whatever indicator the shooter uses, he needs to remember the long-proven rule: the most important is the wind situation within approximately the first third of the bullet's flight path. This was established under conditions when the wind situation was created artificially in different sections of the bullet's flight. Control firing was carried out from small-bore rifles fixed in the machine, and all shots for each rifle were carried out with cartridges of the same batch. At first, the shooting was carried out in the complete absence of wind, then it was repeated, but at the same time, with the help of a special installation, a wind was created on the left at a speed of 50 km per hour; the wind was generated in the last 18 meters of the bullet's flight (from 32 to 50 meters). After that, the shooting was repeated again in the same conditions, except that the installation created a wind in the first third of the way (from zero to 18 meters).

The results were very convincing. The effect of the wind in the last third of the bullet's path was negligible; in the first third, the wind affected the most. The wind created near the targets themselves shifted the mid-point of impact very little, while the wind near the muzzle of the rifle shifted the mid-points of the holes by several inches. Conclusion: Given the wind, you should mainly observe the first third of the range (from the line of fire). Wind indicators should be located exactly here, since it is in this area that the wind most affects the trajectory of the bullet. Usually, it is in this area that the flags are set. 'However, if possible, watch for other indicators as well. Several flags are better than one, even better is a flag in combination with leaves, grass and other indicators.

Shooting technique in the wind

The wind creates the most unexpected effects. One of them is that the maximum results on open shooting ranges are usually shown not in complete calm, but with a constant wind speed of 2-3 miles per hour (3.6-5.4 km per hour). In total calm, when there is no visible air movement, the results invariably fall to medium. Probably, the point here is not the absence of wind itself - there is no wind in the closed shooting ranges, and the results are maximum. Perhaps the reason is related to those factors that are a consequence of calm, for example, atmospheric pressure (although this cannot be considered definitively established). However, everyone knows how much trouble a strong wind can cause a shooter.

Good shooters know how to account for the effects of wind. There are three main types of wind shooting techniques. One way is to have the shooter aim in a certain wind, adjust the scope accordingly, and then fire shot after shot as fast as he can. The challenge here is to make as many shots as possible before the wind changes. This is an extremely undesirable method of shooting into the wind, since the shooter's actions are fast and, therefore, not reliable enough. The second method suggests shooting at a normal pace, making adjustments to the sight in advance if the wind changes between the two shots. However, this is too difficult, risky and requires from the shooter such a sense of the wind, which hardly any other person in the world fully possesses. The third, the most acceptable and desirable, method is to keep the rifle in a precisely aimed position ("on sight") and "wait out" the wind, shooting only when the wind behaves the same. Of course, this is the best technique when performing international exercises, since the considerable time established for these exercises by the rules of the competition makes it possible to act in this way. True, this method requires the shooter to be physically able to hold the rifle in an unchanged position for up to ten minutes, until the wind changes. Of course it is difficult, but the method is worth the effort.

Using this technique, the shooter must make a very definite correction to the sight. But this is not the attitude that corresponds to complete calm; this is setting the sight for the prevailing wind that day. If, for example, the wind is blowing from the right and the sight needs to be corrected by making five clicks to the right (compared to calm), then this is five clicks of the correction only for those moments when this particular wind is blowing. The scope setting must either be recorded or marked on the sighting device scale so that a new correction can be made if necessary, but at the same time it will be possible to return to the original sight setting corresponding to the prevailing conditions. This will save the shooter from wasting time and effort searching for the original scope setting.

Using the technique of "waiting" for the wind, some try to fire a shot only when the state of the wind exactly corresponds to the originally set position of the sight. Ideally, the shooter can shoot the entire exercise without making any additional corrections, and if the wind state changes, then he simply shoots only when the wind matches the scope setting. However, in most cases, the prevailing state for one time of day does not persist throughout the shooting. In this case, you need to make an amendment for the new conditions and again fix (mark) this amendment. If the wind often and quickly changes its direction and blows from the right, then to the left, it is best to shoot when setting the sight, corresponding to the calm.

The shooter must be very careful and thoughtful to make horizontal corrections, since clicking to the right and left changes the trajectory of the bullet so that the holes do not move strictly horizontally. Shots fired in high winds usually have a clear tendency to line up on the target between ten and four o'clock. This is easy to explain when you consider that clockwise rotation of the bullet with wind from the right side creates a vacuum ten o'clock from the bullet axis, and the bullet tends to move towards the vacuum. Likewise, the wind on the left creates a vacuum at four o'clock. There is a simple rule to remember for making vertical corrections with left and right winds: increasing wind speed increases vertical deflections by 10 hours and 4 hours. Thus, if you click to the right while the wind on the right increases, then you will most likely need to click down as well, as increasing wind speed increases the bullet's tendency to move 10 hours. But, when correcting to the right due to the decreasing wind on the left, you should also click upward, as lowering the wind speed will reduce the bullet's tendency to drift by 4 hours. Rifles and scopes vary in performance, but generally three clicks of the horizontal offset in wind requires one click of the vertical offset to get the correct alignment.

In small wind changes, very few shooters use the "dropping" technique to get the correct alignment. This technique is effective within about three clicks to the right and left of the zero scope setting. This technique is used almost exclusively when shooting prone, since the consequences of "dropping" the rifle when shooting from the knee and standing is difficult to foresee and additional errors may appear caused by a change in the position of the hand. The technique of "dropping" is mastered using a front sight with an air bubble, and first, one learns to create a "blockage" of the rifle, equivalent to one click of the correction in the sight. The air bubble acts as an indicator of "obstruction" until the shooter learns to "feel the obstruction" with the required degree of accuracy. This is a very difficult technique, with elements of risk, and if circumstances force you to use it, be very careful.

In very strong winds, almost all shooters are forced to modify their position in order to increase overall stability. Usually, such a modification of the fabrication is reduced to its tightening. This is achieved in two ways: a general increase in muscle tension and such a change in the position of the body and rifle, which allows you to obtain better stability. Needless to say, if the shooter also uses the "waiting" technique, the results will be lower than usual, since the positioning is less reliable. However, if the wind sharply increased during the competition, all the arrows find themselves, so to speak, in the same boat.

One of the biggest dangers for many shooters is that when shooting into the wind, they may forget to focus on concentration and holding. When there is a lull, they try to fire as many shots as possible, and this usually leads to inconsistency in action. Therefore, in a calm, the shooter can start shooting at an accelerated pace, but should not accelerate the shooting to such a limit, beyond which he can lose concentration on holding. In addition, even in windy conditions, concentration on hold usually gives excellent results.

The ability to hold the rifle in a stationary position for 10 minutes (which is sometimes necessary with the technique of "waiting" for the wind) requires great patience and perseverance. Watching the champion shooters will show you that they each have tremendous patience to perfect their technique and practice. This patience comes into play when they have to shoot in adverse weather conditions. All of them are able to use the time allotted for the exercise until the last minute, so as not to miss a single possible point that might bring waiting. This quality can also be called perseverance. A champion never gives up. He always tries to win, no matter how hard it is. He looks at the wind as his ally, because the wind acts on his rivals, deprives them of courage, frustrates them, makes them surrender. The champion knows that when everyone else gives up, he wins the competition.

Related Articles

Explanatory Dictionary of Pneumatics

Explanatory Dictionary of Pneumatics

.177 - калибр, соответствующий 4,5мм..20 - калибр, соответствующий 5,0мм..22 - калибр, соответствующий 5,5мм..25 - калибр, соответствующий 6,35мм..35 - калибр, соответствующий..

Optics selection and sighting

Optics selection and sighting

Optics selection and sightingQuite a lot has been written about optical sights, so I see no reason to dwell on their device in detail again. We will talk about the problems that you will have to face ..

Ballistic pendulum

Ballistic pendulum

Ballistic pendulumMeasuring the speed of a bullet with a pendulum is available and serious.Probably, before any owner of pneumatic weapons the question arises - what is the real power of his pistol, r..

Ballistics of pneumatic weapons

Ballistics of pneumatic weapons

At one time, a cowboy philosopher expressed the "wise" idea that the shortest distance between him and the target is a bullet. He was probably thinking of an imaginary straight line connecting th..



Parallax is a phenomenon found when observing the surrounding space, which consists in a visible change in the position of some fixed objects relative to others located at different distances from eac..

Shooting precipitation

Shooting precipitation

Light to moderate rain improves shooting conditions for three reasons: clouds, rain reduce or negate the effect of the mirage. Rain can be a pretty good indicator of wind, rain helps you defeat your o..

Safety Measures & Warnings

Safety Measures & Warnings

• This air gun will shoot if cocked, loaded, safety disengaged and trigger pulled.• Air guns are not toys. Never let young children use an air gun unsupervised. Adult supervision is strictlyrequired d..

Care, Cleaning and Lubrication of Air Rifles

Care, Cleaning and Lubrication of Air Rifles

• Periodic lubrication will help you increase the longevity of your rifle. Lubrication is required if:          • the shot was not fired for a long time.      &..

Write a review

Note: HTML is not translated!
    Bad           Good