temperature affects on rifles...

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by Zane71464, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. Zane71464

    Zane71464 Well-Known Member

    Aug 1, 2009
    Ohio NRA Member
    I know that there are all sorts of "conditions" that affect accuracy of rilfes/bullets. May be a somewhat of a "not-so-smart question but, Ive been wanting to do some "fine tunning" with the scope on my .30-06 and the temps here havent made it over 25* the past coulple of days.
    Taking the rifle/scope out along with the ammo to dial in the scope, would it be best to keep the ammo warm and let the rifle go to the degree of the outside temp. And would it be best to get a shot or two off to get the barrel warmed up a bit before touching the adjustments on the scope?
  2. grcsat

    grcsat Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2010
    Hi, your " not-so-smart" question is a very teky. question in disgise.
    However in your case, all you have to do is fire one warm up shot and you'll be just fine.
    At +25F you really won't see any real differane in a hunting rifle.

    If you were shooting at -30F then you would see some drastic changes in accuracy. As the barrel warms up, the point of imact will change. Now you will still hit your moose or deer at 100 yards but you will see the differance at long range.

    Sako used to put 1-2 lbs forend preasure to give you the best of both worlds. Accetable acuacey in both warm and cold conditions. But it was a trade off.
    Around the late 70s or so , the buzz word was free floating barrel. Many people free floated there barrels (me incuded) and found a marked improvement in acuacey and since people rarely shot in the cold at -30F it didn't matter.

    The few times I was supid enough to go hunting at -30F I used the old 303 Brit.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010

  3. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR Active Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Imperial, MO
    only once in my life has temperature ever messed with my accuracy. It was a Marlin 917 shooting a 17hmr. It was -5 with a windchill of -20. It still grouped but it was way low. Never did I find out why b/c I never plan on shooting when its that cold again. ;)
  4. 25 or 75 degrees, your gun won't notice the difference as much as you will. Do your 3 shot group. Make you adjustment and don't shoot again till your gun is ambient temperature. Unless you are match shooting you really don't care where you gun shoots hot. In hunting the only shot that counts is the ones out of the cold barrel. Just dos centavos from an old dinosaur who lives in the winter wonderland of Wisconsin.
  5. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    Im with everyone else. at ranges less than 200 yds the rifle and ammo wont know the difference between 25 and 75. I handload, and therefore use temperature insensitive powders which only makes the ammo more resilient to ambient temperature changes. I too will be testing the oughtsix over the next few days, gotta get my load developed in my new nosler custom brass before mondays shoot. Its supposed to be cold and windy the next few days so guess ill find out:(
  6. Gizzy

    Gizzy New Member

    Nov 28, 2010
    Sorry, but I have to disagree with everyone else. All powders are temperature sensitive. There are some that are LESS sensitive than others, but in my many years of shooting varmint rifles, there is a huge difference in accuracy from shooting in 75 degree weather, to shooting in 25 degree weather. There is a difference. My groups can double in size when the temperature gets below 50 degrees.

    The warm up shot only helps your barrel, and not your ammo. Also, if this is a hunting rifle, its not even something to think about. You cannot see your deer, shoot your warm up shot, and then shoot again. What you need to do, if you are handloading, and you should be, just work up a load for the colder temperatures.

    There is no such powder as a "temperature insensitive powder". There are just some powders that are LESS affected by fluctuations in temperatures.
  7. Zane71464

    Zane71464 Well-Known Member

    Aug 1, 2009
    Ohio NRA Member
    I thank all you guys for your responce. Just what I was wanting/needing to hear.
    Ive had this in my mind for quite a while now. About 25yrs ago a bunch of us was hunting out of state and the temps was anywhere from -5 to +5 for the time we were at camp. I had my rifle in and others thought they did as well. After we got camp set up the day before, we all got the rifle's out and double checked our Zero.
    I was with a .243 and the others had the ought-6's and mine was still in there out at 200yds. Both of the "06's" was shooting off til after several rounds were fired, which didnt go well with me being the "young'in" of the bunch...they never did get over that...but that's what has been on my mind all this time, and with "my" .30-06, just wanted to find out what your thoughts were on this.