Shooting Tip: Ballistic Provides Precision Shooting Solutions in Winter Temps

April 3rd, 2019 by team

With winter nearly upon us (and, in some cases, already on us hard), longer-range hunters must be ready to make precise shots despite cold weather. Ballistic can be a huge help here.

“Colder temperatures definitely have an effect on bullet speed,” said Curt Vaughn, veteran long-distance shooting competitor and Head of Product for Ballistic. “Even reloader’s using Extreme-rated powders can see a significant change in velocity.”

For example, when Vaughn’s .243 Ackley Improved handload is fired at 80 degrees, this load generates a muzzle velocity of 3,286 feet-per-second (fps), and the bullet stays supersonic out to 1,450 yards. But at 20-degrees Fahrenheit? This very same load now has a muzzle velocity of 3,175 fps and drops to subsonic speed at 1,350 yards.

For the long-range hunter, such differences in muzzle velocity are huge and can be the difference between harvesting that game animal or missing it.  Or worse-much worse-wounding it. That’s why longer-range hunters keep a close eye on temperature variations and adjust their Ballistic bullet profile accordingly. Temperature and other weather-related variables can be easily inputted intoBallistic, from the one-touch atmospheric correction tab to more detailed inputs.

Of course, the cold can really affect us shooters, too.

“Probably the most common thing I’ve seen is simply the need to keep yourself warm,” Vaughn added. “I’ve seen, and had, very cold days where hunting buddies can’t stop shivering, and accuracy suffers when your body is racked with cold. It’s not uncommon to hear people talk about not being able to feel their fingers.”

For long-range hunters, a shiver or a stiff trigger finger at the wrong split second can mean a miss at the trophy deer or elk. So, before you head afield on those blustery days, make sure you dress appropriately, including base layers. Consider carrying items like heat packets to keep those fingers warm and flexible, too.

And when those winter temps drop or decide to go the other way? Make sure your Ballistic inputs are updated to give you the most precise shooting solutions for your hunts.

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