Handgun Shooting in the Wind

The following information on handgun shooting in the wind comes from Section 7 of Shooting by J. Henry FitzGerald. Shooting is also available to purchase in print.

The indoor shooter who steps out to fire a few shots on a windy range for the first time is bound to get the surprise of his life, and not get the score he expected either. He must learn to shoot all over again even though aided by his indoor experience.

Only by practice can one in part overcome the effect of the wind. A steady wind can be leaned against, but there is the puffy wind which cannot be outguessed.

If the wind comes from directly behind or in front it does not affect the scores as does the cross wind. There is no set rule for shooting in the wind, the only way to master it is to shoot in the wind and rain at every opportunity. Practice in the wind will eliminate some of the wild shots, but not all.

In slow fire shooting we can wait for a lull but in rapid fire the stop watch and hard-boiled Range Officer waits for no man and so rapid fire should be practiced in the wind as often as possible. Many clubs are shooting on a sheltered range and to such clubs my advice would be to get out and shoot in the wind.

Try feet a little farther apart and muscles slightly tensed; hold slightly toward the wind on the target. If the wind is blowing from the right, hold toward five o’clock in a steady wind and these things may place one or two more in the ten ring.

Avoid all loose clothing, such as loose trousers legs, loose coat, or coat sleeves. Any part of a flapping garment will disturb the shooter and may cause a wild shot. A tight-fitting shirt or jacket is best for shooting in the wind, and remember that the wind plays no favorites; every one else is as much affected by it as you are. Use cotton in the ears, elastic bands on the coat sleeves and trousers legs and be happy. Practice with the same clothes on that you intend to use in the match; a tight-fitting cap is often better to use in the wind than a hat, because the hat brim will catch the wind and move the head from behind the sights. Place the hand and arm not used in shooting where it will not catch the wind,—for instance, the arm close to the body and the hand in the front trousers pocket.

It is necessary to practice in all conditions that may be encountered in match shooting. Save the scores and note the difference and improvement.

In the rain it is best not to use sight black, for it will not stay on and may collect bubbles on the sights; there is no glare, so sight black is not necessary. As soon as a match shot in the rain is over wipe and oil the revolver or pistol thoroughly.

A heavy revolver or pistol will give better results in the wind or rain than the lighter models.

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Handgun Shooting in the Wind

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