Last time I went out shooting it was a beautiful, sunny day. Granted, it was nine degrees Fahrenheit and very windy, and my fingers were going numb to the point where I could barely load my guns, but hey; sunshine and beauty.
There’s a lot of discussion about shooting in adverse conditions under stress, and then there’s also a lot of talk that goes along the lines of, “Hey I got this fabulous new gun, but I’ll have to wait ’till Spring before I can try it out.”
For seven months of the year, there is a real possibility of snow on the ground here, and more so as you get higher in elevation. Maybe your practice should be around 7/12 cold weather practice in places like this then. You may find that your gun(s), which functioned well at 70 degrees, will start behaving in strange ways at zero and below.
Remember Washington’s crossing of that icy river on that snowy night to attack the Hessians at Trenton? Yeah. That kicked ass.
Do you know what it’s like policing your brass in three feet of snow on snowshoes while carrying all your gear on your person? Have you dropped a warm magazine in the snow when it’s zero degrees out? Yeah; it’s out of operation ’till you can warm it up and get the ice out of it. How does that slick new pistol hold work out when you’re wearing a heavy coat and standing on uneven ground on ice? What does your super bright flashlight do for you in a blizzard? What happens to the effectiveness of different types of batteries when they get very cold? Should you attempt to shoot while wearing gloves, or no? What do you do when snow falls out of a tree onto the exposed action of your rifle? What happens to the effectiveness of your optics at 10 degrees when you happen to breathe onto the ocular lens? Can you even turn the zoom control on your scope?
Next time it’s snowing, windy, very cold and dark, maybe consider it an opportunity for some good shooting practice. If you enjoy the warmth and comfort of home on a stormy winter’s night, just think of how much more you’ll enjoy it after some good shooting practice.