Effects of cold air in shooting an airgun...

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by mygunstoo, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. mygunstoo

    mygunstoo Active Member

    This morning I decided to shoot some pellets at the back yard with my .22 air rifle. I have been shooting all summer and fall and the rifle was sighted in at 11 and 30 yds. Good shooter.

    However, this morning the temp was 33 degrees and if you ever wondered what happens when you shoot in freezing temps, on this sun shining day, the pellets were flying in slow motion to the target. Similar to a Red Rider BB gun. :lol: You could see the reflection of the shiny pellet under the sun.

    Since I did not want to resight the gun, I waited until it was over 50 degrees to shoot again at the point of aim.

    The things you learn while shooting airguns. :lol:
  2. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

    That's good to know.
    I don't recall if I've ever used my big spring-piston airgun in really cold tems.
    I wonder WHY the performance is so bad in cold air?
    Cold air is more dense and more fluid-like than warm air. But on the other hand, winter air is notoriously dry.
    Maybe the piston doesn't move as fast because the cold makes the oil in the cylinder get thick and gummy?

  3. Gespenst

    Gespenst New Member

    Oddly enough this is something I am very familiar with. In the case of pump guns, the seals become hard which prevents them from sealing as effectively when cold. The same applies to springers to a lesser degree. In the case of co2, the co2 doesn't expand as rapidly when cold so velocities will drop like a rock.

    Normally with pump and spring guns, the velocity will gradually increase as you continue to shoot. Of course this depends on the rate of fire. Keep in mind that a springer "diesels" lubricants in the chamber so this will contribute to them warming up rather quickly.