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Thread: Shooting in the rain AAR - a case for KISS.

  1. #1
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    Shooting in the rain AAR - a case for KISS.

    You might have heard of a little event going on in FL called Hermine. Last night we did some NV/low light shooting and underestimated just how much rain there was, and just how much it sucked. Disclaimer - spent plenty of time getting hosed in a previous lifestyle but not like this.

    Thoughts and Questions:

    100% humidity was the real issue. Not so much the rain (Goretex made the rain essentially irrelevant, except it was so damn hot we got soaked from sweat anyway.) Due to this, when firing the optic would become "fogged" for some reason, I am 99% confident it is because the gas from the rifle, I was shooting suppressed, somehow affected the rear lens of my ACOG. (Edit: It did affect my buddies using an ACOG unsuppressed and a T1 and T2 suppressed) In either case, sucks for me. This would happen on the very first shot and you could see it fog. It was not an accumulation of gas in the area. Is there a fix for this? I am already using a Gemtech Suppressed Bolt Carrier.

    A far more annoying and widespread issue was smoke/condensation obscuring our IR lasers. Skip to 1:10 in the following video. My buddy is recording using his TNVC Gopro mount. You'll see the IR illum and laser are crisp and everything is fine until he begins firing and the smoke from his muzzle obscures everything. That is not a camera recording issue, that's how it actually looked and it mattered not whether it was suppressed or unsuppressed or full auto for 60 rounds or one round only. It seemed that in the extreme warm humid conditions, firing the rifle changed the surrounding air in front of the muzzle for a significant period of time. Another point of note in the video: You can see just how dark it is when there is no moon and rainclouds above you. At certain angles you can see where a rain band had thinned and see ambient light from cities/sky/etc but the target side of the video was facing where the storm was coming from and if you did not have IR illumination you would not have been able to see the targets at all.

    (Video accidentally deleted see post 26)


    Did not realize going into it how important it was that everything single thing on your body needed to be waterproof. One of us didn't have a drain hole in his dump pouch - filled with water. When the rain was really bad, no one without waterproof radios wanted to risk ruining their comms. We had to ensure per the manufacturer that all of our IR lasers, flashlights, optics, PTTs, etc were sealed up or waterproof (not resistant, because you will take a knee in a 6" deep puddle and you will drop something in it

    My sidearm was a G19 with an RMR, but good luck using that shit in the rain. You can blow the water out, but then you fog the lens. Or you can wipe it out with your finger, but your glove is soaked from the rain so you just spread the love around. I would say the max effective range of this was <25 yards after a wipe down, compared to 150 yards when it is dry. I also have an X400V IR Laser, but that was subject to the problem mentioned above. My pistol was essentially worthless day and night.

    Given the "Why were NVA such good light infantry" thread in GD, I realized maybe there is something to be said for a KISS setup all the time. We had all the "cool kid, gotta have it" modern kit and yet would have been poster children for why a white light and irons on both the pistol and rifle with a simple belt of spare magazines is much more effective. Irons will never fog up, and I bet an equivalently trained group of guys travelling lightly would have been far more deadly once the rounds started flying in both directions. Getting around on uneven terrain in deep mud with 30+lbs of gear on and seeing in only two dimensions sucks pretty hard.
    Last edited by Eurodriver; 09-19-16 at 23:00.
    Why do the loudest do the least?

  2. #2
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    Cool post...a smart man learns from his mistakes, a wise man learns from the mistakes of others. That's exactly why I ditched my RMR'd M&P CORE. I shot that joker in the rain, and once the emitter is sitting in water it looks like fireworks on the lens. I'm back to a G34/19 w/ an X300 and it works perfectly for "our" AO (I'm just a little North).

  3. #3
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    Dang Euro, would love to attend a session with you guys, but I am FAR from that type of equipment.

    Was interesting hearing you guys move through your paces. I noticed that "smoke" distortion was very very heavy on that string of "suppression" to the point of no-vis for multiple moments. Considering the 2D view, that's gotta make for an interesting situation.

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    Id imagine in 100% humidity, the muzzle blast and bullet path creates literal clouds due to the pressure.
    "I never learned from a man who agreed with me." Robert A. Heinlein

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    My vaunted ACOG has fogged up during a really rainy day. I'm not surprised at your fogging issue.

    I'm tempted to add something about some shooters not having enough sense to come in out of the rain, but I guess I'll leave it alone...
    Last edited by Doc Safari; 09-01-16 at 12:02.

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    i'll be honest, i shoot in the dark a lot with NV, and i shoot in the rain a lot, but never at the same time. when it starts raining, even though (most of) my nv gear is water proof, i stow it.

    interesting commentary, thanks for posting

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    This brings home the advantage of QD mounts for optics. If you need to use irons for rainy weather just pop your optics off and stow it in your bag or pouch or cargo pocket. If you prefer to have a bolt on setup like mk4 rings, badger, KAC, NF, Geissele unimounts, keep a t handle nut driver or t torque wrench on your vest in the admin pouch or dedicated pouch so you can remove it.

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    To prevent scopes and camera lens from fogging up, a traditional practice has been to leave the rifle and camera outside instead of inside a house. The intent is to have the lens as near ambient temperature as possible. When a lens is stored inside a plastic "baggy" and carried, moisture inside the bag can condense on the glass lens when temp variations occur. Using desiccant bags inside the ZipLock bag is a good approach.

    During times of high humidity, one's breath can cause fog formation on lens. Microfiber cloths work well for blotting.

    In the experiment, smoke was obstructing view. Most likely, the smoke contained many 1000s of hydroscopic particles that combined with water vapor from high humidity and produced fog. This fog itself may have had a higher than ambient temp which in turn brought about condensation on the optic sight. A very short barrel might contribute.

    This type research is invaluable and provides the rest of us with information that we would not have known.

  9. #9
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    Have you tried applying Rain-X to the glass on your optical devices to prevent fogging and aid in water run off?
    Train 2 Win

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eurodriver View Post


    Did not realize going into it how important it was that everything single thing on your body needed to be waterproof. One of us didn't have a drain hole in his dump pouch - filled with water. When the rain was really bad, no one without waterproof radios wanted to risk ruining their comms. We had to ensure per the manufacturer that all of our IR lasers, flashlights, optics, PTTs, etc were sealed up or waterproof (not resistant, because you will take a knee in a 6" deep puddle
    Sounds like good times were had. Not that I have done so, but probably gave you a good taste of why operating in dense jungles is so challenging to both humans and their equipment.
    - Will

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    “Those who do not view armed self defense as a basic human right, ignore the mass graves of those who died on their knees at the hands of tyrants.”

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