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Julie G: Getting creative in the cold with ice targets

The recent cold snap here in northeastern Montana gave me an idea for an upcoming Shooting USA Impossible Shot TV show. There was no way show host Mike Irvine and crew would make it out to film me shooting anything in subzero temperatures. Last minute flights are always expensive. However, I suspect thin Southern blood also might be in the equation? Cold temperatures would not stop me from grabbing my cameras and having a little fun on the range.

Let me preface this with saying it hasn’t been just a bit chilly, it’s been downright frigid. In fact, just a day after filming, where I live ranked as the coldest place in the U.S., North America and yes, even on Earth! Just pulling a trigger in those temperatures is impossible enough in my book, but I wanted to come up with something interesting. Sticking with the brisk weather theme, I thought, why not shoot ice?

The night before my solo ice shoot I made the targets. They are simple and oh-so-easy to make. You don’t need subzero temperatures to enjoy taking them to the range either:

  • Fill zip closure plastic bags with water
  • Add food coloring for color
  • Place in the freezer (or in my case, outside) until frozen solid

 

Julie_Golob_colorful_ice_targets

Making your own ice targets is simple with zip closure bags, food coloring and water.

 

I decided 3 targets were enough to set my sights on at -25 below with -40 degree wind chill. Even then it took several trips to set up the range. In between setting up my arctic targets and camera tripods, I hurried back inside to thaw.

 

Julie_Golob_subzero_frozen_eyelashes

How cold is too cold? While setting up the range for my arctic target shoot, my eyelashes froze.

 

I chose my trusty Smith & Wesson M&P Shield in 9mm with Warren Tactical Sights for the job. It’s the same gun I used to compete at the recent S&W IDPA Back Up Gun National Championships. It also happens to be my carry gun and I was very curious to see how it would handle the extreme temperatures. I loaded magazines, grabbed the cameras and raced outside.

 

Julie_Golob_Impossible_Shots_MP_Shield_ice_targets

The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield performed great in subzero temperatures.

 

In the 5 minutes the film rolled, the temperatures sucked the battery life from the cameras. One quit working altogether.

And how did the Shield perform? It ran the ASYM 115gr. ammo like a true champ without even a hint of sluggishness.

How about those targets? Watch for an upcoming clip from “Impossible Shots” and catch the show on Wednesday nights on the Outdoor Channel.

 

  • About Julie Golob

    Julie Golob is one of the most accomplished professional shooters in the world and captain of Team Smith & Wesson. She has won more than 120 championship titles in international, national and regional marksmanship competitions in seven different shooting disciplines. Learn more about the champion, author, veteran, hunter and outdoor television personality at JulieGolob.com.

     

The Conversation

8 Comments
  • Joining RAND Innovations Team & Extreme Cold Test | Julie Golob says: November 5, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    […] Performance – Aside from the usual benefits that you expect from a gun oil, a biggie for me is how RAND CLP handles the cold. It helped my Smith & Wesson M&P Shield run flawlessly for a little fun with arctic targets for an Impossible Shot. […]

  • Debbie says: September 10, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    I am 60 years old and i am thinking about entering the competition world. What pistol would you recommend for me to get.
    You are so awesome and i feel i can do this because of you .
    God Bless

    • Julie says: September 11, 2014 at 12:10 pm

      Hi Debbie!
      That’s so exiting. There are so many different shooting sports out there so its hard to give you good advice without knowing what appeals to you the most.
      If you’re looking to start inexpensively, something like a standard size Smith & Wesson M&P in 9mm is a good choice and can double as a personal protection firearm. Many people opt to go with long slide versions for the longer sight radius (just as accurate as a shorter version but easier to see errors in your sight picture).
      I shoot a Smith & Wesson Pro Series M&P in 9mm and the only change I make for stock divisions is the sights, though the ones that come on it certainly work well and have a nice big green fiberoptic. This gun is great for SSP division in IDPA, Production division in USPSA and even Production Division in Steel Challenge and NRA Action pistol. There are plenty of aftermarket drop in triggers too like that from Apex that I sometimes use for competitions that allow it.
      I hope that helps some.
      Best wishes to you!!!
      Julie

  • Vera Koo says: January 19, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Julie, that is really smart and creative! great colors!
    Yes, even at that sub zero temperature, you can still find fun shooting outdoors!
    It reminded me in my days of downhill skiing. I would drive 6 hours in the storm so that I could be among the first batch of skiers on the mountains to ski that silky powder. It is always fun doing things that you enjoy no matter what the weather condition is like. 🙂

  • Holiday Shopping: A Few of My Favorite Things | Julie Golob says: December 12, 2013 at 11:45 am

    […] a pair of these to me to review for Gun Girl Radio and I have to say I am a huge fan. I wore them out shooting when the temperatures plummeted below zero. The toasty extra lining made the cold bearable. Duluth has an easy return policy and […]

  • Julie says: December 10, 2013 at 12:07 am

    Thanks, Barbara!

  • Barbara says: December 9, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Julie that is a great idea for shooting. We like to shoot at odd things and be as creative as possible, but this adds an element that we had not ever thought about. I love my Shield too and find that it like all of my M&Ps are great guns.