Question of the Day: What’s Worse for Accuracy: An Earthquake or a Tornado?

I was on the range when the quake hit. A bit of rumbling and shaking. Threw off my aim something chronic. Still, it wasn’t a tornado. Then again, tornados are a bit more selective. Hmmm.


  1. avatar Coyote Gray says:

    Earthquakes are worse for aim then Tornadoes. Tornadoes are highly localized and less likely to directly affect your aim. Earthquakes make sight alignment, sight picture a dam near impossibility.

  2. avatar Rebecca says:

    I live in Charlotte, NC. I have lived, for six months, in San Francisco, CA. Up to that point, I had never experienced an earthquake. During that six months, I felt three of them. Quite frankly, I much prefer my hurricanes and tornadoes to earthquakes. At least with those, I can know they’re coming and prepare for them, and either get out of the way or hunker down until they’re gone. With an earthquake, the sky can be blue, the weather perfect, and *BAM* – you’re in the middle of an emergency.

    Thanks, but no thanks. When I find the switch, I’m turnin’ the Earthquake Machine(TM) OFF.

  3. avatar Robert Farago says:

    Please stay on topic. Which is worse for ballistic accuracy (short term and or long)?

    1. avatar Bob H says:

      short term tornado, long term the earthquake will swallow you and the range.

  4. avatar Charles says:

    I think a tornado would be worse: not only would the wind throw you off balance, like an earthquake, but it would also affect the flight of the bullet. Try compensating for 150 MPH winds!

  5. avatar Silver says:

    I agree that the localization of a tornado is a large factor. Winds might throw off your shot depending on proximity, but an earthquake makes every shot a crapshoot. I say earthquake.

  6. avatar Scott says:

    Earthquake IMHO.

  7. avatar HAVEGUN says:

    Saw a small tornado once. Didn’t have to run for cover so if I were shooting that would be no problem. Problem is it dragged along a ton of rain. Sometimes hail is also associated with tornadoes. Guess if you are shooting at an indoor range, it wouldn’t matter. I shoot at an outdoor range.

  8. avatar WW Paul says:

    I’m going with tornado. I have a hard enough time when its breezy, I can’t imagine how a group would measure in a wind that was trying to take me to Oz.

  9. avatar Ralph says:

    Indoors, an earthquake. You can’t shoot accurately without a solid, steady base or when falling rubble is impacting one’s coconut. Outdoors, a twister. You can’t shoot accurately when Dorothy and Toto are in the way.

  10. avatar Steffen says:

    Hurricanes are troublesome, since you take the tornado and add water. Happened to me while qualifying at basic training. Peep sights don’t work as well with droplets of water refracting what was supposed to be your sight picture. Fortunately, you can blow the water out, at the cost of messing around with your cheek weld and body position.

  11. avatar BLAMMO says:

    Threw off my aim something chronic.

    Yeah. Right. Good one. Next time I have a flyer, I’m gonna run to the USGS web site to see if there was any seismic activity anywhere in the world.

  12. avatar Bob H says:

    Shooting during the earthquake was no worse than shooting off the deck of a ship with a mild chop and roll to the deck. Shooting in a tornado? You might as well throw spitballs.

    A 115gr 9mm will drift about 6″ at 50yds with a 50mph crosswind. I can’t find a ballistic calculator that will let me use 150mph winds, but I am guessing the 50 yard drift would be on the order of several feet.

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