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Reading the Wind

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Category: Firearms, Bows, and Ammunition
Forum Name: Shooting
Forum Description: Techniques, tips, stories, general discussion, etc.
Printed Date: August/11/2020 at 22:58
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Topic: Reading the Wind
Posted By: Urimaginaryfrnd
Subject: Reading the Wind
Date Posted: July/31/2011 at 19:42

Wes, I replaced your URL because it was out of date... no longer accessible  This young lady is a better advocate than any other I could find...


"Always do the right thing, just because it is the right thing to do".
Bobby Paul Doherty
Texas Ranger

Posted By: Kickboxer
Date Posted: July/31/2011 at 20:03
Good aid, Wes.  Much obliged...

Opinion,untempered by fact,is ignorance.

There are some who do not fear death... for they are more afraid of not really living

Posted By: Urimaginaryfrnd
Date Posted: August/01/2011 at 20:21
Thanks I stumbled across it and wanted to put it somewhere that I could find it.


"Always do the right thing, just because it is the right thing to do".
Bobby Paul Doherty
Texas Ranger

Posted By: Sparky
Date Posted: August/02/2011 at 00:00
Thanks I have been looking for something like this.

Posted By: jonoMT
Date Posted: August/02/2011 at 14:07
That's a nice, descriptive chart Wes. Thanks.

Reaction time is a factor...

Posted By: Sgt. D
Date Posted: August/06/2011 at 09:29
I appologize for hi-jackin your thread UMF but, who has experience with some of the latest wind/pressure calculators or gadgets? I'm going to get something in the near future and want to make an educated choice. For budget I don't know yet. I'll just have to see what is recommended and go from there. I've build two 1K+ rifles and want to get supporting tec/gear.

Take care of Soldiers, Show em how its done and do it with em, Run to the Fight & and hold your ground! I die my men go home! If you're a NCO and this ain't you. GET OUT! GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Posted By: Kickboxer
Date Posted: August/06/2011 at 10:21
I've used most of the wind meters on the market, at one time or another. I settled on Kestrel.  HOWEVER, it must be understood, and I know you do, that wind at point of fire is NOT the complete solution and actually not a lot of it.  Sometimes corrections have to be made at several points in the trajectory in order to find a "final"... and that is variable.  
The best features of a Kestrel... say 4500-type, are temperature, humidity, pressure/density/altitude, you can even get wet bulb temperature.  Again, variable over extreme range, but much less so than wind.  The Kestrel has good error values, it is not too cumbersome, long battery life, can be had with red backlight for lowlight/night use.  It is a pretty good tool.  As with most tools, it is not the do all/end all solution, but it is certainly better than nothing. 
The newest version, while a bit expensive, has a ballistics calculator built in.  I'll probably have one soon, I'm a sucker for hi-tech and trying to get the most out of it.  Word has it, you could effectively place the Kestrel downrange and have it feed you downrange conditions via bluetooth to your smartphone.  That is pretty powerful.  I have not used this version, yet, so it is still just "hearsay" to me. 

Opinion,untempered by fact,is ignorance.

There are some who do not fear death... for they are more afraid of not really living

Posted By: koshkin
Date Posted: August/21/2011 at 14:23
Very nice.

I am continuously in the process of trying to teach myself to read wind. Mostly with little luck.


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Posted By: jonoMT
Date Posted: August/23/2011 at 14:08
Some of the things that have benefited me are:

  • The WWII training video on shooting the M1 Garand

  • Palma shooter Bryan Litz' comments, especially how he will read flags all along the course. Now, obviously most of us when shooting will not have any flags at all. But there may be something downrange moving that you can see like trees.

  • From other comments, playing around with ballistic calculators and paying attention to it at the range, the wind up range closest to you will affect the trajectory the most. So if the target is sheltered, e.g. an antelope on the leeward side of a hill 300 yards away and you're lying prone in the open inching up to the edge of a windy draw, you've got to be aware of of that. I've taken shots that traveled 200 or more yards across an opening with a 40-mph crosswind then spent the rest of the flight in relatively quiet air.

Reaction time is a factor...

Posted By: G Kurtz
Date Posted: December/20/2011 at 09:03
Of course U know these two ya?

Apparent angle from vertical:

- of smoke, flags, or short light rope U keep in ur fingers / 4 = windspeed mph
- of mirage / 8 = windspeed mph
AA angle must be read at 90, ie with the wind blowing directly from h3 or h9, so turn your arm or spotting scope as necessary
PS: ya,ya, the Kestrel is nicer, and more precise, but U know: old/simple systems ... sustainability ... no batteries ... environment's friendly ... hahaha (just kidding). And the bluetooth range of the Kestrel is just around 30 feet. The mirage,  flags smoke etc if lucky U can read at 600yd> 

Posted By: Rancid Coolaid
Date Posted: December/20/2011 at 09:21
Wind reading is among the first skills to go when practice/use slows.  I was once very good at it, now I suck.

Lucky for me my Kestrel is quite good at reading wind at my position, then it becomes a matter of reading along the bullet path, which can be a challenge.

This is a good start.

And if you want to read wind well, do it allot.

Freedom is something you take.
Respect is something you earn.
Equality is something you whine about not being given.

Posted By: G Kurtz
Date Posted: December/20/2011 at 10:19
Frankly speaking I'm still using an old japanese thing giving thermo and baro-altimetric ... MANY years of good service and still functioning! Windspeed the even older system, wet thumb etc. haha
However I've seen those Kestrel and they are really nice ... mmhh 500 $ ya?

Posted By: Dale Clifford
Date Posted: December/20/2011 at 10:21
best to watch bullet strikes, rare instance that civilian shooters need first shot stuff and just as rare for people who do need them to get them past 800 yds. If your shooting in a open desert canyon winds are more important than initial wind conditions, and sometimes nothing to read except mirage. Also if you are behind the gun strike corrections are a lot easier with todays reticles .

I love little league baseball-- it keeps the kids out of the house
Yogi Bera

Posted By: G Kurtz
Date Posted: December/20/2011 at 10:28
O yees sure! Bullet strikes is the MOST precise correction, including for not-civilians. U see the impact point (better, the spotter see it and call it) U double it FAST. However this not always feasible, moreover first shot is first shot, u know. And hunters also, they need first shot ethical kill

Posted By: Dale Clifford
Date Posted: December/20/2011 at 17:45
someday I will
1) shoot at a range that has grass from the firing line to the targets
2) be flat
3) has tiny colored flags showing wind changes
4) other people that change the targets
5) ALL of the above at onetime

I love little league baseball-- it keeps the kids out of the house
Yogi Bera

Posted By: Steelbenz
Date Posted: December/22/2011 at 21:17
Dale, Do you really think there will be a range in Heaven?

Here's the closest thing to me.

"Don't argue with a fool! From a distance you can't really tell who's who!"

Posted By: bas121
Date Posted: January/18/2012 at 08:31
Very nice.and Thanks very much.

Posted By: Stevey Ducks
Date Posted: August/05/2012 at 00:45
Look carefully before taking the shot and it really helps if you have shot at that location before. If you have log what sight settings you have used to make hits.
A handy method that I have used for years is:
((range in yards/100) X wind velocity)/ pre determined divisor) = wind deflection in MOA
some "pre dedetermined divisors" that I use:
15 - .308 168 gr @ 2850 -- .30-06
19 - 6.5 mm 123gr H AMax @ 3000 -- 6.5-06
15 - 6.5 mm 100gr H AMax @ 3300 -- 6.5-06
12 - .224 53 VMax @ 3700 --.22-.250
These values check out and were derived using values from the Sierra Ballistics program
For example -- .30-06, 168 match bullet, 2850 fps, 8 mph wind @ 3 or 9, range 585 yds -- firing solution
585/100 = 5.85, 5.85 X 8 = 46.8
46.8 / 15 = 3.12 MOA correction (3 MOA on windage)
for wind directions @ 2 or 10 or not right angles multiply MOA by either .6 or .8 depending
Determination of wind velocities between you and your target is a real art - mirage, wind flags, alfalfa plantings, corn stalks, leaves, waves, and ripples and above. Look across a 600 yd alfafa field and see the individual little plants bending in different directions as the wind swirls and eddies across in different directions then think about shooting in the early am before the wind acts up.

Posted By: stickbow46
Date Posted: August/06/2012 at 09:55
Great info,Thanks to all.

Pearls of Wisdom are Heard not Spoken

Posted By: TV-PressPass
Date Posted: September/25/2012 at 11:14
Great article, interesting that they have so many different levels above what I would just label as: Too Flippin Windy 

- I try to produce quality firearms content worth watching:

Posted By: medic52
Date Posted: February/02/2013 at 16:29
Anyone look at the TREMOR 2 reticle thats out.....looks very interesting

"The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." G.K. Chesterton

Posted By: runout
Date Posted: November/06/2016 at 13:38
watch the mirage if you can see it..I think it is better than trying to watch the flags.And sometimes there are no flags..    

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