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When Is There Too Much Wind?

 
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Old 01-07-2008, 02:02 PM
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When Is There Too Much Wind?

How much is too much?

One of the deer leases I am on is coastal and the wind blows all the time. The wife and I were shooting this past weekend and we had about 7' of wind drift at just under 700 yards. She was shooting her AR in 7.62X39 and did very well (at least I thought so). I dropped off a target and drove down a ranch road until I started to loose site of it in the rear view mirror. Turns out we were about 30 yards short of 4/10th a mile...i don't have a range finder so I had her shoot while I spotted the shots. Once we had the elivation she could hit it 3 out 5 shots, but all her misses were wind blown. The target was 20"X30" and all of her misses were so close I thought they were all hits.

Being an offshore charter captain during the season I am pretty fair with wind and was sure we were seeing gusts to over 20 knots.

Is that too much wind for hunting? Were do you guys break off long range attempts?
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Old 01-07-2008, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Once we had the elivation she could hit it 3 out 5 shots, but all her misses were wind blown. The target was 20"X30"
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Originally Posted by Captn C View Post
I am pretty fair with wind and was sure we were seeing gusts to over 20 knots.

Is that too much wind for hunting? Were do you guys break off long range attempts?
A 20"x30" target is waaaaay bigger than a deer's vital area and if you can't keep every shot on a target that big then shooting at a deer should not even be an option

I won't take a shot at a game animal unless I am absolutely positive that I can keep the shot well withing the vital area I am aiming for. Even though an animal may be stated as having a vital area of 12"x12" I want the shot to hit well within that area and not around the edges so that limits the range on a lot of shots.

On a wind free day with perfect conditions a shot that I might take on a game animal at 1000 yards might get shortened to 500 yards or even end up being a shot that I would pass on if the wind conditions dictated. Angle of shot and angle of wind direction also come into play.

Playing with the wind on a target at long range is one thing, playing with the wind on a game animal, especially out here where you may be shooting across one or more canyons is a far different thing. You can't say exactly what wind speed will limit your shot unless you take all field conditions into play but in the end I'd not take a shot that I was unsure of hitting where it should. There will be another day and another animal.;);)
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Old 01-07-2008, 02:45 PM
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+1 ss7m

Also, for me its not totally about the amount of wind, but the readability of the wind. If it is variable, its REALLY tough. A 10mph variable wind is tougher to shoot in than a steady 10mph wind. Also, terrain has a HUGE amount of impact.

A 5mph wind across the point I am on, may give me almost no info about the wind the bullet would see on its way to the other side of the canyon.

It's all about readability, but obviously the amount of wind has an impact on that.

The other thing that matters is the rifle you are shooting. I need a much better read on the wind to shoot my 7mm RM at 500yds than I do to shoot my 338Allen Magnum.

AJ
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Old 01-07-2008, 03:02 PM
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I know this is like preaching to the choir and kinda like beating a dead horse but........the highest BC bullet you can accurately shoot, at the highest velocity you have the horsepower to produce, will help you the most with the wind. We can get the yardage accurately, almost to the yard, but the wind is what kills us most often.;)

You can only accurately measure the wind at your shooting position, assuming you have a wind meter. All other points where the wind has an effect between you and the target has to be accounted for by you taking into account your experience and skill in reading wind and terrain.

Get the best glass you can, practice in all kinds of wind conditions, learn to read wind conditions as accurately as you can, but when in doubt, don't pull the trigger if the crosshairs are on a big game animal.

Also, go to the home page and read Shawn's writeup about reading the wind.light bulb
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Last edited by ss7mm; 01-07-2008 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 01-07-2008, 03:17 PM
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Wow, 700 yards with 7.62x39?

Using a 130 grain bullet at 2500 fps, which is probably a little higher than typical speed for most guns chambered in 7.62x39, you have 246 inches of drop at 700 yards, and 187 inches of drift in a 20MPH wind.

Even if you bump it to 2700fps you have 207 and 171 respectively.

Keeping a shot on a 20x30 is shooting with that bullet!!

If you went to something heavier and longer, say a 165 grain Boat Tail, you still have 184 inches of drop and 113 inches of drift. That's 15 feet of drop and 9.5 feet of drift with a bullet that won't fit most 7.62x39 magazines, at least to my knowledge.

She was doing some serious shooting with that cartridge, but the 130 grain only has 300 foot pounds of energy left, and the 165 only has 645 at that range.

Not enough energy and WAY too much drop/drift to be comfortable for me!!

Bill
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Old 01-07-2008, 04:26 PM
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Captn

Good information from all who posted !!

Elevation can be mastered with trajectory table's and a good
range finder.

Reading the Wind however has to be learned and it is a skill
that must be mastered to make long shots especially if you have
windy conditions.

And if you are shooting light bullets every thing is magnified.

With a 22/250 I limit my self to around 300yrds on game with
10 to 15mph cross winds .

While hunting canyons in west texas and colorado I have seen
wind blowing from two different directions making the shot even
more difficult.

J E CUSTOM
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Old 01-07-2008, 04:54 PM
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I guess I should have mentioned that we were just playing with her AR. I have limited her to only shooting games animals at 100 yards or less.

I was still very impressed though with her and the gun....I was surprised the bullet went though the target at that distance...it was heavy plastic.

She was getting into the long range deal too using something that has no real recoil and she already likes to shoot. That was the reason we were using it. I had the 7mm RUM there using it for a spotting scope.

Here is a factoid that I also should have mentioned. Most of the areas I have to hunt are flat. A 5' rise would be normal...10' would be a mountain.

Thanks for the replies!
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