Clearly this is not a scientific test in a controlled environment but it is something I study and look at frequently while out there learning.
I had another shot not long ago that showed 6 mph R to L. It was 980 yards, made the adjusment, sent it. POI was left 1 MOA. I discovered the wind at muzzle was close to the ground and not as strong as bullet path. Observing tree top movement and then holding the kestrel 8 feet off ground I noted a 2 mph increase.
Which goes back the quesiton about, a meter or not? For me, absolutely. It is one thing to shoot at rocks and guess. It is another to learn about the elements that affect the bullet, use the tools to educate myself, and take those tools to the field. Even a friend, who is an army sniper, is not accurately calling the wind with less than 1 mph accuracy. He also shoots large calibers with heavy bullets to minimize wind affects and does very well.
When I go the field I have the ability to monitor: wind speed, barometric pressure, altitude, temperature, range, and slope. That means 3 devices go with me at all times: Leica RF, iPod with Shooter, Kestrel. I don't need my GPS for a solution but I take it anyway so I know when I am lost.
Like what has been said in posts before me, it is the wind at station that matters the most. If you think about it logically, it makes sence. If you shoot and immediately your bullet is pushed 2 degrees off, when it gets to 1000 yards, how many degrees off is it now? The same principal is applied to the second half, if at 500 yards your bullet is pushed off of its trajectory 2 degrees, it is now only half of what being pushed off 2 degrees at 1000 yards. I dont have my calculator right here but it is as simple as this, if you are perfectly on at station, you will be that much closer to making a first round hit down range, what ever the yardage may be. Sure your bullet may get pushed in different directions at different points and such but my point being just the same as getting good data out of a ballistic calculator, if you have good input at first, your will get good output later. I think that a wind meter at station is a very valuable tool, infact so valuable that it is one of the things that is in my go bag. If you dont have it, you better be good at estimating wind velocitys and correcting for them. As others have stated, you can use it as a training tool as well. You can take it to different wind speeds and make some observations as you see exactly what the wind speed is and make note of it that way when you are estimating later at some point down range, you know what that wind looks like in bushes, trees, grass, leaves, etc. A good wind meter is an invaluable tool and a must have.
[QUOTE=shootinfool;796019]Like what has been said in posts before me, it is the wind at station that matters the most. If you think about it logically, it makes sence. If you shoot and immediately your bullet is pushed 2 degrees off, when it gets to 1000 yards, how many degrees off is it now? The same principal is applied to the second half, if at 500 yards your bullet is pushed off of its trajectory 2 degrees
This is assuming it is only pushed off 2 degrees. Remember at lower velocities the bullet is more affected by wordly factors.
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
My Kestrel is as important for my long range shooting as my range finder and ballistic solution, how else would a guy define what the wind is doing to the flight path of his bullet. I know you can fling a lot of lead down range and I do that as well but I do it while taking many wind readings and combine that with observations of the terrain and the info one cold bore shot and one corrected follow up shot show me, then when I'm back in the same spot taking game I have a solid base line to make my correction on for a cold bore kill.
There is no other way to get a defined base line for how the wind is affecting the bullet path, we don't wing it when getting a range and I don't see why trying to perfect your windage would be any different!
Owned several Caldwell and other cheaper wind meters and it's better to just save the money and buy the Kestrel!!
"Pain is weakness leaving your body"
I metered. Kestrel 2500NV. Speed, temp, baro, alt. When it's wet it raining ! Sorry couldn't resist....
Thank you to everyone who replied and helped with the decision. I think I will use as a training tool and not the proverbial "crutch", but I also believe it is important to use all the data you can from your kit.