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How the heck do you experts read the wind?

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Unread 07-29-2008, 07:49 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: MN
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How the heck do you experts read the wind?

I was going to write a long explination of what I did, but I didn't want to bore anyone. I shot at 630 yards in what I thought was a 2 mph 90 degree wind. Elevation was good, groups were good at between 3.5 and 8 inches - well, the one group was good and the others were able to let me know that wind was messing me up pretty bad. ONe group was tight but drifted as if there was a 10 mph wind. The other two were not as tight but they were drifting as if there was about a 5-6 mph wind. The bullet path took it through a vally and about 40 feet in the air before it hit the target so I think the wind patters are very different at 40 feet compared to at ground level.

After that I shot at 895 yards and that group was 12 inches - I was glad that I hit paper after dealing with the wind. I was shooting at 45 degrees to the wind, but still through the same valley. I adjusted for a 6mph wind and 45 degrees to give me 2.5 MOA adjustment. This group was almost centered on the target, one 8 inches left, one 2 inches left , and one 4 inches to the right. Elevation was good considering I thought I was shooting at 880 and after I redid my ranging I realized I was about 895 to 900 (accounting for hitting 8 inces low). The verticle spread was only about 2.5 inches so I'm fairly confident that the wind was playing a role.

wow, guess that ended up being a longer explination.

so, how do you guys judge the wind - I know the wind was only about 2-3 mph on ground, but apparently the average wind the bullet went through over the valley was about 5-6 mph - more than enough to cause a bad wound. and I am fairly confident that my scope adjustments are accurate - Nikon Monarch 5.5-16.5 ao. The virtical adjustments are proven.

I used to re-load but now I "hand-load".
-- Well, at least I try --
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Unread 07-29-2008, 08:04 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Yakima, Washington
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Here's a couple of articles from the home page to give you some reading.

Long Range Hunting - Reading The Wind

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Unread 07-29-2008, 10:08 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: on the rifle range in Utah
Posts: 2,704
Practice, practice, practice.

Get some windflags, a windmeter, and a good spotting scope and learn to correlate everything to mirage and foilage.

I always tell my customers, if you're going to shoot 50 rounds, it is better to shoot 10 shots on 5 different days than 50 on one day.
Find it
Range it
Click it
Pull it
Dump it

If it's not far, it's boring.
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Unread 07-30-2008, 09:22 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: MN
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Dick, thanks for the links, I have read the carlock one but the other I had missed- both are very interesting.

GG, thanks for your response, I hear what you are saying. Nothing can substitute practice.

I am a little worried that there is a huge difference in the wind between ground level and that of about 30-40 feet in the air. I have tried a cheap wind meter and that was a lost cause. I am trying to utilize the mirage factor, but I have a real hard time seeing it some days -- as I did the day of the testing. I'm not sure if I have ever seen reliable mirage in the winter time during big game season.

any other advice welcome!
I used to re-load but now I "hand-load".
-- Well, at least I try --
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Unread 08-01-2008, 06:50 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Potomac River
Posts: 5,072
She is not a member of the forum and I am obviously no expert or I would not have gotten beat so badly.

Why is she smiling? Quantico F-class

Pay attention to the fact that in five month she has improved by 90 points out of a possible 500 points and nobody got more Xs than her.

While GG is probably correct about the quality as opposed to quantity, this is what we do.
The Smokin Fur Rifle Club
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Unread 10-12-2008, 05:09 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 43
Re: How the heck do you experts read the wind?

what caliber and bullet are you shooting? if its a 308win or any of the sort i wouldn't worry about very tight groups at that 800ydish distance, if you are able to read a condition and place the bullets on the intended target within the diameter that you consider a kill zone, i would consider it good to go. it's very hard to read 1mile/hour differences in conditions especially if the ground below you is not on the same plain as you and to get them all fitting closely you would need to be able to read each and every condition.
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