When Is There Too Much Wind?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Captn C, Jan 7, 2008.

  1. Captn C

    Captn C Well-Known Member

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    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?
     
  2. ss7mm

    ss7mm Writers Guild

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    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.;);)
     

  3. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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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
     
  4. ss7mm

    ss7mm Writers Guild

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    [​IMG][​IMG]

    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
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2008
  5. bwaites

    bwaites Well-Known Member

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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
     
  6. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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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
     
  7. Captn C

    Captn C Well-Known Member

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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!
     
  8. ss7mm

    ss7mm Writers Guild

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    Sounds like you've got a winner there with a wife that likes to shoot.;)


    Heck, those would just make bumps and mudholes in some of the mountain roads around here.:)
     
  9. bwaites

    bwaites Well-Known Member

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    Captn C,

    If you are looking for a low recoil gun with decent distance in the AR platform, you might consider the 6.5 Grendel. With the 123 grain Lapua Scenar or 123 grain SMK it closely matches the .308 for trajectory and has actually similar or less recoil than the 7.62x39. It's not a magnum cartridge, so you can't expect it to match the 7mm RUM, but it does pretty doggone well for something with so little recoil. Here are some graphs comparing it to various common AR rounds and the .308.

    Bill


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  10. Boss Hoss

    Boss Hoss Well-Known Member

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    This is a good question------"the wind is your friend" as my Mentor Speedy taught me!! In 1K competition I always hope for wind so that it will give me an advantage as most do not know how to read or properly judge it for that matter.

    When hunting the principals are the same but first you have to know your distance then be able to judge the speed and the angle relative to you’re your shooting direction and make the appropriate correction. This will take a lot of trigger time as well as effort but once you have it down you will have an advantage that most folks are rather clueless about.

    Good Luck!!
     
  11. ATH

    ATH Well-Known Member

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    As with most things in long range shooting, there are a lot of variables in determining how much wind is too much. With my muzzleloader, my main hunting gun, I am comfortable up to my 400 yd max range with winds up to 10 mph as long as it's pretty constant. Over 10 mph, I pretty much cut the max range shot I will take in half.

    I consider the 300WM I have worked up for elk a 600 yd gun under most conditions...myabe 800 yd if it was really calm. Now most guys on here would laugh at that, a 300WM is good past 600 yds. Well, it can be, but I don't have a wind meter, and I prefer not to need a pocket PC with exbal. My gun and a laser rangefinder are enough to feel very comfortable to 600, but if the wind gets heavy enough to worry about I just won't be shooting.

    I have lurked here quite awhile and really admire some of the shooters here and what they can do. The gear, preparation, and knowledge amaze me and I'm here to learn from it. Occasionally I see something like "I guessed the wind at 950 yds and shot the animal in the butt, and after 3 more shots I finally put one in the vitals". This makes me cringe because that's not what long range hunting is about. It's about extending your abilities to long range and staying in them.

    Could I get the drop right with my 300WM at 1000 yds, guess within 3-4 feet (minute of elk) on windage under most any wind and at least hit the animal every time? Probably, I'm decent with the gun in the wind. But that's not what LRH is about so I limit myself to what I am personally comfortable making every shot with. I've NEVER failed to make a first (and only) shot vitals hit on a deer with my muzzleloader at ranges to 338 yds, so it seems to be working for me.

    Practice. A LOT. Figure the range you can reliably hit the target at time and time again under field conditions. That's your max wind and range.
     
  12. Captn C

    Captn C Well-Known Member

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    I know there are some amazing shooter on this site...thanks for the replies.

    I doubt I would ever try anything over about 600 on a animal. The flat terrain and no chance at all for a beded shot...everything would be up feeding or chasing. The wind would be almost impossible to dope on truely long shots with trees and bushes along the entire bullets path. There are times when at groud level (early and late) that the wind is still at groud level and be blowing 10mph 15 feet up. As the wind contacts the land coming across the bay it is deflected up and gives the impression it is still. Any thoughts on this situation?

    I think we are going to take the wife PSL (bought it for her at Easter 2 years ago) and try it...ammo is cheap and it has a bigger 7.62 bullet as well. We were just looking for something to do when I set up a long range target last weekend. It was pretty funny when she looked though the scope and said she couldn't see the target....sshe said "how can you hit that?" She was pretty pleased that she was able to.
     
  13. speedbump

    speedbump Well-Known Member

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    That is some good shootin' Mrs. Cap'n. I had one of those ARs in 7.62x39 and regret selling it still. Shooting one of those at 700 is like shooting a .308 at 1K - and then some.

    Some of the better HP shooters I know compare shooting a .22LR at 100 yards to shooting a .308 at 600, and plinking a .22 at 200 yards is at LEAST as tough to do well as keeping them in the 10 ring at 1K.

    Keep up the FUN !:D