Data for shooting at higher elevations

Taylorbok

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I was mostly more considering the usefulness of the Kestrel was the applied ballistics calculator for storing all your info and calculating the solution not so much the anemometer. The rest of the weather meter is nice to get more accurate readings and will result in a "cleaner" solution but NO it will not help you with wind anywhere but the location you are standing which is near useless. You can use an App instead of the AB Kestrel but then you rely on other sources for your other inputs which is fine but it seemed back on page 2 Yobuck essentially seemed to claim he didn't need a ballistic calculator, which again you don't need one but that is going to require some math and then acquiring some dope
 

dfanonymous

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I was mostly more considering the usefulness of the Kestrel was the applied ballistics calculator for storing all your info and calculating the solution not so much the anemometer. The rest of the weather meter is nice to get more accurate readings and will result in a "cleaner" solution but NO it will not help you with wind anywhere but the location you are standing which is near useless. You can use an App instead of the AB Kestrel but then you rely on other sources for your other inputs which is fine but it seemed back on page 2 Yobuck essentially seemed to claim he didn't need a ballistic calculator, which again you don't need one but that is going to require some math and then acquiring some dope
So what happens to the bullet the second it leaves the barrel and is hit by the wind? (Wind at the shooter)
 
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LRNut

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I know that’s what was taught. I’ve had wasted countless days getting good at mirage but it’s not an end all be all way of determining wind at long to extreme range. It’s not just me. Even some of the best shooters in the world to include Emil Praslick agree that mirage has limitations.

In a tactical setting…or in Texas, it’s useless at night. And it’s useless in areas that have a lot of terrain features. It also doesn’t help you with anything taking place at max ord.

A) I am not the guys you see at the range.
B) the kestrel is a issued piece of military kit. For a reason.
C) So everyone who shoots PRS/NRL is just some garbage shooter? Bryan litz at ko2m getting first round impacts at two miles away with a 1/4 moa group is what? Because of mirage? Lol

You’re trying to explain something to me, like I don’t understand mirage…I do…it just isn’t the only way or the best way to do things. It’s A way. A tool of many tools.

While I subscribe to the thought that ALL wind matters, the wind at the shooter is the most important, and the wind at the target has the least influence to a wind solution. You’re much better off understanding the fluid dynamics of the terrain you are shooting in and combing them with your knowledge of mirage.

Mirage is not “autocorrecting.” it’s not telling you angle or the distance of that gust the way you are describing it. Not in an accurate way to the mph. You or a spotter can pan the spotting scope until you reach a boil and that will be the no value point of the wind, and the direction offset direction of the spotting scope relative to the target will be your cosine angle.

If you’re watching the waves turn into a boil at the 1030 (.707) at 1200y from your position, and you know the wind is 8 mph high gust with 7mph average coming from your o'clock (.866) at your position because you have a kestrel…what is your down range winds high gust if you’re gun shoots .5 mil per 6 mph before bc degradation?

No, a hunter doesn’t need to do all this, or have this level of understanding, of wind. I realize it’s a headache but I want you to realize that you’re not convincing me of anything. I know how to shoot in wind.

The answer is roughly 6.5 mph at 1200y using non auto correcting mirage and the kestrel.
Average that out with 8mph if you are shooting in the gust, plus add .2 for BC degradation and plus .1 mrad for spin. You have a solution. The limitation of this word problem is real world conditions but the process is the same.
My issue is Kestrel vs mirage. In my experience, if I can see the mirage, my wind solution is 75% mirage. The other 25% is a shock corded wind flag planted in front of me - for both direction and wind strength.

I agree you cannot always see mirage. But when you can, in my experience (which is typically shooting several times every day up to 1400) it is by far the best indicator - for direction as well as speed. What I meant by "autocorrecting" is that it gives a composite picture of the wind to include the angle. As I am sure you know, if it is boiling, it is a tail or headwind, but a strong wind from 11 or 1 will still cause the mirage to drift in the direction of the wind. As soon as the sun comes up in AZ or CO you often see it drift away from the sun - might not matter at 600 but it does at 900, as I am sure you know. Just as importantly, mirage provides a mental probability density function of the wind. Where I shoot, unless the wind is less than five mph, it doesn't take but a few seconds to change - I am behind a NF or March scope with my left hand on the parallax knob, looking for prevailing condition in terms of mirage and corresponding wind speed and watching my wind flag planted in front me. I shoot when the prevailing condition shows itself in terms of mirage and the flag. If I can't see mirage, I found my best solution is to use my wind flag, anemometer and observe vegetation, but in AZ, it takes a lot of wind to blow a palo verde without leaves.

I totally agree about the terrain, which is another reason holding a Kestrel in the air and taking a reading is going to cause heartburn if shooting across a canyon or valley. The only time I have found an anemometer to be close is when I am at the highest point between me and my target.

My goal is to hit a ten inch square with the first shot 90% of the time. A miss is almost always corrected with a second shot, but not my cup of tea. While I shoot as far as 1400, trying to hit a target that small in the wind becomes incredibly difficult, if only because the wind changes enough during the TOF to cause a miss.

One last thing...I am aware of the turning your scope to see the boil and calc the angle of the wind, but where I shoot, the wind angle is constantly changing, perhaps due to terrain - who knows? I know by the time I rotate my spotter to get the angle, it will have changed again by the time I shoot. Might work if you have a coach or a spotter, but not when you are by yourself.
 

dfanonymous

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My issue is Kestrel vs mirage. In my experience, if I can see the mirage, my wind solution is 75% mirage. The other 25% is a shock corded wind flag planted in front of me - for both direction and wind strength.

I agree you cannot always see mirage. But when you can, in my experience (which is typically shooting several times every day up to 1400) it is by far the best indicator - for direction as well as speed. What I meant by "autocorrecting" is that it gives a composite picture of the wind to include the angle. As I am sure you know, if it is boiling, it is a tail or headwind, but a strong wind from 11 or 1 will still cause the mirage to drift in the direction of the wind. As soon as the sun comes up in AZ or CO you often see it drift away from the sun - might not matter at 600 but it does at 900, as I am sure you know. Just as importantly, mirage provides a mental probability density function of the wind. Where I shoot, unless the wind is less than five mph, it doesn't take but a few seconds to change - I am behind a NF or March scope with my left hand on the parallax knob, looking for prevailing condition in terms of mirage and corresponding wind speed and watching my wind flag planted in front me. I shoot when the prevailing condition shows itself in terms of mirage and the flag. If I can't see mirage, I found my best solution is to use my wind flag, anemometer and observe vegetation, but in AZ, it takes a lot of wind to blow a palo verde without leaves.

I totally agree about the terrain, which is another reason holding a Kestrel in the air and taking a reading is going to cause heartburn if shooting across a canyon or valley. The only time I have found an anemometer to be close is when I am at the highest point between me and my target.

My goal is to hit a ten inch square with the first shot 90% of the time. A miss is almost always corrected with a second shot, but not my cup of tea. While I shoot as far as 1400, trying to hit a target that small in the wind becomes incredibly difficult, if only because the wind changes enough during the TOF to cause a miss.

One last thing...I am aware of the turning your scope to see the boil and calc the angle of the wind, but where I shoot, the wind angle is constantly changing, perhaps due to terrain - who knows? I know by the time I rotate my spotter to get the angle, it will have changed again by the time I shoot. Might work if you have a coach or a spotter, but not when you are by yourself.
If you want to go that route about wind angle the kestrel has a wind vane that can be tripod mounted or held. It does the job of the wind flag for you. Best thing is you can move the kestrel higher using the tripod than your flag giving you less fiction resistance on the ground and giving a more accurate wind reading. I’m telling you, the kestrel is a more accurate tool for 1/3 of the solution. Mirage is a tool. That’s it. Deer and elk are usually found out west here in early morning or late evening. You don’t pick up mirage early morning in the terrains these animals live in, first thing in the morning, 30 minutes before first light.

So unless you are bedding animals, to make a rifle shot, you’re already talking about a specific circumstance as far as hunting is concerned. In practice. On a range, it’s less concerning but still, mirage direction CAN be important. However, the fact is out here 20 mph wind is not uncommon which washes out your mirage wind chart all together. I mean there is a monsoon season in Arizona in case you forgot. Wyoming is ridiculous. I’ve been in 60 mph winds in Utah…colorado…dead horse beat.

The issue you are describing about wind angle changing requires you average the angle or you time the shot in the predominate angle. This imo is more useful as I like to go with the stronger wind. If I miss, I want to miss on the professional side. At 1400y a 14x14 inches plate should be a first round impact regardless of complexity. Anything less that 14x14 there is a bit of hit probability that needs to be considered the smaller you go as there is a danger space component that is not being talked about.
 

LRNut

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If you want to go that route about wind angle the kestrel has a wind vane that can be tripod mounted or held. It does the job of the wind flag for you. Best thing is you can move the kestrel higher using the tripod than your flag giving you less fiction resistance on the ground and giving a more accurate wind reading. I’m telling you, the kestrel is a more accurate tool for 1/3 of the solution. Mirage is a tool. That’s it. Deer and elk are usually found out west here in early morning or late evening. You don’t pick up mirage early morning in the terrains these animals live in, first thing in the morning, 30 minutes before first light.

So unless you are bedding animals, to make a rifle shot, you’re already talking about a specific circumstance as far as hunting is concerned. In practice. On a range, it’s less concerning but still, mirage direction CAN be important. However, the fact is out here 20 mph wind is not uncommon which washes out your mirage wind chart all together. I mean there is a monsoon season in Arizona in case you forgot. Wyoming is ridiculous. I’ve been in 60 mph winds in Utah…colorado…dead horse beat.

The issue you are describing about wind angle changing requires you average the angle or you time the shot in the predominate angle. This imo is more useful as I like to go with the stronger wind. If I miss, I want to miss on the professional side. At 1400y a 14x14 inches plate should be a first round impact regardless of complexity. Anything less that 14x14 there is a bit of hit probability that needs to be considered the smaller you go as there is a danger space component that is not being talked about.
I agree that early morning before the sun comes up there is no mirage, but quite often it is calm. But I honestly have not seen too many animals at long range before the sun comes up. Another difficult condition is the sun setting in your eyes - impossible to see mirage. Very cloudy days, forget it. On the other hand, if there is snow on the ground, it is almost always visible.

Let's talk about danger space in the context of wind. A 14x14 target means you have 1/2 MOA allowable wind error either way, or 1 MOA total. A .338 300 Berger at 2850 drifts .7 MOA per one mile of wind, which means you must estimate that wind within 1.4 mph and not have it change at all in the TOF of 2 seconds - and that assumes your rifle shoots 0" groups at that range. Even a 1/4 minute rifle has an allowable wind error of .75 MOA, which means you must estimate it with 1 mph and not have it change in the two seconds of flight - and according to Litz's wind array experiment, the wind is never steady (just hold your Kestrel into the wind for two seconds and note how fast it changes). Not sure how that becomes becomes an expectation no matter how fast the wind is blowing or changing. At some point, it becomes too far.
 
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dfanonymous

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I agree that early morning before the sun comes up there is no mirage, but quite often it is calm. But I honestly have not seen too many animals at long range before the sun comes up. Another difficult condition is the sun setting in your eyes - impossible to see mirage. Very cloudy days, forget it. On the other hand, if there is snow on the ground, it is almost always visible.

Let's talk about danger space in the context of wind. A 14x14 target means you have 1/2 MOA allowable wind error either way, or 1 MOA total. A .338 300 Berger at 2850 drifts .7 MOA per one mile of wind, which means you must estimate then wind within 1.4 mph and not have it change at all in the TOF of 2 seconds - and that assumes your rifle shoots 0" groups at that range. Even a 1/4 minute rifle has an allowable wind error of .75 MOA, which means you must estimate it with 1 mph and not have it change in the two seconds of flight - and according to Litz's wind array experiment, the wind is never steady (just hold your Kestrel into the wind for two seconds and note how fast it changes). Not sure how that becomes becomes an expectation no matter how fast the wind is blowing or changing. At some point, it becomes too far.
Agree about the with the 14x14 danger space, for the average shooter. I’ve been getting bored with typing multi paragraph points so I realize that some of my points were disorganized and jumbled.

Under the assumption that you are shooting at a range and that you have a competitive rifle setup, yes…you need the wind down to 1 mph. It goes back full circle to the point of the kestrel being accurate in 1/3 of the solution to the mph.

If the center wind is the same as the shooter, then you basically have 2/3 solution( excluding difference in wind gradient at max ord).

As far as wind direction changing, again there is an average. That average can be pretty accurate. Generally speak, the goal IS 1 mph. Hence, why I suggest timing the shot. Either there so much variance that you can split the middle or there is a gust or calm long enough to use from a particular direction. It’s why I hold wind and don’t dial. Timing the shot requires you be flexible. When the target is moving, in addition to wind you almost have to use just hold.

It takes time and practice. It’s not easy. It requires time some experimenting and a lot of failing but it’s doable. My ultimate goal was to argue and articulate the kestrel’s usefulness and the limitations on mirage. It might not be for everyone but it’s useful enough, as far as tools are concerned. There’s also terrain association. It’s common knowledge the wind flows like water in terrain. Then, there’s doping common vegetation using a kestrel and making notes for the yobucks out there.
 

LRNut

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Agree about the with the 14x14 danger space, for the average shooter. I’ve been getting bored with typing multi paragraph points so I realize that some of my points were disorganized and jumbled.

Under the assumption that you are shooting at a range and that you have a competitive rifle setup, yes…you need the wind down to 1 mph. It goes back full circle to the point of the kestrel being accurate in 1/3 of the solution to the mph.

If the center wind is the same as the shooter, then you basically have 2/3 solution( excluding difference in wind gradient at max ord).

As far as wind direction changing, again there is an average. That average can be pretty accurate. Generally speak, the goal IS 1 mph. Hence, why I suggest timing the shot. Either there so much variance that you can split the middle or there is a gust or calm long enough to use from a particular direction. It’s why I hold wind and don’t dial. Timing the shot requires you be flexible. When the target is moving, in addition to wind you almost have to use just hold.

It takes time and practice. It’s not easy. It requires time some experimenting and a lot of failing but it’s doable. My ultimate goal was to argue and articulate the kestrel’s usefulness and the limitations on mirage. It might not be for everyone but it’s useful enough, as far as tools are concerned. There’s also terrain association. It’s common knowledge the wind flows like water in terrain. Then, there’s doping common vegetation using a kestrel and making notes for the yobucks out there.
Good discussion; I appreciate it. I do agree it takes time and practice. Lots of practice.
 

yobuck

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Well the sign over the entrance here reads (long range hunting).
And for those who might be interested in simply doing that, none of the information contained in the above posts will be of much real use to you.
You dont have to agree with me on anything, fact is id advise not agreeing with anybody till you yourself have tried shooting at some targets at the distances most animals are killed at long range.
And that distance will be up to 1000yds max, with most shots well under that distance.
Many of todays factory rifles having just a decent scope that can be dialed will be a good starting point.
A rangefinder is helpfull, but even that isnt absolutely essential to start.
Guessing the distance will get you closer to the target than you might think at the closer distances. And it can actually have benefits in that it can teach you how to use the dial of the scope in a hunting situation.
Read about the (one shot zero) method of sighting a rifle and practice it. Then use it on the long range targets you shoot at.
You will soon learn that all you need is you, a decent gun, and a good place to shoot, with the latter being the most important.
Dart boards are placed on walls and not floors for a good reason, and shooting a rifle at targets on steep sidehills is visually similar.
As for necessary equipment for a long range hunter?
The hunting part starts with finding game, and that requires very good binoculars, preferably mounted on a tripod.
Ask any experienced/successful long range hunter what he needs most as for equipment, and you will find that things like wind meters, scope levels, and angle indicators for scopes wont even be on the list of at least most of them.
How we shoot, is a far more important topic than this one.
 

Jeffrey Van Zandt

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I agree that early morning before the sun comes up there is no mirage, but quite often it is calm. But I honestly have not seen too many animals at long range before the sun comes up. Another difficult condition is the sun setting in your eyes - impossible to see mirage. Very cloudy days, forget it. On the other hand, if there is snow on the ground, it is almost always visible.

Let's talk about danger space in the context of wind. A 14x14 target means you have 1/2 MOA allowable wind error either way, or 1 MOA total. A .338 300 Berger at 2850 drifts .7 MOA per one mile of wind, which means you must estimate that wind within 1.4 mph and not have it change at all in the TOF of 2 seconds - and that assumes your rifle shoots 0" groups at that range. Even a 1/4 minute rifle has an allowable wind error of .75 MOA, which means you must estimate it with 1 mph and not have it change in the two seconds of flight - and according to Litz's wind array experiment, the wind is never steady (just hold your Kestrel into the wind for two seconds and note how fast it changes). Not sure how that becomes becomes an expectation no matter how fast the wind is blowing or changing. At some point, it becomes too far.
I shot in the north country and very little mirage in the winter when the snow is on the ground just about the only time we have mirage is right now during our summer
 

Taylorbok

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Well the sign over the entrance here reads (long range hunting).
I think you forgot you went into the private room with the sign saying "ELR hunting and SHOOTING, 1000 and beyond"

There is a lot of good info here.
I'd argue mirage reading is more a skill, kestrel is a tool. Is one more useful than the other? IMO the kestrel can also provide temp, pressure, altitude and humidity while also having the ballistic calculator so for me that's easy. but you still need the mirage.
wind reading is definitely a hard subject to discuss via a keyboard. I find I do consider the shooter wind a bit but take more into factor what I can see around 400 for the close wind and go out from there.
 

yobuck

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I think you forgot you went into the private room with the sign saying "ELR hunting and SHOOTING, 1000 and beyond"

There is a lot of good info here.
I'd argue mirage reading is more a skill, kestrel is a tool. Is one more useful than the other? IMO the kestrel can also provide temp, pressure, altitude and humidity while also having the ballistic calculator so for me that's easy. but you still need the mirage.
wind reading is definitely a hard subject to discuss via a keyboard. I find I do consider the shooter wind a bit but take more into factor what I can see around 400 for the close wind and go out from there.
I didnt forget about the so called private room.
I was here when the so called room was created, and i also remember well who the prime mover for its creation was.
Point of the whole matter is that average Joe shooter can become much better at shooting longer distances than he might think.
And in order to do that he dosent need to be investing in things he himself will later find were unnesasery to have.
As for the experts, there have been no shortages of them spewing forth their opinions on things for much longer than my now very long life.
Much of it related to things like selling books or gadgets.
 
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