Left, Right, curse this windage thing! HELP???

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by shortpants, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. shortpants

    shortpants Well-Known Member

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    I would like to hear some thoughts on why I'm having difficulty getting my windage holds figured out so here's a little background for ya. I'm shooting a factory A-Bolt 300wsm. with a factory 2lb. trigger and a muzzle brake. The rifle shoots great shooting factory Fusion ammo 165grn. When I say great I mean .5moa at 530yds. the other day and many other days when I'm shooting well. I have had great luck with this setup and it has proven to be very consistant. The elevation holds are all extremely consistant with what the ballistic program says but the windage holds are off quite a bit? I have created my own windage holds through real life shooting tests and they have proven to be consistant. SO WHY COMPLAIN RIGHT! My question is why are my holds so different than the calculator? On the calculator it calls for 1.6moa hold for a full value 5mph wind. In my tests I have found that I have to hold 2.5moa. This is just 1 example but I have found my tests to be consistant as I said. All the info in the program is accurate so what gives? My only guess is that I have a lack of understanding on just how much wind there actually is in my bullets path. I am using a wind meter that I have tested against others and it reads true.

    Any thoughts???
     
  2. Browninglover1

    Browninglover1 Well-Known Member

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    Where are you shooting from (covered range, top of mountain, flat desert, ect)? When you're shooting long distances the wind is almost always going to vary along the bullet flight path. If you can, set up windage flags every 50 yards or so all they way to the target and compare how they are blowing compared to the windage flag that you set up right where you're shooting from.

    One day I was shooting at a 500 yard target and the wind at my location was almost non existent and appeared to be calm at the target too so I held dead on and missed the target quite a bit to the side. I figured my scope must have been bumped off and I dialed in the scope till I was hitting dead center. When I walked out to look at the target I couldn't believe how much wind there was from about the 100 yard line to the 400 yard line. It was extremely strong and I hadn't even noticed it while shooting because it was calm at my position and the target but had I paid better attention to the whole distance to the target it would have helped me be on target the first time. It was a great learning experience for me. Maybe something similar is happening to you?
     
  3. royinidaho

    royinidaho Well-Known Member

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    Either what Browninglober1 said or. . . your wind measurement system is way off.

    If you have be shooting exclusively in a single shooting spot, put up some wind flags.

    If this occurs at many different shooting spots then figure a new way to measure wind speed and direction.
     
  4. Loner

    Loner Well-Known Member

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    Have you calibrated your wind meter lately? The fans are a replaceable for that reason on
    most of them.
     
  5. shortpants

    shortpants Well-Known Member

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    I have verified my real windage holds in several different locations and different terrain. Some have been practice and some hunting situations. I try to look at the terrain and guess how the wind will move across it. I think you guys are thinking the same thing I was thinking, there's more going on in the path than what my wind meter can tell me. Funny how the guys on tv just take a wind meter reading at their shooting position and fire off 1 shot kills at 1000yds. all day long! Doesn't appear quite that easy to me.
     
  6. loosesniper2000

    loosesniper2000 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with shortpants, the windage meter is only good if it's consistent down range...which by the way it never is. I stopped using flags and meters for this reason. You'll find out that practical shooting doesn't always line up with your charts. Don't get me wrong, they're a help but reading wind is a trick very few ever master. After competing in long range shooting I must admit I only ever met one person who could read wind.
    Don't discourage yourself trying to make things line up with your software because the variables differ tremendously if you're shooting over valleys, trees, open fields....etc

    My advice is to pay attention to the closest reading because the bullet isn't stabilized and the gyroscopic precession will have more impact during that time period. So yes the wind will affect it closer to the bore, but once it encounters a resistance (opposite direction) downrange it will move in that particular direction.

    The best thing to do is practice, practice, practice and then take notes how during a string of ten shots at a 1000 yards while the wind never changes at your meter you have a horizontal group 10-12 inches:rolleyes:
     
  7. CRNA

    CRNA Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the club. My shooting buddy and I go out and blast away quite a bit out to 1000 yards. If the wind is calm, it's almost no challenge to hit targets waaay out there. Put a little wind in the mix and it's a different ballgame. We shoot onto a hillside, so we can take a look through the scopes and see what's going on over at the targets. We can obviously see and feel what is going on at our shooting position. At about 150 yards there is a clearing where the wind is stronger (always) than our shooting position because we are being blocked by the trees. From about 300yards up to approximately 600 yards we are shooting across an open area above treetops. There is NO WAY to know what the wind is doing there, but one can certainly bet that whatever the wind is at that open space above the trees it's more than at either the targets or at our shooting position.
    Point being, I would think if you were shooting in Kansas where it's flat as a pancake and there is a prevailing wind, it would probably be easier to dope the wind. However, when the wind is doing different things at different positions along the bullets path, then it's not quite as simple as just going by what your calculator tells you and dialing it in. I would say that at this point on our learning curve my buddy and I spend 80% of our energy and effort to correctly dope the wind. I don't think you are doing anything wrong, it's just the nature of the beast.
     
  8. shortpants

    shortpants Well-Known Member

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    What you guys are saying echoes my own thoughts. I can't figure out for the life of me how these guys on tv take a wind reading dial and shoot? Where I hunt it is big canyons and broken terrain mostly but I practice in many different types of terrain with the same results. I guess I'll keep doing what I've been doing and keep trying to better my wind doping skills. I work outside at an airport and often carry my wind meter in my pocket to try and see how close I can guess the wind velocity. I have gotten pretty good at that but that doesn't always transition to shooting in the mountains.
     
  9. shortpants

    shortpants Well-Known Member

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    Just a couple weeks ago on my deer hunt while glassing across canyons I would study debris in the air like cobwebs and seeds so I could see what the wind was doing. Even when the winds at my location were pretty calm (3mph) the debris in the air was going all different directions, up, down, left, right??? I don't know what to do with that other than hold for the 3mph and see where it hits but I didn't have a spotter. I hunt solo quite a bit.
     
  10. paphil

    paphil Well-Known Member

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    The first thing to do is get a copy of Dope the Wind video and then practice. When shooting from a partially protected area into a high above the ground area like across a valley, I usually allow 1.5 times the measured value. The easiest wind to dope is the steady stronger wind. Those light and variable winds will drive you crazy. Then there is spin drift to complicate things even more. Practice, practice, practice. Shorter ranges (less than 600 yards) are more forgiving because the elapsed time is shorter and the velocity is still high and a 1 minute error on big game is still a kill. The difficulty factor grows expotentially after 600 yards. The minutes and the drift get much larger. Trust your data charts, they are really close and have a mathimatical basis. It is errors in measuring wind direction and strength that cause the problems and the person that can read these is going to be a winner. Practice and experience!!!
     
  11. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

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    Competitive shooters have been watching the wind blow across their line of fire at most any point down range for decades. There's no secret as to how they do it, either. It's a sheer joy to have a good coach tell you to put on 28 MOA left for the strong wind he sees blowing and your first shot misses dead center by only a foot at 800 yards.

    You'll need a good quality spotting scope. Focus it about half way to two thirds the distance to the target. Look through the scope and note the heat waves wrinkling across the scope's field of viewl Change focus to a greater distance and see how the heat waves, called "mirage" in the shooting sports, wrinkle there. Then focus the scope at a closer distance and see the difference.

    Best way to learn how to dope the wind by watching the mirage through a spotting scope's to coach a good shot while reading the wind through your spotting scope. Tell him how much to correct for based on how much the wind/mirage is moving. Then see how you did by watching his impact.

    Some rifle scopes are good enough to focus between target and you to see the mirage wrinkling across their field of view.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2011
  12. paphil

    paphil Well-Known Member

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    Now Bart, 28 minutes??? I hope you mean clicks because 28 minutes would be a 45 mph wind for my gun and mirage disapears at about 15 mph. That said, if my wind meter said 45 on flat ground, I'd be confident to take the shot at a target and hopefully would hit on one or another of the line of targets ! It is really fun to see how well some of those guys do at doping the wind and is well worth shooting with them just so a little of their knowledge can rub off on me. My best shot in the wind was a ground hog at 1050 yards holding 10 minutes. Got him on the second shot . first shot was 6 inches low but right on for windage.
     
  13. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

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    Yes. 28 minutes.

    1988 International Palma Championships, Sydney, Australia, ANZAC Rifle Range.

    I was on the USA Team's first relay with my point's coach the day of the big team match. Coach told me to put on 28 minutes; that's 112 clicks on the Wilkes rear sight I used. My first sighter was about a foot left of center where I called it. Our 16-person team used between 20 and 30 minutes of left wind most of that day on the range. The worst wind conditions I've ever shot in. All of which is why we had to have rear sights with at least 36 MOA of windage on them.
     
  14. shortpants

    shortpants Well-Known Member

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    Good advice guys! I need a better spotting scope and more trigger time for sure. I have to drive 2 hours to shoot long range and when I do I spend all day out there. I'm very jealous of you guys that get to shoot all the time. In the mean time I'm going to do my best to improve my skills. I agree, the only secret is time!