Windage Compensation

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Anyone that has spent much time in Wyoming knows that the wind can really blow here. According to the University of Wyoming's website at UW - Laramie, Wyoming | University of Wyoming, "Wyoming contains over 50% of the United States' top categories for wind energy resource". Whether it's the plains of eastern and southern Wyoming or the mountain valleys and peaks of the western Rockies, the wind can be a factor for hunters on any given day of the year. As the birth place of Huskemaw Optics, Wyoming has been the premier place to develop rifle scope technology and to put our scopes through the most rigorous field tests. From wind drifted roads and trails, to wind-proof tents and clothing for hunters, wind is a reality that must be dealt with on many different levels. In this article, we will cover some of the effects wind has on the flight path of a bullet and what can be done for both minimization and compensation. Read More...
This is a thread for discussion of the article, Windage Compensation, By Jack Peterson. Here you can ask questions or make comments about the article.
 

Timnterra

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Oct 18, 2012
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Rapid City SD
I think this is a very helpful article. I never have given much thought to the idea of wind. Before I started getting into long range shooting I shot from 20-200 yards and never noticed a wind difference and if I did I probably just chalked it up to the load or my shooting form. I had recently asked on another forum "how do you train for wind compensation?" And I didn't get any helpful training advice. I received the same answer from 100 people "shoot" well it was a little discouraging because in long range hunting you don't get a chance to shoot and watch the bullet impact diet and adjust your aim and walk the bullet into the target. In long range hunting the first shot makes or breaks you. I liked the information about reading mirage and vegetation as well as using the windmeter. I have a hard time telling what mirage is doing is there a good way to get proficient at identifying mirage?
 

blairh

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Sep 16, 2012
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Missouri City, Texas
I shot IHMSA for years and Ft.Stockton Texas hosted the International Championship on several occasions. Located in west Texas (high desert), not only did the wind blow hard, but the temp typically reached 100+ everyday... making for good mirage. I understand the theories of reading mirage; however, I have another question dealing with its afffect on target acquisition and sight picture... best illustrated by an experiment we conducted one day. At 7:00 AM (70* and no mirage at all) we set a chicken on the 200 yard rail and at the firing line we securely clamped a scope on a steel pole with cross hair centered on the chicken. As the day heated up to 104* in mid afternoon, there was unusually very little wind so the heavy mirage was boiling almost straight up. Looking through the scope under these conditions, the chicken "appeared" to be some 18" (9 MOA) ABOVE the cross hair. The mirage and light refraction was causing the naked eye looking through iron sights to actually "see" the target where it wasn't. If you aimed at what you saw, it was a sure miss high... we had to compensate for where the mirage was bending the light for what we saw. It was an eye opener to say the least! In similar conditions with a 15+ MPH full value wind with heavy mirage, we had to dial the wind and then add a "hold for the mirage"; which under these conditions was holding on the ram's butt to hit him in the shoulder (about 24" or 12 MOA). In all the wind compensation articles talking about reading mirage, I never see this addressed... and it seems to be a real factor. Our vision sees images based on the delivery of light to our eyes and the refraction caused by mirage can "move" the image from where it actually is.
 

Timnterra

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I exerienced something like that but again didn't know what I was seeing. I was trying to do drop confirmation from 300-1000 yards. I made a 4'x8'target with a big cross on it for the aiming point at long range. It was frustrating, to say the least, to aim at the thing as the mirage made it look like the target was jumping all over the place. Needless to say my drop data from that day was worthless.
 

Greyfox

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Jan 21, 2008
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Northeast
I exerienced something like that but again didn't know what I was seeing. I was trying to do drop confirmation from 300-1000 yards. I made a 4'x8'target with a big cross on it for the aiming point at long range. It was frustrating, to say the least, to aim at the thing as the mirage made it look like the target was jumping all over the place. Needless to say my drop data from that day was worthless.
Good primer for those wanting to take on LRH! As an aside, I bought one of the early Huskemaws over 7 years ago. It has accounted for dozens of deer, antelope, and varmints out to 1200 yards. It continues to be one of my favorite hunting scopes.
I have hunted Wyoming for deer and antelope for several years and agree that you get a full dose of wind and mirage when hunting at long range. Great practice in understanding and testing the effects of wind and mirage is to take an afternoon at one of the numerous prairie dog towns that provides shots from 500 to 1000 yards. We make it a game. No shot walking allowed. Only 5 shots at five PD's at different ranges/positions(also, don't want to burn up the barrel on our shooters...).
 

newtonian

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Jul 30, 2013
Messages
25
The article gave many useful methods of estimating wind over a fairly flat course from shooter to target. The further above ground, the greater the wind. Since there is no vegetation or mirage way above ground, how might one estimate the wind when shooting over a drainage where a bullet could possibly pass hundreds of feet above ground?
 

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