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Old February 24, 2013, 03:15 PM   #1
sigcurious
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Wind and Beginner's Precision Rifle.

I've been trying to learn the ropes of precision rifle shooting, but I think I may be hitting a wall. Much of the instructional stuff I've looked at talks about the high end of wind speed being around 10-15 mph. Where I shoot 20+mph with gusts even higher are not uncommon.

Given the current ammo situation I am trying to make my practice as efficient as possible. Is it even worth trying on days where it is particularly windy? Or would it be just be better to wait for days when the wind is more favorable until I have a solid base then attempt to deal with the higher wind speeds?

For example the other day, it started getting gusty while I was trying to see the mirage, no gusts and I could see it but when it really started going I couldn't see it anymore.
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Old February 24, 2013, 04:02 PM   #2
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Precision shooting is always easier with no wind, but you definitely should get some practice in some no wind conditions and some with wind. If your worrying about wasting ammo because of the wind, you should definitely do some additional homework on your external ballistics. Try to stick with the same ammo and understand your velocities and trajectories. This will make your adjustments easier to understand. You don't mention if your precision shooting is at long distances or not or what your accuracy goals are. Wind is going to have minimal affect at short distances and really starts getting trickier at the longer distances.

Definitely focus on fundamentals of good marksmanship, prior to slinging lead long distances in windy conditions. As for mirage, are you looking through a rifle scope, spotting scope, binoculars or naked eye? If through optics, get your focus on your target and then adjust your focus approximately 2/3 the distance to your target to better view the mirage. Also, if wind is gusting and then letting off, wait for it to die down some prior to the shot.

Give us some ideas of what type of precision shooting you are interested in, your goals for accuracy, rifle and load data, distances you are shooting, etc, and better advice will be easier to discuss
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Old February 24, 2013, 05:16 PM   #3
sigcurious
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I have a Savage 12bvss, currently using factory 175gr remington match ammo(will start reloading when I find the dies and components in stock). I am currently shooting at 100 and 300 yards(current goal is to get that out to 600+) depending on how crowded the range is. Basically just looking to make as small of a group as possible, right now I am just assuming that the rifle/ammo combo is more accurate than I am. I've been shooting 1-1.5 moa, and would like to get that 1 moa or less consistently.
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Old February 24, 2013, 05:42 PM   #4
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Wind shouldn't be too much of a factor at 100. You would have to have a pretty hefty wind to take it far off course with a 175 gr bullet. Out to 300, the wind has more time to affect the bullet and will start to affect POI. I regularly shoot a 77 gr bullet at 200 yds for practiceand wind is rarely strong enough to play a major role.
My advice is definitely to focus on the fundamentals of position, sight alignment and trigger pull and follow through. Consistency is the name of the game in precision shooting. Once you have some consistent results you can slowly start to increase distances and wind.

This brings up another question, Are you shooting off a bench? Bipod? Rest? Bags? Shooting mat frome prone position? Sitting, standing?
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Old February 24, 2013, 05:58 PM   #5
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Bench with bipod, when I find a mat I like it will be bench and prone mostly. Might incorporate other positions as I go. Currently I don't use a rear bag, but have been thinking about it.
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Old February 24, 2013, 06:38 PM   #6
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Have you tried shooting off bags instead of bipod?
Bipods can work, but often times cause some issues. Your gun should definitely be capable..... It's a nice gun. What scope/rings?
Some hand loads might help fine tune things down the road, but definitely spend the time on focusing on shooting fundamentals more than equipment.
I'm sure you have heard a lot of people suggest an "appleseed" event for instruction - they can definitely be worth your time if the instructors are good. It's also a lot of fun and you get a lot of rounds down range ( suggest a .22 however, .308 would be an expensive day). You could also see if you have a local range that shoots highpower, F-class, etc. there are a LOT of talented shooters that love teaching others - this can be priceless.
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Old February 24, 2013, 09:46 PM   #7
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Using a SWFA SS 10x and the DNZ one piece rings/base. I haven't tried using a front bag yet.

Hopefully, the buying madness cools off enough that match ammo and/or reloading supplies come back into stock. I'd like to start putting more rounds down range each session.
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Old February 25, 2013, 10:19 AM   #8
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Very seldom do you have a "no wind" day.

It's hard to learn wind from vedios and books, people are different, they see things different and get different results.

It doesn't take mony to learn wind and mirage, it just takes time. Get a wind meter and carry it with you constantly.

Look at trees, flags, grass, dust, smoke, etc etc. Make your best estimate what the wind is doing then pull your wind meter out of your pocket and compare what it says with your estimate.

Take your spotting scope out, adjust it for the mirage, then use you wind meter to tell you the wnd value of what you see.

Learn to tell which way the wind is blowing. 12 O'Clock is aways toward your front.

Practicing the above with a balistic program inputed with your ammo inputs wil tell you what the wind does to your bullet.

Ammo prices is not a deterent to learning to reading wind and mirage.
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Old February 25, 2013, 10:57 AM   #9
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I'll bet what's holding you back is your ammo and not wind (at those distances). Try FGMM (federal gold) ammo and let me know I was right. At 100 yards, With a good ammo/rifle , <1moa should be easily attainable unless you have some SERIOUS flaws in your fundamentals.(like an enormous flinch) if your already using a bipod, unless your personally craving a change, no need too switch to bags. Using a bipod is every bit as accurate as bags, its more of a preference thing.
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Old February 25, 2013, 01:14 PM   #10
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Re: Wind and Beginner's Precision Rifle.

kraig, your advice is sage as usual. I had not considered just doing dry practice with a ballistics calc.

timelinex, perhaps it is the ammo. unfortunately i wont know until i can find some more lol. All i do know is that the lighter pmc stuff i tried because at least there was a lot of it avaiable, was a terrible match.for my rifle.

<insert sent from.phone spelling etc disclaimer here>
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Old February 25, 2013, 03:34 PM   #11
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Btw I wasn't discrediting anyone else's advice, as kraig and the others have sound advice, that always applies (since they are part of the fundamentals).

I was just saying that before you start changing And messing with your form that you make sure it's not the ammo that's the problem. Otherwise, without an experienced pair of eyes on you , you can end up with worse form.

I understand it's a bad time to find good ammo though...

Try calling southwest ammunition. They make top quality ammo and are usually reasonably priced. Maybe they have stock they can sell you.
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Old February 25, 2013, 06:45 PM   #12
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You really can't learn to shoot with wind moving your bullets willie nillie. Even head/tail wind will move your bullets if there's any obstruction to cause a swirl between muzzle and target. I was a good shot when I got on the ROTC rifle team but I really learned how to shoot well on an indoor range. When I went outside, I didn't have to worry much about the actual process of shooting and could put more effort into shooting the wind(conditions).
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Old February 25, 2013, 07:08 PM   #13
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Dang, I just ordered some other .308 I found, would have been worth it to wait they have good prices at that place. Next time around though.

Things are slowly coming together, today was a good day. I think I'm finding my groove with the rifle, that is to say becoming more consistent in how I hold it etc.
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Old February 26, 2013, 09:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Is it even worth trying on days where it is particularly windy? Or would it be just be better to wait for days when the wind is more favorable until I have a solid base then attempt to deal with the higher wind speeds?
Everyone has been through this exercise- or in the case of myself and my sons- still going through it.

Doping the wind is a learning experience. Avoid frustrating yourself, and your pocketbook.

So yes, if your skill level is not congruent with the level of skill needed to make hits- at least occasionally- then I would (and I have) stay home...

Pick progressively more challenging days, where you can apply what you've learned and get better.

If your skill level doesn't match conditions, then you're just wasting precious ammo- and not learning. ONLY when you can know WHY your shot went one minute left of where you expected, will you get better.

Otherwise, you end up chasing bullets everywhere, constantly fiddling with your elevation and windage, and not learning anything.
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Old February 26, 2013, 03:43 PM   #15
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Everyone has posted good advice but it will do little if it's not remembered. Keep a diary or data book. List weather conditions, ammo, light direction, mirage and sight dope. Absorb the results of each shot and how the conditions effected your call. As you progress recognizing a wind change will become easier and knowing how to handle it will become second nature. It's a long slow process but very rewarding.
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Old February 27, 2013, 08:15 PM   #16
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It will also do little if you don't have a no wind zero and keep track of the wind on your sights.
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Old February 28, 2013, 12:10 AM   #17
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http://palmettostatearmory.com/index...bthp-20rd.html

Get it while you can and settle the whether its an ammo issue...
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Old February 28, 2013, 12:40 AM   #18
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Thanks for the heads up!
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Old February 28, 2013, 04:48 PM   #19
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If you're not shooting F-Class...may I suggest investing in a good pedestal rest --- like a Hart or a Sinclair; with some rear bags to boot.

Some book reading from David Tubb...on wind doping, might be in order.

Get yourself a set of wind flags. Get 3 foot long fiberglass poles from a hardware store...used for mapping driveway locations in the snow. Tie a 6" long string to the pole, and tie some plastic "Caution" or surveyors flagging to the other end. Sinclair...makes some higher class wind flags.

Five wind flags...is recommended for 100 yards. Shoot while the wind flags are all pointed in the same direction. A wind lull...signifies a wind direction change is possibly coming --- which is a bad time to shoot. It is best to shoot on a wind build-up. Time the wind waves...with each lasting about 5 to 7 minutes.
Shoot...while at the same wind speed and direction, for every shot.

If you're shooting offhand, on windy days, you'll have to hold the firearm with a firmer/tighter grip.

For more fun on windy days...get an 8 foot long bamboo pole, stick one end in the ground --- tie about 3 or 4 foot of caution flagging, with an inflated party balloon tied at the other end --- and have at it.

Cheers,

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Last edited by Erno86; February 28, 2013 at 05:18 PM.
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Old February 28, 2013, 08:33 PM   #20
oryx
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Lots of good advice there. 5 wind flags and a balloon should definitely tell you what's going on, but wind at 100 yds shouldn't be too big of an issue - maybe in bench rest? Wind at the longer distances has more time to act on the bullet.
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Old March 1, 2013, 03:42 PM   #21
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Besides longer distances...the bullets trajectory will be most affected by the wind at the muzzle.

Most shooter's...tend to overcompensate for wind allowances.
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Old March 1, 2013, 08:02 PM   #22
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If you're putting up streamers or flags atop a pole spaced at some interval down range, the highest one need not be higher than your bullet's highest trajectory point. Any higher won't wave in the wind that blows on your bullets.

While all sorts of things have been made and written about to help folks get the hang of reading the wind and correcting for it. Nothing's as good, nor as fast, as getting a friend who's a crack long range shooter that reads the wind very well to shoot for you. You read the wind and give him the corrections and he'll put 'em on his sight. You'll get instant feedback as to how good you are. If you can do it on a rifle range with someone in the pits pulling and marking the target, that's the best way.
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Old March 1, 2013, 08:18 PM   #23
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What are you a sniper? At normal hunting and shooting distances, wind isn't a factor.
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Old March 1, 2013, 09:06 PM   #24
sigcurious
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@revolver1, I don't know what you consider normal. At the club I belong to the range goes out ~1000 yards, and plenty of spots within an hour of me offer virtually unlimited range for shooting. Not a hunter, not a sniper, just a guy trying to learn to shoot a rifle as best as possible. I'd hope, were I a sniper, I wouldn't be asking how to deal with reading the wind

@Erno86, thanks for the suggestions, I'll have to look into making some bases/stands for the wind flags(sticking poles into the ground here is easier said than done). I don't shoot F-Class yet, but once I get a bit more proficient I intend to try my hand at it.

@BartB, I'll have to see if one of the local long range aficionados will let me spot for them, they have get togethers every so often, hopefully I can make the next one.
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