View Full Version : Kestrel weather meters and other shooting stuff.

September 1, 2008, 05:14 PM
OK, so I have a rifle and a spotting scope. What else do I need for "precision" shooting. I'm thinking of getting a Kestrel weather meter, though I'm not sure which model I want. Does anyone here have any experience with these?

What else should I be looking to get? A range finder?

September 4, 2008, 01:39 AM
1. Kestrel 4000 to gather your ambient data, although the 4500 series has the wind direction also, but for a bit more money.

2. Good range finder can be handy, if you don't want to figure out the old fashion way. I use Swaro. very reliable and consistent even in bad weather.

3. A decent spotting scopes to save you time running back and forth to check your targets.

4. Lots of ammo puttting down range.:)

Anthony C.
September 4, 2008, 01:08 PM
Greetings! By precision shooting I assume you intend to play around at greater distances. Myself, I shoot a 168gn .308 Win going 2600fps. Thus, I can get away with doping my optic only for range and wind up to about 550 meters. After that, RAW HAT applies...range, angle, wind, humidity, altitude, temperature...all that great stuff. It depends on what caliber you're shooting though. If you plan to shoot at distances that require compensating for environmental conditions, this is what I use and suggest...

You can get this at www.nkhome.com
For Humidity, Altitude, and Temperature, I suggest the KESTREL 3500NV.
It runs for $260, has a dim back-light for when the day starts to fade, is waterproof and floats, takes a CR2032 coin cell battery that lasts 300hrs, and is easy to use. Heck, it only has 3 buttons! Also, it calculates wind which isn't any help for telling the down range wind speed, but it helps you better understand what different wind strengths feel like...so that you can look down range and better estimate based on what you see foliage doing or how fast heat waves are drifting. The difference between the Kestrel 4000 and the 3500 is $80, and the 4000 model logs data...for shooting I don't need to log old data, so I saved the 80 bucks. You may want to keep the data though. You really can't go cheaper than the 3500 model because the 2500 doesn't do humidity, and the 3000 model doesn't do altitude.

There is a point (distance) at which mil-dots are not accurate enough, even when you know the precise size in inches of your target. That's the point where a 15 meter error in you range estimation will result in a miss.
Both the Leupold RX III and the Bushnell Elite 1500 are the same price at $400. The Leupold has a feature that you'll need to pay an extra $100 for if you get the Bushnell. The Leupold calculates angle for you. Both are completely waterproof. I'd go with the Leupold if you're not offended by buying a Chinese product. Yes, although Leupold scopes are American they contract their rangefinders through China to be made there...too bad I say, but lots of people don't care.

So we've covered Range, Wind, Humidity, Altitude, and Temperature calculation. If you ended up choosing the Bushnell Elite 1500 for $400 without the angle calculator you'll need an angle calculator in some environments. A half circle shaped protractor with a weighted string hanging off it is a good cheap-man's solution to digital stuff.

Make sure for precision stuff at a distance you match the length of your bullet to the twist of your barrel to ensure proper long range stability.
So what rig are you shooting and what are you shooting out of it?
Good luck, and good shooting...

September 4, 2008, 08:16 PM
Right now I'm shooting a Remington 700 LTR in .223 and only have the option of shooting 200 yards max. I don't know if my range will be able to extend the rifle range because there are houses beyond the berm. Someone built an unauthorized 240ish berm and as an RSO, I'm not going to shoot at it.

I've already got a spotting scope. It's a Buhnell something or other that I got on sale. It's at least a start. I was looking at a Kestrel 3000 or 3500.

By "precision" I mean trying to put bullets where I want them rather than just aiming at the target and letting the bullets hit where they may.

September 5, 2008, 11:31 AM
After contemplating my above answer a little more, I feel I ought to clarify. What I want to do is more than just shoot at my target. I'd like to take a more calculated approach to shooting my rifle.

Anthony C.
September 5, 2008, 09:08 PM
Well taking precise shots up to 200yds with that rig ain't gonna be a problem. And the best part is you don't need to worry about any environmental conditions with that cartridge at 200yds and less. yay! so you don't need the Kestrel for this particular mission...

All you need to worry about is Range, Angle, and Wind.

The most important tool for you besides MEASURING those 3 factors above correctly will be COMPENSATING for those 3 factors correctly. And the best way to do that is to use ballistic software. You'll need an optic with correct and consistent adjustments too.

There's a free 30 day trial online of Remington Shoot! I used that then a buddy of mine introduced me to Exbal which is superior and easier to use. If you're not familiar with that stuff, all you do is type in your bullet data (coefficient, muzzle velocity, weight, caliber), environmental data, and zero distance...and press "calculate." The software then kicks out your optic adjustment for every distance from 0 to however far you say in increments of 10yds 25yds or 50yds. And utilizing that system is what's gonna set you apart from the guy making guesses where he should hold the cross-hairs.

Yours may be fine for the task, but it may not. You need to test it. It's too easy. Conduct a box test from at least 100 meters away. Hopefully you won't need to buy a new scope. Also, it'll be very helpful to learn to convert inches, MOA, and mils into each other.

September 6, 2008, 10:06 PM
Yeah, I figured 200 yards with a .223 is a cake walk. I saw a video on YouTube of a guy shooting a similar set up at ~860 yards. You can actually see the bullet's tragectory. :cool:

I've heard of Exbal before but haven't looked into it yet. I spent some time tonight making my own "Sniper's Data Card" basically to keep track of my range sessions.

It sounds like I'll need a decent range finder. Even if it doesn't measure angles, I can always use good ol' trig and geometry. I also want to practice reading the wind through heat mirage. I have some idea of what I should be looking for but unfortunately the mirages you see through the spotting scope don't have the solid black lines like they show in the books! :D