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Old February 15, 2011, 11:09 PM   #1
LloydXmas250
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Testing in High Winds

So I went out today to the High Desert. The weather report said it would be blowing 10mph but this was one of the few days I could go out so I just went for it. When I got to my spot it was blowing 20 with occasional gusts directly across my firing line. I was testing the seating depth for my most accurate load for my AR. I tested 53gr SMK on 24.5grs of H335 seated at an OAL of 2.260" and 2.20." With the wind the groups were obviously not as good as they normally are and it does seem like the OAL 2.20" performed better.

I shot round robin, 4 X 5 shot groups of one OAL, then 4 X 5 shot groups of the other. Shots were taken prone on sandbags at 100 yds about one shot every 30 seconds. Groups were as follows:

OAL 2.20" - .9065", 1.1545", 1.3695", 1.6945" for an average of 1.28"
OAL 2.26" - 1.153", 1.522", 1.8615", 1.825" for an average of 1.59"

Is it safe to conclude that this test was OK under these conditions? Or are the results too minimal that it may have been affected by the excess wind?

I tried to shoot all shots at the same wind speed but there were a few that got away because of the wind (one group had the makings of .60" but the wind took one well away from the other 4).

Let me know what you experts think.
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Old February 16, 2011, 01:04 PM   #2
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Here are some pics if that helps anything.







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Old February 16, 2011, 06:56 PM   #3
wncchester
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"Is it safe to conclude that this test was OK under these conditions?"

Welll...if it's okay with you, it's okay with us. ??
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Old February 16, 2011, 09:13 PM   #4
LloydXmas250
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I'm not as well versed as the veteran reloaders here so I'm wondering what they think. Hell if it gives me an excuse to go out and test again that's not a horrible thing either.
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Old February 16, 2011, 09:25 PM   #5
Brian Pfleuger
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The key to good groups is consistency in EVERYTHING. If you believe the wind that day was consistent, then it shouldn't adversely effect group size. If it was variable, there's no way to predict what your groups SHOULD have been. Only you can really answer that question.

Since you have doubts, I suspect you have a nagging doubts about the wind effectong things. If so, you'd do yourself a favor to reshoot the groups.

I know I hate having uncertainty about my loads.

Also, you want to wait more than 30 seconds between shots for best groups in most guns. Many people wait 5, even 10, minutes between shots.
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Old February 16, 2011, 09:36 PM   #6
Ike666
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FWIW,a t-test (assuming equal variances) yields t=-1.3185, df=5.998, p=0.2354...

or, the difference between the two groups would be assumed to occur by chance alone.

But if you've got a favorite - go with it
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Old February 16, 2011, 09:57 PM   #7
Shoney
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It would appear to a normal individual, that you may be violating an unwritten law about what you should never "eliminate"' into the wind.

However, who ever said reloaders are normal?
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Old February 16, 2011, 10:28 PM   #8
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Mainly this applies to target shooting:

After having sent a few thousand rounds downrange in the wind, I have come to the conclusion that if you don't have wind flags--good ones--and enough of them--and know at least something of how to place and read them--and don't have either experience with those same flags or a wind speed gage to tell you what the wind is doing at the time you make each shot----you really cannot tell what the wind did or did not do to your groups--the easiest way to test a load is to go out when the wind is calmest--at dawn or dusk--assuming the range or club or area in which you shoot will allow you to make noise that early or late. Still, some days the wind just blows all day and that's where the flags pay for themselves.


What "feels" or looks like a steady ninety degree wind on the firing line can be quite different 25 yards out. If you are shooting at ranges longer than 100 yards and are seriously trying to get best accuracy in a gun or a load or hone your skills, the wind becomes an even bigger factor. Terraced ranges can drive you crazy with updrafts, especially when shooting the lighter bullets. This is really a baffling problem to a lot of shooters when the wind is coming from 180 and they think it has no effect, then see "flyers" pop out of the group for what they think is no reason. There are flags that will tell you about those updrafts. Since I began using Rick Graham's uppy downy flag at my home range I have eliminated a lot of those.

BTW, that conclusion I mentioned was also what more experienced target shooters told me when I was young and dumb and full of......well not money for flags--or so I thought.

The wind can be a real PITA for target shooters, especially on those terraced ranges during matches that do not allow flags--sometimes even during matches that do allow them. I have video of my 5 flags placed on a range with the terrace berms at 50 and 100 yards. The target was at 200 yards. The 4 lateral flags were all pointing different directions--radically different--the uppy downy flag was level and the mirage board showed a straight up boil. I just sat and waited that one out, though at a match you don't have that luxury. If you'd really like to see what the wind actually does on a shooting range, go to a 200 or 300 yard BR match--everyone there will have flags out so it looks like a regiment of windmills across the surface of the range. You can actually see gusting and direction changes as they happen and see when they get to your position or not--and compare all that to what you think you feel on the line--it's a real education--even for us old retired weathermen......................
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Old February 16, 2011, 11:40 PM   #9
LloydXmas250
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Thanks for the advice. I had some paper that was rustling and I was trying to take the shots when the wind was constant but there probably was the occasional gust that pushed one shot more than another. I really wasn't shooting for the best sized groups, I was looking to see if there was a seating depth better than another by analyzing the group sizes compared to each other. Going for my best groups I wouldn't shoot in 20+ winds.

The more I think about it though, the groups, even compared against the same seating depths, were inconsistant. Two groups, one of each were good (near or better than one inch) and then others were .7" inches worse. It's a lot wider than my normal group sizes. They're usually pretty consistant. I'll run this over again on a calm day.

At least I learned I can shoot in high winds and relatively well (at least for me). Thanks again everyone.
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Old February 17, 2011, 08:40 AM   #10
Brian Pfleuger
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Any time your testing something like that you have to "be going for best groups". Otherwise, you don't have a true picture. You can never determine what error was introduced by you, or the wind, or by the variable you're trying to test.
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Old February 17, 2011, 09:46 AM   #11
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I thought you said the wind was blowing? I didnt see anything about the wind. You mentioned a 20mph sneeze. When it gets over 10mph I set a rock on the chrono tripod to hold it down. Actually tho, I usually dont shoot when it gets up more than 10-12. Right now its about 30mph.

If you want wind, come to my house. Sunday we were averaging 80mph and the hardest gusts I recorded was 134.8mph. It does blow harder here but spring is only just starting so give it time. I'm just glad I dont live next to the canyon. It blows hard there.

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Old February 18, 2011, 11:11 AM   #12
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When the wind goes above about 10 mph and I'm load testing I move my target to 50 yds. At 50 yds the wind will have little effect. You then measure your groups at 50 yards and double your measurement to find APPROXIMATELY what it would be doing at 100 yds.
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Old February 19, 2011, 01:19 AM   #13
LloydXmas250
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Thanks for that advice. I'll have to try that next time.

To clear up what I said earlier about not caring about group size. What I meant was that I was not shooting that day to get my best groups ever. If I was I would have gone on a calm day. I was only hoping to see if there was a clear difference in quality between the two seating depths. I was shooting the best groups I could that day and I think the wind ruined my test. The results don't seem consistent enough for me to call it. I'll try again soon.
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Old February 23, 2011, 02:08 AM   #14
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Lloyd,

IMHO that test was really a waste of time and money. But that's why I always took something to play with or a rifle that I have cases to fire form for it. If There is a chance the wind may die down later, a book to read. But a day to the range is never a waste of time.
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Old February 23, 2011, 03:12 PM   #15
LloydXmas250
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BigBob, I don't consider it a waste at all. Maybe the test didn't work like I wanted but I got trigger time and the opportunity to shoot and learn about high winds. Don't regret one thing about that trip. It was scraping quit enjoyable.
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Old February 23, 2011, 08:27 PM   #16
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Lloyd,

I'm sorry I failed to make my post more understandable. What was a waste of time and components were your test loads only. They didn't give you the information you wanted. Please read all my original posting.

The groups you posted sure look promising, I'd sure would like to see how they do under better conditions. Let us know how it goes.
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