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DougG 01-07-2010 05:00 PM

Average wind calculation?
Ballistics calculators have inputs for one wind speed and direction. Is there a method to average wind speeds and directions, as observed at different positions downrange, perhaps giving more weight to early deflections.

yesicarry 01-08-2010 09:14 PM

When shooting over 100 yds. I have found that a piece of thin ribbon from the Christmas wrapping box works for me. I place one at 100, 150 and 200 yds. Occasionally there are multiple wind directions and really makes one pay attention.

Easy solution and cheap..

DougG 01-09-2010 04:55 AM

Thanks. What I'm really looking for is a ballistic calculation which will accept different speeds and directions of the wind at selected yardages downrange. Either a software solution, or a rule of thumb or a quick mental calculation to reduce multiple downrange winds to a single "average" wind enabling entry into a conventional ballistics calculator. The value and need for this will increase with range. Over 1000 yards you may see winds in opposite directions. How to weight and average them? The winds in the first 500 are probably the most important, but I'd rather reduce the wild guessing sighter shots with some more accurate solution. I haven't seen anything yet.

yesicarry 01-09-2010 08:41 AM

O.K. I'm old school.. I do not rely on charts or graphs. I rely on knowing my weapon and knowing what she can do. From 10 feet to 100 yards. If you shoot 1000 yds.,great.

NOTHING will replace practice. No matter what distance.

IGETEVEN 01-09-2010 03:17 PM


Originally Posted by DougG (Post 209627)
Ballistics calculators have inputs for one wind speed and direction. Is there a method to average wind speeds and directions, as observed at different positions downrange, perhaps giving more weight to early deflections.

Here ya go, knock yourself out with these. They are as close as you can get with software, technically, they may be, or may not be, what you are looking for.

Bulletflight 3.0.0

Handloads.Com Ballistic Calculator

IMO, unless you get your calculations from a specific downrange locations before hand, which could change very quickly, after you setup, or you have separate sub-sensor units of these positioned down range at different specific yardages, that can relay that current windage information back to your main calculator to recalculate, I would have to say no, but I could be wrong.

I am old school as well, at calculating windage and shot projections, what helps is past training, knowing my rifle, its capabilities, my scope, bullet weights, patience and lots of practice.


DougG 01-09-2010 06:01 PM

Thanks. I'll give it a try. It seems to me that this shooting variable is somewhat overlooked. Highly experienced shooters like you have an advantage, but less experienced or intuitive shooters could put a little math to good use. It seems to me that the first job is learning to accurately estimate wind speed and direction, perhaps comparing visual cues against a calibrated handheld wind meter. Then use those visual cues to assess wind speed and direction at selected distances downrange. Finally perform a calculation, possibly with heavier weighting of near field winds, to arrive at a single "average" wind speed and direction for entry into a ballistics calculator. Just a theory.

zenstic 07-30-2010 02:21 AM

windage estimation
as far as software goes, i have no idea. seems like it would be a simplistic calculation but would only be as accurate as your estimations are. i could see the value in playing with the numbers just to get a feel for it.

when it comes to gaining experience with estimating windage, i might be able to offer some advice. go out and shoot in all conditions! the first real challenge i came across was at camp perry's precision smallbore training camp. they have flags all over the range and they do not help at all, because half of the time they point at each other! the range i mainly shoot at is close to the municipal airport, directly under the flight path for the state trooper rescue helicopter, and has walls on three sides of the shooting area. on occasion the combination of these effects has thrown my shots off by eight inches at 100 yds. the most valuable experience i have had is shooting regardless of the weather, rain, snow, sleet, just get out there and make an effort, it will teach you quite a bit.

M14sRock 07-30-2010 05:11 AM

The short answer is, the wind at/near the target is going to affect the bullet the most (after the most velocity has bled off). But...

Reading wind is an art form and a learned skill. Experience (thousands of reps), and accurate shot data (every shot fired) are your best guide. Start at known ranges and practice til you can get it right. Wear out some barrels.

Get a Kestrel, a good laser rangefinder, and a data log book. You should also have a high quality spotting scope and a good spotter/partner.

Start each range session by drawing a map of your "range". This is your range card (keep them all for future ref). Make notes on the distance to certain objects and the wind patterns by watching bushes, plants, grass, etc. By paying attention to terrain and wind pattern you will start to be able to predict wind in similar (future) scenarios. Note the weather conditions, elevation, inclination/declination, etc. (Shooting uphill/downhill is a fairly simple math equation).

Every rifle performs at it's own mechanical ability, even if physically identical to another. Two "identical" rifles can have drastically different data. Does that make sense? This makes most ballistics programs a good place to start, but not the 100% answer. My shooting partner and I have rifles that are virtually identical, but the data on the two is nowhere near close to the same, even with the same ammo.

bgeddes 07-30-2010 09:52 PM

Flags, used in benchrest all the time.

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