Discussion in 'Competition Forum (All Calibers)' started by 3081FTR, Apr 5, 2016.
What would you do?
Shoot in the wind.
Start at near to mid distances and work outward. Begin calling shots. We're gusty here, so maybe wind flags to assist in gauging other visible cues such as mirage, vegetation, range flags.
Practice indoor for fundamentals training to improve shot calling and assign appropriate improvement.
-Mac, I'm interested to see what others would do too.
Shoot in team matches, coach others. You would be amazed how well you can read wind when it your job and you get feedback. Every shooter should call every shot.
One of the things that I do is to periodically NOT use wind flags and look for moving vegetation and "feeling" the wind somewhere on my face etc.. and CALL shots out at 1000 yards and shoot 10 shots. Drive down to see where they landed and then make an adjustment or if the wind picks up, reevaluate my "adjustment" and see how my "guess" pans out. I believe that has helped me considerably in wind calls when I do have the benefit of flags in a competition. I then compare the flags to what I learned watching the moving vegetation along with the heat waves. I believe this has helped to some degree. But practicing shooting in the wind is a "practice, evaluate, practice, evaluate game that really never ends!
Start by maybe getting a set of quality wind flags and a wind meter ( Kestral ) and kick back at the range with your rifle a target with a bunch of aim points on it and just see what the wind is doing to the flags at a speed and how it effects your shot from your point of aim. Bring a comfy folding chair and a cooler with some snacks and drinks and maybe a good cigar......The more time you put in doing this type of thing the more the wind will start to make sense of how it impacts your shooting at a certain distance.......No real short cuts I know of. Make it fun and relaxing..mmmmmm....A good cigar..
If you are shooting 1 K matches with unlimited sighters, USE THEM, shoot in as many conditions you see before you go for score and then you can see cause and effect.
I bring at least 10 extra shots for each match and I use most of them. I have a long way to go, but I like to see what "that condition" does to my shot....
If you wait for the same condition, you will not learn much. You have to shoot in different wind conditions to learn.
Try to look at the max wind you see for the time frame of the match and shoot a few sighters in it. Then shoot a few in the prevailing conditions and then you can get a good idea of that setbof conditions. Then go for score!
1. Read this: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1581605323/?tag=accuratescom-20
2. Read the wind chapter from this: http://rifleshootingbynancy.com/
2. Go, shoot some matches and try to apply it. This includes making some wind charts based on your bullet and your flags.
3. Re-read those books
4. Shoot some more matches.
5. Keep repeating until you have the books essentially memorized. If you do this, I guarantee you will be one of the best wind-readers around.
As you will learn from these books, you want to start with a shooter-rifle-ammo combo that can consistently "shoot small." Otherwise, wind-reading is an exercise in futility. Also, the more wind you have to practice in, the faster you will improve. Moving out to Raton, NM would be a big help, just ask Trudie, Lige, and Derek!
Sit and watch conditions and make calls quietly to yourself during a team match, while listening to national-level coaches make wind calls for their shooters. Compare. Don't ask questions of course or interrupt in any way.
You will find yourself thinking
"I saw that"
"WTF did he see that I didn't?"
Best wind lessons I have ever had. I still do it.
Practice everywhere you go, gun and no gun.
Shoot small bore prone at 100 yards with a good scope. You can see your bullet holes and get instant feed back from your shots.
What he said!
nothing will get you on track and give that initial epiphany like shooting with a good coach. Have him talk and tell you what he's seeing and why he is using the correction he is. Or she!
Regarding wind meters on the line. Remember that the wind on the line may (as in usually) have little bearing on what is happening mid-range or near the target. I have had better luck looking at mirage with a spotting scope focused at different distances (especially if there are topographic irregularities mid-range) while scoring or if there is down time between strings. Jim Owens wind books are helpful as well as Nancy's.
I did this at the Nationals and Berger's...
Sit at the top of 1 hill and shoot onto another one preferably over 1000 yards away. I usually put 5 or 6 targets on the other hill all different area's.
Pick one make the call take the shot. wait 10 minutes then repeat
You will learn more about wind on your spotting scope behind a hard holder, be it one that understands the conditions and maybe even more likely from one that doesn't.
More importantly, is the ability to develop a firing strategy in the conditions that you are presented with when it is your time to shoot your record score. That is what separates the top shooters from the rest of the pack. Without a firing strategy given the conditions you are presented with, within the time constraints of the match and having the discipline to fire only within your established wind parameters, you will not produce a good score. Be calm...be patient...be disciplined.
In my opinion I would start by having as much vertical as possible removed from your rifle/load/gear. Then I would begin shooting more frequently. Pick calm days/windy days, you need variable conditions. If possible shoot at range location that has wind flags this will help tremendously. Watch your mirage when shooting this can be a judge of downrange conditions. Use a shot data book to gauge estimated conditions and then to record placement of shot after firing. If possible at a match watch the wind and make your own wind calls.
Haven't done it yet, but I intend to try shooting lower BC bullets at shorter ranges. 1000 yard ranges are too far away to shoot at regularly, and I can shoot lower BC bullets out to 600 much more often.
Along with what was said about watching closely during team matches or behind a good shooter... shoot some fullbore matches. When you can't wait out a condition, or rattle off shots as fast as your puller can keep up... and when the spotter on the target isn't from your last shot... you start having to learn to make discrete wind calls, not just 'a little more' or 'a little less'.
I agree with these suggestions and will add one more.
Shoot a cartridge that forces you to read the wind. E.g. a 155gr bullet in a 308 for 1000yd shooting. A 223 with 77gr bullets for 600yd and less. These are not sexy cartridges to shoot bc the ballistics suck. However, small mistakes in wind reading show up big on paper which allows you to get more exaggerated feedback from your mistakes. Do this exclusively for 2-3 seasons and you will build a solid foundation for reading the wind.
If you shoot a cartridge with a great bc then you can shoot through wind changes without seeing much feedback on target. This does not allow you to recognize that you are missing changes in the wind.
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