Shooting the wind


July 12, 2010, 01:01 AM
For you guys I know that have quite sometime behind the rifle in F-Class, other matches, and just with LR shooting in general, how do compensate for the wind? How long did it take you to get consistent hits at 800+>? I have a wind meter, but that doesn't do it all once you get out to 700+.

What I'm doing right now is adjusting my parallax to find the boils. If I see the boils fading away at a 45 degree angle (3/4 value) I'm taking that is a 5mph or less wind and I adjust accordingly. If I'm getting a straight 90 (full value) I'm taking it as a 10mph or + wind and the full value seems to be hard for me to be accurate with. Am I completely wrong here?

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August 3, 2010, 08:46 PM

August 3, 2010, 09:08 PM
When you find the different boils or the mirage going different directions, do you know what distance they are at?

Howard Roark
August 3, 2010, 10:04 PM
Parallax should be adjusted so that the target stays centered when you look through the scope at angles other than straight on. Look through the scope then move your head left, right, up and down. When adjusted properly the crosshair doesn't move off the aim point. Parallax adjustment is to get the target and crosshairs on the same focal plane, not to watch mirage.

The spoting scope is for watching mirage. Once the wind blows hard enough for the mirage to run flat (about 8-10 mph) you must switch to watching the range flags. There are wind charts that will give you sight adjustment values for wind speed and direction. If the sun is not out you must rely on wind flags alone. Use sighters to test different impacts for different wind conditions. Note what the flags are doing when you break the shot. The flag or flags that are in sinc with what your impact is are the ones you need to watch, ignoring the rest. Pick one and shoot only that condition.

It's hard to teach yourself to shoot in the wind, you need a good coach. Get Nancy's book on LR shooting: Prone and Long Range Rifle Shooting by Nancy Tompkins (

August 4, 2010, 07:34 PM
The words look like english, but I don't understand what your saying.

If you need a book on wind, I'd suggest you look at jim owens book and he also has some online advanced theory classes you might want to look at.

August 4, 2010, 07:41 PM
Shooting in wind and mirage at 100 to 200 was bad enough! You had to make sure you were shooting the same mirage condition as well as wind condition, or be dang good at reading how much to hold over/up/down/etc/etc/

I can tell someone how wind affects a bullet at 200 yards, or how mirage works, but experience is the only way to understand it.

Lets say the 25 yard flag is barely blowing right and away at around 20 degrees, the 50 yard flag is still, the 100 yard flag is running left and away at around 30 degrees, and the 150 yard flag is running straight away......oh yea, the mirage is taking turns boiling up and boiling left/up. :banghead:

Ain't it fun.... :D

August 4, 2010, 11:05 PM
When you find the different boils or the mirage going different directions, do you know what distance they are at?

Vegetation between myself and the target tell me where the wind is. The boils help me measure the wind speed.

August 4, 2010, 11:27 PM
The spoting scope is for watching mirage.

The wind isn't always constant. Why not utilize your riflescope and make adjustments accordingly? I thought a spotting scope was utilized more for finding bullet holes.

Howard Roark
August 5, 2010, 07:58 AM
The boils help me measure the wind speed

The mirage only boils when there is no wind blowing. Wind is what makes the mirage go from a boil to waving in the direction of the wind. As the wind speed increases and the mirage waves are flat then you cannot tell if the wind is blowing 12 or 20 mph by the mirage.

I thought a spotting scope was utilized more for finding bullet holes.

There ain't no spotting scope that will allow bullet holes to be seen past 300 yards. Seeing holes at 300 yards is tricky enough if there is mirage and no target backer.

December 16, 2010, 09:43 PM

I would like to hear some more as my definition of 'a long shot' is often defined by the question 'how windy is it?'

December 16, 2010, 10:39 PM
Here is how to adjust the sights for wind LINK (

Check the link out and let me know what you think

December 17, 2010, 12:24 AM
Your links don't go all the way to the articles that you reference. It did it on other threads also.
I take it this is the article:

ETA: My link does not work all the way either. I guess it is the way your site is set up.

December 17, 2010, 12:34 AM
wntfw, when i clicked John's link, it takes me directly to the page you linked.

December 17, 2010, 12:36 AM
In F Class (or anything else) you want the riflescope adjusted to be parallax free at the target. The farther the target the more likely parallax will affect you.
The spotting scope is adjusted to a different range. Worse case is you have a spotting scope you can ignore. Spotting scope will pickup mirage better. Like Mr. Roark said bullet hole won't be seen.
Are you saying "If I see the boils fading away at a 45 degree angle (3/4 value)" to mean the boil is seen by orienting your scope 45 degrees away the line to the target. I take it you are trying to look straight into the wind to determine the direction.
I tried to shoot by not using wind flags. That will only get you so far for several reasons. The tops guys use the flags if at all possible. For the most part copying what the top guys do is the shortcut.

December 17, 2010, 12:43 AM
You are correct. I left out the NOT after DOES. I can't get a link any deeper than the forums. Some web pages don't allow deep linking.

I am trying to remember where I saw the name J.Boyette. I think it was on snipershide.

December 17, 2010, 12:43 AM
I wait until the wind stops blowing...:D

Seriously though, I wish i could offer something, but when it comes to longrange shooting, I may as well be trying to read braille with my tongue.

Problem is SO many factors...

The load, the caliber, the wind (at the target and on the way), the distance, the trajectory, where on the path your bullet intersects, where on the path your crosshairs intersect, where your scope is zeroed to begin with, altitude, humidity, temperature, and lets not forget spin drift...

December 17, 2010, 12:53 AM
As far as the spotting scope query, your spotter uses them to read the wind and gives you the values, he also watches the "con trail" of the bullet path and attempts to give you the impact point with values being high low left right whatever. Your scope is to be used for target acquisition and fire. So if you have the par. adjusted to try to read mirage you are severely limiting your clarity of aim.

Doping the wind is a talent that only comes with LOTS of practice and can make even the most gifted marksmen pull their hair out by the roots sometimes. It is a true art form and like all art, there are few TRUE artists out there. It is not something that you can learn online or in books. Yes you can get some basic understanding, but you will only learn through many hours of trigger time.

December 17, 2010, 12:58 AM
I can tell you that I don't shoot enough to be a good wind reader.

One thing I have found is it is very hard for someone to tell you how to read wind. One bit of popular wisdom is to know the prevailing condition and adjust for it. Then while shooting (successfully) in that condition, shoot while it is in that condition and don't shoot if the condtion changes. Wait for the condition to return rather than change for the new condition. Sound simple enough. Doing it is another matter.

December 17, 2010, 01:02 AM
Freedom Fighter,
At competitions such as F Class, Service Rifle etc. you cannot receive coaching in individual matches. We can only have a scorer/spotter tell us shot value. Location such high/right or 1 o'clock is not allowed.

December 17, 2010, 01:07 AM
Ah, didn't know that. Never shot one before. Just know through personal experience of long range practice and the service. Always worked as a team. Learn something new every day! Ty!

December 17, 2010, 09:16 AM
I think they use spotters in the traditional sense for "Tactical" matches or whatever the PC name for sniper matches are.
In a team match the spotter is the coach. He coordinates the team strategy and makes wind calls. I have never shot a team match, but that sounds like it would be a high percentage learning experience.
It has been said before that the better rifleman should be the spotter. I do know in my limited experience working with a spotter they can be a godsend or drag you down. A good spotter will give good info. A bad spotter will in mid string ask "So what target are you using". Trying to coordinate with someone as to where the 'splash' was will test you. One of my weak points it I have a hard time seeing the trace.

That said shooting on a range with pit service is vastly superior to one without. The instant feedback lets you corolate what happened on a shot by shot basis, which helps you learn wind quicker.

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