When it comes to long-range shooting one of the most difficult factors to contend with is by far, shooting in the wind. Shooters can typically deal with parallax with a quality scope, drop of their bullet and even determine the overall range capabilities of their load.
But wind is inconsistent and hard to measure, and as a result, can throw even the best aimed shot off by feet—even yards—depending on the distance of the shot and the speed of the wind. It would be hard to adequately tackle every aspect of judging and accounting for the wind when shooting at targets 500 yards out and beyond, but here are some tips to help you stay on target when the wind is up.
- Don’t judge the wind where you are—it is likely different where you are shooting. And don’t try to judge it where the target is…by the time the bullet is there, it doesn’t need to travel any further, thus it won’t drift anymore. Judge distance halfway between where you are and the target is to get your best possible read.
- You can judge the ballpark of wind speed when:
If you feel a breeze, the wind is 3 to 5 mph
If the leaves on trees are moving, it is blowing 5 to 8 mph
If loose papers are blowing around or the wind is raising dust, it is 8-12 mpg
If small trees are swaying, it is 12-15 mph.
- Watch which way leaves, dust or grass is blowing to determine direction. The more cross ways the wind is or perpendicular to your shot the wind is, the more it will affect your bullet’s flight toward its intended target.
- If you’re going to do a good bit of long-range shooting, do yourself a favor and invest in a quality digital wind meter that can determine the weather conditions where you are including the computing the wind speed downrange.
- Choose a quality rifle ammunition with a higher ballistic coefficient. Spired bullets with high BCs are impacted less by wind thanks to the aerodynamic design of the projectile.