June 21st, 2016

Calculating Wind Drift (When You Don’t Have A Working Device)

Applied Ballistics Crosswind Estimation Wind hack G7 BC

Applied Ballistics Wind Hack

Any long range shooter knows that wind is our ultimate nemesis. The best ways of overcoming wind are to measure what we can and use computers to calculate deflection. The Applied Ballistics Kestrel is a great tool for this. As good as our tools may be, we don’t always have them at our fingertips, or they break, batteries go dead, and so on. In these cases, it’s nice to have a simple way of estimating wind based on known variables. There are numerous wind formulas of various complexity.

The Applied Ballistics (AB) Wind Hack is about the simplest way to get a rough wind solution. Here it is: You simply add 2 to the first digit of your G7 BC, and divide your drop by this number to get the 10 mph crosswind deflection. For example, suppose you’re shooting a .308 caliber 175-grain bullet with a G7 BC of 0.260 at 1000 yards, and your drop is 37 MOA. For a G7 BC of 0.260, your “wind number” is 2+2=4. So your 10 mph wind deflection is your drop (37 MOA) divided by your “wind number” (4) = 9.25 MOA. This is really close to the actual 9.37 MOA calculated by the ballistic software.

WIND HACK Formula

10 mph Cross Wind Deflection = Drop (in MOA) divided by (G7 BC 1st Digit + 2)

Give the AB wind hack a try to see how it works with your ballistics!

Applied Ballistics Crosswind Estimation Wind hack G7 BC

Some Caveats: Your drop number has to be from a 100-yard zero. This wind hack is most accurate for supersonic flight. Within supersonic range, accuracy is typically better than +/-6″. You can easily scale the 10 mph crosswind deflection by the actual wind speed. Wind direction has to be scaled by the cosine of the angle.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 7 Comments »
June 15th, 2016

How to Find Wind Direction with a Kestrel Wind Meter

Kestrel Wind Meter Direction Vane Applied Ballistics

A Kestrel Wind Meter will record wind speed with its impeller wheel. However, to get the most accurate wind velocity reading, you need to have your Kestrel properly aligned with the wind direction. To find wind direction, first orient the Kestrel so that the impeller runs at minimal speed (or stops), and only then turn the BACK of the Kestrel into the wind direction. Do NOT simply rotate the Kestrel’s back panel looking for the highest wind speed reading — that’s not the correct method for finding wind direction. Rotate the side of the Kestrel into the wind first, aiming for minimal impeller movement. The correct procedure is explained below by the experts at Applied Ballistics.

How to Find the Wind Direction with a Kestrel Wind Meter

Here is the correct way to determine wind direction with a Kestrel wind meter when you have no environmental aids — no other tools than a Kestrel. (NOTE: To determine wind direction, a mounted Wind Vane is the most effective tool, but you can also look at flags, blowing grass, or even the lanyard on your Kestrel).

Step 1: Find the wind’s general direction.

Step 2: Rotate the Wind Meter 90 degrees, so that the wind is impacting the side (and not the back) of the wind meter, while still being able to see the impeller.

Step 3: Fine-tune the direction until the impeller drastically slows, or comes to a complete stop (a complete stop is preferred). If the impeller won’t come to a complete stop, find the direction which has the lowest impact on the impeller.

Step 4: Turn the BACK of the Kestrel towards the direction from which the wind is blowing. Then press the capture button, and record your wind speed.

Do NOT simply point the Kestrel’s back into the wind until you get the highest wind speed — that’s not the correct method.

Permalink Tech Tip 3 Comments »
January 1st, 2016

Technology: Bluetooth-Enabled Ballistic Targeting System

Ashbury Precision bluetooth wireless rangefinder Vectronix kestrel GPS

You knew it was just a matter of time until modern Bluetooth wireless technology was harnessed for precision shooting. Now weather data from a Kestrel and range info from a Vectronix rangefinder can be shared to a remote PDA with GPS capability. The system works via the common Bluetooth networking protocol used for smartphone accessories and computer peripherals. Ballistic solutions are calculated using Field Firing Solutions software. Composed of weathermeter, rangefinder, and hand-held processor (PDA), this three-part TALON Wireless Ballistic Targeting System was developed for Ashbury Precision Ordnance (APO). The Talon System will be introduced by APO at SHOT Show 2015 where pricing and availability will be announced.

Ashbury Precision bluetooth wireless rangefinder Vectronix kestrel GPS

Here’s how it works — dual Bluetooth feeds (from Kestrel and rangefinder) communicate with a Trimble T41 Juno or NOMAD PDA. The dongle is set up for any Vectronix Laser Rangefinder equipped with a RS232 data port. The enabling technology, a nicely packaged Bluetooth dongle, was developed by a team of U.S. SpecOps personnel. Their goal was enhance operational capabilities by getting rid of wires and cables. They succeeded.

Permalink New Product, Optics 2 Comments »
December 22nd, 2015

Released — Applied Ballistics Kestrel LiNK Ballistics App for iOS

Kestrel LiNK applied ballistics app iOS Apple iPhone Ipod

Kestrel LiNK applied ballistics app iOS Apple iPhone IpodiPhone owners rejoice. The much-awaited iOS Ballistics App for the Kestrel LiNK Weather Meter is now available. Now you can sync your 5700 Series Kestrel wirelessly with your iPhone, iPod, or iPad. With Apple iOS devices being so popular among serious shooters, this is an important software release. Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics was proud to announce the new development: “Kestrel LiNK Ballistics is now available for iOS! It has been available for Android, and was also recently updated to fix some issues. Android users should be on version 1.67 by now. We say thank you to those who have been patiently waiting for the iOS version”. The software is a FREE download from the Apple App Store. For supporting info and Users’ Guides for both iOS and Android versions, visit the Applied Ballistics Resource Site.

CLICK HERE for FREE Kestrel LiNK Ballistics Application for iOS

This App is designed to work with the new 5700-series Kestrel Elite Weather Meter (5700AL) or Kestrel Sportsman Weather Meter (5700SL) with LiNK, powered by Bluetooth Smart.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product No Comments »
December 2nd, 2015

Affordable Weather Meter Works with Mobile Devices

Weatherflow weather meter bluetooth kestrel wind speed air pressure temperature

That smart phone in your pocket is really a miniature computer. What if you could harness that electronic brain to work as a weather meter? You’d just need a way to feed the smart phone environmental data — temperature, humidity, air pressure, wind velocity and so on. Well now that’s possible with the new $69.00 Weatherflow Smart Phone Weather Meter.

This portable, multi-function Weather Meter provides key weather data to your iOS and Android Mobile devices wirelessly via BlueTooth. The unit measures temperature, humidity, air pressure and dew points. With its built-in impeller, the Weather Meter will also record wind speed (average and gust), and wind direction. You can hand-hold it or attach it to a pole/tripod with a standard camera mount. This wireless Weather Meter is compatible with iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and all major Android devices. The best thing is the price — right now the unit is just $69.00 at Amazon.com.

Reviews by Weather Meter Purchasers

By Wiley on October 2, 2015 — Verified Purchase
I own and love the original WeatherFlow Wind Meter but when I saw this new one that includes temperature, humidity and pressure for under $100, I had to have it. My new weather meter arrived two days after I ordered it and I am amazed at how good this thing is. Solid and well-built, it’s super comfortable in your hand. The hard carry case is nice. The App is pretty simple – start the App and push the button to connect. The meter connected without issue to my iPad mini and my Galaxy S5 (Android) phone. It displays the extra sensor information elegantly, and the data agrees very well with the Davis weather station on my neighbor’s house. Saving and sharing reports is simple. Something cool that’s not obvious until you play with the App a bit are the ‘more data’ you can see (wind chill, heat index, crosswind, headwind, and many others including some I didn’t know existed). I’ve used various Kestrel meters over years and while they are good sensors, Kestrel’s higher price and lack of smart phone integration (or any easy way to get data off the thing) have been frustrating. [Editor: Kestrel’s brand new 5000 Series Weather Meters do offer Bluetooth connectivity as an optional extra.]

Weatherflow weather meter bluetooth kestrel wind speed air pressure temperature

By Richard W. on October 27, 2015 — Verified Purchaser
Great device for the price. It would be nice to interface it with ballistics Apps… but it provides relatively accurate readings and is very small. Finding wind direction is a bit manual (you have to face the device into the wind), but how hard is that? The Bluetooth connectivity is great, you don’t actually have to have it physically connected to the phone — you can put it where you need it.

Technical Details — Compatibility and Settings
The WeatherFlow Weather Meter processes data via a free downloadable App for iOS or Android. The unit works with Apple iPhones 4S or newer, Apple iPads Gen 3 or newer, iPod Touch, and “all major Android devices”. Wireless functionality requires support for Bluetooth version 4.0. You can select either English or Metric units via the “settings” menu. Wind speed units/range are 0.5 to 140 mph; 0.4 to 122 Knots; 0.8 to 225 kph; 0.2 to 63 m/s. Pressure units/range are: 8.9 to 32.5 inHg; 300 to 1100 mbar.

Product Tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink New Product, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
September 15th, 2015

Leica Geovid HD-B Rangefinding Binoculars $300.00 Rebate

Leica Geovid 10x42 8x42 HD-B Rangefinding Binoculars

Someone spending thousands of dollars on a once-in-a-lifetime hunt might consider getting Geovid rangefinding binoculars. Leica’s award-winning Geovid combines a superb binocular optic with a laser rangefinder AND a ballistic computer. With this single device you can spot your game, find the distance to your target, and calculate the elevation correction. Geovids even take a micro-SD card so you can upload your customized ballistics table.

Leica Geovid 10x42 8x42 HD-B Rangefinding Binoculars

At around $3200.00 (street price) Geovids are very expensive, but for a serious hunter the Geovid’s capabilities justify the price*. The glass is excellent, the rangefinder offers outstanding performance, and you never have to pull out a PDA or mobile device to run ballistics. The Geovid even does angle correction and can output elevation click values. With the Geovid, you have one tool that does three jobs exceptionally well. When you’re climbing a mountain in pursuit of a Trophy Elk, carrying less gear makes sense.

Now through October 31, 2015 you can save $300.00 on a new 8×42 Geovid HD-B, or 10×42 Geovid HD-B. That makes this state-of-the-art tool much more affordable. To get a $300.00 mail-in rebate from Leica, submit a sales receipt with the Leica Rebate Form.

*We have a good friend who works as a professional hunting guide and gunsmith in New Mexico. For years he made do with well-used Steiner binoculars and an older Leica LRF. On our last visit to NM, he proudly showed us his new Leica Geovid. I told him: “John, those Geovids cost a fortune… are they really worth the money?” He told me: “On one of my first hunts after getting the Geovid, I took along the Steiners for comparison. It was late in the day. I glassed a ridgeline about 700 yards away with the Steiners, and saw nothing. Then I got out the Geovid, looked at the same area and saw two large Elk in among some trees. That made the hunt a success for me and my client. Yes the Geovids are worth it… the glass really makes a difference in low light. And I can range as I’m spotting — that’s a big deal.”


If you are considering the Geovids, you’ll find that Geovid owners have high praise for these rangefinding binoculars. Here are reviews from verified purchasers who have used Geovids on hunts:

“Optical quality is second to none, these binos are in a class by themselves (the only competition IMHO are the Swarovski EL Range). Direct comparison of optic image quality to my lesser-brand binos really demonstrated the difference for me. The image is bright and clear across the entire field of view which is also wider than my standard 10×42 binos. Low-light gathering capability at dawn and dusk is considerably better than my lesser brands and should extend my evening hunting times by another 5 to 10 minutes. The laser ranging capability is amazing! The reading is almost instantaneous[.] The display is a red open target square that’s easy to see in all light conditions.” — Jackson611

“These Binos are the best range-finders on the market, not even talking about the glass yet. The range report is almost instantaneous. If you choose to load your ballistics data on the SD card you will be glad you did. It gives you bullet drop out to 1000 yards. Now let’s get to the glass. I have Swarovski 15×56 binos. These Leicas are just as clear, but small enough to wear around your neck. The price is high, but I learned a long time ago, that you get what you pay for with optics. And if you hunt out west, your optics will make or break your hunt.” — Matt

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
September 3rd, 2015

How to Operate Kestrel 4500 NV Shooters Weather Meter

kestrel weather meter applied ballistics

The Kestrel weather meter is an invaluable tool for shooters. While the standard model Kestrels can record wind and atmospheric conditions, the advanced Kestrel 4500 Shooter’s Weather Meter with Applied Ballistics incorporates a built-in ballistics program developed by Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics. This is a very powerful tool, but it can be a bit complicated to program at first.

In this detailed 22-minute video, John McQuay of 8541 Tactical shows how to input firearm specs, MV, and BC into a Kestrel 4500 NV (Applied Ballistics model). This handy unit combines a Kestrel Weather meter with a full-fledged ballistics computer.

Step-by-step the video shows how to set up all the important variables. The video shows how to input Muzzle Velocity, Bullet BC (G1 or G7), Zero Distance and the other key ballistics variables. In addition, the video explains how to input gun-specific data such as bore height, barrel twist rate, and barrel rifle twist direction (right-hand vs. left-hand). (Twist direction comes into play in long range spin drift calculations).

If you own a Kestrel 4500 NV (Applied Ballistics), we think you’ll find this video helpful — particularly when it comes to setting up some of the lesser-known data items. The video also offers tips on navigating through the menus most efficiently.


Kestrel 4500 Applied Ballistics (and Horus) Product Features:
kestrel weather meter applied ballistics

Permalink - Videos, Tech Tip No Comments »
August 24th, 2015

Long Range Shooting Error — Why People Miss

Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Long Range Shooting Error Wind Call Kestrel Laser Rangefinder

Applied Ballistics has created a new series of YouTube videos about precision long range shooting. Featuring ace long-range shooter and professional ballistician Bryan Litz, these videos address various topics of interest to long-range marksmen. In this week’s video, the second in the series, Bryan Litz examines the most common causes of ballistics shooting errors at Long Range.

Watch Applied Ballistics Video about Common Mistakes in Long Range Shooting:

Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics often hears the question: “What are the main reasons people miss their target at long range?” To answer that question, in this video, Bryan explains the most important variables in Long Range shooting. Bryan says: “Probably the number one thing is range — you have to have a [precise] range to your target because your bullet is dropping, and to hit the target you need to correct for bullet drop.” Distance may be indicated on the target bay (or berm), but for open ranges you should ascertain distance-to-target with a quality laser rangefinder. Even when the distance to target is shown with a sign or marker, you may want to confirm the distance with your rangefinder. (You may be surprised — we’ve seen marked target distances at commercial ranges off by 25+ yards!) Bryan says: “Get a good laser range to the target and you’ll be within a couple yards”.

Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Long Range Shooting Error Wind Call Kestrel Laser Rangefinder

After distance to target, the most important variable is the wind. This is the most challenging factor because the wind is constantly changing. Bryan explains: “After 300 or 400 yards, the wind [will] move your shots off the target if you don’t correct for it. The best way to account for the wind is to measure it at your location with a Kestrel. The Kestrel can give you the speed and direction of the wind at your location, which can baseline your wind call for your long-range shot.” Bryan acknowledges that there will still be variables: “The wind isn’t always blowing the same downrange as at your location… and the wind is always changing”. Bryan notes that you need to account for variances in wind between the time you gauge the wind angle and velocity and the time you actually you take your shot.

Permalink - Videos, Shooting Skills 11 Comments »
June 26th, 2015

New Version of AB Tactical App Released

Applied Ballistics Tactical AB App update

Applied Ballistics has just released a fully upgraded version of its popular Tactical App for Android devices. Bryan Litz tells us: “AB Tactical has received a major overhaul (including a new Bullet Library with over 420 options). The upgrade will require that you uninstall the previous version that you have of the application and then install this new version. This is due to the complete re-write of the internal database handling.” NOTE: You need to record your gun-specific data before you install the new version. Details of the updated AB Tactical App are featured in the new 19-page USER Manual.

NOTE: This upgrade is for the Applied Ballistics Tactical Version only. There is no iPhone version of this App, and this is not the standard app that can be purchased from Google Play, or iTunes.

The new version of AB Tactical has a host of important enhancements:

(more…)

Permalink New Product, News 1 Comment »
January 22nd, 2015

Plug-in Turbine Turns Your Smart Phone into a Wind Meter

weatherflow wind meter anemometer wind gauge turbine smart phone iphone app

Gear Report by Kip Staton
Shooters in the market for an accurate anemometer that doesn’t break the bank need to take a hard look at the WeatherFlow Wind Meter, which retails on Amazon.com for just $34.95. Even though it is inexpensive, owner reviews have been overwhelmingly postive (so long as the software is compatible with your device). One Amazon reviewer says the WeatherFlow measures wind velocity as accurately as his expensive Kestrel.

A big part of the reason the WeatherFlow Wind Meter is so inexpensive is that you’ve probably already got the brains of the system in your pocket. Yes, it connects to and communicates with any standard smartphone or tablet, in either iOS or Android flavors. Users simply download the free WeatherFlow Wind Meter app to their smart device, insert the anemometer into the headphone jack, and can immediately start measuring the wind.

weatherflow wind meter anemometer wind gauge turbine smart phone iphone app

weatherflow wind meter anemometer wind gauge turbine smart phone iphone appOf course, the first question any serious shooter will ask is “How accurate is this thing?” Pretty dang accurate, as it turns out. The device was calibrated by the University of Florida’s Aerospace Engineering Department, and the unique design allows it to consistently report to within a half a percentage point of the true wind value, even if the breeze is up to 15 degrees off-axis to the meter.

Wind speeds are measurable from as slow as two miles per hour to as high as 125 MPH. The Wind Meter outputs average, lull, and gusts windspeed data to your phone, with velocities indicated in 0.1 MPH increments. Furthermore, a hard-sided protective case is included for safe transportation.

Naturally, since the WeatherFlow Wind Meter is App-based, it’s connectable to a variety of social media websites and distribution sources. This makes saving and sharing information about climate conditions a breeze.

About the Writer
Kip Staton is a freelance gun writer based in North Texas, and loves to blog about news within the firearms industry and his perceptions on marksmanship at KipStaton.com. He served as the weekend range manager of the North Texas Shooter’s Association from 2010-2012, at which point he began performing sales consultations for a major online firearms retailer. Currently, Kip is a content marketer, copywriter and digital strategist for an award-winning Dallas marketing agency.

To read more gear reviews by Kip, visit KipStaton.com.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 3 Comments »
October 24th, 2013

Software Update for Applied Ballistics Kestrel Weather Meter

Kestrel Weather meter wind gauge software update Bryan Litz applied ballisticsThe Applied Ballistics Kestrel 4500 Shooters’ Weather Meter has a new software upgrade available. You will find instructions for connecting and upgrading your Kestrel 4500 at this link:

CLICK HERE for Applied Ballistics
Kestrel Software Upgrade
.

Read Comments on Sniper’s Hide Forum
Also, there is a thread on the Snipers Hide Forum in which Applied Ballistics and Kestrel Pro Staff are responding to questions/issues related to use of the Applied Ballistics Kestrels.

Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics LLC wants to express appreciation for Kestrel users who have posted input: “Thanks to the users who provided valuable feedback that was used to make the product better.”

Permalink New Product, News No Comments »
August 4th, 2013

Windtronic 2 Wind Meter Works with Any Wind Angle

Windtronic 2 wind meterIf you want to win shooting matches you’ll need to gauge wind speed and direction. While many shooters use the excellent Kestrel pocket Weather Trackers, many top shooters are turning to the Windtronic 2, a German-made unit that measures wind speeds from any direction.

The Windtronic features rotating cups mounted on a vertical axis. With this design you don’t have to align the unit with the wind, unlike the Kestrel WindMeter or SpeedTech WindMate™ devices. Many users feel the Windtronic’s unique design allows it to read wind speeds more accurately; it certainly can respond to shifting winds more easily. The omni-directional functionality of the Windtronic allows it to be mounted on a stand or tripod and continuously display current wind speed, max wind speed, and average velocity.

The Windtronic 2 doesn’t gauge temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, or density altitude, unlike the more advanced (and expensive) Kestrel 4000/4500 model pocket weather trackers. The Windtronic only records wind speeds, but it does that one task exceptionally well.

Made in Germany by Kaindl Electronics, the Windtronic 2 comes with a 2-year manufacturers warranty and retails for $99.00 on Amazon.com. (Amazon.com provides AccurateShooter a small commission on sales). Other vendors include Windtronic.us and Windpowersports.com.

Windtronic 2 wind meter

Permalink Gear Review 1 Comment »
July 26th, 2013

New Kestrel 4500 Shooter’s Weather Meters Are Shipping

AccurateShooter Applied Ballistics KestrelKestrel 4500 Shooter’s Weather Meters with integrated Applied Ballistics software are finally shipping. Bryan Litz, founder of Applied Ballistics LLC, reports: “Long range shooting just got a little easier. We are pleased to announce that the Applied Ballistics Kestrels have arrived! They are now available for immediate shipment. Pre-orders will ship today.” To order, follow this link for the Applied Ballistics Store.

These Kestrel 4500 Shooter’s Weather Meters include a full-featured ballistics solver and databases of bullets so you can accurately plot trajectories. The Applied Ballistics software accesses the environmental data (wind speed, humidity, altitude etc.) recorded by the Kestrel to provide a more precise trajectory.

AccurateShooter Applied Ballistics Kestrel

Features of Kestrel 4500 with Applied Ballistics Software
With integrated Applied Ballistics software, Kestrel users are now able to select from either G1 or G7 ballistic coefficients (BC) when calculating a trajectory. The new Kestrel 4500 Shooter’s Weather Meter also offers the very extensive “Litz”-measured BC library of over 225 bullets. In addition to these features, users can “train” the software to match a specific rifle based on observed impacts at long range with the ballistics calibration feature. With more accurate BC data, shooters are empowered to make more precise trajectory calculations. The new Kestrel Shooter’s Weather Meter can also receive data from wind sensor arrays designed and sold by Applied Ballistics. Like all Kestrels, the Shooter’s Weather Meter is IP67 waterproof and ruggedized to MIL-STD-810F standards.

Every Kestrel meter is pocket-sized, rugged, accurate, waterproof, easy-to-use, and backed by an industry-leading, five-year warranty.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 1 Comment »
February 17th, 2012

Windtronic 2 Omni-Directional Windmeter on Sale

Windtronic 2 Sale CreedmoorCreedmoor Sports has knocked ten bucks off the price of the Windtronic 2 Windmeter. For three days only (Feb. 17-19), the Windtronic 2 is ON SALE at Creedmoor Sports, for $89.00. Most every other source sells the Windtronic 2 for $99.00 or more.

Windtronic 2 Reads Wind from Any Angle
This unique product reads wind speed from any angle, because the impeller spins on a vertical axis (like a helicopter’s main rotor). By contrast, with most other windmeters you need to manually align the device in the correct direction. Those devices may deliver mis-reads unless you can manually turn the meter. However, with the Windtronic 2 you can “set and forget” — mount the device on a pole or tripod near your shooting station with the screen in view, and it’s good to go, no matter which way the wind blows. The Windtronic’s LCD display shows current wind speed, average wind speed, maximum wind speed and a Beaufort bar graph. A standard lithium battery should supply YEARS of service. Made in Germany by Kaindl Electronics, the Windtronic 2 comes with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Windtronic 2The Windtronic 2 features rotating cups mounted on a vertical axis. With this design you don’t have to align the unit with the wind, unlike the Kestrel WindMeter or SpeedTech WindMate™ devices. Many users feel the Windtronic’s unique design allows it to read wind speeds more accurately; it certainly can respond to shifting winds more easily. The omni-directional functionality of the Windtronic 2 allows it to be mounted on a stand or tripod and continuously display current wind speed, max wind speed, and average velocity. The Windtronic 2 does NOT gauge temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, or density altitude. The Windtronic only records wind speeds, but it does that task exceptionally well.

Permalink Competition, Hot Deals 1 Comment »
March 28th, 2011

New Kestrel 4500 NV Weather Meter with Horus Ballistics Solver

Horus ATrag Ballistics software is now embedded in Kestrel 4500 NV Pocket Weather Trackers, eliminating the need for a PDA. Since the ballistics software is built into the Kestrel unit, environmental data automatically flows from the Kestrel side to the ATrag solver for accurate and instant ballistics solutions. You don’t have to punch in wind speed, temp, or air pressure — that’s all done automatically. The 4500 NV Weather Tracker is IP67 waterproof and MIL-STD-810F rugged. MSRP for the Kestrel with Horus Ballistics is $619.00 (non-Bluetooth).

Features of Horus ATrag
By integrating ATrag capabilities, you can now go to the field with just one device for weather AND Ballistics, eliminating the need to carry a separate PDA or smartphone. Along with a ballistics solver, ATrag includes an extensive gun list, customizable targets, and truing capability. Truing takes your factual data and models an accurate outcome of bullet drop, rather than a predictive one.

The new unit allows users to load and customize multiple guns and rounds from the extensive proprietary Horus database. You can create up to six targets, each customized for location, distance, direction, declination and winds. The Kestrel meter will meter wind velocity and direction, and, using its built-in digital compass, it will give the bearing to the targets. Once these parameters are set, the Kestrel meter takes over — tracking the current met data and automatically updating the firing solution. The Horus ATrag software even compensates for coriolis and spin drift at extreme long range.

When you switch out of Ballistics mode, you still have all the capabilities of a 4500 NV unit which can measure: speed and direction, temperature, humidity, heat stress, barometric pressure, altitude, density altitude, crosswind and more.

Permalink - Videos, New Product No Comments »
December 11th, 2010

Kestrel Weather Meter with Built-in Horus Ballistics Software

Kestrel with Horus ATrag ballisticsKestrel has teamed with Horus Vision to produce a new Kestrel Weather Meter with integrated ballistics software. Previously, shooters would need to obtain environmental data from a Kestrel meter and then input that data into a PDA loaded with Horus ATrag ballistics software. Now, the Kestrel Ballistics Weather Tracker with Horus ATrag software contains all of the necessary data and solutions in one Kestrel device, which is IP67 waterproof and MIL-STD-810F rugged. MSRP for the Kestrel with Horus Ballistics is $619.00 (non-Bluetooth).

The new unit allows users to load and customize multiple guns and rounds from the extensive proprietary Horus database. You can create up to six targets, each customized for location, distance, direction, declination and winds. The Kestrel meter will meter wind velocity and direction, and, using its built-in digital compass, it will give the bearing to the targets. Once these parameters are set, the Kestrel meter takes over — tracking the current met data and automatically updating the firing solution. The Horus ATrag software even compensates for coriolis and spin drift at extreme long range.

When you switch out of Ballistics mode, you still have all the capabilities of a 4500 NV unit which can measure: speed and direction, temperature, humidity, heat stress, barometric pressure, altitude, density altitude, crosswind and more.

For a discussion of the new Kestrels with Horus software, read this Sniper’s Hide Forum THREAD.

YouTube Preview Image

Kestrel + Horus FAQ

Q: Which Kestrel Meters will be available with Horus ATrag ballistics software?
A: The Kestrel 4500 NV series will be available with Horus Vision ballistics. The Kestrel 4500 is the only model to give wind direction, which is important for long-range shooting. For more money, you can order a model with Bluetooth capability that allows wireless data transfer to a laptop or PDA.

Q: When will the Kestrel/Horus be for sale and how much will it cost?
A: Kestrel is currently offering a limited supply of Kestrel/Horus 4500NVs to “preferred users” via an email campaign. If you did not receive the email solicitation, but really, really have to get one right now, contact Kestrel directly at 800-784-4221. MSRP for the Kestrel 4500NV with Horus ATrag Balllistics is $619.00, while the Krestrel/Horus 4500NV with Bluetooth capability lists for $739.00. According to Kestrel, “Supplies are very limited.”

Q: Can I upgrade my current unit to include Horus Vision software?
A: No. The Kestrel with Horus Vision ATrag software was specially designed and built to support the integrated ballistics solutions along with the Kestrel environmental data capturing capability. This is not just a software upgrade. Kestrel does offer a Customer Care Discount program where you may trade in your current Kestrel for credit towards the new Kestrel Weather Tracker with Horus Ballistics software.

Permalink New Product, News No Comments »
November 4th, 2009

Affordable Timex Offers Temp, Air Pressure, Timer Functions

Temperature, Atmospheric Pressure, and Altitude — all these things can and do affect bullet ballistics. Moreover, temperature changes can alter powder performance and chamber pressures. The smart reloader takes the predicted ambient temperature into account. And when calculating your come-ups and windage click values, you need to factor in Temperature, Air Pressure, AND Altitude.

Kestrel 4000 Weather TrackerHow do you keep track of these important variables when you’re shooting? The Kestrel 4000 Pocket Weather Tracker®, is compact and provides a wealth of information: atmospheric pressure, altitude, density altitude, temperature, humidity, wind speed, wind chill, dew point, and heat index. We like the Kestrels and recommend them. But at $279.00, a Kestrel 4000 is too expensive for many shooters.

Timex now offers a solution. Selling for about $60.00-$75.00 (street price), the Timex Expedition® Adventure Tech™ watch (item T41501EA) displays Altitude, Barometric Pressure, and Temperature (ABT). The thermometer function records temps from 14° F to 140° F. The Altimeter reads from -2,296 feet to +29,520 feet with 10-foot resolution. The Barometer tracks current and sea level pressure, and provides a graph of pressure changes over time.

Timex Altimeter Watch

Encased in a stainless housing with a resin band, the Timex watch is water resistant to 50 meters, and offers many other nice features, including dual time zones, countdown timer, alarm, and backlit nightlight (very handy). The countdown timer is very easy to set and activate; and yes the timer can be used effectively in a shooting match.

There are other quality watches, such as the Suunto Core, that provide Altitude, Atmospheric Pressure, and Temperature read-outs. But, at under $70.00, the Timex is one-fourth the price of the Suunto. Amazon.com is currently offering the Timex Temp/Altitude/Barometer watch for $62.88. It is offered with a silver band as well as the black shown above.

Useful Tool or Just Another Gadget?
Is this watch really useful or just another piece of male jewelry? Well just last week a friend was developing loads and he wanted to input the ambient temperature, and current air pressure. The Timex gave us the desired data. (Note: it’s best to take the watch off your arm when gauging air temp). For this editor, the Timex ABT watch is a useful tool. I bought one and use it during load development and when shooting competitively. Negatives? Well the Timex IS big and thick, really thick, but then it’s much handier than carrying BOTH a digital thermometer/altimeter AND a separate count-down timer.

Here’s an owner’s review: “I have been through a Nike ABT, a Swiss Army ABT, and a High Gear ABT watch this year alone. None of them, which cost quite a bit more, have been as accurate and durable as this Timex. It has a better fit, was easy to use and read and just plain ‘on the money’ as far as forecasting weather and altitude. Also, I have not had to take it off my arm for 10-15 mins to get a decent temperature rating. It has always been within 1-3 degrees of actual temp. And I live in the Carribean in a tropical climate… so, for it to be this accurate is a statement in itself.”

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October 10th, 2009

New Compact Minox Weatherstation

Here’s a new product we found on SWFA.com. Minox, famed maker of miniature cameras, has released the new Minox Weatherstation to compete with the Kestrel weather meters. The Minox is very compact and very light. It measures 4.68″ H x 2.28″ W and is just 3/4 of an inch thick. And it weighs just 2.36 ounces (67 grams)! This is definitely light and small enough to be carried in a shirt pocket.

Minox WeatherstationThe Minox Weatherstation has all the functions you’d expect, plus a few more: Wind speed, Barometer, Altimeter, Thermometer, Hygrometer (Humidity), Windchill, Dewpoint, Clock, Stop-Watch, Alarm, Timer, Race Timer. Of course it can display both °Celsius and °Fahrenheit, and the Hygrometer reads from 1% Relative Humidity through 100% Relative Humidity. The barometer function uses five graphically arranged columns on the LC display to show not just the current air pressure hPa, but also changes which have occurred in the last 24 hours.

We like the fact that the Minox offers timing functions as well as weather data. This way the Minox can do double-duty as a match timer. That’s one less piece of kit to bring to the range.

Kestrel 4000 handWith a “street price” of $249.00, the Minox Weatherstation is priced on a par with the Kestrel 4000 and is about fifty bucks cheaper than Kestrels’ top-of-the-line 4500 model. How does the Minox stack up against the Kestrels? Well, the Kestrel 4000 outputs Density Altitude, while the Minox (apparently) does not. The Kestrel 4000 can also record data points and download these to a computer. The Minox doesn’t offer a PC interface. The more expensive Kestrel 4500 has a digital compass so it can plot wind directions (crosswind, headwind, tailwind). It seems then, that the main advantages of the Minox are compact size and light weight (2.4 oz. for Minox vs. 3.6 oz. for Kestrel 4000).

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August 18th, 2009

Windtronic 2 on Sale For $59.90 (Group Buy Not Needed)

Windtronic 2 wind meter saleA few days ago we showcased the omni-directional Windtronic 2 Wind Meter in our Daily Bulletin. We proposed a group buy (at $85.00) if there was enough interest. Well readers were interested, but we’ve called off the group buy.

Windtronic 2 at $59.90 Beats Group Buy Deal
Don’t be disappointed — the group buy was nixed because Forum Member FClassRon found a source that is selling the Windtronic 2 for a lot less money. Ron searched the web and found that Hobby-Lobby.com is selling Windtronic 2 units for just $59.90 plus shipping. That’s lower than our wholesale price… by a lot.

CLICK HERE to order Windtronic 2 for $59.90.

Click the above link to get your Windtronic 2 for just $59.90, or visit hobby-lobby.com and search for product #KE421. That’s an awesome deal — this unit sells for $99.00 almost everywhere else.

We don’t know how many units Hobby-Lobby.com has available at this price, so don’t delay. We’re sorry there won’t be a group buy, but this deal gets you a Windtronic 2 for nearly $40.00 off retail. Can’t argue with that!

8/20 UPDATE: The link to the Hobby-Lobby.com page with the Windtronic Deal isn’t working anymore, but you can still search for product #KE421 and put it in your shopping cart. We assume Hobby-Lobby has run out, but it appears you can back-order by searching for #KE421 on the Hobby-Lobby.com web site, and then clicking the “Buy Now” button.

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August 15th, 2009

Omni-Directional Windtronic 2 Wind Meter

Windtronic 2 wind meterIf you want to win shooting matches you’ll need to gauge wind speed and direction. While many shooters use the excellent Kestrel line of pocket Weather Trackers, many top shooters are turning to the Windtronic 2, a German-made unit that measures wind speeds from any direction.

The Windtronic features rotating cups mounted on a vertical axis. With this design you don’t have to align the unit with the wind, unlike the Kestrel WindMeter or SpeedTech WindMate™ devices. Many users feel the Windtronic’s unique design allows it to read wind speeds more accurately; it certainly can respond to shifting winds more easily. The omni-directional functionality of the Windtronic allows it to be mounted on a stand or tripod and continuously display current wind speed, max wind speed, and average velocity.

The Windtronic 2 doesn’t guage temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, or density altitude, unlike the more advanced (and expensive) Kestrel 4000/4500 model pocket weather trackers. The Windtronic only records wind speeds, but it does that one task exceptionally well.

Made in Germany by Kaindl Electronics, the Windtronic 2 comes with a 2-year manufacturers warranty and normally retails for $99.00 on Amazon.com. Other dealers include Windtronic.us and Windpowersports.com.

Windtronic 2 wind meter
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