February 16th, 2019

If You’re Not Using Wind Flags You’re Throwing Away Accuracy


Forest of Windflags at World Benchrest Championships in France in 2011

There’s a simple, inexpensive “miracle device” that can cut your groups in half. If you’re not using this device, you’re giving away accuracy. The “miracle device” to which we refer is a simple wind indicator aka “windflag”. Using windflags may actually improve your accuracy on target much more than weighing charges to the kernel, or spending your life savings on the “latest and greatest” hardware.

Remarkably, many shooters who spend $3000.00 or more on a precision rifle never bother to set up windflags, or even simple wood stakes with some ribbon to show the wind. Whether you’re a competitive shooter, a varminter, or someone who just likes to punch small groups, you should always take a set of windflags (or some kind of wind indicators) when you head to the range or the prairie dog fields. And yes, if you pay attention to your windflags, you can easily cut your group sizes in half. Here’s proof…

Miss a 5 mph Shift and You Could DOUBLE Your Group Size

The table below records the effect of a 5 mph crosswind at 100, 200, and 300 yards. You may be thinking, “well, I’d never miss a 5 mph let-off.” Consider this — if a gentle 2.5 mph breeze switches from 3 o’clock (R to L) to 9 o’clock (L to R), you’ve just missed a 5 mph net change. What will that do to your group? Look at the table to find out.

shooting wind flags
Values from Point Blank Ballistics software for 500′ elevation and 70° temperature.

Imagine you have a 6mm rifle that shoots half-MOA consistently in no-wind conditions. What happens if you miss a 5 mph shift (the equivalent of a full reversal of a 2.5 mph crosswind)? Well, if you’re shooting a 68gr flatbase bullet, your shot is going to move about 0.49″ at 100 yards, nearly doubling your group size. With a 105gr VLD, the bullet moves 0.28″ … not as much to be sure, but still enough to ruin a nice small group. What about an AR15, shooting 55-grainers at 3300 fps? Well, if you miss that same 5 mph shift, your low-BC bullet moves 0.68″. That pushes a half-inch group well past an inch. If you had a half-MOA capable AR, now it’s shooting worse than 1 MOA. And, as you might expect, the wind effects at 200 and 300 yards are even more dramatic. If you miss a 5 mph, full-value wind change, your 300-yard group could easily expand by 2.5″ or more.

If you’ve already invested in an accurate rifle with a good barrel, you are “throwing away” accuracy if you shoot without wind flags. You can spend a ton of money on fancy shooting accessories (such as expensive front rests and spotting scopes) but, dollar for dollar, nothing will potentially improve your shooting as much as a good set of windflags, used religiously.

Which Windflag to buy? Click Here for a list of Vendors selling windflags of various types.

Aussie Windflag photo courtesy BenchRestTraining.com (Stuart and Annie Elliot).

Permalink Shooting Skills, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
June 3rd, 2015

Wind Flags in Slow Motion — You’ll Be Surprised


Photo of Aussie Wind Flags courtesy BRT Shooters Supply.

Our Aussie friend Stuart Elliot of BRT Shooters Supply recently filmed some interesting videos at the QTS range in Brisbane, Australia. Stuart told us: “I was shooting in an Air Gun Benchrest match here in Brisbane, Australia. I finished my target early and was awaiting the cease fire and took a short, slow-motion video of windflag behavior.” You may be surprised by the velocity changes and angle swings that occur, even over a relatively short distance (just 25 meters from bench to target).

Here are windflags in slow motion:

The flags show in the videos are “Aussie Wind Flags”, developed by Stuart Elliot. These are sold in the USA by Butch Lambert, through Shadetree Engineering.

(more…)

Permalink - Videos, Competition 3 Comments »
September 8th, 2013

"Miracle Device" Cuts Groups in Half — Guaranteed

Well, yes, that headline is a come-on. But there’s truth in the promise. The “miracle device” to which we refer is a simple wind indicator aka “windflag”. Remarkably, many shooters who spend $3000.00 or more on a precision rifle never bother to set up windflags, or even simple wood stakes with some ribbon to show the wind. Whether you’re a competitive shooter, a varminter, or someone who just likes to punch small groups, you should always take a set of windflags (or some kind of wind indicators) when you head to the range or the prairie dog fields. And yes, if you pay attention to your windflags, you can easily cut your group sizes in half. Here’s proof…

Miss a 5 mph Shift and Double Your Group Size
The table below records the effect of a 5 mph crosswind at 100, 200, and 300 yards. You may be thinking, “well, I’d never miss a 5 mph let-off.” Consider this — if a gentle 2.5 mph breeze switches from 3 o’clock (R to L) to 9 o’clock (L to R), you’ve just missed a 5 mph net change. What will that do to your group? Look at the table to find out.

shooting wind flags
Values from Point Blank Ballistics software for 500′ elevation and 70° temperature.

Imagine you have a 6mm rifle that shoots half-MOA consistently in no-wind conditions. What happens if you miss a 5 mph shift (the equivalent of a full reversal of a 2.5 mph crosswind)? Well, if you’re shooting a 68gr flatbase bullet, your shot is going to move about 0.49″ at 100 yards, nearly doubling your group size. With a 105gr VLD, the bullet moves 0.28″ … not as much to be sure, but still enough to ruin a nice small group. What about an AR15, shooting 55-grainers at 3300 fps? Well, if you miss that same 5 mph shift, your low-BC bullet moves 0.68″. That pushes a half-inch group well past an inch. If you had a half-MOA capable AR, now it’s shooting worse than 1 MOA. And, as you might expect, the wind effects at 200 and 300 yards are even more dramatic. If you miss a 5 mph, full-value wind change, your 300-yard group could easily expand by 2.5″ or more.

Forest of Windflags at World Benchrest Championships in France in 2011

If you’ve already invested in an accurate rifle with a good barrel, you are “throwing away” accuracy if you shoot without wind flags. You can spend a ton of money on fancy shooting accessories (such as expensive front rests and spotting scopes) but, dollar for dollar, nothing will potentially improve your shooting as much as a good set of windflags, used religiously.

Which Windflag to buy? Click Here for a list of Vendors selling windflags of various types.

Aussie Windflag photo courtesy BenchRestTraining.com (Stuart and Annie Elliot).

Permalink Shooting Skills, Tech Tip 5 Comments »
August 9th, 2013

Handy Do-It-Yourself Wind Flag Carry Kit from Mike Ezell

Forum member Mike Ezell (aka “gunsandgunsmithing”) has a clever use for a utility box. By fitting some inexpensive rod clasps to the box, he devised a handy rig to haul his wind flags and adjustable poles. Mike tells us: “With this modified utility box, I can tote six flags and six poles all in one hand. I used this set-up at a match last weekend. It worked great, and several shooters liked the idea. I simply carried the case, with poles attached and flags inside, to the target. I then set them up one at a time as I walked back.” That’s a slick system that will save time and energy when you’re setting up for a match or practice session. Nice invention Mike!

Wind Flag, Windflag, Ezell tote carry box, wind probe

Wind Flag, Windflag, Ezell tote carry box, wind probe

Mike Ezell Wind Flags
The wind flag sets inside Mike’s handy box are a design he makes himself. There is a pinwheel style rotor in the front, with a carbon/fiberglass wind vane in the rear. The “tails” are key to the system. Rather than have just a strip of fabric, which can curl and twist easily, Mike fits what amounts to a long, small-diameter wind sock. As the wind blows, this tubular tail fills with air and points back. This lets you clearly discern wind direction.

Wind Flag, Windflag, Ezell tote carry box, wind probe

Ezell Wind Flags and Poles for Sale
Mike is proud of his wind flags and they are becoming popular with other shooters. Mike writes: “They are top-quality flags, made of the very best materials — NOT coroplast. The wind vanes are made almost entirely of carbon fiber and fiberglass, to be as light, sensitive and durable as possible.The pivots are made of Teflon and the colors are high-quality vinyl. I just recently added a green color option per request from other shooters. I back these flags with a 30-day, 100% SATISFACTION guarantee”.

Mike sells the single-vane flags for $60.00 each. At the request of many shooters, Mike also now offers a dual-vane version — call for pricing. You can also purchase the multi-section poles from Mike for $45.00 each. These extend up to 15 feet in height and include step pegs. If you’re interested, call Mike at 270-542-6022, or send email to: mwezell [at] logantele.com.

Permalink New Product, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
December 20th, 2008

Loh Stainless Windflag Supports

JJ Industries windflag supportJohn Loh is widely respected for the ultra-high-quality front rests he creates for JJ Industries. These rests exhibit some of the finest machining you’ll find anywhere. John has recently turned his attention to a new product — stainless supports for windflags.

These are not the typical collapsing tripod stands. Rather, they are designed with a strong pointed tip that you drive into the ground. The Loh windflag supports have telescoping segments of stainless rod, with locking collars. This allows you to easily adjust the height of your wind flags, while the telescoping design permits compact storage. You can easily fit three supports under the foam in a hard rifle case (between the foam and case wall) and still have room for your rifle. Built of aircraft-grade stainless steel with TIG-welded joints, these wind-flag supports are extremely rigid and sturdy, despite being relatively compact and easy to store.

John Loh recently introduced his stainless windflag stanchions at Benchrest matches out west. Used by Gary Sinclair, the stands have proven very popular and John sold out his first production run. But he has tooled up to make more, priced at $50.00 each. Contact JJ Industries, (562) 602-5553, info [at] jj-industries.com, for more information or to order. Note, these supports will work well on most terrain, but for some ranges that have very hard or rocky soil, a conventional tripod stand may work better.

JJ Industries windflag support

JJ Industries windflag support

Permalink New Product No Comments »
September 17th, 2008

'Miracle Device' Cuts Groups in Half — Guaranteed

Well, yes, that headline is a come-on. But there’s truth in the promise. The “miracle device” to which we refer is a simple wind indicator.

Remarkably, many shooters who spend $3000.00 or more on a precision rifle don’t bother to set up windflags when they shoot. Whether you’re a competitive shooter, a varminter, or someone who just likes the satisfaction of drilling small groups, a set of windflags is something you should take to the range every time. And yes, if you pay attention to your windflags, you can easily cut your group sizes in half. Here’s proof…

Miss a 5 mph Shift and Double Your Group Size
In the following table we show the effect of a 5 mph crosswind at 100, 200, and 300 yards. You may say to yourself, “well, I’d never miss a 5 mph let-off.” Consider this — if a gentle 2.5 mph breeze switches from 3 o’clock to 9 o’clock, you’ve just missed a 5 mph net change. What will that do to your group? Look at the table below to find out.

shooting wind flags
Values from Point Blank Ballistics software for 500′ elevation and 70° temperature.

Imagine you have a 6mm rifle that shoots half-MOA consistently in no-wind conditions. What happens if you miss a 5 mph shift (the equivalent of a full reversal of a 2.5 mph crosswind)? Well, if you’re shooting a 68gr flatbase bullet, your shot is going to move about 0.49″, nearly doubling your group size. With a 105gr VLD, the bullet moves 0.28″ … not as much to be sure, but still enough to ruin a nice small group. What about an AR15, shooting 55-grainers at 3300 fps? Well, if you miss that same 5 mph shift, your low-BC bullet moves 0.68″. That pushes a half-inch group well past an inch. If you had a half-MOA capable AR, now it’s shooting worse than 1 MOA.

YouTube Preview Image

If you’ve already invested in an accurate rifle with a good barrel, you are “throwing away” accuracy if you shoot without wind flags. You can spend a ton of money on fancy shooting accessories (such as expensive front rests and spotting scopes) but, dollar for dollar, nothing will potentially improve your shooting as much as a good set of windflags, used religiously.

Which Windflag to buy? Click here to view many windflag designs.

Video from Carbon River Windflags

Aussie Windflag photo courtesy BenchRestTraining.com (Stuart and Annie Elliot).

Permalink - Videos, Tech Tip No Comments »