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.

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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 (Stuart and Annie Elliot).