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August 4th, 2022

Estimate Crosswind Deflection WITHOUT a Meter — WIND HACK

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.

Applied Ballistics Crosswind Estimation Wind hack G7 BC

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!

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.

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April 14th, 2022

The Right Way 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.

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April 2nd, 2022

Saturday at the Movies: Litz on Long Range Shooting + Ballistics

Bryan Litz Elements Long Range Shooting NSSF Ballistics Coeffecient Atmospherics

Want to learn more about Long Range Shooting? Check out the NSFF “Elements of Long Range Shooting” videos hosted by ballistics guru Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics. In this multi-part series, Bryan covers a variety of topics of interest to precision shooters. For today’s Saturday at the Movies special, we feature seven of Bryan’s videos. Watch other informative Long Range Shooting and Ballistics videos with Bryan Litz on the NSSF YouTube Channel.

Litz NSSF Video Elements long range shooting Raton NM ELR

Atmospherics and Density Altitude

Bryan Litz explains: “An important element in calculating an accurate firing solution for long-range shooting is understanding the effects of atmospherics on a projectile.” Atmospherics include air pressure, air temperature, and humidity. Bryan notes: “Temperature, pressure, and humidity all affect the air density… that the bullet is flying through. You can combine all those factors into one variable called ‘Density Altitude’.” Density Altitude is used by the ballistic solver to account for variables that affect bullet flight.

Bullet Ballistic Coefficients

A bullet’s ballistic coefficient (BC) basically expresses how well the bullet flies through the air. Higher BC bullets have less aerodynamic drag than lower BC projectiles. You will see BCs listed as either G1 and G7 numbers. These correspond to different bullet shape models. Generally speaking, the G7 model works better for the long, boat-tail bullets used for long-range shooting. Notably, a bullet’s drag is NOT constant in flight. The true BC can vary over the course of the trajectory as the bullet velocity degrades. In other words, “BC is dynamic”. That said, you can make very accurate drop charts using the BCs provided by major bullet-makers, as plugged into solvers. However, long-range competitors may want to record “real world” drop numbers at various distances. For example, we’ve seen trajectories be higher than predicted at 500 yards, yet lower than predicted at 1000.

Transonic Range

When considering your rifle’s long-range performance, you need to understand the limit of your bullet’s supersonic range. As the bullet slows below the speed of sound, it enters the transonic zone. This can be accompanied by variations in stability as well as BC changes. Bryan explains “once your bullet slows done below supersonic and you get into transonic effects, there are a lot more considerations that come into play. The drag of the bullet becomes less certain, the stability of the bullet can be challenged, and things related to long times of flight, such as Coriolis and Spin Drift, come into play. So whenever you are shooting long range you need to where your bullet slows down to about 1340 fps.”

Ballistics Solvers — Many Options

Bryan Litz observes: “When we talk about the elements of long range shooting, obviously a very important element is a getting a fire solution, using a ballistic solver. There are a lot of ballistic solvers out there… Applied Ballistics has smartphone Apps. Applied Ballistics has integrated the ballistic solver directly into a Kestral, and the same solver runs (manually) on the Accuracy Solutions Wiz-Wheel. The point is, if it is an Applied Ballistics device it is running the same solutions across the board.”

Bullet Stability and Twist Rates

In this video, Bryan Litz talks about bullet in-flight stability and how to calculate barrel twist-rate requirements for long-range bullets. Bryan explains that bullet stability (for conventional projectiles) is basically provided by the spinning of the bullet. But this spin rate is a function of BOTH the nominal twist rate of the barrel AND the velocity of the projectile. Thus, when shooting the same bullet, a very high-speed cartridge may work with a slower barrel twist rate than is required for a lower-speed (less powerful) cartridge. For match bullets, shot at ranges to 1000 yards and beyond, Bryan recommends a twist rate that offers good stability.

Scope Tracking — Tall Target Test

Scope Click Verify Elevation Tall Target Bryan Litz NSSF test turret MOA MIL

Have you recently purchased a new scope? Then you should verify the actual click value of the turrets before you use the optic in competition. While a scope may have listed click values of 1/4-MOA, 1/8-MOA or 0.1 Mils, the reality may be slightly different. Many scopes have actual click values that are slightly higher or lower than the value claimed by the manufacturer. The small variance adds up when you click through a wide range of elevation. In this video, Bryan Litz shows how to verify your true click values using a “Tall Target Test”. The idea is to start at the bottom end of a vertical line, and then click up 30 MOA or so. Multiply the number of clicked MOA by 1.047 to get the claimed value in inches. For example, at 100 yards, 30 MOA is exactly 31.41 inches. Then measure the difference in your actual point of impact.

Coriolis Effect

The Coriolis Effect comes into play with extreme long-range shots. The rotation of the earth actually moves the target a small distance (in space) during the long duration of the bullet’s flight. Bryan Litz notes that, in most common shooting situations inside 1K, Coriolis is not significant. At 1000 yards, the Effect represents less than one click (for most cartridge types). Even well past 1000 yards, in windy conditions, the Coriolis Effect may well be “lost in the noise”. But in very calm conditions, when shooting at extreme ranges, Bryan says you can benefit from adjusting your ballistics solution for Coriolis: “The Coriolis Effect… has to do with the spin of the earth. The consequence of that is that, if the flight time of the bullet gets significantly long, the bullet can have an apparent drift from its intended target. The amount [of apparent drift] is very small — it depends on your latitude and azimuth of fire on the planet.”

About Bryan Litz
Bryan began his career as a rocket scientist, quite literally. He then started Applied Ballistics, the leading company focusing on ballistics science for rifle shooting. A past F-TR Long-Range National Champion and Chief Ballistician for Berger Bullets, knows his stuff. His Applied Ballistics squad was the winning team at the 2017 King of 2 Miles event, and Applied Ballistics has earned major U.S. defense contracts.

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March 17th, 2022

How to Use a Kestrel with Applied Ballistics Software

Kestrel Wind Meter F-Class John Applied Ballistics

Kestrel wind and weather meters are often regarded as the best on the market — for good reason. Here are a series of three videos by F-Class John that show how the Kestrel 5700 with Elite Ballistics works. This article reviews the advanced Kestrel 5700 Elite Wind Meter with sophisticated ballistics capabilities. Our review features three videos by F-Class John that show how the Kestrel 5700 Elite functions with Applied Ballistics APP software and LiNK connection.

Kestrel Wind Meter F-Class John Applied Ballistics

This Part I Video starts with a basic Kestrel Anemometer (blue case, 00:00-00:40) wind meter. Then reviewer F-Class John looks at the “smart” Kestrel 5700 with Elite Ballistics. John explains the many features of the Kestrel 5700 and how it holds a powerful ballistics calculator in the convenient, easy-to-tote Kestrel package. With Elite Ballistics, once you enter data about your bullets, velocity, zero, and rifle, the Kestrel can calculate come-ups and wind corrections. If you don’t yet own a Kestrel, we highly recommend you watch this series of videos that explains advanced Kestrel features in detail.

This Part II Video shows the key features of the advanced software APP used by the Kestrel 5700 unit with Elite Ballistics. The Kestrel 5700 can “talk” to a mobile device that runs the Applied Ballistics software APP that contains bullet databases and allows you to enter key information such as muzzle velocity, bullet BC, zero distance, velocity, wind, and environmental factors (altitude, temperature etc.). There are also gun-specific factors such as scope height over bore and barrel twist rate. The video also explains how “range cards” are created and how to view them with your Elite Ballistics-enabled Kestrel. John notes: “The APP is great because you don’t have to fiddle with the Kestrel’s buttons. It’s much easier to enter data and change settings with the APP.”

This Part III video shows how to determine true wind direction by aligning the SIDE of the unit into the wind. You essentially want to set the unit 90 degrees to the wind direction so the impeller runs as slowly as possible. Then, after you set your target distance (See 3:03), the unit can give you precise come-ups for your intended target (10.28 MOA for 559 yards here). The Kestrel then calculates the cross-wind correction as well (See 3:12).

DISCLAIMER: This video and description contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, the video author may receive a small commission. This helps support F-Class John’s YouTube channel and allows him to continue to make videos like this.

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October 19th, 2021

How Altitude Affects Bullet Ballistics (Drag and Drop)

altitude ballistics zeiss LRP S5 318-50 FFP scope
Photo shows the new ZEISS LRP S5 318-50 first focal plane (FFP) scope.

“A bullet launched at a higher altitude is able to fly slightly farther (in the thinner air) for every increment of downward movement. Effectively, the bullet behaves as if it has a higher ballistic coefficient.”

It’s hunting season, and a good friend is heading to the high country of Colorado next week to pursue elk. He recently zeroed his rifle in California, at a range just a few hundred feet Above Mean Sea Level (AMSL). He wondered if the higher altitude in Colorado could alter his ballistics. The answer is a definite yes. However the good news is that free ballistics calculators can help you plot reliable drop charts for various shooting locations, high or low.

Suunto AltimeterThe question has been posed: “What effect does altitude have on the flight of a bullet?” The simplistic answer is that, at higher altitudes, the air is thinner (lower density), so there is less drag on the bullet. This means that the amount of bullet drop is less at any given flight distance from the muzzle. Since the force of gravity is essentially constant on the earth’s surface (for practical purposes), the bullet’s downward acceleration doesn’t change, but a bullet launched at a higher altitude is able to fly slightly farther (in the thinner air) for every increment of downward movement. Effectively, at higher altitudes, the bullet behaves as if it has a higher ballistic coefficient.

Forum member Milanuk explains that the key factor is not altitude, but rather air pressure. Milanuk writes:

“In basic terms, as your altitude increases, the density of the air the bullet must travel through decreases, thereby reducing the drag on the bullet. Generally, the higher the altitude, the less the bullet will drop. For example, I shoot at a couple ranges here in the Pacific Northwest. Both are at 1000′ AMSL (Above Mean Sea Level) or less. I’ll need about 29-30 MOA to get from 100 yards to 1000 yards with a Berger 155gr VLD at 2960 fps. By contrast, in Raton, NM, located at 6600′ AMSL, I’ll only need about 24-25 MOA to do the same. That’s a significant difference.

Note that it is the barometric pressure that really matters, not simply the nominal altitude. The barometric pressure will indicate the reduced pressure from a higher altitude, but it will also show you the pressure changes as a front moves in, etc. which can play havoc w/ your calculated come-ups. Most altimeters are simply barometers that read in feet instead of inches of mercury.”

As Milanuk states, it is NOT altitude per se, but the LOCAL barometric pressure (sometimes called “station pressure”) that is key. The two atmospheric conditions that most effect bullet flight are air temperature, and barometric pressure. Normally, humidity has a negligible effect. It’s important to remember that the barometric pressure reported on the radio (or internet) may be stated as a sea level equivalency. So in Denver (at 6,000 feet AMSL), if the local pressure is 24″, the radio will report the barometric pressure to be 30″. If you do high altitude shooting at long range, bring along a Kestrel, or remember to mentally correct the radio station’s pressure, by 1″ per 1,000 feet.

Trajectory of Bullet fired at Sea Level

Trajectory of Bullet fired at 20,000 feet

You can do your own experimental calculations using JBM Online Ballistics (free to use). Here is an extreme example, with two printouts (generated with Point Blank software), one showing bullet trajectory at sea level (0′ altitude) and one at 20,000 feet. For demonstration sake, we assigned a low 0.2 BC to the bullet, with a velocity of 3000 fps.

To learn more about all aspects of Exterior Ballistics, Hornady has a useful discussion of External Ballistics including the effects of altitude and temperature. To dig deeper, Sierra Bullets has a comprehensive Exterior Ballistics Resource Page with multiple sections from the Sierra Manual (4th and 5th Editions), including:

Section 3.0: Exterior Ballistic Effects on Bullet Flight
Section 3.1: Effects of Altitude and Atmospheric Conditions
Section 3.2: Effects of Wind
Section 3.3: Effects of Shooting Uphill or Downhill

Example from Section 3.0: “When a bullet flies through the air, two types of forces act on the bullet to determine its path (trajectory) through the air. The first is gravitational force; the other is aerodynamics. Several kinds of aerodynamic forces act on a bullet: drag, lift, side forces, Magnus force, spin damping force, pitch damping force, and Magnus cross force. The most important of these aerodynamic forces is drag. All the others are very small in comparison when the bullet is spin-stabilized.”

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July 27th, 2021

TECH REVIEW: Kestrel 5700 Elite with Applied Ballistics Software

Kestrel Wind Meter F-Class John Applied Ballistics

The 2021 NRA F-Class National Championships are underway right now at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. The Mid-Range Nationals concluded yesterday with the Team Match, and the Long-Range F-Class Nationals commence today, July 27, 2021 and run through Friday, July 30th. For F-Class competitors, making the right wind call is a vital skill. Many shooters and team wind coaches will be using Kestrel Wind Meters, widely regarded as the best on the market.

Camp Atterbury F-Class Championships

This article reviews the advanced Kestrel 5700 Elite Wind Meter with sophisticated ballistics capabilities. Our review features three videos by F-Class John that show how the Kestrel 5700 Elite works with Applied Ballistics APP software and LiNK connection.

Kestrel Wind Meter F-Class John Applied Ballistics

This Part I Video starts with a basic Kestrel Anemometer (blue case, 00:00-00:40) wind meter. Then reviewer F-Class John looks at the “smart” Kestrel 5700 Elite with Applied Ballistics functionality and LiNK Bluetooth connectivity. John explains the many features of the Kestrel 5700 and how it holds a powerful ballistics calculator in the convenient, easy-to-tote Kestrel package. With the Kestrel 5700 Elite, once you enter data about your bullets, velocity, zero, and rifle, the Kestrel can calculate come-ups and wind corrections. If you don’t yet own a Kestrel, we highly recommend you watch this series of videos that explains advanced Kestrel features in detail.

This Part II Video shows the key features of the advanced software APP used by the Kestrel 5700 Elite unit with Applied Ballistics. The Kestrel 5700 can “talk” to a mobile device that runs the Applied Ballistics software APP that contains bullet databases and allows you to enter key information such as muzzle velocity, bullet BC, zero distance, velocity, wind, and environmental factors (altitude, temperature etc.). There are also gun-specific factors such as scope height over bore and barrel twist rate. The video also explains how “range cards” are created and how to view them with your Elite Ballistics-enabled Kestrel. John notes: “The APP is great because you don’t have to fiddle with the Kestrel’s buttons. It’s much easier to enter data and change settings with the APP.”

This Part III video shows how to determine true wind direction by aligning the SIDE of the unit into the wind. You essentially want to set the unit 90 degrees to the wind direction so the impeller runs as slowly as possible. Then, after you set your target distance (See 3:03), the unit can give you precise come-ups for your intended target (10.28 MOA for 559 yards here). The Kestrel then calculates the cross-wind correction as well (See 3:12).

DISCLAIMER: This video and description contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, the video author may receive a small commission. This helps support F-Class John’s YouTube channel and allows him to continue to make videos like this.

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May 24th, 2021

Free Kestrel Wind-Reading Class May 25 with Emil Praslick

Emil Praslick III KO2M

Berger’s Mil/LE Business Development Manager and “Wind Wizard”, Emil Praslick, will join Kestrel Ballistics to host a virtual Wind Reading class on Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 3:00 PM EST. For more information on Kestrel Ballistics’ Virtual Classes and to sign up for the Wind Reading class with Emil Praslick, visit kestrelballistics.com/classes.

Kestrel Ballistics offers virtual classes to help shooters learn how to make the most of their Kestrel weather meters, maximize their time at the range, and advance their shooting capabilities to the next level. “I am really looking forward to this class and discussing how to best use the powerful capabilities of the Kestrel. There are a number of different strategies used to determine your wind and engage targets, and I’ll talk about how the Kestrel compliments those processes,” said commented Emil.

Emil Praslick III KO2M

In addition to this upcoming Kestrel Ballistics’ Virtual Class on Wind Reading, Emil has hosted two wind-reading videos for Applied Ballistics and Berger Bullets.

WIND WISDOM: Determining the Direction of the Wind

Here Emil explains how to determine wind direction using spotting scope, riflescope, or binoculars. With the optic, look for the “Boil” — the condition in mirage when the light waves are rising straight up. The wind will generate that straight-up, vertical boil in your optics when it is blowing directly at you, or directly from your rear. To identify this, traverse your scope or optics until you see the boil running straight up. When you see that vertical boil, the direction your optic is pointing is aligned with the wind flow (either blowing towards you or from directly behind you).

WIND WISDOM: The No Wind Zero Setting

In this video, Emil defines the “No-Wind Zero”, and explains why competitive shooters must understand the no-wind zero and have their sights or optics set for a no-wind zero starting point before heading to a match. In order to hit your target, after determining wind speed and direction, says Emil, “you have to have your scope setting dialed to ‘no wind zero’ first.”

Coach of Champions — Emil Praslick III
SFC Emil Praslick III, (U.S. Army, retired) works with Berger Bullets and Applied Ballistics. Emil served as the Head Coach of the U.S. National Long Range Rifle Team and Head Coach of the USAMU for several years. Teams coached by Emil have won 33 Inter-Service Rifle Championships. On top of that, teams he coached set 18 National records and 2 World Records. Overall, in the role of coach, Praslick can be credited with the most team wins of any coach in U.S. Military history.

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May 8th, 2021

Wind Wizardry — How to Use a Kestrel Correctly

Kestrel Wind Meter Direction Vane Applied Ballistics

A lot of folks use a Kestrel Wind Meter every time at the range. That’s a good thing. However, many Kestrel owners may not be employing the Kestrel properly when seeking wind direction.

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.

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December 16th, 2020

Nielsen-Kellerman (Kestrel) Acquires MagnetoSpeed LLC

Nielsen-Kellerman buys acquires Magnetospeed LLC chrono chronographs Kestrel Ballistic LiNK

Nielsen-Kellerman, Inc. (NK) is acquiring the assets of MagnetoSpeed, LLC, leading manufacturer of barrel-mounted electromagnetic chronographs and other shooting accessories. MagnetoSpeed will join Kestrel Ballistics in NK’s Ballistics Division. With Kestrel and now MagnetoSpeed, NK has two very important product lines for precision shooters and competitors. And yes, NK anticipates that, in the near future, new software engineering will allow MagnetoSpeed chronos to communicate with Kestrels to provide faster ballistic solutions. NK CEO Alix James stated: “…We see exciting opportunities to improve the function of the chronograph line by connecting the chronographs directly to Kestrel Ballistics Weather Meters with Kestrel LiNK. The MagnetoSpeed founders are brilliant engineers and we are grateful for the opportunity to build upon their design innovations.”

NK CEO James added: “The MagnetoSpeed acquisition is a win for our companies, our customers, and the shooting community as a whole. The MagnetoSpeed brand is known for accuracy, durability, and innovation. This aligns with our commitment to producing extremely accurate, rugged, purpose-built ballistics tools for improving long-range precision and shooting performance. The move…supports NK’s commitment to expanding its offerings to the shooting, hunting, and outdoor users.”

NOTE: NK Ballistics Division will host a combined Kestrel/MagnetoSpeed Virtual Class training session on 12/23/2020. CLICK HERE to Register.

Nielsen-Kellerman Announces Acquisition of MagnetoSpeed LLC

The founders of MagnetoSpeed are proud their company is teaming with NK and Kestrel: “Ten years ago, three young engineers from Texas began work on a new kind of chronograph. It began with a crude prototype, but with the support of the shooting community, we were able to bootstrap those humble beginnings into a successful company[.] We see a great opportunity with Kestrel’s Ballistic division to take our products to the next level and to develop amazing new ones.”

Magnetospeed Nielsen-Kellerman Kestrel Ballistics

MagnetoSpeed Product Line OverView

MagnetoSpeed has been manufacturing rugged chronographs, target hit indicators, and barrel coolers since 2013. The company’s signature V3 and Sporter barrel-mounted ballistic chronographs use patented electromagnetic sensors to measure bullet velocity with extreme precision and reliability. Other MagnetoSpeed products include the T1000 Hit Indicator, and the Riflekühl chamber flag + barrel cooler.

Magnetospeed Nielsen-Kellerman Kestrel Ballistics

With a MagnetoSpeed barrel-mounted chrono you can quickly and easily record muzzle velocity (MV) without having to set up tripods or walk down-range. The compact MagnetoSpeed chronos are easy to set up and transport. With the full-featured V3 model, everything you need comes in a small fitted case. In the top photo are the components used with the MagnetoSpeed V3 Kit:

1. V3 Bayonet sensor
2. Display and control unit
3. Bayonet spacers (plastic and rubber)
4. Cords and mounting hardware (left), suppressor heat shield (right)
5. Alignment rod (square cross-section)
6. Rail adapter (sold separately)

If you are on a tighter budget, the MagnetoSpeed Sporter is a great option. This unit works on most rifles and offers the same reliable speed-measuring technology as the V3 model, but with fewer options and different display. Available for just $179.00 on Amazon, the MagnetoSpeed Sporter is perhaps the best value in chronographs on the market today.

Nielsen-Kellerman buys acquires Magnetospeed LLC chrono chronographs Kestrel Ballistic LiNK

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October 31st, 2020

Smart Tips for Using Kestrel with Applied Ballistics Software

Kestrel Wind Meter F-Class John Applied Ballistics

Kestrel wind and weather meters are often regarded as the best on the market — for good reason. Here are a series of three videos by F-Class John that show how the Kestrel 5700 with Elite Ballistics works with Applied Ballistics APP software and Link connection.

This Part I Video starts with a basic Kestrel Anemometer (blue case, 00:00-00:40) wind meter. Then reviewer F-Class John looks at the “smart” Kestrel 5700 with Elite Ballistics. John explains the many features of the Kestrel 5700 and how it holds a powerful ballistics calculator in the convenient, easy-to-tote Kestrel package. With Elite Ballistics, once you enter data about your bullets, velocity, zero, and rifle, the Kestrel can calculate come-ups and wind corrections. If you don’t yet own a Kestrel, we highly recommend you watch this series of videos that explains advanced Kestrel features in detail.

This Part II Video shows the key features of the advanced software APP used by the Kestrel 5700 unit with Elite Ballistics. The Kestrel 5700 can “talk” to a mobile device that runs the Applied Ballistics software APP that contains bullet databases and allows you to enter key information such as muzzle velocity, bullet BC, zero distance, velocity, wind, and environmental factors (altitude, temperature etc.). There are also gun-specific factors such as scope height over bore and barrel twist rate. The video also explains how “range cards” are created and how to view them with your Elite Ballistics-enabled Kestrel. John notes: “The APP is great because you don’t have to fiddle with the Kestrel’s buttons. It’s much easier to enter data and change settings with the APP.”

This Part III video shows how to determine true wind direction by aligning the SIDE of the unit into the wind. You essentially want to set the unit 90 degrees to the wind direction so the impeller runs as slowly as possible. Then, after you set your target distance (See 3:03), the unit can give you precise come-ups for your intended target (10.28 MOA for 559 yards here). The Kestrel then calculates the cross-wind correction as well (See 3:12).

DISCLAIMER: This video and description contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, the video author may receive a small commission. This helps support F-Class John’s YouTube channel and allows him to continue to make videos like this.

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March 16th, 2020

Wind Hack — Estimate Crosswind Deflection Without a Meter

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.

Applied Ballistics Crosswind Estimation Wind hack G7 BC

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!

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.

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January 20th, 2020

Plug-In Impeller Makes Smart-Phone Work as 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 $39.89. Even though it is inexpensive, owner reviews have been generally very positive (so long as the software is compatible with your device). One Amazon reviewer says the WeatherFlow measures wind velocity as accurately a dedicated anemometer.

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.

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

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August 19th, 2019

BargainFinder 204: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Bruno Shooters’ Supply — Super Sale on Multiple Products

Bruno shooters supply summer sale scopes actions berger bullets

Bruno Shooters Supply is running a big sale on a wide variety of products — bullets, actions, triggers, riflescopes, and ammo. If you take the time to look at particular listings of Berger Bullets, you’ll find some of the best prices on the internet. There are deep discounts on March, Leupold, and Weaver scopes. Plus Bruno’s is also offering free shipping on LabRadar chronos and accessories. Bruno’s also carries the superb Lenzi rear bags. To see all the deals, visit BrunoShooters.com.

2. Amazon — Champion Vanquish Electronic Muffs, $54.00

Bushnell Champion Vanquish Pro Electronic earmuffs muffs hearing protection 22 NRR 24 Bluetooth music smartphone

Electronic muffs let you hear range commands during matches. Champion’s new Vanquish Series electronic muffs offer great performance for the price, starting at $54.00 on Amazon. These feature HD speakers plus less than 1 millisecond sound compression technology. The Vanquish Pro ($113.86 on Amazon) and Pro Elite models offer Bluetooth connectivity, so users can take phone calls or listen to music at the range. The Elite models also offer Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). On all Vanquish models, the earpads are a nice soft foam for comfort, and the shell design is angled at the rear to provide more clearance on gunstocks.

3. CDNN — Ruger Precision Rifle, 6mm Creedmoor, $899.99
OR Gander Outdoors Ruger Precision Rifle, .308 Win, $783.82

Ruger Precision Rifle

The Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR) is very popular with hunters, varminters, and tactical/practical competitors. For RPR fans we’ve found two GREAT deals. First CDNN Sports is selling the RPR in 6mm Creedmoor for just $899.99. And if you prefer the .308 Win, a great hunting round, the price is even more attractive. Right now Gander Outdoors is selling .308 Win Ruger Precision Rifles for $783.82, the lowest RPR price we’ve ever seen! NOTE: If you join Gander’s email list you may also get 10% off your first purchase.

4. EuroOptic — FREE Kestrel 3500 with Leupold Mark 5HD Scope

leupold kestral deal

Leupold’s new Mark 5HD scopes are impressive. Make no mistake — Mark 5HDs are fine tactical optics fully capable of winning PRS/NRL matches. Available in 3.6-18x44mm, 5-25x56mm, and 7-35x56mm with a multitude of reticle choices, there’s something for every tactical shooter out there. And right now when you buy any Laupold Mark 5HD scope from EuroOptic.com you get a FREE Kestrel 3500NV, a $269.00 value. That’s a fantastic bonus! The FREE Kestrel will be added to your cart automatically at no extra cost.

5. Midsouth — New .308 Win Lake City Brass, $79.99/250 cases

Lake City .308 Win 7.62x51 cartridge brass M1A

Midsouth Shooters has acquired a large quantity of excellent Lake City 7.62×51 (.308 Win) Primed Brass. NOTE, this is New Brass that has never been fired. However it is described as “pull-down”, meaning the brass had originally been assembled into loaded ammo. The brass comes PRIMED with CCI #34 primers, with crimped primer pockets. The brass is sold in 250-count bags for $79.99. That works out to just $0.32 per case — a great deal for primed, strong Lake City Brass. This is good stuff for M1As and hunting rifles.

6. Cutting Edge Bullets — 20% Off SALE All Bullets

Cutting Edge Bullets 20% off sale fall hunting season solid copper bullets

Cutting Edge Bullets makes great lathe-turned, solid copper bullets for hunting and long-range shooting. These bullets have won major ELR matches. And now through September 14, 2019 you save save 20% on first-run Cutting Edge projectiles in a variety of calibers and bullet weights. If you’re a serious ELR competitor or long-range hunter, order now and save big. You’ll need to use code HUNT19 at checkout to receive the discount.

7. Amazon — 42″ Double Long Gun Case Backpack, $64.32

Savior Tactical Double Rifle case pistol pack backpack

The Savior Tactical Double Rifle case will hold TWO rifles, plus a large pistol. This case has nice thick padding, plenty of pockets, AND comfortable shoulder straps so you can carry it like a backpack. Shown above is the 42″x12″ Flat Dark Earth (Tan) version, $64.32 on Amazon. Along with the 42″-long case, there are 36″, 46″, 51″, and 55″ models. The 55″ Savior Tactical case ($88.16 on Amazon) is big enough for most PRS rifles, even with long barrels. These gun cases also come in OD Green, Black, and Gray.

8. Graf’s — Free HazMat with $150 or More Purchase

hodgdon IMR powder sale

We love FREE HazMat promos. This can save you $25 to $35 given what some vendors charge. Right now, at Grafs.com if you buy $150 or more worth of smokeless powder, black powder, primers, or musket caps, you’ll get FREE hazmat on the order. This deal runs through August 28, 2019. Waiver of the hazmat charge will be arranged automatically during online check-out if the order qualifies.

9. Amazon — Howard Leight MAX NRR33 Earplugs, $7.99/50 Pairs

accurateshooter.com review Max-1 Howard Leight ear plugs

20 Pairs
50 Pairs

With NRR 22-24 electronic muffs, we recommend running plugs under the muffs. These Howard Leight NRR33 Max plugs are your Editor’s favorite foam earplugs. Between shooting, motorcycling and mowing lawns, I probably have Max plugs in my ears 2-3 days a week. This is a very good price for a bulk pack of 50 pairs. And if you act soon, you can get free shipping to boot.

10. Amazon — Jialitte Scope Bubble Level, $10.99

Scope Optic bubble level 30mm 1

All serious rifle shooters need a scope level. This nicely designed Jialitte Scope Bubble Level features a 30mm milled inside diameter, plus an inner insert ring so it will also fit 1″-diameter main tubes — that dual-diameter versatility is a nice feature. We also like the way the unit is nicely radiused, and has a low profile in the middle. Price is just $10.99 with free shipping. User reviews have been very positive. You could easily pay $35.00 or more for a 30mm scope level. Purchasers have praised this product — nearly all verified buyers rated this five stars.

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August 1st, 2019

Ballistics TIP: How Altitude and Air Pressure Affect Bullet Flight

Trajectory of Bullet fired at Sea Level

Trajectory of Bullet fired at 20,000 feet

You can do your own experimental calculations using JBM Online Ballistics (free to use). Here is an extreme example, with two printouts (generated with Point Blank software), one showing bullet trajectory at sea level (0′ altitude) and one at 20,000 feet. For demonstration sake, we assigned a low 0.2 BC to the bullet, with a velocity of 3000 fps.

Suunto AltimeterOne of our readers asked “What effect does altitude have on the flight of a bullet?” The simplistic answer is that, at higher altitudes, the air is thinner (lower density), so there is less drag on the bullet. This means that the amount of bullet drop is less at any given flight distance from the muzzle. Since the force of gravity is essentially constant on the earth’s surface (for practical purposes), the bullet’s downward acceleration doesn’t change, but a bullet launched at a higher altitude is able to fly slightly farther (in the thinner air) for every increment of downward movement. Effectively, the bullet behaves as if it has a higher ballistic coefficient.

Forum member Milanuk explains that the key factor is not altitude, but rather air pressure. Milanuk writes:

“In basic terms, as your altitude increases, the density of the air the bullet must travel through decreases, thereby reducing the drag on the bullet. Generally, the higher the altitude, the less the bullet will drop. For example, I shoot at a couple ranges here in the Pacific Northwest. Both are at 1000′ ASL or less. I’ll need about 29-30 MOA to get from 100 yard to 1000 yards with a Berger 155gr VLD @ 2960fps. By contrast, in Raton, NM, located at 6600′ ASL, I’ll only need about 24-25 MOA to do the same. That’s a significant difference.

Note that it is the barometric pressure that really matters, not simply the nominal altitude. The barometric pressure will indicate the reduced pressure from a higher altitude, but it will also show you the pressure changes as a front moves in, etc. which can play havoc w/ your calculated come-ups. Most altimeters are simply barometers that read in feet instead of inches of mercury.”

As Milanuk states, it is NOT altitude per se, but the LOCAL barometric pressure (sometimes called “station pressure”) that is key. The two atmospheric conditions that most effect bullet flight are air temperature, and barometric pressure. Normally, humidity has a negligible effect.

It’s important to remember that the barometric pressure reported on the radio (or internet) may be stated as a sea level equivalency. So in Denver (at 6,000 feet amsl), if the local pressure is 24″, the radio will report the barometric pressure to be 30″. If you do high altitude shooting at long range, bring along a Kestrel, or remember to mentally correct the radio station’s pressure, by 1″ per 1,000 feet.”

If you want to learn more about all aspects of External Ballistics, ExteriorBallistics.com provides a variety of useful resources. In particular, on that site, Section 3.1 of the Sierra Manual is reprinted, covering Effects of Altitude and Atmospheric Pressure on bullet flight.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
April 3rd, 2019

After Action Report — Gem State Stand Off Practical Rifle Match

Idaho NRL tactical Gem State Stand Off precision tactical competition match vu pham 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm Dasher
Vu Pham takes a shot at the Snake River Sportsman Range in Oregon. Click image for full-screen version.

Vu Pham recently attended a great practical/tactical match, the Gem State Stand Off. This NRL-sanctioned match drew 113 shooters, including many of the best PRS/NRL competitors in the country. Vu says this was a great event: “The 220-round, 22-stage course of fire was fun, yet challenging. Every stage had a two-minute par time requiring 10 rounds fired at multiple targets. 113 competitors fired about 24,000 rounds without a single target failure.”

2019 Idaho Gem State Stand Off AAR
Target Distances: 300 to 1200 yards
22 stages/220 round Course of Fire
113 Competitors

Match Directors: Nate Lauerman & Seth Howard
Range Officers: 21 Precision Rifle Shooters of Idaho
Event Date: March 23rd & 24th, 2019
Location: Snake River Sportsman Range in Vale, Oregon

“With technological advances in equipment, training, and ballistics, plus increased opportunities for competitors to fine-tune their skills, Practical Precision Rifle competition has become a perfectionist sport. The constant evolution of this discipline never ceases to amaze me. With competitors and manufacturers constantly pushing to gain an edge… there is no shortage of innovation.” — Vu Pham

Gem State Stand Off — After Action Report

Report by Vu Pham, NorCal Practical Precision Rifle Club
I was fortunate enough to snag a last-minute slot for the 2019 Gem State Stand Off hosted by the Precision Rifle Shooters of Idaho Club (PRSID). This is one of 17 National Rifle League events where competitors will battle for points hoping to secure a slot for the 2019 NRL Championship. The Snake River Sportsman Range is a beautiful venue in Vale, Oregon, near the Idaho border.

Idaho NRL tactical Gem State Stand Off precision tactical competition match vu pham 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm Dasher
The digital display carries ballistics info and elevation/windage tables from Vu Pham’s Kestrel. He says the unit really helps his performance.

Idaho NRL tactical Gem State Stand Off precision tactical competition match vu pham 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm Dasher
From the hills looking down-range. Click image for full-screen version.

Hardware Report — Top PRS/NRL Gear for 2019

Modern Precision Rifle Comp Gear — Stocks and Chassis Systems
The traditional rifle stock we know has now moved to more modular and customizable designs. One product that caught my eye is the new XLR Industries Envy JV Heavy Fill Chassis system. After seeing a lot of competitors use them with good results, I think I will be giving one a try soon. Not being able to borrow a piece of gear because the entire squad is running ARCA can be a drag. Picatinny forearm rails have gone the way of the dinosaur with ARCA Swiss becoming the standard for attaching accessories.

Idaho NRL tactical Gem State Stand Off precision tactical competition match vu pham 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm Dasher

Those like myself who may not want to give up their traditional-style stocks do have the option of modifying their existing stock with a universal ARCA rail from Henderson Precision. That company makes a variety of rails that fit a number of stock platforms.

Idaho NRL tactical Gem State Stand Off precision tactical competition match vu pham 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm Dasher

Rifle Support Options — Bags and Tripods
Tripods are also used a lot as front and rear support by the majority of the field as well. Support bags now come in every shape, size, weight, and material imaginable. Even the fundamentals of driving your rifle is being challenged by the evolution of “free recoil”. Instead of counting the number of hits for the day, the top echelon shooters count the number of shots they dropped.

Calibers of Choice — Small is Big — the 6mms Dominate
6mmBR Improved cartridges (6mm Dasher, 6BR Ackley) and mid-sized 6mms (such as 6mm Creedmoor) dominate the field. In addition we are seeing some guys running the 22 BR and 22 BRA, which work surprisingly well. [Editor: Run the ballistics with a .22 Cal 80-grainer and you’ll see why.]

Wind Monitoring and Ballistics
Kestrel Environmental Meters with Applied Ballistics are “must haves”. I have found my Really Right Stuff tripod and Vortex 12×50 Razor binoculars extremely useful for locating targets and going through the target shooting order before it was my turn to shoot. Watching what the wind and competitor’s rounds are doing before you are on the gun is a huge benefit.

Great Match with Great Shooters

Tough Competition with a Field of Ace Practical Marksmen
The field of competitors at this match was stacked. I heard there were 20 competitors in attendance who have won national-level PRS or NRL events. 20 top-echelon competitors mixed in with a solid field of shooters made it a tough for anyone looking to finish at the top.

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