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January 11th, 2022

Windflags — Reasons to Use Them, Even If You Don’t Compete


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…

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

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.

New Wind Reading App — High Power Wind Lab

There is an innovative new Wind-Reading App, the High Power Wind Lab, that can help you figure your hold-offs in all wind conditions. This is available now for iOS devices, and an Android version is coming soon. In this video, our friend F-Class John reviews this sophisticated new Wind App:

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

Permalink Gear Review, Shooting Skills No Comments »
December 22nd, 2021

Santa’s Stocking Stuffers for Gun Guys and Gals

AccurateShooter.com stocking stuffer tools

Christmas is coming up soon, so today we’re featuring a hand-picked collection of six “stocking stuffers” for precision shooters. Some of these are recent new inventions. All are handy items that you’ll use over and over again at the range, on your vehicle, and/or at your loading bench (so you’re allowed to buy them for yourself, even after Christmas).

B&T Industries BT62 Determinator — $7.95

Group Size Measuring plate Determinator

The acrylic BT62 Determinator measures groups with laser-cut concentric measuring rings. Check group size quick and easy — simply place the Determinator over shot group. Adjust until one of the circles crosses the center of the two outer-most holes. That gives you the center to center group measurement (1.5″ maximum). Alternatively, you can measure edge to edge (of the farthest shots) and then subtract the bullet diameter. Cool tool for gun guys. The supplied lanyard also glows in the dark.

Cabela’s Multi-Tool — $6.99

Cabela's Multi-tool blank stocking stuffer

You won’t find a more versatile tool at this low price — just $6.99. The Cabela’s multi-tool performs many functions. The stainless steel frame features 8 tools: wire-cutting pliers with bolt grip, wire-stripper, knife, Phillips and flat-head screwdrivers, saw, bottle opener, and scissors.Closed length is 3″. This handy tool is available in six colors: Red, Orange, Green, Teal, Purple, and Silver. A durable nylon belt sheath protects and carries the multitool.

JKL Precision — LabRadar Recoil Pulse Trigger — $35.00

labradar inertial recoil trigger

Frustrated with your LabRadar missing shots? With this $35 LabRadar Recoil Trigger you will be much happier — and you won’t get false readings from the guy on the next bench. This plug-in device, made by JLK Precision, activates the LabRadar from your rifle’s inertial recoil pulse. It will work with any rifle from a .22 LR up to the big magnums. NOTE: The inertial trigger is sensitive so a “phantom” reading may occur with hard bolt manipulation. However, our Forum members who use this trigger say it is is a great improvement, with no more LOST shots and LabRadar placement is no longer critical. One owner noted: “This unit works flawlessly. Didn’t miss a single shot, and allows you to place the LabRadar in pretty much any position.” Velcro attachment standard — Picatinny and magnetic mounts sold separately. This trigger is made by JLK Precision, NOT by the LabRadar company.

Surveyor’s Tape (for Wind Indicators) — $2.69

Surveyor's Surveyor Flagging Tape fluorescent day-glow wind flag

Always watch the wind when you shoot. Inexpensive ($2.69/roll) Day-Glo Surveyors’ Tape (aka “Flagging Tape”), attached to a stake or target frame, makes a good wind indicator. It will flutter even in mild breezes, alerting you to both angle and velocity shifts. This should be part of every range kit. Don’t leave home without it. This can also be ordered from Creedmoor Sports for $3.95 per roll.

MagnetoSpeed — RifleKuhl Barrel Cooling Fan — $54.99

Lyman Case Prep multi-tool

Cooling your barrel with a compact fan can extend barrel life. This bright red RifleKuhl from Magnetospeed is quite effective. The battery-powered impeller pushes cooling air down the barrel. It has a chamber seal for increased cooling efficiency while a neodymium magnet helps secure the device to your action. The RifleKuhl includes a belt/pocket clip and there is a Replaceable built-in 50 Micron air filter. The RifleKuhl costs $54.99 on Amazon.

Amazon — Digital Display Timer with Big Buttons — $10.95

display timer stocking stuffer sale

If you shoot in a discipline with time limits, or you time your firing strings during practice, having a reliable and easy-to-read timer is critical. We like this very affordable Digital Display Timer with both count-up and count-down functions. Just $10.95 on Amazon, this unit boasts an easy-to-read display and LARGE buttons making it perfect for F-Class, Palma, and other matches. This timer comes with both a built-in stand AND a strong magnet so you can position the timer conveniently.

Creedmoor Sports — Leather 20Rd +2 Ammo Holder — $24.95

Leather Ammo Holder Creedmoor Sports

This handsome red leather ammo holder secures twenty (20) rounds of .308 Win-size ammunition, in a handy plastic carrier. In addition there are loops for 2 more sighter rounds on the outside. This is a very nice gift for a target shooter or hunter. There is also a .223 Rem version in black leather. Both these leather ammo holders conveniently fit into a shooting coat pocket via a leather pocket flap.

Bore Squeeg-E Cleaning Kit, Multi-Caliber — $9.99

stocking stuffer cleaning kit bore squeeg-e bushmaster

The Bore Squeeg-E Cleaning System Kit contains cleaning tools for ARs, rifles, shotguns and handguns in .223/5.56mm, .308/7.62mm, .357/.380/.38/9mm, .44/.45 and 12/16/20/28GA. The compact canvas pack features quiet zipper pulls, and MOLLE mountable rear-velcro straps. There are rifle and handgun pull cables with T-pull handle. These Squeeg-E are very effective for quick cleaning of pistols and shotguns.

Creedmoor Mesh Bag for Brass — $5.95 on Sale

creedmore cartridge brass mesh carrying bag

This durable 12″ x 9″ mesh bag for Cartridge Brass is good for collecting and holding your spent brass on the range. The open weave allows dust and gravel to fall out while the brass is retained securely. This lightweight, high-quality nylon mesh bag with draw string conveniently fits in you shooting stool or hangs on your shooting cart. User reviews have been excellent: “Capacity is generous… it works great”; “I bought two of these and they are simply perfect for bringing used brass back from the range.”

Grafs.com — Peregrine MAGnet Gun Caddy — $5.69

MAGnet gun caddy magnetic gun holder foam

Here’s a handy item that can hold your rifle vertically alongside any steel surface. This works great on gun safes (outside or inside), and the MAGnet Gun Caddy can be used on vehicles too (see photo). The patented design makes it possible to secure and remove your gun from the holder with just one hand. The $5.69 MAGnet Gun Caddy is modular so you can arrange multiple units at whatever height works best.

BONUS — TACTICAL STOCKINGS for Your Stocking Stuffers

MOlle tactical stocking christmas Xmas

Don’t have a stocking to hold your small gift items? Then check out these cool, heavy-duty stockings. These Garud Tactical Stockings come in five camo varieties (including pink digital camo) plus OD Green, Khaki, and Black. They all feature 4 MOLLE attachments, rugged carry handle, hanging hook, swivel carabiners, outside draw pocket, and even Velcro USA Flag Patch. Get all this for the low price of $15.99 or $16.99. These stockings are sure to bring smiles to your tacticool family members and friends.

Permalink Gear Review, Hot Deals No Comments »
October 24th, 2021

Sunday Gunday: Wind-Reading with Keith Glasscock

Keith Glasscock winning wind youtube channel f-Class f-Open wind reading

Keith Glasscock is one of America’s very finest F-Class shooters. This talented trigger-puller took second in F-Open division at the F-Class National Championships three years in a row. A smart engineer with aviation knowledge, Keith is a master wind reader, who has served as the wind coach for top F-Class teams. In fact Keith is in Arizona right now coaching a team at Ben Avery.

Keith shares his wind-reading expertise on his popular YouTube Channel — Winning in the Wind. This channel provides intelligent advice on multiple topics including reloading, load development, shooting strategies, and yes, reading the wind.

Keith has the credentials to back up the advice he offers in his video lessons. A High Master, Keith finished second overall at the 2021 NRA F-Class Long Range Championship in F-Open division. He also finished second at the 2020 Nationals, and he took second place at the 2019 Nationals. His consistency is unrivaled, which means he definitely knows the secrets of long-range wind calling and loading ultra-accurate ammo.

Today we feature two of Keith’s latest YouTube videos, both focused on wind reading.

Wind Direction vs. Wind Speed — Which is More Important

Most shooters find wind reading somewhat intimidating. That is understandable. The wind can change constantly during a match, with variations in both wind velocity and angles. Sometimes you think you have a cycle figured out, but then there can be an unexpected lull. Or you may start a string in what you think is a stable condition, but then a surprise shift changes everything. In addition, wind flows can be influenced by terrain features, such as berms, which have varying effects depending on wind angle (e.g. a tailwind hitting a berm will act differently than a 90-deg crosswind). That is why a good wind reader needs to identify both the wind speed AND the wind angle. In this video, Keith explains when to focus primarily on direction and when to pay most attention to velocity. With headwinds and tailwinds, Keith notes, you should monitor angle changes carefully. With crosswinds, speed is the key variable to watch.

KEY Points to Remember
— Small changes in wind direction changes alter POI drastically at long range
— During head or tailwinds, focus on wind direction
— During crosswinds, focus more on wind speed
— The wind is cyclic — always be aware of the pattern

Keith Glasscock wind reading video winnning spotting scope flag angle kestrel

Determining Wind Direction with Precision

Keith Glasscock winning wind youtube channel f-Class f-Open ES SD loading

Many shooters try to read the wind merely using whatever wind flags might be aloft on the range. Flags are important of course, but there are other vital factors that a wise wind-watcher will monitor. You want to watch mirage, and the movement of grass and trees. In looking for angle changes, Keith says the spotting scope is a very important tool. His tripod is equipped with angle markings on the rotating tripod head. This allows him to ascertain wind angles with great precision.

In the video below, Keith shows how to use a spotting scope to read the wind. He explains how he uses his spotting scope in his role as a wind coach. But a spotting scope can also be used effectively by competitors shooting prone or from a bench. Many top shooters use their spotting scopes to watch mirage during their relays. Keith notes that smart competitors can also use their spotters BETWEEN relays to scout natural wind indicators (moving grass, trees etc.), check for boils, watch mirage, and estimate wind velocity cycles.

KEY Points to Remember
— Wind flags leave a lot to be desired in precision wind direction reading
— Precision wind direction can be obtained with a spotting scope
— There is a boil both directly upwind and directly downwind
— Angle indicator on your tripod helps with angular precision in wind readings
— Scouting with a spotting scope before your turn to shoot can be fruitful

Keith Glasscock winning wind youtube channel f-Class f-Open ES SD loading

Questions and Answers with Keith Glasscock

Keith Glasscock winning wind youtube channel f-Class f-Open wind reading

Q. How did you get started as a wind coach, and what were the most important stages in your progress in wind-reading?

Keith: I started coaching this team in 2017. I was looking for a team to shoot on, but they needed a wind coach. I’ve been a backseat driver ever since. I learned the most about reading the wind from shooting when the conditions are absolutely miserable – flags popping, wind switching, people missing the targets entirely, and there I was, having to make the big call. I learn from my own mistakes, and it shows. I still make mistakes, but try to limit them to ones I haven’t already made. In essence, I am in the most important stage now. Humbly looking at the wind knowing its power and mystery, while learning new things every day.

Q. What are the most common wind-reading mistakes you see people make at matches?

Keith: The most common, in a word, is UNDER-confidence. Most shooters can make that wind call with accuracy. But their fear prevents them from doing that, and prevents them from learning or taking advantage of smooth, solid conditions. The second common mistake is failure to anticipate changes. That comes from not gauging the wind pattern. It’s all about patterns in a sport where wind changes so small have such profound impacts on score.

Q. What’s more important — wind flags, or mirage (or maybe the unexpected horizontal that appears on the last shot recorded on target).

Keith: Both flags and mirage lie. The only thing that tells the truth is a bullet. Unfortunately, the wind can switch faster than you can shoot in most cases. I take a fluid approach. I look for what on the range right now tells me what the wind is doing.

Q. When are conditions so bad/unpredictable that it is necessary to just stop shooting and wait for things to get better?

Keith: This is situational, and comes down to what you are observing. I never like to shoot in the top of a gust condition, even when I know what the hold is. The drop off is what gets you that surprise 8.

Q: What type of wind meters do you recommend?

Keith: While Kestrels are inexpensive and quite serviceable, they are directional in nature. If I want absolute wind speed, an omnidirectional style unit is preferred.

Q. Are there ways to practice reading the wind (and judging wind speeds) when one is away from the range?

Keith: I really concentrate on seeing mirage any time I’m outside, without optics. I can, many times, see the boil of the mirage, and wind direction with the naked eye. My time in aviation has my eye tuned to see things like shear zones and venturis in the airflow. I take a moment, anytime the air is moving, to feel the air on my skin, see the trees and grass moving, and areas where the wind does funny things. Trees and grass tend to get too much credit as precision wind indicators. I use them as wind change indicators. It also gives me an opportunity to humble myself and realize how dependent I am on mirage and flags.

Keith Glasscock winning wind youtube channel f-Class f-Open ES SD loading

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Competition, Optics, Tech Tip No Comments »
December 18th, 2019

Holiday Stocking Stuffers for Gun Guys and Gals

AccurateShooter.com stocking stuffer tools

Christmas is just one week away, so today we’re featuring a hand-picked collection of “stocking stuffers” for precision shooters. Some of these are recent new inventions. All are handy items that you’ll use over and over again at the range, on your vehicle, and/or at your loading bench (so you’re allowed to buy them for yourself, even after Christmas).

B&T Industries BT62 Determinator — $7.95

Group Size Measuring plate Determinator

The acrylic BT62 Determinator measures groups with laser-cut concentric measuring rings. Check group size quick and easy — simply place the Determinator over shot group. Adjust until one of the circles crosses the center of the two outer-most holes. That gives you the center to center group measurement (1.5″ maximum). Alternatively, you can measure edge to edge (of the farthest shots) and then subtract the bullet diameter. Cool tool for gun guys. The supplied lanyard also glows in the dark.

Surveyor’s Tape (for Wind Indicators) — $1.99

Surveyor's Surveyor Flagging Tape fluorescent day-glow wind flag

Always watch the wind when you shoot. Inexpensive, Day-Glo Surveyors’ Tape (aka “Flagging Tape”), attached to a stake or target frame, makes a good wind indicator. It will flutter even in mild breezes, alerting you to both angle and velocity shifts. This should be part of every range kit. Don’t leave home without it. This can also be ordered from Creedmoor Sports for $3.95 per roll.

Cabela’s Multi-Tool (Various Colors) — $5.00

Cabela's Multi-tool blank stocking stuffer

You won’t find a more versatile tool at this amazingly low price — just $5.99! The Cabela’s multi-tool performs many functions. It features flat-nose pliers, wire-stripper, knife, Phillips and flat-head screwdrivers, saw, bottle opener, and scissors. Nylon sheath included. This handy tool is available in size colors: Red, Green, Orange, Purple, Teal, and Silver. A nylon sheath is included.

Amazon — Bore-Snake Two-Pack — $7.99

Bore-Snake stocking stuffer two kit

While bore cleaning should be done with a good cleaning rod and fitted bore guide, there are times when Bore-Snakes can be handy, such as when cleaning pistols and 10/22s. Now on Amazon you can get two (2) convenient GogoKu Bore-Snakes for just $7.99. Get two of the same diameter (.22 up to 12ga), or choose a Kit with both .223 and .308 sizes. Great stocking stuffer for a shooter.

Work Sharp — Pivot Plus Knife Sharpener — $7.95

pivot plus knife sharpen sharpener worksharp amazon

The new, easy-to-carry Pivot Plus Knife Sharpener from WorkSharp provides a 3-stage honing process for keeping your knives sharp in the field.. Sharpen straight-edge blades with a few pulls on the carbide and ceramic v-cut sharpening slots, and hone your serrated blades with the diamond-coated rod. A great stocking stuffer, this little sharpener costs just $7.95 on Amazon.

Bullet Central — Magnifying Light, $12.95 – $19.50

Magnifying Light

If you’re like most shooters, you can use more light and magnification when inspecting brass and small gun parts. Here is the perfect tool to help and it doesn’t take up a ton of space. With the Bullet Central Magnifying Light you can ease your eyes and see into the primer pockets, flash holes or case-necks without straining. With your choice of battery-powered or rechargeable models, why not buy two and give one to your favorite range buddy?

Amazon — Camouflage Neoprene Scope Cover — $8.98

scope cover camo camoflage amazon neoprene

Here’s a great gift item for a hunter. This reversible Camo-pattern Neoprene Scope Cover fits scopes up to 10″ long and 45mm lens diameter. The cover cushions your scope and protects against moisture and scratches. Note: Along with Camo, there is also a black version with bright red trim.

Creedmoor Sports — Leather 20Rd +2 Ammo Holder — $25.00

Leather Ammo Holder Creedmoor Sports

This handsome red leather ammo holder secures twenty (20) rounds of .308 Win-size ammunition, in a handy plastic carrier. In addition there are loops for 2 more sighter rounds on the outside. This is a very nice gift for a target shooter or hunter. There is also a .223 Rem version in black leather. Both these leather ammo holders conveniently fit into a shooting coat pocket via a leather pocket flap.

CDNN — 51-Piece Driver Set (Flat, Phillips, Hex, Torx) — $6.99

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week Outers Screwdriver 51-piece set torx phillips allen driver

This Outers-brand, 51-piece set contains all the drivers you could ever need: Flat-head, Phillips, Hex (Allen), and Torx. Priced at just $6.99, this driver set offers great value for the money. Even if you already own high-quality Allen and Torx wrenches, you can buy this as a spare set for your gun room. And this also makes a great holiday “stocking stuffer” for gun guys. These drivers work great for installing scope rings or bases, or everyday use around the home.

• Molded Driver with Magnetic Tip
• 15 Flat Head Bits
• 10 Hex Bits (inch)
• 9 Hex Bits (metric)
• 4 Phillips Bits
• 9 Torx Bits
• 2 Extra Long Phillips Bits
• 1 Hex to Square Adapter

Creedmoor Sports — ECI, Mag Block, and Dust Cover Flag

Empty chamber indicator ECI flag magazine block dust cover

Here are three handy items from Creedmoor Sports for rifle shooters. The red Empty Chamber Indicator is a “must-have” for every competitor shooter. And black rifle fans can use the special combo Open Bolt Indicator/Safety Flag that fits in an AR’s dust cover. The AR-15 Magazine Block adds ad extra measure of safety.

Amazon — Compact Bore Light, $8.52

Compact Bore Light

How many times have you gone to look into a barrel or dark corner of a gun only to find you just can’t see in there? You can easily solve this problem by picking up this Compact Bore Light for just $8.52 on Amazon. A bore light is a “must-have” item for handgun owners, and these are also handy for inspecting dies, rifle chambers, and tool interiors. Honestly for this price you should grab a couple so you have one in your range bag and another on your bench.

BONUS — TACTICAL STOCKINGS for Your Stocking Stuffers

MOlle tactical stocking christmas Xmas

Don’t have a stocking to hold your small gift items? Well we’ve got you covered — check out these cool, heavy-duty stockings. These Garud Tactical Stockings come in three camo varieties plus OD Green, Black, and Khaki. They all feature 4 MOLLE attachments, rugged carry handle, hanging hook, swivel carabiners, outside draw pocket, and even Velcro USA Flag Patch. Get all this for the low price of $12.99 (solid colors) or $14.99 (Camo). These stockings are sure to bring smiles to your tacticool family members and friends. And right now they ship for FREE on Amazon.

See More Stocking Stuffers in NRA Store »

Credit EdLongrange for BT62 Determinator suggestion.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Hot Deals No Comments »
April 25th, 2017

A Dozen Handy Items to Pack in Your Range Kit

Range Kit Gear shellholder safety dozen essentials

The shooting season is now in full swing. When you head to the range you’ll want to be prepared. That means collecting all the gear you’ll need at the range. It’s easy to forget small, critical items, so we’ve provided a checklist of the small “extras” you should pack before you head out to the range. In addition to rifle, rests, ammo, targets, and cleaning gear, here are a dozen essentials you should include in your range bag.

Shell-Holder — If you don’t have calipers, you can use a shell-holder to check for excessive case expansion from hot loads. If a fired case doesn’t slip into the shell-holder easily, your load is definitely TOO HOT.

Extra Earplugs — Always use ear protection when shooting. We bring a 35mm film canister with extra sets of foam earplugs.

Hex Wrench or Screwdriver for action screws — Action screws can work loose with time. Always bring the appropriate hex wrench or screwdriver whenever you go to the range.

Small Wrench for Scope Rings — Check the tension of your scope base and ring fasteners before you go. Bring along a small Torx wrench for the ring screws (or other tool that fits your fasteners).

Normal and Under-sized Jags — It is often wise to use one-caliber undersize jags when applying solvent with cotton patches. You should have a couple sizes in your range kit.

Extra Batteries — Bring extra batteries for all your electronic gear — which can include chronograph, windmeter, digital camera, GPS etc.

Small Notebook and Pen or Pencil — Use the notebook to record chron data, log group sizes, and make notes about wind and weather conditions.

Adhesive dots — Bring a few sheets of adhesive dots (sold at office supply stores). Use small white or black dots as target pasters. Use larger red or orange dots as aiming points (target centers).

Folding Chair or Camp Stool — This comes in handy if you’re spotting for another shooter, or if you reload away from the firing line.

Water Bottle — You can’t shoot well if you’re dehydrated. Bring at least two quarts of water with you and keep a bottle at the bench.

Surveyors’ Tape and Wood Stakes — You can make inexpensive wind indicators using surveyors’ tape attached to the top of wood stakes.

Small Plastic Ruler — Use this to measure your group sizes. A transparent (see-through) ruler works best. Rulers are also useful for drawing lines on targets.

This list is not intended to be exclusive. There are many other items you may wish to include. Obviously bring safety glasses, and Sharpie-type pens are always handy to mark targets. We invite our readers to add other “essentials” to the list. The important thing is to plan ahead, packing your key items before you drive to the range.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 4 Comments »