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September 30th, 2022

Access 13 Years of Shooting Sports USA Articles — All FREE

Shooting Sports USA competitive shooting high power marksmanship archive SSUSA

Enjoy the Shooting Sports USA Archives
As fall becomes winter, many Americans will be spending more time indoors at home. For some folks that means long sessions in front of the boob tube. Here’s a better idea — there’s a vast resource of great gun-related content available online for FREE. Check out the Shooting Sports USA Articles Archive. SSUSA maintains a vast digital library with hundreds of articles going back to June 2009.

Shooting Sports USA competitive shooting high power marksmanship archive SSUSAIt’s easy to find back issues of Shooting Sports USA magazine. Here’s how: First, navigate to the current SSUSA Online Issue. Then click on the “ARCHIVES” icon in the upper right area (indicated with red arrow). When you click on “ARCHIVES”, a window will open with a selection of Shooting Sports USA magazine covers/dates in a vertical column. The most recent issue (September 2022) will appear at the top. You can then scroll down — use the vertical scroll bar to go from September 2022 (the latest issue) all the way back to June 2009. Click any issue cover to read.

Shooting Sports USA competitive shooting high power marksmanship archive SSUSA
The June 2020 issue features a Palma rifle built with Eliseo Tubegun Chassis System.

How to Find and Save Articles
To search back issues, select “MORE OPTIONS” from the toolbar (top left). Then click the “SEARCH” button. When that opens, select either “Search Archives” for ALL back issues or “Search Only this Issue”. When you’ve made your choice, enter your search term(s). For example, you can search for “Camp Perry” or “Palma” or “F-Class Championship”. You can also save any archived issue as a PDF for viewing offline. Just click “SAVE” to download the article you’re currently viewing/reading.

Shooting Sports USA competitive shooting high power marksmanship archive SSUSA

Read Sample Articles
Here are a couple of our favorite SSUSA feature stories from recent years. There are hundreds of other informative articles worth reading.

Wind-Reading Tips from Champion Shooters »

Shooting Sports USA Wind Reading tips

How to Clean and Maintain Match Barrels »

Shooting Sports USA Barrel Maintenance Clean Bore Scope

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September 11th, 2022

The Wind Book — Develop Those Wind-Reading Skills

wind reading book Camp Perry Miller Cunningham

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

Readers often ask us: “Is there a decent, easy-to-comprehend book that can help my wind-reading?” Many of our Forum members have recommended The Wind Book for Rifle Shooters by Linda Miller and Keith Cunningham.

New Edition Released in May 2020
A NEW hardback edition of The Wind Book for Rifle Shooters was released a year ago in May 2020. This 144-page book, first published in 2007, is a great resource. But you don’t have to take our word for it. If you click this link, you can read book excerpts and decide for yourself. When the Amazon page opens, click the book cover photo (labeled “Look Inside”) and another screen will appear. This lets you preview chapters from the first edition, and view some illustrations. Along with the new hardback edition ($17.96), Amazon offers a Kindle (eBook) edition for $14.99.

Other books cover wind reading in a broader discussion of ballistics or long-range shooting, such as Applied Ballistics for Long-Range Shooting by Bryan Litz. But the Miller & Cunningham book is ALL about wind reading from cover to cover, and that is its strength. The book focuses on real world skills that can help you accurately gauge wind angle, wind velocity, and wind cycles.

All other factors being equal, it is your ability to read the wind that will make the most difference in your shooting accuracy. The better you understand the behavior of the wind, the better you will understand the behavior of your bullet. — The Wind Book for Rifle Shooters

The Wind Book for Rifle Shooters covers techniques and tactics used by expert wind-readers. There are numerous charts and illustrations. The authors show you how to put together a simple wind-reading “toolbox” for calculating wind speed, direction, deflection and drift. Then they explain how to use these tools to read flags and mirage, record and interpret your observations, and time your shots to compensate for wind.

I believe this is a must-have book if you are a long-range sport shooter. I compete in F-Class Open and when I first purchased this book and read it from cover to cover, it helped me understand wind reading and making accurate scope corrections. Buy this book, read it, put into practice what it tells you, you will not be disappointed. — P. Janzso

If you have one book for wind reading, this should be it. Whether you’re a novice or experienced wind shooter this book has something for you. It covers how to get wind speed and direction from flags, mirage, and natural phenomenon. In my opinion this is the best book for learning to read wind speed and direction. — Muddler

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August 20th, 2022

Improve Your Shooting Skills with Multi-Discipline Training

Michelle Gallagher Cross Training

Guest Article By Michelle Gallagher, Berger Bullets
Let’s face it. In the world of firearms, there is something for everyone. Do you like to compete? Are you a hunter? Are you more of a shotgun shooter or rifle shooter? Do you enjoy running around between stages of a timed course, or does the thought of shooting one-hole groups appeal to you more? Even though many of us shoot several different firearms and disciplines, chances are very good that we all have a favorite. Are we spreading ourselves too thin by shooting different disciplines, or is it actually beneficial? I have found that participating in multiple disciplines can actually improve your performance. Every style of shooting is different; therefore, they each develop different skills that benefit each other.

How can cross-training in other disciplines help you? For example, I am most familiar with long-range prone shooting, so let’s start there. To be a successful long-range shooter, you must have a stable position, accurate ammunition, and good wind-reading skills. You can improve all of these areas through time and effort, but there are other ways to improve more efficiently. Spend some time practicing smallbore. Smallbore rifles and targets are much less forgiving when it comes to position and shot execution. Long-range targets are very large, so you can get away with accepting less than perfect shots. Shooting smallbore will make you focus more on shooting perfectly center shots every time. Another way to do this with your High Power rifle is to shoot on reduced targets at long ranges. This will also force you to accept nothing less than perfect. Shoot at an F-Class target with your iron sights. At 1000 yards, the X-Ring on a long range target is 10 inches; it is 5 inches on an F-Class target. Because of this, you will have to focus harder on sight alignment to hit a center shot. When you go back to the conventional target, you will be amazed at how large the ten ring looks.

Michelle Gallagher Cross Training

Also, most prone rifles can be fitted with a bipod. Put a bipod and scope on your rifle, and shoot F-TR. Shooting with a scope and bipod eliminates position and eyesight factors, and will allow you to concentrate on learning how to more accurately read the wind. The smaller target will force you to be more aggressive on your wind calls. It will also help encourage you to use better loading techniques. Nothing is more frustrating than making a correct wind call on that tiny target, only to lose the point out the top or bottom due to inferior ammunition. If you put in the effort to shoot good scores on the F-Class target, you will be amazed how much easier the long-range target looks when you return to your sling and iron sights. By the same token, F-Class shooters sometimes prefer to shoot fast and chase the spotter. Shooting prone can help teach patience in choosing a wind condition to shoot in, and waiting for that condition to return if it changes.

Benchrest shooters are arguably among the most knowledgeable about reloading. If you want to learn better techniques about loading ammunition, you might want to spend some time at benchrest matches. You might not be in contention to win, but you will certainly learn a lot about reloading and gun handling. Shooting F-Open can also teach you these skills, as it is closely related to benchrest. Benchrest shooters may learn new wind-reading techniques by shooting mid- or long-range F-Class matches.

Michelle Gallagher Cross TrainingPosition shooters can also improve their skills by shooting different disciplines. High Power Across-the-Course shooters benefit from shooting smallbore and air rifle. Again, these targets are very small, which will encourage competitors to be more critical of their shot placement. Hunters may benefit from shooting silhouette matches, which will give them practice when shooting standing with a scoped rifle. Tactical matches may also be good, as tactical matches involve improvising shots from various positions and distances. [Editor: Many tactical matches also involve hiking or moving from position to position — this can motivate a shooter to maintain a good level of general fitness.]

These are just a few ways that you can benefit from branching out into other shooting disciplines. Talk to the other shooters. There is a wealth of knowledge in every discipline, and the other shooters will be more than happy to share what they have learned. Try something new. You may be surprised what you get out of it. You will certainly learn new skills and improve the ones you already have. You might develop a deeper appreciation for the discipline you started off with, or you may just discover a new passion.

This article originally appeared in the Berger Blog. The Berger Blog contains the latest info on Berger products, along with informative articles on target shooting and hunting.

Article Find by EdLongrange.

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August 18th, 2022

Watch and Learn — Five Great Shooting USA Videos

Shooting USA video parallax wind reading Sherri Gallagher scope mounting AR cleaning field-stripping

For decades, Shooting USA has been a leading video resource for the shooting sports and hunting. This popular cable TV show covers shooting matches, and provides expert information on precision shooting, gun maintenance, optics, and defensive firearms use. Here are five interesting videos all worth watching. Learn about wind-reading, gun maintenance, and optics.

1. Reading the Wind — SGT Sherri Jo Gallagher of USAMU

Sergeant Sherri Jo Gallagher formerly of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) shows us how to read the wind in given conditions, and how to apply your wind assessment when aiming down-range. During her time with the USAMU, Sherri won the National High Power Championship, and was the first woman in history to earn the U.S. Army “Soldier of the Year” honors. Sherri comes from a legendary family of shooters — she was raised by Ace Marksman Mid Tompkins and mother Nancy Tompkins, the first female to win the NRA National High Power Championship.

2. Field-Stripping and Cleaning AR-Platform Rifles

Let’s face it — Black Rifles run dirty. On AR-platform rifles, the gas system blows carbon and powder residues back into the action and bolt carrier group. Accordingly, you need to clean ARs early and often, and you should fully disassemble the bolt carrier to access parts and recesses which accumulate greasy lube and hard carbon. This helpful video shows how to field-strip and clean AR-platform rifles. If you own an AR, this is definitely worth viewing. With over 2.7 million views, this is the second most-watched video on Shooting USA’s YouTube Channel.

2. MOA Defined — Jim Scoutten Explains Minute of Angle

Minute of Angle (MOA) — this is the most common measurement of group size, and hence rifle accuracy. You hear about shooters hoping to shoot 1 MOA or “half-MOA”, but many folks could not give you a precise definition. In fact MOA is an angular measurement that equates to one-sixtieth of one degree of Arc. In this video, host John Scoutten defines MOA. He then demonstrates how MOA translates to accuracy on target. He demonstrates one-half-MOA accuracy with a Les Baer Custom rifle. This company offers a three-shot, half-MOA guarantee for its rifles.

4. How to Adjust for Parallax

Most precision rifle scopes have parallax adjustment, typically a knob on the left side of the scope. but what exactly is “Parallax” and why do you need to adjust optics to ensure the parallax setting is optimal? In this Shooting USA video, John Paul of JP Rifles defines parallax and explains why you need to set parallax correctly for the distance to your target. The video then shows how to adjust parallax correctly, a process which should start with the scope’s ocular focus.

5. How to Mount a Riflescope

When mounting a scope you want to use quality rings, and ensure that the scope is leveled properly. In addition, you need to adjust the fore/aft position of the scope so that eye relief is correct. Ideal scope position may be different when shooting from the bench vs. shooting prone. In this Shooting USA video John Paul of JP Rifles reviews scope mounting basics.

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July 22nd, 2022

Train as a Team — Shooter and Spotter Working Together

Shooting Spotter training video NSSF

When shooting at long range, two heads (and two sets of eyes) can be better than one. Teaming up with a buddy who acts as a spotter can speed up your long-range learning process. You can focus 100% on the shot, while your buddy calls the wind and spots your hits and misses.

The NSSF has created a short video that shows how shooter and spotter can work as a team. In the video, the NSSF’s Dave Miles works with Rod Ryan, owner of Storm Mountain Training Center in Elk Garden, WV. As the video shows, team-work can pay off — both during target training sessions and when you’re attempting a long shot on a hunt. Working as a two-person team divides the responsibilities, allowing the shooter to concentrate fully on breaking the perfect shot.

The spotter’s job is to watch the conditions and inform the shooter of needed wind corrections. The shooter can dial windage into his scope, or hold off if he has a suitable reticle. As Rod Ryan explains: “The most important part is for the shooter to be relaxed and… pay attention to nothing more than the shot itself.” The spotter calls the wind, gives the information to the shooter, thus allowing the shooter to concentrate on proper aim, gun handling, and trigger squeeze. Rod says: “The concept is that the spotter does all the looking, seeing and the calculations for [the shooter].”

Shooting Spotter training video NSSF

Spotter Can Call Corrections After Missed Shots
The spotter’s ability to see misses can be as important as his role as a wind-caller. Rod explains: “If you shoot and hit, that’s great. But if you shoot and miss, since the recoil pulse of the firearm is hitting your shoulder pretty good, you’re not going to be able to see where you missed the target. The spotter [can] see exactly where you missed, so I’ll have exactly an idea of how many [inches/mils it takes] to give you a quick secondary call so you can get [back on target].”

Recommended Premium Spotting Scopes
Looking for a truly superior spotting scope? Then check out the Kowa Prominar TSN-880 Series. These big spotters feature ultra-sharp Flourite glass, with huge 88mm front objectives. In comparison tests with other premium spotting scopes the TSN-883 (angled) and TSN-884 (straight) units always finish at or near the top. Right now you can get the TSN-883 (Angled) body at Amazon for $2450.00 or EuroOptic.com for the same price.


Shooting Spotter training video NSSF

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July 14th, 2022

Long Range Shooting Tips from Ballistics Guru Bryan Litz

NRA F-Class F-TR F-Open Nationals National Championships Bryan Litz

Berger SW Nationals Bryan LitzThe 2022 NRA Long Range National Matches and Palma Matches at Camp Atterbury, Indiana kick off soon. The NRA’s Long Range matches will run July 24-29, 2022. In addition, the CMP’s National Long Range Matches will run August 9-13, 2022 at Camp Perry in Ohio.

Today we share some smart tips from a past F-Class and Sling Champion who is both a great shooter AND a ballistics wizard. In 2015, Bryan Litz won the F-TR Mid-Range AND Long-Range National Championships hosted at Ben Avery. And at the 2014 Berger SW Nationals (SWN), Bryan took top honors among all sling shooters. If you only know Bryan Litz from his Applied Ballistics Books and DVDs, you may not realize that this guy is a also great marksman along with being an actual rocket scientist!

Given his impressive track record in both F-Class and Palma (Fullbore) out to 1000 yards, we asked Bryan if he had any advice for other long-range competitors.

First Bryan provided three tips concerning Ballistics, his special area of expertise. Next Bryan offered three more general tips about long-range competition — how to analyze your shooting, how to choose your ‘wind strategy’, and how to avoid the most costly mistakes, i.e. how to avoid the “train-wrecks”.

Bryan Litz won the 2015 F-TR Mid-Range and Long-Range Championships with this sleek rig:
NRA F-Class F-TR F-Open Nationals National Championships Bryan Litz

Litz Ballistics Tips

Ballistics TIP ONE. If you’re having trouble getting your ballistic software to match actual drops, you need to look at a number of possible reasons. Here are some common issues that can cause problems.

Click Values Are Not Exact. Scopes and iron sights don’t always produce accurate adjustments. In other words, if your ballistics program predicts 30 MOA of drop, and you dial 30 MOA but hit low, it might be that your sight actually only moved 28 MOA (for example). To see if your sight is adjusting accurately, shoot a tall target at 100 yards and measure group separation when dialing your sight.

Barometric vs. Station Pressure. This is a commonly misunderstood input to ballistics programs. You can avoid this pitfall by remembering the following: station pressure is the actual measured pressure at your location, and you don’t need to tell the program your altitude when using station pressure. Barometric pressure is corrected for sea level. If you’re using barometric pressure, you also have to input your altitude.

Muzzle Velocity. Chronographs are not always as accurate as shooters think they are — your true MV may be off by 10-20 fps (or more). If your drop is different than predicted at long range, it might be because your muzzle velocity input is wrong.

Mixing Up BC (G1 vs. G7). Knowledgeable long range shooters know that the G7 standard is a more representative standard for modern LR bullets. However, using G7 BCs isn’t just a matter of clicking the ‘G7′ option in the program. The numeric value of the BC is different for G1 and G7. For example, the G1 BC of the Berger 155.5 grain Fullbore bullet is .464 but the G7 BC is .237. If you were to enter .464 but click on G7, the results would be way off.

Ballistics TIP TWO. A properly installed level is absolutely essential for long range shooting. Without a good level reference, your long range wind zero will be off due to minor canting of the rifle from side to side. You can verify that your level is installed correctly on a 100-yard ‘tall target’. Draw a plumb line straight up the target and verify that your groups track straight up this line as you go up in elevation.

Ballistics TIP THREE. If your long range ballistic predictions aren’t tracking, always come back and verify your 100-yard zero. Sometimes a simple zero shift can be misconstrued as errors in long range ballistics predictions.

Bryan Litz Tips

Litz Competition Shooting Tips

Competition TIP ONE. Improving your scores in long range competition is a constant process of self-assessment. After each match, carefully analyze how you lost points and make a plan to improve. Beginning shooters will lose a lot of points to fundamental things like sight alignment and trigger control. Veteran shooters will lose far fewer points to a smaller list of mistakes. At every step along the way, always ask yourself why you’re losing points and address the issues. Sometimes the weak links that you need to work on aren’t your favorite thing to do, and success will take work in these areas as well.

CMP Long range camp Perry Nationals National Championships Bryan Litz

Competition TIP TWO. Select your wind shooting strategy carefully. For beginners and veterans, most points are typically lost to wind. Successful shooters put a lot of thought into their approach to wind shooting. Sometimes it’s best to shoot fast and minimize the changes you’ll have to navigate. Other times it’s best to wait out a condition which may take several minutes. Develop a comfortable rest position so you have an easier time waiting when you should be waiting.

Competition TIP THREE. Actively avoid major train wrecks. Sounds obvious but it happens a lot. Select equipment that is reliable, get comfortable with it and have back-ups for important things. Don’t load on the verge of max pressure, don’t go to an important match with a barrel that’s near shot out, physically check tightness of all important screws prior to shooting each string. Observe what train wrecks you and others experience, and put measures in place to avoid them.

NRA F-Class F-TR F-Open Nationals National Championships Bryan Litz

Electronic High Power Targets for 2022 at Camp Atterbury
This year, for the first time, electronic targets will be used at Camp Atterbury during the NRA High Power National Championships. NRA Competitive Shooting Deputy Director Aaron Farmer posted: “We will have up to 40 targets using Silver Mountain electronic target systems. Competitors will be squadded on a target and then continue to shoot on the same target all week. The only thing that will change is the starting relay for the day. We will be running three relays. No pit duty!”

Photos by Steve Fiorenzo

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June 4th, 2022

Saturday at the Movies: Great Tech Advice from Keith Glasscock

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

Keith Glasscock is one of America’s greatest F-Class shooters, as well as a highly respected wind coach. 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, tied with F-Open winner Pat Scully on points, but with fewer Xs. And he took second also 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.

Keith has a popular YouTube Channel with new content every week. On Keith’s Winning in the Wind channel, Keith offers 60+ informative videos on a wide range of topics including wind reading, reloading, component selection, load development, and training. For today’s Video Showcase, we offer four of our favorite Keith Glasscock videos. Each video has important points that can benefit any competitive rifle shooter, whether you shoot in local 100-yard fun matches or compete at the National Level in F-Class, LR Benchrest, Palma, or High Power.

How to Prepare for a Match

In this informative video, Keith explains how to prepare for a major medium- or long-range rifle competition, with a particular focus on F-Class. Keith explains how to prepare for weather conditions and “get the lay of the land” before the match. Even the day of the match, your can look and learn. As one viewer noted: “I’ve noticed some guys playing on their phones during matches. This is an important time to get in sync with wind patterns and fine tune your wind strategy.”

How to Find (and Fine-Tune) Seating Depth

This is Keith’s most popular video. Keith definitely knows how to maximize accuracy by finding the optimal seating depth for each particular barrel. He is achieving groups in the high Ones for three shots. That would be good for a short-range benchrest cartridge, but Keith is achieving that with a .284 Winchester which has much more recoil. If you shoot F-TR or F-Open or even PRS, you should watch this video.

How to Lower your ES/SD and Reduce Vertical at Long Range

This is Keith’s first video in a series on how to improve long range groups, precision, and accuracy by reducing velocity Extreme Spread (ES) and Standard Deviation (SD). To achieve the lowest ES you need to look at multiple processes, including precision powder weighing, careful seating, brass annealing, and primer selection. Another factor is bullet selection. Not all bullets of the same nominal caliber and weight class have exactly the same bullet diameter or shape. Sometimes you can get better accuracy AND lower ES by trying a different brand of bullet. We have found bullet diameters, of the same stated caliber, can vary by up to .0008″ (eight ten-thousandths). Some barrels like the fatter bullets, while other barrels may favor the skinny bullets.

How to Find Bullet-to-Rifling Touch Point

Before you even start to load for a new rifle you need to know the point at which the bullet in a loaded round will first touch the rifling. (This will be a base to ogive measurement on your round). Beyond that point you are “in the lands”. If you load shorter than that base-to-ogive length you are “jumping” your bullets. Some cartridge/bullet combos typically shoot best in the lands, while with other bullets and cartridges, jumping is the way to go. Additionally, with some disciplines it is wise to jump your bullets since you may have to unload a chambered round while on the firing line. In this video Keith shows a number of methods to determine “length to lands” with repeatable precision.

Field Test and Review of SEB Mini-X Coaxial Front Rest

While gear reviews are not the primary focus of Keith’s YouTube Channel, Keith does talk about products he likes and uses. In this video. Keith reviews the SEB Mini-X, the newest coaxial tripod rest from SEB Rests. The Mini-X offers fast, precise windage and elevation adjustment with the joystick control. The unit is much easier to pack and transport than a large, heavy front rest such as a SEB NEO or Farley. The latest Mini-X also has upgraded foot controls that make it easier to level the rest on uneven ground. For more info, see our SEB Mini-X Report.

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April 29th, 2022

Team Competition — How to Make and Use a Wind Plot

wind plot Bryan Litz FCWC Canada F-Class World Championship
CLICK HERE to see full-screen version of Wind Plot.

Team shooting is very different than individual competition. Typically a team coach makes the wind calls for the shooters. In some cases (where the rules allow), the wind coach even dials elevation and windage changes for the active shooter. For the wind coach to do his job effectively, he must follow the changes in the wind and determine what the correct wind call should have been for each shot. (In other words — what was the “right call”)

Bryan Litz, founder of Applied Ballistics and Past USA F-TR National Champion, served as wind coach for the winning 4-man F-TR Team at the 2017 Canadian F-Class Championships, which preceded the F-Class World Championships also held in Canada. Here Bryan explains how he has used a Wind Plot to make better wind calls, helping his team-mates maximize their scores.

wind calling plot log technique

Wind Plot Methodology by Bryan Litz

The wind plot I use is a running history of what the correct wind call was for every shot fired. The more you shoot, the more history you have in a condition, and I find that very useful information. This kind of plot IS NOT showing where the bullet hit, and is NOT showing what you held. It’s showing what you should have held to center each shot. IMO, this is the most valuable information to have when guessing where to hold next for each shot. Here are some key points:

1. I always look for blocks of stable conditions to shoot in and wait out the rest.

2. If the wind plot shows drastic changes, either I’m not picking the right time to shoot or it’s just a really unstable wind condition.

3. When you see many shots using the same hold (e.g. Robby’s 700m and 900m strings on plot), it can indicate very fast shooting and fast pit service.

Q. What are the numbers and Markings on this Wind Plot?
Litz: The wind plot represents the rings on the target. Left 2 for example, is the 5 line on the international target, while Left 2 is the 10 line on the USA target. F-Class shooters and coaches talk about wind holds in relation to these rings. A Left 2 hold isn’t left 2 MOA or 2 MILS, it’s the second ring from center. The vertical lines on the plot represent the rings going out from center, 4 or 5 in each direction. A left or right 5 hold is edge of black on the int’l target.

wind plot Bryan Litz FCWC Canada F-Class World Championship

Q: What Does this Specific Plot Reveal?
Litz: Looking at the plot, from left to right is 700m, 800m, and 900m that we shot progressively through the day. Top to bottom shows each shooter in sequence (shooters names are shown by their blocks). To the right I note what was on the gun for that shooter, and note when it changes. Often times we run the same wind on the gun for several shooters but if it changes, I note what the new windage is and continue on. For example if we’re settled into a condition where we’re shooting Vs with a right 3 hold, I might adjust the scope 1 MOA right because a right 3 hold is equal to 1 MOA. So we can move the scope and start shooting with a center hold.

Q. Are you Plotting Where the Bullet Hits?
Litz: Not exactly. This kind of plot IS NOT specifically showing where the bullet hit, and IS NOT showing what the shooter held. It’s showing what the shooter should have held to center each shot. IMO, this is the most valuable information to have when guessing where to hold next for each shot.

On each shot, the shooter or coach takes a guess about where to hold, and fires the shot. If the bullet hits the center, you plot the point right where you held because it was the correct hold. However, if you miss the call, you plot what hold was required to put that shot in the center. For example if you shoot a right 3 and hit where you held, the correct call would have been “center”. In this way, you’re building a history of what you should have done, which may or may not be what you actually did. This shows you the trends, and brackets which can be used to make future decisions.

Q: Is this Type of Wind Plot Something New?
Litz: I didn’t invent this method, it’s been around a long time. Vertical can be plotted the same way. In team matches, we have a plotter who is advising on elevation trends and suggesting corrections. But, as wind coach, my job is the horizontal so I only keep the wind plot. I have learned lots of strategies from my coaches Emil Praslick and Steve Hardin.

There are many ways to plot and many standard work sheets for this. They’re all tools and the key is to find something that works for you in different situations. I don’t keep a plot when I am personally behind the trigger string firing because I lose more points when I take the time to do it vs. just shooting fast. When pair firing or coaching, I can keep the wind plot without compromising the shooting.

2013 F-Class World Championships
Here Team Australia used plots and communication gear linking coaches. This helped the Aussies win the 2013 F-Open Team World Championship held at Raton, NM.

Know Your Goal — Keep It Simple
Know your goal of plotting. The simplest plot is where you write the shot number where it hit on a target face. This kind of plotting is useful for evaluating shooter performance because it shows how big the group is (in particular the vertical dispersion). However keeping a plot like this does little to help you figure out the wind. It just shows you what shots you messed up on. It does nothing to help you find the center. [Editor: That’s a whole different matter with many variables.] The wind plot I use is a running history of what the correct wind call was for every shot fired. The more you shoot, the more history you have in a condition, and I find that very useful information.

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January 14th, 2022

High Power Wind Lab — New Wind App for Shooters

high power wind lab mobile app iOS iphone ipad windows android
This new mobile App helps shooters make the right wind hold and/or dial the correct amount of windage.

High Power Wind Lab Mobile App
Product Review by F-Class John
When it comes to long range shooting, there are few things that make a bigger difference in hitting your target than being able to accurately adjust for wind angle/velocity changes. While it’s one thing to learn how to read the speed and direction of wind by looking at flags, mirage, or surface conditions, it’s another to know what to do with that information (how much to hold off/correct). Knowing how to process changing wind cycles and determine the right hold-off/correction often takes years or decades of practice to master.

Enter the High Power Wind Lab App which stands out as the only dedicated WSYWIG hold-off calculator on the market. Enter a few simple numbers from your favorite ballistic calculator and you’re ready to make adjustments to the wind direction and power dials, leaving the App to do the rest by telling you what your hold should be and if any additional windage should be added to your scope or sights. So after you input the data, then the App suggests the proper correction(s). Download the Wind Lab App for iPhones/iPads via the Apple App Store. NOTE: Android availability via Google Play is pending.

F-Class John Review of High Power Wind Lab App:

Starting up the App you’ll see a simple menu to start a session. The first field is for naming the session. This is helpful for those who save their strings and want to refer to them later but it’s not a required field. The next field is for choosing your target. The App offers the choice of High Power or F-Class targets at mid-range (600 yards) or long range (800-1000 yards). After picking the appropriate target, input the actual distance at which you’ll be shooting. After that, you’ll have to enter your load data. The next two fields will auto-populate for the date and then the shot list once you are done saving shots. The lower section allows you to change what’s visible on the screen (selecting the features you want to view). You can also choose MOA or MILS (milliradians) click values. For wind velocity values, you can select MPH, kilometers per hour, or meters per second.

high power wind lab mobile app iOS iphone ipad windows android
High Power Wind Lab iPhone App in horizontal mode.

Once you’re done with the setting page, simply tap “start” to bring up the target display. The App can be used in portrait or landscape mode but for the best user experience I’d recommend using it in landscape. On the target page you’ll see four distinct sections. Along the bottom you’ll see the windage dial where you can add or subtract windage simply by moving it left or right. Above the windage dial, you’ll see wind flags that represent the power and above that the direction dial. On the right is the actual target where you see the bracket of where you should hold for the shot based on the information you put in along with color coded brackets to show you the margin of error. The target section also features a great shot calling feature that allows you to tap where you held, then tap where your actual impact was. These shots can be saved for future reference and the ability to do this really helps while you’re training.

high power wind lab mobile app iOS iphone ipad windows android

Once you get used to how the wind direction and power inputs work the real power of this App comes to life as you can sit and practice what your calls should be from the comfort of your home. There are countless nights where I’ll sit in bed and spend ten minutes moving the power or direction through strange changes just so I can guess or track what happens and the more you practice with it, the more you’ll feel confident when you see those conditions occur at the range.

App Available Now for Apple and Android Mobile Devices
The High Power Wind Labs App is available now for iOS (Apple) mobile devices and Android devices. At $12.99 this App costs less than twenty 7mm match bullets. You could easily save that much in sighters in a couple range sessions. With its ability to calculate nearly every condition you’d encounter at a match you owe it to yourself to download it and start practicing. This interactive application is an invaluable tool for shooters that want to better understand the affects of wind on bullets over long distances.

High Power Wind Lab Description by Accuracy Software Ltd.

High Power Wind Lab is a visualization tool that helps shooters determine wind value based on observed conditions. The App efficiently calculates the sight correction necessary to hit the center of a target. Use High Power Wind Lab on and off the range to explore scenarios and better understand how wind affects the trajectory of a bullet. By interactively changing the wind velocity and wind angle, the display dynamically updates to show the calculated correction and a visualizes a range of possible outcomes if the shooter misreads the wind conditions. By changing the wind velocity and wind angle, the High Power Wind Lab shows the calculated correction as well as possible outcomes if the wind angle and velocity are misread. This interactive tool is invaluable for exploring the interplay of wind direction and velocity and the tradeoffs you need to make when deciding when to shoot and what correction to put on your gun.

The High Power Wind Lab is also a shot plotting and wind plotting tool that shows how wind conditions have developed over time and what the predominant conditions have been throughout a string of fire. That can be a very powerful “hindsight” tool when analyzing your results in a shooting session.

High Power Wind Lab Key Features Include:

Shot Plotting
Score Calculation
Record Keeping
Tablet Support
True MOA Corrections
Support for Custom Ammunition
Library of commonly-used Midrange and Long Range F-Class and High Power Rifle Targets

high power wind lab mobile app iOS iphone ipad windows android

Hold-Over Function in High Power Wind Lab

This video, from the creator of the High Power Wind Lab, explains how the Hold-Over feature works. Holding over is commonplace in long range target shooting among those who use scoped rifles. This video demonstrates how to use High Power Wind Lab’s hold-over feature to accurately calculate the needed hold-over when engaging long range targets.

NOTE: If this Hold-Over video is not displaying on your browser, try another browser and/or use this YouTube link: https://youtu.be/WhpyymG15HE

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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).

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January 8th, 2022

Saturday at the Movies: Five Informative Videos to Start 2022

Rodzilla T-Rex front rest shooting F-Class benchrest review

Saturday at the Movies

The online video format is a superior method of presenting information on reloading techniques, rifle maintenance, marksmanship skills, scope operation and much more. But with millions of videos on YouTube, it can be hard to cherry-pick the best videos for serious shooters and competitors. That’s why we offer this Saturday at the Movies Series. Each week we will select a variety of very informative videos by knowledgeable shooters and handloaders. Here are our first five Saturday Select videos for 2022.

Reading the Wind — How to Determine Wind Speed

Keith Glasscock is a top-tier F-Class shooter who has finished second at the F-Class Nationals multiple times. Keith is also a highly-respected wind coach with a background in commercial aviation — so he really understands wind and weather. In this video Keith explains the best techniques for reading the speed of the wind. He notes that you can’t simply rely on the Kestrel in your hand because the wind speed can vary significantly between the firing line and the targets. Keith shows how to look at multiple signs (including flags, grass movement, and mirage) to better understand wind velocity. See more of Keith’s videos on his Winning in the Wind YouTube channel.

Rodzilla T-Rex Front Rest Review — State-of-the-Art Beast


Rodzilla T-Rex front rest shooting F-Class benchrest review

In this video our friend F-Class John reviews the impressive T-Rex front rest from Rodzilla.This recently-introduced joystick front rest from Rodzilla really represents significant innovation. The new T-Rex offers impressive capabilities based on the innovative design by creator Rod Brackage (the “Rod” in Rodzilla”> that can truly take your shooting experience to the next level. F-Class John used this rest in F-Open competition and really likes it. CLICK HERE for John’s full review with three videos and many more photos.

How BAT Actions Are Made and BAT Factory Tour


Note: This has loud music as the start — lower volume if at work.

Ultimate Reloader’s Gavin Gear is a skilled and respected video producer. This Ultimate Reloader video shows how top-end BAT rifle actions are crafted with modern CNC machinery. This is one of Gavin’s most popular videos, with 763,000+ views. If you are interested in accurate rifles for benchrest, F-Class, Long Range, or PRS/NRL you should definitely watch this video. Visit Gavin’s YouTube Channel to see dozens of other informative, well-made videos.

Protect Your Dog’s Hearing with Mutt Muffs

Do you take your dog(s) hunting, or to the shooting range? Well dogs need hearing protection too! Loud gunshots from pistols, rifles, or shotguns can cause permanent hearing damage to your canine. Prevent canine hearing loss with Mutt Muffs — protective earmuffs designed especially for dogs. In the Precision Riflecraft video, the host shows how to fit Mutt Muffs to your dogs and help your canines tolerate the muffs in place. Available in five sizes (XS, S, M, L, XL), these cost under $60 on Amazon.

How to Use Ballistics Solvers — Bryan Litz Lesson

A past national F-TR champion, Bryan Litz is a brilliant engineer and trained rocket scientist. He is also the founder of Applied Ballistics LLC (AB), the world’s leading source of ballistics software. AB software now comes integrated into some Kestrel handheld wind-reading units, with accompanying Applied Ballistics Apps that run on your mobile devices. In this short video Bryan explains how to use ballistics solvers to determine your bullet’s drop and drift at long range. If you don’t have the AB App on your smartphone you can also use the excellent JBM Ballistics Solver, available FREE on the internet.

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December 19th, 2021

How to Read the Wind — Expert Tips from Emil Praslick III

Berger Bullets Applied Ballistics Wind Reading Zero direction speed windy

Emil Praslick III is widely recognized as one of the greatest wind wizards on the planet — a master at identifying wind value and direction, and predicting wind cycles. As coach of the USAMU and top civilian teams, Emil has helped win many high-level championships. In the three videos we feature today, Emil, who works with Capstone Precision Group (Berger, Lapua, SK, Vihtavuori) and Team Applied Ballistics, explains how to determine wind direction and velocity using a variety of indicators. Praslick, now retired from the U.S. Army, was an 18-time National and 2-time World Champion coach with the USAMU.

Video ONE: Wind Theory Basics — Understanding “Wind Values”

In this video from UltimateReloader.com, Emil explains the basics of modern wind theory. To properly understand the effect of the wind you need to know both the velocity of the wind and its angle. The combination of those variables translates to the wind value. Emil also explains that the wind value may not be constant — it can cycle both in speed and velocity. Emil also explains some of the environmental conditions such as mirage that can reveal wind conditions.

Emil Praslick III Berger SWN Wind calling reading

Video TWO: Determining the Direction of the Wind

Key Point in Video — Find the Boil
Emil explains how to determine wind direction using optic. The method is to use spotting scope, riflescope, or binoculars to look for the “Boil” — the condition in mirage when the light waves 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).

Video THREE: The No Wind Zero Setting

In this second 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.”

Emil Praslick III KO2M

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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November 23rd, 2021

Wind Reading Tips from Bryan Litz and Emil Praslick III

Wind reading coaching bryan litz Ben Avery Phoenix wind video

Wind effects are complex. In trying to access wind speeds and angles, you’ll want to watch multiple indicators — mirage, dust, wind-flags, grass movement, and more. You’ll also need to be concerned about wind cycles. In the video below, Bryan Litz talks about variable wind speed along a bullet’s flight path. A respected ballistics guru, Bryan is the founder of Applied Ballistics and a designer of Berger’s Hybrid Match projectiles. He is also a past F-TR National Champion and a High Master Palma ace.

In this video, Bryan discusses how wind effects can vary in intensity at different points along the bullet’s flight path to the target. Sometimes the firing line is sheltered, and the strongest winds come into effect in the middle of the trajectory. Bryan concludes: “Wind matters everywhere … but the best thing you can do is try to get a handle on the wind [velocity and angle] where you are. That may or may not represent the wind down-range — that’s when you have to look downrange and make a judgment[.]”

Litz Competition Tip: Select your wind shooting strategy carefully. For beginners and veterans, most points are typically lost to wind. Successful shooters put a lot of thought into their approach to wind shooting. Sometimes it’s best to shoot fast and minimize the changes you’ll have to navigate. Other times it’s best to wait out a condition which may take several minutes. Develop a comfortable rest position so you have an easier time waiting when you should be waiting.

More Wind Tips from Wind Wizard Emil Praslick
In these two short videos, Emil Praslick III, former coach of the USAMU and USA National long range teams, explains how to find the wind direction and how to confirm your no-wind zero. Praslick is widely considered to be one of the best wind coaches in the USA.

When Winds Are EXTREME — Near Gale Force at Ben Avery

This video shows INSANE winds at NBRSA 100/200 Benchrest Nationals. This was filmed at the Ben Avery Range in Phoenix, AZ during the recent NBRSA 100/200 yard National Championships. Extreme to say the least. Based on what we’re seeing here, there are 20-25 mph crosswinds, with gusts to 35 mph — near Gale Force. Video by Hall-of-Fame Benchrest competitor Gene Bukys, whom we sadly lost to COVID last year. RIP Gene.

Texas gunsmith Mike Bryant reports: “This video shows the Unlimited Class 200 at the Nationals in Phoenix. I had three 10-shot groups in the low 2″ range with a 2.228″ being my big group and was glad they weren’t bigger. Thursday and Friday were the worst of the windy days. Unfortunately those were the days for the UL 200 and it was about as windy through most all of the Sporter 200.”

Excellent Wind Reading Resource

The Wind Book for Rifle Shooters covers techniques and tactics used by expert wind-readers. The authors provide a wind-reading “toolbox” for calculating wind speed, direction, deflection and drift. They explain how to read flags and mirage, record and interpret your observations, and time your shots to compensate for wind. Here are two reviews:

This is a must-have book if you are a long-range sport shooter. I compete in F-Class Open and when read it from cover to cover, it helped me understand wind reading and making accurate scope corrections. Buy this book, read it, put into practice what it tells you, you will not be disappointed. — P. Janzso

If you have one book for wind reading, this should be it. It covers how to get wind speed/direction from flags, mirage, and natural phenomenon. This is the best book for learning to read wind speed and direction. — Muddler

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November 4th, 2021

Access 12 Years of Shooting Sports USA Articles — All FREE!

Shooting Sports USA competitive shooting high power marksmanship archive SSUSA

Enjoy the Shooting Sports USA Archives
With winter coming, many Americans will soon be spending more time indoors at home. For some folks that means long sessions in front of the boob tube. Here’s a better idea — there’s a vast resource of great gun-related content available online for FREE. Check out the Shooting Sports USA Articles Archive. SSUSA maintains a vast digital library with hundreds of articles going back to June 2009.

Shooting Sports USA competitive shooting high power marksmanship archive SSUSAIt’s easy to find back issues of Shooting Sports USA magazine. Here’s how: First, navigate to the SSUSA Online Issue. Then click on the “ARCHIVES” icon in the upper right area (indicated with red arrow). When you click on “ARCHIVES”, a window will open with a selection of Shooting Sports USA magazine covers/dates in a vertical column. The most recent issue (November 2021) will appear at the top. You can then scroll down — use the vertical scroll bar to go from November 2021 (the latest issue) all the way back to June 2009. Click any issue cover to read.

Shooting Sports USA competitive shooting high power marksmanship archive SSUSA
The June 2020 issue features a Palma rifle built with Eliseo Tubegun Chassis System.

How to Find and Save Articles
To search back issues, select “MORE OPTIONS” from the toolbar (top left). Then click the “SEARCH” button. When that opens, select either “Search Archives” for ALL back issues or “Search Only this Issue”. When you’ve made your choice, enter your search term(s). For example, you can search for “Camp Perry” or “Palma” or “F-Class Championship”. You can also save any archived issue as a PDF for viewing offline. Just click “SAVE” to download the article you’re currently viewing/reading.

Shooting Sports USA competitive shooting high power marksmanship archive SSUSA

Read Sample Articles
Here are a couple of our favorite SSUSA feature stories from recent years. There are hundreds of other informative articles worth reading.

Wind-Reading Tips from Champion Shooters »

Shooting Sports USA Wind Reading tips

How to Clean and Maintain Match Barrels »

Shooting Sports USA Barrel Maintenance Clean Bore Scope

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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

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