Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - 20

FEATURE // WIND
I was in San Juan, Puerto Rico, for the 1979 Pan American Games and had qualified for the 50-meter Smallbore Rifle 3-position and 60-shot prone competitions. During several days of training, I could not figure out what the wind was doing on this difficult range. There were two rows of wind flags located at approximately 10 and 35 meters. Using mirage and both rows of flags, I could get no consistency on shot placement on the target. On the record day for the prone match, I shot about a dozen sighting shots with no consistency, so I finally went for record hoping for a miracle. I remember my first record shot was a nine at 4 o’clock. I was very disgusted so I decided to watch only the flag nearest to me at 10 meters and continued to fire, being careful to shoot only when this flag was in the same position. It was a very lucky decision since I shot 59 consecutive 10’s after my first record shot and ended with a 599. I tied the world record and won the individual gold medal by several points. International ranges are usually enclosed and protected from wind from the rear. However, this range was open on the far right side beyond the last firing point to allow tractors and range equipment access to the range. Since the prevailing wind was from 4 or 5 o’clock, the wind came through this opening and proceeded down the firing line, which made the first row of flags the main indicator. The other row of flags and mirage had little or no effect on bullet placement on the target. The following day I also had the high 40-shot prone score of 399 during the 3-position match using the same method. Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good. Lanny Bassham: Wigger was and may still be the best wind-reader in the world. One strategy I always looked for was to simply get squadded next to him and just shoot when he did! Once you’ve practiced reading the wind, it isn’t hard to remember the amount of windage that you have on your sight while following the wind conditions. You can quickly learn what the various wind conditions are worth on your sight as long as you keep track of your settings. For example, lets say that you have 3 ½ minutes ‘left’ on your rear sight in order to keep your shots centered. You can look at the wind flags and the mirage and know that what you are seeing is worth 3 ½ minutes. This is the easiest way to learn how to read wind on your own. A challenge in highpower matches is that once you have fired your sighing shots, all of the other shots count for record. If there is a big change in the wind or mirage, you can’t go back to a sighter to see the effect on your shot. When the conditions do change, you will need to do one of the following. 1) Wait for your stable condition to return; 2) Notice the degree of change in the mirage, flags and the targets around you to see where their shot placements are; 3) When confident of what the condition is worth, put the proper adjustment on your sight and start shooting again. (This is where a no-wind zero is necessary, in order to avoid becoming lost.) Shooting well in the wind depends on: 1) Having confidence in yourself and your equipment; 2) Having an established no-wind zero; 3) Knowing how much wind you have on your sight at all times; 4) Using a stopwatch so you can wait out conditions without running out of time; 5) Calling your shots as an indicator of wind changes; 6) Being patient in unstable wind conditions and waiting until you are confident that you can receive a fairly centered shot; 7) Watching for changes—wind flags, mirage, other shooters’ targets, blowing dust, vegetation or any other indicator of wind velocity or direction change; 8) Having fun!

Seriously, one thing I did spend a lot of time on while stationed at Fort Benning was plotting the effects of wind on the bullet’s point of impact. There are several wind plotting charts being used in the industry that just aren’t correct. During my time at Fort Benning, I “borrowed” several very large fans from one of the base activities and positioned them to blow across the range at various angles. I would fire the same ammunition for each angle and note where the points of impact were. The results are included in the Winning In the Wind DVD that Lones and I produced and are shown in the screen shot above. The number is the clock-direction from where the wind was blowing for this particular impact, using righttwist rifling. Nancy Tompkins-Gallagher: Shooting in the wind can be tough, but if you are mentally and physically prepared, it will always be an interesting challenge. When there is wind (mirage, rain, etc.), you need to remember that everyone else is shooting in the same weather. When you mentally accept this fact, you will be able to focus on your own performance and not let the conditions beat you. One of the most important aspects of shooting in the wind is to know what the no-wind zero is on your rear sight. In calm conditions, it really won’t hurt you to adjust a click or two to the left or right to keep your shots in the middle. But when the wind or mirage is changing, you must know what you have on your sights at all times.

20 SSUSA SEPTEMBER 2010



Shooting Sports USA - September 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Shooting Sports USA - September 2010

Shooting Sports USA - September 2010
Meet Your NRA Competitive Shooting Division
Contents
Shooter’s News
Range Bag
Score Sheet
National High Power Silhouette Championship
Sight Adjustment Savvy
Expert Forum: Wind Shooting
2010 National Pistol Matches
A Page From History
Coming Events
Member Info./Classified Ads
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - Shooting Sports USA - September 2010
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - Meet Your NRA Competitive Shooting Division
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - 3
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - Contents
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - 5
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - 6
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - Shooter’s News
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - Range Bag
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - 9
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - 10
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - Score Sheet
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - 12
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - 13
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - National High Power Silhouette Championship
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - 15
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - Sight Adjustment Savvy
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - 17
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - Expert Forum: Wind Shooting
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - 19
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - 20
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - 21
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - 2010 National Pistol Matches
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - 23
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - 24
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - 25
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - A Page From History
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - Coming Events
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - 28
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - 29
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - 30
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - 31
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - 32
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - 33
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - 34
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - 35
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - 36
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - 37
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - 38
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - Member Info./Classified Ads
Shooting Sports USA - September 2010 - Cover4
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