Tips and Tricks

Estimating Windage

Ok let’s talk about estimating windage as this always seems to come up!
In a perfect world the wind speed at shooters location, mid range and finally at the target would come from the same direction with the same speed. However, anyone that has ever talked to HP customer service knows that we are far from a perfect world, LOL. So we have to be able to estimate wind in all three wind scenarios and at times very quickly. Ideally, you would have some sort of a digital wind speed indicator at the shooting position, if not, the tools for estimating wind at your position are the same you would use for estimation at your target. The following wind speed, that I will refer to, will be wind gust and/or the max wind felt or seen. When you feel wind on your face it is about a 3+ MPH wind speed, when leaves and small bushes start to move the wind speed is about 5+ MPH and when wind speed is about 8+ MPH the branches on small trees will start to move. Now wind speed mid range is a little more difficult. To do this I prefer to use a spotting scope with 20x-30x power, but binoculars that are also 10x power (no more than 20x power) will do the trick. Now what I do is adjust the focus until I see a mirage, such as heat coming off a road. You will use this to determine the mid range wind.(this is so cool to see) Now picture smoke rising, when the wind blows the smoke will start to lie down, the mirage will do the same thing. At 60 degrees there will be about a 1-3 MPH cross wind, at 45 degrees there will be a 4 to 7 MPH cross wind and when the mirage is perfectly horizontal there will be an 8 to 12 MPH cross wind. Although this is not perfect science, with a little practice you should become fairly accurate when estimating wind speed. Becoming skilled at this will separate the men from the boys!