If wind were constant like gravity, making long-range first shot hits would be easy. Just let your ballistic calculator do the math and press the trigger properly.

However, the wind isn’t constant—it’s always changing, often second to second. To add complexity to the matter, it’s not at all uncommon for wind conditions to change throughout the distance of your shot. In terrain with obstructions, whether man-made or natural, you might have a completely different wind speed and direction at your shooting position as at the target.

For these reasons, the “skill” part of good long-range shooting is knowing how to gauge the wind accurately and consistently. Let’s discuss a few ways to do that.


We live in the age of First World problems like worrying about whether we’ve got spare batteries for our shooting gear. Tools like weather meters, ballistic computers, and laser range finders are now commonplace and surprisingly affordable for what they do. Most of these tools are reliable enough for tough field use.

The Kestrel 5700 captures exact wind conditions at the shooter's position.

The Kestrel 5700 captures exact wind conditions at the shooter’s position.

One “must have” tool for long-range shooters is the Kestrel 5700 Ballistics Weather. This nifty little tool is about the size of a smartphone and measures real-time weather conditions including wind speed and direction. While the device has a not-insignificant learning curve to figure out all the functions, getting basic wind measurements is simple. Just point it into the wind and let the capture mode run. If you’re a little unsure as to the wind direction, just keep moving it until you get a maximum velocity reading while the wind feels steady. It’ll capture the minimum, maximum, and average wind speed so if you’re shooting between gusts; you’ll have a reading on that constant “between the gusts” breeze.

Read the rest: How To Estimate Wind for Long-Range Shooting