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Old 04-12-2011, 09:26 AM
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Wind flags and long range tips?



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What are some good ideas for homemade wind flags that could better help me figure out wind speed and direction? I don't have much experience doping the wind and currently don't have a wind meter to help practice. So, I'm looking for something that would make it easier to figure out light wind speeds between 1-10mph. I just recently started shooting my .22 out to 200+ yards and my groups were all 4-6" to the right but the wind seemed almost dead at times. At 230 they were 4-8" to the right. I had made one flag out of twisted up and knotted pieces of plastic bag that I set up at my place, but this last time I shot at a friends place instead and forgot to bring it.

Are there any other factors that could cause my groups to be that far off? At 100 they were dead on. Note even an inch off to the right. Bench rested and everything was level.

It would be nice to be able to adjust for the wind and get my first group in the center without having to shoot one before making any changes. I know this will take a lot of practice, but right now it's a little frustrating! Still very enjoyable watching pop cans explode at those distances though

Anyways, I was just wondering what some good ideas for wind flags would be and welcome any other tips for lobbing those slow 40 grain bullets way out there. I'm using CCI subs in a Marlin 880SQ with a Nitrex TR-2 scope if anyone is wondering my setup.

Thanks,
Michael
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  #2  
Old 04-12-2011, 11:38 AM
Schnauzer
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Were your shots all to the right with no difference in elevation?
I ask because with even 1-2 deg of "cant" on your scope could cause the rounds to drift off in one direction in both windage and elevation at 200 yds.
If your scope is not level in the rings, your shots will wander off in both dimentions (elev. and windage) with respect to your initial zero point.
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schnauzer View Post
Were your shots all to the right with no difference in elevation?
I ask because with even 1-2 deg of "cant" on your scope could cause the rounds to drift off in one direction in both windage and elevation at 200 yds.
If your scope is not level in the rings, your shots will wander off in both dimentions (elev. and windage) with respect to your initial zero point.
What he said.

If the wind is non-existant (or even very calm) and you are on at 100 but that far off at 200, then the most likely cause is scope cant.
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:11 PM
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To the OPs actual question -

cheap and easy, surveyor tape can suffice using lathe stakes.
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Old 04-12-2011, 03:26 PM
Motor7
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Originally Posted by JDWinCO View Post
To the OPs actual question -

cheap and easy, surveyor tape can suffice using lathe stakes.
X2

one roll will last a lifetime........
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:16 PM
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X2

one roll will last a lifetime........
It sure does. And on the scope cant.
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDWinCO View Post
To the OPs actual question -

cheap and easy, surveyor tape can suffice using lathe stakes.
To get a better handle on the velocity, crimp on a small split shot or 2 half way (I use 2' flags, so at the 1" mark). It keeps the flag from blowing straight out in a 5mph breeze, but the tail still catches quick wind shifts.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:02 PM
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Range Flags

SharpShooter,
If you will PM me with your snail-mail address I will send you the plans for making range flags. I can't claim the invention of same because I copied and improved upon the design used by the long range shooters at my PA Club. I have mine calibrated with my windmeter but they would be difficult to do without one. They are easy to make using wooden dowels, foam backed poster-board, caution-tape and straight-pins. I might have $10 tied up in my set. I was taught to use them at 0, 25, 50, 75 & 100 yds so you will need 5 flags.

Wayne38
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:51 PM
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I don't know about judging wind direction and speed, I kind of think at rimfire distances you need to be able to pick up mirage for that, and that's a matter of luck, humidity and light direction inside 200, but I find just hanging a string off a stick about a foot in front of the target works OK for identifying lulls and left and right wind deflection. It would be useless in a match but for goofing around purposes it works well enough and you can watch it in the rifle scope while you shoot. For vertical I think you need to feel the wind with your face, at your back is probably not a big deal.

I use the trees outside the house a lot, if the leaves are moving at all, I find something else to do besides shoot 22's at 200.


Last edited by landshark; 04-12-2011 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:55 PM
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I like VCR tape for light breezes. You can use a nylon ribbon also. I usually do't use flags.
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Old 04-13-2011, 06:09 AM
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Thanks for all of the replies and ideas guys. I'm very anal about having my scopes perfectly lined up with my rifles and although I do not have any anti-cant levels I'm fairly certain my scope is about as perfect as it can be. However, I wouldn't be surprised if I am wrong either, as I know how hard some things can be to judge with the naked eye. Especially 1 degree. I always line my crosshairs up perfectly with the center of my action looking through it and I can easily tell when it's off by the slightest amount. If that is not a good way to do it, then please let me know a better way? A lot of people ask me to mount their scopes due to my OCD of getting them perfect and I've never had a person tell me one was off centered. My .22-250 shoots straight out to 200-300 with virtually no drift on a calm day. Again, I understand I could be wrong here, but I'm only 22 so I'm still at that age where I'm relatively certain that I'm always right

Wayne, you have a PM.

I'm looking into getting a wind meter to help with this issue and have been planning on getting one for quite some time now, but it hasn't been at the top of the to-do list. What is a good one to get for less than $100? Or is this one of those things where it's a waste of money to get one that cheap, such as with scopes? Does knowing the wind at only your position but not the target that is 200 yards away help enough to make it worth buying?

Thanks for all of the help.
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Old 04-13-2011, 06:44 AM
Dollar Bill
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I bought a wind meter last year for $19. The same is sold by MidSouth for $29, I believe. The advantage is that you can correlate what your flags are doing with the actual wind speed. I know if my flag is at 45degrees (the weighted part), the wind is 7MPH. I used it to adjust the split shot on the flag to calibrate it to a wind speed.
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:39 AM
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I would suggest to rule out the scope or cant, set up your scope like you do at 100 yards (aligned by sighting through the bore), then adjust the elevation all the way up and see if the vertical crosshair stays centered. Might also check against a vertical line out at the target.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SharpShooter View Post
Thanks for all of the replies and ideas guys. I'm very anal about having my scopes perfectly lined up with my rifles and although I do not have any anti-cant levels I'm fairly certain my scope is about as perfect as it can be. However, I wouldn't be surprised if I am wrong either, as I know how hard some things can be to judge with the naked eye. Especially 1 degree. I always line my crosshairs up perfectly with the center of my action looking through it and I can easily tell when it's off by the slightest amount. If that is not a good way to do it, then please let me know a better way? A lot of people ask me to mount their scopes due to my OCD of getting them perfect and I've never had a person tell me one was off centered. My .22-250 shoots straight out to 200-300 with virtually no drift on a calm day. Again, I understand I could be wrong here, but I'm only 22 so I'm still at that age where I'm relatively certain that I'm always right

Wayne, you have a PM.

I'm looking into getting a wind meter to help with this issue and have been planning on getting one for quite some time now, but it hasn't been at the top of the to-do list. What is a good one to get for less than $100? Or is this one of those things where it's a waste of money to get one that cheap, such as with scopes? Does knowing the wind at only your position but not the target that is 200 yards away help enough to make it worth buying?

Thanks for all of the help.
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Old 04-13-2011, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theearlof View Post
I would suggest to rule out the scope or cant, set up your scope like you do at 100 yards (aligned by sighting through the bore), then adjust the elevation all the way up and see if the vertical crosshair stays centered. Might also check against a vertical line out at the target.
I eyeball my scopes pretty close to plumb and level as I mount them but for the final czech I shoot groups on a long vertical line. Here's how I do it:

Staple a large sheet of paper to your target holder. I just use the back of an A-23/5 target. Haul your target stand out to 50 yards, get it situated so it won't wobble around in the wind, then use a 2' long or longer spirit level and wide-tip marker to draw a perfectly plumb line. Down near the bottom of the line, about 2" above the bottom, use a level (or square) to draw a perfectly level horizontal line. I usually set up a few vertical lines all at once, about 2" apart, then run one long horizontal line across the bottom.

Back at the firing line, shoot groups and adjust your scope until you are sighted in right on the intersection of the horizontal line and one of the vertical lines. Use the lines to align your crosshairs... that way you'll know that the scope is being held perfectly plumb and level even if your mount to the rifle isn't.

Once you're sighted in right on the intersection of the lines, turn your scope's elevation knob at least one complete revolution in the "up" direction. Now shoot another set of groups while still aiming at the same intersection of the two lines; make sure your scope is still being held level by using the lines on the target to align your crosshairs. If your scope is mounted perfectly plumb and level to the rifle this latest set of groups is going to fall right on your vertical line a few inches above your aiming point. If they do not, your scope is not perfectly centered above the bore of your rifle -- which will lead to some cant problems when you try to align your sights on target, especially at long ranges.

If your groups are off the line you need to twist your scope to get them where they should be. First, put a small piece of masking tape on the scope tube, right where it meets the ring. Use a pencil to make a witness mark showing the scope's current alignment with the upper edge of the bottom ring (this one isn't going to move around when you loosen the top half, eh?). Loosen the top half of the rings and twist the scope in the direction of the errant groups. If the groups were right of the line, twist the scope to the right. It won't take much twisting to have a major effect, so go slowly.... a little bit at a time works better than having to see-saw back and forth with large adjustments. Start wtih no more than 1/16" movement of the witness mark, and less would be fine too.

After twisting your scope in the proper direction and getting everything tightened down, turn your elevation knob back "down" to where it was when you started and get sighted in on the intersection of the lines again. Once sighted in there, give the knob at least one complete turn in the "up" direction and czech again. Repeat as necessary.

Once you get your scope perfectly centered above the bore (groups going straight up that vertical line) get your crosshairs lined up with the lines on the target and mount one of those anti-cant, bubble level devices to your scope. That will help you stay level when you're shooting. I use one similar to this. When folded down it's out of the way but when raised up I can easily see it without lifting my cheek off the buttstock.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/327...e-1-ring-matte

This would work too, but I don't like the way it pokes out even when not in use... hard to case the rifle:

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/482...device-1-matte

This type does not work... you can't see it from your shooting position:

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/324...device-1-black
.
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  #15  
Old 04-13-2011, 08:37 AM
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Ha! The vertical line test. I remember reading about a similar type test at opticstalk a long while back but I completely forgot about it. I definately need to do that first before anything else. Thanks a lot for the help you two. I'll do that whenever I get the chance and then I'm sure you'll see me back with more questions!

And an anti-cant device is another thing on my "to-do" list... So many toys/accessories that I wan't and it's hard to prioritize them all based on funds. Need new rings and a base for the .22-250 (have some Badger Ordnance Ultra High AR 30mm rings that came with a used scope I bought that I need to sell first for anyone possibly interested), wind meter, stock, trigger, and soooo many other things! This is a rough hobby to have for a broke college kid!
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