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Field & Stream|Volume 125 - Issue 4, 2020
How to make an accurate windage call under pressure
John B. Snow

MORE THAN ONCE I’ve heard a shooter mutter, “WTF?” (not the PG-13 version), after missing a shot at the range. This is backward, however. We should say “WTF” before pulling the trigger. It’s what my friend Frank Galli, a former Marine scout sniper and shooting instructor, teaches his students. Short for “wind, trajectory, and fundamentals,” it is the mental checklist to use when prepping for a shot. Wind comes first because it’s by far the trickiest.

RULE OF THIRDS

Start by dividing the wind into three segments: at the muzzle, midway between muzzle and target, and at the target. Any wind at the muzzle will push the bullet in that direction for its entire flight. In the middle, the bullet is at its maximum height, where wind speeds tend to be greater, so you may need to account for a faster wind gradient. Near the target, the bullet is slowing down, and wind will push it around more easily.

Measuring wind speed and direction at your location is the easiest. A handheld wind meter, which can be had for less than $20, is a vital tool. Direction can be determined with a piece of flagging tape, a wind checker, or the hygienically questionable standby, licking your finger.

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