When it comes to long-range shooting the wind really blows. Perhaps no one environmental variable wreaks more havoc in delivering a round on target. However, with a little knowhow and some patience even the stiffest gusts can be tamed.
Aaron Davidson gives a pretty solid rundown on the basics of how to avoid getting blown away on a long-distance shot in the above video.
The main thrust of the video, by the founder of Wyoming-based custom gun maker Gunwerks, is reading the mirage. There is perhaps no more readily available gauge of the wind’s speed and direction down range than the visible heat effect.
Davidson, however, also goes over other indicators that can be used to double-check or in place of a mirage — from vegetation to insect hatches. He also touches upon how bullet design affects wind drift, albeit briefly.
The only thing to add to this nifty little primer on a vital marksmanship skill is it should be sharpened on a regular basis.
The nice thing is, becoming wind literate is something that can be done away from the shooting range. A good optic — binoculars or spotting scope — some wide-open spaces, and a little free time is all that is required to be competent at reading the wind.