AccuracyBallisticsMarksmanship training

The Modern Wind Rose.

By Ted Hoeger “@Jack Master”

Gone are the days of doing long mental math on the shooting line or in the field.  Ballistic calculators have advanced shooting to a new level that make things easy on the brain. The only downfall to a ballistic computer is being able to adjust to changing wind direction and speed quickly.  As a shooter, the ability to read the wind and make quick adjustments will increase our hit percentages.  Using a ballistic computer to look up two wind values from 2 directions can be long and tedious.  If you have the time and opportunity, a ballistic computer is usually your best solution, but what about when you don’t have a ballistic computer, are in a place electronics don’t work or need a faster method?  We are shooting further at smaller targets than ever, so having a solid starting wind call is a must.

A Quick Wind Lesson

When making wind calls, we need to know the crosswind speed.  We need to know how much of the wind blowing at an angle to our line of fire will affect the bullet’s path.  A wind at 3 and 9 o’clock position will have a full value (use the measured wind speed). Wind at 12 and 6 o’clock will not affect our bullet path and have no wind hold.  Wind from any other angle will need to ‘turn’ into the crosswind value.   In the diagram below are the two values any wind can be broken down into: wind at our face (or back) and the crosswind value.  We always want to determine the crosswind portion.

Wind Angles

Enter the Ol’ trusty wind rose.

We use a wind rose to determine our cross wind value.  By multiplying the full wind speed by the wind rose value we get the cross wind value.

Example – a wind at 10:30 o’clock is a “half value” wind, therefore a 12 mph wind at 10:30 o’clock has a crosswind value of 6mph. (12mph x 0.5 = 6mph)

This rose is not correct

This chart shows simple “No Value”, “Half Value”, and “Full Value” directions which gives us a broad starting point and a wide angle range for each value. In the days when a 400 yard shot was considered your effective range, the old wind roses that grossly rounded the wind values and directions were applicable.  Combine this original wind rose with large target sizes and we have a work-able combination. Wind roses like the one above used to get the job done.  As we started shooting greater distances, we needed to refine our wind solution for those distant targets or for smaller targets.

A progression of the basic chart gives us a more refined solution.

Refined Wind Rose

This wind rose gives us a defined direction with each wind value. We can now estimate between the shown directional arrows and make minor adjustments as needed.  Having a rough estimate of 50%, 75% and 90% and their directions will enable us to easily memorize and calculate them mentally.  We’ll have a better solution than the original wind rose. 

A wind rose applicable to modern precision rifle shooting will need to be much more detailed than previously available.  The old roses were designed for very quick use in a very short time and served their duty well.  In the precision rifle world, we have gained time and opportunity with farther distances.  We have also reduced the amount of error allowed in our wind calls to make first round impacts on the smaller targets that are farther away.

The “Cross Wind Value” Chart

Corrected Wind Rose Page which can be downloaded from Sniper’s. Hide

Here is the Cross Wind Value Chart.  Yes, a “chart” rather than a “rose”.  I call it a chart because it gives numerical values for several data points rather than just a rough percentage.

Jackmaster Designed Corrected Wind Rose

The Cross Wind Chart is born from a combination of several wind sources and ways to estimate your cross wind velocity.  Taking cues from experienced individuals, printed texts, and other industries that deal heavily in wind, this format was created.  This chart gives us the answers to cross wind value without doing any mental math. This wind chart is based on simple geometry and wind speeds and can be modified for any wind speed in any unit of measure.

Explanation of the Chart.

In the center is the “Shooting Direction” arrow.  This shows the target is always at the 12 o’clock position.  Point this arrow towards your target.  

The first ring from the center gives the angle in degrees from the 12 o’clock position. The wind chart is broken up into ½ hour clock increments or 15 degrees angles.

The second ring from the center gives the percent of the wind speed taken to create the chart values. These percentages are derived from the sin of the shooting angle taken from the first ring. These are the same values that we used to get in the old wind roses.

The third through eight rings from the center of the chart are the numeric values for the wind speed correction values.  Each ring is associated with a full speed wind value which is listed in the 3 and 9 o’clock positions.  For example, the fourth ring of this chart is dedicated to a measured wind speed of 10mph (from any direction).

The outer ring of the chart gives the clock value for each direction.  

How to use this wind chart

It is important to start with what this chart is used for.  This chart gives us the cross wind value for a measured wind speed and direction.  This chart is not caliber specific, units specific or for a defined range.  Caliber, range and units are not a part of this chart. Only wind speed and direction.  It does not matter if you are shooting a 22lr at 50yds or a 300wm at 2000yds or measuring in miles per hour, meters per second or light years per day (lypd).  This chart is purely wind speed and direction based.

Step one – Measure or evaluate the actual wind speed. (Used your calibrated senses or a wind meter)

Step two – Point the wind chart “Shoot Direction” at your target and evaluate what direction the wind is coming from.  (use your senses or a wind flag)

Step three – Find the wind speed you measured in the 3 or 9 o’clock position and trace that ring around to the direction of the wind. This is your cross wind value.

Step four – Find your wind hold for that cross wind speed in your data.  I recommend the gun mph method inside 600 yds for very easy mental math. If you have a printed data sheet for your wind holds, you could use this as well.

Example 1 (easy one) – Target=600yds – 6mph gun in mils (9mph in MOA)

  1. The actual wind speed is measured at 10 mph 
  2. The wind is coming from 2pm
  3. The Cross Wind Value is 9mph
  4. Wind Hold is 0.9 mil (3MOA) (mph method or from your drop data chart)

Example 2 (harder one) Target=600yds – 6mph in mils (9mph in MOA)

  1. The actual wind is measured at 22 mph
  2. The wind is coming from 11pm
  3. The Cross Wind Value is 11 mph
  4. Wind Hold is 1.1 mil (4moa) (mph method or from your drop data chart)

In the second example we had to estimate between 20 and 25 miles per hour on the 3pm values, then move around the chart to 11pm and again estimate between 10 and 13.  We can use this same principle to evaluate between 11 o’clock and 11:30 if we can measure the wind to that small of an angle.

IF we re-visit the example from the original wind rose you will remember we said a 12mph wind at 10:30 o’clock is a 6mph cross wind. Using the Cross Wind Chart, we will find its closer to a 9mph cross wind.  This 3mph difference could result in a miss at a 2moa plate at 800yds.  This is a prime example of why we need a better wind rose in today’s precision shooting.

It’s important for new shooters to first understand how we get these cross wind values. Having a new shooter use the old wind roses to learn a little, then giving them the wind chart can be beneficial. In example 2 we could have used 50% of the wind value if we had memorized a basic wind rose and skipped step 3.

Using this wind chart can help us better evaluate the wind more accurately than the old wind roses. We can use it to quickly evaluate what our holds are for a switchy winds that have gusts and lulls. A wind chart is a quick simple visual reference rather than taking 2-3 minutes to get out your ballistic program when you have a short window to make a precision shot.

Downloading charts from the Sniper’s Hide Forum:

Links:

Wind Angle Conversation

Wind Charts and Resources

Owner of Sniper's Hide, Bigfoot, The Loch Ness Monster, Aliens, & UFOs

TacticalDillhole

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  • Jun 26, 2012
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    Ted, please do yourself a favor and copyright your rose before that one guy steals it. This should be in every military manual. We need to see that happens and you get the proper credit.

    Frank and Marc you need to do the same thing with the weaponized math. Capt dandruff is just waiting to jack it.
     

    Halfnutz

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    Ted is not only intelligent, but a true gentleman. I was fortunate to shoot next to him. When I ran into difficulty, he was a voice of calm. "Slow down. Calm down. Deal with it. Work the fundementals." Not a direct quote but it's the gist of it.

    I think "Jackmaster" has put a ton of time into this. Its solid information. His work is what will take those who use it to the next level.

    Thanks Ted, Frank and Marc for the work that you do. Much appreciated.
     

    TangoM

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    Jan 22, 2013
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    Back in the 2014 I got kinda similar wind roses from one scandinavian sniper. He said they got it from Ruag.
    Screenshot_20201111-110422_OneDrive.jpg
    This one I made for 7,62×51 mm M80 round (147 grains if I’m not wrong).
    So basicaly its almost the same. In grey area we have a wind speed in m/s. Around it we have corrections in clicks or if you divide it from 10, it will be in mils.
    In the center shooter can insert they DOPE for that distance and on top you have corrections for none even distances and temperature.
    Its kinda handy for new marksmen training.
     
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    milanuk

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  • Mar 23, 2002
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    HP shooters have had versions of this for years (probably got it from the military). Usually it is something handed down for a particular ammo, unless one makes their own (made my own in Excel about 10 years ago). This is by far one of the nicest versions - and definitely the best presentation & explanation - that I've ever seen. Very cool 👍
     

    Jack Master

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    Back in the 2014 I got kinda similar wind roses from one scandinavian sniper. He said they got it from Ruag.
    View attachment 7468611
    This one I made for 7,62×51 mm M80 round (147 grains if I’m not wrong).
    So basicaly its almost the same. In grey area we have a wind speed in m/s. Around it we have corrections in clicks or if you divide it from 10, it will be in mils.
    In the shooter can insert they DOPE for that distance and on top you have corrections for none even distances and temperature.
    Its kinda handy for new marksmen training.
    Thanks for sharing!
    I looked at these when I was making the corrected wind rose. I didn't like this idea because it only works for one rifle at these distances. Plus it was not broken into enough angles to get accurate holds. I understand they work, they were just to narrow and could not be applied across many platforms. Even in this one rifle, If you change bullet, powder or even elevation you're back at square 1 making new data that only works for 4 yardages. I just wasn't a fan.

    A prime example is the 800m ring - 6mps wind coming from 11pm is 2.2 mils and 10pm is 3.8 mils. What do you do when the wind is 5mps at 10:30? It becomes to much mental math to do this quickly with these numbers. Even if you did do it, (mental process: 38-22 = 16__/2=8 __ +22 = 30, 23-13=10__/2=5__+13=18. Now i have to decide between 3.0mils and 1.8 mils. This leaves a pretty big guessing game after the mental math. What the hell do you do if the target is at 860m? I have to do this process at 800 and at 900 an then do it a 3rd time for between them.

    These have merit in a place and time. (beware of the man with one gun) but they just didn't give me the precision I needed for multiple ranges with multiple guns with multiple bullets. The corrected wind rose with the Gum Mph system does this for me.
     
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    Hairball

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    Jan 31, 2013
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    Great chart. My mind looks at it a bit off so maybe this may make sense...or not. I changed the degrees on the first ring outside of the shooter on my copy to reflect 180 degrees directly behind the shooter. As I don't intend to memorize the chart and will direct reference the chart when needed, if I turn my head past 90 degrees to the right or left, the next indicator would read 105 degrees instead of 75 degrees. As noted in the article, it may be easier for folks to memorize the 15 degree increments from behind starting at zero, the same as the front. I know, it might sound a bit off but it makes more sense to me that way as it's more positional on the perspective of the shooter.
     

    Jack Master

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    Great chart. My mind looks at it a bit off so maybe this may make sense...or not. I changed the degrees on the first ring outside of the shooter on my copy to reflect 180 degrees directly behind the shooter. As I don't intend to memorize the chart and will direct reference the chart when needed, if I turn my head past 90 degrees to the right or left, the next indicator would read 105 degrees instead of 75 degrees. As noted in the article, it may be easier for folks to memorize the 15 degree increments from behind starting at zero, the same as the front. I know, it might sound a bit off but it makes more sense to me that way as it's more positional on the perspective of the shooter.
    Thanks. I thought about changing the degrees several times. I thought of what you mentioned as well. I also thought about doing 0 to 360 like a compass since that is how some ballistic apps enter it into their program. In the end I just stuck with the number needed for the math. To each thier own.
     

    Hairball

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    Jan 31, 2013
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    No worries. Just a comment and not trying to change anything. I like how it is divided equally down each side and I simply carried it down instead of reversing past 90 degrees. It all works and I suppose most won't pay much attention to it as the data that affects the shot begins in the next ring where the percent of wind value comes into play. As long as I know what direction I am pointing and what direction the wind is from, the specifics of what I changed on that first ring don't really matter.
     
    Last edited:

    Waco Kid

    Not a sniper...
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    Nov 8, 2019
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    Thanks for sharing! This, plus the weaponized math, should be a huge help for a novice like me. Been reading all I can and trying to incorporate that info in my range time. I think I'll start the online training vids next (y)
     
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    msstate56

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    Jun 12, 2017
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    When I first looked at the chart, I thought “woah that’s a lot of numbers.” But after reading the explanation it makes perfect sense and I really like what this chart does for us. Thanks for taking the time to put this together.
     
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    giegs

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  • May 19, 2020
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    Is the vertical component of wind something to take into account, or is it too minor to matter/accounted for some other way? Thinking in valleys and canyons where the sun lighting up or dropping off a slope results in down or updrafts.

    I really like how intuitive this is, just took me a bit to work through the explanation and understand how it all comes together in practice.
     

    walkabout

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    Sorry for being a bit thick...
    But where does the 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 numbers come from on the example?
    The downloaded rose chart is blank in the 12, 6, clock positions.
     

    walkabout

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    Feb 21, 2012
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    Sorry I was not clear.
    In the article the Rose you download has "Zero" values in the 12 & 6 clock positions.
    Then in the example shown the positions are filled in with 5, 10, 15, 20, 25.
    Just wondered why, it's confusing me...not unusual!