Kestrel: Looking for suggestions

BED

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I am looking into stepping up my shooting a attending a class. It was suggested to bring a Kestrel, but I dont own one. What are suggestions for which model from 5700, 4DOF or the Elite. Feedback appreciated. Shooting 308 with mostly SMK175's and is the link worth the extra $100
 

roaring80sgun

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Hello, I’d recommend the Kestrel Elite with Applied Ballistics. I’ve used it a fair amount and it does well. I also do ELR competitions and use it for those. IMO, Link is worth getting. I have it and benefit from it. Let me know if you have questions. Would be happy to offer advice or answer questions.
 

BED

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Hello, I’d recommend the Kestrel Elite with Applied Ballistics. I’ve used it a fair amount and it does well. I also do ELR competitions and use it for those. IMO, Link is worth getting. I have it and benefit from it. Let me know if you have questions. Would be happy to offer advice or answer questions.
Appreciate the reply on this. Is the BL math that much better than what the standard or 4DOF can offer? Thx
 

Steel head

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Appreciate the reply on this. Is the BL math that much better than what the standard or 4DOF can offer? Thx
I actually prefer the 4dof solutions but the elite has other features that may make you want it more.
Either it’s going to probably work well for you.
 

BED

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I actually prefer the 4dof solutions but the elite has other features that may make you want it more.
Either it’s going to probably work well for you.
Are you shooting mostly Hornady ammo or just prefer the solutions between the 2? Thx
 

rgv

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I suggest buying one of the $399 Kestrel 5700 Sportsman with Link from Cameralandny

It will do 95% what an Elite will do, and if you decide later on, for $170 you can do a software upgrade to an Elite.

The Link is a must have, you can input firearm data through your smartphone app, do calculations and rangecards through the app, and when you get a rangefinder with bluetooth like a Sig BDX it will connect and feed dope back into the rangefinder display.
 

Steel head

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Are you shooting mostly Hornady ammo or just prefer the solutions between the 2? Thx
I do shoot mostly Hornandy bullets
I like the form factor adjustment in the 4dof.

I’m not sure it’s any more accurate but it is pretty easy.
 
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BED

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I suggest buying one of the $399 Kestrel 5700 Sportsman with Link from Cameralandny

It will do 95% what an Elite will do, and if you decide later on, for $170 you can do a software upgrade to an Elite.

The Link is a must have, you can input firearm data through your smartphone app, do calculations and rangecards through the app, and when you get a rangefinder with bluetooth like a Sig BDX it will connect and feed dope back into the rangefinder display.
Thanks for the reply. I was thinking that but the class I was looking at suggested the 4DOF. I would think that meter is a meter and I can always use my cell phone for the 4 DOF if needed. Guess I'll have to look at the models again and see if there's something I have to have right out of the gate.
 

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There has been discussion on AB vs 4DOF.

I realize 4DOF is inputted with more specific details on zeroing, like zeroing weather.

Otherwise they are both quite identical in that they offer either CDM (custom drag model) for bullets with the best twist for it and option to use CDM derivated G1 and G7 BCs.

They both have happy users, so both work.

4DOF has the ratio to move the cdm to better and worse, depending on if you hit higher or lower than predicted. I do not know how 4DOF handles subsonics and the variations there.

AB does this by customizing MV, which many do not prefer, just because MV-temp table is probably hard to set up when you have to lie the values to the software.

After the bullet hits the transonic/subsonic AB offers to use DSF (Drop Scale Factor) that calibrates the bullet flight by fixing the trajectory towards the real hits. This function nobody has a problem with, many wish this could be used for the whole of the trajectory, because they know their MV is 100% true and do not want to enter false values.


In the software section there are differences to AB and Hornady/4DOF Kestrels.

I do not own Hornady Kestrel so I cannot say much about it but I assume it does not have: (take with a grain of salt)

1: Ability to add more cartridge profiles than 3.
AB Elite supports 30.

2. AB Elite has Range Card

3. AB Elite has multiple targets

4. AB Elite lets you edit Zero height and offset ON device.

5. AB supports MV table and AB Elite lets you edit them ON device, but I expect Hornady to have support for it via phone.
 

BED

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There has been discussion on AB vs 4DOF.

I realize 4DOF is inputted with more specific details on zeroing, like zeroing weather.

Otherwise they are both quite identical in that they offer either CDM (custom drag model) for bullets with the best twist for it and option to use CDM derivated G1 and G7 BCs.

They both have happy users, so both work.

4DOF has the ratio to move the cdm to better and worse, depending on if you hit higher or lower than predicted. I do not know how 4DOF handles subsonics and the variations there.

AB does this by customizing MV, which many do not prefer, just because MV-temp table is probably hard to set up when you have to lie the values to the software.

After the bullet hits the transonic/subsonic AB offers to use DSF (Drop Scale Factor) that calibrates the bullet flight by fixing the trajectory towards the real hits. This function nobody has a problem with, many wish this could be used for the whole of the trajectory, because they know their MV is 100% true and do not want to enter false values.


In the software section there are differences to AB and Hornady/4DOF Kestrels.

I do not own Hornady Kestrel so I cannot say much about it but I assume it does not have: (take with a grain of salt)

1: Ability to add more cartridge profiles than 3.
AB Elite supports 30.

2. AB Elite has Range Card

3. AB Elite has multiple targets

4. AB Elite lets you edit Zero height and offset ON device.

5. AB supports MV table and AB Elite lets you edit them ON device, but I expect Hornady to have support for it via phone.
Thanks much for the details on this. Looking at the gun/bullet storage, is it possible to store more than 3 items in the app vs the meter and load them as needed? Thanks again!
 

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Thanks much for the details on this. Looking at the gun/bullet storage, is it possible to store more than 3 items in the app vs the meter and load them as needed? Thanks again!
Yes, you can keep as many profiles in the app as you like.

That is what I did before upgrading to elite.

According to Kestrel the phone memory is the limit for profiles, so there basically is no limit.
 

roaring80sgun

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IMHO Elite version is the best, why? It has custom drag models with BC for a specific bullet. It helps you to don't miss the target.

AB custom drag model - overview
Madpat, I agree with you on the Elite * BED, if you do not plan to do long range competitions and plan on shooting mostly Hornady bullets and do not need the multiple targets and the range card of the AB Elite, the 4DOF might be fine for you. For me, since I use multiple vendors’ bullets and I do long range competitions, I prefer the Elite. One other item I’m aware of that the AB Elite supports is what’s called PDMs (personal drag models) where AB has their mobile Radar they take to PRS and some ELR events that will create your gun’s own drag model and that will be available from ABs library. I’ve had a few friends who shoot long range competitions do this with AB and they said they had great results with having their own specific gun/load profile. I like Hornady bullets, but for me, I wanted an agnostic solver because I want to use the best bullets out their for competition and they may not be Hornady.
 
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IMHO Elite version is the best, why? It has custom drag models with BC for a specific bullet. It helps you to don't miss the target.

AB custom drag model - overview
Yep.

Hornady Kestrel has the same function but a lot less bullet options.

The bad side with AB Elite CDMs as I said is that where you can modify BC up and down, you really cannot modify the CDM.

It might get you very close or not.
Both BC and CDM stay probably within 1 click of the true trajectory, depending on how similar your barrel is to the test specimen of AB the CDM might be spot on or resemble BC trajectory.

I would say AB Elite is more covered and also tried and tested. It has its flaws but people seem to still get good predictions.
 

Ryridesmotox

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Definitely get the 5700 with AB. The elite isn't a huge thing imho. You can save profiles on the phone and just load them on the kestrel as needed. If you're only shooting 308 anyway, you wont see much benefit from elite imho. 99% is the same, elite has storage for 30 guns and 100 targets. You can do the guns via the phone app and the targets on a range card with a pen and paper. You can also download the hornady app on your phone for most of the functionality.

 
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I recommend to buy the Sportsman 5700 if possible.
You can upgrade it to Elite for $190 if you want to.

You can upgrade the regular 5700 also but it costs a little more.
 
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BED

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Madpat, I agree with you on the Elite * BED, if you do not plan to do long range competitions and plan on shooting mostly Hornady bullets and do not need the multiple targets and the range card of the AB Elite, the 4DOF might be fine for you. For me, since I use multiple vendors’ bullets and I do long range competitions, I prefer the Elite. One other item I’m aware of that the AB Elite supports is what’s called PDMs (personal drag models) where AB has their mobile Radar they take to PRS and some ELR events that will create your gun’s own drag model and that will be available from ABs library. I’ve had a few friends who shoot long range competitions do this with AB and they said they had great results with having their own specific gun/load profile. I like Hornady bullets, but for me, I wanted an agnostic solver because I want to use the best bullets out their for competition and they may not be Hornady.
Agreed on the multi bullets. I shoot Sierra, Hornady, Lapua and Berger so the PDM's sound like something I want. I have seen that Litz does alot of real world BC measuring vs what the manufac is listing. Some are quite a bit lower to Litz's math. Tx
 

RS14

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I recently purchased the AB Elite for one major reason. And that's the extra profiles. I shoot a couple different guns and really need the multiple profiles. As for the Link I think its worth the money. But Im a tech person and want all the bells and whistles. That being said I haven't got mine in yet to play with it and see if it truly is a useful feature.
 

roaring80sgun

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Agreed on the multi bullets. I shoot Sierra, Hornady, Lapua and Berger so the PDM's sound like something I want. I have seen that Litz does alot of real world BC measuring vs what the manufac is listing. Some are quite a bit lower to Litz's math. Tx
I’ve met Brian Litz a few times as well as other AB personnel and they are great people who really work hard to answer questions and help you understand ballistics more. In other words, I think they add a good personal touch to their AB solution and seem very accessible. Case in point, I’ve requested that they test a few bullets that weren’t in their library and they followed through, tested them and added them later to their library and where I could then use them in the Kestrel.
 
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BED

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I recommend to buy the Sportsman 5700 if possible.
You can upgrade it to Elite for $190 if you want to.

You can upgrade the regular 5700 also but it costs a little more.
What's the difference in the 57 and the sportsman? I don't see the sportsman even listed on the Kestrel site? Thx
 

Matches Malone

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What's the difference in the 57 and the sportsman? I don't see the sportsman even listed on the Kestrel site? Thx
The sportsman is considered AB lite. It’s a more cropped version of the software that was already mentioned above. No range cards, limited gun profile on kestrel, NO DSF....if you upgrade to the elite you are basically paying for the DSF option and the range card. You can load up as many guns as you want on
The kestrel app and send them over via Bluetooth to the kestrel whenever. The sportsman i think was made to appeal to hunters and users who aren’t shooting into subsonic. I’m sure I’m missing a few things but the software is virtually similar between the elite and the sportsman besides what I mentioned.
Also you don’t see it listed because the sportsman I believe has been discontinued.
 

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For me the positive surprise was that with Elite you can modify all values in the device itself.
 

just browsing

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The Sportsman is/was definitely the best value in terms of cost vs. feature sets.

I have both an Elite and a Sportsman and aside from the differences mentioned above (DSF, # of profiles on the device itself), they are essentially the same.

I paid less than half for the Sportsman what I did for the Elite... and I’d take the Sportsman 10/10 given the difference in price.
 

roaring80sgun

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The sportsman is considered AB lite. It’s a more cropped version of the software that was already mentioned above. No range cards, limited gun profile on kestrel, NO DSF....if you upgrade to the elite you are basically paying for the DSF option and the range card. You can load up as many guns as you want on
The kestrel app and send them over via Bluetooth to the kestrel whenever. The sportsman i think was made to appeal to hunters and users who aren’t shooting into subsonic. I’m sure I’m missing a few things but the software is virtually similar between the elite and the sportsman besides what I mentioned.
Also you don’t see it listed because the sportsman I believe has been discontinued.
Good explanation there.
 

Jcaplinger199

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Still new to this. I shoot 6.5 hornady factory ammo in my bergara. Looking to get a kestrel. Torn between getting the 5700 sportsman or the 5700 4dof (only $100) more. Up to the this point I’ve used the ballistics arc app which allows to use the kestrel to import weather readings. If I cont. using this app is it worth the extra $100 for the dof? Or should I get the 4dof since I use hornady ammo and stop using the BallisticsARC app?
 

roaring80sgun

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If you know you will stay with Hornady bullets only, I'd go with the 4DOF. If you think you might switch bullet manufacturers sometime in the future, then the 4DOF might not be the one for you. I knew I would be shooting multiple manufacturer's bullets, so I went with a solver that is more agnostic than the 4DOF. Hope this helps.
 
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LakuNoc

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I guess answer is Elite buy once cry once $700 is alot.
 

jtbiv01

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Thought I was smarter than the internet... really like the 4DoF calculator but miss the range card. With the current offerings, the only solution is to buy the hud to get range card like data displayed. Hoping kestrel provides and update for the range-card capability. Glad to pay $...
 

azred33

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Remember the HUD only displays what is available in your Kestrel, so range-card is only in the Elite and will only display on the HUD paired with an Elite.
 

azred33

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DSF has worked well for me, but using a custom curve has pretty much eliminated the need for DSF. Once you do Calc MV with a custom curve you are pretty much set.
 

Steel head

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Yup, you should link to the app and update it to the newest firmware first and then look in Profile/MV/Calc MV
I don’t have one
I shoot a good bit at past super sonic distances.
just wondering if I need elite.
 

azred33

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You won't know for sure until you go to the range and see if it is accurate, if not, then only the Elite has custom curves and DSF which are needed to true the Kestrel to your rifle. Good news is you can upgrade from a Sportsman to Elite for $190 so you can always upgrade if needed. If you need a Sportsman, check with Doug at CameraLand, he had them on sale for around $250.
 
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SourGrapes

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I recently got a 5700 elite and I’m happy, a factor for me was the AB bullet library had what I wanted. I can also use the Bluetooth to link up with the 4dof on my phone if I want to go that route as well.
 

Paul Bergara

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You can't go wrong with either one. I like the Hornady 5700 4DOF because I only shoot Hornady bullets.
 

ThisGuy

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I have the 4DOF. I have mixed reviews on it. It is advertised as Hornady providing other brands custom models, which it has a small amount. But they are definitely not planning on updating the library antime soon. They do havee the 115 DTAC round, which I use and find spot on. They do not have the 230SMK and 190SMK. I have not messed with the MV temp option so can not give any reviews on that. I wish they would have explained the set up a little better.