Today I’m going to talk a bit about wind meters and why they’re a necessary tool for the precision shooter. I see this question a bunch, especially among newer shooters; what do I need first? You can do a lot in this game without spending crazy money, especially in the beginning. However, you really need to have a wind meter as you get started and throughout your journey into precision shooting. The main reason why is because trying to guesstimate the wind speed based on what you see and feel is just that…a guess. In order to learn and to calibrate your senses to what that means in terms of wind speed you need a wind meter. The technical term is anemometer. What we mean is a device that measures wind speed.
We talk a lot about the Kestrel weather meters that are produced by Nielsen-Kellerman. There’s a reason. They’re excellent weather instruments that give the precision shooter all the environmental conditions needed for an accurate firing solution, all in the palm of your hand. There are other meters out there, some at lower prices, but none that I’ve seen match the precision of the Kestrel. If you so desire, you can even purchase models with ballistics engines included on the device. This gives you the added benefit of being able to compute firing solutions from the very device that’s measuring the conditions. However, the ballistics features do come with a price increase!
With our recent article series on How To Read The Wind – The Ultimate Guide, there was some talk about which model Kestrel a novice or newcomer to the precision rifle sport should buy. We’re going to answer that question in the first paragraph, the Kestrel 4000. As we covered in the Wind articles the main components you need in a wind meter are the ability to measure wind speed, and to have the ability to ascertain your density altitude. We’re going to explore the Kestrel 4000 in a bit more detail in this article. The hope is to illustrate how a newer shooter can use it, but more importantly, to keep a new shooter from overspending in the wrong area. There’s a tendency to want to “just buy the best” from the word go. The problem is, if you do that in this sport, you’re going to be shelling out tens of thousands of dollars. So let’s be smarter about our purchasing!