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V. Process Of Making A Wind Call
“Okay, so now let’s talk about the process of the wind call. This is where we’re going to start getting into what is it that we do? And what should we be doing, because when we’re reading wind and calling wind we want to have a process. Because if we stick to the process, not only is it going to help us, it’s going to program our brain to think that way but it’s also going to help us problem solve in the event that something doesn’t go right. And it’s bound to happen, it’s not going to go right. So you need to understand how you came to all of these points in the system so that way you can troubleshoot when something doesn’t work the way you want it to.
Caylen Wojcik 23:01
Step one, establish the wind speed. Okay, so step one and two, I would say these are interchangeable, it wouldn’t really matter, because the end result has to come from a combination of both of them. So if you walk up and you identify your target, and you’re like…okay, the targets that way, and the wind is coming from 1 o’clock, you just identify the direction first and the value first, and then you’re going to have to say, okay, well, it’s blowing 60 miles an hour, whatever it is. Or you can walk up and say, man, it’s pulling 16 miles an hour, and you’re like, oh, there’s the target, and it’s coming from 1 o’clock. It doesn’t matter, you still have to do both.
So derive a correction, and how are we going to do that? We can do that in a couple of different ways.
Caylen Wojcik 23:53
Matt, yes, you’re absolutely correct. The boat tail design was incorporated into projectiles, not only for wind deflection, but just overall parasite drag that was generated by that hard 90-degree surface change and angle—change and bearing surface. That’s another reason why we see winglets on airplanes now. The winglets help reduce parasite drag and make the airplane fly more efficiently, therefore, they save more fuel and your ticket prices continue to go up regardless! So there’s that.
Caylen Wojcik 24:27
Derive a correction. How do we get to a correction? Well, we’re going to talk about that later, but this is the step, alright. So, we established wind speed, we establish direction, we derive a correction, then what we’re going to do is we’re going to believe the bullet. It doesn’t matter what ends up happening, you believe the bullet. The reason we believe the bullet is… it is telling us the story, right? So between me and the target, it’s a void. And I can’t be at all those different places along the rifle target line. So the bullet is telling me the truth, right? It just experienced the conditions between you and the target and it’s telling you a story. If you choose to interpret the story, you’re going to be hitting more targets. But if you choose to second guess the story the bullets telling you and not take it at face value, you’re gonna miss way more targets than you hit.
VI. Making A Correction
Caylen Wojcik 25:22
So next, we’re going to make a correction from the impact. Now notice, I didn’t say make a correction from the miss. We want you guys to be in the mindset of precision, and we also want you guys to get in the mindset of reading the plate. So if the plates swings to the right, then we know that we are right of center. And we also know that we’re kind of dancing on the dangerous edge… if the wind picks up or slows down, I could be off that plate. So, I want to bring that bullet exactly to the center of the target. I’m going to be making wind adjustments, like on the fly, based upon what the targets telling me. And obviously, if we miss, we’re going to make a correction from the impact. Now, when it’s all said and done, when you’re learning how to do this, you can sit back and do the back math and get the real values.
So there’s a couple of different ways you can do this but what I’m talking about is, if you’re training and you’re saying, hey man, I’m going to go out to the range and I’m going to call wind today. The only thing I want to do is, I’m going to do… sock drills, one shot, one kill drills all day, I’m going to give myself like 5 minutes in between shots. So that way I can make a new wind call, a completely new wind call. So when we do that, we can look at it and say, okay, what is our… if we look at this as an equation, what’s our defines? Or what’s our definites. The definites could be direction. And the speed could be the variable, or the speed could be the definite and the direction could be the variable, it just depends on the situation. So what we can do, we can work those back math. We can say, oh, okay, well, that took me 1.2 Mils instead of .8
So, what caused that? I know the target range, I know my trajectory is verified, everything’s good. Then I can sit there and go, okay, well, either the value was incorrect, or the wind speed was incorrect. So that can help you train as well.
Caylen Wojcik 27:44
Okay, the majority of the time that I’ve seen with my impacts, and my students— no impact, no idea usually means you’re high and your wind was not strong enough. Okay, first step. I’m going to…Okay, good. Phil. Did you guys have a situation?
Phillip Velayo 28:10
Yeah, Garrett. You know, every venues’ dependent. The very cookie-cutter, like, best- case scenarios that you always have some kind of backdrop, right. And that’s even if the target is essentially skyline, but you can see… let’s say it’s on a flat range where you can see it land behind it but it’s gonna hit low. Specifically in Wisconsin, because of the way that terrain was, you were… literally, right behind the steel targets were just trees. So literally, you would shoot, and if you didn’t catch your trace, you didn’t know if you were left, right or what. So in a scenario like that, typically my first wind call, obviously, I hope for when my second shot if I miss it, I’d seen anything is to increase my wind. And then if that doesn’t work, let’s say, typically you only shoot two rounds per target when I get to my third target or position wherever the case might be—I will hold straight the fuck up with the focus on just observing my trace. So, that’s my process there.
Caylen Wojcik 29:27
And there’s no shame in that, man. There’s no shame. If you’re like, dude, I have no idea. Hold center, break a clean shot, observe the impact and go from there. And then go back, and look, and think in your brain, okay, what’s the most probable constant? The direction of the speed. And then that’s going to give you the ability to go, okay, I was off on my wind speed, but I was good on my direction.
“With a .65, is it possible to catch a trace most of the time?”
It’s really dependent on the position. If you’re in the prone, yes, 65’s in positions… not so much unless, you’re like super hard slung up and even then, it’s tough to catch your tracing in positions with a 65.
VII. Observing Your Own Trace
Phillip Velayo 30:13
So, we just did a podcast, a great podcast: Episode 53. And you have to listen to it to understand your brain and what it can actually process. And watching trace is a whole another phenomenon in terms of actually focusing your brain on something. So, watching trace is just one of those things where everything has to come together in terms of “unconscious competence” Caylen and I like to call it. If you’re still essentially learning how to drive a car, it’s going to be very hard to actually watch your trace because you’re focused on so many things about driving that gun, so on and so forth, making a wind call, breathing, all that stuff. And eventually, evolutionary, you get to a point where, okay, everything is unconscious, and then now you’re able to open up your brain to focus on trace.
But like Caylen said, I mean, I’ve got hundreds of thousands of rounds downrange. 65, you can see in the prone— I can see 65 in the prone pretty well and positional. The barricade has to be pretty solid enough to be loaded into it pretty well to be able to see trace, but 65 and 6 PRA, or 6 Creed and 6 PRA, I can see trace. I’d say about 80 to 90% of the time, and then 100% of the time in the prone. But again, you have to almost focus your brain in that shot process to figure out where that trace is going to be coming up in your reticle.
Caylen Wojcik 31:44
Especially if the background is really kind of busy. Like, if it’s a busy background, it can be tough at first, but yeah, like Phil said, listen to Episode 53. Owen just drops a bunch of bombs in there and it just blew my mind in terms of a different way of thinking. So, we’re gonna try to put that to use this week… looking for some box up in the high country.
I gotta throw the slide in here, shoutout to Jacob Bynum of ‘Rifles Only’, this is his saying: Believe the bullet. It is the way the truth and the light, man. That’s super important to remember.
Okay, so, next. Before we get started here, Nicholas asked, “Can we briefly touch on focus range and magnification of your optic for catching trace when spotting.”
As an observer, when we’re looking for trace, we want to position ourselves as close to the line of bore as possible, it’s step one. Step two, understand that your spotting scope is going to have a cone, right, it’s gonna have a cone that spreads outwards of a focal field of view. And if you’re way off line of your shooter, you’re gonna have a difficult time seeing trace. The next thing is magnification. It’s not so super important to me when I’m spotting trace other than I want lower magnification. I don’t ever like… look and say I’m going to be at 12 power, I always just adjust my magnification for the sight picture that I want to see that’s pleasing to my eyes. And then when I look for trace, I’m just staring blindly into nothing and letting my eye pick up the movement. So, that’s pretty much it.
And then with a rifle, it’s literally the exact same thing. It’s just a lot harder, because like what Philip was talking about, your brain is not yet programmed to see what’s actually…it’s visually taking in the stimulus, as long as your recoil management’s good and your sight picture recovery is in enough time, your brain is picking up the information. You’re just not seeing it yet.
VIII. Establishing A Wind Speed
Caylen Wojcik 34:00
Okay, let’s see here. Okay, establishing wind speed. So we’ve all seen the old charts. You know, if big trees sway, it’s 25 miles an hour. If little trees sway, it’s whatever. Paper blows, dust blows, whatever. Those are really pretty antiquated and only really regionally dependent. So, for you guys and us that live out West, sagebrush moves exactly the same rate at 5 miles an hour as it does at 25 miles an hour. It doesn’t matter. We have really, really inconsistent wind indicators here on the West. So, all that other stuff doesn’t really matter. On the East Coast, yeah, if you want to look at leaves fluttering, I would just strongly recommend that you build your own truth around that, like go out to the range or the Kestrel, and look at your Kestrel and go, okay, 12 miles an hour the leaves look like that. Or 5 miles an hour, the trees look like that, or whatever the case is, and write it down. So that way, you can get your own understanding of the conditions in your area because visually processing what’s happening is a part of the equation.
So, instrumentation—Kestrel, right. Number one, it is technology. I have my own opinions about technology. And I think technology has helped us, but at the same time, it’s also hurt us. Because people become too dependent on it. I use my Kestrel specifically, as a training tool and a confirmation. It’s not something that I live and die by, it’s something that I go out and I say, okay, that’s what 15 miles an hour feels like. Philip and I did that a lot out in Montana this past early summer, the winds were pretty crazy out in that region, and we were taking custom readings quite a bit because it was constantly changing, increasing, slowly ramping, its speed maintaining, and then it would dump off a little while and then it would slowly ramp up again. It was a challenging environment to shoot in.
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