By Mark V. Lonsdale
With new technology streaming into our lives every day, it can become a little overwhelming and intimidating for many. Fortunately we have had computers for 40 years and Smart phones for the past 15 years, so most have come to accept both the burdens and the benefits to our lives.
Just as the Smart phone has become indispensable to our personal and professional lives, so too have the technological developments for long range shooting. One such item is the Kestrel wind meter, which has evolved from a simple wind meter back in the 1990s to a highly sophisticated weather station and ballistics solver today. But with these multiple functions comes increased complexity.
Scroll back to 3 OCT 2017 where TRS did a short article on how to collect the necessary data points to initially program the Kestrel Elite. In this article we will look at some very basic functionality. This is not a substitute for reading the Users Guide, but it will help to demystify the functions for a future owner.
The Kestrel does not come with these numbers, but they help to illustrate the basic functions. #1 is on and off. #2 is the Options button used to change screens or Exit a function. #3 is the Adjust left and right arrows to increase or decrease a value, for example target distance. #4 is the Scroll up and down arrows to scroll through the menu; and #5 is the Select or enter button. The Link logo indicates that the Elite has Bluetooth and can be matched to a Smart phone or iPad which makes for easier, remote reading in the field or on the range.
The above images show the modes of the Kestrel. For the most part, once you have programmed your rifles, the screen on the left will show the rifle selected, in this case my Atlas 308 Win shooting Berger 185 Juggernauts. The top number is the come-ups for distance and the lower number is the left windage. The center image shows the Kestrel in Ballistics mode where it is most of the time, since you don’t need to know the wind speed, only the adjustment for wind. But by switching Mode to Weather you can get the actual wind values.
Once the shooters has selected Weather mode, just hit Select to be able to read the actual wind speed. Note that the Select button now becomes the move to Settings button.
New guns, or various loads for the same rifle, are entered through the Manage Guns menu. On the left it shows my Atlas 308 Win with Berger 185 Juggernauts with a muzzle velocity of 2710 fps, and a G7 BC of 0.284. As you scroll down you see additional info such as bullet weight of 185 grains, bullet diameter of .308, bullet length, scope height above bore, etc.
Over the next few months I will continue to add short articles related to the various ballistic technologies such as Kestrels, Garmin 701, Rangefinders, and supporting Ballistics Analytics. But if you have any specific questions, Applied Ballistics has online tech support, as do all the manufacturers. I will also post additional tips on the Tactical Rifle Shooters facebook page.
The Atlas Tactical .308 Win mentioned in this article. It has a 30″ Bartlein barrel for 1,000 yard shooting, a McMillan A5 stock with 3-way adjustable butt-plate, Badger M5 bottom metal, and a Nightforce ATACR 7-35x56mm scope.