Do I need a Kestrel Meter?

HornyToad

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Oct 23, 2019
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How important is a weather/ballistic meter like Kestrel for the average shooter? I shoot close and medium, but I would like to shoot long. Thanks!
 

diving dave

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Others have far more experience than me, but if your wanting to shoot long range, DA does make a difference. I've had good luck using a more basic Kestrel, which gives me temp, station pressure, etc. then use Ballistic AE on my phone for ballistics. Good way to get going without breaking the bank.
 

b6graham

MMPRL
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ballisticarc is more than enough to start. can pull weather from a local weather station.

or pony up and get a kestrel 4dof
 

spife7980

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I like the ballisticsarc and weather meter combo, less than 100 bucks and uses the jbm engine and the mapping feature is invaluable to me.
 
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Dopus Coriolis
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Mar 21, 2018
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Most Important aspect of your ballistics solution is your inputs.

A kestrel with built in ballistics simplifies aspect of doing the input.

Without some type of weather meter to capture, barometric pressure and temp your kinda flying bind, and you won't ever be able to really true your rifle.

Having said that, most of my long range shooting is done at one of two locations with nearly identical DA, so I hardly need to pull out my kestrel anymore to actually make a shot, as I know what my altitude is, I can feel the temp, and know any shift in barometric pressure or humiditiy wont affect me at the ranges I'm shooting.

But I always have it handy, and usually log environmentals for that day so I can reference later.
 
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jg6.5

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As of right now, I just use the Applied Ballistics app on my phone. I feel that it's more than enough for me at this point in time. If at some point in the future I got big into the gaming side of things where travel time, expenses, and prize money were all at stake, or I was chasing trophy class big game in the mountains where, again, travel time, expenses, etc. were all at stake, I'd probably pony up for a Kestrel with an integrated ballistics program as opposed to taking the smartphone everywhere.
 

HornyToad

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Oct 23, 2019
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Most Important aspect of your ballistics solution is your inputs.

A kestrel with built in ballistics simplifies aspect of doing the input.

Without some type of weather meter to capture, barometric pressure and temp your kinda flying bind, and you won't ever be able to really true your rifle.

Having said that, most of my long range shooting is done at one of two locations with nearly identical DA, so I hardly need to pull out my kestrel anymore to actually make a shot, as I know what my altitude is, I can feel the temp, and know any shift in barometric pressure or humiditiy wont affect me at the ranges I'm shooting.

But I always have it handy, and usually log environmentals for that day so I can reference later.
I look at things from more of a prepper stand point. I may only have one shot for food to feed my family, so I could be anywhere at anytime. Thanks!
 

HornyToad

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Oct 23, 2019
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As of right now, I just use the Applied Ballistics app on my phone. I feel that it's more than enough for me at this point in time. If at some point in the future I got big into the gaming side of things where travel time, expenses, and prize money were all at stake, or I was chasing trophy class big game in the mountains where, again, travel time, expenses, etc. were all at stake, I'd probably pony up for a Kestrel with an integrated ballistics program as opposed to taking the smartphone everywhere.
Is the Applied Ballistics app in the iPhone app store? Thanks!
 

Hollywood 6mm

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Having *A* way to get weather info to feed into your ballistic calculator is important, especially if you're traveling. If you only ever shoot at one range, it's helpful but less critical. The Kestrel is the king of weather meters for ballistics - it's rugged, reliable, simple to use, and the battery life is excellent. That said, the cost isn't always easy to justify for a recreational shooter.

Something like a WeatherFlow meter paired to a smart phone with a ballistics app is significantly cheaper, but suffers from some drawbacks, as well. In that case, you're dealing with multiple batteries (phone and meter), keeping the devices paired, the less rugged nature of most phones, difficulty to use in gloves (if you're in cold weather), phones getting wet, etc.
 
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HornyToad

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Oct 23, 2019
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Having *A* way to get weather info to feed into your ballistic calculator is important, especially if you're traveling. If you only ever shoot at one range, it's helpful but less critical. The Kestrel is the king of weather meters for ballistics - it's rugged, reliable, simple to use, and the battery life is excellent. That said, the cost isn't always easy to justify for a recreational shooter.

Something like a WeatherFlow meter paired to a smart phone with a ballistics app is significantly cheaper, but suffers from some drawbacks, as well. In that case, you're dealing with multiple batteries (phone and meter), keeping the devices paired, the less rugged nature of most phones, difficulty to use in gloves (if you're in cold weather), phones getting wet, etc.
I look at things from a SHTF perspective. I don't expect to have phone service. I suppose the Kestrel would not need a cellular signal to function properly, but I could be wrong. Thank you for your input!
 

Hollywood 6mm

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I look at things from a SHTF perspective. I don't expect to have phone service. I suppose the Kestrel would not need a cellular signal to function properly, but I could be wrong. Thank you for your input!
Ballistic apps don't need cell service, either, especially if you have an on-site weather meter.
 
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Dopus Coriolis
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I won't comment on whether long range hunting is a viable prepping strategy, but for SHTF, you want a kestrel.

The app's rely on cell service to gather environmental data, except for the ballistic ARC, but it still relies on your iphone.
 

Hollywood 6mm

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I won't comment on whether long range hunting is a viable prepping strategy, but for a SHTF, you want a kestrel.

The app's rely on cell service to gather environmental, expect for the ballistic ARC, but it still relies on your iphone.
Strelok and AB both can work just fine with no cell coverage and manual weather data inputs. I ran AB on my phone for years with a 4k weather-only Kestrel without issues.
 

spife7980

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I won't comment on whether long range hunting is a viable prepping strategy, but for SHTF, you want a kestrel.

The app's rely on cell service to gather environmental data, except for the ballistic ARC, but it still relies on your iphone.
Also, a bunch of those apps can now link with the weatherflow too, not just ballistics arc.
 

ZEROGUY

Dopus Coriolis
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Strelok and AB both can work just fine with no cell coverage and manual weather data inputs. I ran AB on my phone for years with a 4k weather-only Kestrel without issues.
Understood, I still get my ballistics this way mostly. Gather data from kestrel2500, and input to phone.

But he still needs a way to gather inputs, which is why he needs a kestrel weather meter of some type.

In either case I would not rely on an iphone as my only ballistic computer for a SHTF scenario.
 

jg6.5

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I look at things from more of a prepper stand point. I may only have one shot for food to feed my family, so I could be anywhere at anytime. Thanks!
If we're going down that rabbit hole, maybe a data book, density altitude charts, and some sort of wrist-worn barometer/altimeter or something is more the ticket? Remember, electronics fail at really inconvenient times...idk man, your call.

Is the Applied Ballistics app in the iPhone app store? Thanks!
And yes, as others have answered, it is. I think it was like $20 when I got it.
 
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HornyToad

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Oct 23, 2019
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I won't comment on whether long range hunting is a viable prepping strategy,
I figure after the hordes kill off all the cows and pressure is put on wild game, the wild game will be fewer and farther between and there will be competition for food. The main point is preferably one shot, one kill. The one shot may be a long way off. Thanks!
 
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Bob2650

Boomer
Minuteman
My Density Altitude varies from +3500 feet (hot humid summer day) to -3500 feet (just after that last strong cold front hit). Ignore it at your peril when shooting long distance. My actual altitude is 670 feet but that is irrelevant, DA matters, not altitude. Any brand weather meter will work if it provides reasonably accurate station pressure, temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction. Using the Uncorrected for sea level barometric station pressure saves the step of reverse engineering the station pressure from the weather man's barometer reading. I have a 5400 kestrel with link. It is not intended for ballistics but links up to the phone app for weather conditions. I get first round hits more often than not. I used to have to get all my wind speed and direction information from wind flags, the station pressure and temperature from a suunto watch and thought I had it all good but first round hits at great distance were not expected. If someone has a weather station nearby and on the internet AND you can get internet that usually works fair to OK if you don't trust the internet wind too much. Even with the kestrel I watch the wind flags because a lot is going on between me and the target. Once I am dialed in, I wait for the flags to be doing the same thing as the last several good shots.

Obviously the kestrel 5700 elite is the cool answer to a lot of questions but your biggest expense in a shooting budget should be ammo, not extra cool toys. If you have the budget then go for the good life but I advise not to do it at the expense of practice ammo.
 

HornyToad

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Oct 23, 2019
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If we're going down that rabbit hole, maybe a data book, density altitude charts, and some sort of wrist-worn barometer/altimeter or something is more the ticket? Remember, electronics fail at really inconvenient times...idk man, your call.

And yes, as others have answered, it is. I think it was like $20 when I got it.
Thanks!
 

HornyToad

Private
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Oct 23, 2019
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12
My Density Altitude varies from +3500 feet (hot humid summer day) to -3500 feet (just after that last strong cold front hit). Ignore it at your peril when shooting long distance. My actual altitude is 670 feet but that is irrelevant, DA matters, not altitude. Any brand weather meter will work if it provides reasonably accurate station pressure, temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction. Using the Uncorrected for sea level barometric station pressure saves the step of reverse engineering the station pressure from the weather man's barometer reading. I have a 5400 kestrel with link. It is not intended for ballistics but links up to the phone app for weather conditions. I get first round hits more often than not. I used to have to get all my wind speed and direction information from wind flags, the station pressure and temperature from a suunto watch and thought I had it all good but first round hits at great distance were not expected. If someone has a weather station nearby and on the internet AND you can get internet that usually works fair to OK if you don't trust the internet wind too much. Even with the kestrel I watch the wind flags because a lot is going on between me and the target. Once I am dialed in, I wait for the flags to be doing the same thing as the last several good shots.

Obviously the kestrel 5700 elite is the cool answer to a lot of questions but your biggest expense in a shooting budget should be ammo, not extra cool toys. If you have the budget then go for the good life but I advise not to do it at the expense of practice ammo.
Thanks!
 

HMRamateur

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I bought one out of simplicity. Its more accurate than using my phone, and I'm not constantly inputting variables at the beginning of every session. I turn it on and it reads me my drops instantly. Hunting was also a driving factor. I carry it with me in the field and it's a quick check to find my elevation.
 
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Bob2650

Boomer
Minuteman
When I began searching ebay for a sweet deal on a D3 I found a killer deal on a 5400 with link and vane. It was like new and very recent production. I am very happy with it.
This same dealer has another one up now.

Don't know the score with this dealer but they seem to get a lot of kestrels
 

Bob2650

Boomer
Minuteman
The 5400 has a funky black ball perched on top. It is to measure heat stress related things so I get to call it a medical device instead of yet another shooting toy. I am a screwed up old man and my heat tolerance is all messed up.
 

bribassguy

MDPRS Shooter
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The weather meter is used for heat stress typically measure thermal index or wet bulb globe temp... the bulb is used for radiation typically from sun. important for guys like roofer or contractors outside.

It will give you the basics but you need to know if your reading station pressure or absolute and how to input the weather..
 

Bob2650

Boomer
Minuteman
Yes, played around with it some, pretty interesting. When I first retired off my tools and went to work in the factory office one of my duties was safety man. Plenty of training and independent study on heat stress. One disappointment was that it can't be used for live readings on a windows computer. Can upload log files to look at with excel using the kestrel link USB dongle but live readings are only on a cell phone or pad. Hope they fix that with an update someday. It would become a safety department favorite.
 

Jayjay1

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From a stand point of a prepper, there is only one way and that is called Kestrel.

If there is a breakdown of any kind, no weather station will send you datas on your phone and even your I-phone will be worthless.

Get a Kestrel, the Hornady 4 DOF or the Elite, smash your bullet datas in and be done with it.
Buy once - cry once.
 

Jayjay1

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Interesting argument.

How many DOPE cards will you need?
Temperature, density, air pressure, ...
 
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Danattherock

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If you're talkin about end of days, walking Dead, scenarios I say you skip the battery operated devices and get a sword. Liquor, cigarettes, batteries, etc will be in short supply.

If you're shooting recreationally I would get the applied ballistics app for my phone. that will be adequate for most folks I suspect. Make some DA cards also.

If you're shooting PRS or serious long range I would look at a Kestrel 5700 elite with applied ballistics. My life became a lot easier once I got one. Although I can not cut a watermelon in half with it. Hmm
 

HornyToad

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Oct 23, 2019
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The back of a business card taped to the stock was good enough for Highpower at 600 yards. The fantasy of a typical survivalist shooting bad guys a mile away is total storybook BS. 600 yard dope charts with nothing but windage and come-ups will be plenty.
I want to make sure I can shoot them further away than they can shoot me.
 

Tobyboy22

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I’ve used the BallisticsARC and Weatherflow meter for a few years now to shoot matches. I’ve never had problems with pairing and the solver has always been accurate.
 

DMP

Mike
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I have a basic entry Kestrel. I shoot out to a mile at different locations. I use it to get valuable density altitude. It has helped me to measure and judge wind speed. My first round hits have improved consistently since getting mine.
 
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Runnineh

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Aug 5, 2018
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From my experience, I'll say a kestral is almost required. Getting you're actual DA changes everything. I used to go to the range, get my dope out to 900, then a week or two later try to use the same dope and id be missing big. Once I got the kestral to input legit weather, shooting got a lot more fun. Do you need a 5700? Nah, find a used weather meter and use a proven ballistics app and you'll be fine.
 

Jayjay1

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I want to make sure I can shoot them further away than they can shoot me.
Well, if you are really thinking about such scenarios, the one you have in mind will barely not happen.

Any situation in suburban areas will be somewhat between 1 and 200 yards I guess.
At this distance there is nothing to calculate, just set your scope so, that you hit 1,5" at 100 yards and be done with it.

And even in a natural environment you won´t be able to use this in almost any situation.
Therefore you have to be settled on a high mountain with a 360° view and zero vegetation and you have to be awake and patroul 24/7.
How do you want to master your food, daily work, sleep?

Another point is, that your high-magnification scope (if FFP) will be useless for closer targets.

I don´t see a benefit of a LR-type of rifle in a SHTF, because in most self defense situation any other firearm would work better.
In my opinion you should rather look for a kind of hunting rifle or a scout rifle.

But that´s just me, YMMV.
 
Last edited:

Barelstroker

Private
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Sep 11, 2019
11
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G'day HornyToad,
If you're shooting short to medium distance, say 400 yrds, you probably don't have to worry about anything other than wind &, wind will nearly always be an issue at 400.
If you want to know about long range stuff, say 600 to 1000 yrds, why not look up what LowLight has to say?
When you speak of long distance shooting, are you talking about 1st shot hits or, tooling about until you hit the target at 1000 yrds? Big difference old mate.
If you want to achieve 1st round hits at 1000 yrds, you need to know your shit.

Regards................Barelstroker
 

HornyToad

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Oct 23, 2019
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12
Well, if you are really thinking about such scenarios, the one you have in mind will barely not happen.

Any situation in suburban areas will be somewhat between 1 and 200 yards I guess.
At this distance there is nothing to calculate, just set your scope so, that you hit 1,5" at 100 yards and be done with it.

And even in a natural environment you won´t be able to use this in almost any situation.
Therefore you have to be settled on a high mountain with a 360° view and zero vegetation and you have to be awake and patroul 24/7.
How do you want to master your food, daily work, sleep?

Another point is, that your high-magnification scope (if FFP) will be useless for closer targets.

I don´t see a benefit of a LR-type of rifle in a SHTF, because in most self defense situation any other firearm would work better.
In my opinion you should rather look for a kind of hunting rifle or a scout rifle.

But that´s just me, YMMV.
My family and I will be working as a team, all armed to the teeth. Thanks for the advice!