Cont. from Part 1
What a difference a day makes. Although I still have not figured out how to sink the meter to my PC with the Bluetooth, I have made great strides with manually inputting information directly in to the Kestrel. I also understand better the navigation and commands. The only way to get familiar with this thing is to just start pressing buttons. I walked myself through every command on the screen. To start my journey testing the Kestrel my first project was to take the rounds I loaded to the range and get an MV (muzzle velocity) reading. I have already established the load I want to use for my rifle and the final step was the MV so that I could input this information. To let you know, I am loading Nosler 175gr, IMR4895 powder, Win 308 brass, and Wolf primer. And I am so lucky to have Tactical Ordinance Ammunition making this for me now!
The Kestrel allows you to enter as many rifles (or loads) as you wish. I give each rifle a name that mentions rifle and caliber using. In one case I have my H&H Precision rifle and I am shooting a 175 gr with IMR 4895. So I named it HH175IMR. I also have a 155 load so that is called HH155IMR. I zeroed the rifle at 100 yards. I recorded the environment that day on the meter and the AB program gave me the come-ups (I am using MILs) for distances beyond 100yds. (Note: You’ll need to tell the input which drag curve to use G1 or G7 and the corresponding BC’s for your bullet) As I determined my zero and muzzle velocity the Kestrel was able to give me my come-ups for 200 yards. I put that dope on the scope and it was right on. I then went straight to the 600 yard line and adjusted my elevation up to the suggested mils that the Kestrel gave me. As I thought, the actual 600 zero I needed was a bit different than what the Kestrel told me to use. The Kestrel told me to come up to 5.12 mils but the correct come up for me was actually 4.65. You need to correct that information on the Kestrel. (This is called “truing”). Basically what you’re doing is refining the Kestrel output so that it is exact for your specific rifle and load. So, I input the correct or actual mils required for 600yds in the Kestrel by going to Gun Selection, select your gun, Edit, scroll down to Cal MV, at Range make sure it says 600 or whatever distance you were at and then scroll down and input the correct come-up, (using side arrows to move number up or down) scroll down one to -Cal and press this. It calibrates it and changes the MV, and will give you data for any range you like while at the same time adjusting it for the climate, altitude, pressure etc. Once you get the hand of it, it is really pretty easy and straight forward. We then followed the same procedure on my husband’s rifle. For both of us the data was spot on. I don’t know all the science behind what’s going on inside Brian Litz’s brain or how the Kestrel works it’s magic but WOW it does work. Now the fun part will be using it in a match this weekend in a different climate and elevation.
It is a little bit scary to depend on something to get you on a target. But having confidence in its readings so far I feel I can trust it. What I love is that on the spot I can get an exact MIL elevation reading for an exact distance. Sometimes if you only have a print out of a ballistic table it gives you readings for every 50 yards. You have to guess a bit for the yards in between. If my range finder says the target is at 562 yards, I can enter that exact yardage in the Kestrel and get an exact MIL reading. Or as exact as possible if you will. I love the feature where you can take a photo of the direction of the target and then take a photo of the direction the wind is coming from and it gives you the hold off. This information and much more from actual use in the match will be in my next post. Wish me luck!