For the benefit of the rifle shooting community, I have created this table of common calibers’ wind constants. If you’d like to see another bullet on this table, just post the request in the comment section, and I will update the table (weight, G7 BC, and MV would be helpful). I have gotten it kicked off with 6 common calibers. I made this table using my highly accurate ballistics calculator, Sendit Ballistics. The table is right below. Further explanation is below the table.
Ranges Valid To (m)
Wind Constant (mil, meter, mph)
Wind Constant (moa, yard, mph)
5.56mm, M193, 55gr FMJ,
5.56mm, M262, 77 gr BTHP, 2740fps MV
5.56mm, M855, 62grn FMJ
6.5mm (CM), 140grn ELD-M
7.62mm (300WM), Mk248Mod0, 190gr BTHP
7.62mm, M118LR, 175gr BTHP, 2600fps MV
Having a windage field constant in your back pocket is a great thing for serious shooters. A field constant means a single number which helps you come up with corrections based on a full value wind, and the given range.
The concept of a wind constant works on the following equation:
Meter Line * Windspeed / Constant = Correction
EXAMPLE: 5.56 62grn at 400 meters (meter line 4), in a 6mph wind. Want MOA correction. 1. Constant = 7 2. Correction = 4 * 6 / 7 = 24/7 = 3.5MOA
Meter Line is in hundreds, i.e. the Meter Line for 500m is “5”
Windspeed is full value, interpolate for half values
Constant is in such a unit that it gives you the desired correction
I made the table with two types of constants. The first row is for shooters who desire a mil correction, with meter distances, and mile per hour winds. The second column shows MOA corrections, for shooters shooting in yards, and using mile per hour winds.
You will notice that some of these constants are non-rounded numbers. I decided to err on the side of giving the rifleman the most information. If you don’t like “27,” you can make the call to round it to “25.”
The wind constant calculations are pretty much pure analytical science. I used the ballistics engine in Sendit Ballistics to produce the corrections for the given bullet and wind parameters. From there, it is simple algebra to calculate the wind constant (see the simple equation at the top of the page, we need to know 3 numbers to find the 4th). I modeled the wind constant at every hundred meters, and at 5, 10, and 20mph for each cartridge.
Past those calculations, there is some art involved. I first average all the wind constants to get a baseline number. This number is typically too low. The wind constants change drastically from 100m to 1000m. The constants are higher at shorter ranges, meaning that ultimately they produce smaller corrections for the riflemen in the field. Of course, the small wind constants at long range produce corrections which are too big at medium ranges. The key is to pick a reasonable range for the given cartridge, and then select a wind constant that will give adequate coverage for both medium and long ranges for that cartridge. It’s not too much of a problem if the shooter overcorrects by a large amount at shorter ranges; it amounts to centimeters.
Check out Sendit Ballistics for iOS if you are interested in an accurate, simple bullet trajectory calculator. I keep an updated page on the app here. The app is so accurate because it models the most important 3 degrees of freedom with painstaking detail. The app is designed for the field user, with a simple interface, range card mode, low light mode, and rapid corrections with minimal information. It is free to 400 meters, and only $4.99 to infinity.
Bottom Line:Victoria is a teaching tool for 4th Generation War (4GW) students. This book is a very good series of short stories which help readers build an intuition for 21st century and beyond war, which will be 4GW to a large extent.
This book should not be viewed as a novel, although that is how it is presented. It is really a series of short stories, loosely tied together on the theme of a future collapse in the liberal global order. Though the political setting of the book is designed to make Lind’s dedicated fans feel at home, it’s not really important for a serious 4GW student. I’m just as happy studying Hezbollah as I am a movement of traditionalists in the United States, which is the best way to describe the protagonists in Victoria.
The basic pattern of Victoria is to present a seemingly difficult problem, which the protagonists then solve by using a mixed and innovative approach, characteristic of successful 4GW. Lind’s intent seems to be to use each chapter to present a realistic pattern for a future conflict, and to then show how a thinking man would solve it.
In one instance, they defeat local politicians by recruiting friendly media outlets to create a public firestorm. In another, they use WW2 era tanks to make rapid 3GW maneuvers once the danger of air attack as passed. In still another instance, they recruit criminal organizations to set off a bomb near an enemy port, which gives the appearance they have more power than they really do.
Though the book has a loose storyline, it isn’t necessary to read it in order. The book has some value as a reference; the reader can flip back to a chapter that relates to current events or a historical scenario in order to get insight into the power dynamics between the two sides.
Lind’s military background included his part in a very serious attempt to reform the US military in the late 1980s to be a 3rd Generation War force. 3GW is the German Blitzkrieg, Nathan Bedford Forrest, and the US Army in Desert Storm. The point is to break through an enemies lines with speed, and disrupt them at the operational level. According to Lind, the US military generally practices 2GW, which means to bombard the enemy with pre-assault fires, and then assault to take ground.
This background probably explains why Lind seems to strongly eschew 2GW in this book — he figures we have enough examples of it in current events and history and it does not need to be taught. By contrast, the book features a good bit of 4GW, some 3GW, and even a particular scene of 1GW. Part of 4GW also means to use and time the other generations of war to maximum information and strategic effect.
More on Victoria’s Learning Model
I am curious as to whether William Lind intentionally used the experiential learning model (ELM). The ELM is a learning model intended to touch on the primary ways adults learn, and Victoria seems to follow this model to engage as many adult readers as possible.
The Concrete Experience is simply reading an engaging scenario. Observation and reflection is really discussion, and it occurs in Victoria through the dialogue. Abstract Concepts means lecture style learning, and occasionally occurs as during soliloquies by Rumford or Kraft, the two main protagonists. Testing in new Situations is really a practical exercise, and of course cannot occur in a book.
The Bad and Ugly
There isn’t much bad about the book. Parts of it are kind of corny. The storyline is somewhat loose. The depiction of The South is downright cartoonish and grating. I give Lind a pass on this in general, because his portraying nations in stark contrasts allows him to better illustrate subtle 4GW cultural concepts.
Ultimately, this book is a good set of stories that illustrate various realistic 4GW situations. Even the unintelligent will get an entertaining novel out of the deal. Intelligent 4GW students will use this book to build their intuition about 4GW situations, as well as get guidance from the protagonists’ reading lists for further study.
1.3.0 is an incremental upgrade which makes the operation of Sendit Ballistics smoother. The long and short of it is that I am removing the “default units” switch, which makes a user choose between either metric or standard.
It was a dumb system that made sense in my engineer mind at the time. Unfortunately, it’s just not how real shooters work, as I should know. I use meters and mils, mph for wind, F for temperature, and mbar for pressure. In other words, a mix. Beta tester “E” helped me to see the error of my ways, and for that I’m grateful.
Well, what are you waiting for? Download the improved app!
Weapon Blog has posted some excellent articles lately on terminal ballistics. Really, they are videos of people shooting things. Is there any other way to conduct terminal ballistics modeling? In terminal ballistics, empirical data rules over analytical solutions.
In the first video, the shooter fires multiple calibers at a pine tree to determine which ones will penetrate.
In the second video, the shooter fires 5.56, 9mm, and 22LR through multiple layers of drywall.
Bottom Line: Good read from a great thinker. This is an important book for people trying to understand 4th Generation War (4GW). Light on coverage of the internet, immigration, corporations, and NGOs, which I believe are key pieces of the 4GW battlefield.
A most appropriate title for this book would be “The Infantry Commander’s Guide to 4th Generation War.” The meat of 4GW Handbook is discussion of the shortcomings of traditional military forces in the information age, and how commanders and senior NCOs might retool those forces for a 4GW fight.
William S Lind is one of the preeminent military thinkers of our age. In January 2004, Lind correctly called that the Iraq war would be a loss for the US, and would set in motion a chain of disasters for the west:
Will Saddam’s capture mark a turning point in the war in Iraq? Don’t count on it. Few resistance fighters have been fighting for Saddam personally.
I suggest that the war we have seen thus far is merely a powder train leading to the magazine. The magazine is Fourth Generation war by a wide variety of Islamic non-state actors, directed at America and Americans (and local governments friendly to America) everywhere. The longer America occupies Iraq, the greater the chance that the magazine will explode. If it does, God help us all.
In the appendix of 4GW Handbook, Lind gives readers a brief explanation of the four generations of war. In short, the first generation begins with the nation-state, after the Peace of Westphalia. Tight control of formations governs the battlefield. Second generation war came about as a result of industrialization. In this generation of war, nation-states use artillery and aircraft to bombard enemies prior to ground assaults.
Third generation war is the tactics of Rommel, Patton, and Forrest. They key is mobility. Third generation commanders use their mobility to cut off enemies, and to rapidly change the battlefield. The United States military fancies itself a third generation force. Lind argues, successfully, that the US military is in fact a second generation force.
4GW is modern war for the information age. The Vietnam war was a preview of this confusing type of war: perception beats reality. The bomb is 1/5th of the fight, the Tweets and social media posts afterward are 4/5th’s the battle. But the elevation of propaganda over reality really misses the big point of 4GW.
4GW: Total War
4GW is the making of every single aspect of life a battlefield. Much as every aspect of our lives has been politicized by partisans, in the fourth generation of war, everything is an act of war. It’s vicious and nasty, and debases us all. Having a baby is an act of war, because it slightly alters the balance of power between two groups. Boycotts are an act of war to punish those who think differently.
Some parties now use the law, once considered a way to ensure fairness in society, to punish one another. Rival groups use internet mobs to create controversies and chase one another off the digital battlefield. 4GW is one part guerrilla warfare, one part terrorism, one part Sharia-style population control, one part Rules for Radicals, and one part 1984. 4GW is low intensity war, everywhere.
Lind’s book focuses on the military aspect, and how commanders can avoid the poor optics of well-equipped militaries slaughtering freedom fighters. At times, the book feels like a primer on counterinsurgency for infantry commanders.
Where the book falls short is in discussing the unique battlefield of the internet. Lind also spends very little space on non-state actors, global governance organizations, and big business. Overall, the book is a worthwhile read from a truly great and fearless mind in the world of military strategy.
The AR-15 series is a Rifleman’s rifle. It is accurate, customizable, and easily maintained. Even with off-the-shelf Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) ammunition, it’s a 3-MOA gun. In other words, a 5.56mm can hit a man-sized target at 600 meters without any customization or match ammunition. As many users have verified, upgraded stocks, optics, and ammunition can extend this range. This accuracy holds during good weather.
During wind, the burden of accuracy shifts from the AR-15 (accurate 3MOA or better), to the shooter or spotter who is calling the wind. Out to 100 meters, the wind would need to blow at roughly 60mph to move a bullet off of a man-sized target. Even at 300 meters, the shooter can get away with holding on the left edge or the right edge to compensate for any wind under 15mph.
At 400 meters and further, incorrect wind calls will lead to misses. A mere left or right edge hold limits the shooter to a 7.5mph wind. In other words, the AR-15 shooter’s lack of wind calling skill limits the platform’s effective range to 400 meters on a significant number of days.
The Rule of 7 for 5.56
The Rule of 7 for 5.56 is simple. To get your windage hold, multiply the meter-line and the windspeed in mph, and divide by constant 7.
500 meters, 4mph wind, full value. Need MOA correction.
MOA = 5 * 4 / 7 = 2.85. Round to 2.75 or 3.0 MOA
Now, you need to know the value of the wind. Your gun is pointed at the 12 o’clock. 12 and 6 are no value. 3 and 9 are 100% value. 11, 1, 5, 7 are 50% value. 2, 4, 8, 10 are 70% value.
620 meters, 8mph wind out of the 1’oclock. Need MOA correction.
MOA = 6 * 8 * 0.5 / 7 = 3.43. Round to 3.5 MOA
Perhaps you don’t have a scope or reticle that works in MOA. You want inches so that you can hold off of the target into space. Remember, shoulder-to-shoulder is 19″ on an average male. Simply multiple the MOA correction with the meter-line.
400 meters, 16mph wind out of the 4’oclock. Need inches.
MOA = 4 * 16 * 0.7 / 7 = 6.4. Round to 6.5
Inches = 6.5 * 4 = 26 inches of hold.
Accuracy Check with Sendit Ballistics
We’ll use Sendit Ballistics, my iOS app, to check the accuracy of the rule, assuming 62-grain 5.56 at 2970fps. Wind is full value 10mph.
200 meters: 3 MOA by Rule of 7, 2 MOA by Sendit Ballistics
400 meters: 6 MOA by Rule of 7, 4.5 MOA by Sendit Ballistics
600 meters: 8.5 MOA by Rule of 7, 8.0 MOA by Sendit Ballistics
800 meters: 11 MOA by Rule of 7, 12.0 MOA by Sendit Ballistics
In other words, keep the Rule of 7 in your back pocket for windy days! And keep Sendit Ballistics in your back pocket too, in case you need perfection.
This article is part of a series on the practical aspects of stealth. To see links to all of the articles on this topic, see the main page for The Stealth Fighter. This excerpt is from Chapter 3: Terrain, Weather, and Fieldcraft
Shelter in the Field
The woods are inviting during nice weather. When it is sunny and 75 degrees, being in the forest makes our hearts soar. When it is drizzling and 55 degrees, however, people simply clam up. They withdraw. Rather than standing up straight and looking outward, people pull blankets and tarps over their hunched shoulders, and look downward. It’s not a situation conducive to staying hidden and alert. If the weather is much more extreme than the drizzly day described above, it can even leach strength and lead to foolish decisions.
Military men call cold-weather gear “snivel gear,” the implication being that real men simply take the cold without aid. Nowadays, the term is mostly said in jest. Through repeated exposure to misery in the field, military men learn how to best manage their mobile wardrobes. The most basic principle for effective snivel usage is to not use it while conducting movement, but rather to wait until an extended stop to layer up. Extreme cold may necessitate a light under-layer.
When in Afghanistan in 2007, higher command tasked my recon team with infiltrating through the mountains to a valley, where we would clandestinely secure a landing zone for a much larger assault force. We were to set up a supporting position featuring sniper rifles and a medium machine gun which would enable rapid action in the event the enemy attempted to down the incoming helicopters. The altitude was well over 8,000 feet. The mountains were covered in several inches of snow, and the temperature was roughly 20°F.
The attached machine gunner layered long underwear top and bottoms under his uniform. Laden with body armor, a machine gun, and ammunition, he became overheated during the 4 hours of mostly vertical hiking through the mountains. Our element had to stop to deal with his heat exhaustion. The medic removed some of his clothes, which sent his temperature downward. The temperature blew right through 98.6°F and he quickly began shivering and slurring words. The machine gunner went from heat exhaustion to hypothermia in 15 minutes or less! We quickly resumed our walk, sans long underwear, and the situation worked out fine.
Another problem with moving while wearing cold weather gear is that the movement tendsto get the gear wet with either sweat or rain. If you are using a moisture repelling shell, it’s a sure bet that you are making too much noise. While moving in inclement weather, carry a large outer garment which you can easily take on and off during halts. I always order my field jackets in a size larger than I need so that they will fit over kit. Another tactic is to carry gloves, a beanie hat, and a neck gaiter. They conserve energy, but an overheated wearer can easily remove and stow them while walking.
Whatever suite of snivel gear you choose, you must manage your clothing articles during inclement weather. Don’t strip out of your wet clothes and put on dry clothes while it’s still raining, or you have more water crossings in the future. What are you going to do with your wet clothes? In cold rainy environments, they will pretty much never dry, and the moisture will add to your weight. Use an overcoat or poncho to conserve heat when not on the move. Your body heat will dry the clothes out. Obviously if it’s a matter of safety, you may have no choice but to break into your dry clothes.
Small items like gloves, socks, and T-shirts dry easily inside of a jacket. My favorite field jacket has an inner mesh pocket for precisely that reason. A sleeping bag will also help to dry wet clothing. Lay the clothing out to your side in the bag, and it will be much drier in the morning. Bunching up wet clothing in the bottom of the bag will provide little drying capacity.
Another critical piece of equipment is a small poncho or tarp. The ideal tarp is waterproof, 5’x8’ or a little more, and has grommets for tying. The way you use this piece of gear is not to wear it, but to make a “hooch,” which simply means to string up the tarp into an overhead cover. Using 550 cord and nearby trees, shrubs, and rocks, your goal is to turn the poncho into a single slanted sheet which will protect personnel and equipment from rain. Pre-tie the grommets with long pieces of 550 cord. If the tarp is too shiny, dust it with paint. You can hold up the center by placing a pebble on the dry side, and looping a rope around that pebble on the wet side. I generally just make the hooch tight enough and with enough slant so that it’s not necessary to hold the center.
If you cannot use a tarp or outer jacket, needle evergreens like cedar and juniper make a very good shelter from the rain. I’ve huddled under such trees during fierce storms and stayed quite dry. Because their leaves are so fine and tight, water runs down the leaves and branches, and to the ground at the base of the trunk. The ground underneath the canopy stays mostly dry.
During hot, sunny weather, wear loose cotton clothes which cover most of the skin. Wear a wide-brimmed hat as well. If it’s too hot, cut a hole in the top and fill it with mesh. When crossing streams, roll up your sleeves and submerge your arms as much as possible. The forced convection from the water will remove heat. Water evaporating from your head will also remove heat. Plan movements to avoid the worst heat of the day.
When I was the leader of a recon team, I had to carefully manage my team’s strength in 100°F weather. Between 12PM and 4PM, I sought to keep men from moving. My goal was to have a surveillance team in place before the heat hit, to be withdrawn after the worst of it had subsided.
Sleeping in the Field
Getting sleep during field operations is an energy-conservation issue, much the same as sheltering against cold weather. Tired leaders make poor decisions. Tired operators are sloppy. I have found that energy conservation is a key aspect in leading men in an environment where stealth is paramount. The discipline and work that stealth requires is exhausting, not to mention the demands of the actual mission. As soon as you begin such a mission, the team must be in self-preservation mode. Part of that means getting some amount of sleep.
Obviously, pitching a neon-colored tent and striking up a campfire is not acceptable in a non-permissive environment. In extreme cold, a small, drably colored tent can conserve fighting strength. It’s critical to camouflage the site with vegetation and other techniques. See Chapter4: Hide Sites and Surveillance for more information. The poncho hooch, as I described in the preceding headline on shelter, is another alternative with a smaller signature, and greater ease of breakdown. Furthermore, a team member can pull security from underneath the poncho.
During good weather, I recommend sleeping on the ground. It creates no additional signature, and the sleeper can typically prepare himself to move very quickly. A mild-weather technique I have used to maximize sleep during operations is to preposition a surveillance team near the objective at dusk, when they can move quickly and quietly, yet fading light offers a camouflage advantage. The team then prepares their night optics and cameras in the dusk light, before taking turns sleeping much of the night. The team can then move onto their objective at an extremely early morning hour such as 0300, when defenders are in their deepest sleep, and watchers are fighting drowsiness. The team is well rested, and makes much less noise overall since most of the route took place in daylight hours.
A good small-element leader should encourage snoozing and napping, within a sound security system. On a surveillance site when nothing is happening, one member should sleep while the other watches the objective, and keeps situational awareness for local security. In a hide site where a larger team is bivouacking, it is perfectly acceptable for the whole team to sleep while one man keeps watch. In this case, the hide site should be small so that it creates less signature. It should be acceptable for an element to take a thirty minute halt, and let the majority of men close their eyes.
This thinking flies in the face of normal infantry operations. In that case, the men spread out so as to create a sparser target. Casual naps are a major faux-pas; sleep is a controlled commodity dispensed at a specific time. For small teams concerned with stealth, little naps can help team members to concentrate.
In summary, keeping hidden in a non-permissive environment is exhausting. Conserving fighting strength might be the one thing that tips the balance in favor of the hunted in staying hidden and alive.
Praxis made a useful comment on my 5.56 holdover infographic:
Recognize that the point of impact for all of these aim points is the 300 dot high center chest. So with a 25/300 zero if you take an aimed head shot at 100-200 you will miss high. The 25/300 zero is an infantry zero that trades an area hit probability gain and gives up near range precision. You can run trajectories through JBM ballistics online. MV, sight height, and BC are the most relevant inputs. For most realistic and effective engagement ranges for civies and police an approximate 50/200 zero is more practical.
It’s a good point, and it stands. The long and short of it is that soldiers with battle rifles should use the 25/300 zero, while CQM carbine shooters should use the 50/200 zero.
The 50/200 is flatter shooting. The 25/300 zero has a max ordinate (the highest point in the trajectory) of 6.69″ at 175m, with the M855 round. The 50/200 has a max ordinate of 1.99″ at 123m. Essentially, the 50/200 zero is point of aim, point of impact from 0-230m. Your drop is 5 feet at 500 meters, so this zero is very unsuitable for medium range targets.
Several WRSA posters asked for a BZO graphic for the 30-30. Here it goes. I chose a 200 meter zero because this is a medium game round, and this zero is point of aim point of impact within 4″ between 0-230m.