Windreading Performance Comparison

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AlanF
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Windreading Performance Comparison

#1 Postby AlanF » Tue Aug 11, 2020 2:55 am

To anyone interested, the subject was raised on another thread regarding the relative wind-reading skills of TR and F-Class shooters. I offered to have a look at this using a simulator and some score data.

Firstly this is my opinion only, based on a small amount of data, with a lot of assumptions. I'm sure the analysis could be done more rigorously but you would still end up with things that simply can't be compared with great confidence.

So here goes. I believe the top level F-Class shooters generally outperform the top level TR shooters in terms of wind reading accuracy. With regards separating the F-Classes, the analysis shows F-Open as superior to F-Std and F/TR which are about the same. However the score data is 4 years old and sample size is probably too small to be as confident about this than the TR conclusion.

What follows is a brief description of how my conclusions were arrived at. Feel free to pick holes - there are quite few to choose from.

I looked for a recent Queens event run on Hexta targets with all disciplines well represented by leading shooters, with conditions doing enough to test the wind reading skills, and the 2019 NRAA Queens filled the bill. However I was getting unexpected results, and then discovered that squadding had been used for this event. What happens with squadding is that the different disciplines shoot together in a block, and sometimes encounter different conditions from other disciplines, which degrades the comparison. In the end I had to go back to the 2016 QRA Queens to get a major shoot using Hexta targets without squadding. Looking at score trends for that event, Match 17 900yds conditions were apparently quite tough, and Match 20 900yds the following morning was easier. So that presented a good opportunity to see how much windage error increased for the worst of the two conditions, and compare the disciplines on that basis.

The sharp end of the field in each discipline was used for the analysis, being the top 30 finishers in TR, top 10 in F-Std and top 5 in F-Open and F/TR respectively. For each shooter, the online Hexta data for Match 17 was extracted, and the average windage distance (in mm) from the middle calculated. The same was done for Match 20. These averages were then combined for each discipline as per the first of the two tables below. Next, for each discipline the Match 20 average was subtracted from the Match 17 average to give a difference (in mm). As expected, these differences are larger for the disciplines with the least ballistic performance, so you aren't comparing apples with apples. However if this mm windage figure is converted to an equivalent wind velocity difference using typical ballistics figures for that discipline, then I believe that velocity figure can be directly compared between disciplines as a measure of wind reading performance. So the figures on the bottom row are what I have used for the conclusions above.

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Gyro
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Re: Windreading Performance Comparison

#2 Postby Gyro » Tue Aug 11, 2020 5:12 am

Except for TR, the rest of us have the gun sitting “on aim” while we watch the conditions. So right there we have miles less to manage which allows us to devote a lot more focus to watching the conditions …… no surprises there.

Lord knows many of the top TR shooters go through a HUGE amount of positional training to make that “on aim” place solid and easier to get to and maintain but they can never get to the more privileged place we enjoy ?

Malcolm Hill
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Re: Windreading Performance Comparison

#3 Postby Malcolm Hill » Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:39 am

Hi Alan. Looking at your figures is very misleading. The average F open rifle has about half the wind drift in any given wind so only requires half the correction of a Standard or TR rifle for any change. In my opinion it is twice as easy to keep an Open rifle in the six ring as it is to do with a Standard rifle under changing conditions. In shitty left/right conditions with plenty of speed variation if the Open and Standard scores are the same I still say the the Standard shooter has done twice as good a job of reading the wind. Regards Malcolm.

bruce moulds
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Re: Windreading Performance Comparison

#4 Postby bruce moulds » Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:56 am

the question is, what is being measured?
malcolm makes a good point.
the true test of this might be for a given number of shooters in each discipline to fire 1 shot per minute.
then they would have to actually read the condition and act accordingly.
predicting wind deflection and dealing with it correctly is far different to reacting to what happened on the last shot and hoping things have not changed too mush.
this situation gives great advantage to those shooting off rests as gyro says.
shooting fast off a rest really requires only that the shooter recognizes when to stop due to a big change.
another good test of wind reading would be to disallow sighters.
bruce.
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Rich4
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Re: Windreading Performance Comparison

#5 Postby Rich4 » Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:59 am

It’s a very hard comparison to make, pretty much any metric will be wrong some way, to me it’s like comparing old to new machinery, it’s possible to get the same production from both however the operator is more involved on the old stuff, therefore fatigue limits performance more than mechanical ability, on reflection pretty much what gyro said

Barry Davies
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Re: Windreading Performance Comparison

#6 Postby Barry Davies » Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:52 am

Pretty much impossible to make such a comparison.
Closest comparison would be TR and FS shot off a bipod.
FO is a discipline alone as is FTR by virtue of ammunition.
Even trying to compare say FS shot off a bipod to FS off a joystick rest is difficult for obvious reasons.
I would put my money on a TR shooter like Jim Bailey or James Corbett over any F class shooter when it comes to wind reading --as in true wind reading --not belting 10 shots down in just over a minute.

Barry Davies
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Re: Windreading Performance Comparison

#7 Postby Barry Davies » Tue Aug 11, 2020 9:07 am

Further to the above --if you want to make a comparison then put an FS shooter on a bipod down with a TR shooter and let them shoot Bisley style in 45 sec/shot.Then you have some sort of equality.

Dicko
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Re: Windreading Performance Comparison

#8 Postby Dicko » Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:07 am

Hi Fellas,
I’m not trying to ruffle any feathers here.
I think Malcom is correct regarding F/O FStd.
Just lately I’ve watched a few very reasonable TR shooters make the transition to Fstd for varying reasons.
So if it’s wind reading that accounts for good scores (I think that’s fair to say also) I’d expect these guys to be shooting more consistently in Fstd.
Like I said no argument just putting it out there for discussion.

Cheers

Gyro
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Re: Windreading Performance Comparison

#9 Postby Gyro » Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:23 am

Barry Davies wrote:Pretty much impossible to make such a comparison.
Closest comparison would be TR and FS shot off a bipod.
FO is a discipline alone as is FTR by virtue of ammunition.
Even trying to compare say FS shot off a bipod to FS off a joystick rest is difficult for obvious reasons.
I would put my money on a TR shooter like Jim Bailey or James Corbett over any F class shooter when it comes to wind reading --as in true wind reading --not belting 10 shots down in just over a minute.


The trouble Barry with singling out individual TR shooters as top wind readers is that equally the same could be said of a top F Class shooter. Ya don’t get to become a top shooter in any class if ya can’t read the wind.

I believe some shooters are better at it than others though. I also believe we F shooters have a clear advantage just because we have so much less to manage. Free recoil is a classic example of that.

bsouthernau
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Re: Windreading Performance Comparison

#10 Postby bsouthernau » Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:17 am

Also remember, as you have pointed out Alan, that the principal goal of our game is not to put the shot as close to the middle as possible, it's to put them all inside the 5 or 6 ring as appropriate. In a situation of uncertainty prudent shooters might hedge their bets a bit.

Anyway, you've provoked some thought and discussion, which I presume was YOUR principal goal.

AlanF
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Re: Windreading Performance Comparison

#11 Postby AlanF » Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:48 pm

I agree with some but not all of the objections made. In particular you need to recognise that the conclusions reached do not look at actual windage error so much as how much windage error increases when conditions worsen, in this case from Match 20 to Match 17. Rifle and shooter precision (you could say group size) is effectively eliminated from the comparison as is ballistic advantage by the final velocity error calculation. With regards the comparison between the 3 F classes, the only thing I would concede is that the sample size is very small, so small that its possible for example that F-Std or F/TR are ahead of F-Open. Unfortunately I don't believe there are currently any other events on Hexta targets that attract the level of competitor that the QRA and NRAA Queens do, and from what I can deduce, as of 2017 both these events have been squadded by discipline.

On the other hand comparing TR with F-Class generally, there are numerous valid criticisms mentioned and I can add some myself. It is fair to say that TR shooters have a greater variety of things to concentrate on when shooting, and probably most importantly they need to take longer between shots. One key difference I think is the length of time between their last look at the conditions to when they squeeze off the shot. F Class can not only prepare and aim much quicker but get their last look at mirage right up to the last second. This is a big advantage especially in rapidly changing conditions. And particularly on ETs (without a delay :shock: ) F-Class can shoot very quickly. Ironically in Match 17 (with the worst conditions) TR did not have the slowest shooters - that honour went to F/TR (8m 18s average time between shots 1 and 10, cf TR 7m 52s, F-Std 5m 09, F-Open 4m 26s). And because of the time TR shooters take to settle for each shot, are they more inclined to say "that windage setting will be good enough to keep me in the 5 ring", and don't change it? Maybe.

wsftr
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Re: Windreading Performance Comparison

#12 Postby wsftr » Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:54 pm

TBH the comparison is weird.
You state that its a comparison of wind reading ability but what you have actually compared is the differences between the disciplines and how that might affect score. i.e. just because FO is in a setup that allows wind reading right before the shot is sent doesn't make that person a better wind reader than someone who has to take their eye off the flags to send the shot....don't mistake this for speed of shooting either.
personally I think trying to compare disciplines for wind reading ability is unhelpful and divisive.
You might be better off comparing coached events - even then there is a bunch of nuances that make it futile and pointless (IMO).

AlanF
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Re: Windreading Performance Comparison

#13 Postby AlanF » Tue Aug 11, 2020 9:53 pm

wsftr wrote:TBH the comparison is weird.
You state that its a comparison of wind reading ability but what you have actually compared is the differences between the disciplines and how that might affect score. i.e. just because FO is in a setup that allows wind reading right before the shot is sent doesn't make that person a better wind reader than someone who has to take their eye off the flags to send the shot....don't mistake this for speed of shooting either.

Not sure exactly what you're trying to say there.
wsftr wrote:personally I think trying to compare disciplines for wind reading ability is unhelpful and divisive.
You might be better off comparing coached events - even then there is a bunch of nuances that make it futile and pointless (IMO).

If you believe its unhelpful and divisive then it wasn't intended to be. There is a lot of casual discussion out there about wind reading, and which discipline has the best exponents. There is also exaggerated talk about the advantages some disciplines have in handling windy conditions. My analysis was intended to put paid to some of the misinformation and bring about a discussion which acknowledges the challenges of the various disciplines. I'm assuming your discipline is F/TR and on the surface the figures above aren't flattering. However IMO F/TR in Australia has made more performance advances in the 4 years since the 2016 QRA Queens (where my data comes from) than the other disciplines. I'd add that bipods in the hands of most exponents appear to be significantly slower than pedestal rests, which will affect performance in the wind. This is the sort of thing that its useful to understand, which I would argue is not divisive at all.

bsouthernau
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Re: Windreading Performance Comparison

#14 Postby bsouthernau » Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:51 am

AlanF wrote: With regards the comparison between the 3 F classes, the only thing I would concede is that the sample size is very small, so small that its possible for example that F-Std or F/TR are ahead of F-Open.


As you say, a small sample size but it might be interesting to use Student's t test to compare TR, FS and FTR.

GSells
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Re: Windreading Performance Comparison

#15 Postby GSells » Wed Aug 12, 2020 6:53 pm

Never thought I would say this !! But contrary to popular opinion. One is still very much reading the wind to a very high level when shooting fast . Know when to run and Gun and when to wait out and what to allow for a blind on the fly call and remembering a number of conditions for “ Learnt Conditions “ is wind reading !! For shooting fast for me , has just evolved I guess from shooting on ET’s for the past 3 years .
I’m happy to shoot Bisley, paper as long as they are experienced markers ! ET’s ( as long as they are accurate!) It doesn’t worry me .

But I think it’s a little naive to say the top F Open shooters who use “ shooting Fast “ is quite rudimentary and no skill or wind skills in play !

I believe that there are world class top wind readers in all of the classes ! I scored for a young M Bailey last year Nats and what an absolute privilege it was to watch him ! Hope he stays in Tr for a while lol!


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