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SWASHBUCKLER1
07-31-2015, 05:18 PM
Sorry guys I know this subject has been asked and visited many times, but I thought I'd ask it again since there has been some new designs and some drop out of the Wind Flag Market since I was looking for a set or two.?

What is your favorite flags for short range bench rest, and why.

I'm in the market and may even buy several sets, so I'd like to hear the ins and outs on the best flags out there before we buy.

Thanks in advance

zippy06
07-31-2015, 06:50 PM
http://www.orlandowindflags.com/

http://www.brflags.com/

http://shadetreeea.com/products.htm

Wilbur
07-31-2015, 06:52 PM
I learned from Ed Watson that the type of flag you used didn't matter as long as you understood what they were telling you. Ed used a really small flag with a thick yarn tail and beat us badly for years and years. In Ed's case, I don't believe it was the flags that beat us but rather the rifle he shot. If you had a good rifle, you could beat Ed but to keep beating him you had to keep a good rifle. That said, don't buy a bunch of different flags but rather some flags that will last...and learn what they're telling you.

Ed used these flags...except smaller:

http://www.benchrest.com/flags/

classcat
07-31-2015, 09:19 PM
Depending on your eyesight.
I own a few sets. I like the Grahams for their size, Paint and the arrows.Pink and Black tails show up well on most ranges,but have a variety of colors available.
When you attend a large match you can look at what is out on the range and make a choice from there.

James M.
08-01-2015, 07:10 AM
Mike Ezell makes as good a wind flag as I have ever used. Of course, there are many good designs available today. James

r44astro
08-01-2015, 11:32 AM
I prefer Smiley's flags.
Bill Greene

Mr.T
08-01-2015, 08:04 PM
I make my own and prefer double vane designs .

My current set are 2D so move in 2 axes and vanes are depron so super light and super responsive.

16520
16521

CubCouper
08-04-2015, 09:16 AM
I shoot over lots of different flags and sell a simple flag design myself. Truth is that most shooters put way too much importance on the flag type, design, and technology. My own opinion is that the worst flags out there are also the most expensive and over-designed ones -- heavy with ball bearings and too balanced so they add confusing twitches instead of filtering the wind noise. The quest for hyper-sensitive flags is a fool's errand -- a Pitts aerobatic biplane is super-sensitive, but a wreck in the hands of most pilots whereas anybody can learn to fly the stable, boring ubiquitous Cessna. Same is true of wind flags.


Regionally you see a lot more Smiley-style flags with daisy wheels in the eastern US, while the western half of the country tends to avoid daisy wheels -- thought being they are less helpful in the typically higher winds of the western ranges. We share flags a lot, so pick something popular in your region. The big shoots probably run 70-80% Smiley flags, so learn to shoot over them, even if you don't buy them.

I copied a design from Mike Ratigan, really a slight mod from the Watson flag listed above -- a simple Corroplast flag with a 1/8" pin. You can make a set of 6 tops for $30 and probably still buy lunch. I've gotten fancy in recent years and used vinyl for color, but I started with a razor knife, blank yardsale sign material, fluorescent paint, and surveyors tape from the hardware store. It was cheap and I've never found anything that was definitively better.

Ian_Owen
08-05-2015, 05:23 AM
Wilbur hit the nail on the head when he wrote "That said, don't buy a bunch of different flags but rather some flags that will last...and learn what they're telling you."

CubCouper could you please clarify something you wrote, "My own opinion is that the worst flags out there are also the most expensive and over-designed ones -- heavy with ball bearings and too balanced so they add confusing twitches instead of filtering the wind noise"

Which heavy flags that use ball bearings are you referring to and where are these ball bearings used in the flag construction?
What is the weight difference between the flags with the ball bearings and the ones that use a daisy wheel, and what is the difference in balance split between front and rear of each type?

With regards flag balance should a flag be, balanced, nose heavy or tail heavy to stop the confusing twitches and instead filter the wind noise as you put it or should a flag be a certain weight.

To my thinking a light flag will have less inertia and be more responsive in light conditions and a heavy flag will have more inertia and be less responsive in light conditions.....which is better and why.

Thanks
Ian

JerrySharrett
08-05-2015, 06:27 AM
By far the most common is the one we call the Smiley flag, Why? Because they are made by Smiley Hensley.


.

Tom Libby
08-05-2015, 10:48 AM
By far the most common is the one we call the Smiley flag, Why? Because they are made by Smiley Hensley.


.

Most of the shooters in the Midwest and East use the Smiley flags, but I find the pin wheel is very distracting to me, so I use the Graham Flags that just has a painted black/white ball on the end, as I watch the tails more. Plus they are one of the brighter looking flag than most which is easier to see.

Dusty Stevens
08-05-2015, 09:53 PM
Unless you sponsor a flag rotation at a large match or never go to a large match you should really use smileys flags. At the SS 2 yrs ago only 2 rotations didnt have smileys flags and seeing them try to work with smileys is all you need to see to be sold on smileys. Or knowing that youll eventually have to shoot over em or just looking at what the HOF shooters are using- keeps smiley busy. All flags have pros and cons tho so get a good design and learn it

CubCouper
08-06-2015, 01:28 AM
I'm not picking on any specific flag -- I see a lot of home-made flags where the (usually new) shooter goes to extraordinary efforts to showcase his machining/design talents by building his own flags. Ball-bearings in the top pivot, and/or on a daisy wheel-ish spinner. I'm a bit of a minimalist when it comes to mechanical design, so adding bearings and weights and balls and spinners means weight and inertia which offsets sensitivity -- but the purpose of the doodads was to increase sensitivity. So... the net ends up being expensive and complicated, and not necessarily better.

Flags with the entire vane behind the pin (Smiley and most others) usually get a counter-weight of some sort -- spinner, ball -- on a stick in front. The flags are sensitive in light conditions, but can become erratic in hard-blowing switchy conditions, because there is no automatic proportional dampening effect to 'filter' the noise. As well, a spinning disk on the front of the flag has perpendicular gyroscopic inertia that pushes direction shift in one way and stalls it in the other. The heavier the spinner, the more pronounced the effect.

My preference follows the design principle of the tail surfaces on a Piper SuperCub -- a light airplane known for its superb 'feel'. The substantial portion of the vane is behind the hinge pin, but there is a percentage that is in front of the pin. Wind force pushing on the (major) back half is automatically 'dampened' an appropriate proportional amount by the same wind force acting in the opposite direction on the front half of the flag. About 15-20% of the surface area of the flag in front of the hinge pin seems about right to me. Not statically balanced like a fancier flag, but definitely dynamically balanced with respect to proportional forces honestly counteracting each other at all wind velocities.

Bottom line is that different flags styles have compromises built in that may or may not be important in one person's 'average' conditions. I've loved the daisy wheel when it made it easy to see a velocity change at St Louis. I hated them when rattling in a 15-20mph shifting wind with 5mph pulses in it. Nothing against the guys making flags for profit (I do it myself), but shelling out big bucks for a set of tops and that much more for stands is one of those areas where I think we could make "B"enchrest more accessible. I sell flags, but I'm just as happy to pass on my design if someone wants to make their own.

Ian_Owen
08-06-2015, 04:02 AM
Thanks CubCouper, seems like some flag types are better in some conditions while other flag types are better in other conditions.
Perhaps that's why one day you can read them and another day it's like they're speaking a foreign language.

When I look at the commercially available windflags with bearings I'd guess they would be lighter than a windflag with a daisy wheel on the front........might be educational to find out.

Chism G
08-06-2015, 08:48 AM
It Depends. Several years ago,at Seymour,Tx, GCR Shooter Joe Kubon showed up with a very unique wind indicator. We all laughed at him while he set this indicator up in front of his bench

Joe came close to winning the two gun,using his never before seen indicator. I think he said,one of his pigs stopped flying near the end of the match. Joe may Chime in and refresh my memory:D


http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a182/chismpi/_57_zpsjgbxgdaf.jpg (http://s11.photobucket.com/user/chismpi/media/_57_zpsjgbxgdaf.jpg.html)




Glenn

mwezell
08-06-2015, 09:05 AM
swashbuckler, I sent you a pm.

Wilbur
08-08-2015, 01:05 PM
While we're here...why are wind flags painted different colors on opposing sides? It ain't like we don't know which way they're blowing....

Boyd Allen
08-08-2015, 01:31 PM
At the Visalia range, which is basically a bathtub with near vertical sides that are right next to shooting lanes, a shooter's flags often disagree with each other and switch rapidly. For me, having vanes with different colors on each side makes it easier to remember the condition that a group starting shot was fired in. I understand that there are ranges where the prevailing conditions generally have all the flags blowing in the same direction. Wouldn't that be nice!

One thing that recommend to shooters who are in the process of choosing which flags to buy, is that they spend some time studying them at a match, to see which ones are the easiest for them to keep track of. Looking at what is out there, this may vary from person to person.

Wilbur
08-08-2015, 02:22 PM
If that's what you want...I have some that always show the same direction...every one, same thing :)

I was watching a white "thing" at the end of the target frames that would now and then change color. When it was white, I'd shoot and when it was black i didn't. I was winning (3 targets I think) until I mentioned what I was doing and was told that was what they used to tell whether the backer motor was running. I didn't shoot worth a darn after that! Yeah, I laughed too when I heard similar stories...and thought the stories were embellished a bit. Turns out they were likely true. I got some new glasses pretty soon after that as it surely looked like a flag to me.

Then there was a fellow in Georgia that said he was watching a single flag, two benches to his left, and he was killing us all. The wind was somewhat horrible but it was working for him....until he shot over an inch (100yds). Thank goodness I had warned him just before that happened. Not because I didn't want him to shoot a big group but rather because I was able to say "Told You So!"

JerrySharrett
08-08-2015, 03:49 PM
It Depends. Several years ago,at Seymour,Tx, GCR Shooter Joe Kubon showed up with a very unique wind indicator. We all laughed at him while he set this indicator up in front of his bench

Joe came close to winning the two gun,using his never before seen indicator. I think he said,one of his pigs stopped flying near the end of the match. Joe may Chime in and refresh my memory:D


http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a182/chismpi/_57_zpsjgbxgdaf.jpg (http://s11.photobucket.com/user/chismpi/media/_57_zpsjgbxgdaf.jpg.html)




Glenn

Glenn, more proof that pigs actually fly!!


.

Ian_Owen
08-08-2015, 07:38 PM
At the Visalia range, which is basically a bathtub with near vertical sides that are right next to shooting lanes, a shooter's flags often disagree with each other and switch rapidly. For me, having vanes with different colors on each side makes it easier to remember the condition that a group starting shot was fired in. I understand that there are ranges where the prevailing conditions generally have all the flags blowing in the same direction. Wouldn't that be nice!

One thing that recommend to shooters who are in the process of choosing which flags to buy, is that they spend some time studying them at a match, to see which ones are the easiest for them to keep track of. Looking at what is out there, this may vary from person to person.

Boyd I can think of many open ranges where that doesn't happen, I was starting to think it was a myth started by someone to confuse us.
I've quite often seen flags about 4' apart with their props spinning and pointing at each other and the tails straight up in the air......all that does is tell me not to shoot.

My flags are quite twitchy in some conditions but occasionally I've seen a flag switch direction 180 deg just after I've pulled the trigger, if I'm real lucky the bullet went in the group but mostly its gone where that flag twitched too and usually by quite a way as I was holding that way too.

Chism G
08-09-2015, 08:58 AM
I wish there was a way to give my Wind Flags a Lie Detector Test. Some of my groups give me pause :D:D


Glenn

Ian_Owen
08-10-2015, 03:30 AM
I wish there was a way to give my Wind Flags a Lie Detector Test. Some of my groups give me pause :D:D


Glenn

Glenn no lie detector test needed.........find the one/s that are acting suspiciously and threaten to shoot them :D

I've seen a few flags that have been shot and can only think they must've lied to someone :D

CubCouper
08-11-2015, 12:38 PM
Billings (Yellowstone RIfle Club) can be like shooting in a bowl too. A couple weeks ago there I had 5 flags and two probes set for the 100Yd HV. The target frames are only 3 feet in front of a short berm. At one point all the flag tails and probe pointers were pointing 15mph-hard to the *right* , but the dust clouds from the berm impacts were 15mph-hard to the *left* -- a 20-30mph wind shear was shifting in and out of the last 10 yards before the target. That was one time I wished I had set flags behind the target frame!

Wilbur
08-13-2015, 08:11 PM
It gets worse.....

A long time ago I sold wind flags, and similar to others, kept trying to figure an improvement. One day I was working on the "propellor on top" thing and decided to make several spinners, each with different numbers of "cups" on them. The purpose of doing that was to see how few cups I could have - and the spinner work well. So that I would have a decent "test bed" I placed several versions, from three to seven cups, on a single shaft about 5 inches apart vertically. I glued bearings on the shaft one by one and placed the spinner on the bearing. It looked pretty good so I took it outside, placed it near a window, made me a pot of coffee and sat down to watch. It was the dead of winter so being inside was good. I remember to this day how proud I was that I had made that test device. Now, onto the test results!

When I first began to watch, the only spinners that were spinning were two that were together, vertically, 5 inches apart. I thought that strange and when I finished that cup of coffee I would go out and try to figure why the others weren't turning. Then, without warning, another began to spin and then another and finally three were spinning while the two that were spinning stopped!!! I tell you with confidence, that the spinners were about 5 inches apart and that the spinners spun differently for the long duration that I watched. Soooo..., I concluded that the wind blew differently at different levels. I also concluded that the spinners were too much trouble to make.

I did, however, figure out how to easily get half a ping pong ball to use as a spinner cup! I've posted that several times so if anybody doesn't know and needs half a ping pong ball - I'll tell you how to do it.

As far as knowing what the wind is doing along the line of bullet travel, I don't have a clue since flags have to be set below that line. That brings to mind what Ed Watson was doing using those small flags I mentioned a few days ago. I didn't tell you where he set them....they were very small and didn't bother anyone!!!

Hillman
08-13-2015, 11:15 PM
One of the best flags ever designed are the Wicks Dual Vane. Recent IR 50/50 records were shot using this model.

SWASHBUCKLER1
08-14-2015, 09:04 AM
Well now you have our attention! LOL I printed off the link you posted of the small wind flag, similar to what Ed used, Thank you.
I plan on building a few of my own, not to sell but to get the full idea / effect of what it takes and how they are constructed. From what I've gathered, there are certain flags better suited for certain conditions.

Delimma I'm a test type of guy and have to see if for myself, so I guess I'm going to buy a couple three sets and see which one's fit my conditions / preference best.

Thanks for all the information, and hopefully this will help someone else who may be in he market for new wind flags.

It would be nice to see some pictures of different flags in use, if you guys have any pictures you don't mind sharing.

Have a great day, and thanks again.

Rich

Mr.T
08-14-2015, 02:41 PM
This is the axle assembly sketch. This kind of a setup works quite well for me

16594

idaho bruce
08-14-2015, 04:19 PM
I started in the benchrest game back in 92 and grew up with Smiley flags. Shot on them for a long time. Then i was introduced to Graham flags. i switched immediately. The reason was because of the quick response time that the Graham flags had over the Smiley flags. Any change on the range was noticed immediately with the Graham flags. The Smiley flags was just as accurate but a little slow on the uptake.
Bruce

Jerry H
08-14-2015, 05:16 PM
Wilbur are you talking about anemometers like in this video? I feel they are superior in reading wind speed changes versus propellers.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRqeLVgSu_g

zippy06
08-14-2015, 06:59 PM
wind flags are indicators. They are NOT animate objects. They don't lie or die.
The Idiot behind the trigger is the one making decisions.......Those wind flags are not going to win you the Super Shoot.

Ian_Owen
08-14-2015, 07:09 PM
It gets worse.....

A long time ago I sold wind flags, and similar to others, kept trying to figure an improvement. One day I was working on the "propellor on top" thing and decided to make several spinners, each with different numbers of "cups" on them. The purpose of doing that was to see how few cups I could have - and the spinner work well. So that I would have a decent "test bed" I placed several versions, from three to seven cups, on a single shaft about 5 inches apart vertically. I glued bearings on the shaft one by one and placed the spinner on the bearing. It looked pretty good so I took it outside, placed it near a window, made me a pot of coffee and sat down to watch. It was the dead of winter so being inside was good. I remember to this day how proud I was that I had made that test device. Now, onto the test results!

When I first began to watch, the only spinners that were spinning were two that were together, vertically, 5 inches apart. I thought that strange and when I finished that cup of coffee I would go out and try to figure why the others weren't turning. Then, without warning, another began to spin and then another and finally three were spinning while the two that were spinning stopped!!! I tell you with confidence, that the spinners were about 5 inches apart and that the spinners spun differently for the long duration that I watched. Soooo..., I concluded that the wind blew differently at different levels. I also concluded that the spinners were too much trouble to make.

I did, however, figure out how to easily get half a ping pong ball to use as a spinner cup! I've posted that several times so if anybody doesn't know and needs half a ping pong ball - I'll tell you how to do it.

As far as knowing what the wind is doing along the line of bullet travel, I don't have a clue since flags have to be set below that line. That brings to mind what Ed Watson was doing using those small flags I mentioned a few days ago. I didn't tell you where he set them....they were very small and didn't bother anyone!!!

Wilbur I have to ask the question where did he set them?

mks
08-15-2015, 11:33 PM
I did, however, figure out how to easily get half a ping pong ball to use as a spinner cup! I've posted that several times so if anybody doesn't know and needs half a ping pong ball - I'll tell you how to do it.


Just gotta know, how do you split a ping pong ball without ruining half of it? Or am I reading too much into this??

Wilbur
08-16-2015, 01:15 AM
Wilbur I have to ask the question where did he set them?

Ed set those flags a little bit high! As I said, they were small and nobody thought much about it.

Wilbur
08-16-2015, 01:20 AM
Just gotta know, how do you split a ping pong ball without ruining half of it? Or am I reading too much into this??

I don't know how to get half a ping pong ball without ruining the other half. I do know how to get several halves in a minute or so.

Wilbur
08-16-2015, 01:34 AM
Jerry - yes, that's what I was talking about.

Dusty Stevens
08-16-2015, 02:29 AM
Id like to try some of mr ezells flags. They look real good to me. And the aussie flags butch sells are real good. I have a set of those. I did have to modify them for my smiley style poles but im sure i just ordered the wrong thing

amamnn
08-29-2015, 05:06 PM
Did I miss the post where someone answered the two sides two colors question? I don't know about the questioner's eyesight, but I can't tell the difference between a same color flag pointing at 30 degrees and one pointing at 70 degrees out at 150 + yards, especially on a field of flags and there are 30 seconds or less left to make the last shot.........................BTW, I have Rick Graham's flags and like them a lot, especially the uppity flag for terraced ranges. Certainly you can put out your flags making sure you have one at the top of the intervening berm and sorta tell that there is or is not an updraft off it, but the uppity flag tells you right now--you have enough to think about without the extra distraction of that berm and etc...the uppity flag really works. Also his (new since a couple of years) sawed off flag is good for placement as the last flag before the target at a lot of places where target stands may be short......some rimfire guys I know really like them too.

Boyd Allen
08-29-2015, 08:13 PM
Since you like Rick's flags, you should call him and order a couple of his small ones, that are designed to be small enough to be placed so that you can see them through your scope when they are posted at longer distances. A friend has built an idea of mine that makes viewing flags easier when shooting at 200 yards. He mounted an inexpensive low power variable rifle scope on a mount that clamps onto the edge of a shooting bench, and aims it so that all of the flags are in its field of view...at 4x. Since he primarily shoots head up, and always free recoil, he aims, and then switches to the flag scope.

amamnn
08-30-2015, 11:50 AM
I think we are talking about the same flag, which is really one of Rick's normal sized vanes--not the extra large which so many people use, I think a lot of us think it is the normal size--anyway he turned the normal sized vane upside down which allows for more clearance between flag and target and may allow one to place the further flags in the scope's field of view. Not really an issue for me, but some of the rimfire guys I know love those. No impellers are mounted on those flags that I have seen since that would defeat the purpose...............