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Discussion Starter #1
Kestrel With Applied Ballistics

While I have no doubt that this is an excellent product, I'm having a really hard time justifying a price that's roughly double the cost of the Kestrel 4500NV alone. What makes this tougher is that I feel that the $300 4500NV offers very little that the $150 2500NV doesn't.

I suppose if I were deployed somewhere, I might feel different, but I'm not.

Comments?
 

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One's persons needs do not define the needs of others.

That said, when I buy a kestrel, I'm looking for specific features and specific abilities. The 4000 is the lowest on the totem pole that will fulfill those requirements.
 

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I don't see what the issue is. The kestrel with Horus Atrag is and has been the same price for some time now as the new Applied Ballistics version, kestrel has just changed the ballistic software program. What most people who own them with ballistic software on them have issue with is the way the kestrel's memory dumps when you remove/change the batteries, batteries leaking, lack of a way to upgrade/flash the software. If you figure what a wind meter and a PDA with ballistic software costs, it comes out to about the $700 mark give or take. With a kestrel with the software on it you have 1 item instead of two and it inputs the environmental data for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
One's persons needs do not define the needs of others.
Never said it did. Never said no one should buy this. I just wonder why? What is there to justify the price?

The 4000 is the lowest on the totem pole that will fulfill those requirements.
What does the 4000 give you that the 2500 doesn't?

If you figure what a wind meter and a PDA with ballistic software costs, it comes out to about the $700 mark give or take.
A 2500NV is $150, a 4th Gen Refurbished iPod Touch is $130, Ballistic AE or Shooter are about $20 so that's $300. And the Touch can do other things as well.

The cost difference is enough to buy an Atlas Bipod with accessories. What makes it worth it? That's what I don't understand.
 

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GS, I was going to shoot you an email with my special pricing on a Kestrel, but looking at the numbers you posted it wouldnt be worth it.

Anyways, I have been using a HighGear WeatherPort around the house and on trips.

It gives me an
altimeter, barometer with weather forecast, digital compass, thermometer, and relative humidity. The biggest things that is gives me for shooting are TEMP, HUMIDITY, and STATION PRESSURE (ambient barometric pressure).

I bought it for $40 shipped and has been a great addition to my kit. We will see how well it works in the field (at the shooting range when I go to zero my Premier), but driving around town, it works well and it didnt kill my pocket.
 

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A 2500NV is $150, a 4th Gen Refurbished iPod Touch is $130, Ballistic AE or Shooter are about $20 so that's $300. And the Touch can do other things as well.

The cost difference is enough to buy an Atlas Bipod with accessories. What makes it worth it? That's what I don't understand.
Good question, ultimately I would guess it boils down to convenience, everything in one small device, less user error in the manual input of environmental data, and connectivity, blue tooth, to link up with other devices which may or may not be a useful feature for some users. As for differences between the 2500NV and the 4500 Horus/AB model, a few I can think of off the top of my head are that the 4500 gives you DA, crosswind, headwind/tailwind along with other information that again, may or may not be useful to you, that the 2500NV doesn't do. When it comes to the 4500 with ballistic software you are basically paying the $300+ for the windmeter and another $300+ for the ballistic software. I posted a comparison chart of all Kestrel models below to give you an exact idea of what the 2500 doesn't have.

There is no arguing that you can do it for less but you end up with more pieces, have to manually enter the weather data and aside from AE, most "app" ballistic software is good only to around +/-1200m before it starts to get squirrelly. Software like FFS, Coldbore, Horus and a few others are good for those longer distances than your typical ipod/phone app is capable of.

So it boils down to what your needs are really.


Personally, I use a Weatherhawk WM-350 and a ruggedized Trimble Recon with Horus AtragMX but I also have an iphone/pad with the popular "app" software on them as well. I prefer the bigger screen of a PDA over the kestrel screen and the ability to upgrade software/firmware and use other ballistic software via the CF card slot that a PDA offers, the PDA is also capable of doing other things as its a windows based computer. The trade off is that it is bulkier/bigger and is an additional piece of kit but it can take a beating and the heat that an ipod/phone cannot take.

 

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I'm not familiar with DA calculation, but is it supposed to be converted to what the sea lever equivelant would be?

just so I'm clear, the 4500 does correct it to sea level, but I am asking if this is the best readout for shooting or should it be the DA without conversion?
 

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I don't use, nor recommend people buy the kestrel's with integrated ballistics either. Takes too long to input data compared to a smartphone. So I'm not advocating for them. I'm simply saying that some people like them and have found it handy. I think it has value as a backup.

The kestrel 2500 doesn't do density altitude, among other things... whereas the 4000 does.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
The kestrel 2500 doesn't do density altitude, among other things... whereas the 4000 does.
One problem with the Kestrels is that there are so many different models. Plus, the features chart on the Kestrel web site says that the 4000 doesn't have DA but apparently it does.

In the Kestrel, the DA calculation uses absolute pressure and temperature which is going to be about as accurate as you can get. But most of the time, when you see people talking about DA, they are speaking of altitude corrected for temperature (like what a Wiz Wheel does). That confuses things.

So, to my mind, if you have a meter that will give you an accurate absolute pressure and temperature, you've got all you need. I had a long exchange with Brad Millard (JBM) about this and he agrees. The only advantage I can see to having a Kestrel that will give you DA is if you have a ballistic program that will accept it, then it's just a single number to check and input. Is that why you want that?

I've spent a fair amount of time trying to sort out what's what and I still keep hitting up things that I can't figure out.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
As I understand it, humidity is so negligible as to be able to be ignored.

Again, I'm just trying to understand the WHY. Why do people prefer this over that? What's the advantage?
 

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Which over which?

As you said, there are too many models to just apply a blanket statement to. Are you talking about the models with the ballistics vs everything else? ... and you're right about humidity being able to be pretty much ignored.
 

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I will say though, humidity does become a factor when you get into ELR distances. A 10th of a mil at 1700yds is something you want to account for if you can.

It takes no real extra effort or time to account for humidity, so it is valuable to me to have a tool to collect that data.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Which over which?
It started out as Kestral with Ballistics vs Kestral + PDA, but it's gotten more complicated. But for the sake of discussion, let's try and keep to apples vs apples and leave the oranges out of it for now.

A Kestrel with Ballistics adds $280 to the price of a Kestrel 4500NV. That $280 will buy a handheld with ballistics software plus other stuff. Other than the convenience of not having to key in any data, what is gained? Is this a case where there isn't any advantage unless you are engaged in some really specific type of shooting?

The other discussion has to do with DA and what does that bring to the game, but I'd just as soon leave that out of this for the time being.
 

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Other than the convenience of not having to key in any data, what is gained? Is this a case where there isn't any advantage unless you are engaged in some really specific type of shooting?

What is to be gained is in the eye of the user IMO. What is gained by having electric windows and power locks on a car vs manual ones? One is cheaper and they both accomplish the same ends yet many people want the power version. Also keep in mind if you buy software from Horus, FFS,Coldbore, it's gonna run your about $300 just for the CF card with the program on it. Add on an additional $200 +/- for a refurbished/new old stock HP Ipaq or similar PDA and you're at the $500 mark. Add in a wind meter that can give you Baro, temp, altitude, wind and your looking at about $200 +/-. Total rough sum of $700 which is what the top end Kestrel with software costs. Or you can always go with a good windmeter and the FDAC and or Whiz wheel. But to address your underlying question, what I think most people will tell you is that the Kestrel with ballistics allows people to quickly and easily make first time hits on targets in the field that would take longer doing it any other way.


Out of curiosity, what are you using now Gsmithplm for winds, etc to determine your data to put on the scope?
 

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It started out as Kestral with Ballistics vs Kestral + PDA, but it's gotten more complicated. But for the sake of discussion, let's try and keep to apples vs apples and leave the oranges out of it for now.

A Kestrel with Ballistics adds $280 to the price of a Kestrel 4500NV. That $280 will buy a handheld with ballistics software plus other stuff. Other than the convenience of not having to key in any data, what is gained? Is this a case where there isn't any advantage unless you are engaged in some really specific type of shooting?
The only real utility for me would be to have a nice backup in case my main calc goes down. Considering that most people have smart phones anyway, and a $20 app will do the job, it makes even less sense to money down on one.

That said, I really like all the new gadgets and options that have hit the market in the last couple years. Innovation is key to advancement of the sport and the technology used. Options are good, however, I'll still recommend the 4000NV when people ask me what to buy. I don't care what they're shooting, at what distances, that unit will leave them wanting for nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Out of curiosity, what are you using now Gsmithplm for winds, etc to determine your data to put on the scope?
Kestrel 2500 + Ballistic AE on an old iPod Touch. But I'm also not shooting sniper challenge courses, etc either.

The thing is this, I frequently see things like, "The new Model X2 Framistan from Advanced Shooters is really great and well worth the $879 they charge." And that's it. No explanation as to why it's better than the old X1 or what it's good for or, more importantly, WHO it's good for. This Kestrel seems like one of those things to me. What is there about it that makes it something someone would want? Who would want it? Why? What can it do better than something that's half the cost?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Just to sort of wrap this up, I'm starting another thread on comparison of Kestrel meters but I wanted to finish this.

So, what's the bottom line for me? The additional cost may be worth it for some people, but I rather suspect that it's going to be a long time before I ever reach the point that I can justify that. I suppose that if you carry a gun for a living then this may well be something worth having, particularly considering the reputation Kestral has for making a quality product. But that's not something I can speak to with any authority.

It's quite amazing how much can be crammed into a small handheld device but $600 is just too much unless I hit the lottery (it could happen).
 

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Sea level pressure vs Absolute pressure

I'm not familiar with DA calculation, but is it supposed to be converted to what the sea lever equivelant would be?

just so I'm clear, the 4500 does correct it to sea level, but I am asking if this is the best readout for shooting or should it be the DA without conversion?
We normally speak of two kinds of pressure. Sea level pressure and absolute pressure (a.k.a station pressure). So, just about every weather tracking gadget you buy, any barometer, will measure the absolute pressure. That means the air pressure that the weather station is exposed to at that very moment at that place.
Now, depending on the settings on your weather meter, it will be the displayed to you as either absolute, or calculated to sea level. With the Kestrel series you would go to the Barometer screen, here you can set "Reference altitude". So, if you are a weather geek, you would most likely be interested in the sea level pressure, so then you would put in your current altitude (from gps/map or whatever) as the reference altitude. With this setting the Kestrel will correct it to sea level.

If you are doing shooting on the other hand, you want absolute pressure. This is quite simply accomplished by telling your Kestrel that you in fact are at sea level. Put in "0 feet" as the reference altitude.
The Kestrel Baro/alti menus explained, at least tried :p
Kestrel absolute pressure question? - Long Range Hunting Online Magazine


For the Density Altitude, that is a calculation of mainly pressure and temperature. Humidity and dew point has some, but little effect. The International Organization for Standardization has defined an International Standard Atmosphere. This standard defines what air pressure/temperature one has at different altitudes .
International-Standard-Atmosphere.gif

The density altitude is the altitude you would have to have to achieve your current pressure, when sea level pressure = standard atmosphere.
So if it actually was 29.92inhg and 59 degrees fahrenheit at sea level one day, your Density Altitude would match your actual altitude.

Many shooters make DA-tables for their rifle. As this is a "shortcut", not having to have tables for pressure AND temperature, but just the one.

Hope i shed some light on the subject. And excuse my english, it is not my mother tongue. :p
 

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We normally speak of two kinds of pressure. Sea level pressure and absolute pressure (a.k.a station pressure). So, just about every weather tracking gadget you buy, any barometer, will measure the absolute pressure. That means the air pressure that the weather station is exposed to at that very moment at that place.
Now, depending on the settings on your weather meter, it will be the displayed to you as either absolute, or calculated to sea level. With the Kestrel series you would go to the Barometer screen, here you can set "Reference altitude". So, if you are a weather geek, you would most likely be interested in the sea level pressure, so then you would put in your current altitude (from gps/map or whatever) as the reference altitude. With this setting the Kestrel will correct it to sea level.

If you are doing shooting on the other hand, you want absolute pressure. This is quite simply accomplished by telling your Kestrel that you in fact are at sea level. Put in "0 feet" as the reference altitude.
The Kestrel Baro/alti menus explained, at least tried :p
Kestrel absolute pressure question? - Long Range Hunting Online Magazine


For the Density Altitude, that is a calculation of mainly pressure and temperature. Humidity and dew point has some, but little effect. The International Organization for Standardization has defined an International Standard Atmosphere. This standard defines what air pressure/temperature one has at different altitudes .
View attachment 1777

The density altitude is the altitude you would have to have to achieve your current pressure, when sea level pressure = standard atmosphere.
So if it actually was 29.92inhg and 59 degrees fahrenheit at sea level one day, your Density Altitude would match your actual altitude.

Many shooters make DA-tables for their rifle. As this is a "shortcut", not having to have tables for pressure AND temperature, but just the one.

Hope i shed some light on the subject. And excuse my english, it is not my mother tongue. :p
I am on board with the different ways of displaying barometric pressure. But you have confused me with the Density Altitude.
 
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