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Kestrel are a well-known and respected name in the world of environmental condition measurement instruments, most notably to we shooters for pocket sized wind-speed meters or anemometers as they are correctly known. These meters have allowed keen shooters to monitor wind speeds and more critically, to start putting some numbers to what we all experience as, “It’s windy”.


THE KESTREL 4500 NV METER REVIEW


the kind of item that needs serious testing to fully comprehend what it will and will not do. An article such as this can barely skim the surface of the features of such an inspired piece of design.


The unit is a handy palm-sized computer that comes with a soft case and minimalist handbook. The buttons are easy to use with a positive feel, a backlight is also featured for use in the dark and this has an automatic turn-off after a minute. It didn’t bother me but it does hum very quietly when illuminated. The impeller fan for wind speed measurement is sent wild by even the tiniest of air currents but is easily replaced if damaged. The temperature and humidity sensors are located in a guarded loop to the left of the device and although fairly well enclosed, I was very careful with storage.


What the device allows you to do is enter all your cartridge’s ballistic variables, from bullet choice, ballistic coefficients and velocity along with relevant amounts of your rifle’s data, from bore-sightline height, barrel twist rate and direction along with zero range etc. This compact, weather resistant instrument will output all the required elevation and windage data you need for a long range shot. Data for nine rifles can be saved in this area, each with their own specific features, the sight click adjustment can also be specified, whether it be in Minutes of Angle (MOA) or Milradians (Mils). This is the Horus side of the software and this is the point at which things become a little more complicated but amazingly clever.


Once set, the screen displays only critical data


We are now getting used to small, hand-held electronic devices, notably Palm computers and iPhone or Android phone `apps`, that will compute and display all the ballistic data we need to know about our chosen cartridge, at the required distances. Up until now - other than some seriously hefty military gear - nobody has combined the two. Kestrel have teamed up with Horus, a U.S. ballistics company to give us the Kestrel 4500NV Horus combined ballistics and environmental hand-held computer! This is


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GPS (latitude only) and a digital compass are incorporated, along with altitude, atmospheric pressure, temperature, humidity and wind speed sensors. As well as being able to access these independently, the Horus ballistics software will compute all these variables into a single constant second by second update to your firing solution.


Now, before we dig deeper here, let’s not forget, any wind-speed meter, no matter how clever, can only tell you the wind conditions for where it actually is. Your bullet might be travelling hundreds of yards to its intended target and during that flight time, the wind deflection it will experience will inevitably vary, in both strength and direction. Make no mistake, at longer ranges even the smallest of breezes will move any bullet, no matter what speed or BC it has. Often


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