Accuracy 1st Whiz Wheel
The Accuracy 1st Whiz Wheel is a tool that’s earned a permanent place in my long range shooting kit. The Whiz Wheel is a ballistic calculator that requires no batteries, is unaffected by weather or temperature, and is simple to use.
I’ve been using an Accuracy 1st Whiz Wheel off and on for about 18 months now. While it’s not my primary ballistic solver, it goes everywhere with me, tucked into the inner sleeve of my data book. Beyond the initial six months of constant use leading up to this review and video, I don’t pull it out very much, other than to stay familiar with it.
With technology constantly changing, and my testing of different solver platforms and programs, it seems like I never have a “primary” ballistic solver. If I had to pick one right now, it would be the Kestrel 5700 Elite, but that could change as quickly as it replaced the solver I used before it came along.
I consider the Whiz Wheel to be a supplement to an electronic solver, much like a range card in my data book or drop chart taped to my rifle’s stock. It’s simplicity and inherent reliability are what earned it a place in my pack.
The Accuracy 1st Whiz Wheel has two basic components: a generic outer sleeve, and interchangeable solver wheels that rotate within the sleeve. The whole system measures 5”x 5” and weighs less than two ounces. Laser-engraved data and flexible plastic construction make it durable and weatherproof.
The solver wheels are the heart of the system. While the sleeve is generic, the solver wheels are printed for each individual rifle and ammunition combination. They’re available for some commercially produced military ammunition and estimated rifle data, but the best way to order these is with your own proven data printed on them. You provide Accuracy 1st with the caliber, weight, style, and brand of bullet, average muzzle velocity, twist rate of barrel, sight height above bore, and measurement of choice (MOA/MIL, Meters/Yards). What you get is a custom printed solver wheel that will be accurate right out of the box. Of course, output of firing solutions will only be as accurate as the input of rifle and ammo data, so take the time to get it right.
The wheels come with the corresponding data information printed on the outer rim as well as the center hub area. They’re held in place by a slotted Chicago screw and are easily changed in the field. They have correction data for shooting into the transonic range of the ammunition, usually 1300 to 1500 yards, depending on the cartridge.
The Whiz Wheel appears to be complicated to use, but Accuracy 1st provides clear and concise directions for use on the sleeve itself, as well as a comprehensive user’s guide in the packaging.
The Accuracy 1st Whiz Wheel calculates a correction for air density based on Density Altitude (DA).
At the bottom right corner of the sleeve, there’s a permanently fixed wheel to calculate DA if you are not reading from a device such as a Kestrel. If you prefer to use station pressure instead of DA, the reverse side of the wheel converts station pressure and temperature into DA. With this system, it is possible to come up with a reasonably accurate firing solution with basic tools. If you know the elevation and air temperature, Density Altitude, or the combination of station pressure and air temperature, it will work. I’ve used it with 7.5-minute topographical maps, Forest Service road maps, and a GPS unit. I also keep a small thermometer clipped to my shooting kit bag for checking temperature.
Once the range to target and DA has been determined, there are four options to obtain an elevation correction depending on target distance and air density.
There are four windows in the front of the sleeve above the center hub. The top left window is for long range with low DA, and the top right represents long range with high DA. The two windows closest to the center are for mid-range and short-range shots. I found that the mid-range window will likely cover most hunting scenarios, with corrections displayed for shots ranging from 400 yards to 800 yards, and a very broad DA variable.
To find the correction, spin the solver wheel until the proper yardage mark is aligned with the DA mark on the sleeve. At the bottom of the window, the correction in MOA or MILs is displayed.
The correction window has three rows of numbers. This feature is what allows the shooter to “true” the Whiz Wheel to the actual corrections needed in the field. The middle number matches the ballistic information you provided when the card was printed. The top number represents a muzzle velocity (MV) that is 50 fps slower. The bottom number represents a MV that is 50 fps faster. The correction needed increases with the slower MV and decreases with the faster MV. This is a useful feature if your ammunition is temperature sensitive or you change the load with the same bullet.
The back of the sleeve is where wind deflection and spin drift corrections are calculated. Operation is the same as for elevation corrections. There will be some math required, as only a 10 mph wind correction is shown. There are three rows of correction values depending on general wind direction, as well as a pie chart showing cosines that correspond to clock positions.
Because the Whiz Wheel was designed for military snipers, there’s also a moving target window for calculating leads.
At the bottom of the sleeve, there’s an Inclination Angle Correction chart. To adjust for a high angle shot, line up your elevation correction on the top row with the intersecting angle along the left side.
Here is a field review and demonstration video:
While I consider it to be a backup ballistic solver, the Accuracy 1st Whiz Wheel might be just the ticket for the backcountry hunter.
It was originally designed for use by special forces snipers, operating far from any support and in harsh conditions. For the same reasons, it might be ideal for a weight-conscious backcountry hunter, who wants a solver for the occasional long range shot, but doesn’t want to worry about battery failure, or just doesn’t want to rely on electronic gear any more than he has to. It offers the same battery-free dependability as a printed drop chart, while adding the flexibility to change with conditions.
I find it easy to use and very accurate, confirming provided corrections to actual field shots I took with multiple rifles. I also haven’t been able to hurt it– cold, hot, wet, or dusty conditions haven’t affected it. That’s not to say I’ve had problems with electronics. I rarely do, but I take reasonably good care of my gear, and change batteries on a schedule. With the Whiz Wheel, you don’t have to even think about it. You just need to make sure it’s in your pack.
Whether you’re looking for an alternative method to using an electronic ballistic solver, or want a backup for your existing one, the Accuracy 1st Whiz Wheel deserves your attention. Order your Whiz Wheel here.