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Uphill / Downhill shooting

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Uphill / Downhill shooting

Old 06-04-2004, 09:29 PM
  #1  
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Default Uphill / Downhill shooting

I've taken a few elk and mule deer, but mostly with a muzzleloader and the others were, fortunately, "fairly" flat shots with my 7 Mag that I have had for quite a few years. I have heard both schools of thought on the subject, but what are your thoughts and/or practices. If you have your bull or buck in your sights at 250 yards, and know that you need to hold an inch or two high at the range, do you shoot "high" when you shoot high and "low" when you shoot low? Or vica versa, or dead on?
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Old 06-04-2004, 09:39 PM
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Default RE: Uphill / Downhill shooting

When shooting at an angle you simply use the horzontal distance to the target,not the straight line distance to the target.The horizontal distance can never be more than the staight line distance and if any angle is involved it will be less.
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Old 06-04-2004, 11:06 PM
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Default RE: Uphill / Downhill shooting

I am not familiar with the two schools of thought on the matter. All I know is the physical law that only has one truth: when you shoot at a very steep angle either up or down (it don't matter which) your bullet will hit a target higher than if you were shooting the same distance on flat ground.
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Old 06-06-2004, 06:23 PM
  #4  
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Default RE: Uphill / Downhill shooting

Imagine drilling a hole straight down to the LEVEL of the game animal below you, or extending a pole straight up to the level of the animal above your level. Now measure the distance from the tip of that pole to the animal. THAT'S the distance you calculate your shot on.
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Old 06-07-2004, 09:46 PM
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Default RE: Uphill / Downhill shooting

Excerpts from Peterson's Hunting, May/June 2004. Uphill, Downhill. The definitive word on an age-old debate. Pages 78-79.

"For most hunters, the mind's eye tells them that shooting uphill should cause a bullet to slow down quicker, drop quicker and therefore hit lower. When shooting downhill, it seems the opposite should occur: With gravity working in favor of the bullet, it should be going faster and hitting higher."

"But it's not the pull of gravity that's important - it's the angle of the bullet's path measured against the line of gravity's pull towards the center of the mass of the earth. The pull of gravity is perpendicular to the surface of the earth, so when you elevate the muzzle of your gun by X degrees, you are changing the angle of the bullet's trajectory respective to the line of gravity."

"Moreover, you are actually reducing the distance the bullet travels relative to the pull of gravity, compared to the same distance across a level surface. The effect of changing uphill or downhill angle on the bullet's path is therefore the same."

"So the path of the bullet always rises above the line of sight of a horizontally zeroed gun when you shoot at an angle either above or below the horizontal line. The greater the degree of the angle, the greater the amount of the rise. Not only that, but the amount of rise is exactly the same both for uphill and downhill shooting."

The article gives an example of a 30-06 150 grain cartridge fired at a 45 degree angle. At 300 yards it will about 7 inches higher than it would have on level ground.
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Old 06-08-2004, 12:38 AM
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Default RE: Uphill / Downhill shooting

TXHunter and CalNewbie are correct, shooting at steep angles either up or down will cause your bullet to strike high. It is basic geometry and physics, hypotenuse of a triangle = less distance = less time for gravity's affect on trajectory. I can give a real life example that just happened three weeks ago. I was sighted in dead on at 100 on the range, went hunting for a blackie and he was 220yds up a mountain. He was turned and had head up hill, i put right on spine and was dead on at 220. If it was flat, that same shot would have hit him in the rear.
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Old 06-08-2004, 12:19 PM
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Default RE: Uphill / Downhill shooting

Thanks for the "accurate" feedback guy's....much appreciated.
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Old 06-08-2004, 02:37 PM
  #8  
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Default RE: Uphill / Downhill shooting

So do you guys take out your graphing calculator wiht you out on the hill? I believe what you're saying but how do you apply that to real world hunting?

What I mean is you can't calculate the actual distance based on the math formula in 3 seconds, right? So if your rangefinder says 350 yds. and the hill is somewhat steep how do you know how high to hold? I mean you can't accurately determine the pitch either without some tools. So how high do you really know to hold?
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Old 06-08-2004, 08:00 PM
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Default RE: Uphill / Downhill shooting

ORIGINAL: rather_be_huntin

So do you guys take out your graphing calculator wiht you out on the hill? I believe what you're saying but how do you apply that to real world hunting?

What I mean is you can't calculate the actual distance based on the math formula in 3 seconds, right? So if your rangefinder says 350 yds. and the hill is somewhat steep how do you know how high to hold? I mean you can't accurately determine the pitch either without some tools. So how high do you really know to hold?
I don't think that's what we meant, you just guestimate distance and pitch. But the truth is, IT IS a different shot than a flat one. It is just something that with experience, different shots will give you better judgement. But 220 yards at a 30 degree pitch is siginificantly different than 220 yards flat.
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Old 06-09-2004, 05:39 PM
  #10  
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Default RE: Uphill / Downhill shooting

I just hold low up or down,the farther out they are I just don't hold as low.I have only over shot 2 animals in my life and they were on flat ground.All the rest have been from flat ground to some sort of up hill down hill angle,I never hold above the back or below the chest.
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