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Shooting from a downward slope

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Shooting from a downward slope

Old 08-08-2006, 02:15 PM
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Default Shooting from a downward slope

I just hung my new ladder stand that I got for Christmas and I need some advice on shooting toward a target on a downward slope. My new stand is on a good size farm (corn and alfalfa). To answer my question picture this: oak forest staring with a 50ft hill, then 20ft plateau, then 30ft downward slope, then 60-80 yard plateau that leads to fence line separating a 150 acre field (alfalfa this year). Stand is on the edge of the first plateau. Most of my shots seem like they will be aiming toward the sloping elevation. Do I need to adjust where I put the crosshairs (up or down) from the kill zone to compensate for the lower target?

If any of this matters, I’m a bird hunter by heart (upland and waterfowl) and not to knowledgeable on rifles. I don’t really get into deer hunting until mid November most years. The area I hunt in upstate NY just went legal for rifles so I hung up the 870 slug gun and bought a Ruger 7mm magnum last summer. So, my deer hunting experience is with open-sight shotguns and deer up close and running half the time. Thanks for any advice.
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Old 08-08-2006, 02:49 PM
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Default RE: Shooting from a downward slope

Let's see if I can explain this quickly (I'm in the middle of a honey-do home project )...

The biggest thing that affects aiming point of impact is gravity, and its corresponding affect on the projectile you're flinging at your target. We aim at a certain point, knowing that the projectile will begin on an upward arc to its target before gravity starts acting on it and begins to pull that arc downward. Hopefully, if we sighted in on the target correctly, that arc intersects perfectly with out target.

When you range an item at ... say, 40 yards -- but it's 40 degrees below your level -- gravity will have less time to act on your projectile (I keep using this descriptive noun because it doesn't matter if it's a bullet or an arrow). The true distance you would shoot for would be closer to like 34 yards, factoring in the lesser time gravity has to act. I'm sure there's MUCH less variance to take into account for gun hunting than in archery, but that's pretty much how it works.

Some math whiz may come on here later and break down everything I just related using pythagorean theorums or something , but them's the basics! Bottom line? Practice, practice, practice. Know how your weapon performs in similar situations before you're faced with a real-life scenario.

God bless, and good hunting!
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Old 08-08-2006, 02:52 PM
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Default RE: Shooting from a downward slope

If you followed my explanation (you may win a medal if you did! ), this will help you to understand how people often hit deer -- or whatever their target is -- higher than their aimingpointwhen shooting at a downward angle.
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Old 08-08-2006, 03:00 PM
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Default RE: Shooting from a downward slope

Aiming up hill or down hill you generally need to aim lower. How much depends on the rifle, the load and the amount of angle. The best way is to set up a target in the off season and try it to see exactly where it hits at what distance.

I am sure there is some sort of calculator for it though.

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Old 08-08-2006, 04:16 PM
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Default RE: Shooting from a downward slope

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Old 08-08-2006, 07:38 PM
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Default RE: Shooting from a downward slope

It is basic geometry,as gravity acts over the horizontal distance to the target,not the straight line distance to the target.The greater the angle,the greater the difference between the two.
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Old 08-08-2006, 07:41 PM
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Default RE: Shooting from a downward slope

Just a shot out of a stand won't affect it much. Now 45* angles and such it will affect. 300yds will be about like 220. I had to post this on firing line and got some decent responses.
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