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OT: Does shooting from high ground make the bullet go high?

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  • OT: Does shooting from high ground make the bullet go high?

    I just caught a bit of a show on the Military Channel about the Revolutionary War. In talking about one of the battles, they said the "Loyalists soon learned the disadvantage of having the high ground as their bullets sailed over the heads of the Rebels."

    Does shooting from high ground really make the shot go high?

    Roger
    Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.

  • #2
    The amount of "drop" depends on the HORIZONTAL distance not
    total distance.
    ...lew...

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    • #3
      Mythbusters has a current episode where they replicate the classic freshman physics question: which bullet hits the ground first: the one fired out of a gun, or the same bullet dropped on the ground

      Extremely well-done experiment, even for the Mythbusters.
      "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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      • #4
        I think it has to do with gravitational pull on the bullet. Shooting down has less pull than shooting flat or up. You would think it would have to be a long shot though. There is an article in one of my books on it but it will take a while to find it again.


        BE

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        • #5
          You get the extra distance from the vertical displacement: the time the bullet takes to drop the additional height of the hill.
          "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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          • #6
            It won't make a bullet 'shoot high' but it might screw with your sights calibration and how you compensate for distance.
            Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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            • #7
              Shooting downhill OR uphill will cause the bullet to go higher than a flat shot.

              You can count on it!
              VitŮŽria, Brazil

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              • #8
                To make this short and sweet... Yes. For example if you are sighted to zero at say 200 yds on the level, if you now shoot down hill OR UPHILL the bullet will impact higher. How much depends on the angle of incline or decline and of course the range.
                Think of it this way, in the extreme... say you are shoothin straight up in the air, there is no gravitational component pulling the bullet off it'c course, same if downward as shooting into a well.
                Joe B

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                • #9
                  aiming high makes the bullet go higer. There is a tendancy for a shooter who is above the target to shoot over the target. It has more to do with the shooter than the weapon. As soon as the bullet leaves the barrel gravity is acting on it.

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                  • #10
                    The moment the bullet exits the barrel it starts falling due to gravity. The distance it falls from a straight trajectory is a function of the distance travelled at a right angle to the gravitational field.. If you shoot at a target 100 yards from the muzzle at 45 degree angle the bullet the bullet travels 70 yards horizontally for every 100 yards of straight line distance, and so the bullet drop would be the same as for a 70 yard horizontal shot. If the rifle was sighted in for a 100 yard zero the bullet would hit high relative to that zero in the same spot as if you were shooting a target horizontally at 70 yards.

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                    • #11
                      this may not sound right buy up hill or down hill you will hit low. a person in a fire fight will tend to shoot high.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rkepler
                        The moment the bullet exits the barrel it starts falling due to gravity. The distance it falls from a straight trajectory is a function of the distance travelled at a right angle to the gravitational field.. If you shoot at a target 100 yards from the muzzle at 45 degree angle the bullet the bullet travels 70 yards horizontally for every 100 yards of straight line distance, and so the bullet drop would be the same as for a 70 yard horizontal shot. If the rifle was sighted in for a 100 yard zero the bullet would hit high relative to that zero in the same spot as if you were shooting a target horizontally at 70 yards.
                        That sounds good, but has a fatal flaw. TIME OF FLIGHT.

                        The bullet falls a certain amount in a given time.

                        The traveled distance is what primarily determines time of flight

                        The angle makes the bullet travel horizontally *effectively* a bit slower than it would otherwise, although it is on its aimed trajectory at normal muzzle velocity. That tends to compensate the shorter linear horizontal distance. But there are other effects

                        obviously shooting straight up, the bullet velocity and resulting range "up" is reduced by gravitational pull, where horizontally velocity is not directly affected. The steeper the angle up the more the effect, which causes the bullet to fall short using normal sights.

                        Shooting DOWN, that is reversed, and gravity 'speeds up" the bullet, reducing the time of flight, and thus the total distance it falls, making it go high if aimed using the normal sights.
                        1601

                        Keep eye on ball.
                        Hashim Khan

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                        • #13
                          If you shoot down hill using the same point of aim over the same distance the shot will be high. If you shoot uphill with the same point of aim the shot will be low.

                          The reason is that when shooting down the bullet is already heading down. It's velocity vector and the gravitational vector added together produce less drop for a given distance than when shooting perpendicular to gravity normal.

                          The opposite holds true for shooting up.
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                          • #14
                            this ain't rocket science. If you shoot up or downhill, at a 45* angle, the force of gravity, on the bullet's path, is reduced by 50%. It's vector algebra. Going uphill, half the force of gravity is slowing the bullet, but the effect of that slowing is less than the reduced force of gravity on the bullet's path, so you shoot high. When shooting downhill at a 45* angle half the force of gravity is speeding the bullet up, and half is pulling the bullet toward the ground. The extra velocity is insignificant, but reducing the pull downward is a big deal, so you shoot high. Anybody who uses guns knows this.
                            Jim

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by IdahoJim
                              this ain't rocket science. If you shoot up or downhill, at a 45* angle, the force of gravity, on the bullet's path, is reduced by 50%
                              You're missing the point of his question: does the bullet travel farther if you shoot from high ground. Not does the bullet go farther if you aim high.
                              "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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