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Thread: Shooting at angles, downhill and uphill

  1. #1

    Shooting at angles, downhill and uphill

    I have just returned from an excellent 4 day trip to the Highlands, where I was stalking hinds. It is the same ground that I have been going to for the last few years, so I know it reasonably well.

    Due to the weather conditions and swirling wind, we found ourselves having to shoot at aggressive angles both uphill and downhill. I had three clean kills out of four, the first beast required a coup de grace which upset me as nobody likes a botched shot.

    In the first instance, we came across a group of 8 hinds with calfs. After a careful stalk we got into position about 120 meters above the deer at an angle of 45%. My .308 is zeroed at 100 meters with 168gr HPBT and I use a Harris Bipod. I placed the cross hairs on the base of her shoulder and the first shot went over her back, a clear miss. As she stood still I composed myself for a second shot this time aiming lower; now I shot her in the lower shoulder. A second hind came running uphill and stopped 70 meters from me. After a roar she raised her head and I shot her in the neck and she dropped like a stone.

    The first beast had to be humanely dispatched, but I still dont understand why the first shot drifted so high above her, the second went so low. I dont remember pulling the shot and the rest of my shots were on song.

    I am now thinking of investing in a cosine indicator. Does anybody use one? Up until now, I have been using angle indicator on my I Phone

  2. #2
    If you are shooting either up or down hill, the shot will go HIGH in both instances! Pure physics. It will be prounounced on a relatively slow round such as a .308 too!
    MS

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Conor1 View Post
    I have just returned from an excellent 4 day trip to the Highlands, where I was stalking hinds. It is the same ground that I have been going to for the last few years, so I know it reasonably well.

    Due to the weather conditions and swirling wind, we found ourselves having to shoot at aggressive angles both uphill and downhill. I had three clean kills out of four, the first beast required a coup de grace which upset me as nobody likes a botched shot.

    In the first instance, we came across a group of 8 hinds with calfs. After a careful stalk we got into position about 120 meters above the deer at an angle of 45%. My .308 is zeroed at 100 meters with 168gr HPBT and I use a Harris Bipod. I placed the cross hairs on the base of her shoulder and the first shot went over her back, a clear miss. As she stood still I composed myself for a second shot this time aiming lower; now I shot her in the lower shoulder. A second hind came running uphill and stopped 70 meters from me. After a roar she raised her head and I shot her in the neck and she dropped like a stone.

    The first beast had to be humanely dispatched, but I still dont understand why the first shot drifted so high above her, the second went so low. I dont remember pulling the shot and the rest of my shots were on song.

    I am now thinking of investing in a cosine indicator. Does anybody use one? Up until now, I have been using angle indicator on my I Phone
    0.6" high @100 yrds , shooting up hill @ 45 degree ,. check out http://www.jbmballistics.com/cgi-bin/jbmtraj-5.1.cgi

  4. #4

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Driveby Stalker View Post
    0.6" high @100 yrds , shooting up hill @ 45 degree ,. check out http://www.jbmballistics.com/cgi-bin/jbmtraj-5.1.cgi
    That's what I was thinking..deffo not enough for a clean miss..you must have screwed it up mate

  6. #6
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    The amount of deviation you're describing suggests to me that there's more to this than slope. e.g:

    Do you tape the muzzle of your rifle to keep water/sleet/snow out?

    Are you sure there was no heather or other obstruction nearby when you took the shots?

  7. #7
    The barrel was clear and we removed some vegetation. I understand the physics and I thought the difference would only be about an inch at most. It must have been shooter error but I normally know whe n i have pulled a shot! Thanks for the replies

  8. #8
    The differance sub 100m will be negligable particularly on red deer with the size off kill zone they have.

    Dave

  9. #9
    Conor

    Another couple of points to ponder:
    1 Where does your first cold bore shot normally go? High?
    2 When you are well above the deer, you are seeing the spine of the deer and not the normal profile of the animal, so hitting the spine becomes a possibility.
    3 As commented already, aim low shooting up and down hill. I botched a sika calf recently because I was very close and very above it, and a second shot was required.
    4 I wouldn't zero a .308 at 100yds, I probably would have it shooting 1.5 inches high at 100yds.
    5 You don't say what kind of scope, reticle or magnification was used, but that might shed some light on what happened too.
    6 I enjoy shooting deer from above, you can relax and watch them at their leisure on many occasions.
    7 Don't buy a cosine indicator, but do practice.
    8 The hind is in the larder, well done.

    Good sport next time out. Rgds JCS

  10. #10
    You also need to think 3-dimensionally. If you want to hit the heart of an animal which is below you then you need to aim slightly higher as the heart is in the centre of the animal. But the shot will go slightly high anyway so it almost negates the difference!
    Conversely, if you want to hit the heart of an animal which is above you, you need to aim slightly lower than normal. However your shot will then go slightly high again so in this case you need to be even lower!
    I would say that the aiming point due to the aspect of the animal is more critical than allowing for trajectory shift due to elevation angles issues.
    MS

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