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Thread: Hitting the ground.

  1. #1

    Hitting the ground.

    Some time back there was a posting on here which raised my interest, the person posting was mentioning that the bullet fired from his rifle would have hit the ground in several hundred yards over flat ground.

    This evening I took a few minutes to see just how far a bullet from my 308Win would travel before it hit the ground. I made a lot of assumptions as follows: the muzzle was 5 feet from the ground, the zero was at 200 yards, it was a 150 grain Hornady Spire Point leaving at 2800fps, the target was level with the muzzle, (i.e. the rifle was tilted neither up nor down) the ground was perfectly flat etc.

    However, the 60 inch drop happens in just about 520 yards under those rather artifical assumptions. Changing my zero to a 100 yard zero puts the impact at just over 490 yards so not as much difference there as I would have expected.

    I guess this is of some interest to those who shoot over flat fields and the like and it is certainly of academic interest.

  2. #2
    Probably quite handy to know these figures when you're trying to get your piece of flat ground cleared.
    I wonder whether the angle of impact with the ground would be quite shallow and therefore more likely to result in a ricochet though

    What did you use to work this out?

  3. #3
    I was lazy and used the following:

    Just got it to work out where the 60 inch drop would happen so a very simplified model of what actually happens, it is a good resource though for external ballistics. The angle will be very shallow, I was hoping to avoid any trig but it should be an easy calculation, as basically you are looking at a 60 inch drop in about 500 yards. It would be really interesting to know how a centre fire round behaves when hitting the ground under those circumstances as it will not have a huge amount of energy for deformation and the like. Also a lot of ground we shoot over is likely to be covered in heather and so it isn't just a case of hitting flat ground.

  4. #4
    very interesting .It is probably around the range i thought but must admit i havent thought about the speed the round would still be travelling an how much it could ricochet

  5. #5
    At 500 yds a 150 grn bullet will still be travelling at around 1770 fps and still have around 1050 so still plenty of energy to ricochet i would say so really does bring the importance of a backstop into play at any range

  6. #6
    Just a thought on the flat ground thing. Shooting at a muntjac standing, you are shooting down at it. A fallow, sika, off the elbows or harris bipod. You are elevating the rifle considerably. How far will your bullet travel then?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by mickthebrick View Post
    ......and therefore more likely to result in a ricochet though.........

    Would be interested to hear people's experiences of ricochet - how much of a problem is it and when?


  8. #8
    A few years ago I was responsibe for shooting deer in a park, the owner butchered them himself and sold the venison through the farm shop/markets.
    All shots were taken about 40-60yrds from a vehicle, quite often after the first shot the deer would herd up {approx 80] so you'd wait a couple of mins and they'd start to graze again and you could pick out another animal and get another clear shot. Whenever possible I'd head shoot, and I used a moderated 243.

    It was amazing after a few months in , I started to find shrapnel under the skin when skinning deer, and when watching them you'd see a beast looking a little under the weather, after skinning it you'd find small wounds.

    After this I put up 4 high seats just to get a downwards angle and that seemed to stop the problem. I'm sure that when culling in big herds deer are inadvertantly getting wounded.

    I've mistakingly killed 2 deer with one bullet has pass through one and hit another, I know plenty of others have had the same. The trouble is that once the bullet has hit it's first obstacle be it ground branch , deer it's impossible to tell what it'll do.

    I remeber shooting seals out at sea in calm weather , you could shoot one and then seconds later you'd see a splash 100's of yrds behind, dangerous stuff it gave me one hell of a fright.

    My brother once when spotlighting rabbits shot a rabbit out in front of the landrover , he hadn't taken account of the stone dyke behind the rabbit, the bullet bounced back and through the rover windscreen, he handed in his fac the next day and hasn't shot since[16yrs ago]

  9. #9
    This reminds me of firing my .22 air rifle on a still piece of river (40 years ago). If the pellet struck first 50+ yds upstream, you could see it hit the water 3 or 4 times more out to ~400yds before it would finally hit the water and sink. The was a <12ftlb BSA Meteor.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by techman View Post
    Just a thought on the flat ground thing. Shooting at a muntjac standing, you are shooting down at it. A fallow, sika, off the elbows or harris bipod. You are elevating the rifle considerably. How far will your bullet travel then?
    Assuming my 308 load and a target at 200 yards with the rifle zeroed at 200 yards and the target 3 feet above the muzzle with the muzzle on a bipod 9 inches above the ground then you are looking at hitting the ground at about 665 yards if my logic is correct.

    That is a pretty long way if you don't have a backstop and, of course, as others have pointed out doesn't allow for any strange behaviour on the part of the bullet.

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