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Ballistics Class--What should be included?

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by AAshooter, Jun 13, 2004.

  1. AAshooter

    AAshooter

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    I am considering developing a 1 day ballistics class. The target audience would be the "average hunter".

    The thought would be to quickly review the basics of ammunition and then get into practical ballistics using a combination of lecture, exercises and range work.

    We would apply this to hunting situation and discuss compensating for things like distance, windage, shooting up hill and down hill. During range work we would have them sight in a rifle and do some practical exercises.

    What else should be included? If you are a novice hunter, what would you like to learn? If you are an experienced hunter, what are the key things to teach less experienced hunters about ballistics?

    What good reference materials do you recommend?

    All opinions/ideas welcome!
     
  2. noway

    noway

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    Interesting post, I'm surprise that nobody has jump in with any opinions

    First question is what your definition of "an avg hunter"? I don't think you're ballistic class would cover 2 identical hunter since so many variables would exist involing different hunting methods, calibers of guns/rifles,distance, type of loads, etc......

    Learning the anatomy or the game to be taken, shot placement, concealment, and loads selection would be much better for a novice hunter IMHO, and a hunter should be during the off-season learning his/her "particular' ballistic of the weapon/load that they will use and also practicing this on the range light years before the season actually starts.

    just my 0.02c
     

  3. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    There are a few different types of shots I take for all the game I hunt.

    Small game (jackrabbits, squirrels, etc) Distance, windage and all that doesn't come into play too much. The main thing is quick offhand snap shots.

    Predators (coyotes, bobcat, fox, etc) These are sometimes the hardest shots I have to make. Different sitting positions both from the ground and off a stool. Small target, sometimes walking, and fast decisions on the shot. When they're inside 100 yards it's more of a quick shot game. If it's windy and I have to hunt more open ground then windage, distance, elevation come into play.

    Big game (deer and larger) I've only ever hunted deer so far. Heavier recoiling guns, either off a rest or shooting sticks. Distance is probably the main factor.

    I never had to make different elevation shots back east, but out here in the west it's something I had to learn. I think the most iportant thing to teach is the ethics of a shot. Not just a bullseye, but a full silhouette. It will help them get an idea of how the average target animal will look in thier scope at various distances, but if they pull a shot and hit a deer/coyote in the *** you can drive home the point that they just wounded an animal.

    Gunsite runs a hunting course. I've never been, but they have a walk through course each student runs through. Full size targets of various critters pop up (controlled by an instructor) and the student is expected to make the shot. It puts in all of aspects of a hunting shot. Estimate distance, wind and elevation, get into position, calm down and make the shot the first time.
     
  4. AAshooter

    AAshooter

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    All good points. It is very difficult to define the average hunter. Further, it is very hard to define the hunter that would attend such a class. I would imagine it would be quite a range (no pun intended).
     
  5. AAshooter

    AAshooter

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    Good summary typical situations.
     
  6. FullClip

    FullClip NRA Benefactor CLM

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    Think the key word is "Ballistic". Big differance between teaching hunting or shooting technics and ballistics. With hunting and shooting you can coach, offer advice and such, but the outcome depends much upon the students talent.
    Ballistics is pure physics, no philosophy, skill or technics involved. Break out the calculator and pocket protector stuff.
    However, if you are targeting hunters, then concentrate on how ballistics can help them in choosing a cartridge, realizing it limitations and suitablility for the job and how sighting in at a certain range will allow dead-on holds for most distances in which they will encounter game. How it can help sight in thier rifles much faster with less shots expended.
    Have talked with many very experianced and succesful hunters who have no idea of trajectory, rifling twist speed, or such. It's not something they really need to know. However when you can walk them through how to calculate the recoil of thier old thirty-thirty and define "point blank range", the sharper ones will show a lot of interest for maybe no other reason than to be able to back-up some of the many arguments and semi-lies told at deer camp.
    Being a rather lousy or unlucky hunter myself, I've taken a little refuge in the geekier end of the sport. It doesn't put any more meat in the freezer or help me shoot off-hand any better, but is fun to pass on and especially when you encounter a youngster who is developing an intrest in firearms, but doesn't understand the practical aspect of his algebra homework yet.
    Remember the old Mr. Jones is traveling at 50 miles per hour and Mr. White is driving 60 miles per hour, stuff??? Think it would have been a lot more intersting for me if it were more like, a barrel has a 1:10 twist and muzzle velocity is 3,500 FPS. What is the RPM of the bullet at 100 yards?? Doubt if it will ever make it into a public school text book, but know it would hold the kids interest a lot longer.
    Sorry, I digress.. Best of luck with the class.