Does shooting up hill or down hill matter when zeroing a weapon?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by davethehiker, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. davethehiker

    davethehiker

    Messages:
    2,221
    Likes Received:
    4,436
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2015
    I have been shooting on my personal firing range at steel targets for about three years. My targets are normally about 35 to 40 feet from where I stand. My favorite weapons are .40 caliber Glock 23 and my 10mm Glock 29. Recently I have trying to shot live groundhogs out my bathroom window. I got one but have been missing more than I thought I would. When I spotted the groundhogs, It did not look very far, just a little further than my steel gongs. The groundhogs are roughly the same size as my gongs. Today I measured the distance from the window to where the groundhogs like to stand. It's 62 feet, point to point.. (More than I thought.) There is another difference. When I'm in my third story bathroom, I'm shooting down hill at the animals who are about two stories below me. When I'm shooting at my targets, I'm shooting slightly up hill. Does up-hill vs. down-hill make a difference?

    I could place a target at 62 feet but the hill side is getting steep that far away. I'm be shooting upwards about one story.

    I could re-zero my RMR red dot sights in for 62 feet from down on my firing range. Maybe I should place a cardboard box where the groundhogs like to stand and zero the weapon from where I'll be shooting from. I'm trying to minimize the noise I make in house.

    Edit#######
    I have attached a photo of my range and a photo of my sniper window. It's the left most window near the roof line.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
  2. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

    Messages:
    24,631
    Likes Received:
    44,019
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2000
    Location:
    Florida
    Yes, it does make a difference. At pistol ranges you are shooting, not so much.

    I would just place a target where they like to gather together and make sure you know where the rounds hit on that target from where you are shooting.

    wp
     
    BradD and XDRoX like this.

  3. 2bgop

    2bgop

    Messages:
    10,509
    Likes Received:
    5,230
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2006
    Location:
    In the SEC
    This.

    At the distances you are shooting, it won't matter a ton, but if you know pretty close to where you are going to be shooting, just replicate it.
     
  4. G29guy06

    G29guy06

    Messages:
    8,992
    Likes Received:
    9,041
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2016
    Location:
    DC area
    ....no, the angle doesn't matter- your platform does though...

    If you are firing downhill esp it is very easy to sneak up and look 'over' the sights vs through them...so whether firing up hill/ down hilll or level, it doesn't exactly 'matter' but it may make it more challenging
     
    XDRoX likes this.
  5. cowboywannabe

    cowboywannabe you savvy?

    Messages:
    23,474
    Likes Received:
    8,348
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2001
    tagged for the tricks on shooting up hill and down hill at say 100 yards.... up hill aim higher, down hill aim lower?
     
  6. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

    Messages:
    31,127
    Likes Received:
    26,053
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2000
    Location:
    Upstate NY, USA
    At 62 feet, it should make about the same difference as having your barrel lightly oiled on the first shot.
     
  7. O'Conner

    O'Conner

    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    27
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2000
    Location:
    Mars
    It's trig, whether you are shooting downhill or uphill, you will have to aim lower because the gravity component (horizontal) is shorter than the hypotenuse.

    Realistically it won't matter much but if you are shooting very small targets/very accurate platform and are trying to hold it to a minute of a gnat, it will show up.

    This is assuming you are a machine and hold 100% on target in both situations.

    Waiting for the resident math whizzes to pop up.
     
  8. G29guy06

    G29guy06

    Messages:
    8,992
    Likes Received:
    9,041
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2016
    Location:
    DC area
    ....and if you're minute target and MOA are that important- yo pistol is the wrong choice...
     
    BradD likes this.
  9. inthefrey

    inthefrey Moved on...

    Messages:
    8,547
    Likes Received:
    5,452
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Location:
    The Nearest Parallel Dimension
  10. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

    Messages:
    24,631
    Likes Received:
    44,019
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2000
    Location:
    Florida
    No tricks; this is why you study trig in high school. :supergrin:

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/shooting_uphill.htm

    wp
     
    inthefrey likes this.
  11. elsolo

    elsolo

    Messages:
    7,004
    Likes Received:
    2,819
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2003
    Location:
    Fargo, ND
    Cosine correction, look it up.
     
  12. TBO

    TBO Why so serious? CLM

    Messages:
    61,592
    Likes Received:
    62,450
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    1504 South 7th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55454
    A treadmill will help compensate for this.

    Sent from my Jackboot using Copatalk
     
  13. huskerbuttons

    huskerbuttons

    Messages:
    10,620
    Likes Received:
    29,606
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Location:
    SW Ohio
    Just fire off 2 shots from your double barreled shotgun while standing on the deck. That will scare all evil critters away. Just ask uncle joe.
     
    IamtheNRA, scout1 and G30SF/F-250 like this.
  14. oldman11

    oldman11

    Messages:
    5,536
    Likes Received:
    2,825
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    Location:
    Texas
    Exactly. But at 20 yards, not much at all.
     
    BradD likes this.
  15. cowboywannabe

    cowboywannabe you savvy?

    Messages:
    23,474
    Likes Received:
    8,348
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2001
    I already knew the rule of thumb is to aim lower. I was hoping a poindexter on here could 'splain why it is so for us unwashed masses. :smoking:
     
  16. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

    Messages:
    24,631
    Likes Received:
    44,019
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2000
    Location:
    Florida
    splaining is in my chuckhawks link.

    wp
     
  17. davethehiker

    davethehiker

    Messages:
    2,221
    Likes Received:
    4,436
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2015
    Thank you everyone for all the great responses. I going to use some of the information I learned here and make some adjustments and changes.
    1) I'm going to switch to my 10mm and put my longer 6 inch match barrel with true rifling.
    My thinking is that with higher velocity rounds gravity will less time to act on it and introduce less of an error?
    2) I'll zero it in for 62 feet on my pistol range firing up hill, to keep the noise out of house as a courtesy to my wife.
    3) I'll then place a target at the place the groundhog like to hang out and shoot down from the window to how much of a difference it makes.
    4) I'll make any needed adjustments to my red dot sights, or maybe I just apply some Kentucky windage.
     
  18. Batesmotel

    Batesmotel

    Messages:
    20,963
    Likes Received:
    16,183
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Utah
    John Plaster had an excellent article on this if you can find it. Up or down, aim low. And he explains why, with the math. But this is for precision rifle distances. For pistol distances the difference is negligible.
     
    APERS and DJ Niner like this.
  19. phil evans

    phil evans

    Messages:
    953
    Likes Received:
    187
    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    austin tx
    Never shoot over.
    Always shoot for fur.
     
  20. Caver 60

    Caver 60

    Messages:
    8,963
    Likes Received:
    9,162
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest
    Do you have your handgun sighted in with a six O'Clock hold or a center hold?

    With a center hold, the round strikes right on top of the front sight post,. If so, then I'd suggest re-sighting your weapon for a six O'Clock hold. I.E. the bullet strikes about 3 inches or so above the top of the front sight post at your given range.

    As someone said, at handgun ranges, it doesn't make that much difference up hill or downhill. Although the trig guys are correct. The difference in drop is the same, up hill or downhill.

    I used a center hold for years, until I started shooting moving targets. I then found myself consistently hitting low on moving targets. When I re-sighted my handguns to a six O'Clock hold, I began to hit moving targets.

    Your natural tendency is, to not want to blot out part of the moving target with the front sight post. So you hold low when you're not thinking about it. I believe this is why the military (at least when I was in the service) taught a six O'clock hold. I certainly found a six O'Clock hold, helped me hit small moving targets with my handguns. JMHO