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Judging distances by eyes.. Anyone have a good technique?
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d_hoffman
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 1:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Judging distances by eyes.. Anyone have a good technique? Reply with quote

That is a very good point Bushy. Just something about all those trees throwing off your judgement.

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tracker
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 1:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Judging distances by eyes.. Anyone have a good technique? Reply with quote

Bushmaster wrote:
Remember Tracker...100 yards in the woods looks different to 100 yards on the range... Smile

Yep, when I said what ranges I probably should have said distances again. I almost never practice on a range, I go out in the bush. A million things can make a difference out in the bush, some damn branch starts waving and obstructs part of your view....

Humidity changes can affect your distance judgement too.

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skb2706
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 3:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Judging distances by eyes.. Anyone have a good technique? Reply with quote

On the flat, featureless prairie with few trees and little cover judging distance is more of a farmer thing. What does help us is to know certain common spacing of fence posts, land sections sizes and specific areas we hunt or shoot. ie common powerline spacing can be exactly 100 yds., fence posts at standard rod/chain dimensions.
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gelandangan
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Judging distances by eyes.. Anyone have a good technique Reply with quote

Bushmaster wrote:
Remember Tracker...100 yards in the woods looks different to 100 yards on the range... Smile

My point exactly.. Having practicing on the road where I could measure the distances and then got it all wrong getting in to the bush is a bit disappointing.

As to the count the paces theory, yes I sorta know my paces length but I also know that it changes depending on how tired I am. Early morning when I am fresh, the paces seems to be longer than when getting back to camp in the end of the day.

Using scope reticle for distance judging?
Whenever I use a scoped rifle, I try to shoot only if the kill zone (vital area) could fill at least 1/3 of the inner reticle. That way, I always could count on the pointblank aiming point.

But, not all my rifle have a scope (and I don't think I would put a scope on them either) so I would have to learn and acquire ranging skill by eyeball.

Gelan

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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 9:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Judging distances by eyes.. Anyone have a good technique? Reply with quote

How about one of the ways I used to range my iron sighted Winchester .30-30? I figured that if I could see antlers on the deer he was in range of that rifle...

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gelandangan
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 11:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Judging distances by eyes.. Anyone have a good technique Reply with quote

Bushmaster wrote:
How about one of the ways I used to range my iron sighted Winchester .30-30? I figured that if I could see antlers on the deer he was in range of that rifle...

Thats more like it, the difference is I do not hunt deer much here.
I wonder if I could use the ironsight to cover the chest of the pig or goat.. hmm that is an idea. Thanks Bushy!

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hunterjoe21
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:15 am    Post subject: Re: Judging distances by eyes.. Anyone have a good technique? Reply with quote

Without any crazy furmulas:

We use football fields.

Everyone I know does it

In the woods here, I FF is about as far as you will ever shoot!

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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 8:46 am    Post subject: Re: Judging distances by eyes.. Anyone have a good technique? Reply with quote

Heck Hunterjoe21...In the mountains where I'm from, anything over 35 yards was a long shot. Most of the deer and elk I've shot in the Northwest were under 35 yards. I took one elk at 60 yards. I even took an 8 point Blacktail (eastern count) at 4 yards once...Where I'm at now, here in the Ozarks, I might have a 100 yard (FF) shot. The longest shot I have ever had was just barely under 200 yards...

Those in places like Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Texas, etc will definately have the longest shots to make...

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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Judging distances by eyes.. Anyone have a good technique? Reply with quote

Gelan,

May I ask what kind of cartridges and distances you are really asking about? Even if you know the distance to the target you have to understand where your bullet will be, trajectory-wise, at that distance. The Pointblank software should answer your questions on trajectories. Your assumptions on bullet drop due to gravity are pretty far off. You've got to take into account the initial velocity and the ballistic coefficient of the bullet.

As an example:

A .30-30 with a 150 grain roundnose bullet, zeroed at 100 yards, will be about 9.5" low at 200 yards. At 1000 feet (333.3 yards) the bullet would hit about 45" low.

A .308 with a 150 grain spitzer boat tail bullet, again zeroed at 100 yards, will be about 3.5" low at 200 yards. At 333 yards (1000 feet) the bullet would hit about 16.5" low.

Both bullets are the same diameter and weight but have different shapes and starting velocities.

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gelandangan
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 4:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Judging distances by eyes.. Anyone have a good technique Reply with quote

Pumpkinslinger wrote:
Gelan,

May I ask what kind of cartridges and distances you are really asking about?

Pumps Smile

Although I have the usual 308, 223, 7mm etc, of late my interest shifted to SUBSONICS.
From last year, I have acquired a 300 Whisper (@1100fps), then I get a 45LC (@900fps) and just a few months ago I got myself a 45-70 load that is just beautifully mellow on the shoulder (@1100fps). Also, my favorites, the 22LR is also about 1100fps give or take

Now I reckon if I could get all my loads standardized at say 1100fps, their trajectory would be more or less the same regardless of the caliber or their downrange energy. Therefore, I think I could learn the standard shoot distance and use any gun and I would get the target okay.
Thats easy when the target are close by to say 75 meters away.

However, when I read about such and such hunter that shoots a deer's flea 's backside at 5000 yards distance, I would also like to do the same. Not to the extreme ranges but at least to about 250 meters away.
Here came the trouble, 250 meters (about 750 feet) takes about 3/4 seconds or drops 75cm (about 30 inches away). Having that kind of trajectory, the distance estimates must be very accurate indeed.

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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 6:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Judging distances by eyes.. Anyone have a good technique? Reply with quote

I pretty much doubt that anyone is shooting game at 250 yards with subsonic loads. Now I have shot .45-70 matches out to 500 yards and used a .45 Colt rifle in a match at 400 yards but neither load was subsonic to start with. And I was only shooting a steel plate, not game.

A .22 Long Rifle with a 40 grain bullet, zeroed at 100 yards, is going to be about 74 inches low at 250. A .45-70 with a 400 grain bullet is going to be about 67 inches low. A .300 Whisper with a 190 grain boat tail at 1100 fps (Which would be a greatly reduced load) would be about 58 inches low at 250 yards. Misjudging the distance by 5 yards would cause about a 4" difference in impact. There isn't any "standard" to go by here. I'm still not sure how you're coming up with your figures for bullet drops.

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Vince
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Judging distances by eyes.. Anyone have a good technique Reply with quote

Gidday Gelan. Well mate, I think everyone has covered pretty well every method of range estimation there is. Very Happy Laughing

You are however, actually talking about a couple of different things here. One is distance judging or range estimation, the other is exterior ballistics.

I have to agree with those that suggested the "known distance" method. This is the one they taught us in the Army. Most everyone knows the length of a football field or a swimming pool (100m and 50m respectively), so if you can visualise that distance on the ground then you have a good start to range estimation.

Know your pace length...well number of paces to the 100m. You know where you have just come from, if you have kept a check on the number of paces you have come then you will have a fairly good idea of the distance. You can then apply this "known distance" (you've just walked it) to the distance to target ahead of you. To work out your pacing, take the time...usually a couple of hours... to do some pacing, uphill, downhill, on the flat, amongst the scrub on a measured 200m - 300m...anywhere you are likely to hunt. Count and record the number of paces to each distance then convert this to 100m (divide by 2 or 3 for 200m and 300m). You then know approximately the number of paces you walk to the 100m. If you want to get real fancy, then do the same as if you are stalking, or crawling or duck waddling...whatever you fancy. Main thing is that you practice and get to know your ranges. I average about 120 paces to 100m overall.

If you use a map, then you can use this as a pretty accurate aid to distance judging by applying the map to ground technique of navigating. If you know where you are on the map, and you can identify where the "target" is on the map then all you need do is measure the distance on the map. You will be able to do this very quickly and easily with practice.

As for exterior ballistics...get to know your rifle and your loads. Study the ballistic tables on Point Blank that you have created using your load data. Study the trajectories of your individual loads. Practice shooting at different ranges so that you, again, know your rifle. If you have the area, time and ability to set up your own range with targets in a line at different ranges then you can "prove" your trajectory data, although doing this is pretty extreme (but it sounds good Laughing ).

I think that the main stream of thought that comes out in each and everyones reply here is practice. If you don't practice a technique, regardless of what it is, you will never acquire or perfect it. At the end of the day, the end result is all that matters and anything you can do to achieve that result is good. Remember..."Practice makes Perfect"...and the 7 " P's "... "Prior Preparation and Practice Prevents P!ss Poor Performance"
Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
Rant

Cheers, Vince

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gelandangan
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 11:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Judging distances by eyes.. Anyone have a good technique Reply with quote

Pumpkinslinger wrote:

A .22 Long Rifle with a 40 grain bullet, zeroed at 100 yards, is going to be about 74 inches low at 250. A .45-70 with a 400 grain bullet is going to be about 67 inches low. A .300 Whisper with a 190 grain boat tail at 1100 fps (Which would be a greatly reduced load) would be about 58 inches low at 250 yards. Misjudging the distance by 5 yards would cause about a 4" difference in impact. There isn't any "standard" to go by here. I'm still not sure how you're coming up with your figures for bullet drops.

I think you are right in this matter because there are matters such as sectional density etc added into the calculation. I get my figure from old high school physics (I think Galileo proved something like this in the Tower of Pisa??) the facts that all things fall the same distance over the same time. So naturally, I assume the fall (drop) of a projectile are the same. Silly me.

Vince, I have used the map measurement technique and found it to be the most reliable if you have a good map.

Yes I agree that almost every method has been covered, it is just because I was hoping that someone have some unusual method that I havent tried before so I could try it.

Oh well..
Thanks for the replies everyone.
Now I go back to sleep Very Happy

Gelan

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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 6:01 am    Post subject: Re: Judging distances by eyes.. Anyone have a good technique Reply with quote

Gelan,

The thing is when your talking about bullet drop your Ballistic Co-Efficient comes into play because the higher the BC the slower your bullet will slow down, making it appear that its falling slower then a bullet that acts like a brick in the air and slows down fast.

So if bullet "A" goes a average speed out to 1000 yards at 2400 feet per second, it also at 1000 yards drop approximately, 483 inches in its flight time of 1.25 seconds.

But if bullet "B" goes a average speed out to 1000 yards of 1700 feet per second then at 1000 yards it will have dropped approximately 680 inches in 1.76 seconds of flight to hit the target.

Cause everything drops at a rate of 9.80665m/s or 32.1740ft/s or 386.088in/s (more or less). Smile

Dimitri

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 7:44 am    Post subject: Re: Judging distances by eyes.. Anyone have a good technique Reply with quote

Dimitri wrote:
Cause everything drops at a rate of 9.80665m/s or 32.1740ft/s or 386.088in/s (more or less).

Actually, gravity is a acceleration proposition, so the rate is 9.8m/s/s or 32 ft/s/s.

During the first second, the average rate of descent is 16 fps (using round numbers), so that at the end of the first second, the object attains the speed of 32 fps. This means that in a vacuum, an object dropped 16 feet above sea level would take one second to reach sea level. Dropping from a little higher, at the end of the second second, the velocity would be 64 fps and will have dropped 48 feet.

In terms of exterior ballistics, this is just one factor to take into consideration. There is air resistance, gyroscopic precession, height of the sight, angle of bore axis, and in extreme cases, Coriolis force. The formulae get complicated, but a good study is Hatcher's Notebook. I cut my teeth on exterior ballistics as a wet-behind-the-ears Ensign on a 5"x38 mount on a FRAM II tin can. Sometimes, when things are bigger, they are easier to understand. Especially for hardheads like me.
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