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Lawyer and Gun Activist
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For really long distance shooting, like 1000 yards, it's important to know EXACTLY how far the target is.

Suppose a military sniper is tasked to shoot two enemy sentries that are guarding a parked MiG-29 at some air base. The spotter ranges the distance with a laser rangefinder, using the metal flashing at the base of the bubble canopy to get a good reflection to fix the distance.

It's 1000 yards exactly.

"Great" the sniper says. "I'm all dialed in for 1000 yards. I'll just run the dope for temperature, air pressure, wind, etc..... okay, I'm ready. Now I should be able to use a dead-on hold."

The sniper takes aim at the head of the sentry who is positioned under the tip of the aircraft's port-side wing. Perfect squeeze.... BANG.... and the round goes right over the sentry's head, ricochets off the wing, and cracks the Plexiglas canopy.

The other sentry, on the fair side of the plane, crouches behind the starboard side landing gear. His head is visible, but his body is behind the wheel, tire, and landing gear strut.

The sniper 1000 yards away has a rock-steady hold, gets a perfect trigger break, and sends a round downrange with the crosshairs over the enemy's ear.
CLANK! The bullet hits the titanium wheel hub. That shot was several inches low!


Distance measurement.

The spotter of the sniper team said it was 1000 yards, but he didn't clarify it was to that particular spot on the left side of the fuselage.
The first sentry to be shot at was 30 feet closer than that, at the tip of the nearest wing.
The other sentry was 20 feet farther than that.

Can as little as 10 yards of distance make a real difference at 1000 yards?
That's only 1% of the total yardage?

But, it actually does matter.

A rifle sighted-in for 1000 yards can be several inches high at 990 yards, and a foot low at 1015 yards.

Find a ballistics calculator and run the numbers yourself.
Use popular long-range rifle calibers like .308, .30-06, 7.62 x 54R, the new 6.5 Creedmoor, or the .300 Win Mag.

2,967 Posts
I’ve fiddled with the jbm calculator and found it to be pretty accurate. Play with the wind numbers and it becomes interesting.
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