Rangefinder and wind calls

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by okie man, Apr 13, 2019.


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  1. okie man

    okie man Well-Known Member

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    So as i'm developing my long range hunting skills I got too thinking. Most of my hunting last 20 years has been in places with relatively flat terrain. I grew up hunting out west in more mountain areas before long range shooting and hunting was common. Now I'm getting ready too head out west again. So here is where my question is heading. So lets say I'm on top of a ridge, I have a animal somewhere around 500 yards below me. The use of angle compensating rangefinder tells me that with my rifle and load I need too hold for 400 yards too compensate for the downhill angle. I have a 10 mph wind crossing left too right. My wind chart says hold 2.5moa into the wind at 400 yards, but the animal is farther away. Not being totally sure how far away, how do I figure a accurate hold?
     
    26Reload likes this.
  2. entoptics

    entoptics Well-Known Member

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    My Bushnell has an option to show the "shoot to" distance AND the true distance at the same time. What brand/model do you have?

    Most angle compensating units will display at least two pieces of information (e.g. True distance + angle, or "shoot to" + angle). If that's the case, you could use a simplified pythagorean theorem chart, or perhaps a simple calculator on a smart phone to get the true distance. I'm a geologist, and I actually use this technique to measure the height of terrain in the field using a spreadsheet app. Only takes a few seconds to input the two values and get a measurement for any leg of the triangle, depending on how you solve the pythagorean theorem.
     
  3. okie man

    okie man Well-Known Member

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    Currently I have an older Leupold rx-2, my next purchase is gonna be a more suitable unit geared too long range hunting. Leica is what I've been shopping . I've just never seen a unit that gives both line of sight and angle compensated range at same time.
     
  4. entoptics

    entoptics Well-Known Member

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    Just googled a bit, and your instrument might actually be capable of showing both.

    https://www.manualslib.com/manual/291154/Leupold-Rx.html?page=20#manual

    In this manual, which appears to include the RX-II model, on page 20 it shows the display, and the TBR is the upper large set of numbers (335 in this example), and in the lower right, it displays the LOS distance (400). Perhaps your range finder setting can be changed to show this?
     
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  5. okie man

    okie man Well-Known Member

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    I'm gonna try it and see if it works. Thanks
     
  6. BallisticsGuy

    BallisticsGuy Well-Known Member

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    You hold wind for the distance covered by the hypotenuse (in your example, 500 yards). Wind is a time of flight dependent adjustment.

    The fact of the matter is you're getting into the weeds. The question is meaningless in the real world of everyday experience with game animals. High angle shots in the real universe tend to be pretty short range because it's really hard to have a slope a quarter mile long with absolutely zero obstructions.

    1. You just don't find high angle AND long range shots outside of urban environments that often. It's usually one or the other.

    2. The average long range shooter (and I mean who's actually reasonably skilled at long range) will make a wind call that will be off by far more than the difference between 100 yards of distance in all but the most horrifyingly strong winds. At 10mph wind speed the difference between wind at 400 and wind at 500 is going to be about 1 click, maybe 2.

    3. To make a 20% difference in drop range vs. actual horizontal range like that you're looking at a shot taken at nearly 30 degrees of angle. To achieve 30 degrees of angle of fire and have 500 yards to your target on the slope and 400 yards of actual horizontal distance, you're shooting down a slope that's seriously steep, long and rare.

    Side note: You know the best way to get within 60 yards of the cloven hoofed ruminant of your dreams? Go out prepared to take one at 1000 yards and only look for them at long range. Works like a charm.
     
  7. Canhunter35

    Canhunter35 Well-Known Member

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    You would have to have some serious angle to have a lot of difference in range. It would only happen in the mountains I would think.
    The bigger question, if ur rocking an inclination or declination that much is how the terrain is affecting the wind throughout the bullets flight
     
  8. okie man

    okie man Well-Known Member

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    I like you're side note. I've taken close too 100 big game animals. All but a handful have been taken within 50 yards, all bow kills, and only one over 300, a 425 yard rifle kill. Now coyotes are a different story! 3 yards to over 600 yards.
     
  9. 26Reload

    26Reload Well-Known Member

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    I like this question....the brutal truth is...the windage call is a guess...
    When this guy got on the train over here did he make it to his destination on time vs mph......hell no.....when you leave your house on time to get to work and you say it only takes 20 minutes....does that include the people in front of you waiting longer at the intersection.......the stalled car....hell no....
    You may make the perfect trip once.....but most likely be off every time....
    Best scenario....got out and shoot at exactly this situation....work it out...have it in your head.....
    I would gladly waste a bunch of time, money, and supplies to obtain the idea of what I would need to do....
    And if you don't have the crosswind or it is stronger...play with the numbers(moa windage)........
    I take my 22 single six to the range and shoot in the wind, without the wind, whenever......its a lot easier to hit the target without the wind......lol....

    I bet Lens shooting class in the hills has something very close to your situation...
     
  10. Danny Butler

    Danny Butler Well-Known Member

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    Okie man.... trust your ballistics calculator.... I’ve argued with mine more times than not...it trumped me every time..
     
  11. del2les

    del2les Well-Known Member

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    Living and hunting in the Rockies of CO, I and others encounter these more often than most. Goats, sheep, elk, deer and even marmots can be encountered at long ranges and high angles. A few of my past kills have been 599 to 890 yards at angles from 30 to 55 degrees. It is not uncommon for me to step out on a mtn rock outcropping to be overlooking a deep valley or across a steep canyon with elk grazing beyond 1,000 and at fairly steep angles, or to be glassing for sheep at angles well exceeding 60 degrees up.

    One area I regularly hunt has a valley with a creek and vegetation that routinely attracts game, and the angles can exceed 60 degrees. Then there are the elk wintering sage brush areas around Gunnison where one can see for miles from the numerous high hills (short mtns to most) and can encounter many steep angles at long to ELR.

    So, it depends on where one hunts as to what angles may be encountered and how long the shots can be.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
  12. josef

    josef Member

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    This is why ballistic calculators typically want your line of sight distance and your inclination. The bullet is effected by wind (winage hold) over your line of sight distance but it is effected by gravity (elevation hold) by your “shoot to distance” (Leupold’s Tbr, Sig’s AMR, etc). If you’re using an lrf with applied ballistics it will compensate for both.

    Determining your wind value to enter is the real skill and what separates the men from the boys in long range shooting.
     
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  13. dfanonymous

    dfanonymous Well-Known Member

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    You use you 500y dope for the wind, not your slope dope
     
    Dog Rocket likes this.
  14. JTComfort

    JTComfort Member

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    [QUOTE} Side note: You know the best way to get within 60 yards of the cloven hoofed ruminant of your dreams? Go out prepared to take one at 1000 yards and only look for them at long range. Works like a charm.[/QUOTE]

    Amen to that. I was ready for angle up, angle down and anything out to a comfortable 400 yards w/my '06. Ended up after 5 days of hard hunting over hill-dale-butte and draw, my bull crossed out path 30 yards in front and was taken at 55 yards, broadside. We were less than 500 yards from the truck!