Angle Shooting

An underappreciated skill.


Learn and practice now.

16 responses to “Angle Shooting

  1. Good stuff. Every long gun I shoot has an angle consign indicator. I live in volcano country. I’ve got a very special range for uphill down hill shooting. It’s an old volcano tube, that’s blown out on one side. The valleys 4500 ft, and the volcano,tops like 5600 altitude.

    When shooting off the top the angles are extreme. Extreme training makes for interesting situations. While we might be shooting a 1000 feet plus, down,,what makes it a bitch is that your laying in jagged lava rock, cuts the shit out of you,,and fucking trashes gear. Which is why we train their.

    This uphill downhill should be Ingrained into anybody who’s serious about long ranges shootings, head. This is the bread and butter. To this day I’m amused. Some very senior shooters come play with us. They range it, dial their dope and never think twice about slope doping it. Press the trigger and about shit their pants when they miss by large distances.

    I’m to the point that I don’t say anything, I just tap my angle cosine indicator mounted center scope. That usually clues them in to their mistake.

    One is limited to be shooting off a bench at known distance. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good place to learn what your rifles about.

    At The end of the day, the real test is determining what you, the shooter are all about. Humping these old volcanos is a mother fucker, and I’m getting to old for that shit, I’ve got to many after market parts in my body now.

    Even carrying minimal gear gases me anymore. I’ve spent the years trying to,make my equipment do double duty, I use Lieca range finding binos, at 2600.00 their very very good at both tasks. Their are better on the market I just chose this route as it fits my specific needs.

    use the same pod for rifle and spotting scope work, when I,gotta move distances. Their are times that a separate tripod are the solution to the equation and helps make the trig angles easier. My tripod is lite weight goes from 6 inchs to standing, which I use when shooting off of a van roof or truck bed. It’s also a padded vice which holds the rifle independent of me. A great tool in specific enviorments, but not all. Zero cover.

    A mans got to,work on his weaknesses. We tend to train at the parts were reasonable successful at. Most don’t work on their weaknesses. I do often. Right hand left hand shooting. Are critical to me. To 600/800 left hand I’m GTG, after that I need work.

    Also with a few aftermarket parts in my lower body, I have a real tough time squatting and shooting, like I suck at it. It’s some thing I work on often. Also kneeling and shooting. My rifles are all 14/18 pounders big barrels and big optics, add a can to each, and your holding a nice chunk of metal. All my barrels are 26, some longer.

    I use a lot of tools, tree hooks, para cord, pack, or my bipod. Which I refer to as my rifle kick stand. Also the tripod.

    Lastly it’s been my observation that 98 percent of the shooters I’ve shot with go,for the easy shot position, even knowing their exposed, or their rifles exposed.

    I once had a sniper instructor, smack my barrel after I put the barrel thru a tree V and didn’t control the opposite side of the tree. A tough lesson, but effective, never done that again. I tend to set up farther back then most, and in angles that a counter sniper would typically overlook.

    Sorry I just love this long range stuff. Makes me happy.

    I’ll shut up now.


    • Keep rocking, brother.

    • I wish I was your neighbor, Dirk. I’d love to keep you company. 🙂

    • lastmanstanding

      You go bro…sharing good shit is well…good shit.

      We all need to be happy now and then. I’m developing a walk in the mountains that sounds a bit similar to what you have.

      No telling when all that good shit will come in really handy.

  2. Forgot to mention that our high end kestrel shoot computers do the up/ down trig for you. I know I’m getting lazy. If your a two man team, the shooter reviews ACI numbers and the spotter plugs it in.

    If your alone you do all the dope work alone. I actually learned on one of the origional slope dopers, a piece of string tied to a piece of cardboard, with angles inscribed on it. No ACIs back then.

    The dope sloper was actually very effective.


  3. Living and hunting in the mountains, I could never explain why you have to adjust your point of aim like that. Just that, if you don’t, it will make the difference between meat on the table and eating vegetables without meat.

  4. Several of the decent laser rangefinders can be programmed to give you the actual distance, and the simulated distance based on angles and round selection, to put you on your target.
    But doing the trig, or at least knowing how, and having the angleator, gives you choices if some of your kit packs it in at an inopportune moment.

    • Yes, the computers and range fimders are pretty damned slick anymore. In fact my kestrel just took a dump. Need to order the new version. I was recently playing with a new Sig RF, was ranging accurately to 1200 with zero problems.

      Their are some pretty slick analog ” slide ruler ” set ups aswell. They generally use the density altitude trig. I’ve got those analog slide rulers as back ups.

      Also have range cards, exceptable but not nuts.

      I was going to tell you guys that we paint our targets road paint yellow. We’ve learned that as the sun rise and falls the perception of the color cchanges, their are times in the day, we’re looking directly at targets, kknowing there their and unable to detect them.

      Can’t explain the illusion, but we’ve learned to incorporate it into our training.
      I like shot that fuck with my mind.

      We have a target at roughly 610 y. At a glance it appears to,be standing on a closer rock ledge. The truth of the matter is its a couple hundred yards past the rock ledge. When you shoot, your dropping the bullet over the ridge to achieve hits. Wicked illusion. We had a group of Rangers out here a summer ago, well two and they were just pulling their hair out over this shot.

      I call this one Trick Fuck.


  5. Both those articles reference “The Rifleman’s Rule”, where you shoot like its a shorter shot. This is a quick and dirty method that will get you very close out to 500 yards or so, depending on your cartridge.

    The ACI is really a good tool for this because it just gives the cosine of the angle. We don’t really care what the angle is in degrees, we just need to know the cosine of the angle.

    500 yards x cosine of 30 deg (.866) = dial for a 433 yd shot. With my .308 Winchester, I would hit 3″ low using this method. Close enough.

    At 600 yards we’d dial for 520yds, and hit 6″ low. Probably close enough.

    At 700 yards we’d dial for 606 yds, and hit 10.5″ low. Still on a bad guy.

    At 800 yards we’d dial for 693 yds, and hit 16″ low. Holding center mass, you might hit him in the nuts.

    At 900 yards we’d dial for 779 yds, and hit 26″ low. Getting ugly.

    At 1000 yards, 39″ Low. Possibility we could skip a bullet off the ground and hit him in the nuts or something, but you get the idea.

    At a 60 deg angle, it gets worse quicker, although we are still pretty good to 600 yards, depending on the size of our target.

    When we have time, or the distance is farther, or the angle steeper, (or all 3)- a much more precise way is to multiply our DOPE, instead of the range, x the cosine of the angle.

    Our 500 yard DOPE is 12.2 MOA
    cos of 30 deg is .866

    12.2 x .866 = 10.6 MOA
    Correct DOPE is 10.1 MOA

    We’ll hit 2.5 inches high.

    Lets skip to 1000 yards.
    Our 1000 yd DOPE is 41.3 MOA
    cos of 30 deg is .866

    41.3 x .866 = 35.75 MOA
    Correct dope is 35.4 MOA

    We’ll hit 3.5″ high at 1000 yds.

    So we’re about 3-ish inches high, all the way to 1000 yds, I’ll take that, for not having/needing/using a computer.

    It may seem complicated, but if you just look at your ACI (or your Slope Doper) and say, “I need 97% of my DOPE”, or 95%, or 87%, for this shot, it gets simpler (to me at least)

  6. BTW, this is part of the reason I dont want a laser rangefinder to give me the “ballistic range”- Because although we hold or dial elevation as if it were a shorter shot, we still have to hold wind for the whole distance.

    I love this shit too 🙂

    • Max, I agree I like guns and gun people. I love long range guns and long range shooters. Truly a different breed of cat.

      Any all you guys are welcome here, need a little lead time, for logistics, and to clear the calender. My uphill down hill range is actually in Modoc County my old turf. Bitchen country, rouged tough nasty high dessert, with lava rock on top of lava rock.

      I use to trash a pair of Danner ” Go Devils” boots every year. How the Modoc tribe moved thru this rock in moccasins was amazing.

      The range mentioned is right out the back gate to the Lava Beds National Monument, if your interested. Truly gods country.

      again you are ALL welcome here.


    • It’s not just the correction for horizontal distance. The bullet still traverses the full distance, which means it is slowing down more, than it would if you were shooting the calculated horizontal distance on a flat range. So not only is there a correction in windage according to the full range, but there is also another correction for drop according to the full range. Ballistics programs can take this into account, but rangefinders that sense the angle and give the readout in horizontal distance cannot, since they know nothing about bullet velocity, BC, etc. (that I know of – I’ve never played with one).

  7. I love this shit too! Maybe too much.
    I’m also am very fond of my Sig rangefinder that does all the math for me. I know, I know…what if it dies or i lose it? Anywhere near me is flat or damn near it. If I had to work in a hilly area I’d get a second one. 2 is 1, 1 is none and all that.

  8. NorthGunner

    Good info all around!
    Boston T. Party mentioned this subject in his ‘Gun Bible’..definitely
    not something that a lot of shooters take into consideration.

    Here’s a link to a tool that he talked about:

    ACI’s and mounts
    (lots of other great things there too!)

    Hope that helps!

    Yours in Daily Armed Liberty!
    NorthGunner III

  9. I don’t believe using a rangefinder/clinometer is a weakness. Before using one I like to guess what the range/angle might be then check myself. I have improved my estimation ability on both fronts since I first started many years ago. (My work used to involve running equipment on steep ground, being paid by the acre.)
    Just thought I’d throw that into the mix. Thanks.