If you’re shooting from an angle, the distance you think you’re shooting will not be correct unless you’ve compensated for the angle. If you want to know why and how to solve this problem, we’ll tell you here.
There is a lot of misinformation out there about shooting, especially when you are first learning how to do it. There is a common misconception that shooting is nothing more than pointing a gun and pulling a trigger. While those are certainly two steps in the process, it’s a gross simplification to say, “just point and shoot.” This is especially true when you are shooting from a distance. Past about 200yds, there are a lot of physics that come into play. Barometric pressure, windage, and gravity will all move your bullet off the path that you want to shoot.
Fortunately, if we know the distance of a shot, we can make some basic calculations and adjust for at least a few of those problems. For almost as long as guns have existed, humans judged distances by eye. While it’s not impossible to judge a close-to-accurate distance by eye, the average person is not that skilled at doing so. Only after years of practice will your eye gain the accuracy to account for a long-distance shot. Yet, if you’re looking to take up long-distance shooting or hunting, you won’t have time to spend years developing eyeballing skills.
The good news is, we no longer live in the days of our parents and grandparents. Technology has developed so much so that we have easy solutions to almost every problem, and shooting is no different. Using a laser rangefinder, you can find accurate distances in seconds. Not all devices offer the same rangefinder angle compensation and performance, though. Your basic entry-level rangefinder is fine if you plan to shoot at a nice, leveled target range, but if you are shooting from a tree stand or in mountainous and hilly terrain, you may have noticed that your shots aren’t quite landing how you want.
This is likely because your rangefinder is not compensating for the angle from which you shoot. A basic rangefinder is designed to read a horizontal distance, but the angle of your shot changes the distance a bullet travels from you to a target due to the physics involved with ballistics. To get truly accurate readings, you need to use an angle compensating range finder. In this article, we will go through some of the ballistic phenomena that affect your shots, how a rangefinder works, and also look at some examples of rangefinders that will help your shooting. Let’s dive in.