Calculating bullet drop at longer ranges


January 13, 2003, 05:14 PM
I have a favorite load that I've worked up, at 100yds, very accurate. I'm shooting a .95" group of five at 100yds without a lot of sophisticated front/rear rests etc. I know my accuracy will improve with better bench rest gear.

If I shoot some groups at 200yds., can I use the bullet drop difference to calculate drops at longer ranges?

I only have 200yds available for test shooting and once I'm in the field if I have a shot at 400yds I'll need to know how to approximate the moa for 400 from my 100yd zero. Any advice?

If you enjoyed reading about "Calculating bullet drop at longer ranges" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
January 13, 2003, 10:01 PM
I started to think about it a little, and the answer is a resounding probably not. I'm sure you could try if you had some other info, but from the drop from 100->200yds, no way. It's not linear: as an example, I've got a .308 168gr HPBT with an MV of 2678, BC of 0.462. The drop from 100 to 200yds is (about) 1.7". The drop from 200 to 300 is (about) 8.4".

I can think of a couple of guys that MIGHT be able to give you a pretty decent idea just from caliber, bullet weight and MV, but just from what you've got...nope.

'course, iffin' you were to go out and borrow a chrony, it'll make your life alot easier...unless you wanna just shoot at different ranges. Or if it's a factory load, you can speak with the maunfacturer and get a decent idea of the approxomate MV. You can use that on one of the online ballistics sites to get a decent idea of an amount of come-up. You'll only be in the ball park, but it'll be alot closer than the average SWAG.


January 13, 2003, 10:18 PM
I tend to agree with E3M.

Given that information, more than likely not. There are ballistics programs out there that will calculate the data for you, but even with ballistic programs the data is approximate.

If precision shooting (sub moa at long range) is your game, then there is no substitute for getting out there and actually shooting from those distances and keeping the data recorded. Even then you can expect variables that may interfere with the perfect shot.

Good SHooting

January 13, 2003, 10:20 PM
I have used this program in the past and its free;

Also try here;

Good luck, Mike

January 13, 2003, 10:29 PM
Tried for 45 minutes to post the following links (between 6:30 & 7:15 CST) to no avail. Will try again. Anyone else having trouble posting?

Couple of good ballistic calculators:



January 13, 2003, 11:27 PM
there are so many variables... even if you know the bc and mv, that is not enough. the bc will change as the bullet slows down, and you should chrony at the muzzle and at 100 yards. this will give you an actual bc (instead of advertised bc, which may or may not be right), and will let you know what is really going on.

of course, if you could provide more data about the load and rifle, chances are that somebody else has already done actual work-ups and can get you ballpark...

January 13, 2003, 11:44 PM
Buy a copy, or go to the library and borrow a copy of the Sierra Reloading Manual or the Hornady Reloading Manual.

The nice people there have already done all of these calculations for you.

January 14, 2003, 12:03 AM
the bc will change as the bullet slows down

Does it change enough to significantly alter the drop at a given distance? Actually, I don't see how it can change much - I assume you are suggesting that the bullet is elongated during the highest velocity period?

January 14, 2003, 01:08 AM
I use "Bullet Performance" by Philip Mannes. A few hundred pages of tables detailing drop based on velocity and ballistic coefficient.

Freedom in theSkies
January 14, 2003, 01:25 AM has some really good ballistics table links...

Art Eatman
January 14, 2003, 08:36 AM
For low-mount scopes and cartridges like the .243 with a 100-grain bullet; those of the .257 Roberts through .30-'06 class--but excepting magnums and centerfire .22s:

If you sight in for two inches high at 100 yards, you'll be quite close to dead on at 200. Five to seven inches low at 300, and roughly two feet low at 400. (True for a 150-grain '06 for the last half-century. :) )

Boat-tail bullets can be maybeso two to four inches flatter out at 400.

Specifics are best treated by the "External Ballistics" section of the Sierra reloading handbook. IMO, it's superior to all others I've seen.


January 14, 2003, 09:22 AM
The load is using a Hornady 155gr Balistic Tip BTHP AMAX .308 bullet. .308 Win with 47.0gr of Hogdon's Varget.

Now the book lists the expected MV and darned if I can remember it exactly but with a 26" barrel I'm thinking the MV is 3020fps. According to the listed MV, I don't have a crony, yet! :D

Thanks for the help and the links!

Art Eatman
January 14, 2003, 02:42 PM
AFB, you oughta be right on my '06 trajectory...Near as I can tell from the behavior, I'm pushing my 150-grain bullets at 3,000, mas o menos.


January 15, 2003, 09:41 PM
Go here and "open load."
Find your cartridge, and substitute your bullet and data. It will then give you the info you need.


January 16, 2003, 08:17 AM
That is one cool site, thanks!

If you enjoyed reading about "Calculating bullet drop at longer ranges" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!