Tips for Shooting Targets Uphill and Downhill

In real-life shooting and hunting situations, it is rare to have flat land surfaces. In fact, when firing, in real life conditions, shooters have to take target movement, distance and wind all into consideration. Add this to making allowances and adjustments for shooting either downhill or uphill and shooting targets can become more complicated.

Generally, shooters say it is a logical skill to shoot beyond the target, aim into a crosswind or hold the weapon higher in some circumstances. However, the concept of shooting either uphill or downhill is another vital learning lesson for most shooters and hunters.

For example, when throwing a baseball in an underhand motion, people compensate, tossing the ball higher and in an arc to allow room for the ball to descend, making it easier to hit the intended target. However, how does a hunter or shooter compensate for an area that is more than two stories high? Jumping Targets highlights the basic rules for shooting moving targets.

Close Ranges – At close ranges, which includes 100 yards or less, minimal compensation is required despite the steep angle.

Compensation – Shooting both up and down require some degree of compensation. For example, shooting 30 degrees up requires the same amount of compensation as 30 degrees down.
Aim – Always aim low.
Over Estimation – While it is easy to over estimate the target, it is important to remain calm and be as exact as possible.
Zero Distance – The down/up angle and the specific distance to the target determine the amount of down or up compensation.
Steep Angles – The amount of compensation increases significantly with steepness and distances that include angles more than 60 degrees down or up.


To help compensate for these required adjustments, shooters should research the cartridge manufacturers’ specifications. Readily available online, the bullet drop data will specifically explain down/up compensation factors, including how many degrees and inches to drop or raise the weapon.

A great example of how to implement this method of shooting is to utilize the following method for 500-yard metal targets that are at 30 degrees down or up.

Pretend the target is a moving target on flat ground, but at only 90% of the distance, which means to compensate and visualize the target at 450 yards.

A popular shooting tip is to pretend that targets that are 30 degrees should be treated at 90-percent of the actual distance. If a target is at 45 degrees down or up, it should be compensated for at 70-percent of the distance.



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