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Forum Index > Rifles general discussion > Flat shooting calibre

Flat shooting calibre

20 Oct 2017
@ 01:26 pm (GMT)

Aussie Hunter

I know a .270 is considered flat shooting and I know people say a .204 is really flat.
How flat is flat?
Some of what I have read shows a lot of common hunting calibre don't actually vary that much under 200m
Its a curiosity question but coming from the angle of a person who wants to shoot 5-200 m without having to consider trajectory to much and maybe take a 250-300 m shot without having to start over thing the shot or making a calculation, eg no,chronograph so no known velocity or ballistics software or rangefinder.
I do have .223, 7mm-08, .308, .300wm but never owned .204 or .270
Not suggesting I'd line up large game with my .223 but it has worked well with head shots on stuff under 200 m
I believe .22-250 is a flat shooter and have a friend with a .220 swift because he like s velocity. But for the point of interest .
How flat is flat?

Replies

1
20 Oct 2017
@ 02:05 pm (GMT)

Brian Vickerman

Re: Flat shooting calibre
Flat is relative to the height above the barrel your sights are mounted, weight of the bullet, and what distance you have sighted in.

If you sight in your 308 at 100 yds. with a 150 gr bullet assuming you have a scope 1.5 inches high.... it leaves the barrel at 1.5 inches low but 50 to 125 yds it is flat then the decline really starts and at 200 yds you will be about 3 1/2" low.

Vick
20 Oct 2017
@ 08:04 pm (GMT)

Warwick Marflitt

Re: Flat shooting calibre
What you're describing is a calibres effective point blank range . The distance at which you can aim and fire at a target without having to worry about excessive bullet drop. Remember that the bullet cuts through the line of sight twice as at travels it's trajectory. Flat shooting is an oxymoron really...... because the bullet is only able to go flat whilst in the barrel !!!!! Then it goes in an arc to the target . A bit like..... When you try and take a flat shooting pee in the bush and you get wet feet unless you poke your barrel up high to get the flow going up in the air so it goes further .................oh and not into the wind....
You will learn how to pee properly if you buy Nathans books, read and follow the fantastic advice in them......cheers


20 Oct 2017
@ 08:41 pm (GMT)

Aussie Hunter

Re: Flat shooting calibre
Quote:
What you're describing is a calibres effective point blank range . The distance at which you can aim and fire at a target without having to worry about excessive bullet drop. Remember that the bullet cuts through the line of sight twice as at travels it's trajectory. Flat shooting is an oxymoron really...... because the bullet is only able to go flat whilst in the barrel !!!!! Then it goes in an arc to the target . A bit like..... When you try and take a flat shooting pee in the bush and you get wet feet unless you poke your barrel up high to get the flow going up in the air so it goes further .................oh and not into the wind....
You will learn how to pee properly if you buy Nathans books, read and follow the fantastic advice in them......cheers



Yes understood, is a better question what calibre would have the flattest trajectory. I have read a lot over the last 35 years and quite a bit on here in the last 5 . I am keen to learn and I already think I have a good understanding on the basics but it was a general question or point of discussion.
I understand the arc of a trajectory but often refer to calibre like the .270, I recall a conversation where a reputable local shooter was describiing how flat his .25-06 shoots.
I've also read and tried to understand point blank range and believe that a lot of modern centrefire calibres might be somewhat similar to about maybe 225 m.
I'm not one to exaggerate my distances I'm shooting at and a genuine 200m is a long shot for me.
I have heard people describing that their calibre shoots like a laser, Really???

I heard a range officer at a government training course saying his .204 Ruger shoots flat to 400m, Really????
My question is a discussion point and if badly worded then what sort of trajectory or rise and fall in the arc was considered to be flat? Or what do you consider to be a flat shooter, apart from the time a bullet is in the barrel.
I intend to buy Nathan's books or some of as I don't know that I will get into long range as such but I will endeavour to learn some skills, I've also used Nathan's bedding compound and a Vimeo tutorial
I am interested to learn and have time to research working remote.
I hunt and have done some target shooting and enjoy tinkering with and
improving my rifles/ performance and reload as an interest.
How flat is flat?


20 Oct 2017
@ 09:31 pm (GMT)

Andrew Murray

Re: Flat shooting calibre
I think it may help to remember that if you fire a bullet from a level barrel and drop a bullet from the same height that the barrel is sitting at, let's just say 1 metre for example, then both will hit the ground at the same time.

Physics is the limiting factor here. So calibre is one thing but the shape (including its weight) of the projectile and the speed of the projectile will ultimately have more of a say on how it goes before it hits the ground, ie its arc of flight.

More than that it is much better to reverse engineer your calibre/projectile. That is to say know what you intend to do with it then select the most appropriate calibre/projectile for the purpose. This assumes all rifles are equal also, which we know they are not.

Point blanc range is perhaps a great thing to understand. Not the popular meaning of having a very very close target but the range at which you can aim dead on at a target given a vital zone. The calculations I have done on JBM Ballistics calculator with a 6 inch vital zone ( meaning 3 inches about the line of sight and 3 inches below) give me a point blank range around 220-250m for some common factory loads. This is why you must make those calculations and understand the limits of your cartridge (not necessarily calibre).

Flat shooting is a relative term. It is far more important to know what you're attempting to do and then know which is the most appropriate set up for the task. The 204 shoots fast and has a flat trajectory but I would hazard a guess it's hardly appropriate for animal dispatch at 200m let alone 400.
21 Oct 2017
@ 08:36 am (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: Flat shooting calibre
"I intend to buy Nathan's books or some of as I don't know that I will get into long range as such but I will endeavor to learn some skills"

Nathan's books are not only written for LR usage, this may the under pinning focus but every rifle/cartridge combo starts at @100 with validation, load development/factory ammo testing along with personal development.
Follow through with the purchase and you will understand the fundamentals of the questions you are asking and much more!

The only time I have found that flat shooting is a concern when spotlighting vermin on big stubble paddocks as it is hard to judge distance when everything looks the same using a good modern spotlight out to 400 odd. We use 223, 250 along with 204's & 243's and occasionally a 308w. Of these the 204 is the flat shooter and beyond 200-250 l wouldn't pick it up! I prefer the 243/87 grain combo and l wouldn't call that "flat shooting". Using techniques like Andrew has described (& Nathan teaches) the term is irrelevant in many situations well beyond 200.
21 Oct 2017
@ 10:44 am (GMT)

Bob Mavin

Re: Flat shooting calibre
My 6mm Remington is fairly flat shooting, and what I mostly use spotlighting.

With 100gn pill sighted 2"high at 100m it's 2" low at 250m,
6" low at 300m.

I agree Martin spotlighting on stubble paddocks is hard to judge distance.
21 Oct 2017
@ 11:28 am (GMT)

Ed Sybert

Re: Flat shooting calibre
While you are considering a "flat shooting" cartridge, remember that bullet weight and BC make a huge difference. Also, consider that wind drift may be much harder to calculate and allow for. So, it may be advisable to choose a cartridge that, with mid to high weight-for-caliber bullets, has sufficient energy/penetration for the game you will be hunting. Sight in with an eye to the vital area as has been said, for the game being hunted. Learn to estimate range AND wind drift by practicing at known an unknown ranges. Depending on the game hunted, calibers from .257 through .338 may offer the combination you need. The 7mm and .30 magnums are popular for open range hunting for a good reason. -Ed
21 Oct 2017
@ 01:10 pm (GMT)

Hamish Gibbs

Re: Flat shooting calibre
Lots of answers I agree with here but to specifically answer your question I reckon Andrew is on the button, so gotta answer a question with a question, What do you want this flat shooting laser projectile thingy to achieve at the end of it's 250/300m flight and work backwards from there? Do you want to shoot wabbits or penetrate shoulder shields on boar? Head or vitals? To many questions!! Don't get dupped into thinking Nathans books are only about long ranges, they are so about terminal bullet performance at all ranges and the platform and skills to utilize chosen tools to there strengths and know there weaknesses.
22 Oct 2017
@ 04:01 pm (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Flat shooting calibre
All good answers and info. Martin and Hamish have already said it. The books are about shooting well, ie, technique and technology combined to form the ultimate rig for the game you hunt or the range you shoot. If it wasn't for the books and Nathan's unselfish willingness to teach the eager shooter, I'd probably still be tracking my latest through swamps and alder prisons. "Back work your project" is a good place to start (Long Range Cartridges, p86).

How flat is flat? Are apples oranges? I have a 30 cal, a 6mm, a 338, and a 45 cal that all shoot flat. The difference is the distance parameters I expect them to perform within. Each one has a specific purpose, as each one was purpose built for what I wanted it to do. Obvious by their calibres, none shoot the same trajectory, but all shoot "flat" where they need to. Prime example being the 458 is used from 10 yards to 40 yards. Not much of a trajectory change in such a short distance, so "flat". Usefully flat at 100 yards? I wouldn't bet my life on it.
22 Oct 2017
@ 04:32 pm (GMT)

Mark Whitaker

Re: Flat shooting calibre
A term used by gun writers of yesteryear when few bullets were made for each diameter.

Today its just used around camp fires when everyone has had too much it drink!

There is no such thing as a flat shooting caliber.

There are flat shooting projectiles for all cartridges when driven at an appropriate velocity.

Its not about the cartridge but choosing the correct projectile and speed for any given pray at a given distance . Once that has been worked out you will have your cartridge.

Just my 2 cents
Mark
22 Oct 2017
@ 09:29 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: Flat shooting calibre
I believe talk of flat shooting sort of refers back to the 50s n 60s when the .303 brit was the norm then along came likes of .270 and .243 so projectiles were starting to honk along at 3000fps AND people started using scopes and sighting in carefully using the likes of the rule of 3
in short you sight in 3" high at 100 yards now your rifle will hit inside a 6" circle out to about 300 yards ,
it will be dead on at about 25 yards and something like 270 yards for the .270 which is plurry easy to remember
best way Ive heard it described is shooting down a 6" pipe...how long can you keep projectile inside without touching edges,for varmits use a 4" pipe eg no higher than 2"
rangefinders and dialup technique has changed alot but even the Gurus still recomend a sighting in along similar lines so it doesnt handicap you for the 90% of hunting shots you will take in a hurry.
hope that ramble helps.
23 Oct 2017
@ 01:02 am (GMT)

Aussie Hunter

Re: Flat shooting calibre
Thanks all,

So we all agree trajectory of many common hunting cartidges takes a dive after 200m? something like i stated in my opening question.
i like Mike Davis comparison of shooting down a pipe and also the rule of 3 as it fits with a few other theorys i have heard, i was always told to sight a .222/.223 so it hits an inch high at 100 m that will put it on target around 200m, ofcourse the group sixe is opening up as the distance grows
another article i read is called "Zero at 25" that goes onto show how many common calibres will place bullets in the 5" vitals zone at 200m and will drop of quickly after 250-300m
Questioning how flat is flat is asking what your idea of a flat shooting trajectory is, is it a 1" deviation over the firts 250/300m?? probably nothing shoots that flat except old mates .204 that he believes is shooting flat to nearly 400m, Really???
my reference to shooting flat like a laser is not my comment but merely repeating something that we know cant be true.
when i have looked at different trajectory charts on the net it looks like some common cartridges with loads under comparison dont really deviate that much out to 200m.
i read a lot on the 7mm-08 recently, writers/reviewers seem to demonstrate it has an edge over the .308 in comparible weight projectiles, but the catch is what it drops an inch less at 300m or whatever that was?? OK that might translate to a miss but if I hit a medium game animal an inch low at .300m and it is not a fatal shot i may as well have missed by a mile and not injured the animal.
If I have the skill and knowledge to take the 300m shot succesfully the slight advantage of 1" might not matter if i get it right, particuarly when there are other afctors affecting error in flight..
Another cartridge that i hear many make great claims of is the humble 17HMR, "man those things shoot flat!"
Part of this stemmed from a conversation with a mate over a beer, a knowledgeable bloke , practical, trade background and shot roos proffessionally for a few years and has been shooting longer than me, his nephew has a new .270 and he had some premium loads. they were looking at the packet and my mate was reciting what he said he had read from the packet and he quoted something like at 100m from the muzzle it had only dropped 6fps in velocity. i said no that cant be right, we only had 2 bers each but he believes hyat is what he read and plans to get me a photo, Im sure he misread it and he doesnt think he did but i think this is where tall tales get started and people regurgitate sometheing they heard or something they believe with good intentions.
i hope all this made sense and the question how flat is flat was a point of interest not a project to go out and build the fastest flattest latest and greatest fad thing on the market, just a simple question open for discussion.
I tend to use projectiles that are mid weight to calibre or cartridge selection for the calibre that the rifle is chambered in. I guess I am aiming for a flattish trajectory within a given caliber but with a heavy enough projectile for the task and the target that i might intend to use that rifle on.
i hunt in the sense of walking stalking in the pursuit of game animals. partly this is hunting pigs in an attempt to reduce numbers and actively enjoy hunting.
i also shoot pest animals in the course of controlling pests, see pest shoot it dead. Of course i want to get clean results so understanding trajectory of the given cartridge and component combination and being able to shoot it well helps, its when an animal gets beyond 200m that I start to think about he shot. Im finding the 7mm-08 Tikka CTR handy from the car and if you are still reading can you make any valid comment on My Meopta/BDC post in optics??
23 Oct 2017
@ 09:35 am (GMT)

Mark Whitaker

Re: Flat shooting calibre
Like i said, talk of flat of flat shooting calibres is usually associated with beer, along with the most accurate cartridge!
23 Oct 2017
@ 11:45 am (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: Flat shooting calibre
Marks spot on!!

Its hard to express opinion, reasoning and application in a few quickly typed sentences on here. If you combine the info offered in the above posts you can easily come to some well informed decisions.

You have discussed goats, pigs and other medium game out to a possible 300 so 3" [email protected] 168 grain 308w would cover that with little to no concern for flat shooting. You have a 7mm08 so the same applies given correct pill choice for either. If at the outer limit of your allowed say 6" PIO (3" low) simply adjust the crosshair to the top of your vital zone.

The point many are making is it is very dependent to the application & a combination of things to achieve a good result & as l wrote before "the term is irrelevant in many situations well beyond 200".


03 Nov 2017
@ 01:03 am (GMT)

David Bath

Re: Flat shooting calibre
Aussie hunter all the info you require is at your fingertips. Use jbm ballistics website to see the mpbr for any cartridge you like. Use velocities from reloading data or factory ammo specs. If you want a rough and ready table look-up rifle trajectory table on chuck hawks website. It is easy to compare trajectory these days....
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