For how many yards does 223/556 shoot flat? - Shooting Sports Forum


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Old 11-09-2015, 17:27   #1
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For how many yards does 223/556 shoot flat?

So when does the typical round no longer fly a flat trajectory, and start to drop?
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Old 11-10-2015, 05:43   #2
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Immediately. "Measurably drop" is another matter.
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Old 11-10-2015, 09:21   #3
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Quick thing, if it matters. This is from a 22" barrel bolt gun.

So if a 308 is zeroed at 1" high at 100yds, it will hit the bullseye at 200yds.

If I zero a 223 at 1" high at 100 yards, where does it impact at 200yds?
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Old 11-10-2015, 11:52   #4
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Zeroing 5.56 around 50 yards gives a very flat trajectory from 0-250 yards - within 2.5" of POA. Low from 0-40 yards but rising to zero then high past 50 until finally dropping to the second zero around 220 yards. Then dropping but still within 2.5" of POA until past 250. The high point is between 100-150 yards but not more than 2.5" high. Going by 20" barrel M16 and improved battle sight zero.
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Old 11-10-2015, 12:30   #5
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Originally Posted by Scorpion of Mars View Post
So when does the typical round no longer fly a flat trajectory, and start to drop?
In outer space I do not believe it ever would, it would just disintegrate. P.S. Unless it perhaps had been stung by the gravitational pull of Mars.
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Old 11-10-2015, 13:49   #6
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I agree with Quentin's 50 yard zero.
SoM: Sorry for the wise crack - I couldn't help myself...

Two sources I use are:
1) Ballistics By The Inch: BBTI - Ballistics by the Inch :: Home
While not complete, it does give some representative muzzle velocities for various ammo and various weapons. Also shows velocity drop by length of barrel. Unless your specific weapon and specific ammo is listed, you just have to pick the "closest" and decide that is good enough.

2) GunData.Org Ballistics Calculator: Ballistic Calculator GunData.org
There's a decent pull-down list of ammo in their database, but it is based off of the manufacturer's specs. But it does allow you to adjust some of the specs, such as muzzle velocity, to be a bit more accurate. Be sure when filling it out that you select "Advanced Options". That will allow you to plug in more variables, two of which are scope height and zero range.

From that, I loaded the the BTI muzzle velocity I thought came closest to the PMC Bronze ammo I shoot. Manufacturer states 3200 FPS, I plugged in 3000 FPS since it is coming from a shorter barrel.

Then I copied the results into Excel and did a screen shot.

Hope this helps. There are gobs of ballistics calculators out there, so whatever floats your boat-tail. I find the BBTI website useful to get an idea about muzzle velocity loss given various barrel lengths.
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Old 11-10-2015, 13:50   #7
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Originally Posted by darb View Post
In outer space I do not believe it ever would, it would just disintegrate. P.S. Unless it perhaps had been stung by the gravitational pull of Mars.
Darb, welcome aboard! You'll fit in nicely here...
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Old 11-10-2015, 17:55   #8
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The standard rule of thumb has been to set your sights or scope to hit 1.5 inches high at 100 yds. for a 200 yd. zero. Sounds like this whole bullet drop thing would be a good project for Red Mountain. If yer smellin' what I'm cookin'. Your bolt gun is a surgical instrument just begging to show you what it's capable of.
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Old 11-10-2015, 19:35   #9
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Originally Posted by fishslayerbob View Post
The standard rule of thumb has been to set your sights or scope to hit 1.5 inches high at 100 yds. for a 200 yd. zero. Sounds like this whole bullet drop thing would be a good project for Red Mountain. If yer smellin' what I'm cookin'. Your bolt gun is a surgical instrument just begging to show you what it's capable of.
Smells good.

Thanks guys, lots of good info, and humor!
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Old 11-10-2015, 20:31   #10
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Originally Posted by RJF View Post
Darb, welcome aboard! You'll fit in nicely here...
I was thinking that Darb guy sounds like that Scorpomars guy!

He will fit in nicely.
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Old 03-25-2016, 07:23   #11
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There are way too many variables to give you a concrete answer. In short, you begin together measurable ballistic effects immediately upon leaving the barrel. However, if you're talking about "point blank" range, where you can hit a target of "X" size without sight adjustment, that is something that can be given a metric. In order to figure this out, you need to know the BC of your slug, muzzle velocity and atmospheric conditions.

Use this:

JBM - Calculations - Trajectory
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Old 03-25-2016, 16:41   #12
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Originally Posted by Scorpion of Mars View Post
So when does the typical round no longer fly a flat trajectory, and start to drop?
SOM, this is a BS question! All projectiles drop from the instant they leave the muzzle. PERIOD!

Should you like to give qualifiers like when does a particular trajectory go above or below a ten inch (normal game reaping) margin, then serious folks can have honest conversations. Until then, ride the pine and use your ears rookie.
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Old 03-25-2016, 17:45   #13
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A rifle with a 300 yard zero will have the bullet arcing over into a descent at about 250 yards. A rifle with a 200 yard zero will rise straight into the 200 yard target. Ditto for 100 yard target with a rifle zeroed for 100 yards.

Come to a highpower match and watch the bullets with your spotting scope.
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Old 03-25-2016, 17:53   #14
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Originally Posted by twiceaweek View Post
A rifle with a 300 yard zero will have the bullet arcing over into a descent at about 250 yards. A rifle with a 200 yard zero will rise straight into the 200 yard target. Ditto for 100 yard target with a rifle zeroed for 100 yards.

Come to a highpower match and watch the bullets with your spotting scope.
Tell me when any projectile crosses above the Bore line child!
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Old 03-25-2016, 18:16   #15
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Originally Posted by A/J/S/USNRet View Post
Tell me when any projectile crosses above the Bore line child!
I am a practical shooter. The AR rifle or any scoped rifle with a high sight axis requires that the bullet rise above the sight axis in order to strike the target.

The OP has a rifle in his hand, not a theoretical paper. My post stands as a real life example of bullet behavior at the distances and zeros that I stated.

Every scorekeeper looking through his scope at a highpower match watches the bullet do precisely what I stated. It has nothing to do with BC, bullet weight, velocity, humidity, or OAT.

It doesn't have to be a complex subject.
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Old 03-25-2016, 19:14   #16
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Really? Do you always get caught up in the minutia of a subject? In the theoretical? The OP does not have a barrel clamped into a fixture. Of course, we all know that the bullet is always dropping. That is why a rifle has sights. To compensate for that drop.

The OP has a rifle in his hand. With a scope far above the bore axis. He is asking how far out his rifle shoots flat before the bullet starts to arc down. My answer is 250 yards with a 300 yard zero.

I have answered his question. You sir, have muddied and complicated the answer.

This subject proves that my desire to spend my time on the range as opposed to these internet forums is valid.

Good day.
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Old 03-25-2016, 20:23   #17
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Doesn't matter how fast the bullet is moving.

Doesn't matter if it has the highest BC available or if it is a round ball.

Doesn't matter at what angle of elevation it was fired.

Gravity causes the bullet to begin falling away from whatever angle it was launched the instant it leaves the muzzle.

Since "flat shooting" is the topic, here is a related question:

Does a 45 degree angle of elevation result in maximum range?
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Old 03-26-2016, 20:19   #18
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Originally Posted by twiceaweek View Post
A rifle with a 300 yard zero will have the bullet arcing over into a descent at about 250 yards. A rifle with a 200 yard zero will rise straight into the 200 yard target. Ditto for 100 yard target with a rifle zeroed for 100 yards.

Come to a highpower match and watch the bullets with your spotting scope.
This isn't how external ballistics work at all.

Not even a little bit.
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Old 03-26-2016, 21:04   #19
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Originally Posted by twiceaweek View Post
I am a practical shooter. The AR rifle or any scoped rifle with a high sight axis requires that the bullet rise above the bore axis in order to strike the target.

It doesn't have to be a complex subject.
I think you are confusing the shooters "line of sight", the bullets "line of departure" and the ballistic arc of the bullet in flight.

If the sights are above the axis of the bore the bullet will rise above line of sight. The LOS has nothing to do with the physics of the situation. The bullet starts falling as soon as it leaves the muzzle.
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Old 03-26-2016, 21:05   #20
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For those of you who got my basic premise, thanks for the input.

Yea, gravity, familiar with it.

Why cant some help themselves from causing problems on threads?
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Old 03-27-2016, 07:14   #21
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If it is fired in the Southern Hemisphere, does the bullet rise???
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Old 03-27-2016, 07:46   #22
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Originally Posted by RJF View Post
If it is fired in the Southern Hemisphere, does the bullet rise???
No but the Coriolis effect is reversed.
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Old 03-27-2016, 20:19   #23
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.......and the toilet flushes the other direction, I think........
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Old 03-28-2016, 11:28   #24
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A factor that I had not thought about but is included in external ballistics about gravity effect on bullets is that their progressive rate of drop as the range increased is not only the fact that as the bullet slows and the ratio of drop per distance traveled forward increases, the rate of drop also increases do the acceleration of the speed of a falling object induced by gravity.


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Old 07-01-2016, 16:18   #25
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What you guys are all talking about is called "Point Blank Range." it is the range that the bullet rises and falls the same amount. Usually looking for a 9" total up/down amount or the kill zone on a man sized target.

For the .223/5.56 Maximum Point Blank Range is about 300 yards.

When sighted dead on at 50 yards, the bullet is about 1-1.5" high at 100 yds and dead on again at 200. it will be 12" low at 300.

By walking the sighting distance to 225 the amount of rise and fall become closer at 300 and at 250 they are virtually equal. Thus the maximum Point Blank Range for the cartridge is close to 300 yards.

However the practical sighting distance is best left at 200 yards since the vast majority of shots are at or below that distance and thus a dead on hold will yield a good hit, within and inch or so from POA, anywhere from 50 to 200 yards,

Below 25 yards you must compensate for the difference between the bore axis and the sight axis. On an AR this is about 2.5". So inside of 25 yards your gun will be shooting about 2.5' below your POA. IE; You put the dot on the High Forehead to hit between the Eyes. This takes a little practice to execute consistently.

If you just think Pie Plate here as your target size, whatever distance that you can aim at the top edge of the plate with a 200 yard zero and still hit the bottom is your maximum Point Blank Range.

This is only precisely true for a given load and every time you change it,,, it changes somewhat.

Hope this furthers the understanding of this subject.


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