Snipers Math and Physics
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# Snipers Math and Physics

06-16-2012, 05:53 PM   #1
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Snipers Math and Physics

I wanna know what math does a sniper use for windage, elevation and anything else.

Last edited by luisdurazo95; 06-16-2012 at 06:15 PM.

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06-16-2012, 06:11 PM   #2
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Which generation?

Modern snipers have all the best gear like laser range finders, Kestrel wind meters, downloaded apps to field smart phones and all sorts of nifty gadgets.

The Vietnam era sniper relied on usage of a special reticle called A Mil-Dot, which allowed them to site in on known size objects (a fence post, a vehicle's height, a mail box, a guard standing duty) and using the following formula could calculate range.

One mil equals 3.6" at 100 yards, or 36" at 1,000 yards. So if you are ranging a fence post that you figure is 36" inches high, you work backwards from that known height to how many/how much of a mil is covering the target.

So the height of your target in yards (36" inches) times 1000 gives you the distance to the target.

Here is a really great article with several formulas to help you grasp the Mil Dot application.

http://www.mil-dot.com/articles/the-mildot-reticle

06-16-2012, 06:16 PM   #3
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There are some good videos in this thread with some nice explanations.
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06-16-2012, 06:52 PM   #4
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Dillinger has it down pat! Modern sniping is about knowing how to apply your equipment to the situation properly. Apps handle bullet drop compensation, velocity, wind, bullet weight and a number of other factors to tell you how to set your scope. Barrett has a scope with all of this built into it and it adjusts itself after all variables are entered. However, it's a sniper's experience that tells him what to do if a target is 100 yards closer than expected or the wind shifts from left to right just before pulling the trigger. In cases like those, there is no time to recalculate and you just have to "feel your way.". There are several good books on actual sniping technique from publishers like Paladin Press, if you're interested.
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06-16-2012, 09:10 PM   #5
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Eastern Blok countries used a system similar to the Mil-dot. It was a graduated scale in the scope that was set for a 5'8" man. Put his feet at the bottom, where his head was, was the distance. Windage was a guess-tomit. I like my WW2 Era Snipers. even more primitive, but they could control an intire section of a battlefield. The K31 was the thought That a superior carbine and rifleman could control passes into Switzerland. They were correct. Take out the roads for armor, the infantry can be cut to peices by a few marksman, not snipers.
Simo Häyhä had 505 confermed kills, most of which were w/ done w/ iron sights to present a smaller target to his enemy. A scope forces you to present a larger target because your head is elevated.

Qoute:The Soviets tried several ploys to get rid of him, including counter-snipers and artillery strikes. On March 6, 1940, Häyhä was shot in the lower left jaw by a Russian soldier during combat. The bullet tumbled upon impact and exited his head. He was picked up by fellow soldiers who said "half his head was missing", but he was not dead: he regained consciousness on March 13, the day peace was declared. Shortly after the war, Häyhä was promoted from Alikersantti (Corporal) to Vänrikki (Second Lieutenant) by Field Marshal Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim. No one else has gained rank so quickly in Finland's military history.
Later life

Simo Häyhä in 1940 with his jaw deformed due to injury from an enemy bullet.
It took several years for Häyhä to recuperate from his wound. The bullet had crushed his jaw and blown off his left cheek. Nonetheless, he made a full recovery and became a successful moose hunter and dog breeder after World War II, and hunted with Finnish president Urho Kekkonen.
When asked in 1998 how he had become such a good shooter, he answered "Practice." When asked if he regretted killing so many people, he said "I only did my duty, and what I was told to do, as well as I could." Simo Häyhä spent his last years in Ruokolahti, a small village located in southeastern Finland, near the Russian border."

The Boers tore the Brits apart in the Boer war using the 1893 Mauser. Why? They could out range the brits by a few hundred yards w/ only Iron sights. The U.S. developed the 1903 Springfield becase of the beating they took in the Spanish American war. We won, but at a great cost. The Spanards also used the 1893 Mauser.
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Last edited by jpattersonnh; 06-16-2012 at 09:13 PM.

06-16-2012, 09:36 PM   #6
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First, it is a matter of knowing the ballistics of the round and rifle you are using.

Second, being aware of the environment. A wind meter at your position does not tell you the wind at 600 meters downrange- but knowing how to observe the environment will. Dry or humid? 105 degrees or -45 degrees? ALL will affect bullet path.

Third, knowing the dope of your scope, and how to use the equipment you have. Range finding is excellent- but what about shots that are markedly up or down hill? A moving target- how much do you lead? BTW, the target is moving at a 45 degree angle to you. Runiing, walking, strolling?
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06-17-2012, 03:22 AM   #7
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As for the physics aspects, at certain angles of shooting you need to be aware of the Earth's rotation. Like a pendulum, the bullet will not move with the Earth, so if you're shooting over far distances at a small target, e.g. a head, you need to compensate for that. Also, bullet drop over different angles. The most effective angle to maximize distance/effectiveness for a projectile like a bullet is 30 degrees; if you're on top of a hill with a 30 degree slope, accounting for bullet drop will make you miss your target.

Less "physics" and more "ballistics" that a sniper needs to worry about are things like the widening cone caused by the rifling. A bullet rotates as it comes out of the barrel, and that causes it to start to move in the air instead of going straight. That's why MoAs are relative to distance.
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06-17-2012, 03:59 AM   #8
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The modern Sniper uses a Cosine Indicator [ACI].

http://www.longrangehunting.com/articles/angle-shooting.php

Last edited by Durangokid; 06-17-2012 at 04:01 AM.

06-17-2012, 11:19 PM   #9
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I ve got the "STRELOK" app on my phone. Allows you to enter all sorts of information to figure your shot.

07-09-2012, 09:05 PM   #10
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I have an idea of my own. I found this out after looking over a selection of Rifle Scopes. I also got some plausible ideas from a video game I bought a while back, called "Sniper Elite V2". First off, what kinda scope do you have? Do you have a Basic Scope with simple old-fashioned crosshairs, a Scope with a mil-dot setup, or a Scope with a Ballistic setup. I prefer the Mildots, cause every dot in elevation stands for 50 yards. Dead center in the crosshairs is 100 yards. The dots that go down the crosshairs means a longer shot, and every mil-dot reads from 100 yards, to 150, then 200, and so on. However, going up means shorter distance, which means 100 to 50, and finally 0. As for windage, I came up with this trick to help me out. Any Hunter or Sniper is going to have more than a scoped rifle, excluding a possible Spotter, it's common sense. They'll need tools of their own, and I came up with an idea to keep track of windage... A Windage Dial, basically a small fan that rotates as the wind passes through, it indicates what direction and speed the wind is going. However, in keeping track of windage on the horizontal portion on the crosshairs, that even trickier from my understanding, since I don't know how to measure wind with mildots. You'll have to calculate speed and direction of windage, as well as the movement of your target. However, windage is perplexing at first, but it's gets simpler as you get use to using the rifle and it's scope. And the idea of the Wind Dial might be a good try. However, I also learned that it's possible that Wind Dials don't exist anymore, but I might be wrong. If I'm right of them not being around, you may have to commission someone to build one for you, but that's if you want to get one; hell, I plan to get one myself.
Now, as for the game I mentioned. "Sniper Elite V2" features physics in the game, which is actually called "Ballistics" when Sniping or Hunting. It may not offer a whole lot of information, might not help at all, but it may help grasp a better idea on tracking Elevation and Windage. The better you get at the game, the better you'll get at using a Scope, from what I understand, and if it even works.

For Simple Crosshaired Scope, that setup is the earliest form of Scoped Shooting, and was updated to Mildot during the 1960's period, when the Cold War and Vietnam War were present. They were only good at 100 yards, and the rotation of the dials for windage and elevation was a key part in Sniping, plus they didn't use spotters during those times.

Ballistics are by far the most recent and revolutionary setup for Scopes, excluding IR Scopes. Calculating windage and elevation was easier to calculate by the crosshairs design. Another thing is that Ballistic Scopes can also zoom farther, from 2 to 8 times the usual magnification. However, the idea of zooming in farther kinda perplexes me, 'cause fro my understanding, you get a clearer and closer view, but it ****s up your calculations for windage and elevation.
Another thing to worry about, which i forgot, is the rifle's Muzzle Velocity, which depends on the ammunition you use, it plays a role in distance because of the powder and grain of the bullet. I suggest getting use to the guns Iron-Sights before using a Scope, it helps a hell loads better if you stay with a certain ammo and getting use to it! Crap, I Monologued again, my bad. Well, hope that helps yah. Seeyah later.

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