Precision high-angle shooting is an art form in its own right. High-angle shooting is described as when the rifle is sighted-in (zeroed) on a level or nearly level range, and then it is fired either in an up-hill or down-hill direction, such as from a mountain top or tall building onto a target below.

This effect is common to precision shooters, especially with law enforcement, hunters, and military snipers. Through understanding high angle, we know that the bullet will always impact high. How high the bullet will impact can be determined through precise calculations using mathematical formulas.

To know exactly how high the bullet will impact, we need to revisit “bullet drop” and the “bullet path.” Bullet drop is always measured in a vertical direction regardless of the elevation angle of the bullet trajectory. The bullet drop is expressed as a negative number as the bullet falls away or below the bore line.

The bullet path is measured always in the perpendicular to the shooter’s line of sight through the sights on the gun. The bullet path is where the shooter will visually “see” the bullet pass at any instant of time while looking through the sights of the rifle (if this was even possible). At the rifle’s muzzle, the bullet path is negative because the bullet starts out below the line of sight of the shooter. Near the muzzle, the bullet will follow a path that will rise and cross the line of sight, then the bullet will travel above the line of sight until the target is reached. The bullet path is expressed as positive in this portion of the trajectory/flight. The bullet arc then crosses the line of sight at the zero range, meaning the bullet path is zero at the zero range, and will become a negative as the distance increases past zero range.