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Trajectory of rifle and pistol bullets is extensively studied and is the subject of countless tables for finding drop at various ranges. Each pellet in a charge of shot drops as it flies toward its target due to the force of gravity, just as a single rifle bullet drops in its flight.

The amount of drop, however, is too small to require consideration in most real-world applications. For example, the drop of a shot charge at 50 yards, about the maximum range for most shot gunning, is about 5". Leads on flying targets at that range are a matter of yards, so the 5" drop fades into insignificance.

During market-hunting days, when professional wildfowlers used 8ga, 4ga, and even larger punt guns to flock-shoot waterfowl at long ranges; drop was a more important consideration. But since most shooters have enough trouble just calculating lead, they will do better to disregard drop.

source: NRA Fact Book
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