If you don’t have a compensating scope, this may be a “redneck” way of doing things but it’s a relatively easy and inexpensive method to learn how much bullet drop your gun will have at a specified distance.
All that is needed is a safe place to shoot, a 1 gallon plastic milk jug filled with colored water (maybe a couple jugs), a 4 ft garden stake, a heavy black marker, and a tape measure.
At a safe location, drive the stake in the ground far enough for it to be held solidly. Place the one gallon jug of colored water on the ground in front of the stake. Using the heavy black marker, color the gallon jug cap and mark off 6″ increments up the stake from the top of the jug. (The cap of the jug is appx. 6″ above the center of the jug). Make the marks completely across the face of the stake and bold enough to see them at distance. 1″ thick should do.
Start from a known distance beyond your sight in distance with a solid rest and shoot for the cap of the jug. Try to note bullet impact point. Estimate how low bullet impact was and move your point of aim up to the line over the jug that matches your estimate. Fire again. Repeat as needed until you hit the jug. Very easy to tell as the colored water will drain.
Once you’ve hit the jug, confirm point of impact on the jug and replace it with a fresh jug. Shoot again at the same distance and holdover to confirm the first hit. If you hit the jug with the follow up shot, note the amount of holdover needed at that distance and you’re ready to try another distance.
Photo: notpierre on Flickr