B/X Known World
Note how there’s a difference between these two. Accounting for drop is not the same as accurately estimating the distance in feet. You can still accurately hit the target at range (account for drop) without any idea what the even estimated distance is. No one’s saying it’s impossible to account for drop, clearly that comes with practice. But that’s not the same as knowing the precise distance to the target.As someone who spent too much time in their misspent youth with archery and "plinking" with a gun, I can guarantee that anyone who is decent at using ranged weapons has a pretty good idea of distance. I may not have been able to tell you that a target was 50 feet away, but I could adjust for the drop and still hit my target.
The game is still playable without the exact distances. Theater of the mind and various ways to abstract distances are available and work.Besides, exact distances in D&D are just there to make the game easier, it's an oversimplification to make the game playable.