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Old February 11, 2013, 01:53 PM   #1
us.marine
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Pistol caliber lever action for target shooting

Hello guys. Well, I own a Henry Big Boy 45 Colt. Its a pretty good shooter, no complaints whatsoever. I want do do some target shooting with it, since there is no silhouette facilities around my area. It will have either a Malcolm 3x scope or skinner express sights. I would prefer scope because i dont have the vision to shoot with peeps anymore. Cant do the 500 yards w iron sights like a good Marine no more. I have access to a 300 yard range. Would it be possible to shoot targets on that distance using +p ammo?
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Old February 11, 2013, 03:47 PM   #2
SIGSHR
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IMHO 100 yards is about max for a pistol caliber carbine, even in a magnum caliber.
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Old February 11, 2013, 04:10 PM   #3
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You will have a lot of hold over in doing so. It is possible to do. Though you will go through a ton or more of ammo getting it down.
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Old February 11, 2013, 06:33 PM   #4
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100 yards is easy and I can hold fair groups with my Marlin 44 and my Beretta 9mm. The best that I own is the Ruger 77/44 that’s attached. I have tried 200 yards with a Penn 240 TCBB lead bullet but never got better than +15 inch groups and that was with a lot of work.
With my ability and eyes 150 is doable with the Ruger but the other two it’s just too far.
But it sure would be fun to work up some loads for 300 yards.
Which I just did.
I have a 200 Gr load that I can get 1900 FPS out of the Ruger
With a BC of .12 and sighted at 100 the bullet drop is
0 yards:-1.5inchs 100: 0 200: -19.0 and 250: -40.0 and they don’t have 300 for that BC.
It actually sounds like fun, (300) but you sure would need a spotter. We have a 300 range and think I will try when the weather gets warmer. I know a lot of people will say that lever actions and pistol calibers are only made for 100 yards or shorter but a lot of people have been surprised at the groups that I can get with a Beretta 9mm Carbine with an Aim point. 6 inches at 100 are not that hard.
300 yards with a 45 LC in a Golden boy, it’s not going to be easy, might be impossible to keep them on paper but you’re only as good as your next shot, and having shot with some real good Marines (retired) who knows.
Never knew a Marine afraid to do anything so heck, give it a try.
From a flying squid friend (retired).
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Old February 12, 2013, 03:23 AM   #5
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This is 5 shots of Hornady Leverevolution 225gr 44mag @100YDS from my 1894 with a 2x6 scope mounted scout style. I've never tried farther because my shooting range only goes to 100yrds. But given the groups it shoots at 100, I'm confident it could hold a decent group much farther out.

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Old February 14, 2013, 06:34 AM   #6
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Very nice shooting Niantician! Is that a Winchester 1894 or another?
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Old February 14, 2013, 07:00 AM   #7
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For practical purposes, the Malcolm scopes are more of a period correct accessory for appearance than for actual shooting(my opinion). The problem with many of the handgun caliber lever guns is in the sighting systems. Most of the open sights are imprecise and/or close together. Add a receiver peep or a good grade modern scope for better results.
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Old February 14, 2013, 07:49 PM   #8
Niantician
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatientWolf View Post
Very nice shooting Niantician! Is that a Winchester 1894 or another?
Marlin 1894. One of the last built in Ct. Thanks. I wont dare touch the scope, even being a bit low. What's most impressive is that since it's a lever, I had to pick the rifle up off the rest to cycle it. So all 5 of those rounds came after standing up and sitting back down.

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Old February 14, 2013, 08:36 PM   #9
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I do 200 yards with my handguns so I can't see why 300 wouldn't be a feasible goal. Might take some time to get zeroed in and I would like to see some targets when you do. Let us know how it works out.
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Old February 15, 2013, 03:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
I do 200 yards with my handguns so I can't see why 300 wouldn't be a feasible goal.
I have heard it said one should never expect such accuracy from a handgun. I know "Hickok" on Youtube has hit his target with a Glock .23 40 caliber at 230 yards. Should that be considered as very unusual? Or do you think we should be shooting much more accurately than we do?
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Old February 15, 2013, 09:42 AM   #11
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200 yards with a handgun is possible but that does not mean it is practical in the field. Go to a silhouette match sometime and watch the hits at 200 yards in the pistol competition. Not many. And that is under controlled conditions, not hunting situations.
I once thought a lever carbine would be nice to have alonside my Ruger Redhawk .44 mag. For me, it proved useless. I was well practiced and had a good hit ratio with the Redhawk at 100 yards. The Marlin could not do as well. Pointless to even carry.
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Old February 15, 2013, 02:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
I do 200 yards with my handguns so I can't see why 300 wouldn't be a feasible goal.
I have heard it said one should never expect such accuracy from a handgun. I know "Hickok" on Youtube has hit his target with a Glock .23 40 caliber at 230 yards. Should that be considered as very unusual? Or do you think we should be shooting much more accurately than we do?
You will fined most guns are more accurate than the shooter. You will eventually learn the largest hindrance to long range shooting is being able to convince yourself you can do it. All the techniques are learned at 50', 25 yards and 50 yards by bullseye shooters and hand gun hunters.

My primary target at 200 yards is an old sand filled 5 gallon bucket or a suspended metal plate set up for the rifle shooters. But I also shoot at bowling pins, 1 gallon water filled milk jugs and clay pigeons.

My primary long range guns are my Dan Wesson .357 and my Ruger Super Blackhawk 44 mag. However I also use my S&W 41 mag with 4" barrel, S&W 22 pistol, Ruger single six 22 revolver, 45 ACP 1911A1 NM, Colt MKIV government, and Colt Gold Cup NM pistols. All of them will reach out there, all of them will hit the bucket consistently, the bowling pin maybe 10% of the time on an average day and the clay pigeon rarely but it has been hit. The last time was with my .357 and it impressed the heck out of the prison guard who had been shooting at it with his AR-15 trying to get zeroed in.

All of these guns are iron sights, I have no handguns with scopes on them. Only 3 of them are match quality guns.

There is no secret, no magic and no superhuman skill required. Just paying attention to basic fundamentals, concentration on the front sight and patience because it will be awhile before you start making hits consistently. I only lived 7 miles from the 200 yard rifle range and am retired so I could shoot everyday. Somebody who only shoots once a month may take a little longer to get in the groove but it can be done.
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Old February 15, 2013, 03:11 PM   #13
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Lots of perfect scores at 200 yards in IMHSA with hand cannons.....years ago I shot a few of those myself. My last perfect round at 200 yards was with a ruger blackhawk in 44 mag, iron sights.
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Old February 15, 2013, 03:18 PM   #14
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The only cartridge that doesn't improve ballistics dramatically with a 16" bbl. is the 9mm. Magnum cartridges shoot great out of carbines.
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Old May 5, 2013, 09:28 AM   #15
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Here it is!

Well here is the beauty on my latest trip to the range. I shot some regular cowboy loads at 50-100 yards and the thing is pretty accurate. Tried some Cor-bon 45colt +p loads and the rifle transformd in to a mean thing. There is a lot of difference. I would definately like to have a malcolm scope on it, I really like the vintage looks on lever guns, but im kind of undecided in between the scope or skinner's express peeps. I guess the confusion comes from the prices for that kind of stuff nowadays.
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Old May 5, 2013, 09:52 AM   #16
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Very nice.
And no reason not to try those long shots.
If your range has the distance, why not.
It sounds like great fun, especially if there's a way to know if you hit without the long hike to find out.
Report back with the results, please.
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Old May 5, 2013, 10:42 AM   #17
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Sure you can shoot targets at 300 yards with your lever gun, It's all about expectations. No you're not gonna shoot small groups and and a high power shooter will scoff at the size of the targets you will hit/use but if you can see it and the bullets can get there you can shoot at it. And you're .45 will definitely get there and beyond. Many many shooters use the lowly .22lr out to 300 yards and beyond, why would you not think the .45 will get you there.

It doesn't take +P ammo. You probably don't even want to use it. Cowboy silhouette shooters use nothing more than cast cowboy type loads. The benefits you gain by the flatter trajectory will more than likely be offset by many negatives.

Quote:
I have heard it said one should never expect such accuracy from a handgun. I know "Hickok" on Youtube has hit his target with a Glock .23 40 caliber at 230 yards. Should that be considered as very unusual? Or do you think we should be shooting much more accurately than we do?
Most shooters that say things aren't feasible only do so cause they can't do it (not all things, there is plenty of BS floating around too). Depending on the size of the target (that expectation thing again) there is no reason a handgun shooter can't hit something at 200 yards. Heck, my .357 will out shoot some rifles I've seen at 100 yards and so it will at 200 yards too. Some shooters only think of handguns as close in, 50 feet or under, guns and never shoot anything farther. Still others think that open sighted handguns are only good out 50 yards. Both camps are 100% wrong. To be frank, if you can't hit a basketball at 100 yards more times than not your equipment is junk or you're a crappy handgun shooter. 200 yards just takes even more practice.

Last edited by L_Killkenny; May 5, 2013 at 10:52 AM.
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Old May 5, 2013, 10:51 AM   #18
arch308
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Or your eyesight isn't up to the task.

ETA: I have played at shooting handguns at 100 yds and it is fun. I can hit the backstop more often than not but the grouping is really poor. My eyes really suck and I hate glasses.
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Old May 5, 2013, 11:52 AM   #19
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if one of you scoffers would like to put your body outline on butchers paper and mail it to me,i will send it back with nice .44 bullet holes in it from 300yds. i will use a marlin 1894 sporter made in 1973 with a 22 inch barrel and a leupold 6x scope from a rest,the load i will use is the hornady 265gr SP bullet with 21grs of H-110 with a good crimp for a honest 1650-1700fps. there is about 65 inches of drop with a 100yds zero,but after sighting in and with a good scope it ain,t that hard. eastbank.
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Old May 9, 2013, 07:39 AM   #20
us.marine
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Sight Upgrade

Well, finally made up my mind in the sight issue. I really wanted the vintage Malcolm type scope, but these Henry rifles are a work of American made art. It would be a shame to drill that octagon barrel. It would look cool, but I believe it would sacrifice the integrity of the barrel. So I decided to get a set of Skinner sights, the Big Boy Express and a taller front sight. Also got the dovetail blank with storage for another aperture. Will post pictures as soon as I get them delivered and installed!
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Old May 16, 2013, 07:40 PM   #21
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Skinner Sights

Well, finally received my Skinner Big Boy express sights. Here are a few pics of the rear sight More pics soon.



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Old May 17, 2013, 01:20 AM   #22
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Thats pretty. And so simple a marine can do it.

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