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Old April 25, 2013, 09:59 AM   #26
Mello2u
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triggerhappy2006

Long Range Handgunning
So as far as long range, accurate handgunning goes, practicality stops at about 150 yards with hunting and long before that for self defense or tactical applications, but lets play a game.
I submit that the range at which shooting is practical depends upon the shooter more so than the handgun and cartridge. Therefore, what is a practical limit for hunting is dependent upon the individual's skill.

You who have not read any writings of Elmer Keith might enjoy his work. At first you might be a bit doubtful as to his veracity, but all who knew him vouch for his accuracy in his shooting and his writing.

Keith wrote of his killing a deer at 600 yards in his book "Hell, I was there". "I can remember killing one mule deer at 600 yards before about 30 people at Gibbonsville, on a bet. I didn't want to shoot at that distance, but they kidded me until I showed them it could be done." (Page 302, copyright 1979). He does not say whether he was using a handgun or a rifle.
On the same page he also writes "I do not believe that the average person has any business shooting over 300 yards at big game unless he is a trained expert rifleman with a background such as I have had of a lifetime of shooting, and then only from a rest of a prone position."

In his book "Sixguns" Keith relates a time where he shot a coyote. "I missed him the first three or four shots, although getting close, and plunked the last slug through him at around 400 yards. I trailed him over the ridge and found him dead on the other side with that .44 Special Ideal 250 grain slug through his lungs." (Pg. 110-111)

In one of these two books is he relates where he shot a deer at 600 yards with a .44.

My personal assessment of my handgun hunting skill means that I limit myself to 50 yards for deer, shooting off of a rest.
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Old April 25, 2013, 10:13 AM   #27
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As much as I love reading Keith, and respect the devolpments he made regarding handguns, he took many shots that I feel were unethical. Sure, you take enough shots like that you're bound to get lucky a few times. You're just as likely to gut shoot or maim.
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Old April 25, 2013, 10:42 AM   #28
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There's a lot of misinformation about Keith's long range shooting and the shots he made on critters in particular. For the record, Keith's 600yd shot on a mule deer was a wounded animal and the hunter he was guiding had run his rifle dry. So there was nothing unethical about it. It was either try or lose the animal. He tried and I believe the deer twice out of six shots with a 6½" pre-29 .44Mag.

Further, he believed heavy sixguns were best for targets of opportunity and didn't really believe in dedicated handgun hunting.
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Old April 25, 2013, 09:00 PM   #29
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Elmer Keith was an interesting fella to be sure. He walked his long range handgun shots to the target in many cases. I also tend to agree that an average shooter/hunter should never take more than a 300 yd shot with a rifle. He used his handgun for targets of opportunity, not as a dedicated hunting piece. But he and a few others, opened a whole new hunting world to many shooters.
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Old April 26, 2013, 09:44 AM   #30
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Back when I shot more metallic than shotgun, I used a Remington XP-100 in 7mmBR. This gun (when I did MY part), would put three shots from a sand bag into 1/2" @ 100 and 2"@ 250 - which I felt was the maximum I would use it for hunting antelope and mule deer. It is a single shot bolt action, (which if you get tired of a pistol makes an awesome target rifle action) and has one of the best triggers I have ever used, better than many aftermarket BR triggers
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Old April 26, 2013, 11:48 AM   #31
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Let me know what everyone thinks about these options, remember I'm not disputing the silliness or plausibility of needing a 100yard plus handgun, just the best option for one. Reason X=zombies, I'm Jason Bourne, deer hunting, shooting water jugs, I'm James Bond, pick a reason you like
Every handgun I own is a 100+ yard gun from my 22's to my 44 mag. None of them are specialty guns, none are scoped and all but the black powder pistols have been used for plinking offhand shots into a 5 gallon bucket at 200 meters. First deer I ever shot was at 135 yards with a .357 mag revolver with a 6" barrel. For 26 years my deer gun was a Dan Wesson .357 magnum sporting a 4" barrel. Then my eyeballs went and got old on me and I had to go to a long gun for shots over 150 yards. Ain't the gun its the shooter and any shooter can do it if he knows basic marksmanship and puts in the trigger time. Keep your specialty guns, I bet most of my students can outshoot you and your 5.7 at 100 yards with a 22 caliber revolver or pistol shooting any brand of 22lr ammo you want them to shoot, it doesn't have to be match ammo. Only caveat is all shooting must be done standing on your hindlegs with one hand, no support. Anybody can do it from the bench.
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Old April 26, 2013, 12:04 PM   #32
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As Old Grump alludes to, it has much more to do with the Indian than the arrow. The only way to get there is practice.
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Old April 26, 2013, 12:26 PM   #33
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Okie has a good point. Sure a handgun will fire a bullet to long ranges. But at much over 100 yards, the energy of even powerful handguns will be so low that such shots are not humane. Long range shooting at dirt clods or gongs or whatever is one thing, shooting at game is another.

Jim
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Old April 26, 2013, 12:34 PM   #34
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I disagree. The limitation is not the ability of the cartridge, as evidenced by Keith's 600yd mule deer and the lethality of a good cast bullet at even low velocities. The limitation is the rainbow trajectory and the shooter's ability to master it and the art of range estimation. A good cast bullet will kill WAAAY beyond the average shooter's ability to accurately place it.
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Old April 26, 2013, 02:12 PM   #35
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Okie has a good point. Sure a handgun will fire a bullet to long ranges. But at much over 100 yards, the energy of even powerful handguns will be so low that such shots are not humane. Long range shooting at dirt clods or gongs or whatever is one thing, shooting at game is another.
Even my 45 pistol using ball ammo will penetrate a 2x4 at 200 yards and I don't hunt big game with a 45. I love to do that demonstration after somebody tells me authoritatively that a 45 is useless after about 50' and you might as well just throw the gun at him. 5 rounds of 22, 5 rounds 38 spcl and 5 rounds 45 hardball at a 50 yard slow fire target posted at the 100 yard line. Then I sit back and relax while the nay sayer goes to get the target. More than once they have come back talking to themselves and only then will they listen to what the coach has been trying to tell them. It's my version of hitting a mule between the eyes with a 2x4...first you gotta get their attention and convince them that the bullet will not get tired and quit after 'X' number of feet.
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Old April 26, 2013, 03:44 PM   #36
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I thought I'd been fortunate to see most of the best shooters on this planet compete with handguns. I mean the best of the best. Not only the best long range handgunners (one won two world championships...standing shooting). However, now I'm humbled. It appears that there are much better shooters on here than those gentlemen are. I mean it must be true. You can't lie on the internet can you? I know for a fact they'd be humbled to see the feats posted on here.
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Old April 26, 2013, 03:52 PM   #37
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I thought I'd been fortunate to see most of the best shooters on this planet compete with handguns. I mean the best of the best. Not only the best long range handgunners (one won two world championships...standing shooting). However, now I'm humbled. It appears that there are much better shooters on here than those gentlemen are. I mean it must be true. You can't lie on the internet can you? I know for a fact they'd be humbled to see the feats posted on here.
It really isn't that big of a deal if you put in the trigger time. Most people don't shoot long range because they think of anything past 25 yards as astronomical units of distance. What beats them is the computer between the ears.
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Old April 26, 2013, 05:09 PM   #38
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Shooting enough to hit pretty well and competing are too different things.
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Old April 26, 2013, 05:25 PM   #39
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Old April 26, 2013, 05:36 PM   #40
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So, this OP looks like spam, but I'll bite!

I will first say that your DE suggestion and Mag Research suggestions sound fine getting started.

I have killed deer at 125 yards with a 10.5" 44 mag. I have also killed deer at ~200 yds with a T/C Contender in 375 JDJ. Both worked well.

I can shoot 1" groups at 100 yds with the 375, so getting to 300 is not impossible.

I'm working on something to reach to 500 yards. Probably a new barrel in 6mm Donaldson Wasp. Mine will be set up for flat base bullets, but if set up for BT's, 600+ is possible off a decent rest.

If I were serious, I would build up a custom XP style gun.

The only advice I have is don't get carried away on all the precision accuracy stuff because the huge limitation is the inability to rest a handgun.

No reason to have a benchrest barrel on a gun which cannot exceed .75" at 100 yards regularly.
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Old April 26, 2013, 05:53 PM   #41
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My vote is for 460s&w, and thats why I bought one. 250yds easy, the gun not me. Has more energy at 200yds than a 44mag does at the muzzle. So knock down wont be an issue. If you dont reload it is a little costly to shoot, $35 average for a 20 box of Hornady.
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Old April 26, 2013, 06:15 PM   #42
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I saw Mr. Munden hit a small metal silhouette at 200 meters with a snubnose .38 and wadcutters. It was on a clip of Impossible Shots, on Shooting USA I think. Which pretty much means I was as good as there... Yeah right, I wish.
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Old April 26, 2013, 10:22 PM   #43
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I know for a fact they'd be humbled to see the feats posted on here.
So who exactly are you calling a liar?
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Old April 27, 2013, 11:00 AM   #44
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Originally posted by NoSecondBest

I thought I'd been fortunate to see most of the best shooters on this planet compete with handguns. I mean the best of the best. Not only the best long range handgunners (one won two world championships...standing shooting). However, now I'm humbled. It appears that there are much better shooters on here than those gentlemen are. I mean it must be true. You can't lie on the internet can you? I know for a fact they'd be humbled to see the feats posted on here.

A snarky comment, calling folks liars that you dont know. Your freinds told you they couldn't do what some have posted, or are you just assuming they'd say that from knowing them well and shooting with them, or using them to back up a comment without their actual thoughts on the matter or if they could do what your saying they can't? Just curious.

It isn't unusual for some to question others when longer range comes up. Simply having never seen it or knowing anyone that can do certain things is honest questioning, though it often comes down to "I tried it once, I can't do it and don't know anyone that can, so anyone that says they can must be lying". I know guys can regularly hit things thrown in the air. I cant do it regularly, but certainly believe those that can, including those that have been able to shoot through the hole in a washer thrown in the air (and can put tape over the hole to prove it). One of Bill Jordans exibition stunts was throwing 5 asprin tablets in the air and hitting them with his Smith 19 drawn from a holster. Because I can't do it, and probably most world class shots can't, doesn't mean nobody can. Some kid in a cornfield in Kansas may well be able to do it consistantly with his heritage rough rider. That also doesn't make him a world class shot in some formal discipline, but let's not diminish what he's become capable of either.

Back on topic, what I've done is pretty rough shooting, banging away with carry guns are largish targets. Some of the comments here have made me want an XP, a type of gun I was never attracted to. Sounds like a heckofalot of fun to shoot distance with.
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Old April 27, 2013, 11:26 AM   #45
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I recall reading, many years ago, Keith writing (either in Sixguns, or one of his articles) about how the .45 Colt would penetrate the weathered 1 inch planking and bury the bullet base flush in the 2x4 frame of an old outhouse, at 700 yards.

Never tested it myself, but if true (and I rather suspect it is) that is enough penetration to create a lethal wound at that distance. Not enough guarantee a humane kill on large game at that distance, in my opinion, but certainly enough for that at half that distance.

I've spent a couple decades plinking at 200yds distance with a 7.5" Ruger Blackhawk .45 Colt, mostly offhand. I feel that I could humanely take deer at that range, with that gun and load, under the right conditions. But I wouldn't attempt it, unless my family were starving and that was the only way of feeding them.

The equipment is capable of it, but most shooters are not. With a scoped gun, properly rested, it becomes much simpler, especially with a flatter shooting cartridge. But even then, it is beyond the current capabilities of the majority of handgun shooters.

I believe anyone with decent eye/hand coordination could learn how to do it (provided they had an open mind about it), but the majority of shooters aren't able to put in the time (practice) it takes to gain the skill, and then master it. Long range shooting at fixed targets is fun, but its more of a "let's see if I can" thing than anything else. And, in my opinion, something that shouldn't be done with standard hanguns as a hunting practice.

With a scoped high intensity pistol, a couple hundred yard shot on a standing animal is not at all unreasonable, and many do it successfully every year. With an iron sighted "carry" gun, it's much more difficult, and not something I would advocate as sporting.
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Old April 27, 2013, 03:57 PM   #46
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I thought I'd been fortunate to see most of the best shooters on this planet compete with handguns. I mean the best of the best. Not only the best long range handgunners (one won two world championships...standing shooting). However, now I'm humbled. It appears that there are much better shooters on here than those gentlemen are. I mean it must be true. You can't lie on the internet can you? I know for a fact they'd be humbled to see the feats posted on here.
I am envious that you have met the best of the best shooters on this planet like Jin Jong-oh and Ralf Schumann who between them have won at least 10 Olympic metals and over half of which were Gold Medals. When you say the best of the best, I can only think these two would be there unless the shooters you are talking about have dominated the Olympics and World level shooting more than these guys. Wow, meeting shooters of that level must have been something. Me, I am just a hack shooter but I have done a little medium to a little longer range shooting. I think I could manage to scare a couple of targets at distance with my old XP. I am sure a knowledgeable person like yourself would ID this caliber without me insulting you by having to list it here. I think it could manage to rainbow out to at least 200 meters.

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Old April 27, 2013, 10:30 PM   #47
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Originally posted by 44 AMP

...I believe anyone with decent eye/hand coordination could learn how to do it (provided they had an open mind about it), but the majority of shooters aren't able to put in the time (practice) it takes to gain the skill, and then master it. Long range shooting at fixed targets is fun, but its more of a "let's see if I can" thing than anything else. And, in my opinion, something that shouldn't be done with standard hanguns as a hunting practice.

With a scoped high intensity pistol, a couple hundred yard shot on a standing animal is not at all unreasonable, and many do it successfully every year. With an iron sighted "carry" gun, it's much more difficult, and not something I would advocate as sporting.
I agree that most folks with decent eye hand coordination can do things they hadn't ever thought of, or thought possible. When we had the 300 yard plate in Az, many folks would ooh and aah about it, then you could show them how to do it, and they could generally ding it a few times. I've done it with a few folks at my current spot also.

I also agree about the different types of pistols and their practical application in the field regarding distance shooting on game. The modern scoped guns are much more predictable in use than an open sighted carry gun, and more practical as hunting tools. Several of the shots that Keith wrote about, that get lost in the telling, is that the 600 yard shot he took was at a deer already wounded, and they were out of rifle cartridges, he had nothing to lose. He also stated he wouldnt choose to do it, but under the cicumstances, they didnt have many options to finish a wounded deer. Not sporting, and wasn't conceived to be, just a neccesity at the time. His hunting partner was also spotting for him with his rifle scope. I wouldnt choose to "hunt' a deer or other critter at distance with a pistol, but if the situation was similar, I'd be trying it to finish a wounded animal.
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Old May 5, 2013, 08:31 AM   #48
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Look in to the 357 Maximum if you want a high velocity gun with less bulk and recoil than the cartoony looking X frames.

Supposedly, a Freedom Arms 353 mag can be lengthened to handle 360DW cartridges but at higher pressure which makes it an ideal long range revolver but I've never held one or seen on in person. It'd be a custom job to be sure..
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Old May 5, 2013, 09:03 AM   #49
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TC. Contender or Encore .
Best bang for the buck.
If you are not hunting DANGEROUS GAME.
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