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Old April 14, 2013, 04:17 PM   #1
triggerhappy2006
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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. For reason X I am looking to get a handgun that will shoot accurately at 100+ yards, with lethality, my choices are a 8" Magnum Revolver(standard ammo), Desert Eagle(standard ammo), Five seveN, PMR30(.22 WMR has similar ballistics to the 5.7X28mm), and a conventional pistol/caliber loaded with RCBD ammunition. Pro's Con's of all.

PMR30-Probably the cheapest ammo, 30rd mag, shot placement is key, High Velocity, low energy, light bullet, flat ballistics.

Five seveN- Expensive ammo, 20rd mag(ext. 30rd), shot placement is key, high velocity, medium energy, light bullet, flat ballistics.

Conventional Pistol/Caliber RCBD ammo-Expensive ammo, unknown performance at long ranges, shot placement may or may not be key, lots of energy, lots of velocity, medium bullet weight, flat ballistics, have to change sight adjustment.

Magnum Revolver-Limited capacity, heavy bullet, slower velocity, arcing ballistics, lots of energy, medium velocity, moderately expensive ammo.

Desert Eagle- +5 Kill points for being a Desert Eagle, same price ammo as magnum revolver, higher capacity than revolver, unique design, +1 cool points.

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
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Old April 14, 2013, 04:27 PM   #2
Rembrandt
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Can't speak for the others on your short list, but the (.44) Desert Eagle with a long or short barrel is an excellent choice. I've used this one at over 200 yards for Antelope and Mulies. .44 Magnum revolver is also handy and capable of long distances.

Whatever your choice, can't emphasize enough the importance of practicing those long distance shots prior to the hunt.



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Old April 14, 2013, 07:02 PM   #3
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If we're only talking about those choices and there's no limit on the price then your best bet is a nice Freedom Arms, I'd go with the .454. But if you're serious about long range pistol shooting, way beyond 100yrds, best bet is an XP custom build.
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Old April 15, 2013, 02:42 AM   #4
MarkDozier
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Quote:
So as far as long range, accurate hand-gunning goes, practicality stops at about 150 yards with hunting and long before that for self defense or tactical applications
Your assumptions are all wrong.
Hunting is done at well over 200 yards as stated and I have spoken with shooters who have done long distance 200 yard pistol matches.
With your assumptions being incorrect, what is your question?
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Old April 15, 2013, 09:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
"So as far as long range, accurate hand-gunning goes, practicality stops at about 150 yards with hunting and long before that for self defense or tactical applications"

Your assumptions are all wrong.
Hunting is done at well over 200 yards as stated and I have spoken with shooters who have done long distance 200 yard pistol matches.
With your assumptions being incorrect, what is your question?
Your opinion doesn't trump his. His caveat of "practicality" is something I believe is correct. It doesn't exclude any exceptions. I've shot long range handguns for thirty years. I can tell you for a fact that most people shooting at long range have no business doing so. I've won seven state shoots and two regional shoots in International Class and the vast majority of shooters at those events shot "at" targets and their hit percentage, for the majority, wasn't all that great.
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Old April 15, 2013, 09:47 AM   #6
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A couple good points have been made. I shoot at distance a fair bit, but wouldnt by any means claim to be all that great. The last post (NSB) has some good experience behind it. I shoot at stuff at distance, but do it with ordinary belt guns. One can do surprising things with them when you do it a lot over time, but more specialized tools will be more productive. I'd suggest having both, a regulary carry gun you can shoot well, and a specialized tool if you want to do more consistant connecting.

The desired terminal effect has some bearing on the tool. The supposed disadvantages of some tools may not be as much of a disadvantage as may be first presumed. A larger caliber bullet may have a more arched trajectory, but makes good sized holes at distance, even after the distance may not encourage expansion in a more streamlined bullet. Making a hit is the issue with the larger caliber though.

We regularly shoot 300 yards with various pistols, mainly carry guns. 2-3/10 with a stock g-19, one handed, on an 18" round plate isn't out of the question, but one can do better with more practice and better tools (or using both hands). 6/6 @ 300 with a k-22 on an 18"wx36"h plate is doable, as is 5/6 on the same with a 4" 29, kneeling, can be done. Glass and flatter shooting loads helps though. This discussion reminds me of shooting with a friend years ago. I was shooting at a rock at about 300 yard with open sights, hitting it often enough, but not every time. He was shooting at a spot on the rock, and hitting it, with his scoped '06. Just depends on what level you need at the moment, an what you're willing to drag around on a regular basis to achieve it. We shoot carry guns mostly because thats what we tend to carry around and are likely to use. Not as precise, but more practical.
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Old April 15, 2013, 11:54 AM   #7
Bob Wright
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I have shot at fairly long ranges, out to 200 meters on the metallic silhouette range. My choice was my Ruger Super Blackhawk in .44 Magnum.

I used a 250 gr. Keith bullet with 25.0 grs. of DuPont (then) IMR-4227 which clocked 1400 fps muzzle velocity. Later I switched to Winchester 296 and got about 1525 fps.

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Old April 15, 2013, 02:56 PM   #8
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Make mine a 629.
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Old April 15, 2013, 03:01 PM   #9
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FIL shot a Wisconsin buck at a measured 150 yards with a Dan Wesson 357 Max wearing a 4X Luepold... I'm not that good a shot, but he dropped it in it's tracks with a 180 grain hollow point hand load
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Old April 15, 2013, 03:15 PM   #10
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Shooters may stop at 100 yards, the guns don't. Out here in the wide open spaces 100 yards just ain't that dang far and that doesn't change with the gun in your hands. 150 yards? Yep, a little further but not FAR. Practicality isn't some arbitrary distance set by someone at a keyboard. It's set by the gun, the load and the shooter. Just cause you can't/don't do it doesn't mean iit's not practical. Even if 90% of shooters can't/don't do it doesn't make it so.

The .22m from a handgun has no where near the ballistics of the 5.7mm. Again, not even close. Where do people come up with this crap?

Like always, not all guns are great at all things. What's great for zombies may suck for James Bond and what's great for him may suck for Elmer Keith. Truth be told, for milk jugs and playing Bond any gun that works at 25 yards will work at 50 yards will work at 200 yards. Rimfire or centerfire, most handguns will outshoot their owners by a wide, wide margin. Just takes practice and realistic expectations. If you only hit milk jugs 5 outta 10 at 50 then you ain't gonna do better at 200. But practice helps and most people give up well before 100 yards let alone beyond that. Hunting is another story. You not only need the accuracy and ability but you need the power. That means starting with calibers in the .4's with a good dose of powder behind em.
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Old April 15, 2013, 03:29 PM   #11
saleen322
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460 S&W

The 460 provides wide spectrum of power, accuracy, and range for distance shooting. For low power shooting you have a .45 Colt. Want a little more power, you can shoot 454 which has a decent punch, and it you need more go for 460; all from the same revolver. This caliber is scary accurate and the speed gives more range due to a flatter trajectory.

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Old April 15, 2013, 05:34 PM   #12
Newton24b
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no offense but there are youtube videos of gentlemen using j frames for 100 yard shooting with GOOD results, like full cylinders on a standard silhoute target.
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Old April 15, 2013, 05:51 PM   #13
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I have successfully engaged stumps and similar "plinking" targets at ~ 100rds with my SIG-Sauer P226 using 127 grain Winchester police ammunition.
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Old April 15, 2013, 07:22 PM   #14
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Use whatever you want, as long as you can keep all shots on an 8" Pie Pan. That will dictate how long your range will be.
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Old April 15, 2013, 08:26 PM   #15
Bob Wright
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As to long range shooting, there is certainly nothing wrong with "wonder if I can hit that" while plinking away an afternoon of shooting.

I've put my share of bullets into rotten tree stumps, washing machines, No. 2 wash tubs, and console radios at "gee whiz" ranges.

Don't take all the fun out of shooting.

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Old April 15, 2013, 08:40 PM   #16
alex0535
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Thompson/Center Contender or Encore would be great options for long range handgun hunting. You get a large selection of calibers for any type of game. Both are single shot, but if you are doing long range handgun hunting I do not see this as a bad thing, It will make you reconsider making a shot you are not sure you can make.

If you just want something to reach out to 100-150 yards for target shooting/ etc. Most handguns can reach out that far. I have seen videos of people lobbing .22 out to 200 yards and ringing steel.

Long range handgunning capability is going to be determined more by the shooters skill than the gun's capability to send rounds out that far. I would want a long barrel, the longer the better in most cases.

Last edited by alex0535; April 15, 2013 at 08:47 PM.
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Old April 16, 2013, 08:51 AM   #17
22-rimfire
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This...

Quote:
Long range handgunning capability is going to be determined more by the shooters skill than the gun's capability to send rounds out that far. I would want a long barrel, the longer the better in most cases.
It takes practice. I don't think you can shoot a big bore twice a year and expect to make a predictable shot/hit at 200 yds on a whitetail or a milk jug. The practice part is crucial and that is the expensive part which keeps handgun hunting or shooting mostly within practical ranges (under 100 yds). 100 yds is no close shot with a handgun, but the bullet will travel that far and much more.

As far as choice goes.... I would tend to think in terms of the high velocity handgun rounds for long distance (>150 yds) shooting or hunting. Those would generally be the 460 S&W and 454 Casull for the common man. The 460 has appeal, but I have gone with the 480/475 for my big big bore shooting from a handgun.

I would choose something with a "4" in the number and skip the toys unless you're just having fun.

A TC Contender makes a lot of sense. You don't need rapid fire capability, you need predictable precision. That's the hard part.

There are a lot of Elmer Keith wanna-be's these days. I guess I'm one of them.

If I still lived where wood chuck hunting was practical as a common activity, I would own a Customized Remington XP-100 and would be having just loads of fun all summer long.

Last edited by 22-rimfire; April 16, 2013 at 08:59 AM.
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Old April 16, 2013, 11:07 PM   #18
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I dont really shoot long range pistols, but in one of those "wonder if I could hit that" times last week a friend and me where shooting my Ruger Old Vaquaro 44 mag. Shooting small rocks at 60yards was not much challenge.

Then we started shooting at a steel fence post at 80 yards and by golly I was smacking it every third shot. The misses where VERY close. A 3" balloon would have been hit every time.

Works great for me as I was planning on using this gun and my 357 on deer this fall. The 357 shoots almost as good if not the same. I dont think 100 yards would be very hard for a deer as long as you have the right loads.

Last edited by reloader28; April 18, 2013 at 07:48 AM.
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Old April 17, 2013, 01:07 AM   #19
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Here's the secret, in case no one has ever told you, any gun can hit anything you can see. Its just a matter of you (the shooter) knowing what the gun will do at whatever range and wind, and then being physically able to do it.

Simple, right?

And it really is, once you have learned just the right thing(s) to do. Its the learning them, and then the doing them that kind of difficult, more for some than others.

Elmer wrote of shooting an old outhouse at 6-700 yards. Claimed he could hit it with anything you brought him, usually before the gun ran dry. Said a guy brought over a suitcase full of pistols, and he did it with every one, except for a short barrel slip hammer SA, which took him 12 shots.

I've got a couple decades of practice shooting across a canyon, and can do 200yds offhand with a number of guns. I have Contenders, an Xp-100, and a number of magnum and non magnum revolvers and auto pistols that can, in the right hands regularly ring the 200yd gong on the range, especially if a rest is used.

If you are willing to put enough practice into it, you could learn to do it with a service class auto or even a snub nose revolver.

As to the pros and cons of your choices, I can't speak to all of them from personal experience, but some of them I can.

A service style auto pistol is a poor choice, not meaning that you can't get accurate hits at long range, but that the features of the gun & ammo make it more difficult than some other designs. In general, tilt barrel guns are not as good as designs where the barrels doesn't move, or only moves straight back and forth for long range accuracy.

And the trajectory of service class cartridges also makes it more of a challenge than higher velocity flatter shooting ones.

Small bore rounds, even higher velocity ones suffer from wind drift. Until you get into the class of (normally) single shots chambered in rifle cartridges, you can't get much speed from the most efficient long range bullets for the caliber, either.

Desert Eagle is a good choice in some ways, but has some cons as well. ITs HEAVY. Kill points coolness don't overcome the size of the grip, which, if you wear smaller than size 9 gloves, you are going to have some trouble with...

pro: can be scoped easily, very accurate with the right ammo, mild (for caliber) recoil
con: stock trigger pull is fair, not great
Standard sights are semi fixed (good adjustable sights are an option -aftermarket)
Can only shoot jacketed bullets

I don't understand what capacity has to do with it, but its your game...to me, capacity only matters when you want/need to shoot fast shots, and snap shooting doesn't often hit at long range. Unless you are contemplating a long range pistol duel, I don't get what capacity has to do with it.
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Old April 17, 2013, 07:53 AM   #20
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100-yard pistol shooting is my game. You must know several limitations in order to engage an actual live species at rifle distances with an handgun.

If you choose handgun ammo, be advised that anything that goes supersonic at the muzzle it will go subsonic at distance. The transaction from super to sub will cause a sharp drop that it is very hard to predict. The fix is to load all the handgun ammo below the speed of sound or way above it. I load my .44 rm and .357 rm at 1000 f/s.

As far as handgun calibers, the heavier the better of course so .44, .45., .50 from 230-300 grains.

The ballistics of any handgun ammo of those calibers will be pathetic to say the least. However, the drop can be quite predictable if you load subsonic. Practice, practice, practice there could be feet of drop from 50-100 yards!

If you choose to use iron sights, sight radius will be a problem due to the short barrels. The fix is a longer barrel or a scope. There is a point where a particular open sight system is precise enough for the given caliber.

Stability with a handgun will never be like the one from a rifle. I am found of bipods installed on precision handguns. Other options are resting the barrel on your knees while shooting in a lazy sit position.

As far as specialty handguns for long distance, then stick to rifle ammo. You must use a scope because the open sight system and short barrel will not have enough embedded precision for rifle rounds. The recoil is going to be a big issue. A .243 w has twice the energy of a .44 rm! I find the .44 pleasant to shoot. On my .243 I had to install a muzzle brake because of the recoil and snappiness.

In terms of sheer marksmanship, I put hitting a beer can at 100 yards with a handgun as difficult as hitting the same beer can at 1000 yards with a scoped rifle.

My best groups from a .44 rm with a 15" barrel and open sights were 3" at 100 yards.

The best groups from a .243 with a 16" barrel and scope were .5" at 100 yards.

Best of luck!

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Old April 17, 2013, 08:57 AM   #21
L_Killkenny
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In terms of sheer marksmanship, I put hitting a beer can at 100 yards with a handgun as difficult as hitting the same beer can at 1000 yards with a scoped rifle.
Come now, bit of a stretch maybe? For most shooters a 100 yard shot with any reasonably made handgun is a chip shot compared to a 1000 yard rifle shot. Heck, the best long range rifle shooters in the world can have trouble with 1000 yard beer can shots.

All gun formats aside your talkin drop and drift measured in inches at 100, talkin measured in FEET at 1000. 1mph difference in wind won't make a dang bit a difference on beer cans at 100, that same 1 mph can cause a miss on a bus at 1000.
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Old April 17, 2013, 09:26 AM   #22
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Long Range

Before my eyes betrayed me, long-range handgunning was one of my favorite pastimes. A casual afternoon of picking out a distant target at unknown ranges...sometimes with a side bet betwixt friends...is the source of many pleasant memories. I've made some hits at ridiculous ranges, and... once I got the hang of a particular target...could hit it repeatedly.

Hunting? As Squintin' Clint noted: "A man's got to know his limitations."

Back when I hunted like it was a second religion, I set limits for myself with handgun or rifle. My goal was a quick, humane kill...not establishing bragging rights as to how far away I killed an animal...or crippled it, as the case may be. If I wasn't 98% sure within my own mind that I could anchor that deer with one shot, I passed up the shot. That habit has probably cost me more than a few nice bucks, but I can say that I've never had one run off to parts unknown to die in agony.

Just the way I rolled. YMMV
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Old April 21, 2013, 04:40 PM   #23
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Better get you a 460xvr...........for sure....
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Old April 21, 2013, 05:33 PM   #24
newfrontier45
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Quote:
.22 WMR has similar ballistics to the 5.7X28mm
Only if you compare a .22Mag rifle to the FiveSeven pistol.
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Old April 21, 2013, 08:04 PM   #25
kutz
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My Magnum Research BFR in Marlin .450 is moa of beer can at 100 yards.
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