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Old June 6, 2013, 02:02 PM   #1
Rebel9793
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What is the farthest shot you would feel comfortable with a handgun?

I was at the range today despite the nasty storms they got going on down here in SW Florida an a gentleman asked me how I was so comfortable shooting 50yds with a .44 magnum with a 9.5" barrel. I regularly practice out to 100 an have shot soda cans out a 125 for giggles, but the question got me wondering, at which range do you feel comfortable making a shot with a handgun? in a hunting sitiuation?
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Old June 6, 2013, 02:20 PM   #2
Jay24bal
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not far

I am not all that accurate with a handgun in my hand, so not nearly as far as you! (good work though, 100 yards is impressive in my book).

I have screwed around at the 50 yard line with a handgun and usually have about a 75% hit rate on a 9" target. Even though I have never hunted with a handgun and have no intention of doing so, I would probably limit myself to 25-30 yards as at that distance I am comfortable hitting the vital zones reliably.

Maybe one day I will acquire a long-barreled handgun with an optic of some kind, but for now all I have is standard open sight pistols. All of my handgun practice is done at defensive distances.
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Old June 6, 2013, 02:27 PM   #3
Bob Wright
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The exact rage is hard to say for deer. I've not made 85 yard shots because of the surroundings, such as too thick cover or the animal was not visible enough for a good aiming point, then taken 100 yard shots when everything was right.

Groundhog, with a wide open field, 150 yards.

With a .44 Magnum, shot placement is not so critical on varmints as on larger game.

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Old June 6, 2013, 02:33 PM   #4
Rebel9793
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Thanks Jay. It took lots of practice to be able to do that haha. This redhawk is a shooter that is for sure. Ive taken hogs out to about 75 yards but I feel comfortable if one stepped out in the open around 100-125 I could take him down without any trouble. I was just wanting to see how people felt about the topic.
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Old June 6, 2013, 02:39 PM   #5
JimPage
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For deer, I'd shoot at 50 yards off hand. Out to 125 with a rest (tree, walking stick, handy rock, etc). That's with either .357 or .44 Magnum.
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Old June 7, 2013, 12:01 AM   #6
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With a regular handgun(at least as regular as I have, 8inch barrel and 2X scope) from a semi stable rest I'm pretty confident out to 100yards. Take away the rest and that range drops to about 50. Now give me my 15" 30/30 AI and its 6X,then 200 is quite realistic.
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Old June 7, 2013, 07:38 AM   #7
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First handgun buck I shot was at 50 yards, freehand. (.44 mag, 6 inch barrel, red dot scope) I subsequently shot a doe the following year at about 85, freehand. Not an easy shot, but I was very steady that day.

I would not hesitate to shoot, from a rest, in the neighborhood of 100 yards.
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Old June 7, 2013, 08:13 AM   #8
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Completely depends on the gun, but with some of my 9mms or .45 revolvers I would take confident body shots at 50-60 yds.
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Old June 7, 2013, 08:23 AM   #9
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Depends on the amount of practice the shooter has done. On the range, a practiced shooter that knows his gun can do 100 yards.
Hunting in hard to judge conditions, out of breath, moving target is a whole 'nuther animule. I was very good with my .44 mag. Redhawk but would never have tried a hunting shot over 50 yards.
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Old June 7, 2013, 08:56 AM   #10
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Farthest game shot I would comfortably take would be between 50-75yds. My grandpa, dad, and me broke out all of our .44mag's and goofed around at a man sized steel plate at 300yds. Granted, it took us multiple shots to get on target and we used some "hot" loads. None of us bothered with trying to check grouping at that range since we would probably never do it again lol. Go figure, I'm shooting the shortest barrel, 6" .
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Old June 7, 2013, 09:13 AM   #11
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I'm a 25 yard max off hand kind of guy.
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Old June 7, 2013, 09:16 AM   #12
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Depends on how you define handgun.
With 14" Thompson Center or similar bolt action with a 4-6X scope off a rest I'd say 300 yards given that I felt the round had enough oomph to take the animal cleanly at that range.
If you mean something that's more of a belt carried iron sighted revolver, free standing off hand I'd say 100 would be my absolute limit, but I'd need good conditions.
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Old June 7, 2013, 11:39 AM   #13
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With iron sights I'm good to about 30 yds off-hand and double that off a solid rest. My near 60 yr old eyes just don't cut it beyond that. With a scoped revolver good to 125 yds, but lousy off-hand because of the extra weight.

My best compromise is a light weight red dot sight, which keeps me a cylinder full in a 5" group at 50 yds off-hand and out to a 100 yds off a solid rest. "5 in 5" is my rule of thumb for hunting accuracy.
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Old June 7, 2013, 12:56 PM   #14
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Depends on the target.
25yds is my maximum if I want to hit 9 1/2" x 11" paper. On a good day all my shots will be on paper.
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Old June 7, 2013, 01:12 PM   #15
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I am not sure what "comfortable" means. A certain hit? A certain kill or disable hit? A maybe hit? A close miss? At what ranges? With what gun?

I have hit silhouette targets at 100 yards regularly, shooting DA with a 3" barrel Model 36, but I could not be sure of doing that under stress. Yet, I could hit every shot with a Model 27 or Model 29. All that being said, beyond 50 yards, given the option, I would use a rifle.

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Old June 7, 2013, 01:38 PM   #16
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Never shot a critter beyond 50 yards with a handgun. I would it's just never come up. I wouldn't hesitate a 25-35 yards shot on small game with a .22lr. On critters like skunks, coyotes, groundhogs, etc the range is less a concern than how many shells are left in the gun. On deer I feel I'm more limited in range of my .357 than my ability to hit out to 100-150 yards. I can make those shots, probably shouldn't if they present themselves.

Things would have to be dead nuts perfect for me use it at 100 yards and I don't think things are ever dead nuts perfect in the field.
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Old June 7, 2013, 01:57 PM   #17
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Change the yards mentioned above to feet. There is a reason I have 3 rifles and 2 shotguns in addition to my 3 handguns. Clint said it best "A mans got to know his limitations."
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Old June 7, 2013, 01:58 PM   #18
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To be honest, 25 yards is my maximum for being consistent.
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Old June 7, 2013, 02:33 PM   #19
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Depends on the size of the target. I often set up an 8" steel plate at 50 yards and hit it about 6 or 7 out of 10 times off hand with iron sights. At 100 yards I can hit a man size target no problem.
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Old June 7, 2013, 03:03 PM   #20
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I've handgun hunted rabbits and squirrels for decades, with both .22's and light loaded centerfires. I once had the occasion to shoot a squirrel that was running toward a distant grove of trees from 70 yards. I had declined the shot at first from 40yds, but watching it continue to run straight line away from me, I took the shot. Now this was with a 1911 loaded with 230 lead reloads, so you can imagine my surprise when I nailed him on the first shot. That's my longest handgun hit. I normally don't shoot at anything over maybe 30-35yds unless i'm scoped and the critter is standing still.
My most surprising shot would be one with a single action 44 mag(downloaded for rabbit) on a covey of quail the dogs had on point. My hunting buddy was amazed, I just acted like it was normal.
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Old June 7, 2013, 03:20 PM   #21
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What is the farthest shot you would feel comfortable with a handgun?

Single action 1911 or Coonan 357 Mgnum 1911, 50-75 yards.

Concealed carry guns : 25 yards. I don't know how justified shooting anything further in a defense situation can made.
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Old June 7, 2013, 08:20 PM   #22
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"I don't know how justified shooting anything further in a defense situation can made."

Unfortunately, in a defense situation, you might not be the one who controls the scenario. It could be a good idea to at least practice a bit and have some idea what you and your gun are capable of doing beyond what you consider "justified."

Jim
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Old June 7, 2013, 10:05 PM   #23
OkieCruffler
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Picture youself in that Colorado Theater at the opposite side of the freak. That's why I still practice with my carry gun at longer ranges.
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Old June 8, 2013, 01:15 AM   #24
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Depends on the gun. With an LCP about 5 feet. With a 1911 about 100 feet. With a scoped Blackhawk .44 probably 100 yards.
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Old June 8, 2013, 02:04 AM   #25
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Out to around 150 with My SRH.454 OFF A rest.scoped of course.
out to 250 with t/c encore 16'' 7mm08.
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