View Full Version : Lead shot ranges.

Big Bunny
July 21, 2000, 09:58 PM
Following some FL members' disbelief that smaller lead shot could be a problem at 300 yards, I found a "large tear-drop" "#5BR" in amongst some 10lb of reloader shot recently purchased, produced by a well-known maker.
It was X2 the size of a #5BR size and would therefore go somewhat further when clay/wing shooting maybe ?

If a .22LR sub-sonic can go 'a mile', why cannot a BB or #2 fired at the same velocity (or higher) go at least a third of that distance? [I realise the difference in ballistics between spheres and bullets.]

I feel that considering possible pellet defects and "welding" of smaller birdshot under barrel pressure, it could IMHO to pay to keep that 300 figure near urban/rural areas, if only for PR purposes!

"I was shot at" says extended family, pensioner, single-mother of four, urban designer and (*BS)artist Sophie Kennedy yesterday at Blanksville, " some of the bullets (*#6 pellets actually) hit our roof and broke some clay tiles" [*No they didn't -actually HER children did that with stones, but she doesn't say that, as it is a rented house her family is in the process of demolishing!]...also she said "The gunman shot our little wild rabbit friends Flopsy and Mopsey with a big black gun(*the worst kind!) and all they were doing was peacefully feeding next door in the local market-gardener's fields at 6 pm".
....Yes, you get the picture....read all about it!(from an actual case locally).

Stay cool comrades and remember Murphy's Law.....

If we shooting sportspersons don't hang together... we will all hang separately !
Never knock another's different shooting interest or discipline...REMEMBER we are all but leaves on the same tree of freedom.

Big Bunny
July 25, 2000, 06:14 PM
Strange, no interest... it was a hot topic last month!!!Ah well - we will never know.

July 26, 2000, 08:49 AM
Big Bunny... In theory at least, shot clumping is very, very rare when good quality plastic wads are used in a suitable case. It was a much more common phenomenon in the heyday of paper hulls, in particular when they were reloaded soft shot, using a poor quality wad column combined with a weak roll crimp. Without the correct wads, brass cartridges are potentially even more dangerous in this regard.

I do feel that your mention of a range having at least 300 yards to the boundary is a good idea for modern arms. With the resurgance of popularity of shooting of old guns in some areas of the country, shot clumping is a possibility where "antique" style loads are used. In this case 800 yards is, IMO, more appropriate. I'm not condemning old shotguns: I have and enjoy using 3 BPC arms, and one muzzleloader.

That said, I find that even top quality shot often has 1. a number of "double pellets" per bag- the ballistics of these "freaks" feature a broad solution set, & 2. there are, in a some sacks, an unusual number of over & undersize pellets.


Big Bunny
July 26, 2000, 05:44 PM
Thanks Bob, not sure what you mean by " broad solution set, and 2 "........... but your wisdom taken on board over older birdshot loadings 'danger areas'.
I would still like to hear from a ballistics expert regarding heavier BB, SSG, SG and 12 GA slug maximum ranges. I realise all are likely to be fired at less than 33.3 degrees (IE at ground game) but #2 and BB may be accidentially used in wing-shooting. A local reported case gave a BB in the face of a camera man at 600m observing a pheasant shoot with a video camera. It just broke the skin reportedly and no-one owned up to using anything less more #6(Brit size) !!
My own experiments(amateur - using commercially loaded slugs and SSGs from a D/B 12ga) over water, indicate a 800m safety area may be more prudent, though exact spotting and distance measurement was difficult, as I was firing and range-finding at the same time.
The "splash" was also difficult to pick up even on a placid lake near here, at the tail end of 1998 duck season(now banned in NSW by animal liberation/enviro-greenies as "cruel and demeaning to amanimals".)The slugs were the easiest as a column of water and honking greeted their entry !
I know a 38Spl at 750fps will go 300metres as one landed heavily on our SSAA rifle shed roof from a PPC idiot on the rear pistol range last year!

Thanks again for your erudite reply, faith is restored in FL once more !

Good shooting to you Bob, best wishes to all - BB.

If we shooting sportspersons don't hang together... we will all hang separately !
Never knock another's different shooting interest or discipline...REMEMBER we are all but leaves on the same tree of freedom.

July 26, 2000, 11:14 PM
BB... By broad solution set I intended to say that if one were to plug all of the variables into the appropriate ballistic model there would be a wide range of possible outcomes. Assuming the "double" remained intact through the firing cycle its ballistic coefficient would vary with its orientation relative to the axis of flight at each instant. A graphic solution for range would, in my opinion, show a curve weighted toward the shorter ranges, but with a real, though minimal, possibility of longer ranges being realized. .

If you are willing to accept a simple approximation in place of the "real" math Journee's formula (as quoted in Underfstanding Ballistics, Robert Rinker, Morris Publishing, Lincoln, Nebraska, 1996, is adequate.

Pellet diameter (in inches) * 2200 = the maximum range of lead pellets (in yards).

I assume (perhaps wrongly) that Australian shot sizes are the same as those in the U.K., not Canada.

Plugging the sizes you give into the formula, we get:

SG (U.K.)= 00Buck (U.S.)= 0.34"

0.34 * 2200 = 748 yds

SSG (U.K.)= 3Buck (U.S.)= 0.25"

0.25 * 2200 = 550 yds

BB (U.K.)= B (U.S.)=0.175"

0.175 * 2200 = 386 yds

The range (748 yds) this gives for the SSG's fits nicely with your observation of the need for an 800m safety zone. Therefore I am sceptical that the pellet which hit the camera man was in fact a BB if the range was in fact a full 600 m.

Remember that this formula was worked out long ago. The high speed loads which were fashionable in some circles in the late fifties are regaining popularity. To be safe, I'd consider adding 10 to 15% to the results given above.

If you are interested in a more precise solution, I have a copy of the Gs table of ballistic coefficients worked out by Winchester in the 1960's which I would be willing to scan & e-mail to you. You can't use the G1 table which is the only choice in all of the "consumer" grade ballistics programs (that I am aware of) except the one put out by Oehler and get correct results.


[This message has been edited by bfoster (edited July 27, 2000).]

Big Bunny
July 27, 2000, 01:04 AM
Wow !! Thanks Bob...you are a positive mine of information, I will take a copy of your last posting and think 'ont.

Thanks again.

Best wishes - BB.

Big Bunny
July 27, 2000, 05:58 PM
No...thats all I need, thanks for sharing that with me Bob. It pays to be conservative sometimes and be thought a "fuddy-duddy" !!
Regards - BB