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Longest Handgun Kill

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Old 10-14-2008, 10:00 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Colorado
Posts: 308
Re: Longest Handgun Kill

There are a lot of LONG shots in this thread. My best are 320 yards on an antelope with a .308 Bellm, 14" Contender.

309 yards on a whitetail, .257JDJ, 14" Contender.

387 yards on a prairie dog, .257JDJ again.
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Old 10-15-2008, 12:19 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Good Ol' Oklahoma
Posts: 206
Re: Longest Handgun Kill

Well, I don't have any "long range" kills with a handgun.

I have only shot 3 big game animals with handguns. Number one was a 5pt Whitetail buck at ~ 65-70 yards shot offhand with a Contender 7-30 Waters. Number two was a small yearling buck taken with an Encore 30-06 JDJ at ~ 70 yards. Both of these were taken while hunting in timber.

My longest shot was my antelope taken September '08 with my T/C Encore 280 AI handgun at 165 paces.

Maybe someday, I'll have the skill and capability to get into "long range", but for now that's my longest shot.

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Old 10-15-2008, 09:47 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Pueblo, CO
Posts: 1,174
Re: Longest Handgun Kill

Yes, lots of great long shots here. BTW, welcome here Rog.

My shot on the antelope doe i took this yr. was about 230 yds. or so, not very long by the stds. that have been set here, but i did have the opportunity to check a fast point blank range rangefinding system that i'd set up for the tgt. size and optic i was using, AND IT WORKED!

I was using the Leupold Varmint Hunter reticle in a 4.5-14x VX-III. The max. point blank range on an antelope doe was about 275 yds. with my load where it dropped about 3.5" from line of sight. I knew that the measurement (subtension) between the 1st and 2nd stadia lines is 2.43 inch per hundred yds. @ 14x, which becomes 2.75x that @ 275 yds. or 2.75 x 2.43 = 6.68 inches. The avg. doe antelope is 14" back to brisket, so i had to adjust the scope's power down to open the gap between the 2 stadia to 14". Nice thing about it all is that it's inversely proportional, i.e. as magnification DECREASES reticle subtension INCREASES. (this is an easy 1 since the scope power is 14 and the tgt. size is 14 so it's easy)--

14/6.7 = 14/x

x=6.7 power

...now if i hunt with the optic set on a lower power that's calcd. for a quick rangefinding system (6.7x) then all i had to do is quickly bracket the doe if she's standing broadside, and if she's as big as the bracketing gap or bigger then just aim dead center and shoot. If she's just a slight bit smaller than the gap she's probably approaching 300 yds. or so, so aim a little high and shoot.

Sure enuf we ran across a herd of does that spooked as we were getting set up to shoot. I picked the biggest one and watched her thru the optic. When she stopped i immediately saw she was a bit bigger than the bracketing gap, so i knew i could aim dead center and hit her in her lungs. I aimed slightly high since i could see she was probably on the long side of the PBR zeroing system and nailed her high in the shoulders (actually had a little help from XPhunter when he called out the lasered range to me, BUT had he not i have enuf confidence in the system that i would have used it had a laser not been there).

This is the quickest, rangefinding system there is that gives a decent degree of accuracy (at least better than guessing), and it appears to work since this is the second time i've tried it and it worked both times.

Last edited by sscoyote; 10-15-2008 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 10-16-2008, 01:04 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Good Ol' Oklahoma
Posts: 206
Re: Longest Handgun Kill

Thanks for the welcome sscoyote. I really like your approach to range finding. Keep those explanations coming.....

I've got the Burris 3x-12x AO scope on my Encore 280 AI. If memory serves me correctly, the subtension between to two larger posts of the plex reticle is 18" (12x @ 100 yards), which would mean that the subtension between the plex cross and the lower post would be 9". I think I will be able to use that as a "simple" range finding measurement as you've illistrated.

As I understand it, you are basically doing what the factories did some time back when they had scopes (I remember Leupold doing some this way) that had corresponding ranges marked on the power adjustment ring when you bracketed a deer within the cross hairs. The reticles were set for a particular average size animal like deer.



Last edited by Buttermilk; 10-16-2008 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 10-16-2008, 09:08 PM
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 458
Re: Longest Handgun Kill

Welcome Rog.
I just enjoy handgun hunting and silhouette shooting. The longer range shooting is an addiction that I really got hooked on recently. I sure have fun with my Savage target action on a Neal Cooper stock in 338/300 WSM.

Steve I was rereading your '06 VHA article on reticle rangefinding and really feel the need to be proficient with it.
It seems this year the antelope kept tuning into the sun or coming from that direction and the rangefinders just did not work. Since I"m not taking the shot without knowing the distance I had to let some does pass and ended up with a leftover tag. ;-((
I'm really looking at getting a Horus scope and trying it out.

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Old 10-16-2008, 11:55 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Pueblo, CO
Posts: 1,174
Re: Longest Handgun Kill

Rog, that's right. It's still in the VX-III's called the "Range Estimating System."

The neat thing about all this is it's based on a simple modification of the mil-ranging formula. I remember years ago playing around with this stuff. The problem was there are so many permutations of the mil-ranging formula that it sometimes gets confusing. All reticle-rangefinding has to be based on this formula (even the Leupold RES mentioned above). It took me forever to figure it out tho. I kept on seeing the factor of 27.8 in the MR formulas, and for the life of me i couldn't figure out what it was. Finally a buddy tol me it was the 3.6" dot to dot measurement at 100 yds. (100/3.6=27.8) So i thought why not punch in any subtension measurement, plex, ballistic reticles, custom reticles. It all works, sometimes better than the mil-dot it self, if the subtension is smaller. It was then that i realized that the mil-ranging formula is not specific to the mil-dot but is simply the geometric formula that defines angles.

It was sort of interesting but all the common mil-dot Internet references do not describe the derivation of the algebraic formula from the angular sine/cosine/tangent crap i don't know anything about. But there's one guy Robert Simeone that details it all, and it then becomes apparent on how the algebra's derived (always wanted to knwo how they did it and this math guy details it all). I'll have to dig up the link for u guys.

IMO, the significance of this simple modification of the mil-ranging formula is WAY more important than the mil-dot itself since it can be used with any reticle out there, even archery sight pins if somebody decided to try it. Once the modified mil-ranging formula is understood it's easily memorized too, and then it becomes easy to see how reverse milling works (calculating any of the other 4 variables in the equation, once the others are known). Combine this with understanding that second focal plane reticle subtensions is based on an inversely proportional formula and the sky's the limit really for rangefinding.

Funny thing about it is once the modified mil-ranging formula is understood it can also be used for downrange zeroing as well (bullet drop can be substituted for tgt. size in the formula)--amazing stuff, IMO.

Mike there was a mistake made in that article that u should know about. Something like the 3rd pg. or so they put the caption of the Burris Ballistic Mil-Dot rangefinding picture in the text. So there's a whole paragraph there that doesn't seem to fit. That's because it was misplaced in the article.

I am thinking of getting a HV system too after talking to Neal Cooper. There's also a great article on the HV system in 1 of the back issues of Precision Shooting. Let me know if u want i'll get u a copy of it.

Last edited by sscoyote; 10-17-2008 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 10-17-2008, 09:07 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 2,676
Re: Longest Handgun Kill

Originally Posted by yotefever View Post
Welcome Rog.
It seems this year the antelope kept tuning into the sun or coming from that direction and the rangefinders just did not work. Since I"m not taking the shot without knowing the distance I had to let some does pass and ended up with a leftover tag. ;-((
I'm really looking at getting a Horus scope and trying it out. Mike
Sorry to hear about the frustrations in the field.
Upgrading your rangefinder will really make a difference in your ability to range in bad ranging conditions. In one word Swarovski-will solve your problems.
Second, I have looked into the Horus reticle system quite a bit myself, and a big negative with the Horus system is you lose the bottom part of your reticle as the magnification goes up. The Horus is so busy of a reticle that it is easy to get confused (at least for me anyway).
Third, when it comes to reticle ranging for animals Steve and I have set a 450-500 yard maximum. Small differences in animals and in your ability to mil range can make enough difference for a wound or a miss.
I still think it is a great back-up to LRF technology though.
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