long rang hand cannon


Well-Known Member
Mar 17, 2002
Any one shooting long rang hand guns I am interested in shooting game out to 1200 yards and varmints out past 1500 yards with a hand gun need help with caliber. Thinking about 300 WSM or should I go with a 338 WSM , 338 lapua mag or a 338 Yogi and 300g SMK or a 30-338 lapua mag shooting 240g SMK in a 16 to 18 inch Barrel with a brake on a 8.5 Bat action 1.450 barrel or 1.750 Barrel. I am thinking that with the Lapua Mag I would be able to get 2350 to 2400 FPS that would get at 1000 yards the bullet would have 1800 foot pounds of energy at elavation. At 1200 the 338 would have plenty of energy at over 1600 lbs.
Crow Mag
That sounds like a neat idea, always thought about a long range handgun...
Here in Indiana, we are subjected to SHORT range firearms for hunting deer..
inaccurate, rainbow tajectory shotgun/slug combo (not any better than a good 300 fps bow), muzzle loaders, and pistals, mostly 357's, 44.s and 35 remingtons etc...
NO Rifles for deer... the loophole is you can use any caliber for handguns... as long as the case/brass is over 1.18 inches, and the bullet caliber is over .243 .
You can use a 30-06 XP-100 single shot pistal with a 15-16 inch barrel, but not a 30-06 rifle with a 16+ in barrel...
So the argument of the danger of bullet travel is mute..

I have thought about it, but the problem is those handgun scopes are dinky low power crap... they have dinky dinky dinky dinky objectives that bring in little light in low light conditions in the dusk and dawn times where most harves5t thier deer..
I have considered a rifle scoped handgun, with a heavy barrel, a break and minimal caliber to reduce recoil so I can use a rifle scope.... a .257 robers might be efficent from a 16 inch barrel..... maybe a 6mm PPC if it has enugh power for deer past 500 yards.. Do not want scope to come back on recoil... The pistal with a good break would probably have to weight 25 lbs in a good caliber like a 260 remington... 50 lbs for a 270 WSM..

Donham That's one thing I could never figure out about the midwest. Why in the heck do you guys get stuck hunting with shotguns? When you drive through Indiana and Illinois all you see is freakin' cropland. You could stand around all day just shooting up in the air and never hit anyone with a stray rifle bullet. So what is the logic behind the short range weapons? Here in Pa. we can use rifles and we have 1 million hunters. When I first saw crow mag's post I thought he must be really bored to go through all of that aggrevasion and expense for a handgun but now that I hear of your situation I see the logic. That's exactly the way to get around those screwy regulations. crow mag If you are going to have all of that weight and hardware and it's obviously going to be setting on a rest anyway, why limit yourself to an 18" barrel or is that the limit for handgun barrels in your state? What kind of optics did you have in mind? The project sounds really neat. Good luck with it.
Not sure on optics yet I have some other longrange hand guns also and use from a 2x pistol scope to a 24x Leupold rifle scope. I will have to shoot it with a pistol scope first and then judge the recoil and determine if I could shoot safely with a rifle scope. As for barrel length 18 inch still looks like a pistol. I have a 22BR with a 16 inch barrel and think the 18 would work for this project. I am planning on shooting this gun off a bipod.
Crow Mag

I've been told that any pistol with a barrel longer than 16" must also have a buttstock, any barrel longer than that on one, and it's not legal. Can anyone else confirm this?

I was thinking of hanging a 30" heavy barrel on my Savage Striker with it chambered in 30/416 Rigby Imp until I heard that.
Brent--there are regs on how short barels can be but i cant imagine there would be regs on how long a barrel can be.

anything under 16" is not allowed on a long-gun, that is all i know of

I think I'd send an E-Mail to Thompson Center to find out about the Barrel issue If anyone would know, they would since they market the Encore in both a pistol and carbine format.
You could have Virgin Valley Arms build you a 300 RUSM or 300 Win Short Mag barrel and then use the fastest powder you can find an accurate load for. The high effeciency of these cases combined with a fast powder (so you can burn most of it in a short barrel) should develope as much velocity as possible out of a 14" Bbl.
Do you really think you can consistantly hit a milk jug @ 1000y with a handgun? 99.95% of shooter can't do it with a viced riffle.
Later, Coyoter

That's exactly what I was thinking too, but was told the restriction is as was stated for pistols. I'd guess someone don't want people to have rifle accuracy at LR in a pistol that could be concealed under a trench coat or something to that effect.

I think a milk jug at 1000 yards with a rifle is not much of a problem, nor would it be with a long, heavy match barreled pistol either.

Consistantly means many different things to many people. For me, consistantly means my rifle NEVER shoots any larger groups than "X" number of moa.

Would I be able to do it consistantly as per my definition, probably not likely. 12-14" groups, maybe better, in perfect condidtions might be doable tho.

I want one to fit in my tuff box on my 6-wheeler. I'd use it for Moose out to however far it could group small enough to work 100% of the time.

99.95% of shooters don't even understand how to hit a milk jug at even 500 yards... even if they had a vice.
I have not shot past 720 yards with a pistol but at 720 we were hitting a 6x8 inch steel plate with no problem with a 22 BR. I know that the contender you can put a 16 1/2 inch barrel with no problem.
Crow Mag
Well heres the deal.

Barrel 16" on the nose you can have a pistol style hand grip or a full length buttstock.

Barrel less than 16 can only have a handgrip no butstock allowed.
Barrel longer than 16" has to have a buttstock.
And shotguns must have a barrel length of 18" or longer. These are legal definitions as described to me by an officer in Minnesota.

As far as the calibers listed, I have personally shot an Encore with a 14" compensated barrel in the 30-06 round, And I will not shoot that again, even with the muzzle break the recoil was too much.

Good luck
Very interesting. So you can't use the stocks on the contenders with the 14" bbls? I had also thought if it was manufactured as a pistol action, shorter barrels and a buttstock was no problem. Hmmmmm, I'll have to do more checking on this.

There's also a minimum rifle OAL too, can't remember what length it is though. I wonder if their's one for pistols too?

Thanks guys.
the action is manufactured neither as a pistol nor rifle. I went around and round with a police officer about this once.

It may be different in your state but in MN thats the way it is.
from what ive been told you can take a gun registerd as a handgun and make it a rifle but not the other way around. and that ther is a minumum barrel leight on rifles but no max on hadguns. ive been thinking about a 338/06 barrel i have and cutting it down to 18'' for my striker. jason
Warning! This thread is more than 20 years ago old.
It's likely that no further discussion is required, in which case we recommend starting a new thread. If however you feel your response is required you can still do so.