Long Range Handgun Anyone?

Ernie

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Dan/GunsNgeeks started this thread asking about straight-wall cases (standard pistol cartridges).
Even the typical straight-wall cartridges are easier to shoot more accurately in a single-shot set-up, given a great trigger, free-floated forend, good optics, etc...

When you get into the specialty pistol world with rifle cartridges, it is a completely different game, as you will only give up from 150 fps-250 fps to the same cartridge in a rifle of the same chambering.
 
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del2les

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Historically, I did a lot of IHMSA shooting with straight wall pistols, 38, 357, 44, 357Max, etc, and the rams were at 200m (220yd). I used both 6-8 inch revolvers and 10 inch Contenders. Once loaded correctly, they were very effective on steel targets and deer size and lessor game. Though the larger cases and bores do work well on elk also. I have pushed 9mm/45ACP handguns out to some rather long distances on steel, but never used them on game beyond 100 or so.

For a few decades, I loved handgun hunting, and when I still can, I do occasionally take out one of my revolvers or Contenders. With the right loads, they can be very effective in well trained hands.

Now, the necked rifle/wildcat cases take things into a different realm.
 
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Dr. Richard Gray

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9 mm and .45, give me a break. If you want to do long range with a pistol you had better be looking at nothing less than the .357. If you are serious about it, I would suggest that you coygh up the $1500+ for a S&M 460 Xtreme. Excellent reviews for a fantastic weapon.
 

COBrad

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I’ve killed marmots out to just over 200 yds with my FA .454 Casull. Too many to count when the range gets down to 150 or less. I just put a scope on it so hoping to push it further now. Longest handgun shot was a prairie dog at 328 this spring. That gun is a 6ppc XP-100 with a 6-24 scope on it. That gun is also for sale. PM if anyone is interested.
 

epoletna

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I've shot ground squirrels out to 100+ yards with a .357 magnum, but not with any great consistency. When IHMSA came along I got caught up in the rage and picked up an XP-100 in 7mm International. Good cartridge -- almost the same dimensions as the 6.5 Creedmoor, but with a slightly larger diameter bullet.

I found out I didn't enjoy IHMSA shooting -- it just wasn't my thing. I keep thinking I should sell this pistol -- it just never gets shot. Anyone thinking they'd like to pick up an whole package -- pistol, dies, original IHMSA brass -- PM me and I can send pix.

Great to about 300 yards if you're a better shot than I am!
 

del2les

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Hello all,

I’d be curious to see the data if anyone has it.

Thanks,
Dan

While there are several good sources, if you can find one of these, you can learn a lot about longer range hand-gunning.


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blueprairiedog

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A friend of mine hunts with a Thomson center chambered in 7mm TCU.He has killed some of the biggest bucks with it.He uses that more than anything else.He is a hell of a shot with a pistol of any type and shoots a lot. I would not I own to many rifles to leave one home
 

Treeslug

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New Braunfels, Texas
I wanted to leap in on this conversation. I have been mostly leaving my rifles in the truck for the past few years. I never looked at handgun hunting as a truly long-distance shooting proposition. I hunt in Texas, in the Piney Woods and the mesquite and cedar brush country where you can make long shots if you try, but a great portion of this country is custom-designed for closer range shots like bow hunting and black powder muzzleloader hunting. I have grown fond of shooting feral hogs with my pistols. I have both of S&W's big boys. My 500 S&W is short-barreled 5 inch, and my 460 has an 8 & 3/8s inch barrel with a Burris scope. I shoot heavy, lead cast bullets. Wild hogs here are a large problem and several of my neighbors allow me to hunt their property and I like making sausage with my kills. I like to sneak up on them, and 100 yards is a LONG shot for me. But that is still long-range hunting in my book.

I just bought and still have not shot a new Springfield Armory 6in. bbl longslide, 10mm, just to have fun with. I was supposed to go last week but my feet were too swollen and I missed that hunt, but I am going to try again this week. Hope I can send some pictures soon.
 

Wolf01

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Silver springs , Nv.
Hunting with a handgun at Long range is very possible, but the cartridge and bullet choice will dictate just How far is possible to hunt with it. The idea of hunting is hitting where you want to with enough energy and bullet performance.

Pistol cartridges are limited by energy and trajectory. Also the ballistic coefficient in most pistol cartridges like you mention have very poor BC's and at some range become unstable and even tumbull. They can /will still hit a target, but will be inaccurate and not perform consistently on game.

The only real way to find out is to shoot your favorite pistol, starting at 25 yards to get a group and moving out 25 yards at a time until you feel accuracy is not good enough to hunt with and also run the energy numbers at that distance to see if they are still enough to do the job.

I recommend Having a comfortable distance for each handgun you have and sticking with those limits while hunting. The type of pistol also makes a huge difference in the shooters capability and the pistols itself.

Most people that hunt long distances (400 yards +) rely on bolt action pistols. Revolvers are/can be used to 300 yards in the hands of a good shooter. The Semi Auto's are normally held to 200 yards maximum for hunting. All pistols can hit a target well beyond their effective hunting range. I have seen videos of people hitting targets @ 1000 yards with big revolvers, but you wouldn't want to hunt anywhere near that distance.

I consider 500 yards a long shot for a bolt action pistol, some (Better shots than I am) have extended this to 600+ with the right cartridge pistol combination.

It is a good question, but lots of thought of what pistol to use, and practice are necessary to shoot at the limit of a handgun in my opinion.

J E CUSTOM
I have a ruger sr 22 that is easy to hit 8in out to 230 yards. I'd shoot a squirrel with it but that's it. When I started hunting deer, I used a 31/2" s&w 357 mod 27 that was worked over nicely I could hit a dime at 25 and killed deer with it to 100.
 

Wolf01

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Silver springs , Nv.
I wanted to leap in on this conversation. I have been mostly leaving my rifles in the truck for the past few years. I never looked at handgun hunting as a truly long-distance shooting proposition. I hunt in Texas, in the Piney Woods and the mesquite and cedar brush country where you can make long shots if you try, but a great portion of this country is custom-designed for closer range shots like bow hunting and black powder muzzleloader hunting. I have grown fond of shooting feral hogs with my pistols. I have both of S&W's big boys. My 500 S&W is short-barreled 5 inch, and my 460 has an 8 & 3/8s inch barrel with a Burris scope. I shoot heavy, lead cast bullets. Wild hogs here are a large problem and several of my neighbors allow me to hunt their property and I like making sausage with my kills. I like to sneak up on them, and 100 yards is a LONG shot for me. But that is still long-range hunting in my book.

I just bought and still have not shot a new Springfield Armory 6in. bbl longslide, 10mm, just to have fun with. I was supposed to go last week but my feet were too swollen and I missed that hunt, but I am going to try again this week. Hope I can send some pictures soon.
Rem xp100 221 fire ball will roll deer up a long way out.
 

del2les

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South Central, CO
While the op stated 9mm, 45, etc (assuming straight wall), IF one wants to go beyond the more typical ranges of bullets styles used in revolvers and semiauto pistols, the single shot handguns can give extended range with the same straight wall cases, i.e. 30 carbine, 32/327 mag, 357, 41, 44, 45LC etc.

When using the Contender or others, the case can be loaded with spire/spitzer or long RN type bullets. I've loaded a lot of 30 cal 110 spires in 30 carbine, .358 150-180gr spires and 200gr seated long in the 357 mag and 357 Max for better BC and down range energy. In my 357 Herrett (not straight wall I know), I had good success with 200's seated out. The Hornady Flex Tip, FTX, really adds distance to bigger bores like 44 and 45.

Again, if your plans are to stay straight wall standard pistol/revolver cartridges, these are some options. If you want to really go longer range with pistols, the bottle necks or straight wall rifle cases (375 W) is where is it at. I love my 7mm's, 30 AI's and larger case 35's in the single shots.
 
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itsme

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I found out I didn't enjoy IHMSA shooting -- it just wasn't my thing. I keep thinking I should sell this pistol -- it just never gets shot. Anyone thinking they'd like to pick up an whole package -- pistol, dies, original IHMSA brass -- PM me and I can send pix.

[/QUOTE]


I'd be interested and the info you have
 

Critter Picker

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Oct 30, 2019
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Wisconsin
While in South Dakota hunting we camped at a place that had a 1000 yard range, told the owner I would like to try shooting my .308 encore at that distance.

Next trip out I had 50 rounds loaded with 165 BT . Was able to hit a railroad splice plate 4 out of 5 at 600 yards. My Nikon 3 to 8 scope didn't have enough elevation adjustment to go farther. Would never hunt at that distance ,but I love shooting that distance.
 

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