long-distance shooting with handguns

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long-distance shooting with handguns

Post by roscoe » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:53 am

After the discussion about pistols as primary BOB firearms, I thought I would do some experimenting. I had to go out to the desert south of town to sight in my 30-06, so I brought along an old defective blue 4-gallon pressure tank (for under-sink water filter systems) as a target to see how I could do with a handgun. I put it 100 yards away (measured with a GPS, so within 4 meters or so) as a fairly visible target. It is probably intermediate in size between a human head and a torso.

I brought my CZ 75 (9mm) and my 5.5" .45 LC Blackhawk, which are two of my longer-barreled handguns. At that distance, the target was narrower than the front post, and the hold-over meant I couldn't see the blue target unless I fired with both eyes open (as I habitually do). The 9mm ammo was cheap FMJ and the .45 LC was .44mag-level stuff (260 grains at 1350 FPS, according the the manufacturer, Georgia Arms).

As for results, I found that I hit the target about a third of the time. At 50 yards I hit essentially every time. I suppose that I could be reasonably sure to hit a fully-exposed human at 100 yards, but only if they were standing still and I could brace the handgun. Certainly anyone hiding behind cover is pretty safe unless I empty a magazine in their direction. It was a big contrast to even my least accurate rifle, my 16" .45 Winchester 1894, which rolled the tank around on the ground at every shot just using a ghost-ring rear site. And the old beat-up 30-06 was hitting spots the size of a quarter.

The moral - yes, I can shoot at 100 yards with a pistol, but I don't expect to hit with accuracy till I am inside 50 yards.

PS - all shot-up targets came home with me. The desert is a mess south of town from slobs shooting refrigerators and all kind of junk without cleaning up.

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Re: long-distance shooting with handguns

Post by brothaman » Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:10 am

100 yard pistol shooting just takes practice and realistic goals. I haven't tried 9mm or 45 Colt with iron sights, but I have shot a Glock 17 with a red dot. 100 yard shots were easy to keep on a man sized target. I've also done quite a bit of shooting with contender pistols. 44 mag with a scope can make hits out to 200 with practice, east out to 100. With irons sight, I've shot some funky stuff like 7mm TCU and regular stuff like 30-30 in a 10inch barrel. The 100 yard target is a lot easier with pointy bullets, but not an issue with the 30-30. If I remember, 150 Federal loads were clocking like 1900 fps in a 10 inch barrel. My handloads were doing around 2000 fps.
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Re: long-distance shooting with handguns

Post by raptor » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:50 pm

100 yard hits with a pistol do require practice.

I have seen a range master (who obviously practices a lot for free) use a J frame to consistently hit a legal sheet of paper 11x14 at 100 yards. I kid you not he aimed by holding the J frame up side down to see the target and the sights.

It can be done.

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Re: long-distance shooting with handguns

Post by JeeperCreeper » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:38 pm

When I first got my Blackhawk Convertible, I was shooting 45 ACP at paper plates. It was against a dirt embankment so I could really see where the shots were going. I started to be able to tag the plate about 50% of the time.

Then, out of nowhere, I couldn't do it again. I think I'm overthinking it. I'm pretty mediocre at a handgun beyond 15 yards. I hate hearing about these gun journalists and their 2 inch groups at 25 yards and 5 inch groups at 50 yards.
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Re: long-distance shooting with handguns

Post by woodsghost » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:47 pm

I got to do some training at a local training facility (88 Tactical), and one of the things we got to do was have a competition were we got 2 shots to hit a upper torso steel target. We got farther and farther. I used my DAO J-frame. First guy was out at 50 yards. Second was out at 70. I was out at 100, by just a hair. I did not realize I slightly pull the gun to the right as I squeeze the DA trigger. There were about 9 of us at the start. They finally went down to 1 shot misses and you are eliminated. The guy who won used a Kahr 9mm CCW. Pretty cool! All shots were from standing standing unsupported position.
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Re: long-distance shooting with handguns

Post by Snyper708 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:37 pm

You can increase you hit percentages by using a "6 O'clock" hold but instead of aligning the top of the front sight with the top of the rear, you align the bottom of the front sight with the top of the rear.

It's even better when you have a ramp front sight that's serrated because you can see the horizontal lines as a reference point. Elmer Keith used to inlay a piece of gold or brass wire in his ramps to use.

You may even have to use a point farther back on the barrel, but you won't be obscuring the the target.

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Re: long-distance shooting with handguns

Post by Halfapint » Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:12 pm

One of the guys at the LGS was talking about hitting targets with his g40 when I was picking up mine out to 300yds..... I take that about as serious as I take fishing tales. I cant seem to hit shit with mine past about 25 yards. I need to get a rest and really sight in my red dot for it, tried at the LGS to support and shoot, but their rest was to short and I was afraid I'd be shooting into the top of the backstop.

However with 4.5" XDM I can hit about 75% of the time out at 100yds. My uncles 45-70 BFR I was hitting chest size steel out to 150yds, but that has an 8" bbl and a light trigger.
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