Long Range Practical Accuracy

I guess, no, I know I’m an opinionated old fart on a lot of subjects. Got that way mostly from learning from my mistakes. I’m not a bit apologetic about it, or the mistakes, as I look at life as a learning process enjoying as much of it as I reasonably can. That leads to a lot of compromises. I like to drive fast, but don’t like traffic tickets, so I compromise by mostly obeying speed limits, no matter how idiotic some of them are.

Guns, ammo and ballistics are nothing more than a lot of compromises by the manufacturers. Think of it this way, if you want 2,000 fps out of a 1911 .45 ACP you can get it — for one shot. And certainly some of the fragments will reach 2,000 fps. So we compromise with a nice, safe 230 at 850 from the 1911, and go to another gun and caliber to get the two grand out of a 230 or heavier bullet. It makes sense, saves hospital and doctor bills too.

Hunting Or Target?

It goes the same way with bullets. The most accurate bullets are going to be those made for the best accuracy possible and most will be on the dismal side of glowing success if used on game. They simply aren’t made for hunting. The hunting bullet will probably not give the best accuracy, although it will do a far better job of doing what is necessary once it strikes an animal to effect a quick clean kill. The accuracy of the hunting bullet is not dismal, but not match grade either. I can’t think of a hunting bullet on the market today that does not have adequate accuracy at maximum practical range for the caliber.

So what is practical range? Thorny question. Right now without glasses and iron sights, no matter the caliber, it’s about 5-8 feet for me. I simply can’t see the sights. Put a 6.5 Mini-Dreadnought with good ammo and optics as well as a rest and I’m pretty effective at 400 yards on an antelope, although I much prefer to shoot shorter ranges. Fact of the matter is, simply at around 400 from that caliber the bullet will loose the capacity for violent expansion and tissue destruction and even a good, fatal hit may result in a slower death of the animal and possible loss by the hunter.

Regardless of the caliber or gun you use, the ballistic capability of the cartridge and your ability under the circumstances existing, to effectively place an immediately effective shot is your practical range — anything further is too long.

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3 thoughts on “Long Range Practical Accuracy

  1. Ernie

    Having a bullet that has enough impact velocity that to perform as designed is crucial.
    To limit others to 400 yards is some what interesting, especially if they can accomplish what is quoted below at distances further than 400 yards shooting from field positions.

    In your own words, “the ballistic capability of the cartridge and your ability under the circumstances existing, to effectively place an immediately effective shot is your practical range — anything further is too long.”

    400 yards may be your max, while 300 yards may be the maximum distance for someone else.
    That is not to say that 400+ may be the beginning practice distance for some.

  2. Ray Moquin

    Very few people, when they get their 1st revolver ie:,357 or .44
    will try a long distance shot, and many don’t think that a revolver or auto is capable of shooting over 50-100 yards, until
    they get educated, Best thing for me back in the 1960’s-70’s
    was to read Elmer Kieth’s “Six Guns” and it is still a excellant book to read. and reading all of his articles, or anyone else’s
    that pretain to long distance shooting, Elmer was shooting at a outhouse 400 yards away, saying the 250 gr. bullet went right threw it.Many times when I’m at the range. I’ll take the hand gun that I have and pick out a stone at 100-200 yards away and see how close that I can come to it. practice makes perfect. you’ll
    even surprise yourself.

  3. John Poland

    I have fired Many 45 ACP’s Over 2000Ft.Sec..They are MagSafe 68 grain epoxy bullets with #2 shot molded in the front. They have Less kick and penetrate gel 15″ !!! Actually I fire them from a 7inch barrel so the speed and energy are moree than the stated stats ones on the box!!(2260 Ft.Sec and 771 Ft.Lbs.of Energy)

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