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Discussion Starter #1
whats up y'all
just joined the forum. . . got a brand spankin' new Ruger GP100 357 with a 4" barrel that i couldnt possibly be happier with!

i had done some long range shooting with the mag one of the times i took it out and was actually quite pleased with my results, for example it took me two shots to hit a radiator fluid jug at about 100ish yards. so this just brought me to the question of which caliber(s) of handgun would be better for long range, or more specifically, which calibers have the least drop at longer range?

i would assume the ones that have a higher velocity and can maintain that velocity i.e. 460 S&W, maybe 44 mag, and the 357 mag as well... but ive also heard that the 22LR can reach out there as well, and other people say the 9mm being a higher velocity round is pretty good too.

i know that truely just about anything will travel farther than you can effectively aim it, but i just cant help but wonder. what are your thoughts?
 

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I've been to John Linebaugh's seminar at Cody Wy. Many shooters will sit down and hit the lifesize bullalo at 1000 with boring regularity. Most are large caliber revolvers, 44 and up, barrels between 4 3/4 and 6 inches with iron sights.

I've shot a 38WCF John built with the two bar front sight which will easily hit the 500 meter rams.

I don't know the maximum height of the trajectories, but I can say that the larger bullets go further. 357's 38WCF and 41's tend to poop out between 600-800 yards unless you shooting a bit heavier than normal bullet.
 

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If you are excluding custom guns, those not commerically made, then the TCU 6mm or the TCU 7mm would be the flatest shooting.

357, 44 and 45 clibers have terrible Ballistic coefficients, and they are slow.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I know there are some 357 rounds that touch about 1600-1700fps, wouldnt those be able to reach out there pretty far? although maybe not have quite the punch as a 454 or 460...
 

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Well, you were asking about "lowest drop" that is trajectory; flat shooting.
All handgun rounds will "reach out" to 300 yards and much more.
 

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If you are excluding custom guns, those not commerically made, then the TCU 6mm or the TCU 7mm would be the flatest shooting.

357, 44 and 45 clibers have terrible Ballistic coefficients, and they are slow.
Actually, if you count T/C 15" Encore options as "pistols", then you've got some options that are considerably flatter than even the TCU rounds. A 260 Remington, from an Encore, would be good for 500 yard target shooting, easily. Some folks have specialized rigs that allow them to shoot twice that far, with accuracy that rivals a good bolt-action.

As for revolvers, the big bore stuff, with a heavy slug is the way to go. I'm sure the OP enjoyed hitting a 1-gallon jug at 100 yards, but in the grand scheme of things, that is just the tip of the iceberg for long-range pistol shooting. Bowling pins at 200 yards would be a better test, maybe?
 

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DaGunShow,

Perhaps I could clarify things just a bit.
If we refer to handgun cartridges , I think of those that are designed for revolvers. So, lets divide them into catagories.

1: Designed for Automatics,
2: Designed for Revolvers
3: Designed for Rifles
4: Designed for Specialty Handguns

In the first class, autos, there are some rounds that crossover to other classes. eg: 45 win mag, 50 AE, 45 ACP, etc
The second class is pretty well self explanitory, with exception being the BFR revolvers, they are designed for what was originally rifle rounds.
The third class is you TC, Encore and Contender with 223, 30-30, 308 family, 30-06 family, Belted mags.
Lastly there are cartridges actually designed for the Specialty Pistols, namely the T/C Contender. The TCU's the Herretts and the like.

If we divide the question into two parts, Flattest Trajectory and which has the Longest Range.

Flattest trajectory will be the rifle calibers with bullets of high ballistic coefficient.
If you compare the "longest capable range" and stay within each class, this will always favor the bigger/heavier bullet, when the launching platform yields comparable velocity. That is providing you compare like bullet shapes. That's for those who will bring up the argument of round nose vs spitzer bullets in rifles. We need to compare apples to apples in this regard.

Something to answer your question, why do heavier bullets fly farther? There is a good book that is intended for the blackpowder shooter that can really apply to the Revolver as well. "Wind drift and decelleration of the Cast bullet at black powder velocities" by Paul A Matthews
 

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My .44magnum Smith & Wesson model 29 with 8.3 inch barrel, shoots very flat and fast at 100 yds down range. However, don't put it into the same vehicle as the .460 caliber. Now that is a very quick hand gun caliber and you will pay the price for finding out.:eek: I could not handle the one I purchased, it had less than a 100 rds down the barrel before I let it go else where in a big hurry. :)
 

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The faster the velocity the flatter the bullet travels. The higher the Ballistic Coefficient of the bullet the slower it loses speed and the longer it maintains that advantage. BC tends to last while velocity fades quickly.
 

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I know there are some 357 rounds that touch about 1600-1700fps, wouldnt those be able to reach out there pretty far? although maybe not have quite the punch as a 454 or 460...
The really fast 357 Mag rounds use a very light bullet that looses velocity quickly. they have a flat trajectory but only for short range. For long range in your GP-100 a 180 or 200 gr bullet will shoot flatter to long distances. RCBS has a 180 gr gas check for Silhouette that would work well. Check with some of the bullet casters and see if they make it. BTB also has some heavy weight bullets with gas checks.
I used to use a 4 inch M19 S&W with 200 gr round nosed bullets and 296 powder. The heavy bullet throws up a lot of dust on the berms allowing you to see where you hit. Had a lot of fun with that gun/load.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
thanks guys lots of good info. so lets say i just wanted to "play" at 100-150 yards, is there any specific ammo you would recommend?
 

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For a flat shooting factory round specifically designed for a handgun it would be hard to beat the 221 Fireball.

DaG, do you reload? If not just shoot the least expensive ammo you can find. The more you shoot the better you get, and you are not going to wear out a GP100 by shooting it.
..
 

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Way too may crosses between a revolver and single shot.
Let us get down to basics. Assume sight in at 75 yards. Take a .44 with a 330 gr boolit at 200, it drops 35". The 45-70 revolver with a 317 gr boolits drops 16". The .475 drops 18" with a 420 gr boolit. I don't know the .500 JRH yet. The .22 pistol drops 53" with a 25 yard setting.
The .460 drops less with a light, fast bullet but is not good for deer at close range.
Just how far do you shoot with a revolver? I bet 99% of you can't hit a deer at 100 yards. Most are at the cutting edge at 25 yards.
You must know yourself and never extend your capabilities.
My longest shot last season was 120 yards off hand with the .500 JRH. Then 67 yards with a neck shot from the .475. I killed 6 deer with revolvers and had to finish a cripple on the road with a .22 Mark II. Some dip shot it in the ham.
You ask about drop but never shot distance. I shoot to 547 yards (500 meters) with revolvers. You have no idea at all. I have a limit to hunting distance. I stay at around 100 yards or less even though I could hit a deer at 200 but energy is gone.
Buy a .460 and hunt to 200 or 300 yards! Maybe one in a thousand can hit. Guys with .300 mag rifles can't kill deer here at 50 yards.
Forget it, the .44 mag will do it all within distance. Most of you can not shoot a .454, .460. .475 or .500. I hate to say it but a revolver is hard to shoot and to look for a super long range gun is something I will not do.
No matter what revolver I have 20 yards is great.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
For a flat shooting factory round specifically designed for a handgun it would be hard to beat the 221 Fireball.

DaG, do you reload? If not just shoot the least expensive ammo you can find. The more you shoot the better you get, and you are not going to wear out a GP100 by shooting it.
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i do not reload and all i really know about it is that you put new primers in, new bullet and powder and theres different kinds of powder yada yada. . . is it possible to reload with some fast burning powder and a decently heavy bullet to make myself some custom "super" ammo? not to say its gonna be 4x better than brand name, but will it be any better than the good stuff that you find out of the box already? or only cheaper?

Way too may crosses between a revolver and single shot.
Let us get down to basics. Assume sight in at 75 yards. Take a .44 with a 330 gr boolit at 200, it drops 35". The 45-70 revolver with a 317 gr boolits drops 16". The .475 drops 18" with a 420 gr boolit. I don't know the .500 JRH yet. The .22 pistol drops 53" with a 25 yard setting.
The .460 drops less with a light, fast bullet but is not good for deer at close range.
Just how far do you shoot with a revolver? I bet 99% of you can't hit a deer at 100 yards. Most are at the cutting edge at 25 yards.
You must know yourself and never extend your capabilities.
My longest shot last season was 120 yards off hand with the .500 JRH. Then 67 yards with a neck shot from the .475. I killed 6 deer with revolvers and had to finish a cripple on the road with a .22 Mark II. Some dip shot it in the ham.
You ask about drop but never shot distance. I shoot to 547 yards (500 meters) with revolvers. You have no idea at all. I have a limit to hunting distance. I stay at around 100 yards or less even though I could hit a deer at 200 but energy is gone.
Buy a .460 and hunt to 200 or 300 yards! Maybe one in a thousand can hit. Guys with .300 mag rifles can't kill deer here at 50 yards.
Forget it, the .44 mag will do it all within distance. Most of you can not shoot a .454, .460. .475 or .500. I hate to say it but a revolver is hard to shoot and to look for a super long range gun is something I will not do.
No matter what revolver I have 20 yards is great.
im not sure if i will ever hunt with it, but if that was the case i would most definitely stay within 50-60 yards. however i just think its a blast pushing the boundaries of what things are really meant for, in this case trying to snipe with a 4" revolver :D of course only for target shooting...
 

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i do not reload and all i really know about it is that you put new primers in, new bullet and powder and theres different kinds of powder yada yada. . . is it possible to reload with some fast burning powder and a decently heavy bullet to make myself some custom "super" ammo? not to say its gonna be 4x better than brand name, but will it be any better than the good stuff that you find out of the box already? or only cheaper?



im not sure if i will ever hunt with it, but if that was the case i would most definitely stay within 50-60 yards. however i just think its a blast pushing the boundaries of what things are really meant for, in this case trying to snipe with a 4" revolver :D of course only for target shooting...
Then go for it, there is no limit. It is amazing how far a revolver will shoot.
I used to go to a range and see a guy come in, set up a huge target at 10 yards, take out a SBH and proceed to blast away. I looked at him funny and said to myself, "there is a 100 and 200 yard berm."
I talked to him and he let me shoot his gun with my loads. I bounced gallon jugs all over at 200 yards. I really hope he understood but he did have a big grin. He just did not understand.
You need to load your own to shoot more, save money and find real accuracy but a lot of factory loads today will really shoot good. It is your wallet and how big it is. My .500 JRH and .475 costs me a dime a shot, the .44 much less. Powder and primer. I cast my own and even make my own molds from scrap metal. You can pay for loading equipment with a few shoots.
I have shot hundreds of less then 1/2" groups at 100 yards with revolvers. I understand the revolver and will help any way I can. Forget the fast powder stuff. It is wrong. Forget high velocity too, only what a bullet needs for the twist rate.
You are new so forget the "super" stuff. You need to study and worry about "SAFETY" first. Get some books and manuals. Once you cut your teeth, the little things can then be understood.
 

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I've been to John Linebaugh's seminar at Cody Wy. Many shooters will sit down and hit the lifesize bullalo at 1000 with boring regularity. Most are large caliber revolvers, 44 and up, barrels between 4 3/4 and 6 inches with iron sights.

I've shot a 38WCF John built with the two bar front sight which will easily hit the 500 meter rams.

I don't know the maximum height of the trajectories, but I can say that the larger bullets go further. 357's 38WCF and 41's tend to poop out between 600-800 yards unless you shooting a bit heavier than normal bullet.
With boring regularity?...

I just did the ballistics for a 44 Magnum using a 240 to 265 grain bullet with a BC of around .158 and a muzzle velocity of 1400 fps from a barrel greater than 6”…

With a 100 yard zero the bullet is 2285 inches low at 1000 yards—that is 190 feet below line of sight!!!!!!!!!....

And the wind drift at that range is 318 inches at 1000 yards—that is 26 feet one way or the other!!!!!!...

With boring regularity?—I find that dang hard to believe—I would have to see that and get bored myself…
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DaGunshow,

As far as I am concerned, to shoot long distances (subjective concept), you will need a single shot pistol and a cartridge capable of long range shooting…

The straight-wall revolver cartridges aren’t the proper choice—although some will argue against that…

I would fell much safer at 1000 yards being shoot at with a revolver than I would with a Contender, XP-100 or an M.O.A. pistol…

Just my thoughts…

Good-luck…BCB
 

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With boring regularity?...

I just did the ballistics for a 44 Magnum using a 240 to 265 grain bullet with a BC of around .158 and a muzzle velocity of 1400 fps from a barrel greater than 6”…

With a 100 yard zero the bullet is 2285 inches low at 1000 yards—that is 190 feet below line of sight!!!!!!!!!....

And the wind drift at that range is 318 inches at 1000 yards—that is 26 feet one way or the other!!!!!!...

With boring regularity?—I find that dang hard to believe—I would have to see that and get bored myself…
________________________________________________________________________________

DaGunshow,

As far as I am concerned, to shoot long distances (subjective concept), you will need a single shot pistol and a cartridge capable of long range shooting…

The straight-wall revolver cartridges aren’t the proper choice—although some will argue against that…

I would fell much safer at 1000 yards being shoot at with a revolver than I would with a Contender, XP-100 or an M.O.A. pistol…

Just my thoughts…

Good-luck…BCB
Correct, where do you aim? I have taken the revolver to 500 meters but had a tree limb to aim at. Open country????? You are nuts. No revolver sight or scope ever made can get you on so you aim at open sky---WAY at open sky. Even 500 meters is too far for sights or scopes---WAY too far. I did have one scope that let me adjust to 500 meters but I was at the limit.
1000 yards with regularity? Those guys would be IHMSA champs all year with the measly 200 meter rams.
My pistols ran out with sight settings too. 1000 yards needs a blimp to aim at.
I shoot far but am not crazy.
 

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Correct, where do you aim? I have taken the revolver to 500 meters but had a tree limb to aim at. Open country????? You are nuts. No revolver sight or scope ever made can get you on so you aim at open sky---WAY at open sky. Even 500 meters is too far for sights or scopes---WAY too far. I did have one scope that let me adjust to 500 meters but I was at the limit.
1000 yards with regularity? Those guys would be IHMSA champs all year with the measly 200 meter rams.
My pistols ran out with sight settings too. 1000 yards needs a blimp to aim at.
I shoot far but am not crazy.
If you are aiming at the sky, youre not doing it right. The guys that successfully shoot distance regularly with iron sights will mostly raise the front sight in the rear notch, with the target and front sight relationship always staying the same. The original line of sight with the tops of the sights even is entirely irrelevant, as youre using a different line of sight by changing the relationship between the front and rear sights.

Scopes are great for general shooting, but shooting distance with ordinary carry guns and iron sights is a little different game, using different techniques. I wasn't able to hit the 1000 yard buffalo, but I only had a few shots to try with an unknown gun. I have hit at 600 yards the one time I tried, and 300 regularly. It looks amazing, but Ive been able to get most fairly decent shots either hitting or very close at 300 yards within a few minutes of explaining the sight method and coaching. Like anything, the more you do it, the more regular your results. Going out once or twice and then proclaiming its impossible seems to be a common reaction when some people try it. It isn't all that fantastic of a feat. Once the closer ranges (300 yards or so) are understood, the longer stuff like the 1000 yard buffalo are difficult, but not impossible.

Once you start getting the hang of it at the intermediate distances, then you can try some offhand, and one handed. Don't expect immediate satisfaction, but its not impossible.
 

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If you are aiming at the sky, youre not doing it right. The guys that successfully shoot distance regularly with iron sights will mostly raise the front sight in the rear notch, with the target and front sight relationship always staying the same. The original line of sight with the tops of the sights even is entirely irrelevant, as youre using a different line of sight by changing the relationship between the front and rear sights.

Scopes are great for general shooting, but shooting distance with ordinary carry guns and iron sights is a little different game, using different techniques. I wasn't able to hit the 1000 yard buffalo, but I only had a few shots to try with an unknown gun. I have hit at 600 yards the one time I tried, and 300 regularly. It looks amazing, but Ive been able to get most fairly decent shots either hitting or very close at 300 yards within a few minutes of explaining the sight method and coaching. Like anything, the more you do it, the more regular your results. Going out once or twice and then proclaiming its impossible seems to be a common reaction when some people try it. It isn't all that fantastic of a feat. Once the closer ranges (300 yards or so) are understood, the longer stuff like the 1000 yard buffalo are difficult, but not impossible.

Once you start getting the hang of it at the intermediate distances, then you can try some offhand, and one handed. Don't expect immediate satisfaction, but its not impossible.
To make a 1000 yd shot at buffalo with a handgun, is going to require you to lay on you back to shoot. I understand how to hit distance with open sighted revolver, but to do that at 1000 yds, you wouldn't even have the target in your sight, your going to be pointing your pistol to the sky. At that point, the front sight has completely left the rear, and your pistol is going to pop you between the eyes...haha Also, at 1000 yds even with my young eyes, a buffalo is a speck in the distance. You need a high powered spotting scope to even tell if you hit or miss. You aint calling that with your unaided eyes...sorry I am calling this HIGHLY unlikely.....and pert near impossible. :rolleyes: and off hand or one handed?????? 1000 yds????? I don't think you shoot iron sighted revolvers often......its hard enough getting the wind and everything just right to hit where you want every single time with a Specialty Long Range rifle with good glass, at 1000yds. I know, I do it often.
 
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