recomendations for long Distance Pistol


Alan Smithiee
February 3, 2003, 03:28 PM
there going to be having a "Elmer Kieth" shoot north of us in May and my wife wants to give it a try (she's a hunter and CAS shooter). she has a 6.5 inch bbl Ruger Blackhawk with adjustable sites. distance is 150 yards. recomendations needed for handloads for this type of shooting.. small/fast VS heavy/slow.


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Steve Smith
February 3, 2003, 04:10 PM
Caliber? Target material?

Does she need to merely hit the target, or knock it over? How much weight do you think?

Jim Watson
February 3, 2003, 04:46 PM
Assuming knockdown targets similar to standard metallic silhouette, I recommend a standard weight bullet for the caliber - 158 grain .357, 210 grain .41, 240 grain .44, 250 grain .45 (you didn't say WHICH Blackhawk) - and a magnum but below maximum load. Use a maximum Colt or moderate "Ruger Only" load in .45 LC. Adjust DOWN for manageable recoil if the big loads bother her.

Light and fast is NOT the way for long range revolver but you don't have to get carried away for 150 yards. A range of 150 yards is not far by handgun metallic silhouette standards - between pig and turkey. Unless they have very heavy knockdown targets, a 158 grain .357 will knock down all standard silhouette targets except a hard-set ram.

Alan Smithiee
February 3, 2003, 05:56 PM
DOH!!! .357 Blackhawk (I hate mondays)

from the invite

"Event: Commemoration of Elmer Keith's life, his contributions to the
shooting sports and his shooting accomplishments by shooting handguns at a 12" X 24" steel plate and smaller assorted targets set about 150 yards from the firing line.

Scoring: 1,000 points for each hit on the hillside in the vicinity of the
target. 10,000 points for hits on the steel plate. 25,000 points for hits
on the 8" spinner, 50,000 points for hits on the 6" spinner, 75,000 points
for hits on the 4" spinner and 100,000 points for hits on the 3" spinner. All scores double if the shooter calls his or her shots. Hits and misses will be determined by a consensus of the gallery.

Sights: Iron. They were good enough for Elmer, they're good enough for

Jim Watson
February 3, 2003, 08:13 PM
Whatever is the most accurate full-power load, anything from .38 Special +p to .357 magnum. Bullets 158 grain, maybe 180 if you want to fool with them.
Sight in.

Old Fuff
February 3, 2003, 09:55 PM
As you work up this load be aware that the Colt style “plow-handle” grip on the Blackhawk sometimes causes the revolver to roll in the hand when heavy loads are used. This in turn results in vertical stringing on the target. The .357 Magnum is probably the least likely to do this, but be sure to get in some practice on paper targets set at 150 yards (a comparatively short distance as long range shooting goes) because you may want to set your sights to reflect this condition – if it happens.

Alan Smithiee
February 3, 2003, 10:08 PM
thank you all, sounds like all I have to do is kick up the 158's I use for her CAS loads and get it sighted in.

February 4, 2003, 09:21 AM
Since this is an Elmer Keith Shoot with Elmer Keith type distances, why not use Elmer Keith loads and bullets. They are clearly explained in "Sixguns, The Standard Reference" by (guess who), Elmer Keith. The bullets, the powders and the technique are all there. And they worked for Elmer. Quantrill

Steve Smith
February 4, 2003, 10:56 AM
You might decide you want a gas check on those bullets. Depends on your alloy and lube, of course.

Alan Smithiee
February 4, 2003, 03:37 PM
I've been looking for copies of his books, but I won't use Amazon, so it's going to take a little while to find and for them to get here

February 4, 2003, 06:33 PM
Try Advanced Book Exchange (, also called ABEbooks.

Abebooks, the world's largest online marketplace for used, rare, and out-of-print books. Abebooks connects those who buy books with those who sell them, providing abundant selection at affordable prices. Every day, thousands of people find books they want on Abebooks.

Johnny Guest
February 5, 2003, 01:05 AM
CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The High Road, nor the staff of THR assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.

There. That's taken care of, One good load for .357 shooting I use is---
162 gr. LSWC, WSP primers, 7.0 gr. Unique. This chronographs at 1144 fps from my brother's 6" bbl Taurus revolver. It is consistent and accurate, and not nearly so vigorous os many others. This load IS within limits in one manual, and not in another.

I also like the Hornady XTP 158 JHP with 14.5 gr. of 2400. It has a lot more sound and fury than the previous load, and should not be used as a steady diet in K-frame magnums. Should be fine in a Blackhawk, though.

One hint about consistently uniform holdovers--Keith wrote of having silver or gold lined inlaid in front sight of a couple of sixguns. I was happy with painting a line or two in the front sight serrations using "White Out" typing correction fluid. It is easy to clean out with solvent and a brush, for changing the aiming bars.

Good luck to your spouse in the contest. One caution, though, NB--Help with the hand loads, clean the revolver, shag brass, tote ammo, set up practice targets--Just DO NOT get into this game yourself. It is terrifically habit forming. ;)


oops--The caution msg was cut & pasted from an old text file--Had to come back and change the reference from The Firing Line to THR. :o

Alan Smithiee
February 5, 2003, 10:00 PM
Thank you Johnny, I'll try that and keep your advice in mind. I doubt I'll have much problem resisting the addiction, it's rapidly getting to the point where I don't even try for much over 50 yards with a bolt action so it would be too embarasing to hear the chorus of "30 yard to the right and 19 yards low" every time I squeazed one off (grin)

but some of the others I can manage (those foldy claw reacher things are great for picking up brass)

Steve Smith
February 6, 2003, 10:19 AM
Johnny brought up a good point. Don't have her raise the front sight over the target (obsuring it) but lower the rear sight (with your grip) and find a consisitent place on the front sight to line up. That way you're still putting the front sight on the target!

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