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.45-70 at Two Miles: The Sandy Hook Tests of 1879

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by DMK, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. DMK

    DMK Well-Known Member


    Open sights, no cheek weld, and a round that lobs it's projectile in an arc like a rainbow. It's amazing what a good shooter can do. Imagine what he could have done with a modern rifle.
  2. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    Yeah, but in 1879 that WAS a "modern" rifle.

    Within its limits - black powder, lead bullets, and starting out as a conversion from muzzleloader - the Trapdoor was one of the most thoroughly engineered and tested weapons going.
  3. Hauptmann

    Hauptmann Well-Known Member

    The bullet probably had the velocity of a slingshot at that range.
  4. DMK

    DMK Well-Known Member

    Interesting tests too. It seems that they were testing comparable rifles and various loads for extreme range. The angles that these rounds had at impact were up to 45-50 degrees.

    Penetration in pine boards and sand was impressive.

    It certainly shows how damaging volley firing could have been.
  5. ocharry

    ocharry Well-Known Member

    that 405gr bullet falling back to earth can do some major damage,, and the 500gr bullet even worse

    at that distance with the Target standing vertical and the bullet coming down out of trajectory,,,,, the strike window has to be less than 12" front to back

    minimum velocity for these heavy bullets,,,, probably in the 4-500 fps range,,maybe more

    lots of stuff going on to make that shot

  6. lencac

    lencac Well-Known Member

    Luck is always the wild card in the deck too.
  7. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    Knowing the distance in advance would seem to be key, for any rifle and any chambering and any shooter. ;)
  8. Bartkowski

    Bartkowski Well-Known Member

    I would have a problem see much at that distance, so I would say that even though, they know the distance, had the most modern and thoroughly engineered gun, that it was a hell of a shot.
  9. Mk VII

    Mk VII Well-Known Member

    Did it really prove anything useful? Nobody is going to start lobbing bullets two miles (and the chances of seeing two miles in a straight line are pretty poor) - that's artillery country.
  10. AndyC

    AndyC Well-Known Member

  11. Geronimo45

    Geronimo45 Well-Known Member

    Not nowadays... I think the spitzer-tipped modern rifle bullets don't work so well at the downward slope of the rainbow. Also believe - could be mistaken - that long-range volley fire was employed from time to time. A war between the Russians and Turks in 1870s or so comes to mind - and that was the purpose of the volley sights you see on some SMLEs. You aren't likely to hit a single, solitary target at that range, but a few hundred (or thousand) rounds coming down in that general area have a good chance of doing some damage.

    Still a great shot. A guy with a 7-pound trigger, no free-floated barrel, no optics...
  12. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Well-Known Member

    Back then, it would let you deliver potentially effective fire against enemy artillery if you did not have anything of your own to answer back with more effectively. I suspect that the target involved being a six foot bullseye was intended to be somewhat representative of that kind of target. By 1879 people were somewhat clued into the lunacy of advancing in close order ranks across open terrain (though they weren't quite sure how else to do it), but artillery was still a high value area target that worked best out in the open.
  13. nicholst55

    nicholst55 Well-Known Member

    Did it prove anything useful? Maybe. Remember that in the 'Great War,' machine guns were employed as artillery, in battalion strength, firing indirect fire with notable success.
  14. DMK

    DMK Well-Known Member

    From the last page:
  15. daniel (australia)

    daniel (australia) Well-Known Member

    You'd be thinking of the Russian attack on the Turks at Plevna, in 1877:

  16. PercyShelley

    PercyShelley Well-Known Member

    Thank you all for the good information in this thread. Some of the reading material is truly surreal.

    I seem to recall that a company was prototyping an electronic volley fire sight for heavy machineguns recently. Things have come full circle, it seems.
  17. Cameronafter8

    Cameronafter8 Member

    If I have luck, a picture will show up showing 15 shots in a row in a three foot bull, at 1000 yards shot laying down back wards, from the Creedmoor style. Slightly cross legged, resting the barrel off your left foot, aiming from a high precision even for now sight one inch off the end of the butt.
    The great Irish shooter Milllner developed this style.
    Well, no luck. with the picture, sorry about that, but you can look it up, under Millner and Creedmoor.

    Even knowing the rifle, range of close to 2 miles, dead still day and a 6x6 foot target that was very good shooting.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2008
  18. 220_Swift

    220_Swift Well-Known Member

    Definitely an impresive shot. But it is not 2 miles.

    2,500 yards is 7,500 feet. There is 5,280 feet in a mile. So, that works out to 1.420 miles. Still a long way, but over half a mile short for two miles.
  19. Harve Curry

    Harve Curry Well-Known Member

    I've shot that Creedmore position at 3 Points Range Arizona during the Metalic Silouettes with a 22 pistol. It's very steady.

    What difference does it make if the 2,500 yard shot is useful. The point is the guy did it.
    I recall reading that Mike Venturino had some 45-70's tested at Yuma Proving Grounds several years ago.
    They tracked the flight path of the bullets and the modern tech's were impressed.
  20. Cameronafter8

    Cameronafter8 Member

    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    Notice the comma, the men who wrote it, were well versed in English, therefor knew why they put the comma in there.

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