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how far will a 38 special bullet travel

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by newguy07, Feb 17, 2007.

  1. newguy07

    newguy07 New Member

    Feb 13, 2007
    Title is the question, also what about a 357mag. Essentially I am asking how much open area do you need to be ableto shoot safely incase of a miss. 200 yards, 500 yards, further before the bullet would just hit the ground?
  2. CrawdaddyJim

    CrawdaddyJim Member

    Nov 19, 2006
    On the river in De Land, Fl
    Depends on where the gun is pointed when the bullet leaves the barrel. Maximum distance is calculable but suffice it to say over 1760yds is probably a safe bet.
  3. RNB65

    RNB65 Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Richmond, VA
    It depends on the velocity of the bullet the and angle of elevation when fired. A handgun bullet fired parallel to the ground will hit the ground within a couple hundred yards, but it may skip off the ground and continue to be a hazard for a longer distance. A handgun bullet fired upwards at an angle may fly for a mile or more before hitting the ground. To be safe you need a good backstop and plenty of distance behind the backstop in case a bullet goes over it.
  4. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Elder

    Dec 30, 2002
    Deep in the Ozarks
    Very difficult to answer definitively, but a .22 LR will go about 1 1/4 miles. A .357" diameter bullet weighing 158 grains has far more mass and not a great deal more drag than a .22 LR, and would go much farther.

    I once tried entering enourmous ranges for a .32 ACP into Ballistic Explorer to calculate how far it would shoot -- and ran out of space before I got the answer.
  5. g5reality

    g5reality member

    Jan 31, 2007
    Firearms Ranges

    Hand Gun Ranges:

    .25ACP 3,300 Ft.
    .45 ACP 5,000 Ft.
    .38 SPL 5,550 Ft.
    .357 MAG 6,600 Ft.
    .40 S&W 6,600 Ft.
    9x19mm 6,600 Ft.
    .44 MAG 7,000 Ft.

    1 mile = 5,280 Ft,

    All Distances are approximate using conventional ammunition.

    Rifle Ranges:

    .22 Short Sea Level - .75 Miles, 12,000 Ft - 1.5 Miles
    .22 LHV Sea Level - 1.25 Miles, 12,000 Ft - 1.75 Miles
    .22 LRHV Sea Level - 1.3 Miles, 12,000 Ft - 2 Miles
    .22 WIN MAG Sea Level - 1.5 Miles, 12,000 Ft - 2.5 Miles
    .222 Sea Level - 2 Miles, 12,000 Ft - 3 Miles
    .243 Sea Level - 2.5 Miles, 12,000 Ft - 3.5 Miles
    .270 Sea Level - 2.5 Miles, 12,000 Ft - 3.5 Miles
    7mm MAG Sea Level - 3.5 Miles, 12,000 Ft - 5.25 Miles
    30-30 Sea Level - 2 Miles, 12,000 Ft - 2.5 Miles
    30-06 Sea Level - 3.25 Miles, 12,000 Ft - 4.5 Miles
    300 SAV Sea Level - 2.5 Miles, 12,000 Ft - 3.5 Miles
    300 H&H Sea Level - 2.5 Miles, 12,000 Ft - 3.5 Miles
    308 Sea Level - 2.3 Miles, 12,000 Ft - 3.3 Miles
    338 Sea Level - 3 Miles, 12,000 Ft - 4 Miles
    35 REM Sea Level - 1.5 Miles, 12,000 Ft - 2 Miles
    45-70 Sea Level - 1.75 Miles, 12,000 Ft - 2.25 Miles

    All Distances are approximate using conventional ammunition.
  6. happy old sailor

    happy old sailor Active Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    see if you can locate and acquire an out of print book entitled "Hatchers Notebook". i think Julian Hatcher was an Army general who had spent his life in ordnance and did a job of research and developement. this is a very interesting book to anyone interested in firearms. my copy was lost in a housefire in 1990, but i had about worn off the coverrs. i keep telling myself i gotta get another one, but, some other idea clamors for attention.

    all the experiments he did for max range determined that for max range firearm muzzles should be pointed to an upward angle of between 30 and 45 degrees, makimg little

    difference in results. he pointed out that gravity grabs bullets as soon as they leave the muzzle and it is a matter of velocity as to how far they go before getting to earth, but, time wise, slower velocities hit the ground at about the same instant as the fast ones, just closer to the muzzle. seems faster bullets get further in the same time, gravity being a constant.

    this is getting long so i will repeat what someone has already said, have a good backstop and some good downrange behind the butts. even double ought buckshot can go 660 yards. shoot safe - hos
  7. Alan Fud

    Alan Fud Participating Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    That is very impressive list. Going to bookmark. How about the .45 Colt?

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