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Old October 27, 2014, 10:17 PM   #1
Vern Humphrey
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Long Range Revolver Shooting

I shoot 5 gallon cans at up to 135 yards -- a convenient distance, given the location of the dam of my pond, which is my backstop. I haven't seen much about long-range pistol shooting, so I thought I'd share my technique.

I shoot a Colt New Service in .45 Colt and have my own system which others may find interesting. I zero for 50 yards which puts me about an inch or so high at 25 yards and I'm 6 inches low at 100 yards.

With a sight radius of 6", the ratio of sight radius to range at 100 yards is 1:600. If I hold up an extra inch of front sight, the bullet impact is raised 600 inches -- 50 feet. Obviously too much!

A tenth of an inch of front sight would put my point of impact 60 inches, or 5 feet, higher -- still too high.

The proper sight alignment for 100 yards is to hold up an extra hundredth of an inch of front sight -- for a 6-inch higher point of impact.

I visualize the sights as a dashed line "---" The middle dash is the top of the front sight, and the two end dashes are the tops of the rear sight. The normal sight alignment is to hold those three dashes in perfect alignment. But if the line looks "sloppy" -- you can just tell the three dashes aren't aligned -- you get a hundredth of an inch.

So for a hundred yards, I "break the line" -- take a sight alignment where I can just tell the three dashes aren't in line. For 135 yards, I take up that sight alignment, and double it.
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Old October 27, 2014, 10:27 PM   #2
Anmut
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Jerry M. shoots long range revolver .

I am jealous of anyone that has the room to have some fun like that. I've shot my 629 at 100 yards with open sights and it was very accurate and didn't need any kentucky windage to get on a 12" plate.

Glad to read you are having some fun!
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Old October 27, 2014, 10:35 PM   #3
ColtPythonElite
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I shot my 12" gong at 100 with a Python and King Cobra today.
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Old October 27, 2014, 11:22 PM   #4
Schwing
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My local range has a torso sized silhouette gong at the 100 yard line. One of my favorite things to do with my shooting buddy is see how many times in a row we can peg it and hear the ring. I even have some "extra special" .44 mag loads that are designed specifically to make that gong good and loud

I have never been what I would consider a great shot. Sure, I have days where they go through the same hole a few times but, more often than not, I am shooting 2" or larger groups at 12 yards. People seem amazed that we can hit that thing most of the time. I think people psych themselves out not realizing that those targets are pretty big even though they are 100 plus yards away and that, in many ways, it is easier to do that than to hit a 2" target at 12 yards..
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Old October 28, 2014, 02:15 AM   #5
Twiki357
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I used to shoot at a range that had animal silhouettes out past the 100 yard target racks. I think various ranges from 125 to 200 yards. Used to pick them off all the time with my S&W Model 27. Unfortunately, that was when my eyes were 40 years younger.
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Old October 28, 2014, 01:10 PM   #6
murf
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you can make front sight elevation grads with some gold auto body touch-up paint and a tooth pick. just pick a serration and fill it with the paint.

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Old October 28, 2014, 03:02 PM   #7
627PCFan
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Too much math. I just rain it in like artillery
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Old October 28, 2014, 03:04 PM   #8
Haxby
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Been a while since I shot IHMSA. Used to shoot standing with a 44.
Sighted in at 150 yards, I could hold at the base of the chickens and pigs. Held dead on at the turkeys at 150. They were the hardest to hit. Held a little over the rams at 200.
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Old October 28, 2014, 08:54 PM   #9
Vern Humphrey
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Holding over is hard for me -- the sights obscure the target, so I can't tell how much I'm holding over. That's why I like to hold up a bit more front sight.
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Old October 29, 2014, 05:51 PM   #10
Cee Zee
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I have been able to hit a gallon jug at 175 yards with my 629 using only a little leaning against a post to steady my hold. I've seen revolvers shot much farther by the great shooters of our time. One trick they use to get over the holdover problem (blocking the view of the target) was to shoot the gun upside down. There's video of this on Youtube. Jerry Miculek did it with a snub nose at 200 yards.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIwVK_FxGZk
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Old Yesterday, 11:50 AM   #11
Vern Humphrey
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Holding the gun upside down is certainly an interesting approach. I like the idea of putting gold lines on the front sight for long range shooting, though.
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Old Yesterday, 01:47 PM   #12
murf
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elmer keith liked the gold lined front sight, too.

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Old Yesterday, 02:25 PM   #13
Cooldill
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I wonder:

Are there any replacement sight for revolvers with range markings built in? I'd love a set for my GP100 6" as it is clearly capable of hitting at long range.
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Old Yesterday, 03:26 PM   #14
strambo
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I don't do any math, but when I shoot a pistol @ 100yds or so I use the same method. I elevate the front sight in the notch and aim and the target center. If I miss low, hold a little higher next time.
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Old Yesterday, 03:54 PM   #15
BCRider
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I can see a couple of options for making this easier.

First off is the idea of one of my dream projects. That is to buy a Ruger Bisley Hunter and hog out the top bar of the barrel at the front sight location and install a four position setup similar to that used on some S&W revolvers where the front blade rests on various settable set screws that hold the setting for a given distance.

Another option would be a stair stepped back side on the front blade. You know, the sort with the slightly undercut steps that allow a front sight to be drawn from a holster without snagging but which are angled so that the sun doesn't glare off the vertical faces of the steps. These "teeth" would be of a size and number that we'd be able to fill in specific notches with a bright paint line so that they would present known hold points for various distances. The selection of which to fill in would be done by trial and error. This way we can put the target on the top of the front blade like normal but line up the rear notch corners with the appropriate paint line and know that for that load it should be close.

This stair step option is something I'm going to try when I work on my SBH to fire lap out the thread area constriction and hopefully get it grouping well enough to justify more time at the range with it. At present it's more "minute of barn door at 50" for accuracy which I find rather disappointing.
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Old Today, 12:26 AM   #16
Malamute
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The gold bars inlaid in the front sight are one of Keiths old methods, though just from experience, you can do good work without them. The red insert in Smith & Wesson front sights work well also. It isn't about using an exact reference line or point on the red insert or any other sight, since you'll likely be shooting various ranges anyway. The reference points help, but exact points to hold even with the rear aren't required. I use a certain percentage of the white dot for ranging with a glock.

Rather than spend any money or time with special sights, spend it shooting instead, you may find you don't need anything special. I do know that the more you shoot at distance, the easier it gets. Practice with a 22 pistol helps a lot, especially if you have dry dusty ground to shoot over and can easily see your hits.

Hitting the old 18" plate @ 300 yards wasnt that tough, the new 22" plate is a little easier. I can generally take a new gun and figure out the hold within a few rounds. Even the plastic guns shoot fairly well at distance. The glock 19 can make 4-6 hits per 10 rds on the 300 yard plate, I managed to hit the 24" plate @ 600 yards once the one time I tried it, and had a spotter. It isn't magic, any decent pistol shot can do it once they figure out the basic hold (raised front sight over the rear, and how much for the particular gun/load combination) and will focus on their sight alignment and trigger squeeze. I've shown a number of people how to do it, most can make hits fairly quickly @ 300 yards.

Such long range shooting is fairly common in certain parts of the country. Many of us read too much Elmer Keith when we were younger, and didn't listen to the people that said it couldn't be done.
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Old Today, 11:34 AM   #17
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A browning high power with a tangent sight max range 500 meters
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File Type: jpg BrowningHiPower_500.jpg (56.3 KB, 2 views)
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Old Today, 12:32 PM   #18
murf
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the longest distance i have shot a handgun at a target is 440 yards.

unless you are shooting at a barn door, consistent sight alignment (up and down as well as right and left) is very important to success. i keep the top of the front sight aligned with the top of the back sight and hold over the target when i shoot distance. just better for me because i can pick up any handgun and just walk the shot into the target. not bashing the "elevated front sight method", just not my method.

binoculars help when trying to spot the hits. shooting into a dirt bank helps, also.

don't forget the wind. a slight breeze will kick your shots way right or left.

it ain't hard once you get over the "believability" factor! most people don't believe me when i tell them the target distance.

i think long range handgun shooting is one more thing everyone should add to their skill set.

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