Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by smartshot, Oct 12, 2010.
And Keith's own description of the event isn't pretty, and is worth a read: He missed on the first shot, hit him at 600 yard with the 2nd, but the bullet hit the deer in the jaw and exited the nose. Keith's 3rd shot knocked the animal off a ridge, out of sight, but very much alive. After 2 more shots from the client's rifle, the animal was still alive, "walking along all humped up very slowly", and it took a final (by my counting) 7th shot (again, by my counting, 6 of which hit the animal) to finally drop the animal.
In the end, I wouldn't consider this episode as evidence for this kind of effective range.
Could I do it? No.
Could Elmer Keith, yes.
While I never had the pleasure to meet the man, nothing that I have never read would lead me to believe that he would not be forthright about it.
I think if Elmer said he did it, he did it.
I don't doubt it a bit.
Consider the man lived his life in prime game country with a six-gun on his hip every waking day.
He had more opportunity to practice long range shots on jack rabbits, hawks, rocks, etc in a year then most any of us will live to see in a lifetime. And it has been my experience that the more long range hand-gunning you do, the "Luckier" you get!
There was a time when I was a teenager on a farm that I was burning several hundred rounds a month out of a Ruger Flat-Top.
A lot of them were at an old Model A Ford truck cab in a ditch about 400 yards from the cow barn. I'm here to tell you the door on that truck cab had so many holes through it it looked like Swiss cheese.
I can also tell you that a coyote would have been in great danger had he ventured by that old truck cab, because I already knew the exact hold-over to hit him.
Also, like Husker Fan said, if it is 600 yards distance, but the animal is waaaay below you elevation wise, you don't really have 600 yards worth of hold over. The only distance that matters when accounting for elevation adjustment is the HORIZONTAL distance only. Vertical distance has no effect on the trajectory. People shooting bows from a deer stand are always keeping this in mind.
I've always wondered why he didn't use the client's rifle to kill the animal. I know that zero varies from person to person, maybe that was why? Anyone have an answer?
I don't doubt Elmer's account either. And I believe it's likely if anyone could hit something with an iron-sighted revolver at 600 yards, it would've been Keith.
The thing is, the short internet versions I keep reading seem to be sanitized versions of Keith's own: By his own account, Keith didn't kill the mule deer; the guy who originally wounded the deer eventually did. Though trying to put down a suffering animal, his 2 long hits succeeded in wounding the animal more. I'm not trying to take anything away from Keith's marksmanship or capability as a hunter (it was a less-than-ideal solution - but likely the best one - to a crummy problem, and he did what needed to be done, and was likely the best man for the job). Instead, my take is simply that since even an Elmer Keith couldn't pull off the shot that would've been the ideal solution, maybe Keith's famous shot ought not be used to define the effective range of a .44mag revolver.
I think of it as "what a master can do it he has to"
Yep - that's the account I linked to in my initial reply.
I wouldn't take much more than a 100 "normal yard" shot.
I think you got it right when you said that zero varies from person to person. At 600 yards, I would not expect one man's zero to be anywhere near another man's zero.
My opinion is that Elmer Keith was honest in writing the article. He did not claim to have nailed the animal on the first shot, and clearly related that he was trying to stop an animal wounded by another person. There are folks who still gather each year to commemorate Elmer Keith, and long-range handgunning is part of it. I would have to search for it; I think the link I had saved was on another computer that has now bitten the dust.
I know I won't stand in the open and let anyone lob shots from a sixgun at me from 600 yards!
With most people at the trigger you would be relatively safe. Some guys here, (David E, Old Fuff come to mind) might get you on the first shot.
Not me!! I rang a gong at 600 meters once, but it was an accident, and by no means - the first shot.
Now 200 yards... Maybe...
By happy coincidence, I went to the range today. After I was done with the primary practice, I went over to the 100, 200 and 300 yd bays (all from the same firing line) to fire a few rounds.
I had my S&W M&P Pro 9mm and handloaded 147 FMJ's @ 950 fps. (not exactly a dead-on laser at distance) At the 100 yd berm there was a steel IPSC "amoeba" target. I rested on the bench and actually connected on the first shot.
Skipping the 200 yd berm, I tried my hand at the 300 on the same type of target. I hit it on the first shot, too...................if you don't count all those "sighter" shots......
It's fun to shoot long range with a handgun and it's not as hard (or impossible) as many folks seem to think. It helps tremendously to be able to spot your misses so you can adjust your sights accordingly.
Next time the opportunity presents itself, take advantage of it.
with a J frame snub
I am not standing around downrange at any distance
It's funny, people also doubted that Carlos Hathcock shot a soviet sniper through the scope. They even went so far as to say it was "busted" on Mythbusters (a show I don't like to begin with). So many people complained that they retested it and this time said it was plausible, or whatever rating it is they give something that could be true.
It never occurred to me that someone like EK or Carlos Hatchcock would make something up in order to impress people. If you're EK or Hathcock just being yourself is impressive enough.
Colt, dear boy, a Colt...
I had one with me (and a Colt, too!) but I'd shot up all the .38 ammo I'd brought before heading over to the long bay.
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