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How far out are shooting your .357?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Waterboy3313, Jan 12, 2020.

  1. Waterboy3313

    Waterboy3313 Member

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    I would like to see the details on that. I just wish there was a decent range close to me. Where I shoot 150-200 yards max depending on which spot you get.
     
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  2. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    The two things that affect shooting long range with a .357 revolver the most are the trajectory resulting from a low velocity and low ballistic coefficient and most .357 loads going transonic at an intermediate range. When projectiles slow below supersonic velocities they can become unstable, pitch, yaw, tumble and generally lose the consistency of their point of impact.

    Most .357 projectiles start out with supersonic muzzle velocities of 1200 fps or more (1126 fps is considered supersonic under 'standard conditions', altitude, barometric pressure, etc.) The relatively high velocity of .357 Magnum even from a handgun-length barrel allows for a reasonable trajectory out to ranges beyond 100 yards. Under practical conditions (not test barrels in a reloading manual), I've shot bullets out of my revolver that were at 1700fps through a chronograph. Even with a 25 yard zero, they only drop an inch at 100 yards. But by 200 yards, they've dropped 20 inches. 300 yards, 70 inches or almost 5 feet. Even if I zeroed it at 100 yards, the hold-over at 300 yards would be 5 feet, 6 inches. With more common real-world muzzle velocities of 1350 fps for heavier 158 grain bullets, the hold-over at 200 yards is about 3 feet. Because of these steep trajectories, .357 Magnum is not really practical on critical targets or game at 200 yards, not from a handgun anyway. 100 yards, however, is totally practical and even within MPBR for something like deer with a 25-yard zero. I have not shot game at that range, but I have placed bullets in the A zone of a silhouette at that range, again shooting prone or standing but rested (like off the hood of my truck). Because the trajectory at 100 yards is manageable, making hits is just a matter of a steady hold and trigger control (I always shoot double-action by the way).

    Now let's look at going transonic. If we start at 1700 fps, most handgun bullets will go transonic before 200 yards. If we're shooting something that is going to have a good terminal effect at those long ranges like a 158 grain Hornady XTP at 1350 fps, it will go transonic around 100 yards. It is possible to avoid this by starting out subsonic. Doing so could keep the point of impact more consistent but will result in a steeper trajectory. For example, if we started out at 1000 fps, it will drop 30 inches at 150 yards with a 25 yard zero, but the point of impact could be kept very consistent. If we zeroed it at 100 yards, it could be very accurate there and the hold-over at 150 yards would only be 15 inches.

    Shooting off-hand, standing with no support, I hit plates at 25 or 30 yards, and silhouettes out 40 and 50 yards. At these ranges, the gun and cartridge have no real limitations. Bullseye and steel silhouette shooters work in this range all the time and do much better than I can. My only purpose for shooting handguns is personal protection, so I focus on more speed within 1 to 15 yards. Surprisingly, I was introduced to shooting IDPA targets at 40, 50, 75, 100, and 200 yards at defensive handgun classes at two different schools. I have since practiced 40 and 50 yards. I'll practice 100 yards for novelty on rare occasions. I consider 200 yards mostly impractical. I did hit a target at that range once with a 1300 fps cartridge. It dropped in from about 3' over and was probably down to a little over 900 fps. The target was steel, but I wouldn't be surprised if it slapped it sideways.
     
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  3. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    When I was competing in IHMSA handgun silhouette, I shot standing class with a 357 Magnum revolver out to 200 meters. Once you get the sight settings figured out, it really is not too difficult.

    These days, I shoot 10 to 25 yards or so as I age deeper into Social Security territory.
     
  4. Random 8

    Random 8 Member

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    With practice and gun/loads capable, hits on targets at "non-handgun" type ranges are very possible. I dabble in IHMSA silhouette. In the field pistol class, which I shoot my .357 with mid-power cast loads, the ram target is at 100m, and 10/10 is not uncommon. I shoot big bore with a .41 Blackhawk and full power loads. The chicken is at 100m and the ram at 200m. These are larger targets and this shoot is much more difficult, requiring significant elevation and wind corrections.

    In the semi-auto realm, my annual qualification requires me to engage IDPA silhouettes and half silhouettes to 50 yards with a FNS 9mm. Easy with practice. Just for fun, I've fired on them to 100 yards with both the FNS and a 7.62 Tokarev CZ 52. This little pistol is surprisingly good at 100 yards and beyond if the target is reasonably large. The flat trajectory of the 7.62 Tok round makes this easier.

    Small birch logs from the wood pile make a good challenge at my cabin shooting range at 50 yards. They're approximately bowling pin sized, and easy to hit with a steady hand and my .357 with 125 gr lead .38 spl plinking load, but don't expect to blaze away and topple them. It takes a careful aim and a good follow through.
     
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  5. Beach Bum

    Beach Bum Member

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    + 1 ...Good post , I feel exactly the same way , learning to shoot at longer distances, helps you all around.........B. B.
     
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  6. Beach Bum

    Beach Bum Member

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    Good post , we'll said.......
     
  7. Waterboy3313

    Waterboy3313 Member

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    There has been a lot of good and interesting stuff posted on this. I've been thinking about this most of the day. I've never really shot at any steel targets and now I can see why and how they would come into play for something like this. I definitely think it would be fun to shoot to at least 50 yards and maybe eventually get out to 100 . I was honestly starting to get a little bored punching paper at 20-40 feet. This will give me something to work up to as far as my shooting and reloading goes.

    I always thought it would be fun to get into some kind of competition shooting as well. I don't know anyone who does it and not even sure if there is anything local. I don't feel good enough at it yet either if the opportunity was available. Thanks for all the good info.
     
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  8. entropy

    entropy Member

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    When I had one, 100 yards.
     
  9. Beach Bum

    Beach Bum Member

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    My Mom and me shoot 22lr pistols a lot , when I go visit her, we shoot clay pigeons at 52 yds , she's 85 years old , she carry's a 357 , loaded with hot 38's in her front pocket...........B. B.
     
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  10. Jonesy814

    Jonesy814 Member

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    I do most handgun shooting from 10 feet out to 30 yards. That's for all of them, from an LCP / airweight J frame up to a 6 inch N frame. Sometimes I'll stretch some out to 40-45 yards
     
  11. xphunter

    xphunter Member

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    Waterboy,
    This will give you some information
    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/hunting-practice-357-magnum-franken-ruger.822371/
    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/my-500-yard-revolver-quest.786880/#post-10002192
    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/4-tags-filled-in-a-short-time.812946/#post-10400251
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2020
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  12. xphunter

    xphunter Member

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    Last Friday I shot my Customized 357 GP-100 (Franken-Ruger) because I needed to get my 100 yard zero.
    I zero my 357 Magnum at 100 yards for hunting.
    I had an old Burris 2.5-7 LER pistol scope on it this time instead of the 2.5-8 Leupold EER.
    I was out at Dan Ekstrom's place, and he has a 100 yard paper target set-up , then off to the left he has one of my AR-500 10" steel targets. I got my 6.5 PRC XP-100/143 ELD-X and my 25 Creed Pachmayr Dominator/110 grain Accubonds zeroed at 100 yards on a paper target. I had just finished doing load development with my 25 Dominator. I grabbed my Franken-Ruger and from a seated position using my Bog-Gear Tripod with PSR top I started getting my revolver zeroed. Dan was spotting for me. On the 6th shot it was dialed in for 100. I grabbed 6 more rounds and shot twice more and put them on top of each other and called it good.
     
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  13. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    Good for you for cleaning up your mess and the mess some slobs leave. We had a place (notice I said "had") we used to shoot our BP rifles at a gravel pit. The man that owned the land lived across the street from my bud and told us it was OK to shoot there. We shot and always cleaned up after shooting. One day I went there to shoot and some guys had dove hunted and left about two cases of beer cans and what must have been 200+ 12ga hulls. I cleaned it all up and thought then "were're going to lose this place" and sure enough next time I went the gate was locked and that was the end of that. And I really liked shooting there.

    It only takes one or two jackasses to ruin it for everyone else. :cuss::mad::fire:
     
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  14. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    I used to shoot 50 yds a couple times a year when I hunted with my Dan Wesson just to remind myself that it was irresponsible (for ME) to hunt at that range since I refused to mount optics.

    The longest I took a deer, one shot, was measured at 38 yds and that was still taking a chance for me.
    8 inch, tree supported and semi-wadcutter.

    I know they're good for better but that's all I can really speak to beyond fun-nonsense shooting *just ta see*.

    Todd.
     
  15. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    A look at Yelp and google for ranges in Redding and Shasta, Co. shows at least 10 and some where matches take place.
    The NRA can also help you with matches as well.
     
  16. whughett

    whughett Member

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    The Florida public range I shoot at this time of year has 12,25,50 and 100 yard fixed target positions. The 12 is limited to handgun only and is by far the most used.
    I use the 12 yard for both percussion, rim and centerfire. On the few occasions I take a red dot I’ll use the 25 yard.

    Up North at a membership private club it’s a 25 50 and 100 yard set up to the target butts, but we have portable butts for intermediate distances, so I generally stick to the same 12 yard distance as for Florida. It’s what I’m comfortable with.
     
  17. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    On the rare occasion when a wheelgun makes it out of my safe and takes a range trip, I will slow fire at 25 yards at 8" steel. We have a python, a 19, a trooper, a blackhawk, and a 101 all in 357.
     
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  18. jhb

    jhb Member

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    I stop at around 50 yards on up to a 6" barrel. might go further with a longer barrel. I'll shoot a 3" barrel 50 yards for fun on my range. I dont go further as targets I'm shooting arent that big and my eyes are old. plus for handguns 50yards I feel is more than enough distance and no real fun or benefit, for me, trying to do 100 yards..which I've tried and my range is big enough for that distance. felt like I was wasting ammo and had to use binoculars to see if i hit it. i have steel targets now but havent tried past 50 yards one. handgun since I go the steel targets.
     
  19. xphunter

    xphunter Member

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    Bullets are not hitting sideways or tumbling at 200 yards, 300 yards, etc...Not with what I am shooting anyway!
    Regardless if it is the original 15" barrel or after I had it shortened to 10".
    I have a buddy in South Africa who has killed all kinds of SA game with a 6" Taurus 357 Magnum, beyond 100 yards and a lot around 80-100 yards Jacques de Beer. He is a South African cattle rancher and handgun hunter. I did a bit of hunting with him when I was in SA. He shot my Franken-Ruger out to 200 meters if I remember correctly. He is on Facebook, for you guys on social media.
     
  20. xphunter

    xphunter Member

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    Come on out to NE Wyoming this summer and we will set you up on steel targets and or prairie at distances as far as you can imagine.
    It is called WY-SHOT.
    https://sebrests-usa.com/wy-shot/
     
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  21. Waterboy3313

    Waterboy3313 Member

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    Google and yelp can be a little misleading. Most of the businesses here do not have their own range. The one gun club is only open to pistol and rifle shooting I think 2 days a week last a looked at it. They seem to do a lot of shot gun stuff. The indoor range is really expensive and not much fun. The range I frequent is on BLM land. It's not bad if you get there before the sun comes up and you are done shooting before the people show up to shoot at a couch or bring a refrigerator for a target.

    If you count the gun club, indoor range and the BLM range there are technically 3. The police have one that is not open to the public I wish I could go there it's pretty nice. The majority of the shooting classes use the BLM range. Anything beyond what I've listed is more of a drive that I would really like to do for an hour or so of shooting.

    I probably should look into the gun club again. I think the rifle range is only 200 yards max. I'm just not sure if I could their schedule work with mine. If I was retired it would probably be great.
     
  22. Waterboy3313

    Waterboy3313 Member

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    I wish I could or I would be there.
     
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  23. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    50 and 100 yards regularly, I used to shoot it at 300 yards, but haven't done it in a long time.
     
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  24. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    108 yards actually, when shooting here. Start close (second one at 53), then 75, then 108, then back in without missing. 6 shots, six targets.
    IMG_20170429_153553_673.jpg
     
  25. xphunter

    xphunter Member

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    Good shooting Walkalong!
     
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