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Old May 26th, 2018, 08:47 PM #1
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Came VERY Close To A Personal Goal

I've had this ridiculous notion of pushing a handgun as far as I can distance wise and seeing what I can do. Most of the time, I wind up shooting at pretty much nothing and wasting time. A number of years ago, shooting with a bunch of guys from MDS, I watched a guy shoot clays on the berm with a 1911 at 100 yards. I figured that was a good enough goal, so I (no pun intended) shot for that.

A few years ago, I was able to put about half a magazine of .45 ACP into a big paper silhouette target at about 125 yards. I was shooting from a rest and had a guy with a really good eye and a cheap pair of binoculars spotting for me. The five rounds were nowhere near close, and the group was about the size of a turkey platter, but I considered it a success.

I have been trying off and on to duplicate it for about five years with very little success. I managed ONCE to ring a steel plate at 75 yards, but that was about it.

Went out today with a couple of friends and their rifles. Of course, I brought a trio of handguns. I could not see where I was hitting the target at 50 yards, but one of my pals said "You hit the x. Keep it there." after the very first shot. The group was large, but I kept it all in the general vicinity of the center.

The load was a handload (158 grain target hollowpoint- 16.1 grains of H110), and the gun was a 6" barrelled Smith & Wesson 586.

When the guys moved their targets out to 100 yards, I joked that I'd try the 100 if there was a steel plate I could ring so I knew I was hitting something. My buddy Eddie said there was steel at 200 yards and he'd spot if I wanted to play around with trying to hit it.

For those of you who don't want to read any further, I did not hit the steel. I didn't hit it with 50 rounds of .357 nor with 150 rounds of 148 grain .38 Special wadcutters.

What surprised me was, after a lot of those rounds, and constant trying, I got within ONE FOOT of that damned target. If I had not ran out of ammo, or wanted to pay thirty dollars for a box of .357 magnum inside the shop, I MIGHT have hit it eventually. It got to be a quest this morning and I spent three hours chasing that target. For me, getting within a yard of the target was an accomplishment. Getting within a foot of it was a win in my book.

I like setting personal challenges and goals with my shooting. We tell people all the time, it's not about violence or acting tough. It's about our own precision and accuracy and the pride that goes along with it.

I got close enough today where I realized it was not only possible, but I could do it if I keep going. A lot of you have known me for a long time and remember when I could not hit a barn from the inside. A lot of you gave me pointers and advice and such. I thank you ladies and gentlemen for it all.

And yes, I shot from a rest and my arms were correct. (Thanks for the advice about the arms, guys. My last range trip made it look like I was shooting from the center of my chest.)

If anyone had any doubts about the reach of a six inch Smith & Wesson revolver, I can put them to rest.
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Old May 26th, 2018, 09:13 PM #2
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Great read.
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Old May 26th, 2018, 09:26 PM #3
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Anyone interested in long range handgun shooting should read "Ed McGivern's Book Of Fast and Fancy Revolver Shooting" it has a chapter which includes pictures of targets shot out to 600 yards.
https://www.hamiltonbook.com/ed-mcgi...olver-shooting
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Old May 26th, 2018, 10:00 PM #4
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I met a guy in the Pennsylvania coal region who used to show up all the time shooting a pistol. There's a decent public informal range right off the side of the road in Blythe township ( Burma Rd) about 25 minutes north on 61 from Hamburg Cabelas. He very rarely spoke to anyone but could be found there all the time. There's various banks supporting everything from old propane tanks/ bowling pins to clay pigeons steel gong targets etc. It's like Hickok 45's yard on steroids where you can get out to about 450 if you could spot a gong up on the cliff bank without killing yourself getting one up there yourself.

But anyhow, the guy liked to shoot clay pigeons that he would set out on the first long birm and would knock them right down with regularity. He would shoot left to right,from bottom to top right to left etc. Distance was 163 yards.

After a while I eased over there and finally spoke to him when he was leaving one day to see what his gig was and he told me, This is the first gun I ever owned and I like shooting it. I bought it new because I thought it was a decent pistol from what I read and heard and I selected 9mm because I could afford to shoot it a lot. Ive been shooting about two years here two or three times a week and just started moving the targets out as I got better.

I said oh, okay well I think your a pretty good shot. He said you really think so? I said yeah, most people cant hit that well from standing with a rifle and your doing it with a pistol, what kind is it? It was a Glock.

What type or model I couldn't tell you but that freaking guy was a good shot with it. I thought he was some sort of cop or pistol junkie but he was just some dude that lived in town and liked going "Up the Burma" shooting.

He was probably up there today I bet. My brother who is not into guns knew who he was from the ball field or something but I cant remember his name for the life of me. Real nice guy though, he said he didn't talk a lot because he didn't know much about the different type of guns there and didn't want to embarrass himself.
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Old May 26th, 2018, 10:25 PM #5
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16oz and 20oz soda bottles/cans at 100+ yards is how I got initiated, the cans are more reactive than the bottles, and once you make hits - that hook is set.

Joe, I know how you feel. One of the last MDS shoots, I was allowed to rip off a string at 200 with the 4" M&P .45 - tried going for the silhouettes, got damned close but wasn't ringing them. Managed to tag the tail-gate off a truck someone had put out there, but the silhouettes were just a target too small.

As long as you don't take it too seriously, it's easy to keep it a 'fun thing'. IMO.
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Old May 26th, 2018, 11:15 PM #6
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Look for the videos of Jerry Miculek hitting a target with a J-frame from way too far away. You can do it. It just takes a lot of practice.
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Old May 26th, 2018, 11:58 PM #7
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Congratulations on reaching a personal goal. Even if it was a further goal then you were trying for. Curious to see how the 100 yds would have went.
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Old May 27th, 2018, 01:33 AM #8
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Very nice story, OP. Likely a memory that will bring a smile to your face for decades to come.

I can still vividly remember spending hours at Myrtle Grove with a single shot bolt action .22 with open sights, chasing around a 1" target with gun powder inside so it flamed up and burned if you hit it. That was 24 years ago and it still brings a sense of accomplishment.
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Old May 27th, 2018, 06:48 AM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by august1410 View Post
If anyone had any doubts about the reach of a six inch Smith & Wesson revolver, I can put them to rest.


If we had an IHMSA range closer than Charlottesville, I'd enjoy taking you to a match. You'd love it. The best long-range handgun shooters I've ever seen are IHMSA members. I was a member from 1982-1993 and finally rejoined again last year, although, have yet to find the time to shoot.
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Old May 27th, 2018, 07:12 AM #10
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Bob Munden approves.
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