Ammo effective ranges and accuracy

Ammo effective ranges and accuracy

This is a discussion on Ammo effective ranges and accuracy within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Does anyone know of a site that lists the accuracy, ranges, drop, etc of the common calibers (9mm, .40S&W, .357Sig, .45)? I have references for ...

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Thread: Ammo effective ranges and accuracy

  1. #1
    Member Array MSteve's Avatar
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    Question Ammo effective ranges and accuracy

    Does anyone know of a site that lists the accuracy, ranges, drop, etc of the common calibers (9mm, .40S&W, .357Sig, .45)?
    I have references for penetration, JHP expansion and all that, but am interested in how they rate against each other at various distances, e.g. 25m, 50m, etc for accuracy and point of aim.
    I found the page below for the .45, but have not been able to find anything on the others.
    The Sight 1911 .45 ACP Page (The tables are at the bottom.)
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    To get good info I would go to something like Speer or Hornady's web site. You can't just go by caliber, you have to consider bullet coefficient and velocity. Altitude, temperature, atomspheric pressure and relative humidity also come into play.
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    External ballistics are readily available on any ammo maker's web site. Accuracy, however, is generally more a function of the firearm than the specific round.

    However, in a very practical sense, accuracy past 25-50 yards is largely academic. Given a choice, you wouldn't choose a handgun to neutralize a threat much past 25 yards. Inside of 25 yards, there just is not a significant difference in the ability of any given round and handgun to put a bullet where it will do the most damage.

    Putting it a different way, a gun & cartridge combo that can group inside of 1 inch at 25 yards is not practically superior to one that shoots 3-inch groups at the same range.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevew View Post
    To get good info I would go to something like Speer or Hornady's web site. You can't just go by caliber, you have to consider bullet coefficient and velocity. Altitude, temperature, atomspheric pressure and relative humidity also come into play.
    I used Speer's sight as an example, to answer my own question. Below is what I got based on a 4 inch barrel, assuming all other environmental factors are equal.
    Attached Images
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    Another factor is barrel length. The same round fired in a snubby and a 4" barrel will perform differently. This is true of shorter barrel/longer barrel auto-loaders as well.
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    It's simple. If the BG is further away than you can throw your emptied handgun--get a rifle!
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    Member Array MSteve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksholder View Post
    Another factor is barrel length. The same round fired in a snubby and a 4" barrel will perform differently. This is true of shorter barrel/longer barrel auto-loaders as well.
    True. I wasn't so much concerned with barrel length, just which round performed better with everything else being equal.

    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    It's simple. If the BG is further away than you can throw your emptied handgun--get a rifle!
    I don't really expect to ever have to shoot bad guys at the max effective range of the round, but it's nice to know, if only academically, before I make my next purchase.
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    Bullet drop is a function of speed. Everything falls at the same rate. If you shoot a 30-06 horizontally and drop a bowling ball at exactly the same time the bullet and the bowling ball will hit the ground at the same time. That's what gravity does to anything with mass, velocity will not affect the time it will take the bullet to hit the ground, only the distance at which the amount of time is elapsed. If you can find tables for any caliber's drop at any speed then any bullet traveling the same speed will have an identical drop because the force of gravity pulling them toward the center of the Earth's mass is the same. All you really need is a table of bullet speeds and drops.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    It's simple. If the BG is further away than you can throw your emptied handgun--get a rifle!
    I use this exact scale.
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    From a supported position such as Prone a good shot can consistently stay on a man sized target to 100 yards. The fast dropping 45/230 only drops @ 9 inches at 100 yards. Your pistol may be all you have, it's good to at least become competent in Long Range shooting with a handgun.

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    I used to shoot in hunter pistol silhouette competition out to 100 yards and regularly shoot handguns for fun out to 200 yards on our place, but only take them seriously out to about 25 yards or so.

    It is worthwhile to see what they are capable of at longer distances.

    Here's a 10-shot, 100 yard group fired with my Luger in 9mm with wrists resting on sandbags and using Winchester "white box" 115 grain ammunition. A Luger is generally accurate. The sights leave something to be desired. The pistol was sighted at the top of the black bull. The 9mm shoots suprisingly flat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronny View Post
    If you shoot a 30-06 horizontally and drop a bowling ball at exactly the same time the bullet and the bowling ball will hit the ground at the same time.
    Not if you drop it on your foot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronny View Post
    Bullet drop is a function of speed. Everything falls at the same rate. If you shoot a 30-06 horizontally and drop a bowling ball at exactly the same time the bullet and the bowling ball will hit the ground at the same time. That's what gravity does to anything with mass, velocity will not affect the time it will take the bullet to hit the ground, only the distance at which the amount of time is elapsed. If you can find tables for any caliber's drop at any speed then any bullet traveling the same speed will have an identical drop because the force of gravity pulling them toward the center of the Earth's mass is the same. All you really need is a table of bullet speeds and drops.
    Don't forget to figure in the curvature of the earth in your scientific calculations . . . unless you still believe the world is flat!
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    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth

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