effective range?

effective range?

This is a discussion on effective range? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have always been puzzled by statements about the "range" and "effective range" of a pistol. For instance, my Beretta 92FS has a 'maximum range' ...

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  1. #1
    New Member Array qcburrows's Avatar
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    effective range?

    I have always been puzzled by statements about the "range" and "effective range" of a pistol.

    For instance, my Beretta 92FS has a 'maximum range' of about 2,000 yards, but an "effective range" of only about 50 yards, according to the manufacturer.

    I take it for granted that its bullets are potentially deadly long after they've gone 50 yards, but what is meant by "effective" in this context?

    Do they cease to be aimable accurately after 50 yards -- is that it? Or are they no longer capable of transferring much energy?

    Any real information would be welcome.



  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    My take on it is its combat effective to say 50 yards in other words aimable fire...

    over that i would say its range b4 the bullet hits the ground would be the other i think 2000 yards is a bit much for 9mm even if it does go that far you cant aim it ...

    Shots at that range(2000 yards) with a high power rifle and scope have to be done by a well praticed pro to be effective at that range

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array Prospector's Avatar
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    I wonder if the max range is tested on a flat smooth surface so you get the "roll" effect.....could cause a bruised toe if barefooted!
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  4. #4
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    Tho I did long range shooting - in itself a tad ''specialist'' - I reckon that the 50 and 25 yard ranges as used within PPC give some idea of potential - for accuracy at least. Most enjoyable and IMO useful course of fire.

    I'd reckon that the average mid to full size carry piece will vindicate itself adequately up to 50 yards but - probably only if the shooter has tried it. Aim off need not be as huge as some imagine ..... a COM shot perhaps achieved usefully by a low neck hold... tho much will also depend on shooter's steadyness - probably less than stellar under stress!!

    A signicant amount of energy will have been lost by then but certainly if we look at something like .357 mag - there is plenty of useful energy remaining. In fact shoot your 9mm at wood from this range - it sure as heck still does some damage!

    There are folks with snubs who can happily hit milk jugs at 100 yds! I think it useful to push any carry platform out to extremes - just to know what it can do.
    Chris - P95
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  5. #5
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    yep, found that my .22 lr NAA derringer is not all that accurate at 60 yrds.

  6. #6
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    I'm sure hitting someone at over 50 yards would certainly get their attention, if you can consistantly hit the target. If I was going to take a shot that far out I would be very picky about what kind of backstop I had. I could probably hit a range target okay, but would not be very confident about taking that shot on the street.
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  7. #7
    New Member Array qcburrows's Avatar
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    Thank you all!

  8. #8
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    I practice occasionaly on a B-27 target at 100 yards ranges just for the heck of it. Taking a good solid two handed hold while bracing my arms on the bench, the front sight covers the width of the shoulders on the target. Keeping the sight picture leveled up at the top of the shoulders, I can keep pretty much all of the shots in the black, putting most of them in the 8,9 or 10 ring. This is with a Sig 220 .45.

    Most handguns are limited not by their caliber, but by their sights. I have a Colt Anaconda .44 mag that I shoot alot, at 100 yards with standard sights its a trick to get more than about an 10" group, same gun with a 4 power scope will put them in a 3 inch group all day long.

    Even my Ruger 22/45 does well with a red dot on it at 100 yards as to compared without it. You certainly would'nt want me shooting it at you. On the other hand, alot of folks that have never tried it are amazed how accurate a handgun can be with a good solid rest.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    According to my instructors at the Infantry Officer Basic Course, the max effective range for an M16 round (5.56mm) is 460 meters. That's the range most soldiers can reliably hit a man sized target center mass using iron sights and with standard training. Snipers and extraordinary marksmen can stretch that and still be lethal. It is not a max range....it's just a standard. I always qualified expert with the M16. To me that means that 9 out of 10 times I can hit a man center mass with iron sights at 300 meters. To me that is a pretty easy shot, even now with ummmm "older" eyes. lol You just have to remember the bullet drop at 300 meters with the standard "ball" ammo in use by the military is about 18 inches. So aim for the head and hit the chest.

    A handgun will be dependent on the weight of the bullet used. A 45 lobs shots like a mortar, but I can reliably hit at 50 to 70 meters on a man sized target...at least someplace on the torso. I'm not that good, either. Knew a SGM that could put all rounds from a 1911 inside the 9 ring at 100 yds. But to me, Sergeants Major are creatures that approach mythological status. Same for Infantry Company First Sergeants.

    I had a buddy used to be a shooter for the Phoenix Project in 'Nam that could dance a coke can with a 9mm at 100 yards.

    Heck, these days I can barely see the front sight on my 1911.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

  10. #10
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  11. #11
    VIP Member Array obxned's Avatar
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    Used to shoot prairie dogs out to 200+ yards with a .45 Gold Cup. Took 2 or 3 shots, but either hit or came close enough to have hit them in the chest if they were 150 lbs. Drop, even with a relatively slow round like the .45, is less than you think. Try yours at the 100yrd range and you will probably find if you miss, it is high. A little long range shooting will teach you a lot about the capabilities of you pistol. While highly unlikely, it could save your life.
    Last edited by obxned; January 17th, 2007 at 11:56 AM. Reason: misspelled

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Ditto on the above. To me, effective range is the distance in which I can hit the target and the bullet can do the job. If one or the other thing is missing, the BG is still coming. So, while my "carry" 9mm load can travel about 400yds, and the bullet (at > 350 ft-lbs) can still drop a target at ~100yds or so (assuming a miraculous shot), I can't reliably strike a penetrating shot outside of ~40yds or so. My eyes can't hit a target within a couple of hand spans at 100yds, at least not reliably enough that I'd trust a miracle shot that far to do its job. Thus, for me and my carry weapon/load, 40-50yds is about it. (Gun: CZ P01 9mm w/ 4" bbl and DoubleTap 124gr +P @ 500 ft-lbs muzzle energy.)
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Array purple88yj's Avatar
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    To hit a target, whether animante or not, at 100+ yards with a handgun is do-able. Lethality of a shot that far may be questionable, but it can be done.

    As for the maximum range of 2000 yards, a bullet out of a handgun can get out that far, but by that time you could just about swat the slug out of the air. Not saying I would try it, but eventually everything has to stop, I just don't want to be the thing that gets it to stop.

  14. #14
    Member Array ClosetCaseNerd's Avatar
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    According to my instructors at the Infantry Officer Basic Course, the max effective range for an M16 round (5.56mm) is 460 meters. That's the range most soldiers can reliably hit a man sized target center mass using iron sights and with standard training
    Maximum effective on an M16A4/A2 and on a point target is 550 meters...Marines shoot 500m targets for their qualification.

    The maximum range is simply the farthest the round can travel out of the given firearm, usually the manufacturer takes a 45 degree hold over into consideration, thus the phenominal distance claimed.
    Last edited by ClosetCaseNerd; January 18th, 2007 at 01:06 PM.

  15. #15
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    I believe range in this case is how far the bullet will go if fired at a 45 degree angle with the ground. Effective range is the range you can have a high chance of hitting what you aim at with direct fire.

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