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Discussion Starter #1
I have a question for all.
As we all train i wonder about the ultimate range of many of the wepons we carry.
we all may have seen the OSP troopers that shot the the Kehoe (sp) brothers in wilmington ohio at essentially point blank range and missed on all counts. of course the Kehoe brothers didn't fare any better, missing on all counts. But what is the ultimate 'dangerous' range for these weapons? Mostly i'd be asking about 38', 357's, 9mm, 45's, and 44's.
as with outdoor ranges, if ya got a person, newbie or experienced, you can possibily have an errant, shanked, shot that may clear yer backstop. what is the ultimate lethal range we could expect that round to travel left unchecked by a branch, twig, etc.?
I know i have been to the local indoor range and the ceiling is just plywood and is torn to pieces with shanked shots. now i;m sure they have the roof armor plated to keep these rounds from going to the highway but its obvious this happens.

what do ya'all think?
 

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The absolute max I would ever consider using a hand gun at is 50 yards and that's pushing it.The ultimate lethal range for a round is probably 1/4 mile but I'm guessing. Remember most hand gun duels are at 7 yards or less.

AFS
 

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Solo - if you were up there with cal like .357 then I know that the round is still well lethal at 100 yards - same for .44 mag. Years ago used to shoot in a large very high-sided quarry - and down the end it was possible to take cover behind large rocks so as to be able to observe shots arriving at the berm.

We tested countless cals from 100 yds on steel plates, milk jugs of water and other improvised targets. Leaving aside getting trajectory right for a hit - I sure know that there is well enough energy in those cals to do very major damage!

9mm and 38spl are pretty much out of steam by that distance but still - far from innocuous.

As for bullet over travel - well as is said on .22 ammo boxes - dangerous for up to a mile - or is it mile and a half. Anyways - bullets can and do travel huge distances if elevation is optimal, even lame handgun bullets. Thus rule #4 is always very important.

At extreme range - at end of trajectory as parabolic curve decays sharply, the amount of energy remaining will be quite small - partly just ''G'' but there have been remote instances when even then a head shot could be lethal.

Bottom line I guess - ignoring combat for now - the bullet ain't safe until it comes to rest :wink:
 

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I recall an incident some time ago where a woman woke up one night with a burning sensation in her chest. They rushed her to the hospital to find a .38 slug had fallen out of the sky, crashed through their ceiling and roof, and had hit her square in the chest. Odds are pretty good this was some random person firing into the air for some stupid reason.

They were not able to determine where it had been launched from even when they called in ballistics experts and physicists, just that it had been "far away".
 

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There was an inncident I remember a few years ago where a child was hit in the leg with a 9mm round about a mile from the shooting range where it was fired from. The range had berms and other protection to keep rounds from leaving the target area but by some qurik a round got through. If the child had been hit higher they could have been killed.

Also you should bear in mind that self defense inncidents occur at close range. You would be hard pressed to prove you couldn't run away from an attacker, as required in most states, that is 50 feet away. Of course if you live in Florida or a few other states you won't have to run away because of their new Stand Your Ground law.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks all for the input and responses.
the reason i asked this question is not so much for a S.D. incident, which i think this very much could play into as not all rounds go where intended but where firedt, but as from an earlier post i am interested in assembling a personal target range. i live in a farming type area which is relatively flat and i want as much info to run with to determine my best approach to a "touchy" thing like a target range.
we all believe "it won't happen to us" but.... a simple thing like angling yer range 5 degreess one way or another could mean the difference between "all is well" :smile: to "oops?!" and an oops with a bullet is very much bad. :eek:
I want to gather as much info on backstops, bullet ranges, whatever i can think of to be responsible.
again thanks and keep that info coming.
god i love this site and the wealth of info is amazing.
nothing speaks louder to me than real-life experience.
 

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I want to gather as much info on backstops, bullet ranges, whatever i can think of to be responsible.
I have a backyard range of sorts, it's not long (about maybe 25 feet to the backstop) and I was using it just for pistols.

It did fine. It was easy to create, I made a wall with about a foot inbetween the front and back boards and fill it with sand. As a precaution I decided to bolt a 1/4" thick steel plate to the back wall.

Worked great. I then decided, well, it should stop rifle rounds also... right.

Where I shoot, there is a knoll that blocks my house from the nearest house to the back of me which is about a mile and a half away. But there are horses and cows inbetween that can wonder into the field of fire (if the backstop wasn't there).

At a distance of 25 feet, the 30-40, the .303 and the CZ52 were punching through the boards, the sand and the metal sheet :eek: .

I don't fire outside if any of the livestock is behind or in the area of the backstop.

I then built a second wall and filled it with dirt and it is working. Not to my neighbors delite though :biggrin:

Wayne
 

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Reference: Hatcher's Notebook, by Julian S. Hatcher has a ton of information concering maxium ranges.

P95..9MM out of steam at 100yards?? Wonder how my friend Ayoob managed to knock down a steel Larue target at 250 yards with a Sig 228/9 which ever one is 9MM???

Example: Extreme range of 172grBT 06 is 5500 yards.

Hatcher's belongs in every professional gunmans library.
 

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Useful book KC by sounds of it.

I was meaning ''outa steam'' in rather a relative sense - sure not meaning I'd stand there and catch one LOL! Compared with .357 or 44 mag tho - certainly getting ''tame''.

If I had 9mm's coming down from say a BHP - they were pretty mild on impact - whereas if thru my then Stirling carbine - they were of course much better.

I am sure if optimal angle used for firing - which is what? Forget - just under or over 45º - then sure the 5,500 (a mile) can be achieved.
 

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Maximum effective range is the longest range at which you can expect to hit your target. Firearms have a MUCH greater "dangerous" range, the range at which a bullet still has enough velocity to injure or kill.

IIRC at the most advantageous elevation the distance a military issue 9mm round will travel is just over 1.5 miles. The issue 5.56mm M16 round is something like 15,500 meters.

A round comes down with the same force it went up, less a bit for wind resistance.

That's why they say "check your backstop".
 

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Max Range for a Sabot rd?

tanksoldier said:
Maximum effective range is the longest range at which you can expect to hit your target. Firearms have a MUCH greater "dangerous" range, the range at which a bullet still has enough velocity to injure or kill.

IIRC at the most advantageous elevation the distance a military issue 9mm round will travel is just over 1.5 miles. The issue 5.56mm M16 round is something like 15,500 meters.

A round comes down with the same force it went up, less a bit for wind resistance.

That's why they say "check your backstop".
Hey! How are you feeling these days? You up and about? Able to get to the PX or wherever they sell cool tanker T-Shirts? LOL

IIRC max effective range for the M16 is 460 meters. What's the max range on an M1 SABOT rd with tube at max elevation? But wait, THAT wouldn't be MAX range would it? A mortar round drops closer when tube is at max elevation....
 

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Max EFFECTIVE range 460m, yes... give or take. But MAX range is MUCH greater.

A SABOT at optimum elevation goes so far that rounds fired from Ft Hunter-Ligget will land in the Pacific ocean. I don't remember exactly how far. but far.

Ex: PM me your address and I'll see what I can find.
 

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Wait a minute, I know this! Okay...actually I have a general idea, and I know where to find the actual information. (The M9, M16, M16A2 and M4 info was pulled from AFMAN 10-100 [The Airman's Manual] the M249 and M60 info was pulled from Luke AFB VA 31-2 [Luke Weapons Card].)

M16
Muzzle Velocity- 3250 fps
Maximum Range- 2653 m (2901 yds)
Max Effective Range- 460 m (503 yds)

M16A2
Muzzle Velocity- 3100 fps
Maximum Range- 3600 m (3938 yds)
Max Effective Range Point Targets- 550 m (602 yds)
Max Effective Range Area Targets- 800 m (875 yds)

M4
Maximum Range- 3600 m (3938 yds)
Max Effective Range Point Targets- 500 m (550 yds)
Max Effective Range Area Targets- 600 m (660 yds)

M9
Muzzle Velocity- 1230 fps
Maximum Range- 1800 m (1.1 miles)
Max Effective Range- 50 m (55 yds)

M249
Maximum Range- 3600 m (3938 yds)
Max Effective Range- 1000m

M60
Maximum Range- 3725 m
Max Effective Range- 1100m

A1C Lickey
 

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I do believe there was a thread concerning this very same thing a while ago. It had all kinds of fancy math equasions and distances, and trajectory angles and what not in it. bottom line is I wouldn't want to be shot at from any distance.
 

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Bruces45 said:
....... bottom line is I wouldn't want to be shot at from any distance.
Not fun for sure but it's worse when it's your own guys and they're doing so in ERROR! Just remember: Friendly Fire......ISN'T!!
 

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It's all a numbers game....

A1C Lickey said:
Wait a minute, I know this! Okay...actually I have a general idea, and I know where to find the actual information. (The M9, M16, M16A2 and M4 info was pulled from AFMAN 10-100 [The Airman's Manual] the M249 and M60 info was pulled from Luke AFB VA 31-2 [Luke Weapons Card].)

M16
Muzzle Velocity- 3250 fps
Maximum Range- 2653 m (2901 yds)
Max Effective Range- 460 m (503 yds)

M16A2
Muzzle Velocity- 3100 fps
Maximum Range- 3600 m (3938 yds)
Max Effective Range Point Targets- 550 m (602 yds)
Max Effective Range Area Targets- 800 m (875 yds)

M4
Maximum Range- 3600 m (3938 yds)
Max Effective Range Point Targets- 500 m (550 yds)
Max Effective Range Area Targets- 600 m (660 yds)

M9
Muzzle Velocity- 1230 fps
Maximum Range- 1800 m (1.1 miles)
Max Effective Range- 50 m (55 yds)

M249
Maximum Range- 3600 m (3938 yds)
Max Effective Range- 1000m

M60
Maximum Range- 3725 m
Max Effective Range- 1100m

A1C Lickey
Most of this is pretty accurate I think. I have some questions. I was taught at the Infantry Officer Basic Course that the max effective range for a beaten area on the M60 is 800 meters not the 1100 you've got. Also the muzzle velocity for the M9 seems a tad high especially for military ball ammo, but since I never wore a 9mm (my era was the 1911) I'm speaking as an NRA Instructor on that one. Cor-Bon is pretty hot ammo and it sizzles out of a barrel in the 9mm at about (IIRC) 1350fps?

The M249 is a 5.56mm right? I think? That being the case isn't the max effective range somewhere in the 500 meter range? Nawww it's gotta be a 7.62x51 for those numbers.

Lessee, you don't mention the Improved T.O.W. and I think the max effective range on that is about 1500 meters, with the max range topping out at 3,750 meters before the wire runs out. LOL
 

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P95Carry said:
Useful book KC by sounds of it.
I am sure if optimal angle used for firing - which is what? Forget - just under or over 45º - then sure the 5,500 (a mile) can be achieved.
Found this for you in a military ballistics manual :

The optimum elevation for achieving the maximum range depends on the range capability. Large caliber, high-velocity artillery (e.g. the WW1 German Paris Guns) achieved their maximum range of around 75 miles at an elevation of 55 degrees, because aerodynamic drag reduces along with air pressure so the sooner the shell gets up into the thin upper air the further it will travel. Rifle bullets are restricted to the lower atmosphere and their optimum elevation is about 30-35 degrees. For the same reason, an aircraft gun will have a much longer effective range at high altitude than in the thick air at ground level.
 

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ExSoldier762 said:
The M249 is a 5.56mm right? I think? That being the case isn't the max effective range somewhere in the 500 meter range? Nawww it's gotta be a 7.62x51 for those numbers.
Unless I'm mistaken, the M249 is 7.62...the M243 is 5.56


As far as handgun rounds running out of steam, I seem to recall reading that Elmer Keith killed an elk or deer (don't remember exactly) at 400+ yards with one of his .44's.
 

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A round comes down with the same force it went up, less a bit for wind resistance.
Not true.

The farther a bullet travels the more energy it loses.

If you shoot a bullet straight up....it will eventually stop and then start its drop back to earth.

The only energy that bullet has is the weight of it being dropped. Once it acheives is terminal speed, that is all the energy it will have.
 
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