Monday, 7 July 2014

Long Range Pistol Shots and Zero.

                In yesterday’s post I mentioned that the purpose of a military pistol round is close combat, and therefore a supersonic round more suited to longer range shooting is not a logical choice. It is worth bearing in mind that the longer range performance of even subsonic rounds like the .45ACP is much better than most people assume. I have seen estimates that the De Lisle Carbine was effective to 200 yards and possibly as much as 400yds.

                The following table, taken from FrFrog’s Ballistics pages, is interesting.

                With weapons zeroed to 50 yds the rounds tested hit just 5 to 12” low at 100yds. Rounds such as the .40 S&W, 10mm and .357 SIG can be expected to perform rather like the .357 Mag. Evidently the higher velocity rounds fly flatter, but in practical combat terms there is little to choose between them. A shot aimed at head or shoulder height at beyond 75yds is going to strike in the thorax, whether you have a 9mm, 357, 44 Mag or 45 ACP.

                Zeroing a pistol at 50 yards may not be practical so a good approach is to zero your pistol to hit 2” high at 25 yards. Using this zero the round will have dropped less than 12” below point of aim at 100 yards and the maximal ordinate will not exceed 3”. This holds true for nearly all common combat pistol calibres. Higher velocity rounds will have a flatter trajectory and have dropped less than slower ones, but all these rounds will hit less than 12” low at 100 yards and not exceed 3”+.

                For more details, see my books.