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Thread: At what range should one sight his hand gun i for.

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    At what range should one sight his hand gun i for.

    For decades I always like sighing my hand guns in for a half to one inch high at 25 yards.

    For many bullets out of many common calibers I found that this sight in allows me to make shots out to 75 yards and be with in a couple of inch's of my point of aim.

    With higher velocity calibers like a 125 357 at 1300fps plus a 75 yard zero makes even more sense. Allowing dead on hold out to 100 yards and still be within a few inches of point of aim

    As we know that most self defense shooting happen at really close range one isn't hurt my a longer sight in distance being. Ones bullets well strike with in a half of inch at the closer ranges.

    But if ever needed one simple has to hold dead on at the longer ranges and know that ones bullet well hit very near ones point of aim.

    On the slower velocity calibers with bullets less the 900 fps a 35 or 40 yard zero could make more sense as the bullet drop at these lower velocities is greater.

    Opting for the max range were ones bullets strike within strike with in an inch or 2 through out their flight can make a lot sense
    Last edited by Firearms Iinstuctor; 12-16-2014 at 09:31 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firearms Iinstuctor View Post
    For decades I always like sighing my hand guns in for a half to one inch high at 25 yards.

    For many bullets out of many common calibers I found that this sight in allows me to make shots out to 75 yards and be with in a couple of inch's of my point of aim.

    With higher velocity calibers like a 125 357 at 1300fps plus a 75 yard zero makes even more sense. Allowing dead on hold out to 100 yards and still be within a few inches of point of aim

    As we know that most self defense shooting happen at really close range one isn't hurt my a longer sight in distance being. Ones bullets well strike with in a half of inch at the closer ranges.

    But if ever needed one simple has to hold dead on at the longer ranges and know that ones bullet well hit very near ones point of aim.

    On the slower velocity calibers with bullets less the 900 fps a 35 or 40 yard zero could make more sense as the bullet drop at these lower velocities is greater.

    Opting for the max range were ones bullets strike within strike with in an inch or 2 through out their flight can make a lot sense
    Im missing something.. How exactly are you zeroing said firearms? My guns only adjust for windage not elevation (distance) this being because the front sight is usually affixed to muzzle/barrel.

    So what are you changing for distance? My guns have rear sight pushed to side (right I believe). Can't adjust front. So if I'm shooting further I'd need to aim higher to compensate for bull drop.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Primus View Post
    Im missing something.. How exactly are you zeroing said firearms? My guns only adjust for windage not elevation (distance) this being because the front sight is usually affixed to muzzle/barrel.

    So what are you changing for distance? My guns have rear sight pushed to side (right I believe). Can't adjust front. So if I'm shooting further I'd need to aim higher to compensate for bull drop.
    Depends on the rear sight; Firearms Iinstuctor obviously has the option of adjusting for windage and elevation on his.

    I own a Hi Point that allows for both windage and elevation, though I prefer "military style" three-dot sights (fixed front post, dovetail rear that does not allow for elevation adjustments).

    To answer the OP's question (in a roundabout way): my carry 1911 is (supposed to be) sighted in for ~21 feet. On the other hand, my stock CZ 75b must be sighted in for 100 feet, seeing as it shoots a bit high at ~45 feet. Then again, it could be that I'm simply not able to make full use of that pistol's precision.

    Would I prefer sighting in for longer distances: yes, up to the furthest it'd still have effective ballistics (AND I can still shoot reliably at): 40-50 feet in the case of a slow-moving .45 ACP, but possibly up to 100 feet in a 9 mm.

    As in most cases, the limiting factor will be the human, not the tool.
    I carry to defend my loved ones; Desensitizing and educating are secondary & tertiary reasons. Anything else is unintended.

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    one foot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    one foot.


    I need a nice adjustable rear sight for my .460 Rowland... maybe I'll ask Santa Claus...
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthyeliminator
    So in actuality you have no evidence that anything wrong took place, you only believe that it could be spun to appear wrong. But it hasn't been. The truth has a funny way of coming out with persistence, even if it was spun negatively the truth would find its way because these people will not accept less.
    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    The truth causes some people so much pain they can only respond with impotent laughable insults. Life must be rough for those people.

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    A good idea of the ammo ballistics will do wonders for accuracy.
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    A lot of handguns have fully adjustable sights on them there are a lot available for those that don't and one wants to change them out.

    For fixed sighted guns a lot of the time one can change the elevation by putting a lower or higher front sight on.

    There are those guns that have solid machine jn sights that allow for very little adjustment of point of aim. I avoid these as much as possible.

    But then I found that most fixed sighted are fairly well sighted in allowing for longer then just short range shots.

    Some are just horrible and they go quickly down the road.
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    Unless you are hunting or long-distance target shooting the reason for zeroing for longer distances escapes me.

    Most folks carrying a handgun for self defense carry it because a rifle is too heavy and bulky, and often the first indication that you are in a self defense situation happens up close and personal.

    I'm not sure I want to spend my days again going out with my buddies, all of us carrying rifles, looking to see if we could spot some BGs "off in the distance" and then attempt to kill them all before they got too close. First of all I'm not sure I have enough buddies, second I'm pretty sure the ones I do have would rather be doing other stuff, and third I don't live in a village/hamlet surrounded by rice paddies/fields. The folks who have done urban combat tell me it is way worse than patroling "open" terrain.

    However, I am more than willing to let you float your boat in whatever manner makes you happy. These days my battle zero is 25 yards.

    stay safe.
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    My Gen 4 G20 shoots ~2" high at just 25 feet. I've still got the stock plastic Glock sights on it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthyeliminator
    So in actuality you have no evidence that anything wrong took place, you only believe that it could be spun to appear wrong. But it hasn't been. The truth has a funny way of coming out with persistence, even if it was spun negatively the truth would find its way because these people will not accept less.
    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    The truth causes some people so much pain they can only respond with impotent laughable insults. Life must be rough for those people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Unless you are hunting or long-distance target shooting the reason for zeroing for longer distances escapes me.

    Most folks carrying a handgun for self defense carry it because a rifle is too heavy and bulky, and often the first indication that you are in a self defense situation happens up close and personal.

    I'm not sure I want to spend my days again going out with my buddies, all of us carrying rifles, looking to see if we could spot some BGs "off in the distance" and then attempt to kill them all before they got too close. First of all I'm not sure I have enough buddies, second I'm pretty sure the ones I do have would rather be doing other stuff, and third I don't live in a village/hamlet surrounded by rice paddies/fields. The folks who have done urban combat tell me it is way worse than patroling "open" terrain.

    However, I am more than willing to let you float your boat in whatever manner makes you happy. These days my battle zero is 25 yards.

    stay safe.
    Because some of us like bringing out the best performance of our equipment

    A half to a inch high at 25 well give you a lot more options then a dead on zero at 25 if one needs to take a longer shot and you give nothing up.

    The more options one has in his quiver the more prepared one is.

    For those who don't have the skills to use it so be it.

    But with a bit of practice longer range shooting and hitting your target can be learned.

    I see no mentions of carbines or rifles and going out and looking for trouble.

    With just a little change in a zero one gains some and loses nothing.
    Last edited by Firearms Iinstuctor; 12-17-2014 at 03:08 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Truth View Post
    My Gen 4 G20 shoots ~2" high at just 25 feet. I've still got the stock plastic Glock sights on it.
    Then one should look into a higher front sight one would only have to be about .03 high at 25 feet for a 70 yard zero that would but you +1.25 at 25 +1.3 at 50 -4.4 at 100.

    That's with a 180gr at 1200fps

    Still very close at the shorter ranges yet makes farther shots possible
    Last edited by Firearms Iinstuctor; 12-17-2014 at 03:10 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firearms Iinstuctor View Post
    Then one should look into a higher front sight one would only have to be about .03 high at 25 feet for a 70 yard zero that would but you +1.25 at 25 +1.3 at 50 -4.4 at 100.

    That's with a 180gr at 1200fps

    Still very close at the shorter ranges yet makes farther shots possible
    Outside the city I carry Underwood's 180 grain Gold Dots which come in at about 1,328 FPS based on my research.

    In the city and most of the time I carry Underwood's 155 grain XTPs which come in at about 1,447 FPS based on my research.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthyeliminator
    So in actuality you have no evidence that anything wrong took place, you only believe that it could be spun to appear wrong. But it hasn't been. The truth has a funny way of coming out with persistence, even if it was spun negatively the truth would find its way because these people will not accept less.
    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    The truth causes some people so much pain they can only respond with impotent laughable insults. Life must be rough for those people.

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    With 180 at 1328fps A inch high zero at 25 well give you a 70yard zero 1.08 high at 50 -.44 at 75 and -3.76 at 100

    Then at 25 feet one is only .13 high settle the front sight on target squeeze the trigger and be really close to point of aim out to 100 yards.

    The 155 is even better out to 80 then drops a half inch more between 80 and 100 for 4 inch's low at 100.

    http://www.handloads.com/

    has a great free ballistic calculator

    If you haven't brought a chronograph yet you really should to see what you own gun is actually doing one might be surprised.
    Last edited by Firearms Iinstuctor; 12-17-2014 at 07:52 PM.
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    I have a feeling I'll acquire a chrono around the same time I decide to reload all this brass I've been saving

    tnoutdoors9 on YouTube does some great ammo test videos with the G20 and a chrono into a ballistic gel block. So does Mrgunsngear. Mostly factory stuff.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthyeliminator
    So in actuality you have no evidence that anything wrong took place, you only believe that it could be spun to appear wrong. But it hasn't been. The truth has a funny way of coming out with persistence, even if it was spun negatively the truth would find its way because these people will not accept less.
    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    The truth causes some people so much pain they can only respond with impotent laughable insults. Life must be rough for those people.

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    Anything under 30', I don't use the sights. Takes a bit of practice, but I'm usually in COM on a man-sized silhouette at that range. Friend of mine teaches draw and double-tap at approximately that distance. He's pretty good at it and those he teaches are pretty good. This, btw, is the same guy who taught my never-touched-a-firearm-in-her-life lovely bride how to shoot. She probably shoots better than I do!
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    Quote Originally Posted by SFCRetired View Post
    Anything under 30', I don't use the sights. Takes a bit of practice, but I'm usually in COM on a man-sized silhouette at that range. Friend of mine teaches draw and double-tap at approximately that distance. He's pretty good at it and those he teaches are pretty good. This, btw, is the same guy who taught my never-touched-a-firearm-in-her-life lovely bride how to shoot. She probably shoots better than I do!

    Which means she does....it's OK....Annie Oakley out shot her hubby too

    Maybe she aims ! Hey-Oh !

    lol

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    When I first started in law enforcement there was a lot of perfect technique taught.

    If one was using the weaver stance your feet arms and elbows were required to have the perfect angles.

    The first academy I attended the instructors were FBI agents they yelled at us using the weaver and not the isosceles.

    When I shot a perfect 300 score they said it wouldn't count because I was using speed loaders not dump pouches.

    Techniques come and go a lot depends on who's winning the matches at the time.

    One time an instructor got on my shotgun stance, elbow wasn't high enough then I ran 10 clays in a row one handed while speed loading with the other as fast as they could throw them.

    I just said elbow not high enough huh.

    When I became an instructor I was determined to have/get results and not perfect technique.

    If a student is placing their rounds where and when he should doing so safely I could care less if he is just standing so.

    Yes there are techniques that can help you improve your shooting and it is worth while studying great shooters and picking up new ideas. But just because Joes foot was at 46.5 degrees when he is shooting and winning doesn't mean a 50 degree foot angle is bad for you.

    Every ones body is just a bit different a bad shoulder, a little bit more weight, shorter or longer arms, larger/smaller hands, shorter /longer fingers can all cause some to use a "technique" a bit differently.

    When one teaches first timers one shows them the perfect positions and that is a good place to start but once they are on the range doing things safely and hitting their targets where and when they are suppose to.

    I don't care if their foot angle is a bit off. But if they are not then we well work on things to get them there.
    Last edited by Firearms Iinstuctor; 12-19-2014 at 08:20 AM.
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    skid,

    It's very true that handgun defense is usually for protecting the person carrying the gun, so only short ranges are to be expected in those USUAL circumstances/self-defense scenarios. But there is ANOTHER circumstance/scenario where one is called on -- should he/she choose to get involved that is -- to make LONG range shots with their chosen carry handgun.

    For example, at a mall (probably carrying CC, as most are posted so no OCers likely there) or at a big-box store (inside or in the parking lot), where you witness a psycho-shooter at some distance shooting people. You could run at him to get closer, or, you could engage him (or them, if the threat is a "terrorist attack team" if that ever happens here in America) immediately. Waiting to get closer would give said shooter more time to kill more people though. Engaging him/them immediately would be faster, and at least distract him/them from other targets -- YOU becoming the new target. ;-)

    But by the time he/they figure out where your fire is coming from, it's probably too late for him/them to respond -- to you. Because of your excellent marksmanship saving the day. So don't worry, you'll be okay. Trust me... ;-)

    And it's possible that by you engaging them, they might think the cops have arrived and he will shoot HIMSELF as they often do (if he's a psycho-shooter; terrorists won't be so helpful). So just ENGAGING him may be enough. Who knows.

    So while I agree MOSTLY with "if you're shooting at other than SHORT distances it ain't self-defense" -- in the scenario I give above, it's not to defend YOU, it's to defend OTHERS, so another "policy" applies. In that case, you have to attack (if you will), which means shooting long-range (meaning farther than normal personal defense). Afterwards, if a court doesn't also see it that way (if it even GOES to court), then something's seriously wrong, but likely engaging a shooter L-D (Long-Distance) will save lives, so the right thing was done regardless.

    Personally, the handgun/caliber I carry was (and still is) intended for long-range shooting (in addition to the close-quaters stuff), so I have both short and L-D "encounters" covered. But when I carry my smaller handgun (on the days I can't carry my primary gun), for best results I HAVE to get closer. That means I'd be slower to respond.

    Besides, I don't know about you, but I don't run (away from or towards someone) very fast at my age. But I DO know my speeding bullet sure gets there in a hurry! ;-)

    And as an added "bonus" if you will, HE has be to a pretty good L-D shot with HIS handgun (or AK, whatever) -- which is unlikely -- so NOT being so close to him/them is a safety factor for ME, even if only a tiny one.

    Whatever, IMO ALL handgun carriers (OC or CC) need to be aware that on the very rare (if ever) occasion, they MAY have to make L-D shots (which is one reason I don't even OWN any DAO handguns -- SA or DA, but not DAO). So we ALL need to do some L-D practicing with our handguns. And I can tell you this: Handguns are NOT "inherently inaccurate," as they are more accurate than most people can shoot them. If one can shoot a NAA Mini-Revolver accurately, I assure you they can likewise shoot a larger-caliber handgun -- they just don't KNOW that yet!

    But in any such situation, we (of course) must avoid any collateral damage...after all, we don't want to be mistaken for "police on the scene, you know what I mean?" -- Vanilla Ice

    ;-)
    Last edited by cloudcroft; 12-20-2014 at 09:40 PM.
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    Example of a longer range shoot out

    How far was the famous shot that put Conner on the ground? Vic Stacy had a 100 foot tape measure and he and I measured the shot. One hundred and sixty-nine feet, just over 56 yards.

    Full story at the below link

    http://gunwatch.blogspot.com/2013/08...ach-house.html

    I was in the local Wal mart one of the aisles is more the 95 steps long.

    I prefer to have all the advantages I can some longer range practice is one of them
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    Regular Member FreeInAZ's Avatar
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    At what range should one sight his hand gun i for.

    Uhm... I have been doing something wrong, apparently for decades. I sight for what I think will be my intended use of my carry pistols. That being: damn close to 50 feet max. Why? If you are shooting farther the question will undoubtedly be: why didn't you run away? In court at least. If you are a target / competition / hunter / pistol shooter then it may very well make sense to shoot long distance with a pistol and have your sights adjusted for such uses. YMMV.

    ETA - also note the good ol boy who did the shooting took a pistol (357 mag six inch barrel) that he could conceal to his friends RV, as not to draw attention to himself. Then fired from cover to ambush the loon who was attempting to ambush the officer.

    So distance training with a pistol may have its defensive uses in isolated cases.
    Last edited by FreeInAZ; 12-20-2014 at 10:25 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeInAZ View Post
    Uhm... I have been doing something wrong, apparently for decades. I sight for what I think will be my intended use of my carry pistols. That being: damn close to 50 feet max. Why? If you are shooting farther the question will undoubtedly be: why didn't you run away? In court at least. If you are a target / competition / hunter / pistol shooter then it may very well make sense to shoot long distance with a pistol and have your sights adjusted for such uses. YMMV.

    ETA - also note the good ol boy who did the shooting took a pistol (357 mag six inch barrel) that he could conceal to his friends RV, as not to draw attention to himself. Then fired from cover to ambush the loon who was attempting to ambush the officer.

    So distance training with a pistol may have its defensive uses in isolated cases.
    Even if you sight in for farther distances your with in a half inch of your point of aim at 50 feet.

    I have been carrying a handgun for self defense and defense of others for 33 years on the job. Shooting them for another 10 plus

    When I first started in in Law enforcement the standard qualifying courses all had a 50 yard stage the better shooters had no trouble keeping their rounds in the center. The best were shooting perfect scores.

    I do most of hand gun training up close and personal but enough distance stuff to be confident shooting at longer ranges.

    Or when I needed to I place the front sight on that nice 8 point buck at 65 yards with my 4 inch 41mag touched her off and took out both lungs. Or the coyote at 49 yards with my 3913 , or the one at 32 steps with my 2 inch revolver off hand after running a mile, practice does pay off.

    All the above shots were double action I rarely shoot a double action revolver single action and double single action autos only after the first shot.
    Last edited by Firearms Iinstuctor; 12-21-2014 at 09:13 AM.
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    "If you are shooting farther the question will undoubtedly be: why didn't you run away?" -- FreeInAZ

    ...we were talking about one particular self-defense scenario where L-D (Long Distance) shooting would come into play, not your USUAL situation. True, WE personally would be in no danger -- just watching other people get shot -- but some of us just MAY want to get involved and at least TRY to stop the psycho-shooter. So "running away" would not be an option. Don't care if the police, DA or judge doesn't get that but at least any saved victims would, and that's enough for me. But I should add, however, that if any of said saved victims talked to me afterwards, they WOULD be berated for not carrying themselves...

    The only other POSSIBLE L-D shooting situation I can think of would be defending oneself against low-flying alien spacecraft (which calls for FMJ ammo, no HPs please). This is an important skill to have when visiting the Roswell, NM, area, I assure you. I always am on at least moderate alert when I visit there. Especially during their UFO Convention-Fiesta every July. ;-)


    ***********************************************

    "All the above shots were double action I rarely shoot a double action revolver single action and double single action autos only after the first shot." -- Firearms Iinstuctor


    I'm just the opposite: I never was able to shoot a revolver well in DA mode. Couldn't hit jack. So for L-D shots, I would ALWAYS go SA, as I need the best breaking trigger possible. That's one reason I like the 1911 -- SA only! No choice! For me, DA is for close up when you (almost) can't miss.

    I don't know how people like Ed McGivern (1930s) could be so GOOD with DA revolvers (and shooting two revolvers at the same time)...he definitely was AMAZING!

    [picture of Ed McGivern taken from http://harisingh.com/newsSharpShooter.htm

    I have a little Beretta 3032 (Tomcat, inox) that I carry when I can't carry my larger primary semi-auto, and as per its design, it's DA for the first shot, SA after that. Works for me in that I can have a round in the chamber (unlike I do with my primary carry gun which I never carry chambered) but it's VERY safe due to the long DA trigger pull (like a revolver) for the first shot, so that in itself makes it almost impossible for a ND (Negligent Discharge) to happen, as one must intentionally DA a heavy trigger pull to fire it. Also, should my SA (Situational Awareness) slip at some point and someone gets too close to me, the Beretta is ready to go in DA mode so I can get the first shot off quickly with a good chance of hitting the target because the range is so close. After the first shot then, when the gun goes to SA trigger, I can place subsequent shots more precisely.

    It goes to show that one's tactics may change depending on what gun he/she is carrying that day. My tactics when carrying the Beretta are very different that carrying my larger primary gun. The ammo is also different as well.

    As I regularly try to explain to people, it's not just the gun/caliber you carry (hardware), it's also how you're going to USE it (tactics). You need BOTH parts -- hardware & tactics -- present to have a complete & effective self-defense response.

    *****************************************

    P.S. As for "sighting-in a handgun for a particular range" I don't mess with the sights, meaning the FRONT sight: If I need to shoot farther (L-D), I just raise the front sight up a bit. Besides, none of my handguns I presently own have adjustable sights anyway, so if any elevation corrections need to be done, it's done as they do in The Great State of Kentucky. ;-)

    As long as the (fixed) sights DO shoot to point-of-aim at the usual close self-defense distances, I'm happy. If not, it's often a windage issue and I can press the dovetail rear sight right or left to fix it. As for elevation, I just GUESS. And once on, fire for effect. But with a flat-shooting handgun caliber, you sure don't have to guess very much, and since the bullet isn't dropping much, you're likely to get a solid torso hit at "great" (for a handgun) distances. You don't have to kill a "distant" psycho-shooter, just incapacitate him so he stops. So a solid hit -- lethal or not -- is the goal.

    Besides, I don't want to be adding metal to my front sight OR filing it down for a specific distance...
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    Last edited by cloudcroft; 12-21-2014 at 10:07 PM.
    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

  23. #23
    Regular Member The Truth's Avatar
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    I blasted off a few magazines through my .460 Rowland yesterday, and my goodness that is a flat shooting pistol! I love it more every time I take it out. The max distance at the range was 57 feet and the pistol shot just as well out that far as it did at 15 feet, didn't matter if it was a heavy bullet or a light bullet. I want to start shooting it up to 100 yards though since that's pretty much what I bought it for.
    Sic semper evello mortem tyrannis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthyeliminator
    So in actuality you have no evidence that anything wrong took place, you only believe that it could be spun to appear wrong. But it hasn't been. The truth has a funny way of coming out with persistence, even if it was spun negatively the truth would find its way because these people will not accept less.
    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    The truth causes some people so much pain they can only respond with impotent laughable insults. Life must be rough for those people.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Truth View Post
    I blasted off a few magazines through my .460 Rowland yesterday, and my goodness that is a flat shooting pistol! I love it more every time I take it out. The max distance at the range was 57 feet and the pistol shot just as well out that far as it did at 15 feet, didn't matter if it was a heavy bullet or a light bullet. I want to start shooting it up to 100 yards though since that's pretty much what I bought it for.
    Flat shooting to 57 feet or 19 yards amazing.
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  25. #25
    Regular Member The Truth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firearms Iinstuctor View Post
    Flat shooting to 57 feet or 19 yards amazing.
    LOL I know it's not far at all. I'll shut up now.
    Sic semper evello mortem tyrannis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthyeliminator
    So in actuality you have no evidence that anything wrong took place, you only believe that it could be spun to appear wrong. But it hasn't been. The truth has a funny way of coming out with persistence, even if it was spun negatively the truth would find its way because these people will not accept less.
    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    The truth causes some people so much pain they can only respond with impotent laughable insults. Life must be rough for those people.

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