Gun Safety: Ammunition Maximum Range

by
posted on November 7, 2019
long-range.jpg
Whether you're hunting, target shooting or plinking, it's important that you be aware of the maximum range of the gun and cartridge combination you're using. The maximum range is the greatest distance a projectile can travel when fired at the optimum angle of elevation of the gun barrel. This optimal angle of elevation is usually around 30 degrees from horizontal. Note that the maximum range is far greater than the effective range of the cartridge, which is the maximum distance at which a projectile can be expected to be useful. This is usually determined by factors such as accuracy and, for hunting or military uses, striking energy.

The importance of maximum range stems from the safety rule "Know your target and what is beyond." A bullet from an errant shot or a miss may fly several miles before it impacts the earth. A knowledge of maximum range (as well as what lies beyond the target area) can help a shooter assess whether it is or is not safe to fire.

The following table contains representative figures for the maximum range for many common rifle and handguncartridges. Note that these figures are approximate and are useful for rough comparison only. Variations in barrel length, the velocity level of the load, bullet ballistic coefficient and more will affect the actual distance attained by a particular load in a particular gun under specific conditions. 






Latest

Sporting Clays
Sporting Clays

NRA Family Favorites: May 21, 2022

We love our readers ... and we also love to read! Here are some of our favorite stories from around the whole family of NRA publications this past week.

Video Review: Colt King Cobra Target Revolver

This precision wheelgun was designed for sharpshooters, but it's versatile enough for so much more.

Wow! New Archery World Record Velvet Mule Deer Crowned

This majestic mule deer in velvet was taken according to Pope & Young's principles of fair chase.

Important Mossberg Product Safety Recall Notice: SA-410 Shotguns

Mossberg has recently discovered a potential safety issue with certain Mossberg International Model SA-410 Shotguns.

How to Spot Dangerous and Dud Ammunition

If the ammunition shortage and price hikes have you looking for alternate ammo sources, here's what you need to know.

Throwback Thursday: Guns of the Hatfield-McCoy Feud

Imagine a family feud so ferocious it left a mark on the language...

Interests



Get the best of NRA Family delivered to your inbox.