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effective range of different calibers

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effective range of different calibers

Postby waterrat » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:58 pm

is anyone able to tell me what the effective range of different calibers given the right rifle and perfect conditions. I'm especially interested in the performance of the following calibers but I'm shore other members would be interested in the results.

.38/.357
.303
.308
7.62
270
45/70
Marlin 700T .22LR Semi-Auto
Brno 602 .270 Bolt action
Pietta .44 Mexacan new army
Lee Enfeild .308 No.4 Mk1
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Re: effective range of different calibers

Postby andythemarksman » Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:09 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rifle_cartridges

.308 is 7.62 nato

but there are so many factors that could change your question, i mean, so many. heres a few that will change the accurate range:

rifling twist
barrel length
bullet weight
environmental conditions
curvature of the earth

the list is endless!
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Re: effective range of different calibers

Postby khazarmac » Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:09 am

Well it depends on what you mean by effective. By way of example, I and others on the site shoot .308/7.62 out to 1000yds very accurately (less so in my case), and it is likely that you could push it another couple of 100 more. I've shot my .357 Marlin successfully out to 300yds, though I was aiming pretty high. .303 rifles are usually sighted out to 1200yds, but I am not sure how accurate they'd be at that range. In WW1 they fitted them with long distance sights to allow them to fire indirectly, and that would still have been effective if you'd been hit. My Lee Enfield No 4 with TR sights can hit the target at 1000yds (occasionally!).

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Re: effective range of different calibers

Postby gun nut » Fri Jun 25, 2010 8:54 am

A very difficult question! Firstly how anyone defines effective will vary the answer. Does it mean the range at which a calibre will hit a certain size target or the range at which it will be lethal given a lucky shot or something totally different. The only answers I can give are going on the usual ranges that the calibres are shot over. As Malc said .308/7.62 is reasonably accurate to 1000 yards if you know the trajectory and can certainly hit targets a long way over this (allbeit the 'luck' factor probably kicks in). My P14 .303 is sighted up to 1200 yards (if I remember right the original volley sights were calibrated up to much further distances) but it is difficult hitting much above 600 yards as I can't see it through the irons! .270 is going to be in the same ball park as .308. 45/70 are certainly capable of long range work and retain a good deal of energy although they have a trajectory like a rainbow! :grin: .357 is usually shot at short range (10 to 100m) although they are good for a few hundred yards from a rifle.
We also shouldn't forget the most important factor in what gives a firearms its effective range..... the shooter! If the person pulling the trigger can't hit the arse end of an obese rhino at 25 yards then it doesn't matter what calibre you have!
P.S. I don't condone the practice of shooting overweight rhinos in the behind! :grin:
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Re: effective range of different calibers

Postby The_Dogge » Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:04 pm

No discussion of this subject would be complete without reading Bryan Litz's essay Maximum Effective Range of Small Arms http://www.appliedballisticsllc.com/ind ... _Range.pdf

It all hinges on how you define "effective", is a hit on a fig 11 good enough or are you going for a headshot on a rabbit? Do you need to do it 100% of the time, or are you prepared to accept a hit probability of 90% say? Can you adjust for conditions in the field or do you want to "point and shoot"?

His rather surprising conclusion that for a 6" target (for 100% hits under worst case conditions) the maximum range for an 80gn varmint bullet fired from a 243 is 248.5yd was roundly poo pooed last time I mentiooned it on this board, but with no actual argument against his methodology, just that it was "ridiculous".

He's a well qualified guy, chief ballistician for berger bullets, and a champion shooter, I'd take notice of what he said unless I had a good reason not to.

You may want to read "Extending the Max Effective Range" as well http://www.appliedballisticsllc.com/ind ... ticles.htm
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Re: effective range of different calibers

Postby hungryrob » Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:55 am

The_Dogge wrote:His rather surprising conclusion that for a 6" target (for 100% hits under worst case conditions) the maximum range for an 80gn varmint bullet fired from a 243 is 248.5yd was roundly poo pooed last time I mentiooned it on this board, but with no actual argument against his methodology, just that it was "ridiculous".


Makes plenty sense to me.

As others have said, that's an almost impossible question as it depends upon a huge number of variables..

Most rifles will shoot a range of bullet weights and at differing velocities.

My take on it is that it's a factor of bullet weight, BC and velocity rather than a specific calibre or rifle.
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