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Long distance pistol shot for my book, help please

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Replies

  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    orchidman wrote: »
    It would be much more plausible if the 'sniper' had been using a 270...............

    Naw. I write fiction, not fairy tales.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    Reality is, if someone is shooting at you, what does it matter if you know the range of that shooter just before you die?? It might be better to return fire.

    Because at first, I wrongly persuaded myself that the time gap would be 2 sec and therefore the Ranger could estimate the distance and aim accordingly, making the shot more fun to read about. But with the actual time gap 1/4 sec, I totally abandoned that theme, as you can see from the posted chapter.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    If they miss or wound you, you might want to know:

    A, where they are approximately
    B, how far away they are approximately
    C, what nice hard terrain feature is between us

    Not necessarily in that order.

    A & B are in the story. Since the guy is sniping from an elevated structure, intervening ground features don't affect the shooting.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Non of that matters anyway if someone is shooting at you, you simply shoot back plain and simple, without wasting any time.

    As an example, years ago, I was trying to save a patient in the field affected by a heroine overdose, a colleague shows up and wants to get a set of vital signs for his ACR, my observation was, why know what this guys BP is just before he arrests again? So I swat him away, so I can load my patient into the ambulance, needless to say I got suspended, but my 13 year old patient lived....
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • ShootrShootr New Member Posts: 25 New Member
    Meanwhile back at the original question. I'd go with 150 yards as an amazing shot with a 1911. A lot of people can do 100 yards when shooting a man size target. 150 yards is tougher but it can be done consistently with someone who is truly proficient with a handgun. I can hit a gallon jug at 175 yards with my .44 magnum pretty consistently. So a really good shooter should be able to do 150 yards with a .45. The truly great shooters can do way more than that. Guys like Bob Munden (gone but not forgotten) could nail balloons with a snub nose .38 at 200 yards.
    JeSuisCharlie
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 24,183 Senior Member
    Shootr wrote: »
    Guys like Bob Munden (gone but not forgotten) could nail balloons with a snub nose .38 at 200 yards.

    And that is some SERIOUSLY good shooting!

    Welcome to the forum!
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    If you put in the serious time throwing lead downrange, it yields serious fruits......
    These guys shoot so well because their devoted enough and dedicated enough and it paid good dividends....

    I had good results with 4 inch barrels, the snubby barrels just did not attract me since it was just as easy for me to carry a longer barrel and I preferred the balance of the longer 4 inch barrel.

    Issue ammo at that time was Federal .38 special 158 gn SWC, +P+, and out of the 2" barrel, you had lots of unburnt powder, this would collect on the range floor and one spark and it would fizzles in an amazing harmless display, this convinced me to trade my snubby issue revolvers, *S&W M-10s w/2" barrel for M-10s with 4inch barrels saving one for a BUG....

    One day, I walked into the armory, and I saw this S&W with a 6 inch barrel, adjustable sights !!!! Love at first sight, I asked for it, promptly signed for it, and it was mine ......
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Shootr wrote: »
    Meanwhile back at the original question. I'd go with 150 yards as an amazing shot with a 1911. A lot of people can do 100 yards when shooting a man size target. 150 yards is tougher but it can be done consistently with someone who is truly proficient with a handgun. I can hit a gallon jug at 175 yards with my .44 magnum pretty consistently. So a really good shooter should be able to do 150 yards with a .45. The truly great shooters can do way more than that. Guys like Bob Munden (gone but not forgotten) could nail balloons with a snub nose .38 at 200 yards.

    Thanks for the added info. All these excellent posts are pretty much in general agreement, that the 150 yd distance in my book is a good choice -- a very hard shot but not impossible. Which is exactly the idea of my story line.

    Thanks to all. Now I'd appreciate some feedback on the actual chapter excerpt itself. It's a rough draft and took me about an hour to write, so there will be tweaks upcoming -- I keep tweaking my novels until they're published, like any writer does.

    Some general questions: Does the account seem realistic? (I am trying to write very realistic stories, much as possible) Do the characters seem okay? Is their brief dialogue sensible? Does the general narrative read smoothly? And so on. And again, thanks for all the fish -- er, thanks for all the good input!
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 24,862 Senior Member
    It is fiction after all, but, it is in the realm of a possibility.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Well, there are several points I had odds with based on actual experiences, slight variances, nothing major...
    100 - 150 yards is not so spectacular a shot for a long slide 1911....
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,798 Senior Member
    I have never heard native Texans use the words "pal" or "snarky" in serious conversation. Maybe it's different in the big city, but for me, it doesn't mesh with my own experience. Also, I would expect a trained gunfighter to move to another location before sticking his head up behind a wall, twice.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    Well, there are several points I had odds with based on actual experiences, slight variances, nothing major...
    100 - 150 yards is not so spectacular a shot for a long slide 1911....

    Well aware of that being a hard shot but well within possible and not impossible. I had to pick a middle ground that makes the shot hard, especially under fire and in a situation where the Ranger had no shooting testing, such as at a range where you could take your time and aim and get better with successive shots. Neither is he a Swagger-minded superman marksman, but he obviously knows his weapon.

    If folks here think that 200 yards would be more spectacular, BUT a shot that the Ranger could make given the story line -- shooting under duress and at an elevated target, only one trial shot before hitting the mark, I can certainly stretch the distance to "nearly 200 yards" -- hey, it's fiction and it doesn't exist until it's on the page anyway.

    I just don't want the distance to be comic book exaggerated, is all. So... shall I make it "nearly 200" or is the current "nearly 150" good? I'm okay either way and my Ranger would be happy for the extra yardage.

    Understand, I'm not writing a "gun novel" with Bob Lee Swagger total victor against impossible odds. I'm trying to write a very realistic detective novel with some gun elements, and I want those gun things to be as real as possible, given of course that it's all made up anyway.

    So what is it? 150 yards or 200?

    But mostly, does the excerpt itself make sense as a decent chapter first draft?

    Thanks to Doc and all others. You've been helpful on other aspects of my writing before. Per Orchid's recommendation, my trauma surgeon from Hell is now a Kiwi instead of an Aussie. Your guidance on sailboats helped me get her a Beneteau First 20 to sail, and so on.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,069 Senior Member
    One hundred. Don't go Superman, not a Guinness Book of Records shot, just a pretty damn good shot. I think that's a good choice and believable. A 200 yard shot taxes the believeability of experienced readers you're trying to attract.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,798 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    One hundred. Don't go Superman, not a Guinness Book of Records shot, just a pretty damn good shot. I think that's a good choice and believable. A 200 yard shot taxes the believeability of experienced readers you're trying to attract.

    I tend to agree. Folks here are more likely to buy into longer ranges because they have done it or seen it done, but your average handgun owner probably has a lot of trouble hitting a paper plate at 25 yards, and wants to think that everybody else does, too.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    One hundred. Don't go Superman, not a Guinness Book of Records shot, just a pretty damn good shot. I think that's a good choice and believable. A 200 yard shot taxes the believeability of experienced readers you're trying to attract.

    Thanks for the input. I'm staying at the 140-150 yard distance, I think.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    I tend to agree. Folks here are more likely to buy into longer ranges because they have done it or seen it done, but your average handgun owner probably has a lot of trouble hitting a paper plate at 25 yards, and wants to think that everybody else does, too.

    Excellent point.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,069 Senior Member
    Before you jump onto the long-shot bandwagon, try a 140 yard shot with a .45 on a head-sized target. You may be able to hit it, eventually. But you have to hold over the target and can't see it over your barrel, so while you CAN do it, you almost certainly WON'T do it every time, or even most of the time unless you hold on a point above the target, like five or six feet above the target.

    For me, a 140 yard shot with a 1911 is a Harry Potter shot. I won't believe it as a matter of course from a Texas Ranger, especially one getting shot at. Maybe from Elmer Keith, but even then, the pen is sometimes mightier than the sword.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Wow, I actually agree with Gene L, arrgggghhh...bleh...
    I think 75 to 100 yards is just the ticket..
    Also the 10mm long slide was a favorite in some circles thanks to Colonel Cooper & Co.... and those in the know, before the FBI changed to .40 S&W, lots of agencies US Marshals, Border Patrol, Texas Rangers working joint taskforce with the Feds and being cross trained followed the flavor of the day.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • LMLarsenLMLarsen Senior Member Posts: 8,337 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    Before you jump onto the long-shot bandwagon, try a 140 yard shot with a .45 on a head-sized target. You may be able to hit it, eventually. But you have to hold over the target and can't see it over your barrel, so while you CAN do it, you almost certainly WON'T do it every time, or even most of the time unless you hold on a point above the target, like five or six feet above the target.

    For me, a 140 yard shot with a 1911 is a Harry Potter shot. I won't believe it as a matter of course from a Texas Ranger, especially one getting shot at. Maybe from Elmer Keith, but even then, the pen is sometimes mightier than the sword.

    Agreed. Just try to see a man-sized target at 140 yards and then consider aiming and hitting it.
    “A gun is a tool, no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.”

    NRA Endowment Member
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    Before you jump onto the long-shot bandwagon, try a 140 yard shot with a .45 on a head-sized target. You may be able to hit it, eventually. But you have to hold over the target and can't see it over your barrel, so while you CAN do it, you almost certainly WON'T do it every time, or even most of the time unless you hold on a point above the target, like five or six feet above the target.

    For me, a 140 yard shot with a 1911 is a Harry Potter shot. I won't believe it as a matter of course from a Texas Ranger, especially one getting shot at. Maybe from Elmer Keith, but even then, the pen is sometimes mightier than the sword.

    Well, the target isn't head size, it's man size. He happened to hit the neck as was recommended by someone else.

    I don't want to put an impossible shot in the book, so I originally asked for a suggestion for a very lucky but believable shot, and most here said 150 yards.

    I'm okay with 100 yards or 200 yards. I don't want to exaggerate too much nor make an easy shot. And no, I can't hit squat at 100 yards. But I'm not a crack long shot nor do I have an accurized longslide custom 1911 Kimber, either.

    My question is simple: At what distance would the Ranger fire which makes his shot believable but pretty damn good shooting? I don't know myself which is why I'm asking others here. I'm fine with whatever and really don't care, so long as the shot makes sense within the context of the story and is not impossible.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    LMLarsen wrote: »
    Agreed. Just try to see a man-sized target at 140 yards and then consider aiming and hitting it.

    So what distance fits the story line? Very hard shot but possible. Tell me please.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,069 Senior Member
    At most, 100 yards. And that's kinda reaching. Seventy-five, do-able. In Army bullseye matches, 50 yards, which is doable. Seventy five would be a great shot.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • LMLarsenLMLarsen Senior Member Posts: 8,337 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    At most, 100 yards. And that's kinda reaching. Seventy-five, do-able. In Army bullseye matches, 50 yards, which is doable. Seventy five would be a great shot.

    This.
    “A gun is a tool, no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.”

    NRA Endowment Member
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    At most, 100 yards. And that's kinda reaching. Seventy-five, do-able. In Army bullseye matches, 50 yards, which is doable. Seventy five would be a great shot.

    Reaching is fine, so long as it's possible. We assume it's lucky shot anyway, so maybe 100 yds would be good. Everyone realizes that the shot was part skill, part luck. So let's say 100? And thanks.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    No luck involved, any time I took a shot, it depended on Gods Grace and the talents he blessed me with...

    Quote: "and if any was not killed at the first volley, and offered to submit, we might save them, and so put it wholly upon God's providence to direct the shot."

    Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe...
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    We're back to 285 feet.

    And I changed some of the dialogue, thinking that Arvis wouldn't curse that much, he's more genteel. A work in progress, anyway. So:

    “You mean that the guy might have shot us both dead if he’d had a better rifle or scope?”

    Arvis shook his head, grinning. “Maybe so, Mitch. My granpappy was in the Rangers, back in the old days. He’d tell me ‘Boy, sometime it don’t pay to git outta bed in the morning.’”
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 24,183 Senior Member
    Go for the 25 FOOT shot with a NAA mini! :tooth:
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    You have met Teach, Jerry, right ? Think of him as a Texas Ranger or US Marshal etc... Leave off the awe shucks faux country talk.......
    A Southern Gentleman is educated and refined......
    Now Southern New York, you would be correct.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • ShootrShootr New Member Posts: 25 New Member
    For me, a 140 yard shot with a 1911 is a Harry Potter shot.

    Sorry friend but that shot is a lot easier to make than you seem to believe. You just have to know what you're doing. Hold over is a fact of life when shooting that kind of distance with a slow moving .45 round. You just pick a spot over the target and aim at it. Again I shoot my .44 magnum 175 yards consistently. I never really tried to shoot a .45 that far but a .44 magnum isn't that much different. I've shot 75 yards with a .45. If you have a good pistol you can get good groups at that distance. When I was in practice I could shoot a 2" group at 50 yards with my Sig P220. It's a matter of knowing the right ammo for your gun and knowing how to hold over. It only takes one shot to know how much to hold over BTW. The scenario of making a hit on the second shot is very plausible IMO. The first round will show the hold over and the second round will strike paydirt if you do it right.
    JeSuisCharlie
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    You have met Teach, Jerry, right ? Think of him as a Texas Ranger or US Marshal etc... Leave off the awe shucks faux country talk.......
    A Southern Gentleman is educated and refined......
    Now Southern New York, you would be correct.

    He's quoting his grandfather here.
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