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Posted By FFL Dealer Network on 01/04/2019 in Ammunition

Long-range Shooting: Surprising 1000 Yard Shots

Long-range Shooting: Surprising 1000 Yard Shots

With the new attention given to long-range shooting, a lot of people think they need to invest in guns and scopes that have price tags to match the distance. 

The truth is, 1,000-yard and longer shooting, has been around for more than 100 years, almost as long as the first cased ammo. Here is a look at some unexpected contenders in the 1,000-yard shooting gallery. This article does not include modern favorites like the Creedmore, .338 Lapua, .300 magnums and the .50 BMG. This is also not a comprehensive list. 

.45-70 Government 

Designed in 1873, this venerable cartridge experienced a resurgence recently with cowboy-action shooting and hog hunting. Throwing 300 to 500-grain pills, this old buffalo gun will punch through heavy brush and leave a blood trail anyone can follow. 

In 1879, the government took three rifles to Sandy Hook for long-range shooting trials. The Sandy Hook Tests are now legend. The three rifles were: 

• The .45-70 original. 

• The .45-70, retooled to shoot a 500-grain bullet, and so called a .45-80. 

• The 577 Martini-Henry. 

At 3,680 yards, the new version of the .45-70 punched through a one-inch board at a sharp angle. That angle will lead to some say "Yeah, you have to lob the bullet into the target." Look at the scope mount for the world-record three-mile shot. That is with modern powders. 

In modern guns, like a Ruger No. 1, the .45-70 is still capable of lethal hits at 1,000 yards or more. In fact some hot .45-70 loads are expressly for the No. 1 and the No. 3. These rounds can literally cause an antique Springfield trapdoor to explode. 

The Marlin .450 is pretty much a belted .45-70. Some other differences exist, but the 450 was introduced to get more from a lever action in a .45-70 style round while making sure the ammo could not be used in a Springfield. 

Billy Dixon used a .50-90 for his 1,583-yard kill shot on a Native American. Modern .45-70 ammo can do the same. 

Mosin-Nagant rifle 

People who look down on the Mosin-Nagant rifle, not the Nagant handgun nor the Obrez, are ignoring more than 100 years of history and 100-year-old rifles that still make a 1000 yard shot easily. 

Ballistically, the 762x54R is in between the .308 and the .30-06. Handloaders can push the Mosin rifle round higher levels than the milsurp available on the retail market. 


A few people know about the .25-06. Those few also know this rifle delivers a 1000 yard shot. The .25-06 is just a necked-down .30-06. Furthermore, according to some gun experts, it beats the 6.5 Creemore. "The unheralded 25-06 Remington actually shoots flatter than both the 270 Win. and the 6.5 Creedmoor. The Creedmoor, thanks to its much higher BC bullet, deflects less in the wind, but only by 2.5 inches at 600 yards!" says Ron Spomer. 

British 303 

In 1908, Joshua Millner won gold for the United Kingdom at the summer Olympics in the men's free rifle 1,000-yard shooting competition. Free rifle means no supports. Miller potted a 98 out of 100. 

9mm Luger 

Hitting a balloon-sized target at 1,000 yards with a normal handgun round fired from a normal handgun? Legendary shooter Jerry Miculek made it happen. 

The 9mm is not the best choice for long-range work, but Miculek proves it is possible. He admits to aiming "75-80 yards over that target." Whatever else may be said, he hit the target at 1,000 yards. 

Maybe a chopped down Mosin-Nagant Obrez can hit a target at 1,000 yards. 

Those interested in shooting at 1,000 yards or more should read this brief on scope needs. Others say scopes are not necessary. If iron sights and clouds of smoke are appealing, the NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championship has space for those shooters.

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