Long Range Shooting: An Historical Perspective

An interest in shooting at long ranges is a subject which lies close to the heart of this writer. Impelled by the ancestral voices of two of his forebears who made gunpowder under the well known name of Curtis’s and Harvey and a third who bombarded Sevastopol with 13 inch mortars, he joined the Artillery and spent six years with 25 pounder guns which left him with a taste for long distance lobbing. Civilian life and a necessary reduction in the practical ranges attainable by the order of 90% left him with little choice but Bisley’s Stickledown Range and a limit of 1,200 yards. This is no treatise on ballistics, the author is neither a scientist nor an engineer and most emphatically not a mathematician. It is really an historical perspective from the earliest times down to the late 19th Century.

The Record Long Range Score

This fascinating article by Maj. C. W. Hinman first appeared in ‘Arms And The Man’ in 1915. It offers insight into long range rifle shooting in the US during the 1880s, and is a rich resource for contemporary detail on practices of the time.

.45-70 at Two Miles: The Sandy Hook Tests of 1879

The shooter at the heavy bench rest squinted as he aligned his .45-70 Allin-Springfield Model 1873 Army rifle on the distant target. The rifle fore-stock and barrel was cradled in a rest; the butt was supported by his shoulder. The rear sight was flipped up to its full height, so with no stock support for his head, the rifle tester from Springfield Armory worked carefully to align high rear and low muzzle sight on the speck that was the target – a surveyed 2,500 yards distant.

A Short History of Long Range Shooting in the USA

The history of long range shooting in the United States is fast approaching 400 years. Since European explorers and colonists first brought gunpowder to these shores the definition of long range has grown along with the nation. While the United States may have reached the extent of its physical boundaries the imagination, ingenuity, and success of those living there who seek to hit a target at further and further distances has not.

Long-Range Rifle Fire

Undue importance may be given to long-range fire, just as it can, and sometimes is, for example, to the value of the bayonet as a weapon; but it will be generally agreed by those who know anything of the matter that at the proper time and place long-range rifle-fire has, its very great uses, but, if not good of its kind, it will be useless and expensive. It is known that in 1680 each troop of our Life Guards was supplied with eight rifled carbines; and that in 1800 the 60th Rifles were armed with the “Baker” rifle. Long-range rifle-fire, in its present sense, is of much more recent date.

Long Range Rifle Fire

INDEX. A collection of articles on historical topics providing hitherto difficult to find contemporary texts and newly written pieces for the student of long range shooting.