Unbelieveable muzzleloader trajectory


#1

After seeing all of the shooting in the air which happened in Libya and not hearing of any deaths due to falling bullets, it is amazing to hear about this next story:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/12/20/ohio-shooting-15-year-old-girl-in-amish-buggy-ruled-homicide/?test=latestnews

Apparently a guy who was cleaning his muzzle-loading rifle either accidentally or on-purpose “shot it in the air” (above the plane of any direct target) and the projectile fell 1.5 miles away and struck & killed a girl riding in a horse-drawn buggy. Not only was it 1.5 miles away, it was an unintended moving target, and the target was struck mortally in the head. The odds must be 1 in a Trillion?

Don’t ever unleash a bullet into the air apparently, even in sparsely populated farm country.


#2

I don’t think that a round lead ball of ordinary “rifle” caliber can travel a mile and a half, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised that an elongated bullet from at least some of the in-line muzzle loaders could shoot that far. Always, be careful. Jack


#3

Shooting in the air most certainly does produce casualties. The pictures on TV of Libia and other places will no doubt carry a toll, its just that we don’t see it.

Near where I live at Alperton on Bridgewater Road there is a public cemetry with a war graves section ( this is mainly for Falcon’s benefit who may want to visit it over the break). All of the victims buried there are “armband civilians” fire watchers, ARPs,members of the Civil defence Corp, special police ie unpaid volunteers who were mostly killed during the war by fall out from our own AA guns. Many of them still in their teens. What goes up must come down.

As a muzzle loader myself I struggle to accept a death at one and a half miles from a muzzle loader but who am I to say? A tragedy none the less . You have to remember that at Gettysberg on the third day Pickett’s men were taking casualties from the instant they left the wooded area. Having stood there myself and looked across the field its a good 800yds. Maybe more


#4

Like most news stories about gun accidents, there is probably a little exaggeration and sensationalism. One and one-half miles is 2640 yards. The maximum range of the original Cal .30 Model 1906 ammuntion was established at 3300 yards.

Still, a one in a trillion occurance if all of the “facts” are correct.

Ray


#5

[quote=“RayMeketa”]Like most news stories about gun accidents, there is probably a little exaggeration and sensationalism. One and one-half miles is 2640 yards. The maximum range of the original Cal .30 Model 1906 ammuntion was established at 3300 yards.

Still, a one in a trillion occurance if all of the “facts” are correct.

Ray[/quote]
The BC of any ML bullet must surely cut that down by at least half plus you wouldn’t have the starting velocity. On the other hand you do read of Quigley type shots with BP rifles at nearly a mile. I wonder if it was a ML or something more akin to the latter.

Might just make that range with a Whitworth Rifle or one of the Creedmores pushed hard.


#6

The 45-70-500 had a maximum range of 3400 yards and was deemed to be lethal at that range. A Whitworth or similar BP ML rifle would have the same range.


#7

The NRA Firearms Fact Book has a list of maximum ballistic ranges for various cartridges. The .22 LR rimfire high-velocity (40 grains at 1255 fps) travels 1,620 yards (still air at SL). A .44 Magnum (240 grains at 1,390 fps) travels 2,500 yards. However, a 12 gauge slug (437 grains at 1,560 fps) travels only just over 800 yards - presumably due to the cylindrical shape.


#8

Those NRA figures have been quoted before and seem extremely optimistic to me. Obviously calculated by someone at some time but quite how they were arrived at would be interesting to know.


#9

It is entirely possible this was a sabot type projectile. It has a much better BC. The MV in an inline muzzleloader can certainly exceed 2000fps. Most folks hunting with ML these days (where legal) are using these because of the high degree of accuracy and performance. I would think a .45 cal projectile fired from a .50 cal. MZ at these velocities would be capable of inflicting serious injuries at these distances. In 2010 a hunting related shooting incident in Upstate NY was a result of a richochet of a ‘copper solid’ 12 bore sabot slug fired at a downward angle from a tree stand. The 1oz. slug passed through a deer hitting a flat rock in a stone wall then traveled up over a ridge coming to rest in the back of the wrist of a man mowing his lawn over 600 yards in a straight line from the initial point of firing. There is certainly a good deal of bad luck in these incidents.