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 Up North Airgunner / 567 Views /  14-07-2020

For the last few years airgunners have been pushing the AirForce Texan line of big bore airguns to extremely long ranges (ELR) for an airgun. But what yardage should be considered ELR for airguns?

Check out the gear used in this video:
AirForce Texan .50 Cal: https://utahairguns.com/airforce-texan-lss-w-carbon-fiber-tank-pre-order/
Element Optics: https://utahairguns.com/element-optics/
Tactacam Spotter LR: https://www.tactacam.com/spotter-lr/
HUMA External Regulator: https://www.huma-air.com/Externally-Adjustable-Inline-PCP-Regulator-With-Integrated-Fillset
Atlas 5H Bipod: https://www.accu-shot.com/catalog_new/45-5-h-atlas-bipods
COLDSHOT MOAB Base: https://heritage-arms.com/product/m-o-a-b-300-minutes-of-angle-gen-4/

Check out what powder burners are doing with extreme long range shooting:
Long Range Shooters of Utah: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXPvo1FsLNdG6kYqeYci3Wg
King of 2 Mile: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0FoUKkbshI

In talking with Justin Jacobson at Utah Airguns about this topic, we discussed his recent 650 yard INSANELY long range shot with the FX Impact shooting slugs. What is so awesome about the innovation we are experiencing with airgun technologies, we also now have access to ammo that can not only reach out to these crazy distances, but hold similar groupings like our powder burner counterparts at 100s of yards . When you watch YouTube channels like Long Range Shooters of Utah, even shooting projectiles at very high velocities and high BC ammo from powder burners, even their shoots get pushed around at these ranges.

In this video I use some basic ballistic math to calculate equivalencies to known ELR shooting examples like the Milk Jug Challenge from the Long Range Shooters of Utah (LRSU) and the King of 2 Mile shooting competitions.

LRSU uses 1000 yards as their benchmark as the first level of distance in a series of long range challenges that can take participants to over a mile in long range shooting levels. In this video, I will be using that 1000 yards and the ballistic equivalencies of a .308 powder burner to show inches of drop and flight time as compared to known airguns and slug based projectiles on the market for the airgunner community. For this example, I am shooting the AirForce Texan .50 cal.

The AirForce Texan big bore air rifle has the capability to shoot slugs with ballistic coefficients around .25 (or even a touch higher) with velocities in the 800 to over 1000 feet per second range depending on the caliber. For example, the Texan .257 can sling 85 grain slugs over 1000 FPS BONE STOCK with zero mods at 3000 PSI. That 85 grain slug has a BC at the muzzle of over .20! The Texan .50 cal BONE STOCK can sling 500+ grain slugs with BCs over .25 at velocities over 800 FPS at 3600 PSI.

Even smaller caliber slug slingers in .22 and .25 like FX Hybrids and NSA slugs hover in that .1 BC range giving us long range shooting capabilities further than ever before!

I would love to see the airgunner community adopt some known yardages and target types for more people to get in on this action. It is super fun shooting ELR with airguns and the interest is growing. As it grows, having a common set of yardages and target sizes will be critical to compare performance of equipment and shooter ability.

If you've been watching my channel in the past, you'll recall the 1250 yard garbage can lid shot I did with the .35 Texan big bore air rifle. First off, that had ZERO to do with my ability as a shooter and was 100% a demonstration of the outer edges of what our equipment can do and was more or less a demonstration of physics. In wind like that and at that range you are just slinging lead. But it was still fun to do to show it could be done, but it was like trying to control a paper airplane in a tornado.

By moving the yardage in closer to match the powder burner equivalencies as far as range when considering inches of drop we could establish a really awesome community and set of guidelines for ELR airgunners.

To get the conversation going, I think using known challenges and target sizes like the LRSU Milk Jug Challenge and maybe even the King of 2 Mile ELR shooting series is a good place to start. Here are the ranges of the King of the Two Mile as a reference:

Distances and Target Size:
1,547 yards: 5 shots, 24” x 37” rectangle
1,719 yards: 3 shots, 24” x 37” rectangle
1,890 yards: 3 shots, 30” x 37” rectangle
2,095 yards: 3 shots, 30” x 37” rectangle

So based on the basic rough ballistic math I present in this video, these powder burner yardages roughly equate to 600 - almost 1000 yards in airgun ballistics given our velocities and slugs we shoot to mirror the King of 2 Mile yardages (roughly).

To open things up for smaller slug guns I would advocate we start at 300 to maybe 350 yards aligned with the Milk Jug Challenge shot and push it out from there. This could be a really fun way to grow the community of ELR airgunners. Who's with me?!

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