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Short answer -- it depends.

A given bullet launched faster at the same elevation will hit higher and go further than a slower bullet of the same design. Problem is that we don't always get the same elevation, even with the same sight settings. I once had 185 gr 1400 ft/sec bullets striking lower than the 215 grain 950 ft/sec bullets from my 44 Magnum. The reason was the the lighter bullets left the barrel before the muzzle could rise as much due to recoil.

Most of the time, we assume a consistent sight-in condition when comparing -- so the faster bullet usually wins over modest distances. When shooting at long range the lighter bullets tend to slow down faster than the heavier ones and drop further when their flight time exceeds the heavier ones.

Can get more specific if you can describe the rifle or pistol you're thinking about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thank you for your help. I greatly appreciate it.

the gun in question is a vaquero 44mag with 4 5/8" barrel.

I really like the gun, but it shoots low with the factory ammo i've used...all around 1200 fps with 240 gr JHPs. If I used 240 gr ammo at about 1500 fps would it help a lot?

I don't want to trade the gun, as I really like it. but it is only for hunting and right now, I cannot use it reliably for that purpose.

thank you
 

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Faster will hit lower.
 

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What distance do you want the bullet to be at the point of aim? Do you use the 6-O'Clock hold?

Swampman's experience is the same as mine. The Vaquero's popularity in Cowboy Action shooting might suggest that it was sighted in for cowboy loads travelling under 1000 fps.

If you're limited to factory loads, you could try a box of 44 Mag cowboy ammo from, e.g, Ten-X and Ultramx. This stuff is a lot more fun to shoot than the full house magnum ammunition.

Several manufacturers 300 grain offerings and you can get 340 gr +P+ loads from Buffalo Bore. These heavier bullets may hit somewhat higher, but you will know you pulled the trigger!
 

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My experience (not to include a 44 Vaquero) mostly shows that velocity generates recoil which generates muzzle lift ie. elevation. Here, the "human element" controls elevation. How much do you "allow" the muzzle to rise? When I was shooting IHMSA, I held the revolver like it was made of gold, white knucked, for the first ten targets. 6 O'clock hold and hits centered the targets. The next range of ten targets hits were centered with a centered hold. By the time I was on the 4th set, my grip had relaxed and top of back hold gave centered hits. How you grip your revolver has a serious impact on elevation downrange. The 'human element" is a force to reckon with.

Case in point: my 200m Ram load in my 41Mag Ruger Blackhawk worked as noted above. The same load in my Marlin 1894 did not have enough site adjustment to reach the Rams without significant hold-over. The way I hold the rifle does not allow the muzzle to rise as much as it does with the Blackhawk. It was quite a surprise to me at the time. Just another obstacle to overcome - which it was.

Like was posted: it depends....

Regards,
Sweetwater
 

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300grJHP said:
thank you for your help. I greatly appreciate it.

the gun in question is a vaquero 44mag with 4 5/8" barrel.

I really like the gun, but it shoots low with the factory ammo i've used...all around 1200 fps with 240 gr JHPs. If I used 240 gr ammo at about 1500 fps would it help a lot?

I don't want to trade the gun, as I really like it. but it is only for hunting and right now, I cannot use it reliably for that purpose.

thank you
You're in luck!! If it hits low it is much better than if it hit high, this is a very easy fix... You can just file down the front sight untill it hits where you want it to... Take your time and do a clean job and you will be happy with the results, Be Careful doing this, if you take an "Iron Grip" and shoot it from the bench as you file your sight, you will end up taking too much off the sight for an offhand/field or kneeling position.

If you go with a 300gr and slow it down you will get a higher impact and probly have a better hunting boolit. If you speed a factory 240 from 1200 up to 1500 your POI will most likely come down even lower...especially from hunting/field positions. In a pistol, a faster boolit of the same weight will hit LOWER!! when shot at the distances you will be hunting at... yeah sure there is a point where the fast boolit will overtake the slow one,,,but not at hunting ranges.

This is GREATLY increased with a big handgun like the 475... If I slow down the 430Gr. LBT's they will hit Very High, even out over 100yrds. And they start walking left (I'm right handed).. I hit almost 2ft left and about dead on for elevation at 200yrds with the slow-heavy's running about 950fps...if I bring these up to 1350-1400fps things start to return to my aiming point and I have to hold high at 200yrds.
 

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Be sure of your choice of load before pulling that file out!

Remember, it's a whole lot easier to remove material than to put it back.

If you want to use the full-house factory 240 gr, by all means, filing the front sight down will work. But, if you think you might want to use different weights & velocities in the future, try those too before using the file. They will likely have different points of impact.

I also have an S&W Model 64 (stainless) in 38 Special. I went through about 30 different weights and powder charges before I got it to settle in where I liked (Well, good enough for casual plinking and the odd informal paper shoot). Now I have a load that works in that pistol and it will work for all of the shooting I intend to do with it.

I really dislike messing up classic sights....
 

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JASmith said:
Be sure of your choice of load before pulling that file out!

Remember, it's a whole lot easier to remove material than to put it back.

If you want to use the full-house factory 240 gr, by all means, filing the front sight down will work. But, if you think you might want to use different weights & velocities in the future, try those too before using the file. They will likely have different points of impact.

I also have an S&W Model 64 (stainless) in 38 Special. I went through about 30 different weights and powder charges before I got it to settle in where I liked (Well, good enough for casual plinking and the odd informal paper shoot). Now I have a load that works in that pistol and it will work for all of the shooting I intend to do with it.

I really dislike messing up classic sights....
Very well put...

Quite often a different bullet, same weight-different source, will shoot to a seriously different point of impact. Same is true for different powders and powder charges. All part of the fascination of this hobby. Fixed sights make the quest more difficult and more rewarding; all it takes is time and patience. I've always left the file in the drawer.

Regards,
Sweetwater
 
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