POINT BLANK RANGE—What is the point blank range of the .303 Savage Featherweight, and will it “carry up” as far as the .30-30?
It all depends on what you mean by point blank range. Some people who use this expression believe that every rifle shoots for a certain distance in a straight line perfectly true to the axis of the bore, and that the bullet then commences to fall; in other words, that the force of gravity does not influence the bullet as long as it moves at a high speed, and that the distance it will shoot ‘level” is the point blank range. This, of course, is absurd, as a bullet commences to fall as soon as it leaves the barrel. Others call the range for which the rifle is sighted at its lowest elevation the point blank range, and this would naturally depend entirely on the way the arm is sighted. But the real point blank range of a hunting rifle (a target rifle has no point blank range) is the distance one can shoot with a fixed elevation of sight and keep the bullet inside of a spot small enough to just cover the vitals of the same at any part of that range. For instance, for deer hunting, hunters agree that the vitals of a deer can be said to lie inside of an eight inch circle. Therefore the point blank range for deer hunting would be the extreme distance that the gun would shoot with the bullet neither rising too high at the shorter distance or falling too low at the extreme distance to pass outside of the eight inch circle.
Without testing it out I could not say what distance this would be in the case of the .303, but we know that if the sights are adjusted for 200 yards it will shoot six inches above the line of aim at 100 yards and at 120 yards it would be nearly seven inches high. So the rifle would have to be sighted for a shorter distance. Roughly guessing, I should say that 120 yards would be the point blank range, and the rifle would have to be sighted for eighty or ninety yards. To get it just right you would have to test it out. When it comes to results there is no difference worth mentioning in the work of the two cartridges. The .303 bullet baa about 100 foot pounds more muzzle energy than the .30-30 but a little lower velocity. Both the greater energy and the lower velocity are caused by the greater weight of bullet. Their respective calibers are about equal, and up to the 300 yard ranges the difference in trajectory is only a fraction of an inch in favor of the .30-30.
Harding, A.R.. 3001 Questions and Answers. Columbus, Oh: A.R. Harding, 1913.
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