It will be noticed that throughout these tests, up to 1,000 yds., the 105 grains ammunition, both with and without lubricant, has shown great merit. In the four ranges the 105 lubricated stands second three times, and third once. The 105 without lubricant stands first once and fourth twice, only at the longest range dropping back to seventh position.
It will also be noticed that while the lighter ammunition produced the best results at 500 yards, it gradually gave way in falling back to longer distances to the heavier, thus the three first positions in the 500 yard table are filled by 100 and 105 grains; in the 800 yard table, by 105 and 115 grains; in the 900 yard table, by 115, 120 and 105 grains, and in the 1,000 yard table, by 115, 105 and 110 grains. Also, that the 115 grains ammunition stands sixth on the 500 yard table, third on 800 yard table, and first on both the 900 and 1,000 yard tables; and that in both the latter distances its average deviation from a horizontal is considerable less than the ammunition holding the second place.
From this it may be reasoned that the longer the range the more powder should be used, and so far as these experiments show such reasoning would be sound; but the general opinion is that the increase in the powder charge which may be made to an advantage is very limited. Indeed, until recently, it was thought that the limit had been reached at 100 grains. These experiments have, however, satisfied the undersigned at least that as high as 115 grains, and possibly 120, may be used to advantage at 800, 900 and 1,000 yards. It is also thought that that charge of powder will produce improved scores at the longer ranges of 1100 and 1200 yards. This opinion is sustained by the fact that in all these tests the elevations were lowered in proportion to the increase in the powder charge.
Had the weather permitted, these experiments would have been continued to the longest distances, and it is hoped that when the Spring opens some other member of the Association will undertake to devote some time to this fascinating study, and by careful experiments determine the advantage or otherways of increased charges at the extreme ranges of 1100 and 1200 yards. If it can be shown that a ball weighing 550 grains can be thrown 1200 yards with tolerable accuracy, a new sensation will be created, calculated to enhance the growing interest in long range shooting.
Some 2,250 shots were fired in connection with these experiments, and the information to be derived from the tables, compiled from the records kept, would be exceedingly interesting to the Amateur Rifleman, but time will not permit, at present, of giving anything more than the exhibit herein made of the relative merits of the different kinds of ammunition, tested at the four ranges named; but an effort will be made to lay before the members of the Association, before next Spring, a number of facts relating to atmospheric and other influences which affect the flight of the ball, which it is believed will prove not only interesting but instructive.
All the records of these experiments have been kept by our enthusiastic friend Mr. Carrick, to whom the long range shooters, and the President in particular, are greatly indebted for his voluntary services upon the Range during the past two years.
Source: National Rifle Association (USA), Annual Report 1875
Introduction | Results | Conclusions