May 31st, 2020

ELR with $99 Rifle — Hitting Steel at 2240 Yards with Iron Sights!

World Record Iron Sights K31 Buffalo bison Utah
World Record Iron Sights K31 Buffalo bison Utah
Magnified 8X view looking down-range at buffalo target.

Could You Hit a Steel Buffalo at 2240 Yards (1.27 miles) … with Iron Sights?

Impossible as that may seem, that’s exactly what Ernie Jimenez did some years back at the North Springs Shooting Range in Price, Utah (elevation 5,627′). Shooting a milsurp Swiss K31 rifle chambered for the 7.5×55 Swiss round, Jimenez placed four hits on a three-foot-high, bison-shaped steel target placed a staggering 2240 yards from the firing line. Not bad for a rifle which Jimenez acquired many years ago for just $99.00. Of course he did have plenty of misses along the way (and Ernie even managed to hit the plate shielding his camera).

This video is set to start half-way through, when the shooter starts making hits:

The whole process was recorded on video and posted on YouTube. The Long-Range Shooters of Utah say this is an official Guinness World Record for longest shot with iron sights. We can’t confirm that, but it still is an impressive feat. Jimenez had to compensate for a huge amount of bullet drop. His K31’s long-range military sights helped but he still had to aim well over the pink bison. To see how far that target is, watch the video at 14:30 — a camera at the firing line zooms all the way back until the bison is nothing but a tiny dot. The photo below show the target at 8X magnification, but it’s still barely visible.

Here’s the unmagnified, “naked-eye” view from the firing line. Can you see a pink buffalo at all?
World Record Iron Sights K31 Buffalo bison Utah

Bullet Dropped Over 400 Feet along its Trajectory
To roughly gauge the bullet drop, we took a 7.5x55mm Swiss load from the Hodgdon Reloading Center. With max “book” load of H4350, a 168gr Sierra HPBT has a muzzle velocity of 2524 FPS. According to JBM Ballistics, that bullet will drop over 400 feet during its flight. That’s lot of hold-over! Assuming a 100-yard zero, 59° temp, and 5,600′ altitude, JBM calculates that the drop to 2250 yards is a stunning 210.9 MOA — that’s 4969.9 inches, or 414.15 feet!

World Record Iron Sights K31 Buffalo bison Utah

In the first part of the video, shooter Ernie Jimenez talks about his hand-loads and his K31 rifle. Here is an example of the distinctive straight-pull K31 (Karabiner Model 1931). Image courtesy AIM Surplus.