March 26, 2010
Petzal: "Useful Range," and Other Mysteries
By David E. Petzal
First, a couple of random notes:
* I checked last night, and when Warren Page was my age, he was dead.
*It appears that Joe Biden has finally said something memorable.
* I’ve been trying to remember where I’ve seen that fixed, glassy smile that Nancy Pelosi wears all the time and now I remember. When I was a kid, I used to deliver old clothes to an institution whose clients’ minds had permanently departed for a more pleasing reality. They had that exact same expression on their faces. But that’s not important now.
On my post of 3/12 on the 6.5/284 Norma, blogger Clay Cooper kindly sent along a page from what appears to be the Norma loading manual, and in its text appears the following sentence: “Useful range of this number [the 6.5/284] surpasses the 6.5x55 by about 100 yards for any application.”
What exactly does this mean? Does it imply that at, say, 400 yards 6.5x55 bullets bounce off whatever they hit and 6.5/284 slugs don’t? Overall, the text appears to have been written by a Swede who sort of understands English, but hasn’t fully grasped the idiom, much like George W. Bush. If the writer had said: “The 6.5/284 adds about 100 yards to the point-blank aiming range of the 6.5x55,” I would have nothing to write about.
I have been guilty of the same sin. Some time ago I wrote that the .220 Swift was a 300-yard varmint cartridge, and was savagely taken to task for it in cyberspace. I should have said that the .220 Swift is terrific up to 300 yards, but after that the wind really plays with the little bullets and you’re better off with a 6mm, unless of course you’re a master of the wind, in which case you can hit with it out to 723 yards, or whatever distance you please.