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Airgunner Solves Mystery of Quigley Down Under Bucket Shot with AirForce Texan!


Not sure if this is the right forum category to post, but just wanted to share with you all.  I am new to this forum, but thought I would share. I know this bucket shot topic gets debated a lot across the differing areas of shooting sports. Enjoy!

This just started off as a silly video spoof of the Quigley Down Under Movie bucket shot to help launch the new Airforce Airguns Texan Big Bore airgun that turned into a 9 month research project. I set out to solve this mystery of the true distance of the Quigley Down Under bucket shot distance and it took me places and got to meet people I could have never imagined.

So here is the long winded story.... I have obsessed about what the actual bucket shot distance was in the Quigley Down Under movie ever since last summer when I was with Travis Patten from Airgun Depot, Cameron Brinkerhoff from AirForce Airguns, and the rest of the AGD crew to help launch the new Texan .45 Carbon Fiber rifle. So we headed out to the Utah desert to replicate the Quigley Down Under Movie bucket shot, but no one knew what the actual distance was. We weren't going to go home without a completed video so we used Hollywood Magic and creative editing to fake it. In our defense, so did Tom Selleck!

Ever since then I have been working on this long range bucket shot research project and it has taken me almost 9 months! So here is the backstory of my research... There are quite a few existing theories online of what the actual yardage was for that shot based on how fast the horse was running when ridden by the ranch hand who rode out to place the bucket on the hill for Quigley to attempt the shot. That researcher's estimate put the bucket at 782 yards. But when you watch the shot in the scene, 782 yards looks way too far away! No way it was 782 yards. NRA Shooting Sports online magazine even guessed at the distance based on an article written by Roger Clouser in Precision Shooting over a decade ago where he postulated that Quigley was shooting at a 17¾ inch bucket at 550 yards. NOPE - WRONG!

If I was going to be able to solve this mystery, I needed to find the actual filming location and movie set for that scene. If the shooting location was here in the U.S., I could even use a laser range finder to find the actual distance if I could visit the filming location of that scene. After digging through, I found all filming locations were in fact in Australia. Ughhh... I'm obsessed, but not that obsessed to get on a plane to find the answer. So through a TON of online research and joining a few Facebook community groups for the towns in the Outback where Quiglely Down Under was filmed in Australia back in 1989 through 1990, I found the the answer!

Drum roll please...... I HAVE 100% DISCOVERED THE TRUE DISTANCE of the Quigley bucket shot! It almost took an actual interview with Tom Selleck to figure it out, but I found someone even better who would know. In the Alice Springs, Australia Facebook group (the small Outback town where the movie was filmed), one of the members connected me with the information and contact info I needed. So with the name given to me and after some more obsessive online Facebook stalking, I had the honor of interviewing by Skype an Australian gentleman, Richie Hayes from Alice Springs. Richie and his family actually own the ranch where the movie was filmed and he was an extra in the movie to top it off! Richie gave me the description of the actual filming location on his land during our online chats.

So using my super geeky online research and private investigator skills (funneling some Magnum P.I. investigation skills), I found the remnants of the movie set still visible on his ranch from satellite imagery on Google Earth. Using Google Earth GPS measuring tools I was able to calculate the shot distance within a few yards of the actual distance based on terrain features and contours of the land seen on the camera angles in the movie.

So with this actual known bucket shot yardage, I have set out in recent days to D.O.P.E. this shot. I will be attempting it with the AirForce Airguns Texan .50 cal shooting a Mr. Hollow Point 545 grain Spitzer slug similar to the paper patched 540 grain bullet shot from Quigley's Sharps .45-110. Oh.... and I will attempting the shot with AirForce open iron / diopter sights. The same sights I used to set the Guinness World Record for Longest Air Rifle target shot. Paired with the Heritage Arms Inc. COLD SHOT M.O.A.B. adjustable base, I will have enough vertical adjustability much like the functionality of Quigley's Vernier Peep sights on his Sharps rifle he used in the movie. I am just going to need a TON more MOA hold as I will be shooting around 775 FPS (subsonic).

So you want to know what the actual yardage was? You'll have to watch till the end of the video!

Major 2:
That was fun...thanks for sharing

G Bulldog Grainisland III:
Very interesting, thanks for sharing!


PJ Hardtack:
325 yards off hand is a pretty fair shot in anybody's book!

I think we'll do that in our "Quigley Bucket" event next summer. Already got the bucket.


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