to 10 ft or so, given head shots. Better than birdshot in most handguns, actually. With plastic bullets, loaded over just a primer, the .45 will take pigeons to almost 30 ft. Wax bullets do MUCH better in cold weather. I had one go thru my bro's fairing on his bike. cost me $80, back in 1980. about 5x that much in today's money!. They had just splattered on it in warm weather. They will raise blood blisters on you the size of the end of your thumb, so they are NOT a toy. They are pretty quiet, about like a mild handclap. 9mm or .38 dont do nearly as well, due to the smaller primer (I guess).