Bowling pin shoot??


July 5, 2005, 04:24 PM
W/a .357,where's the best place to hit the pin?I'll be using 158grn JSPs.

Bottom third,middle,doesn't matter?

I've never even seen one (a shoot that is ;) ),& am curious.

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July 5, 2005, 06:17 PM

The club I just joined has a pin shoot each Wed night. I have attended one and intend to go tomorrow night to get a better feel for what goes on. FYI, they used 38 spl, 9mm and a 38 super, this guy did very well, and some others I don't remember. Everyone seemed to have a ball. I am developing loads for a 357 mag, 158 gr, and a 45 ACP, 230 gr. I will ask tomorrow night about placement and post back.


model 649
July 5, 2005, 07:38 PM
I typically aim for the upper third of the main body, just under the stripe. Another good spot is the inverted triangle in that area if it is facing you. Hit too near the bottom and the pin will likely lay down and become harder to clear off the table. I also shoot a match every Wednesday and try hard not to miss a week. WAYYYY more fun than rolling a big, heavy ball at them!

July 6, 2005, 09:32 AM
Massad Ayoob wrote a book on pin shooting called Hit The White Part .
Mitchell A. Ota, wrote one called Pin Shooting A Complete Guide. On the cover of Mitch's book a 12 gauge slug is shown just about to hit a pin. It's going to smack right at the point of the triangle. Not all pins have the triangle though.

I used to attend a large pin match every summer. I aimed for the middle of the pin, more or less. High middle hits worked, but so did dead center hits, as long as I used stout .45 ACP loads. They worked even better with flat nose lead semi-wadcutters from my six-inch .41 Magnum M57.

Hitting the head of the pin is supposed to flip them over and fling them off the table in the process. I don't think I ever saw anyone try to do it in a big match, however.

I haven't been to a pin shoot in several years and miss them a lot.

July 6, 2005, 10:06 AM
Hmmm.I'd been planning on using one of my .357s.A .41 or .44 might be more "positive" then?Just how tough are the pins?I'd not like to break them.

July 6, 2005, 01:34 PM
just keep in mind that it is a timed game, so how fast can you recover from recoil for the 44 vs 357? I found that a hollow point seemed to grab the pin better than fmj. the range I shoot at wont allow wad cutters ( semi wc are fine) in pin shoots, there have been throw backs off the pins.

July 6, 2005, 08:12 PM
Forgot that you asked about the .357. Mitch Ota suggests 140 to 210 grain bullets in a six inch gun in his book. Velocities with the 140 should be about 1,393 according to him. Heavier bullets can run slower, around 1,000 and still do the job. I'd favor heavier bullets. I think they give a little margin if you don't hit just right.

Jerry Miculek used to shoot at the same match as Mitch (and me) and used a .357.
His load used 230 grain .357 bullet (SWCs, I think). I think they were loaded in .38 cases because they were so long. I don't know how fast he was shoving them along. They worked really well, but Miculek didn't miss much either. :D

I never tried a .357 because I started with a .45, on advice of people already shooting the match.
Did use my BHP with 9mm ball on pins set a foot from the back of the table. It worked OK at that setting, but was unfortunate at the regular pin set. Folks who did best with 9mms on the regular table set seemed to be using 147 grain bullets.

Maybe I should have written about about pin shooting too.
I'd have called it, "How To Miss Almost Fast Enough To Win."

July 7, 2005, 12:29 AM
My 124 9mm do best just below the stripe on the neck or higher. My .44 was a lot a fun for everybody because it seemed to pick the pins up and throw them up off of the table, and I was only using 210gr loads at 1,350 fps. I'm going to try some 300gr bullets at the same velocity just for the heck of it.

July 7, 2005, 09:20 AM
I just ordered Ayoob's book and can not find Ota's. Does anyone know a publisher that has the book? Can't have too many reference manuals.

July 7, 2005, 10:49 AM
Here's the outfit that published Mitch's book:

Wolfe Publishing Co.
6471 Airpark Dr.
Prescott, AZ 86301

I'm not sure if they still have it in stock.
Mitch posts here occasionally, he uses Otasan as his handle.
He might have some books left. HTH.

July 7, 2005, 12:02 PM
My club has pin matches and I've shot a couple. I do NOT recommend 230 gr FMJ .45 ACP. After shooting a round where the pins were new (not shot up yet), I happened to look down at the ground and lying next to my foot was a .45 bullet that had bounced off one of the pins. On inspecting the pins, not a one of them had been penetrated by a bullet; all had richocheted off in some direction or other.

July 7, 2005, 01:03 PM
I had the best results using a bullet with a flat tip profile (swc, wc fp) or hollow point. I always aim right below center.

July 7, 2005, 04:09 PM
I have shot pins with .357 revolvers for almost two decades. My pin load uses a 180 gr. TC lead bullet traveling at approximately 1050 fps out of a 6" ported barrel. It's deadly pin medicine. :cool:

July 7, 2005, 05:15 PM
I have it on good authority that this Krag fellow's best event at the pin match I was describing was: Trivia ! :D

July 8, 2005, 09:13 PM
I've shot one pin match in my life earlier this year. I had fun, but had some ammunition issues. I was one of two with wheel guns. I made it into the second round and with the issues I was having, feel pretty proud of that going up against people that shoud this quite often. We have a minumum power factor to meet for pin shoots. It's 195. Pushing my 8" bbl Dan Wesson I could get that easily with 147gn jhp or jsp's. But I found that the jsw's did well too. The hollow points held more mass and delivered more consistent knockdown. I found that center of the diamond was best as a solid hit there would most often make the pin take flight off the table. In most pins, there's a drilled section lower than that filled with solid foam. A hit there may not always yeild the best results. The drilling is when they balance them I guess.

I did find that the guys with the almost race gun 45acp's did have an advantage over me. Even with speed loaders, which I'm not all that experienced with, they could slam a magazine home quicker if anyone missed. I did take one chance that paid off. Against a guy that was using a nice Kimber. We both ran out of rounds and had on pin each laying on the table. I had the speed loader but had the box of rounds on the bench. I grabbed one shell. Shoved her in the cylinder, closed and fired before he did. My pin flew off the table. It was a gamble on the one shot, but it worked that time.

Before you go shoot a match, get some shot up pins to practice with. Set up a table. With a wheel gun, each of five shots counts. Your last one is insurance. Slow and steady, work on the accuracy then work on the speed. Some of these guys are in the 3 second range for five pins. Starting out, I was happy with five seconds with clean table. Consistency will win in this competition. I haven't been back to the pin shoot, (once a month at my club), but I shall return. It's fun.


July 8, 2005, 11:42 PM
"...I've never even seen one (a shoot that is ),& am curious..." You owe it to yourself to go to any pin shoot you can. I can't think of any shooting game that's anywhere near as much fun.
"...Just how tough are the pins? I'd not like to break them..." Pins are wood covered with thick plastic. They'll take multiple hits from cast .45's before they get too much lead in them that can cause riccochets and become too heavy. Then they become safe outdoor firewood. The lead melts out into the dirt. Won $15US at Second Chance one year guessing the weight of a half pop(soda to some of ya'll) can of the lead that came out of pins. A couple of guys part filled a can from their fire, and ran this informal "lottery", $5 to get in and you guessed the weight of the lead "ingot". I split it with some other guy. Dam, I miss that shoot. Going to the few Second Chance Shoots I got to were the best vacations I've ever had.
"...I do NOT recommend 230 gr FMJ .45 ACP..." Ditto. Cast 230 FP's work better. FMJ's tend to bounce around a lot.
"...I had fun..." That's what it's about. " 8" bbl..." Try a 4". Your recovery time will likely get faster. Your one shot reload isn't a bad technique. Worked. Mind you, a full reload with your speed loaders(practice loading using drill purpose ammo. No powder or primer, but loaded the same otherwise) might give you more insurance though.
"...minumum power factor to meet for pin shoots..." That's daft, but rules is rules. No matter what else happened, you had fun.
Jerry Miculek is a class act. Long ago, before Jerry was the fastest gun alive, a buddy, Rawhide(big Eastwood fan), of mine beat him in a man-on-man shoot off at Second Chance. Miculek had his hand out in congratulations before my buddy realized he had won. Rawhide won $500US.
"...a timed game..." Yep, but the operative word is 'game'. What you use or whether or not you place, doesn't matter.

model 649
July 9, 2005, 11:08 PM
Interesting about the bouncing 230 FMJ's. I have put about a thousand of them into pins over the last month or so with no ricocheting or other trouble. I have read that in cool temps (below 50 or so IIRC) any bullets can bounce off the tough Surlyn cover. I have observed that most any bullet can bounce back (and have been hit) in warmer temps (indoors, for instance, about 80 deg.). The bounces seem to occur with light loads. I'm running my 230 CMJ Montana Gold's around 820-830 fps and they are excellent, generally just about getting through the pin. I consider this condition just about ideal. The bullet is transferring all of it's pushing power into the pin, while not having too much on it and passing through the pin (carrying excess momentum). Here's an example from this morning's outdoor matches I shot out at Monroe Rifle and Pistol club's excellent facility.

(Any of you MI pin shooters would do well to check them out here:
All are welcome :D )


July 14, 2005, 06:15 PM
Thanks for the replies everyone.I woke up that saturday w/the flu & ended up spending the weekend in bed.I missed the shoot. :(

The good news is that there might be another the last weekend of this month. ;)

July 14, 2005, 06:42 PM
My 255 swc load in the 45acp slams them
We have a pin match once a month
Lots of fun

You just cant miss fast enough !

July 17, 2005, 10:47 PM
you must be shooting at Millcreek. I was working near KC this spring and made a few pin shoots there. Good bunch of people.

41 Mag,
I shoot for the middle of the pin - where the pin is widest. Seems to work pretty well. I was using a 10mm with a 180 gr. JHP. The load did pretty well, and everyone else liked the fireballs. In Open, I'd shoot a .38 Super. The only ammo I had was 115 gr. JHPs @ around 1450 fps. that I use for IPSC. They would do okay if you got a solid hit.

As others have said a hollow-point or flat-nosed bullet seems to do well. I have also shot lots of pins with Berry's plated bullets. They shoot like a jacketed bullet, but have a really soft lead core. They deform on impact and seem to transfer a lot of their energy to the pin.

If you want to shoot a revolver, I'd suggest bringing a second gun. If you shoot the first empty, most places will let you pick up a second gun and continue until your table is empty.

July 18, 2005, 03:59 PM
I had the most fun shooting .45 Colt. Less felt recoil than .41 or .44 Magnum and 100% every pin hit went off the table. This was excellent against other revolvers, but the auto-blasters had a slight time advantage.
Richard (

July 19, 2005, 07:12 PM

Yes it is Mill Cree Rifle Club. A good group of guys.


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