I want to shoot competition pistol, what gun to buy?


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obsessedwithrc
October 13, 2010, 01:02 PM
Hi, I am very confused:confused:, I am looking for a good cheap pistol for competition
shooting, i am not sure of which rules I want to shoot under, and I could use some advice on that to. I am just getting started in competition and really don't know alot about it, so I need something that I can get started in.
A lot of people say glock is the best for that, but a lot say it's not also.
I would have to buy a used glock because of my budget, and I don't know
what caliber to get either I was thinking 9mm because the ammo is cheaper but will consider others as well.

Thank you for your time....Ezra

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MrBorland
October 13, 2010, 01:20 PM
Welcome

I'm assuming you don't yet know which form of competition you're interested in, so my advice would be to get something that's as versatile, reliable, simple to use and economical to operate as possible. To me, that means either a 4" .357mag or .38spl service-size double action revolver or a 9mm service-sized stricker-fired semi-auto (e.g. Glock 17 or S&W M&P). Since you posted this in the Revolver subforum, I'll make the pitch for a double action revolver. Here's a link to my recommendations about getting into competitive revolver shooting as economically as possible:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=6700584&postcount=4


Like the M15s in the link above, you'd probably be able to find an affordable used LEO Glock or M&P trade-in somewhere. Couple of mags, mag holders, holster, and you're set to start practicing.

obsessedwithrc
October 13, 2010, 01:34 PM
maybe I put this thread in the wrong place. I am not really interested in revolvers, but in semi auto pistols. I was thinking about getting the S&W Sigma Series 9mm
Any thought on this gun?

Sam1911
October 13, 2010, 01:53 PM
(Moved this to Competition forum for you.)

From the sounds of things, you're probably most interested in USPSA(IPSC) and/or IDPA type competition. What some call "practical" or "action" pistol shooting, and which is designed for service-style handguns.

For either of those, a Glock, S&W M&P, or Springfield xD will serve you very well for a very long time. The prices (especially for used) are only going to be a few hundred bucks and holsters, mags, parts, accessories, etc. you may want along the way are cheap and easy to find.

I would stick with 9mm (or .40 S&W as a very close second) because the ammo is very cheap, and success in these disciplines -- just like any other shooting game -- requires as much practice as you can possibly get.

I would not consider a Sigma -- or most other less mainstream guns. You simply do not see Sigmas, Taurus autos, Ruger autos, Bersas, HiPoints, and a variety of other inexpensive guns in competition. They may be just fine firearms, but the folks who really put lead downrange have found that those guns don't have the combinations of features that appeal for competition -- whether that's weight, trigger quality, durability, or some wholly different set of criteria. Whatever the reason, they don't show up. Second, and as a both a consequence of this and maybe a cause of it, there is very little support for any of those guns as competition arms. Finding the right holster, sights, upgrade parts, mags, mag pouches, etc. can be very difficult and even expensive.

More widely favored guns have a large support/supply base. (Glock, M&P, xD, 1911, Sig, S&W revolvers, CZs, and the occasional Beretta, are about all you'll see in competition circles.)

Considering the cost of a police trade-in Glock, there's little reason to choose something that will be a hassle to work with.

obsessedwithrc
October 13, 2010, 02:43 PM
Would a Glock model 22, 40 caliber be ok?

Sam1911
October 13, 2010, 04:04 PM
Yes. Sure. .40 S&W ammo is just about as cheap to buy or reload as 9mm. Holsters, mags, mag pouches, etc. are very plentiful.

That gun will work fine in IDPA's "Stock Service Pistol" or "Enhanced Service Pistol" class.

I believe it can play in USPSA "Production" and "Limited" classes as well. (Check the book on that, I don't know those rules very well.)

LOTS of Glock 22s in competition.

Zak Smith
October 13, 2010, 04:16 PM
Without knowing what sport and what division you want to compete in, it is very hard to give a useful answer.

Examples might include:

IDPA- SSP
IDPA- ESP
USPSA- Limited, Limited-10, Production, Open
etc

MrOldLude
October 13, 2010, 05:01 PM
Usually "cheap" and "competition" don't go together. But if "cheap" is important, IDPA would likely be the cheapest competition to begin doing with totally/mostly stock firearms.

The playing field will be more even, and the focus will be more on shooter development that the gear you have. This is of course by design. For IDPA, Glocks are extremely common, but so are many others too, as mentioned above. A Glock 22 would be good I suppose. The extra recoil might be a hindrance over 9mm. But if you planned for this to be a defensive gun AND a competition firearm, run what ya brung.

Jed Carter
October 13, 2010, 06:41 PM
I started with a Glock G34 9mm for production / USPSA and SSP / IDPA it is a really great shooter. Consistent trigger, easy magazine reloads , my 1911` is a lot harder to seat the magazines. Glock upgrades and accessories are plentiful and relatively cheap, you will save money on magazines alone $19+ vs $29+ only thing I have done is change out the stock Glock sights. Easy to shoot well, easy to reload and easy on the wallet, totally reliable. Glock G34 would be my entry level competition pistol, and I still shoot it in IDPA.

Marc257
October 13, 2010, 07:01 PM
Usually "cheap" and "competition" don't go together.
Buying something too cheap will only cost you in the end. Either you find you like competition shooting and need something better, or don't like it and can't get rid of your used equipment. A good used M&P, or Glock won't cost too much more than cheaper guns and will service you well.

fractal7
October 13, 2010, 08:59 PM
Just something to keep in mind for XDs, I do prefer them over Glocks but depending on how serious you might get into IDPA, because of how their trigger system works you are automatically bumped into a higher classification.

http://www.idpa.com/tj.asp?ID=110

May or may not factor into your decision but good information to have.

Hk Dan
October 13, 2010, 10:09 PM
Well, not exactly Fractal. You have to shoot ESP because it's a single action gun, but that's not a higher classification by any means.

Interestingly enough, USPSA does not consider them to be SA and allows them in Production Division.

Also--both IDPA and USPSA have a Division for "out of the box" guns. If you buy IDPA legal gear, it will be legal in USPSA (the reverse may not be true). You can get away for under $100 for the holster, belt, and mag pouches if you buy right.

For USPSA you'll want 5 mags. For IDPA, 3 will do ya. In either sport, 20 mags works best (no loading between stages that way) <g>

Look over the rules: www.uspsa.org, and www.idpa.com. Google them up and you'll get all kinds of good information. Finally, stop by BrianEnos.com and read the posts there. It's a competition-specific forum, and generally very good.

Good luck man! Have fun,be safe, and help where ya can. Setting up a match is WORK.

Magichelmt
October 13, 2010, 11:47 PM
I started shooting IDPA 4 or 5 months ago. I started with my daily carry gear. S&W 6906 police trade in for $300. Had a blast. I then came upon a M&P PRO for a steal. I have had nothing but good things to say about my M&P. I know that the Glocks have a huge following and many people love them or hate them. Hold everything you can get hold of. See what feels good to you. As Sam1911 said before, you see a few key players that there is a strong aftermarket for parts out there. I do not see as many Sigs as I thought I would. Get your hands on a bunch and see what feels good. Good luck and welcome to the addiction.

1SOW
October 14, 2010, 12:24 AM
More widely favored guns have a large support/supply base. (Glock, M&P, xD, 1911, Sig, S&W revolvers, CZs, and the occasional Beretta, are about all you'll see in competition circles.)
I would add Kimber (9mm,40cal,45acp) to the list even though it's a 1911-type.

If you don't know much about the individual sports, reading the rules mentioned above will help a little. I strongly recommend you go out to the ranges that are having competitions in USPSA, IDPA and steel shoots to see what the actual shooting is like and what guns are being used. Talk to the shooters. You'll find out what competitions are readily available nearest you. You'll learn what's commonly used in what classes and why.

Shooters are good folks. Ask about their guns--they like that. :D You'll learn a lot, and I'd be surprised if you didn't get an invitation to come out and get introduced to the sport.

Hk Dan
October 14, 2010, 08:46 AM
Heck, just go shoot one. Don't bother watching one and lurking around, just go shoot. If you're going to watch one, take your gun, gear, and ammo. The shooters will talk you into trying it (mine would anyway).

It's not hard--it's hard to start and it's hard to win, but the shooting itself is pretty easy. The main things you can do before you go are to practice your draws and reloads--mainly to be able to do those things without sweeping yourself and while keeping the gun pointed at the targets. (and with your finger off the trigger)

Practice walking with your finger off the trigger, forward, backward, and side to side.

Plan on NOT winning your first match. To be honest, the first one will be a blur. On your first stage, if it goes like mine--you won't recall one single sight picture. It's like the beeper turns your brain to jello the first time. Be ready for that, andremember--walk, don't run. Don't try to keep pace with the more experienced shooters--shoot your own match at your own pace. Shoot as fast as you can while getting your hits. AND HAVE FUN!

Bix
October 14, 2010, 09:47 AM
i am not sure of which rules I want to shoot under, and I could use some advice on that to.

Sounds like you're not really sure what sort of matches you want to shoot (please correct me if I'm wrong). As Zak suggests, that's going to make it a little difficult to make specific recommendations as some guns can be more or less appropriate for a particular sport - (the platforms common to Bullseye tend to be different from the ones that are common to IDPA, ect.)

If you're not sure what you want to shoot, my advice would be to find out what's available and accessible in your area. If you begin to pare down what's run locally, what works with your schedule, etc., you'll probably begin to narrow the field a bit. Then, do a little research on the remaining options (or, better, go watch a match). At that point, you'll probably have a better idea of what equipment is appropriate and will be able to come back here with more specific questions.

jmorris
October 14, 2010, 10:14 AM
I will echo the others, your question is a lot like “What footwear should I buy?”, need a lot more info.

If a new Glock is over your budget that will narrow your choices down a lot. The most important thing in timed competition shooting is that your pistol functions 100%. A used Glock is going to be a tough one to beat in that area, on the cheap.

Tilos
October 14, 2010, 11:23 AM
Read the stickies at the top^^^
Go to the links in them
Buy a 22LR auto, shoot it...a lot.
Learn to shoot using an inexpensive gun and cheap ammo.
Go to a Steel Challenge match with that 22 auto and 5 magazines and ammo.
No holster required.
Be prepared to be welcomed, and then humbled by everyone, including kids and old men/women.

Sam1911
October 14, 2010, 11:31 AM
Buy a 22LR auto, shoot it...a lot.
Learn to shoot using a inexpensive gun and cheap ammo.
Go to a Steel Challenge match with that 22 auto and 5 magazines.

Meh. Yeah, the ammo is cheap -- but not nearly so much more cheap than 9mm as it was years back.

The guns won't be a whole lot cheaper than a used Glock or M&P.

But in my area there are something like 10-14 IDPA matches (and probably a lot of USPSA matches) within driving distance -- EVERY WEEKEND.

How many steel challenge matches or similar .22-friendly events are there? I can think of a handful -- PER YEAR -- that I hear of in my area.

So when we tell him to buy a gun and dive in -- that's the best way to get experience and start to learn the game -- why would we tell him to look at something he'll not have many chances to actually DO?

And if he gets that Glock, M&P, xD, etc. he'll have a gun that's good for several disciplines, as well as something really practical for carry/self-defense.

I like a .22 as much as the next guy, but if he's only going to have ONE, a .22 wouldn't be it, for sure.

Tilos
October 14, 2010, 11:51 AM
Sam1911:
He has no gun, no money for a gun, how's he going to afford any ammo.
$10 buys 50 rds of 9mm or 300+ rounds of 22LR.

I see noobs and their frustration at the range all the time and I'm sure you have too.
Where I live you can shoot any of the gun games with a 22LR, starting from low ready, without a holster.

The 22LR is the a "gateway" to handgun shooting, try and remember back to when you started.
Ammo is the most expensive part of any shooting, not the gun or gear.

68wj
October 14, 2010, 12:25 PM
Tilos - yes, but how is he going to afford 2 guns either? The 22 for practice and the centerfire for comp. The big question that still hasnt been answered is what kind of comp the OP is looking at. He may be fine with only the 22 in his area, but more than likely he will need the minimum of 9x19 for comp shooting too.

obsessedwithrc
October 14, 2010, 01:41 PM
Hi guys I agree on the 22LR, I already have one, and I learned a lot from it. I did some research and I can't find any competitions for that in my area though.

Tilos
October 14, 2010, 01:42 PM
"Yes, but" with 3 posts total, I'm sure he is proficient with handguns and is all geared up for compititon.

Do you know about his/her area...Does he/she??
Every sentence in his post has the word CHEAP in it.

I just wanted to offer a different option/experience...pick it a part if you like, have fun with it.

Sorry I wandered over here, into the competition section...too competitive for me:rolleyes:
I'll leave now:o
Continue on posting amongst yourselves.

Sam1911
October 14, 2010, 01:52 PM
I did some research and I can't find any competitions for that in my area though.

That matches my experiences as well. A Glock 22 would serve you just fine in the more common service pistol type matches you're likely to find.

As a competitor myself, I'd say that you could shoot that gun for YEARS without finding yourself hampered by it in any way.

If you dedicate yourself to practicing with that one gun, you can go as far as your skills will take you without needing to upgrade anything.

By the time you really NEED a "better" gun to move to the next level, you'll have spent enough on ammo and match fees to buy a new gun ten times over! :)

Jim Watson
October 14, 2010, 02:19 PM
A Glock 17 will kick you around less and 9mm ammunition is less expensive and better distributed. I am feeding my 9mm at Walmart until I can get my reloading gear out of storage and into a new shop.

Sam1911
October 14, 2010, 02:21 PM
A Glock 17 will kick you around less and 9mm ammunition is less expensive ...

I agree with Jim completely and the only reason I mentioned the G22 is that the OP mentioned one by name.

A G17 (or 19) would be an even better choice.

obsessedwithrc
October 14, 2010, 03:17 PM
Ok everyone has given me a lot of information about guns etc. But I have called around to all of the local gun shops, and I am having trouble finding a used service pistol. So my question is is there any competitions where I could use a S&W Sigma 9mm?

Jim Watson
October 14, 2010, 03:46 PM
You can shoot a Sigma in about anything that you would use a Glock for, it is just considered a cheaper gun. (Except GSSF of course.)

I strongly suggest you get out and about and see what is being done in your area before you spend your limited funds.

David E
October 14, 2010, 04:18 PM
I did some research and I can't find any competitions for that in my area though.

Did you go to both of these sites and utilize their "Club Finder" feature?

www.uspsa.org

www.idpa.com

If you can't find anything PM your zip code to me and I'll see what's close for you.

obsessedwithrc
October 14, 2010, 06:46 PM
Thanks for the links. I found a club in my local.

MrWesson
October 14, 2010, 07:10 PM
I would stay away from the glock for competition just in case you start casting you own bullets(glocks dont like lead bullets). I would stick to traditional rifled barrels(Glock Polygonal rifling)

1k bullets reloaded from cast(assuming you only pay for primers,swept brass,free wheelweights) = ~$35
If you cannot find a free lead source it will cost around $70 per 1k plus your time.

1k bullets fmj purchased ~250-300

Something to think about if your going to be shooting alot

I would personally choose the M&P over the XD but really it doesn't matter much.

Sam1911
October 14, 2010, 07:25 PM
I would stay away from the glock for competition just in case you start casting you own bullets(glocks dont like lead bullets).

This is somewhat hotly debated, and probably not a very good reason to avoid the Glock. IF you ever decide to make the investment into reloading (which I highly reccommend), and you want to use lead bullets (I do, it is cheaper), you can always buy a drop-in replacement barrel with cut rifling for about $100. IF you decide to worry about the lead issue at all.

You could shoot the Sigma in competition if you want. No problems really beyond lack of aftermarket parts & accessories and some have reported that they have very poor triggers. It probably wouldn't be a gun you'd shoot for years of competition like the Glock, M&P, or xD, but it might open the door to competition for you.

If you can't find any used Glocks, M&Ps, or xDs in your area, there are online sources that can ship one to your dealer.

http://www.cdnninvestments.com/

http://www.jgsales.com/ -- Used 17s and 19s at $450, Used 22s at $399 (plus shipping and transfer of course).

obsessedwithrc
October 14, 2010, 08:02 PM
I was wondering about buying online, but I don't know the laws or anything for this.

Sam1911
October 15, 2010, 06:19 AM
I was wondering about buying online, but I don't know the laws or anything for this.

It isn't very complicated. Once you pick out what you want you talk to your local dealer about doing the transfer. You pay the company selling the gun and your dealer sends them a copy of his FFL (or otherwise verifies his license with them) and they send the gun to him. When the gun arrives, he does the 4473 transfer form with you at his shop.

Usually a dealer will charge $20-$50 for the transfer, and there is generally a shipping charge to be paid as well.

On-line sales can be a bargain, especially if you really can't find what you're looking for in your area, but you always have to calculate shipping and transfer costs into the deal.

Many dealers would generally prefer to sell you a gun he has than do a transfer, and most have a network of suppliers and dealer friends that they can tap to find something you might be looking for -- plus they get lots of used guns coming into their shops every week -- so make sure yours knows what you're looking for and your price range. If they know you're serious about buying, a good dealer will help you find what you need.

MrBorland
October 15, 2010, 07:12 AM
When the gun arrives, he does the 4473 transfer form with you at his shop.

An additional clarifying point here: Paying an on-line dealer doesn't yet mean "owning and pocessing". If your state requires you to have a purchase permit or concealed carry license to buy a handgun, you'll need to provide this to your FFL before you can own the gun and take possession. If you need a permit, then, I'd strongly recommend taking care of that before you buy on-line. It can be a mess if you discover you can't get a permit for some reason after you paid for it and it shipped to the FFL.

Owen
October 15, 2010, 08:31 AM
you really need to nail down what flavor of competition first.

obsessedwithrc
October 15, 2010, 10:29 AM
Good news guys, I found a club that hosts pistol shoots regularly, and there only about 30 minutes away from me. this is the website, http://www.pardoesportsmens.com/ just in case your curious enough to take a look. I emailed the club president, and he said they where having a shoot this sunday, so I think I will go to it and see what everyone is shooting.

MrWesson
October 15, 2010, 12:03 PM
This is somewhat hotly debated, and probably not a very good reason to avoid the Glock. IF you ever decide to make the investment into reloading (which I highly reccommend), and you want to use lead bullets (I do, it is cheaper), you can always buy a drop-in replacement barrel with cut rifling for about $100. IF you decide to worry about the lead issue at all.


I know its only $100 more for a lone wolf barrel but when we are comparing very similar firearms(XD,GLOCK,M&P) you really have to split hairs to choose as they are all good quality firearms.

IMO adding even $100 to the cost would help me choose.

You could also argue that you can shoot lead through a polygonal glock barrel. I shot about 1k lead rounds through my G26 but cleaning it was a pain.

Hoser
October 15, 2010, 09:53 PM
I found a club that hosts pistol shoots regularly

Exactly what type of a match are you going to? IPSC/USPSA, IDPA, Steel Challenge, ect...

There is a ton of different flavors of matches out there.

1SOW
October 15, 2010, 10:04 PM
Mr. RC, congrats on finding a place to shoot. You'll like those 'poppers'. They're as much fun as shooting at old Christmas ornaments with a BB Gun. :D
That location sure looks pretty compared to Texas' -dry, hot, no shade, but in the winter I have to wear long sleeves--sometimes.:evil:

Keep looking, there's probably some USPSA Action shooting around too.

Enjoy

Sam1911
October 15, 2010, 10:06 PM
Exactly what type of a match are you going to? IPSC/USPSA, IDPA, Steel Challenge, ect...

He said this: I emailed the club president, and he said they where having a shoot this sunday, so I think I will go to it and see what everyone is shooting.

I looked up the club and they list an "Action Pistol" match for this Sunday. I assume that's NRA Action Pistol. Here's a page on the events that make up that discipline: http://www.nrahq.org/compete/actionpistol.asp

I've never shot it, but it looks like a pretty decent basic skills test. Should be fun!

Ezra, too bad you're all the way out west! I can recommend a LOT of clubs from Altoona, east, to do some great IDPA or USPSA shooting, but I've only gotten to shoot at one club out sort of your way (Castlewood Rod and Gun Club, Shaffer Road, (POB 7411) Ellwood City, PA).

Sunray
October 16, 2010, 12:07 AM
"...not really interested in revolvers..." The type of competitive shooting you're interested in still applies. 9mm's aren't bullseye target pistols, but are IPSC/IDPA with penalties for some odd reason(both were started by 1911 shooters).
"...because of my budget..." You're not alone there. Buying 'used' isn't a bad thing. Takes a lot of abuse to damage a modern pistol. They're not like used cars. However, that pistol has to fit your hand to be able to shoot it well. Pop into your local gun shop and try a few 9mm's on for size. Don't get married to one make either.
"...can't find any competitions for that in my area though..." Usually bullseye shooting clubs. Lots of fun with good people. Join a club anyway. All kinds of doors open when you belong to one of 'em.

obsessedwithrc
October 16, 2010, 09:31 AM
yea if I eventually get good enough maybe I will travel farther to the shoots.

Sam1911
October 16, 2010, 10:04 AM
9mm's aren't bullseye target pistols
Not sure what you're getting at there. The Army Marksmanship Unit certainly does well with accurized M9 (Beretta 92F) service pistols in 9mm.

"We're getting all of our guns to generally shoot less than 1-1⁄2 inches at 50 yards for a 10-shot group (with the competition rounds)," says Sgt. First Class Jason St. John, ... now the non-commissioned officer in charge of the USAMU's service pistol team."

They are legal for Bullseye service pistol matches. :confused:

but are IPSC/IDPA with penalties for some odd reason(both were started by 1911 shooters).
I think you're getting at the major/minor classification system used in USPSA/IPSC.

IDPA has no such classification. A 9mm is at no disadvantage at all in the classes in which it plays (SSP, ESP) in IDPA.

Jim Watson
October 16, 2010, 10:22 AM
Yes but he is not going to get a Sams Beretta on a Sigma budget.

Sam1911
October 16, 2010, 10:29 AM
Yes but he is not going to get a Sams Beretta on a Sigma budget.
Probably not any Beretta! :)

My point was only to illustrate that it is inappropriate to suggest that "9mms aren't bullseye target pistols" as if they were all the same thing and/or not acceptable for that use.

1SOW
October 16, 2010, 10:38 PM
but are IPSC/IDPA with penalties for some odd reason(both were started by 1911 shooters).

A good shooter who shoots both 22rimfire and 40 cal/45acp/MPF will almost invariably shoot faster and more accurately with the 22rimfire. 22lr are also in a "different classification" but not "penalized" for anything.

I'd personally rather have a Sigma and compete, than 'wish' I had a custom $3K gun and just watch.

LubeckTech
October 17, 2010, 12:52 AM
The best thing I think you could do is go to a match at the club you mentioned, introduce yourself and explain your interest. All of the guns mentioned here are suitable for you but you need to find what you can shoot the best and afford. Talk to the folks there and see if you can find people who would let you shoot a few rounds from guns you find interesting. For instance Glocks are great guns, so is the M&P and also the XD. I own all of them but the one I shoot the best and compete with is the M&P. It is a very personal decision - Glocks are probably the most prevalent (and customizible) guns you will encounter but they have a very aggressive grip angle which works for a lot of people. However many others find it uncomfortable so before sinking money into a gun try to shoot as much variety as you can. Also in talking to people at a match you are likely to find guns and gear for sale. You will need to practice so another thing to consider is where. If you have a place that is great if not you might want to consider joining a club and in looking for a club consider that the closest one may not be the best. Many have very restrictive rules as to the kind of shooting you can do. Don't overlook the S&W and Ruger semiautos - there are a lot of them on the used market. Sigmas are cheap but tend to have difficult triggers. The P89 and P94 are IMHO under rated guns which are durable, accurate and affordable. The SR9 is also gaining popularity. There are also quite a few 9mm and .40 S&W law enforcement trade-ins on the market at great prices. Take a look on the auction sites like Gunbroker and you will get ideas about what is available and their relative values.

Kwanger
October 17, 2010, 01:31 PM
I'd agree with the others - 9mm is what you want, Glock or similar. Personally I would say a Glock 17, as they are reasonably priced and there are so many accessories/holsters/mags etc readily available. Plus, they flawlessly shoot any old cheap'n'nasty ammo you care to use - so you can use Brown Bear/Wolf at $160ish per 1000 rounds - both of which are plenty accurate for IPSC type matches.

LubeckTech
October 18, 2010, 09:43 AM
Here are a couple of good places to find decent prices on guns you might be interested in;

http://www.cdnninvestments.com/ Download the catalog!!!!

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/index.php

You can purchase online and have it shipped to a dealer near you that does transfers. The transfer fee should be in the $20.00-$30.00 range.

obsessedwithrc
October 18, 2010, 01:14 PM
I went to the club thats pretty close to me. and watched them shoot, and I talked to some of the shooters to, I really learned a lot. It was a USPSA match I find this very interesting and I would like to try it. One of the guys was using a S&W M&P, he let me handle it, and I liked it alot, but out of my budget:( I am considering getting the sigma
but I am very worried about the trigger. I have been to my local gun shop, and I have handled the sigma and it feels really good in my hands, but i am unsure of the trigger.
what do you guys think of that gun? will I be able to shoot it accurately and rapidly with a little practice?

Sam1911
October 18, 2010, 01:32 PM
I have handled the sigma and it feels really good in my hands, but i am unsure of the trigger.
what do you guys think of that gun? will I be able to shoot it accurately and rapidly with a little practice?
There is/was a recent thread on that subject and the reports seemed to indicate that the Sigmas have gotten a lot better. Plus, they are inherantly no less accurate than most other "service-type" or "duty" or "combat" handguns. The trigger may be heavy but it won't be a problem if you use good technique.

LubeckTech
October 18, 2010, 01:35 PM
Weather or not a Sigma would work for you depends on you. From what I understand the Sigma trigger is pretty heavy and there is not much that can be done about that but I have read about some things that can be done to improve them on some of the S&W forums. If you work at it you very likley can make it work but it will take more practice and effort than other guns. If you tell us want you want to spend we may be able to suggest things you might find suitable in your price range. One question I have for everyone reading this is how well would the Sigma hold up to lots of dry fire??

benzy2
October 19, 2010, 01:49 AM
I'm not sure what your budget is but I would look for a used Glock or M&P. Jump on Gunbroker, or classicarms, etc and search for glock or M&P as well as limiting it to Pennsylvania. You can probably get away from sales tax or transfer fees if you find one used in state. The Sigma is an alright pistol, but a used glock or m&p is a much better starting point. Or look for a used CZ. There are lots of used pistols roughly in the same price range as the Sigma that are far better options.

You say some of these pistols are out of the budget. At $10/50 rounds 9mm is cheap, but not free. It doesn't take long for ammo costs to far eclipse pistol costs. You will quickly forget where that extra $100-$200 went into the pistol when you have spent $1k on ammo. If you were on the Ohio side of the boarder I could point you to a handful of places that have a good used selection. Heck, you could swing down to AIMsurplus and pick up a glock 22 for $390. But it sounds like you are in PA, where I don't know much about firearm stores.

Jim Watson
October 19, 2010, 08:12 AM
will I be able to shoot it accurately and rapidly with a little practice?

No.
You will be able to shoot it accurately and rapidly with a LOT of practice.
Which applies to any gun you might buy.
Good shooting is the product of a lot of work.

David E
October 19, 2010, 05:15 PM
If you want to buy new, you may want to split the difference between the Sigma and the M&P by selecting the S&W SD-9. It has a nicer trigger than the Sigma and doesn't cost as much as the M&P.

DT Guy
October 19, 2010, 06:07 PM
Buy the best trigger and sights you can afford; as Col. Cooper put it, that's what you need to shoot well, so skimp elsewhere.

And IMHO, a Sigma's trigger will not let you develop as quickly as a nicer trigger-but that's just my opinion, and worth what you paid for it.

Larry

obsessedwithrc
October 21, 2010, 01:25 PM
I went to a gun shop and tried the trigger on the sigma, I hated it. it has a very long hard
pull and I can barely get it to click with my big hands and long fingers. I was really disapointed because I really liked how the gun felt, and the placement of the magazine, and slide release.

LubeckTech
October 21, 2010, 11:48 PM
Check out page 28 of the current CDNN catalog there are 2 guns you might find affordable and they have some S&W 5906 stainless police trade-ins (page 37) for $299.00. These are very robust guns which would be great for IDPA on a budget or home defense.

http://www.cdnninvestments.com/

I started a thread asking for information about the American Tactical Beretta 92 copy ($299.99) and the Israeli BUL ($339.99) here;

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=550564

I have bought stuff from CDNN and been happy. Last week I got a CMMG stainless .22 conversion for my AR-15 for $139.99 with a 25rnd magazine shipping was $10.00 and fast.

Johnny Lightning
October 22, 2010, 04:51 AM
I just got into IDPA myself about a year ago and did alot of research on what to buy that was going to be cheap and fun to shoot. I first went to my local gun shop and purchased a used glock 17 for $435 that came w/ 2 clips. While I was there I do remember fondeling a M&P 9mm and liking the feel but could not afford it at the time...definately one to look at if you dont like the feel of the glock. I then picked up a black hawk holster for $35, a double clip holster for $20 and an extra clip for around $22. I picked up 2 boxes of winchester white box 100rnd for $23 each and went shortly there after to my first IDPA match. Man was it fun! the Glock was flawless and i didn't do bad at all for my first time. So for around $500 plus the cost of ammo you could be good to go. I prefer the 9mm because of less muzzle flip which means you can squeeze off your second shot much faster & more accurately then you could w/ a .40 and it is cheaper to shoot and from what i have read safer to reload. Speed is definately important in IDPA and is something you want to consider. Since my first match and doing some shooting at the range I have purchased a Glock 34 :D but have not taken it to a match yet. I would say the 34 is more accurate then the 17 but i feel I can have the 17 on target faster then the 34....probably need to practice w/ the 34 more. Also from a reloading standpoint I would say the 17 in my case will eat just about any ammo while I have had some issues w/ Glock 34....keep in mind that I am a beginner reloader also so i made some mistakes while reloading but the 17 still ate everything. Also keep in mind that while in competition IDPA in perticular you can only have 10 rounds in the clip so high capacity doesn't matter. Another thing about having the 17 and 34 thats nice is that the clips are interchangable and I can use the same holster for both guns. After buying the 34 I am up to 5 clips which is a really expensive way to get 2 more clips but thats ok! :)

Bernie Lomax
October 22, 2010, 04:55 AM
From what I hear, .38 Super is very popular among competition shooters these days and, IMO, is a very intriguing cartridge. That's what I'd probably get.

Sam1911
October 22, 2010, 07:21 AM
From what I hear, .38 Super is very popular among competition shooters these days and, IMO, is a very intriguing cartridge. That's what I'd probably get.

He's trying to save money. .38 Super is RIGHT out. Factory ammo is relatively hard to find and expensive. Reloading is as cheap as 9mm, EXCEPT that the brass itself is going to have to be purchased as he's never going to find enough range pick-up .38 Super brass to fill a coke can, let alone keep him going in competition. (And you ALWAYS lose a few cases at every practice session...and probably ALL of them at a real match.)

Plus, none of the guns on the moderate to inexpensive end of the price range come in .38 Super. He'd pretty much have to get a high-end 1911, and that's going to at least triple his gun budget.

.38 Super is really only very popular among USPSA/IPSC shooters (or similar) in the classes which are allowed to use compensators. They run .38 Super at high pressure/velocity to make the compensator work better and mitigate muzzle rise. All of that is both a niche end of the competitive spectrum AND a great way to spend a lot of cash.

(Of course, there are certain old-school defensive shooting savants who still favor the .38 Super but that's outside of our discussion here ... and still expensive.)

Owen
October 22, 2010, 02:03 PM
even the open gun guys are moving away from .38 super in favor of 9major. This upsets me to no end, as I no longer feel i can just pick up range brass willy nilly.

Sam1911
October 22, 2010, 02:41 PM
Awww, don't let it bother you! Just have to add a dab of glue to keep the primers from falling out ...:what:




Just kidding. Yeah, that is a worry. Fortunately our club doesn't do USPSA and I've not seen a single tortured "9 Major" case yet.

obsessedwithrc
October 22, 2010, 03:32 PM
LubeckTech,
Thanks for starting the thread. I look forward to any replys from it.

LubeckTech
October 22, 2010, 03:40 PM
Over at berettaforum.net there is a thread on the AT 92 clone but out of 3 pages only one person actually shot one and compared it favorably to a real 92. Here are some links;

http://berettaforum.net/vb/showthread.php?t=65128&highlight=american+tactical

http://berettaforum.net/vb/showthread.php?t=64254

bds
October 23, 2010, 08:45 AM
obsessedwithrc, I have shot USPSA Limited 10 with two Glock 22s and currently working the trigger on a new M&P45 to shoot USPSA Limited 10 and IDPA also.

There were some shooting Beretta 92's at matches when I started match shooting with 1911/Sig 226 some 15 years ago, but most switched over to Glock platforms, like me.

I would highly recommend the Glock platform as we have done many comparison pistol shoots (total up to 35 different make/models) and Glock 17/22 typically come out on top for best stage times/accuracy of double taps over other factory stock pistols. I also found new shooters tend to shoot more consistent and get tighter shot groups with Glocks than others brands/models.

One primary reason why Glocks are popular in match shooting is that it has very short trigger reset (amount of trigger travel back to reset the striker) which allows you faster double taps. As you shoot matches, you will find that best scores often come with faster times. Accuracy can be obtained with most high-end semi-autos on the market, but not all come with short trigger rest from the factory. You can get shorter trigger reset on M&P pistols by doing a trigger job or replacing the sear. Most match shooters will significantly improve their accuracy within a few months of match shooting. However, their stage time decreasing takes more time and proper deliberate practice.

If you start out with G22 over G17, you can drop in a $100 Lone Wolf 9mm conversion barrel and be able to shoot the cheaper 9mm rounds for practice or actual matches. You will need several magazines to start (like 5) and factory Glock magazines are cheap ($20 from CDNN), durable (dropping them on the ground for mag changes won't hurt them) and easy to maintain. There's a ton of factory/aftermarket support for parts and accessories (trigger kits, holsters, mag holder, springs, etc.) and they are priced lowest of all pistol models due to higher volume customer base.

Another benefit is that I don't hardly have to clean my Glocks to be match ready. With my match 1911 with tight fitting match components and Sig 226, I had to keep them absolutely clean and lubed to be trouble free on match day (about 30 minutes work). With my Glock 22, all I really need to do was field-strip to clean the barrel and lube the four slide rail points and barrel contact point. That's it, and I am ready for the match. I have shot up to 2000-4000+ rounds during practice and two matches with just the barrel cleaning/slide rail lubing and had no problems.

M&P models will require trigger job or sear replacement to match the factory Glock triggers for comparable double tap speed and groups. M&P's have better ergonomics (shorter/better reach to mag release and slide release) as I have to tilt the Glocks in my hand to reach the mag release. M&P's are also a great platform and I see more and more of them at matches. You can get 40-9 conversion barrel also for M&P40 to shoot 9mm.

If purchase cost is an issue, I would even recommend you buy a used Generation 3 Glock 22 (finger grooves in front of the grip) as they are very durable and reliable. I have shot over 300,000+ rounds through my stock G22s and they keep ticking away.

bds
October 23, 2010, 08:54 AM
Here are some match shooting videos and training links to help you:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=508844&highlight=US+Army

BHillman
October 24, 2010, 10:55 PM
I think it will take more than a little practice. You can very easily start by learning the fundamentals, especially SAFETY. I can't stress enough how you are accepted by other shooters when you don't exhibit good safe shooting principles. Which way is the muzzle pointed, where's your finger in relation to the trigger guard, where is the magazine...still in the gun? All the years I shot practical pistol, bullseye, high power, silhouette or whatever, safety is first. Learn the rules. Each range will have specific rules but the basics are the same everywhere. As far as sport specific rules, several have posted links to sites with the rules. They are published for a reason.

Start going to shoots like you did today. Watch, listen and learn. Get involved with the club. You'd be amazed how much you learn when you aren't shooting but working with other club members. If there is a gun shop in your area with an indoor (or even an outdoor) range, they usually rent guns. Try what's there. If you find something you like, learm more about it and save your $$. You'll be better off with something you like than a gun from an impulse buy.

I can't remember how many time I loaned gear out to new shooters. I usually brought a backup gun to matches and you might find others who do the same. Offer to compensate them for their ammo. I don't think I ever took any $$ but it was nice when they offered.

Accessories are expensive as well. you already know ammo isn't on trees. If you plan on reloading some day, don't buy cheap ammo and expect to reload berdan primed or aluminum or steel case ammo. Those casings are disposable. Gun leather (or today's equivalent) is often purpose specific. IDPA vs USPSA or whatever may not be the same. Pick a disclipline and stay with it a while. After you get comfortable in one, try another. Protection is important as well. Good safety glasses and hearing protection are a must.

Remember, when you get ready for the next match, there is only one person you need to beat...yourself. That's how you improve.

Last...have fun. You'll find some of the nicest, most fun-loving people in the shooting sports!

Bruce

LubeckTech
October 28, 2010, 10:38 AM
obsessedwithrc,

I hope you will continue to watch this thread and let us know what you decide to get. We are hoping you will stay with your intention of entering the combat pistol shooting discipline and can find a gun you can afford and shoot well. The season is over in most places (some clubs shoot all year long) so the off season is a good time to find good deals. Anyway many of us here would really like to know what you decide and help you in your venture.

obsessedwithrc
October 28, 2010, 10:50 AM
Yes I will definatley keep with this thread, I have been sick lately so I haven't been to any gun stores to look for more guns, I did go to a gun show on sunday and I looked at a Ruger
SR9. I liked it for the most part but the grip was pretty thin. Thanks to everyone that has helped me so far:)

LubeckTech
October 28, 2010, 12:11 PM
I think the SR9 is a gun you will see more in competative shooting. From what I understand the original guns had a problem and were recalled. I have heard the trigger is better on the new guns but this is strictly hear-say. The trigger has a reputation for being a little heavy but also for grtting better with use. As for the grip thickness you can get a Hogue grip sleve which will slip on the current grip and is only about $10. Here is a link to an article on the SR9;

http://www.tactical-life.com/online/combat-handguns/ruger-sr9-9mm-2/

I might have to consider one of these myself

obsessedwithrc
October 28, 2010, 01:08 PM
Thanks for the link.

ScottC
November 7, 2010, 12:06 AM
Call your local police department's in the area and ask them who they deal with for their weapons? Chances are it is a local (couple hour drive tops) dealer.

Call the dealer and ask if they sell the used police issue weapons. Some do, some just send them back to be refurbished by the manufacturer. You can pick up a really good but inexpensive weapon.

Even though they will have seen lots of lead, they will also have seen routine maintenance with lots of armorers looking at them. You can probably pick a used LE Glock for $300. Sometimes, they will even throw in a couple extra mags.

This is also the prime time to look at leather gear. If a department gets rid of say Glock for Sig, they will need all new holsters.

I would also say 9mm is your best option but unfortunately the LE community has an infatuation with .40 cal so be forewarned.

rellascout
November 7, 2010, 12:29 PM
Most police guns are carried a lot shot very little. If you break them down you will notice that the internals show very little wear. In todays LEO market most departments except for very small rural ones are buying guns directly from the manufacturer not through a local store. In todays market the manufacturer buys them back and then resells them to people like CDNN who are large wholesalers. In recent years they have blown out LEO S&Ws, Sigs, Glocks etc...

There are still some areas that deal with a local distribution point but with a competitive LEO marketplace govts are looking to squeeze out the middle man and end up buying directly from the manufacturer.

LEO leather 99% of the time requires retention that is not needed or desired when competition shooting. You rarely see someone shooting competition with LEO leather.

I love LEO trade ins because they are rarely shot and can be a great value. I do agree that these days LEO guns means 40 S&W which is a shame IMHO.

bds
November 7, 2010, 01:01 PM
I do agree that these days LEO guns means 40 S&W which is a shame IMHO.
Not at all. Drop in a Lone Wolf 40-9 conversion barrel and you are good to go for USPSA shooting 9mm (but not for IDPA).

rellascout
November 7, 2010, 03:17 PM
Not at all. Drop in a Lone Wolf 40-9 conversion barrel and you are good to go for USPSA shooting 9mm (but not for IDPA).

Right thus defeating the entire point of buying an inexpensive LEO trade in. Its not that you cannot do it but if shooting competition at the lowest possible cost a conversation barrel is not the answer.

Not that there is anything wrong with shooting 40 S&W it is simply not my personal caliber choice. I no longer own any 40 S&W. Again nothing more than personal preference.

usmc1371
November 7, 2010, 04:00 PM
I got started in IPSC almost on accident. I was at the public range in Yuma AZ shooting my shiny new Glock 35 at some bowling pins about 50 yds away when a guy walked over and asked me if I had ever shot IPSC? I says no. He told me that they were setting up for a match the next day a few bays down and if I wanted to give it a try all I needed was a holster, mag holder and a couple spare mags.
I showed up that saterday with a brand new kydex holster and mag holder, a gun with exactly one hundred rounds through it, and three boxes of mis-matched ammo. Three diffrent brands and bullet weights. Had to barrow a screw driver to adjust my holster so I could get the gun out. The guys explained the rules and safety stuff, the range commands are pretty much the same as the ones we use in the Marines. Since I was the FNG I got to shoot for free and go last. It was one of the funnest things I have ever done and I was hooked.
I still shoot that glock 35 and it is still bone stock execpt for a new 3.5# trigger connecter, I want sights but it is cheaper to spray sight black on the stock ones and go shooting. I shoot limited class in IPSC and it's alot of fun. There are alot nicer guns than mine that see guys using but I seem to do just fine with what I have.
I have shot matches at a few ranges and I have always found the people to be very friendly and helpfull. And when you see a GM smoke through a stage in 12 seconds with a gun that costs a few grand don't feel at all bad that you shot the same stage in 45 seconds, every one starts some place.

GerryM
November 7, 2010, 07:31 PM
right on usmc1371 - I had shot other types of matches, but find IPSC far more fun. I like being able to figure it out for yourself ...

I shoot Production and am a class "D" shooter - working on "C"... were I 30 years younger I would worry about my score, as it is I should to have fun and do a bit better each match

bds
November 8, 2010, 01:09 PM
I tell people it's really all about having fun regardless of equipment.

Ultimately, you are competing with yourself and it's always have a blast.

ny32182
November 8, 2010, 04:03 PM
Nothing in particular against Rugers, or Sigmas, or...

Do yourself a favor, and just do what it takes to wait and save up for a used G17. Keep an eye on CDNN, your local shops, etc; you will find one under $400 with just a little patience. If you can do this, you will have a good gun out of the box, with near infinite potential for tweaking down the line. This will not be the case with the other low cost options you listed. You will never reget it. Count on another 100-150 for a decent belt/holster, etc.

Sticking with the low cost theme, you may want to consider IDPA, as it seems to involve a little lower round count which will save you some on ammo, and you can also run comfortably with three mags. I've never shot USPSA, but just looking at the gear setups and match descriptions, it will cost more in terms of monetary investment than IDPA. IDPA is also centered more around stock type gear in general as a fundamental principle, which is good from a cost perspective.

obsessedwithrc
November 8, 2010, 06:14 PM
Thanks for the advice. I went to a gun show this weekend, but I didn't find anything, there was not very many hand guns. A friend told me about a gun shop about an hour away from me that usually has some used Glocks for about $400

59Bassman
November 19, 2010, 07:54 AM
Opinions are like...well, you know.

Here's mine.

If you're a new shooter getting into pistol competition, most of the time that means you're thinking about some type of "action" pistol - either Steel Challenge, IDPA, or USPSA. What I'm going to ask you to consider is whether this is a "I'd like to try this with a gun I want for some other reason" or a "I really think I'd like to be a competitive shooter, and I want a good gun to do it with" situation. If it's the latter, here's my suggestion.

Glock 17. No Sigmas, no M&P's, no CZ's, no XD's. Find a used Glock 17. If you don't already own a centerfire pistol, you've got no reason to go with anything else, in my opinion (and hey, I don't even like Glocks!)

The Glock 17 is a full-size 9mm, with a well-supported chamber. That doesn't mean anything to you right now, but it may in time. 9mm is the cheapest centerfire pistol ammo you're going to be able to buy for competition (until you start reloading). The Glock is second only to the 1911 in support (spare parts, aftermarket triggers, barrels, etc) - all of which are critically important to a competition shooter.

The 9mm will score lower in some of the games, but it allows you to get into the competition quickly and at the least cost. The other advantage (IMHO) is that you're learning not just that gun, but the Glock system. Want to shoot limited? You can eventually pick up a Glock 22 or 35. Build an open gun? Maybe you build a 9mm Major gun on a Glock 34. Want a concealed carry gun? A Glock 23 is just the ticket. The guns will be familiar and all work the same. The only other platforms that offer that are the 1911, CZ, and maybe the Beretta, but parts for the CZ and Beretta are MUCH harder to come by. Magazines and parts for the Glock are available everywhere, and there will be specialty dealers set up at every major gun show to support the Glock enthusiast.

Try to find a used Glock 17. Maybe it's not a police trade-in, maybe it's a private seller in your local paper. Some gun ranges have a bulletin board where folks post their guns for sale. Keep going to gun shows, and know that Cash is King - you can often get a better deal by starting with $100 bills than by pulling out a checkbook or credit card.

Again, IMHO, if you can't afford to get a used Glock, you can't really afford to get into competition shooting. If you're going to an indoor range, expect each session to run you around $40 (that's $15 for the range time, $25 for 100 rounds of ammo). Competitions (the cheap ones) will run you about $75-$90 for range fees and ammo. You need to be going to the range a at least once a week to get familiar with the gun and how you shoot it. Scrimp and save for the right gun - once you've shot a dozen competitions, you've already spent more on ammo than you did on the gun!

Now, the next thing I'm going to suggest is that you buy a clear plastic shoe box or a 5 gallon bucket. Every time you buy ammo, buy the Winchester White Box 100 round boxes from Wal-Mart. When you go to the range and shoot, try to pick up every one of your empty cases. Put 'em in a baggie, and dump them in the shoe box (or bucket) when you get home. If you really get serious about competition, you'll be thanking yourself down the road. Because IMHO the big savings in getting into competition is not in a cheaper gun, it's in getting into reloading when you're a year into competition. Save your brass, save your pennies, and plan on buying a reloader if you really like this.

Sorry to be long winded, but I've been exactly where you were. I saved up my pennies and bought the gun I really wanted to shoot USPSA with to start (a Kimber 1911). I almost bought a cheaper gun to start with. I am SO glad I didn't, as I've had my Kimber for almost 15 years and will never sell it. The cheaper guns I bought afterwards are long gone.

Buy that used Glock. I bet you can't wear it out.

Sam1911
November 19, 2010, 09:11 AM
Bassman has some good advice, but I'll go ahead and pick some nits... ;)


Again, IMHO, if you can't afford to get a used Glock, you can't really afford to get into competition shooting.Really no argument there. While there are far more expensive hobbies out there, competition shooting will suck up a lot of money over time.

If you're going to an indoor range, expect each session to run you around $40 (that's $15 for the range time, $25 for 100 rounds of ammo).I don't know the OP's situation, but I'd have to be REALLY hard up to want to practice at a commercial indoor range. First of all, very few are going to let you do anything even remotely useful in their facility. Standing and plinking at a target from behind a firing line or bench is only marginally better than staying home and watching TV -- and probably not as useful as staying home and practicing a smooth draw and dryfiring.

Second, at $15/hour or whatever, I could NEVER afford to participate in IDPA ... which would cramp my style as I'm a Match Director! ;) I'd encourage you to seak our your local IDPA (or USPSA of course) club's home range and become a member. Mine is $55 a year for unlimited shooting on 9 outdoor ranges and an indoor range. Plus, I have the added bonus of a regular group of IDPA competitors that meets there to practice and train new folks every Thursday night.

Competitions (the cheap ones) will run you about $75-$90 for range fees and ammo. Around here, we run the most expensive club match I know of and that's a $20 fee. Add 3 boxes of cheap 9mm ammo and you're at something like $45.

A major match will run $65-$85 (more for something big like Nationals) plus maybe 4-5 boxes of ammo.

You need to be going to the range a at least once a week to get familiar with the gun and how you shoot it. Scrimp and save for the right gun - once you've shot a dozen competitions, you've already spent more on ammo than you did on the gun!
Amen! If you're not spending more on ammo in a year than you spent on the gun, your progress is going to be a bit slow. (For example... if you get that gun for $400, and you're buying $9 a box ammo, the cost of the gun is only worth about 2,222 rounds. That's well less than one box a week, leaving none for matches! Hard to make long strides that way.

ScottC
November 19, 2010, 12:13 PM
I agree with Sam. A conventional gun range is not gonna let you practice drawing from a holster, moving while firing or having the target move while firing which accounts for pretty much 60-70% of an IDPA match.

Go to several gun shops, ask the local PD or sheriffs department officers where they shoot or if you must, look in the yellow pages.

Here, we have a place called Izaak Walton which has a 300 yd rifle range and a 50 yard handgun range. I can go up on a Wednesday and shoot half the day and never see anybody or go on a Saturday and be there with 20 others.

Why is this important? On Wednesday, you go to practice all your drills IE moving while firing, multiple targets etc. On Saturday, you go to meet other people and learn from them. Also, I have not met a guy yet that said no to letting you try a different weapon just to see how it feels, if you approach them with some tact. I have had many approach me as well as approaching many myself. Showing off a new firearm is like showing off a new baby minus the soggy diapers!

You can also pick up some good tips on cleaning, the cheapest places to buy whatever you need and upcoming events.

59Bassman
November 19, 2010, 12:48 PM
Sam is correct in that match fees/ammo may not be as expensive as I stated - depending on what you're shooting. An IDPA match will likely have a lower round count than a USPSA or Steel Challenge match. That's kind of what I had in my head when I was posting. Sorry for the confusion.

And on the indoor range - I agree that it's not optimal. But if it's all a person has, it's all they have (and it is expensive). I also shoot at an outdoor range (went through a couple hundred rounds right after I posted this morning) and it's the only way to practice everything - but some folks may not have the luxury.

Sorry if I provided any bad advice, I just wanted to be sure that the OP knew what he was getting into - the gun itself is probably the cheapest part of the whole equation.

Sam1911
November 19, 2010, 12:59 PM
Sorry if I provided any bad advice, I just wanted to be sure that the OP knew what he was getting into - the gun itself is probably the cheapest part of the whole equation.

No bad info, just a different range of experiences. Yours may be closer to what the OP finds himself in than mine!

As an aside, competition and the relative costs of equipment, ammo, fees, etc., tend to make folks take on a slightly different view of their guns.

We've had lots of folks come to THR to ask how to prevent wear marks on their gun from their holster, how to protect the factory finish on a Glock or M&P, and one guy even wanted to know if it was a good idea to store his magazines in socks so they didn't get scratched! After a few months of competition you tend to start valuing "character" on your gun as a sign of experience/proficiency and the mag with only one color of mud inside it is though of as the "new" one! :D

MrWesson
November 19, 2010, 01:57 PM
Glock 17. No Sigmas, no M&P's, no CZ's, no XD's. Find a used Glock 17. If you don't already own a centerfire pistol, you've got no reason to go with anything else, in my opinion (and hey, I don't even like Glocks!)

:scrutiny:

The CZ75,M&P pro and Xdm are HUGE in competitive shooting and there are TONS of reasons to choose one over a glock.


Buy that used Glock. I bet you can't wear it out.

M&P'S,XD'S and CZ'S "wear out" faster?

If you get into competition shooting I think its safe to say you will eventually start reloading lead or even casting lead bullets. So add in $100+ to that perfect glock for a lone wolf barrel. The pistols you listed are every bit as good as if not better than a glock and will shoot lead well out of the box.

benEzra
November 19, 2010, 01:59 PM
I would point out that it's OK to start out small and work up as you get more experienced. When I started shooting USPSA, I simply showed up with what I had---a single stack S&W 9mm, a basic hip holster and an Uncle Mike's mag pouch, and a willingness to learn. I finished toward the back of the pack the first few times, but had a blast and have become a much better shooter. I may move up to a Glock 17 or Springfield XD Tactical at some point, because I think I might enjoy owning and shooting one, but it is not necessary to have a top-of-class pistol in order to become a good shooter and to enjoy the competition.

In our local USPSA group, there are a few people who shoot raceguns in the optics classes, a bunch of men and women who shoot Glocks/XD's/1911's, and a few who shoot whatever miscellaneous they own/carry, from cheap to very expensive. It's all fun, and all rewarding.

Also, as far as learning the basic skillset, you can practice acquiring a sight picture, double taps, and reloading at pretty much any shooting range (for reloading, load a bunch of magazines with two rounds each). You can practice getting a sight picture from low ready and shooting at the range, and then work on getting from the holster to the sight picture at home via dry-fire and a safe backstop.

The biggest thing is safety; don't try to rush your first match. Shoot for accuracy at first and make sure everything you do is deliberate and safe. The next few matches, speed up, but don't outrun your ability to make hits and to manipulate the gun safely.

59Bassman
November 19, 2010, 04:24 PM
:scrutiny:

The CZ75,M&P pro and Xdm are HUGE in competitive shooting and there are TONS of reasons to choose one over a glock.




M&P'S,XD'S and CZ'S "wear out" faster?

If you get into competition shooting I think its safe to say you will eventually start reloading lead or even casting lead bullets. So add in $100+ to that perfect glock for a lone wolf barrel. The pistols you listed are every bit as good as if not better than a glock and will shoot lead well out of the box.

Listen, I don't like Glocks. I'd much prefer a CZ over any Glock, M&P, or XD, and I'd take an XD next. I shoot lead, and I don't care for polygonal barrels.

However - this is a guy just starting out. In this instance (when he's probably some time away from not only reloading but also knowing who makes what accessory), I stand by the Glock being the strongest choice for a new shooter.

I am not for a moment knocking CZ's, Berettas, XD's, M&P's, or any other type of pistol. I'm not claiming that the Glock is a superior weapon, more accurate, easier to maintain, or less prone to jamming. What I am claiming is that the Glock "system" is a pretty complete suite of weapons, with very strong aftermarket support. They're also readily available new and used.

As much as I hate to see anyone shooting a Glock, I still think this is the strongest choice for a new shooter who may not have a support group of folks getting him into the sport(s).

ScottC
November 19, 2010, 04:55 PM
What is the best weapon to have in a fire fight? Answer- the one that you shoot well with. I own H&K, Kimber, S&W, Glock and an FN. There is something that I find in all of them that I particularly like. Every one of my weapons is $700 and up with the exception of the Glock.

The purpose of the original author was to find a relatively inexpensive weapon without taking out a second mortgage on his house.

I like my Glock and trust it to get the job done. There are many people that know weapons a lot better than any of us here and they all like different weapons. R Lee Ermey and Ignatius Piazza both rave about Glocks. The first being a former marine DI, made famous by Full Metal Jacket and the later being the founder and CEO of Front Sight. Rob Latham likes Springfields. Jerry Miculek likes S&W. However, there is one group that really tells the tale.

Glock is used by more law enforcement agencies than any other handgun manufacturer. One because compared to other weapons they are inexpensive. They are reliable. Also, they are simplistic in design.

Like Bassman said, it will be quite awhile before he starts reloading. Learn one skill-set at a time. By that time, he might have won a CZ or a Beretta. They make great door stops!;)

1SOW
November 19, 2010, 11:18 PM
I fear the 'OP' is in a catch 22 situation. He needs a gun he can afford that has an action and feel he likes, but he doesn't know what he likes---yet.

Go to pawn shops, gun shows, gun shops and big retailers like Cabellas or Sporting goods stores and handle as many guns as they will allow.

The less expensive recommendations you've been given are a good place to start. M&P - Glock - XD (Polymer, striker action), CZ (Steel, hammer, DA and or SA action), give you a start. Handle, point and pull the trigger (if they'll let you) and see what 'feels' natural in your hands. What 'points' to a target easiest.
9mm is cheapest to shoot. A 4" or more barrel will work in all the games. ALL of these guns were used by top shooters in the 2010 Nationals in Las Vegas.

When you get a preference, see if you can rent one at a local range. After you make a decision, look in the pawn shops , paper, gun shows or on line to find a used one at a price you can afford. Remember you need a simple holster, mag pouches, and a few magazines. If you get lucky, you can find a package deal. XD's come with holster, mags and double pouch. .

Beyond 'general' recommendations you're going to hear 'our' personal preferences that may not work for you.

"If it isn't all metal and doesn't have a hammer, it's probably pink!" :D :neener: ;)

frankge
November 20, 2010, 08:54 PM
I just shot my Glock 34 at a steel challenge today. I really like it and IMHO its meant for competition. I used to use a M&P9 standard, which is a great gun too, but my kid "aquired it". It you are looking for a Glock for competition give this a serious looksee. I got this used at a gun show for $500.00 cash. Glock last forever and look new forever if treated right.

Justin
November 21, 2010, 02:09 AM
Speaking as someone who's run a CZ85 for several years only to recently switch over to a S&W M&P, I agree with Bassman. The Glock 17 is not only likely to be one of the most cost-effective choices out there, it's also going to be a solid choice for shooting USPSA Production Division.

A used G17 can be had for under $400 if you look around, magazines can be found at very low cost, and practically everybody makes holsters and magazine pouches for them.

Winchester White Box 9mm is economically priced commercial ammunition that is both reliable and accurate enough to play without inducing the frustration of more poorly made ammo. If that's too much money, there's always Wolf, I guess.

We've had lots of folks come to THR to ask how to prevent wear marks on their gun from their holster, how to protect the factory finish on a Glock or M&P, and one guy even wanted to know if it was a good idea to store his magazines in socks so they didn't get scratched! After a few months of competition you tend to start valuing "character" on your gun as a sign of experience/proficiency and the mag with only one color of mud inside it is though of as the "new" one!

One of my favorite IPSC stories: A shooter I know came to a match with a brand new STI. One of the stages had a start position with the gun placed on top of a rough surface (either a fairly unsmooth metal surface, or a wood surface with a couple of nail heads sticking out of the top.) Someone remarked about it being a shame that he had to place such a nice gun on a surface where it might get scratched.

Overhearing this, the shooter said "Oh, really?" and at the make ready command, proceeded to rub his brand new STI over the surface, giving it a few new love marks.
:D

Often times the guys with the rattiest looking guns will be the same guys posting scores at the top of the list.

Justin
November 21, 2010, 02:15 AM
FWIW, if the costs associated with shooting 9mm are still too much, consider getting a .22 pistol and shooting Steel Challenge. The gun and ammo will be much cheaper, and you can blaze away without breaking the bank.

Hoser
November 21, 2010, 01:03 PM
Often times the guys with the rattiest looking guns will be the same guys posting scores at the top of the list.

Pretty guns are for sissies.

dashootist
November 28, 2010, 07:02 PM
Shooting guns ain't cheap. Shooting in competition definitely ain't cheap. In fact, it'll cost a small fortune. Anyone can start cheap, but you can't keep using cheap. You'll come in last and feel very bad about yourself. You see others beating you because, not they're better than you, they got better equipment. People usually drop out after a few matches or start to spend and spend on equipment. Let's be realistic it's an expensive hobby.

Sam1911
November 28, 2010, 07:54 PM
Anyone can start cheap, but you can't keep using cheap. You'll come in last and feel very bad about yourself. You see others beating you because, not they're better than you, they got better equipment.

Well now, let's not chase him right off already!

I know guys who are competitive at Master levels who are still using pretty plain jane glocks and kydex holsters. Yeah, they've spent lots of money on ammo, but they sure don't need thousand dollar set-ups to do so.

(Heck, I watched one guy win Division Champion at nationals a few years back shooting a pretty plain looking S&W M&P. He beat lots of guys who'd spent 3x what he had on the gun.)

And, I know plenty of guys who come out and shoot every month with whatever equipment they have -- some of them get beaten by almost everyone -- and they're still thrilled to be out practicing, seeing their pals, having fun, and shooting against their own best times.

The shooting sports are wonderfully individualistic that way. Sure, you might win a trophy, but in the end you're really only shooting against yourself.

btg3
November 28, 2010, 08:10 PM
Shooting guns ain't cheap. Shooting in competition definitely ain't cheap. In fact, it'll cost a small fortune.

In Steel Challenge matches, you can shoot .22LR with iron sights. I've been meaning to give that a go at the local club.

Anyone can start cheap, but you can't keep using cheap. You'll come in last and feel very bad about yourself. You see others beating you because, not they're better than you, they got better equipment. People usually drop out after a few matches or start to spend and spend on equipment. Let's be realistic it's an expensive hobby.

Guess I'm not that much of a type-A. I've shot IDPA with a stock M&Pc 9mm for a few years. I shoot to get better with my carry gun, not to compete with others -- thus, I don't plan to upgrade equipment. True enough, like most hobbies, you can spend-spend-spend, but it's not a given.

To shoot one IDPA match takes roughly:
$20 of 9mm ammo
$15 match fee
$5 gas in the car

I bought another used stock M&P with mags, holsters this year for $425. So you can get started for $500 including eye/ear protection.

And I'd take a used M&P over a new Sigma.

Is the OP still around since his last post 3 weeks ago?

ny32182
November 28, 2010, 09:51 PM
You can definitely shoot IDPA at the highest level without expensive equipment. The SSP national champion shoots a G34 that costs all of $650 brand new, before whatever minor tweaks are done to it. There is no room in IDPA for blaming bad performance on not having expensive gear... that is one of the nice things about the sport. I'm a low level MA currently and went to the top of EX with my 100% bone stock carry G19 and IWB. Since then I've bought exactly one gun dedicated to IDPA competition, and it was the aforementioned G34. I currently have no plans to replace it.

You will spend a decent bit of coin to shoot at a high level, but it won't be spent on gear (in IDPA at least); it will be on ammo, match fees, travel, etc.

The vast majority of all IDPA shooters I know fall into what I would call the "casual" category (one or two club matches a month and that is it; no majors, no travel, little outside practice, etc). They have near-stock service type pistols, standard gear, and spend less to shoot a club match than a decent round of golf costs. They are in it to get reps with the gear they have and socialize. Nothing wrong with that; it is a fine place to start, and a year ago I was there myself. For most that is what the competition is about at the club level in IDPA. You will have to be there first before deciding where, if anywhere, to take it from there.

Hanzo581
November 28, 2010, 10:54 PM
I figure I'll ask here. I too am looking to get into competitive shooting. I want to start off in the straight up production class. My problem is the only two guns I have that I would even consider running are my SR9c or my XD45. I bought the SR9c for carry, but it does take full size SR9 17 rd magazines, but it only has a 3.5" barrel. And I would prefer not to run my XD45 for obvious ammo cost reasons.

So, I was looking at something like this, would this be a pretty solid and accurate pistol for competition? Or should I just start with what I have?

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/54595

Jim Watson
November 28, 2010, 11:10 PM
Start with whatever you have that is even reasonably suitable.
A half case of .45 won't cost as much as a new gun and by then you might know enough to shop sensibly. Or decide to take up fishing.

Hanzo581
November 28, 2010, 11:13 PM
I am not sure I understand what you mean by "by then you might know enough to shop sensibly".

Jim Watson
November 28, 2010, 11:24 PM
I meant that by the time you have fired 500 timed and scored shots (in addition to practice), you should have some idea of what you need or want different in a gun to help you shoot better.

1SOW
November 28, 2010, 11:43 PM
Mr. Watson's advice is spot on.

I'm a fairly new action shooter, and he's giving you good advice.

There's an old saying that "Shooters have deep pockets". You'll live up to that old saying fast if you're not careful. I started one, " I usually have the second best idea first".

LubeckTech
November 28, 2010, 11:48 PM
Before buying anything you might want to give the SR9c a try.
The M&P is fast becoming one of the favorite pistols in competitive shooting and is my preference. I have been shooting a M&P 40 in IDPA and USPSA for about 3 years now. Just bought a M&P 9L (5") because I have started shooting more matches and want to take advantage of the abundance of 9mm brass I am able to gather. Out of the box the 9L trigger was a gritty 6.5 lbs but with the addition of an Apex Tactical AEK trigger kit I now have a 2.75 lb trigger that is almost as good as a 1911. Straight out of the box the M&P would not be much better than the Ruger but with some trigger work you can do yourself the 9L would be an outstanding pistol that is a lot of fun to shoot.

Hanzo581
November 28, 2010, 11:57 PM
At the ranges I have shot my SR9c it has proven very very accurate, what is the farthest I would be shooting in a production event roughly?

1SOW
November 29, 2010, 09:54 PM
roughly you can expect the majority to be well inside of 25 yds. On the other hand, this years Nationals had a LOT of SMALL targets well beyond 25 yds. It depends a lot on where you shoot.

P.S. I started USPSA production class with a S.D. Sig 239 (with a 3.6" bbl) an Uncle Mike's holster and mag carriers from Academy Sporting Goods. Actually it shot pretty well, but first I had to buy Sig's 10 rd extended mags---$$$$$. I had a lot of fun with it.

Go with what you've got---for a while.

Hanzo581
November 29, 2010, 10:04 PM
Well beyond 25 yards for pistol? Interesting, I have watched matches on TV and none seemed that far, I guess seeing it live is a whole other ballgame. Don't know how well I would be served with a 3.5" barrel. I'd prefer something with a longer sight radius.

Justin
November 29, 2010, 10:12 PM
Shooting guns ain't cheap. Shooting in competition definitely ain't cheap. In fact, it'll cost a small fortune.

I thought that shooting was an expensive sport.

And then I met guys who were into speed boats and car racing.

Comparatively speaking, competitive shooting is downright dirt cheap. I suppose if you wanted a cheaper hobby, there's always Pokemon... ;)

Justin
November 29, 2010, 10:35 PM
Well beyond 25 yards for pistol? Interesting, I have watched matches on TV and none seemed that far, I guess seeing it live is a whole other ballgame. Don't know how well I would be served with a 3.5" barrel. I'd prefer something with a longer sight radius.

Hanzo, get out to some local matches and run what you brung. Don't get hung up on gear at this point. Shoot a few matches, and if need be, re-evaluate your gear choices at a later time.

LubeckTech
November 29, 2010, 11:22 PM
Hanzo,

Look for some IDPA matches as a starting point. Your SR9c will serve you well there with most targets being in the 5 - 12 yard range with an occasional target at 20 yards. USPSA is quite a bit more difficult than IDPA but IDPA is more realistic. It generally has fewer targets at closer ranges but the rules are more oriented toward situations you could encounter in the real world. To be specific many stages will require you to draw from concealment and either shoot on the move or from behind cover. Good IDPA stages tend to be modeled from actual or likley encounters and tend to use props like carrying a simulated baby or retrieving a drink from the bottom of an ice filled cooler. IDPA is more about tactics where USPSA is more about the mechanics of shooting. I think anyone who carries should shoot at least one IDPA match per year - it is NOT a substitute for professional training but a good exercise and a lot of fun.

ny32182
November 30, 2010, 10:31 AM
IDPA is a sport; it is not ninja training. You can get good mechanical practice with your carry gear, and the gear rules in IDPA are such that you can even be pretty competetive with carry gear if you want to be. It is based around "self defense scenarios", but this concept is dubious at best. Shots can and do range from point blank to 35 yards per the rule book. Average range will depend on the stage designers in your area, but most of the time, the vast majority of shots are inside 20 yards in IDPA.

As someone with only limited exposure to IPSC/USPSA, my opinion is that the same basic mechanical skill sets are needed in those as they are in IDPA. There may be some finer points of the former that I'm not familiar with, but in general, especially for a newbie, the skills needed to do well in either will be almost exactly the same. Some of the rules are different; that is the main difference.

As far as "difficulty".... everyone has to make the same shots, and only one can win. ;) So "difficulty" comes out in the wash regardless of which one you are shooting.

Bovice
November 30, 2010, 01:05 PM
I wouldn't worry about the barrel length of the SR9c, Hanzo. I shoot IDPA with an only slightly longer barrel (3.9). To top that off, its a .40, and I refuse to load creampuffs to get 9mm-like recoil because I think it defeats the concept of it being a DEFENSIVE PISTOL competition. Use a gun that you would probably find yourself using in self-defense situations. No, it isn't real, but the basic motions you will have to go through while under pressure are still the same. Try not to be too much of a "gamer" in the beginning. Fancy gear, custom trigger work, and fiber optic sights don't mean anything if you haven't got the fundamentals of shooting.

Hanzo581
November 30, 2010, 07:04 PM
Sounds like a plan, I will find some IDPA matches near me and run my SR9c and see how it goes.

Thanks for the advice guys.

David E
December 1, 2010, 02:09 AM
Hanzo, to answer your question, the M&P Pro would be an ideal gun to run in Production and SSP.

I like mine!

Sam1911
December 5, 2010, 10:10 AM
Are you prepared to spend 5k+ a year on gear, reloading components, instruction, travel to matches, match fees, etc? If not, you are not going to get far, if you actually want to do more than just "show up". The top guys spend more like 20k a year.

I really don't understand the negative attitude I keep seeing here. All this worry about "not going to get far" and concern over what the "top guys" do. Who cares? Shooting practical handgun (or 3-gun, etc) matches is FUN! It's great practice! It is a fantastic means to improving your own gun handling skills, safety practices, accuracy under realistic conditions, and confidence in your equipment ... and yourself. Plus, it is a fantastic way to meet an incredible community of amazingly friendly, open, and helpful fellow shooters.

The worry about going far, making it big, bringing home the gold, setting the world on fire, and looking at your costs as somehow wasted if you aren't bringing home trophies right away -- certainly seems to ONLY exist here in the virtual world.

When you get out from behind the keyboard and join the fun, you'll find a whole world of shooters all having the time of their lives, and who are perfectly happy to be making measurable progress at their own pace.

Wedge
December 5, 2010, 11:06 AM
To add to what Sam has said, I've only shot two matches of IDPA with hopes to go to more, so here is the take from a guy that is just getting started.

Other than the initial gear outlay for a G17, Glock holster, extra mag, mag holder for a gear outlay of around $600.

Match fee + ammo cost + gas to get there + breakfast w/ friends < $50. Plus I was only away from house, family responsibilities for around 5 hours...that's not much of a time sink either.

I would say that competition shooting has to be one of the cheapest ways to compete in ANYTHING, maybe a little more than running foot races since most 5k or 10ks cost about $30 to enter and you get a bunch of free swag and some food at the end and you have to factor in shoes which you'll need to buy 3 or 4 pairs over a year if not more depending on your miles per week.

LubeckTech
December 5, 2010, 12:03 PM
Who cares if you "get very far" or not?? Where is there to go in IDPA or USPSA (which is basically what we are talking about here)???? Both games are such that you can spend as little or as much as you want on but the MAIN reason to do it is to have FUN. It is not necessary to spend a fortune to have a blast nor is it absolutely necessary to spend a ton of money to shoot into the top 10% of any match you attend!! You can't buy talent!! The fastest IDPA shooter I ever saw was a young fellow in his early 20s who shot a Springfield 1911 and was so fast he was once accussed of not doing a mandatory reload at an IDPA regional match. Donnie was born with that talent and loved IDPA - the money he spent was on ammo and travel. Bill Nesbitt is a retired guy in SE Ohio who shoots his 3" S&W model 10 as well and many times better than Ken Hackathorn shoots a semi auto at IDPA matches -again it's talent and dedication not money that makes this happen. Civilian combat competition shooting was founded in this country by a small group of people (Bill Wilson, Ken Hackathorn Bob Vickers, etc) who saw the original sport, IPSC, quickly turn into an equipment race so USPSA was born then the same guys statred IDPA. The idea behind IDPA was that ordinary people with basic equipment could come out, shoot have fun and improve their skills. In IDPA a police trade in glock 17 or S&W 4006 has just much of a chance as a $3,000 1911 and even if you "win" all you get is bragging rights. In my opinion everyone who shows up at a IDPA or USPSA match from the top shooter to the dead last is a WINNER!!!! For less than $500 you have every bit as much of a chance at a match as the guy who spends $5K per year - it's up to you!

ny32182
December 5, 2010, 02:07 PM
To be fair, I've read more than once that Donnie Burton was shooting 1000rds a day when he was competing (he was a little "before my time" in IDPA but I did see him in person once, at my first and only sanctioned match before this year, back in 2007. I think he was 17 at the time and smoked the field by a wide margin). I imagine most of us could see some improvement if we were shooting 1000rds a day, but could not realistically afford the time and/or money commitment to do so.

That said I agree with everything Sam said. The vast majority of all shooters have no designs on competing at a high level, and there is nothing in the world wrong with that. You DON'T need to spend anywhere near 5k a year competing to get a lot better than you were before you started.

Sam1911
December 5, 2010, 02:25 PM
I'd like to challenge the basic math of this quote, too.

Are you prepared to spend 5k+ a year on gear, reloading components, instruction, travel to matches, match fees, etc?

Your gun, holster, mags, mag pouches, belt, ear & eye protection, vest, range bag, and any other incidentals certainly don't need to be replaced each year. Yeah, you're probably close to $800 or $1,000 by the time you get it all together, but that can be a one-time cost -- if you don't fall prey to the "buying talent" myth that makes you upgrade to more tactical socks or more "operator-grade" under shorts to get a competitive advantage every few months.

I shoot about 5 major "sanctioned" matches a year and something between 10-15 club matches. Call that $800 in match fees. (I work a lot of matches though as an SO so that knocks a big chunk out of that cost.) Most new shooters, and a whole lot of regular, dedicated, hobbyist shooters aren't going to go to 5 sanctioned matches a year so their fees would be maybe 1/2 of that. ($400)

Ammo... well, if you shoot an average of 100 rds of 9mm Wolf or other cheap practice ammo a week, plus an extra 150 rds a month for matches, that would be 7,000 rds. shot in a year -- a VERY good amount of shooting that will get you progressing very fast -- and that would cost about $1,300 at current prices.

So we're at a little under or over $2,000 a year for a very full schedule of shooting -- far surpassing what most of my shooters have time and inclination to get in. Your travel costs would add something to that, of course, but that would be entirely up to your location, how many of the matches you attend are "away," etc.

I don't think I've EVER spent $5,000 in a year on shooting. I'd like to, but I don't think I get there, even with memberships, travel, and occasional equipment upgrades. (My underwear isn't all that tactical, though.)

Sam1911
December 5, 2010, 08:37 PM
I can shoot targets by myself. The competition is to prove that I'm better.Yes, but to prove that you're "better" than you were before. No one cares how many other shooters you "beat."

That's the cool thing about shooting competition. The competition is with yourself. A plaque or trophy is nice, but after a while, they're just so much more wood on the wall to dust.

Jim Watson
December 5, 2010, 09:10 PM
I can always beat myself if I don't try hard enough.
I am looking at my standings versus the other guys.

I wonder what people are talking about when they say they are only competing against themselves at IDPA, IPSC, or CAS. The stages are always different, there is no way to build up statistics like you can at Bullseye or Skeet which are standardized. Once I have avoided serious blunders like nonthreats, procedurals, and misses, the only way to gauge my performance is by comparison with other shooters of known ability. And I am definitely competing against them. These days, finishing in the top 1/3 overall is pretty good, but I used to do better.

Sam1911
December 5, 2010, 09:21 PM
I wonder what people are talking about when they say they are only competing against themselves at IDPA, IPSC, or CAS. The stages are always different,

When I personally say that, I mean that I know there will always be those who will outshoot me -- perhaps not at every match, but I don't have to go far to find them -- and I will always outshoot many others. I just can't get worked up over relative finishing position except as a vaguely amusing abstract concept.

I know if I shot to my potential -- or just a bit better, or a whole lot worse -- and whether the other folks who showed up had good or bad days relative to their own current skill levels really doesn't affect that much.

I've shot matches where I brought home trophies and was disgusted with myself as I knew I could have done better. I've also been pleased as punch with my own performance, while finishing way out of the running for another chunk of chachka to cover stains on my wall. ;)

In the end, shooting is (to me) a matter of self-improvement with practical utility. Worrying over adding to the "I Love Me" wall would be straying far from my purposes in the exercise.

...

Said another way, winning is the WORST thing possible. Believing yourself to be "the best" substitutes smug complacency for the eternal quest for mastery. But that's just my humble opinion. ;)

Jim Watson
December 5, 2010, 10:35 PM
I know if I shot to my potential

I am not that skilled at self criticism. A stage that feels good usually turns out to be accurate but slow. I have to really push hard and feel like I am on the edge of failure to do well. Ten tenths.

The ony trophy I miss from The Incident in which my house burned was one from my first statewide PPC match in 1978.

MrBorland
December 6, 2010, 07:54 AM
Beating others, winning the state title, etc., are poor goals in and of themselves for one simple reason - you have no control over who else shows up.

On Saturday, I win a match. On Sunday, I finished dead last against a field of GMs. So, I'm a Hero one day and a Zero the next? It's a roller coaster best not ridden. I'm the same shooter both days, but to jump on the roller coaster is to give others shooters way too much power over me.

Though I think it's fun to pour over match results, I judge my overall ability on how well I'm executing the fundamental things in my control - "seeing" more and hitting what I see.

Pete D.
December 6, 2010, 08:06 AM
I am looking for a good cheap pistol for competition
shooting, i am not sure of which rules I want to shoot under, and I could use some advice on that to. I am just getting started in competition and really don't know alot about it, so I need something that I can get started in


Early on this thread got steered into consideration of the practical and action pistol venues. That is all well and good.
Why has there been little or no discussion of Bullseye/Conventional pistol shooting? 900 matches can be shot with a .22 (and you know that there are a lot of affordable firearms that would be suitable). There are Bullseye matches all over the country every weekend so they are not hard to find.
Certainly, Bullseye shooting places a premium on very precise shooting - something that a new shooter cannot get too much of.
I was just wondering since the OP noted that he was unsure about so many facets of "competition".
Pete

ny32182
December 6, 2010, 09:00 AM
If you win one day and lose the next, it doesn't mean anything other than that you won one day and lost the next. I don't know what some of you read into this, but there is not really any "power" involved here; it is a sport. If you are in it for the competition, and you are never getting beat by anyone, one of two things is true: 1) you are not doing an adequate job seeking out better competition, or 2) you are the national champion.

The reason we have skill classes is so everyone has someone to compete against. There is no other reason. This is why they exist.

At the local level I would pick out about three people I'm very evenly matched against, and then gage myself against them. Those three people can help you see if you are improving. This will give you an even narrower "range" of skill level to focus on at any given time, since the skill classes usually feature a pretty wide range of skill levels as there are only five of them in IDPA.

Same thing transfers to a sanctioned/regional match, especially if competition becomes more or less exhausted at the local level... look at past match results, and pick out some folks you want to track in the scores. If I get the opportunity I'll discuss strategy stage by stage, and the point is to figure out what I might not have seen, or what particular string if fire I might have executed well or not. We all have a general idea of how well we shot, but unless you've timed, recorded and saved your entire shot-by-shot performance for later review, it is going to be hard to tell how well you really did without other points of comparison.

Being self motivated is great, but like Jim says, there is not nearly as much opportunity, due to the randomness of stage design, to compete against yourself in IDPA, etc as there is in, say, golf where you know how you do against the same course every time.

joe6604
December 6, 2010, 01:11 PM
In IDPA's most recent Tactical Journal, they listed the equipment that shooters in their 2010 National Championship used. By far, the Glock 34, 9mm, had the highest numbers...68 shooters.

I was a reluctant Glock shooter, but I've found that my 34 is a tack driver, easy to clean, and reliable. I'm a reloader using lead bullets, so it's recommended by many who seem to know that you need to replace the stock barrel with one made of stainless steel...Lone Wolf, KKM, Lake Storm, whatever you can afford. Also recommend a 3.5 lb trigger connector. And these are modifications that don't require a gunsmith.

All in all, not a lot of money for the fun you'll have.

FatPants
December 7, 2010, 02:15 AM
In IDPA's most recent Tactical Journal, they listed the equipment that shooters in their 2010 National Championship used. By far, the Glock 34, 9mm, had the highest numbers...68 shooters.

I was a reluctant Glock shooter, but I've found that my 34 is a tack driver, easy to clean, and reliable. I'm a reloader using lead bullets, so it's recommended by many who seem to know that you need to replace the stock barrel with one made of stainless steel...Lone Wolf, KKM, Lake Storm, whatever you can afford. Also recommend a 3.5 lb trigger connector. And these are modifications that don't require a gunsmith.

All in all, not a lot of money for the fun you'll have.

G34 comes with a - connector.

Pete D.
December 7, 2010, 06:34 AM
Note: t's recommended by many who seem to know that you need to replace the stock barrel with one made of stainless steel...Lone Wolf, KKM, Lake Storm, whatever you can afford

Replacing the barrel in a Glock so as to shoot lead has little to do with the steel and everything to do with the type of rifling in the aftermarket barrels. Changing the rifling is the issue as well as fully supporting the cartridge. Glock barrels have polygonal rifling, the LW, Storm Lake, KKM barrels don't.
Pete

dlee4697
December 8, 2010, 04:33 PM
I would go with a Glock 34. Add a steel guide rod and a recoil spring from wolf springs. Also a reduced power striker spring and safety spring from them as well. Polish a few parts and you will have a very accurate and reliable firearm with a great trigger. Also you might want to add on some Warren sights. All of those upgrades would run you a little over $100.00 and could be done by yourself. Also a plus would be shooting Federal Champion Ammo from Wal-Mart. It will make power factor in both USPSA and IDPA and is very soft to shoot in the Glock 34. Just remember if you want to shoot SSP in IDPA you have to put the stock guide rod back in.

Justin
December 8, 2010, 05:21 PM
Why has there been little or no discussion of Bullseye/Conventional pistol shooting? 900 matches can be shot with a .22 (and you know that there are a lot of affordable firearms that would be suitable). There are Bullseye matches all over the country every weekend so they are not hard to find.

Most people probably assumed the OP was interested in shooting an action pistol sport since he asked for advice about a 9mm pistol. Back when I shot Bullseye, I never saw anyone running 9mm guns. It was always .22/.45 and sometimes .32 Long or .38 Spl.

Also, much as I hate to say it, the old school forms of competitive shooting like Bullseye pistol seem to be falling by the wayside in favor of sports that are more exciting and accessible to newcomers, like Steel Challenge and IDPA.

1SOW
December 8, 2010, 07:32 PM
Justin: Most people probably assumed the OP was interested in shooting an action pistol sport since he asked for advice about a 9mm pistol. Back when I shot Bullseye, I never saw anyone running 9mm guns. It was always .22/.45 and sometimes .32 Long or .38 Spl.



In the 70's, I shot .22 pistol Bullseye and couldn't afford .45 cal. It was great fun with many good shooter-friends.

40 yrs later, I'm still enjoying pistol shooting with 9mm action shooting (USPSA & Steel) with good shooter-friends. While I'm a little longer in the tooth, the action shooting does add draw, speed and planning to make it that much more challenge and enjoyment.

In both disciplines, the competition is with each shooter's ability to improve the skills needed for the sport. That G.M. shooting next to you works hard to be faster and more accurate, win or lose. It's harder for them because they make fewer mistakes than newer shooters.

Get a gun and go shoot. Win lose or draw, it is fun with good people.

Pete D.
December 9, 2010, 10:47 AM
Quote:
Why has there been little or no discussion of Bullseye/Conventional pistol shooting? 900 matches can be shot with a .22 (and you know that there are a lot of affordable firearms that would be suitable). There are Bullseye matches all over the country every weekend so they are not hard to find.
Most people probably assumed the OP was interested in shooting an action pistol sport since he asked for advice about a 9mm pistol. Back when I shot Bullseye, I never saw anyone running 9mm guns. It was always .22/.45 and sometimes .32 Long or .38 Spl.

Also, much as I hate to say it, the old school forms of competitive shooting like Bullseye pistol seem to be falling by the wayside in favor of sports that are more exciting and accessible to newcomers, like Steel Challenge and IDPA.


The OP noted that he did not know what to do and that advice he had gotten was to go the Glock route. That predisposition has continued through this thread.

9mm were rare on the Bullseye match line years ago. That was before the armorers figured out how to accurize the big Beretta.

I don't agree that traditional Bullseye is less accessible than the practical venues...though there is no denying that attendance is down.

Sam1911
December 9, 2010, 11:06 AM
I don't agree that traditional Bullseye is less accessible than the practical venues...though there is no denying that attendance is down. "Accessible" might mean different things to different people.

On one hand it might simply mean how many matches are available in someone's area. While I know that there are some bullseye matches held near me (my own club quit their .22 bullseye league several years ago), I don't know of any, or know anyone who shoots them. On the other hand, I know of somewhere between 7 and 15 IDPA matches (and probably at least half that many IPSC matches) within driving distance of my home -- EVERY weekend. So that's one way the action sports may be more "accessible."

The other way to view "accessibility" is meaning, what is the "curb appeal" to new shooters? IDPA and USPSA are fast-paced, highly varied, engaging, and almost purpose-built to encourage comraderie and socializing among the squads and fellow shooters. Not only is the discipline iteself a heart-pounding and very physically engaging exercise, the formality of the bullseye (or PPC, smallbore position, CMP, and many others) match format is gone. Instead you have a small group cheering on each shooter as they compete individually. Each shooter gets a moment in the spotlight.

LubeckTech
December 9, 2010, 12:09 PM
Is IPSC fading away in favor of IDPA and USPSA??
The reason I ask is my club used to do IPSC before I became involved in pistol competition about 6 years ago and I can find many IDPA, USPSA and various steel matches in my area (SE Ohio/ Northern WV) but have never heard mention of IPSC. I would like to attend an ICORE match but don't see any of those in my area either. Us revolver shooters seem to be going the way of the dinosaur. It appears some of the shooting disiplines may be regional.

Sam1911
December 9, 2010, 12:17 PM
USPSA IS the US branch of IPSC.

LubeckTech
December 9, 2010, 12:44 PM
I guess you learn something new every day!!!
I had always heard the term but didn't understand the relationship.
Let me know if I can ask any other dumb questions today.

Sam1911
December 9, 2010, 12:54 PM
Not a dumb question at all! (Well, no dumber than that old one about tin whistles and fog horns... :neener:)

As IPSC has grown to try and accommodate such a huge variety of different cultures/countries, USPSA has occasionally acted somewhat independently to keep more in tune with what American shooters want/need.

So, they aren't precisely synonymous.

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