Bowling Pin Shoots - Speed vs. Power?


April 27, 2014, 05:34 PM
I shoot pin shoots just for fun usually with my 44mag. Standard 240g load that I run at the minimum for speed. Recently I bought a 357 and checking over my load books I found a zippy little load for the 357 to push a 110g bullet at 2k+ fps.

So that got me thinking about speed vs mass (power) in shooting pins. The thing with pins though, is that over the course of double elimination bracket the pins start to get pretty filled up with lead and become heavier and harder to knock over.

So while a fast, easy to shoot 357 load that works great for the beginning might cause you to not get the pins off the table by the last rounds come along. This is where the 44mag really shines.

Does anyone shoot pins and what have you found to be your Goldilocks?

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April 27, 2014, 10:27 PM
A. You got to hit it in the center of the "fat" part.
B. You got to be ready to handle the dreaded "head on" fall
C. Don't be afraid to double tap it
D. Speed isn't everything. You gotta hit it to take it off
I've cleaned the table in 2.7 seconds cocking a revolver for each shot. In our matches, the first shot starts the timer so there is no earthly reason to miss the first one.
A semiwadcutter beats a roundnose every time. Momentum is your friend. Heavier beats fast lighter.

April 27, 2014, 10:31 PM

A 110 grain .357 won't bring home any heavy gold plated metal, that's for sure!

The biggest, and sharpest shouldered bullet you can shoot well will though.


April 27, 2014, 10:42 PM
I have not shot matches but we have a pin factory in town we have got scrap from. 45acp and 44 mag are the way to go for sure. Squared bullets or wide mothed hollowpoints work well. Probably the best I have seen was a slug from a shotgun or a buffalo bullet from a muzzleloader. Try driving a heavy square bullet really fast and it's getting off that table in a hurry.

April 28, 2014, 10:22 AM
My best loads for pins:
45 acp....RCBS 45-255KT over 5.5 grains of Unique
9mm......147 grain truncated cone and 4.4 grains Unique
44 Special....Lyman 429421 and 7 grains Unique
44 Mag....same bullet and 17 gr. 2400
38 special....358156 and some Unique (don't have notes in front of me)
357 same bullet and 13.5 grains 2400
USE above loads ONLY after verifying in your own loading manuals that they are safe. I assume no responsibility for your use of my data.
Note...all are flat nose and sharp shouldered (except for the 9mm). I have used RCBS 38-150 KT in the nine but it doesn't feed in a lot of guns. Did in a P85 quite well.
I spent the better part of a winter trying bullets and loads on pins. Built a stand to hold a pin suspended by a stiff wire through the center of balance on two shallow v-blocks to see just where the pin would move when hit in various places.
Somewhere in the archives I have an article I wrote for folks who wanted to get into it. Just can't place my hands on it right now.

April 28, 2014, 05:30 PM
these send them flying off the table out of my 625JM.....

April 28, 2014, 05:50 PM
I`ve had good luck with a 44 mag.shooting 300 gr bullets as hot as I dare load it.Takes one shot per pin.

April 28, 2014, 09:32 PM
Wow - love those wad cutters! Do they have gas checks?

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