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Race Guns

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Matt304, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. Matt304

    Matt304 Well-Known Member

    If I wanted to build a decent race gun over time, what would be something roughly $600 or thereabouts to start with? Something I can mount an Aimpoint on and with a good trigger.

    I just want to have something to practice with, and maybe someday compete. I do reload and hear a lot about 38 Super.
  2. burningsquirrels

    burningsquirrels Well-Known Member

    600 bucks to start and eventually add a red dot easily? glock.

    www.glockjockey.com i know them personally, and build guns for the biggest names.

    you can shoot production uspsa or whatever idpa's base division is. then over time, you can add a nice trigger and magwell, and shoot uspsa limited division. at the top, you can add a compensator and c-more and shoot uspsa open division.
  3. burningsquirrels

    burningsquirrels Well-Known Member

    38 super... brass is a b*tch if you're reloading. just stick to 9, 40, or 45.

    i see you also like 1911s.... but their price point for competitive shooting is higher than glocks. STI makes good single and double stacks, but you're going to pay up to double to set one up for limited or open division (optics/compensated) shooting.
  4. Matt304

    Matt304 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the advice.

    I didn't think Glocks were actually going to be what was recommended, but if you say so, I will consider it.

    I have a Colt 1911, but it is from the 70s and the bluing is crap on it. I'd rather just start with a fresh gun.
  5. burningsquirrels

    burningsquirrels Well-Known Member

    i'm not a glock fan, i choose CZs myself. but again - the nice thing about glocks is that there's so many parts out there and its' so common, that it's the cheapest/most convenient platform to shoot. is it the best? well, that's subjective. from a money standpoint, you can't lose.

    i deal with a lot of new shooters, helping to get them started in our sports. usually if money is a primary concern on their list, glock is just about the cheapest i recommend just to get someone shooting. but hey, price does not equal ability. youtube some of david sevigny's videos, you'll poop bricks when you see him shoot.

    this weekend at the southeast championships we had a 32 piece steel stage you run through. max michel, king of open guns, ran the stage in 29 seconds. todd jarrett, king of single stacks, ran it in 33. dave sevigny, with a limited-10 gun - shot a glock 35 (40 cal) with a trigger job, no magwell, in 27 seconds. holy crap!
  6. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Well-Known Member

    I'd go 1911 -- SA Mil Spec or Colt 1991 b/c they're great bases & you can build up from there....plus parts are readily available for anything you want done
  7. Gunfighter123

    Gunfighter123 Well-Known Member

    I agree with 10-Ring about his choice of 1911 style gun --- a great platform to build on.

    The .38 Super is a joy to reload for -- a few of my racegun Supers have 40 or 50 THOUSAND rounds thru them and they just keep working.

    A note ----- to load the 38 Super up to Major Power Factor for IPSC - you WILL NEED a gun with a RAMPED BARREL ---- most of the time , this option will be a custom barrel that MUST be fitted by a good gunsmith.

    2nd choice is something in .40 S&W as with the heavier bullet it is easy to make "Major " without a ramped barrel.
  8. burningsquirrels

    burningsquirrels Well-Known Member

    the 1911 based guns are great, but will cost more in the long run - especially open guns, at least imo.

    caliber is really based on what you want to do, since different shooting sports and classes/divisions require different things. for example, 9mm can run in both production and open divisions, but 40 cal works best in limited division... whereas 45 pretty much rules single stack and revolver. shooting steel challenge, well, the power factor is pretty low, and you just want to make a mark on the steel. 9mm would be the way to go there to keep the cost down, since it sounds like you're on a budget.

    in the end, it really comes down to what type of shooting you would like to do.
  9. earplug

    earplug Well-Known Member

    Save your money

    Buy it right the first time. Hardly anyone shoots a 45 acp in Open class.
    Last I checked 40 S&W was the leader in Open class shooting major.
    You might be able to start with a STI kit and build up from there. Or look around USPSA forums for a used gun.
  10. burningsquirrels

    burningsquirrels Well-Known Member

    in open, almost everyone shoots 9x19 or 38 super. 9x19 is cheap to load and the brass is easy. most use very fast powders with ligther 125 or so bullets to make the compensators work. the problem with 40 in open is capacity. 9 or 38 lets us load to 28 or more in our big sticks. 40 s&w rules the limited division though. 45 acp is usually left for the single stackers and revolver guys with their moon clipped 686s.

    that's why my last post is suggesting to really know what kind of shooting he'd do, because one caliber won't work for all... though 9mm works great since it's the cheapest to load if he doesn't have to make up his mind right away.
  11. CWL

    CWL Well-Known Member

    Sounds like the perfect "base" to build-up. $600 isn't much so you may as well use it to convert an existing pistol. .38 super and 1911s just go together.
  12. JImbothefiveth

    JImbothefiveth Well-Known Member

    A glock will probably never be able to have a trigger like the 1911.
  13. burningsquirrels

    burningsquirrels Well-Known Member

    onyl problem with that is his gun would only be good for limited 10 and single stack, neither of which let 38 super make major. but if he were to use it in something else such as silhouette or bullseye or ipda adn such, keeping it stock and shooting as-is would be better.

    a glock can have a 1911 trigger, you just end up bumping into limited division. ask jessie abbate and the website i referenced earlier, they can make a very short pull, very short reset, that is pretty much like a 1911 trigger with a 1-1.5# pull. jessie used to shoot STI, but moved to glocks. john nagel (of SJC) built her glocks and the triggers he set up are dead-on.

    again, main reason i say glock is because they are relatively inexpensive, cheap to shoot in 9mm, and gives him something to shoot while he gets started. once he becomes more involved, he will either build it up a different way or even go another route.

    most important thing about sport shooting isn't figure out what to buy right away, but to just get started, period. once you're in, you'll be able to see what you want to shoot, and what other people in the same type of sport are shooting from there, you'll be able to make a much better decision. i personally don't like glocks, but i can't discount that they are the most flexible platform next to a 1911 out there. pretty mcuh the only time you can't use a 1911 is GSSF events and production division or other places where SAO isn't allowed... only place you can't use a glock is 1911-only events like heavy metal class in 3-gun or in the signle stack division. the two are very similar, but from a cost standpoint, i recommend glock.
  14. LancerMW

    LancerMW Well-Known Member

    just buy an STI TruBor lol
  15. Drail

    Drail Well-Known Member

    I would build and customize that old Colt and have it hard chromed when it is finished. Learn to shoot fast and accurately with open sights and don't become dependent on a battery powered sight at first.
  16. weisse52

    weisse52 Well-Known Member

    I will be glad to take that crap Colt off your hands, give you more money to put down on that race gun...:evil:
  17. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

    Open class is where the big money plays. I'm somewhat of the opinion that if you're going to make that leap, drop the big upfront cash required for a properly built gun right out of the gate.

    If you're dead set on working up to Open with a starting budget of $600, go Glock, EAA, CZ, or possibly Para Ordnance.

    Since budget is an issue, look at picking up a barrel that will allow you to load and shoot 9mm Major loads.
  18. burningsquirrels

    burningsquirrels Well-Known Member

    hate to say it, but CZ ain't cheap to make open. glock, eaa, and para (doublestack frame) is cheaper and more common to make open.

    like i said, just get started with something, and as time goes on, you'll see what it is you like to shoot and what direction you'll move in.
  19. Matt304

    Matt304 Well-Known Member

    OK, it looks like I need to figure out what I want to do exactly.

    I think I want to start with a Glock, unmodified, and slowly build on that. I'm not sure if I'll ever compete, or just practice personally. I would like to compete, but not sure when the time will be right for me.

    I looked at Glockjockey and am impressed at what is available for the Glocks. I never realized what sort of things you could do with them. Of course I am drooling at STI's site too, but those can only be a dream for me.

    I have no idea what sort of competition I would be considering specifically. I had always thought about doing the fast steel silohuette shooting. But maybe that would be tough for me at first.

    It sounds as though I need to get the Glock in 9x19, which is considered a "major"? I've never heard of these major and minor terms used before. Is there a specific Glock model I should be looking at?

    Thanks again
  20. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

    The right time for you to compete is at the very next match in your area. Don't worry about whether you have the right gear, or are a good enough shooter, or any of that stuff. Just go. I promise you'll have a good time.

    Well, if you're wanting an Open-class race gun, that pretty much says either IPSC or Steel Challenge. Race guns aren't allowed in IDPA, and would be impractical for other games like Bullseye.

    If you're talking about Steel Challenge, that's about the best form of action/practical kind of competition you can pick to start with. Local matches, at least around here, are about the most laid-back match I've attended. The rules are very simple, the stages aren't hard to run, and it's an absolute blast. Also, the rules governing what kind of gun you can shoot are very open and include everything from rimfire to IDPA to IPSC to Cowboy guns. If you've got a gun and a few magazines, you've got the gear to compete.

    *warning: boring stuff about IPSC rules to follow. You can skip this if you want.*

    Ok, in IPSC, they break calibers down along the lines of what they call Major and Minor. Basically, it's an equation that takes into account bullet diameter, weight, and velocity to arrive at a number called a power factor. Guns that make Major power factor receive more favorable scoring than those in minor. Standard 9mm loads don't have the numbers to make major, so you have to shoot more accurately than the guys shooting major. In the last few years, some guys have begun loading 9mm ammunition with a greater overall length than reloading manuals specify. By doing so, they can get extra case capacity for more powder, which allows them to make major classification with a 9mm. However, in order shoot these rounds, you have to have a custom-made barrel.

    But that's really all kind of superfluous. If you've never shot a match before, don't worry about that stuff. Grab your gear, go to a match, and run what ya brung.

    I know a guy who shoots an Open Glock, but couldn't tell you what caliber it's in offhand. Most likely either 9mm or .40SW

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