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

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by obsessedwithrc, Oct 13, 2010.

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  1. obsessedwithrc

    obsessedwithrc Member

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    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
     
  2. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2010
  3. obsessedwithrc

    obsessedwithrc Member

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    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?
     
  4. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    (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.
     
  5. obsessedwithrc

    obsessedwithrc Member

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    Would a Glock model 22, 40 caliber be ok?
     
  6. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    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.
     
  7. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    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
     
  8. MrOldLude

    MrOldLude Member

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    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.
     
  9. Jed Carter

    Jed Carter Member

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    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.
     
  10. Marc257

    Marc257 Member

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    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.
     
  11. fractal7

    fractal7 Member

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    XDs

    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.
     
  12. Hk Dan

    Hk Dan Member

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    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.
     
  13. Magichelmt

    Magichelmt Member

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    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.
     
  14. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    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.
     
  15. Hk Dan

    Hk Dan Member

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    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!
     
  16. Bix

    Bix Member

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    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.
     
  17. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    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.
     
  18. Tilos

    Tilos Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2010
  19. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    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.
     
  20. Tilos

    Tilos Member

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    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.
     
  21. 68wj

    68wj Member

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    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.
     
  22. obsessedwithrc

    obsessedwithrc Member

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    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.
     
  23. Tilos

    Tilos Member

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    "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:eek:
    Continue on posting amongst yourselves.
     
  24. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    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! :)
     
  25. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    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.
     
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