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"Next gun" advice from you experienced folk

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by Igloodude, Sep 2, 2017.

  1. Igloodude

    Igloodude Member

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    I've been away from competition shooting (my only trigger-pulling has been taking newbies to the range) for several years now, and my only competition has been Bullseye. I got back into a local casual .22 Bullseye league, and it's fun, but routine now. And apparently they started allowing using both hands. Anyway, the local club is also doing action pistol, and I watched and then participated in a local USPSA match. Okay, I'm hooked, it was a lot of fun - and coming in 24th out of 32 with my Bullseye hardball gun and fishing magazines out of my pocket to reload didn't hurt a bit. :D It was a bit of a surprise to find out that factory .45ACP hardball is a minor power factor in USPSA alongside the 9mms, though. (Edit: and it turned out that that info was incorrect, anyway)

    Anyway, unwarranted snarkiness aside, I've been looking for a while at getting a doublestack 10mm of some flavor. I like the 1911 style, and aside from .380 carry guns my safe has only .22LR and various guns in .45ACP: hardball 1911, bullseye 1911 w/dots, a revolver, and a carbine. I'm not opposed to Glocks, but the restrictions on reloads (I have a Dillon progressive) and preference for exceptionally tight-grouping pistols has previously left them out of the running even if I wanted to get away from single-action. I've read the Gen5s coming out have barrels that don't lead up so much and do 4" at 50yds, which brings them back into the picture, and there are aftermarket non-polygonal barrels for Glocks anyway.

    So my question is, if I'm going to get more into USPSA and bowling pin matches (steel challenge too, but no power factor issues there), and wanting to shoot major PF in USPSA and certainly the more oomph the merrier in bowling pin, what would you recommend? Yes, getting a heavier spring for the 1911 and getting hotter loads out of the Dillon is an option too, but I have a hankering for another gun and a birthday coming up... :evil:
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
  2. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    No. I don't know who told you that, and I don't know what you are putting in your hardball gun, but it is not so by the usual definition.
    Real hardball is a 230 at 850, power factor 186 where 165+ is Major.
    Midrange .45, say a 185 at 750, power factor 138 is minor where 125-164.99 is Minor. I shoot .45 Minor for IDPA ESP and occasional USPSA... except I have some 200s at 850, power factor 170 Major that I am going to use today to see if I can get back some recoil control.

    10mm is a niche caliber, not seen in USPSA or Steel and I don't think worth the trouble in pinshooting.

    I think your hardball gun, reloads just sufficient to make comfortable Major power factor 170-175 and still lighter than factory or GI, holster and mag carriers sufficient for about 40 rounds will get you well on your way. That will have you shooting in Single Stack at a low capital cost for gear.

    If you want to expand, talk to established shooters. The two most popular Divisions in USPSA at present seem to be Limited and Production. Limited commonly shot with a double stack .40 like a STI Edge and Production shot with a Glock or other tricky trigger or DA/SA 9mm.
     
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  3. 25-5

    25-5 Member

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    Thanks Jim for the clarification. It's been over 30yrs since my last IPSC match and the OP's "major" remark had me wondering how rules could have changed since .45 was king.
    I shot steel and pins. One pretty much practice for the other. Series 70 1911 and eight rounds is more than you need for pins. Oft times too many, time wise. Depending who showed up, five was too slow and you were out of the money.
     
  4. Igloodude

    Igloodude Member

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    Thanks!! I just did some additional digging (finding things like https://www.ssusa.org/articles/2016/1/27/understanding-the-power-factor/ noting "While the .45 ACP and .40 S&W are normally considered Major calibers..."), emailed the match check-in guy, and he did some review himself and conceded his mistake.

    So much for the potential 10mm, then. I'll wait for some other reason to need more than eight rounds per mag and more than 45's oomph.

    Edit: and if I'm calculating the scoring correctly, I just went from 24th to 18th in the match I shot. :cool:
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
  5. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Well, 10mm certainly can work in USPSA, but you'd need to handload it down to .40-ish levels. I know of one moron that does that, but it does mean you get the same kind of keep-your-brass issues as someone shooting 38 Super in an open gun.

    I'm the moron, BTW. There are some good things about it, but 40 is so much easier to deal with that this is the way to go.
     
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  6. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    If you want to start USPSA regularly and get a dedicated gun, go to a few more matches and pay attention to people that are using dedicated gear. See what they have, and see which division interests you the most. THEN, once you have decided that, start acquiring gear that is more optimized for that division. In general:

    Production - 9mm, minor only, DA/SA or striker guns, minimal gun mods, 10 rounds in the gun.
    Limited - Big heavy double stack .40, Iron sights. ~22 rounds in the gun.
    Open - Double stack 2011 38 Super or 9mm major, red dot, comp, etc. ~30 rounds in the gun.
    Single stack - single stack 1911 in 9mm or .40/.45. 10 or 8 rounds in the gun depending on whether you select minor or major.

    Is this match really run according to USPSA rules? The fact that you could finish not DFL fishing mags out of your pocket, and the fact that match sign up guy didn't know that .45 would normally be major, makes me wonder. Maybe hit the club finder on the USPSA website and see if there are any others in the area you could try.

    Niche caliber like 10mm or 357sig or something is going to be all fun and games until it comes time to buy expensive brass all the time, because you will never recover a large percentage of it when it is mixed in with everything else at a match.
     
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  7. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Yes, although that just puts you in the same boat as the Open guys running 38 SC!

    But what you get in exchange for this hassle is less. It's nothing for .357 SIG and, with 10mm, it is at most the ability to use a super-heavy (e.g., 220 grain bullet) with a tiny charge of fast powder and still make major. I'm currently doing the latter for historical reasons, but would not urge it overall because of the cost/hassle factor you ID.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2017
  8. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    That's why I'm too poor to shoot Open.
     
  9. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Open is definitely a rich man's game. Need 2-3 blasters, because one will always be down. Need 2-3 backup C-Mores for the same reason. Either need expensive brass (38 super/SC/TJ) or very good health insurance (9mm major). Can't put that thing in kydex, will need a rotation of blinging race holsters with penguins and magnets and whatnot. Gonna need a custom-welded big-stick mag or two, and replace those dedicated springs every other month. And then you'll need to chip in for hearing aids for anyone who has RO'ed you indoors...
     
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  10. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    Really good advice here. especially about the fancy brass.

    When I shoot USPSA I just take the Sig that Pops got me years ago (happens to be a 40) and have myself a grand ole time.

    You should still get a double stack 10mm, but not necessarily for the USPSA game. Its just that everybody needs a 10mm of some kind.

    If it was me, and I was in your shoes (looking for a new gun) I would get into Single Stack with a 45acp gun.
    I have been eyeing a Dan Wesson 1911 for ~3yrs now... Someday...
     
  11. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    heck that goes for us innocent bystanders/squad members too. :eek:



    As for the OP.. pick what division you want to shoot first. then pick your gun.
     
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  12. Igloodude

    Igloodude Member

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    First, that's a really really clear summary, thanks for laying it out that way. :thumbup:

    I've pretty much settled on staying in Single stack with my hardball .45, since I'm already reloading that caliber (and have a ton of brass accumulated), have the minimum equipment, and it's appealing to be able to shoot one gun across several disciplines. Though I'll keep an open mind, the two most likely options in the longer term are:
    -I end up getting a dedicated action pistol 1911 (if I recall, NRA Bullseye Hardball has substantial restrictions on the gun like no extended buttons, no beavertail, etc) and I work up a major-PF load that is still less recoil than factory and stay in SS
    -I get a raise at work, decide that changing magazines is meh, get a doublestack 10mm (or just .40) and holster/mags/reloading dies and start in Limited.

    And as near as I can tell, it's a legit match - they're reporting the classifier match to USPSA, anyway. There's a couple other local (sub-hour drives away) clubs that host matches, and I'll be hitting one or two of them this fall, weather- and work-permitting.
     
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  13. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I'm not a Glock fan but every gun has its place. Glock makes a G35 Competition model for the long slide G24 in 40 S&W and both do well in competition. You can get back into competition without spending a ton of cash and after market support is everywhere. Once you get back into it you can see what the top tier shooters are using and possibly go that way.

    Like Sig handguns and they have a 1911 Match gun in 40 S&W that looks great.
    It's just me thinking out loud.
     
  14. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    Limited:
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    CZ Tac Sport Orange (.40).

    Glock 41 is you want to run a double stack .45 on the cheap. I wouldn't let a box of jacketed bullets keep you from loving this gun.

    The 2011's are a bit too expensive IMO. And the CZ TSO is very good at half their price. Those are my favorites. In the meantime, continue shooting single stack with your 1911 to get a feel for what the other classes are running.
     
  15. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    yet you will tie one arm behind your back with the limited capacity.


    Good call on the CZ TS... It basically relegated my G35 to backup only, and it hasnt seen daylight in who knows how long.. :)
    Although when all said and done, mine wasnt much cheaper than a STI 2011 after adding all the bells and whistles and mags/extensions.
    GcX7uFU.jpg
     
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  16. Old Guy

    Old Guy Member

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    IDPA is the better of the two, I use my carry Gen 4 Glock 19. With TruGlo night sights. Two magazines on the belt, 10 rounds each of 9mm. Ten round mag in pistol, plus an other round in the pipe.
    Any cheap factory round will do. I use the same holster I carry with, Florida shirt for concealment, I have lots of them. Look up the IDPA rules, watch a match or two, great fun.
     
  17. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    The best laughs are the ones you didn't expect.

    For USPSA I shoot "major" 9mm, 38 super, 40 s&w and 45 ACP. Only time I shoot minor is in production, where it can't effect scores.
     
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