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Target Pistol Recommendation

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by U.S.SFC_RET, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. U.S.SFC_RET

    U.S.SFC_RET Member

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    You might have seen a couple of posts here in the competition shooting section so here goes.
    I am outgrowing a Ruger MK IV pistol with a Volquartsen trigger. Look it shoots great and as an entry level competition pistol it held up to my expectations.
    I am shooting up to the pistol's potential and in the market for another type of pistol; However I don't know squat about these other pistol types like..
    1. Smith and Wesson Model 41 I hear that this model is finicky with ammunition.
    2. High Standard, so much stuff swirling around the inter webs... Help me out.
    3. Hammerli and variants of Hammerli....
    To be honest I don't know what I am doing and I am in the market for a pistol at a higher level.
     
  2. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    My buddy has two 41's and at least one extra barrel. Both are finicky. When they are feeding good, they are nice to shoot and very accurate. Their triggers are fantastic. However, I find a slicked up Ruger MK to have nearly as good of a trigger and every bit as accurate....I don't really consider a 41 an upgrade.
     
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  3. Taurus 617 CCW

    Taurus 617 CCW Member

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    Take a loom at the Volquartsen Scorpion line of pistols. Inhave seen a few competetion folks use them with great success.
     
  4. ICE1210

    ICE1210 Member

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    I love my S&W 41, it doesn't like standard velocity ammo. It does quite well with high velocity ammo. Its one of the guns I intend to keep for life.
     
  5. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Pardini SP Bullseye Edition, cal.22 LR $2450. Never had one.

    http://www.bullseyeforum.net/t9393-high-end-pistols

    Having had Ruger, High Standard Trophy and Victor models, along with the S&W 41 , its more the shooter then the gun.

    I did learn years ago, that a high grade gun, thats full adjustable, like a Feinwerkbau 65 air pistol can make a difference in scores.

    In Bullseye pistol, only a high master may see a difference using a high dollar firearm.
     
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  6. earplug

    earplug Member

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    If your don't do your own gunsmithing, talk to your local gunsmith for some advice.
    I have owned and competed with:
    High Standard which is magazine and spring sensitive and hard to work the action if you scope it. Rear sight gets in the way. Trigger and overall fit and balance is great. I'd be tempted to get a optic ready version and a aftermarket alloy sleeved barrel to shot a red dot if I was starting over.
    S&W 41. Easy to operate, Easy to scope or change barrels. Magazines are good. Its to heavy for my bum shoulder. Some of the fire control parts are unavailable if you need to work on the trigger.
    Marvel conversion, easy 1911 fire control parts availability and easy to scope or shoot irons. I have had good warranty work. No slide stop and the new plastic magazines are a crap shoot for me. Colt ACE magazines work fine at $100.00 each.
    Recently bought a Buckmark so I can shoot bulk ammo reliably with inexpensive magazines. Everything works and magazines and parts are inexpensive to buy if you want to try your own action jobs. My eyes and body can't shoot to its potential. After market barrels available. Have to take it apart to change barrels.
    Ruger, I have never owned. As the barrel is the receiver it gets costly to swap.
    I'd stay clear of any battery dependent trigger system unless you live near the fix it store.
    I'd love to own a Hammeli.
     
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  7. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    My M41 was 100% with CCI SV over last season's steel matches and practice. I have read that the serious Bullseye shooter will have it relined for best accuracy.

    I have two good clips for the HS, no aftermarket is usable in mine but a friend's does just fine with gun show specials. I got FLG to put a cocking handle on the slide.
     
  8. U.S.SFC_RET

    U.S.SFC_RET Member

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    Guys I want to thank you for your input. I know my scores can improve even with the Ruger MKIV that I have. There will come a time when I must perform an upgrade.
     
  9. Hoser

    Hoser Moderator

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    Exactly what flavor of competition are you wanting to shoot?

    Bullseye?
    Steel Challenge?
    STC?

    Whats your budget?

    Optics or irons for sights?

    Lots of these details will drive answers.
     
  10. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    if you are shooting Bullseye it should be mentioned that ruger will carry you through master.
     
  11. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    I would generally recommend the 41 over a Ruger for the first pistol for Bullseye, but always recommend one of the imports as the second pistol. By the time you outshoot a Ruger, you’re not far from outshooting the S&W M41, so your next real level is in the hammerli/Pardini/feinwerkbau/etc.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2018
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  12. Mike OTDP

    Mike OTDP Member

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    I agree with Varminterror. The S&W 41 is better than a Ruger, but by the time you're pushing a Ruger to its limits, it's time to step up to a European Olympic-grade pistol. Right now, the Pardini is the favorite, with the Feinwerkbau AW93 probably in second position. The Hammerli 208s is highly prized, but they haven't been made in about ten years.
     
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  13. U.S.SFC_RET

    U.S.SFC_RET Member

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    I am learning quite a few things and it is never too late to be considered ignorant. I shoot indoor precision with a red dot and I would love to compete. I shoot OK and know that I am improving, just not as fast as I would like. With the Ruger MK IV I an closing in on shooting 8s, 9s and 10s indoors B2 Target and doing this single handed like you are supposed to. On a good day its 8s and up and on a very good day its 9s and up..
    I feel like I still have work to do.
     
  14. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    The best place to do that work is on the range, shoulder to shoulder with other shooters.
    The saddest words of the gunboard are "I have to practice to get good enough to compete." Wrong.
     
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  15. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    I shoot USPSA, not bullseye, but I have to agree with what Jim just wrote. You will likely learn/improve more in your first 6 months of competing than you will in 3 years of practicing alone.
     
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  16. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    Just curious - what does this mean to you? To me, it means you're shooting unsupported groups that are the same size as Ransom rest groups. IOW, you're perfect, and the only inaccuracy lies with the gun & ammo.

    This would be my choice. Matter of fact, if I knew I was going to stick with the sport, I'd likely spring for one right up front, and pretty quickly after starting.

    Depends on what you want out of competition. Absolutely nothing wrong with just showing up to shoot, but IMO, if you know ahead of time you want to actually excel in a particular discipline, there's a lot to be said for practicing a bunch to get the fundamentals down solidly before actually competing.
     
  17. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    One thing to consider - your grips. It’s amazing how much difference a good set of custom ortho’s can make.
     
  18. thomas15

    thomas15 Member

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    I'm curious, would it make more sense for a beginner considering Bullseye competition that already had a rimfire (even if it is a Ruger) to look into getting a centerfire/45 gun first?
     
  19. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Gil Hebard wrote that you could start out with an Iver Johnson in a shoebox.
    I think these days you should sound out the club. Would you be made welcome to shoot smallbore only?
     
  20. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    I can speak to some of this from experience. I own three 22 pistols I shot bullseye with.

    High Standard. Shoots better than me. magazines are finicky. It became a safe queen because of the magazine issue.

    Ruger. MKII. Shoots better than me. very reliable. Decent trigger that could be improved with an aftermarket trigger.

    M41. What I have been shooting the last 10 years or so. Very reliable and more accurate than me. I shoot Federal automatch these days because I was able to get it when other stuff was not available.

    Several guys in the league I shoot in have 22LR uppers for their 45ACP pistols. They put the 22 upper on to shoot the 22 match and the 45 upper to shoot the centerfire and 45 matches. has the advantage of only learning one grip.
     
  21. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I have been shooting a S&W M46 and a Ruger MKII in Bullseye Competition.

    I shoot better scores with the M46

    HTsKjB7.jpg

    I believe it is due to a better trigger, less over travel, better hand placement than the Ruger MKII. My M46 recoils differently and that does not disturb my aim as much as the Ruger.

    XDe298d.jpg

    According to an article I read, Ruger did design the MKI to be used as a Bullseye pistol, and I do believe the Ruger MKI, MkII, and MKIII are inherently accurate pistols. I am regularly out shot by competitors who have added Volquartsen parts or have up graded their Ruger pistols with Volquartsen uppers and bolts. Not that I think that is making the difference.

    In terms of accuracy, I believe both pistols are capable of similar accuracy if shot with their favorite ammunition. This is important, you have to test a rimfire with different ammunition to find the brand that shoots best, and for top flight accuracy, it depends on the ammunition lot. Small bore prone shooters often have their rifles lot tested. I am of the opinion that the best machine rest groups with either pistol will be well inside the hold of any human.

    There are examples of tight chambers on M41's, that can be cleaned up with a reamer. Ruger factory pistols tend to have larger chambers, because the average shooter is shooting the cheapest ammunition around. Both of these pistols have outstanding, durable, magazines. That is critically important, and the fact you can buy them. Try finding High Standard magazines. High Standard pistol were a popular Bullseye pistol, but they out of production, parts are very expensive.

    I do prefer the M41/M46 for clean up. The M41 is so simple, pull the slide back, pull down on the trigger guard, the top comes off. It is far easy to disassemble and reassemble the barrel, chamber, slide, frame.

    In terms of reliability, there are examples of both pistols on the firing line that have been used for decades in Bullseye Competition. Keep them clean and oiled, it will take tens of thousands of rounds, before anything goes wrong. The M41 is not finicky at all, it is a highly reliable action. All the shooters I know who are using it are shooting standard velocity ammunition, high velocity has a reputation of beating up the pistol.

    Older shooters talk about High Standard pistols, occasionally I see one on the firing line. Magazines are so over priced that owners generally keep them home.

    The guy shooting this pistol is a two time Bullseye National Champion

    eQ5WbJU.jpg

    He shot this, ninety rounds composite group, on a 25 yard reduced course. All shots were at 25 yards.

    J7nmpNq.jpg

    He shot this, with the same pistol, at 50 yards, 25 yards, at CMP Talladega. The ten ring is four inches in diameter at 25 and 50 yards. So, see if you can place ten shots within four inches at fifty yards, standing on your feet, holding your pistol in one hand. I can't. I currently am very happy to keep all my 50 yard shots on the repair center.

    OamtSYz.jpg
     
  22. Pete D.

    Pete D. Member

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    I know that is true...I have shot my best slow fire target with a Ruger. BUT....in all of my years of Bullseye competition, I have never seen a master class shooter using a Ruger. I also have not seen every Master class shooter in the country. So It is surely possible but not at all common.
    Myself....I have gone to .22 Conversions for my 1911. I have two...a Nelson and a Marvel. They both shoot better than I do.

    Slamfire: thanks for those target pics. Watching those guys shoot is magical.
    Note: the 10 ring on the B6 50 yd. SF target is smaller than four inches...3.36”. Same for the 25 yd. B8.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2018
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  23. rskent

    rskent Member

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    If you know what to practice, yes. Unless you can look at your technique objectively and honestly, I think you are better off finding a mentor. I can think of no better place to find one than a match.
    I don’t shoot bullseye, but at high-power matches I try to position myself (if possible) next to the better shooters. I have been helped so much. And if someone is struggling with something, I always try to help.
    Just being around other shooters is helpful. Watching their shot processes, their equipment, how they approach the game, its all good.
    Once you understand what you are looking for then practice on your own. If I want to shoot good scores I know I have to practice. I have to do daily holding exercise’s and dryfire a match at least once a week. If I practice and don’t screw up, I shoot good scores. If I don’t, I don’t. I did not start out knowing what I needed to practice. I had to find a mentor to teach me. Luckily finding mentors at a match is easy. Just go to a match or two and ask a question or two.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
  24. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    Like other target events, the CoF and targets for High Power shooting is pre-defined, so, it’s a straightforward thing to practice for HP ahead of time. Aside from the actual shooting, practicing getting your gear & scope situated is a biggie, as is getting familiar and comfortable with sight settings.

    In action shooting, the courses of fire will all be novel, but practicing basic gun handling skills helps a bunch. More to the point, though, having a firm grasp of shooting fundamentals is required in action shooting as well, so the shooter who goes into runNgun competition with strong marksmanship skills is at a big advantage.

    In all cases, though, the shooter would be well-advised to read the rule book ahead of time ;)
     
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  25. thomas15

    thomas15 Member

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    As MrBorland has mentioned #16 I believe that if you know you are going to stake a claim in a particular cof then get the absolute best you can afford, the sooner the better. Just because shooter XYZ is better and shoots lower cost brand X is no reason for you to hold back on the hardware. This is recreation and there is nothing wrong with have good stuff because it is all about having a nice day and hopefully overall improving our marksmanship skills.

    After my first year shooting local steel matches in revolver I took the plunge and dropped down some serious coin on a complete set-up and then continued to suck royally for the next year. Right now I'm using the same tackle as the top revo shooters in the country in Steel Challenge. And not just the hardware, also holsters, belts, moon clips, I even use the same handloads. I'm a solid B shooter (which is still in the suck environment), and is nothing to brag about but the reality is the last thing holding me back is my stuff. So any improvement is due strictly to my efforts.
     
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