Help Me Decide on a .45

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Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by Barry Wilson on Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:06 am

Greetings. I am new to bullseye shooting...just went to my first competition last Saturday. Right now I'm only shooting in the .22 round because that's all I have. (It's a brand new Browning Buckmark Hunter 7.25.).  My next step is to get a .45.  From everything I've read...and from the advice I got from the fabulous shooter next to me at the competition, there's no such thing as an off-the-shelf .45 that is ready for bullseye.  I've heard they all need to be "accurized". The guy I was talking with went so far as to say it would be better to just go with a custom gun that would be built for bullseye.  Here are my questions:

1. Is it true that there are no ready-for-competition .45s on the market. (After reading another topic in this forum about the Colt Gold Cup I am beginning to believe it.)

2. What does "accurize" mean?

3. Are there any custom builders near me who build bullseye guns?  I live on a dirt road in the hinterlands of South Carolina. The cities nearest me are Anderson and Greenville. Next closest is Columbia. I'm a couple of hours from Asheville and Charlotte, North Carolina.

Many thanks!

Barry Wilson

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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by mspingeld on Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:11 am

First: Welcome to the obsession!

Accurize means taking a stock gun and "tweaking it" to make it accurate enough for bullseye. For example, tightening slide to frame fit, installing and fitting a match barrel & bushing, installing/fitting a better ignition system (sear/disconnect/trigger/hammer etc.) and more.

Others will answer your other questions but I wanted to let you know that many advanced shooters on this forum feel that, for a beginner, working on the fundamentals with the 22 for a while is beneficial. I've heard- up to a year -or- when you make expert -or- when you're consistently in the black at 25 yards. Something to think about before spending money on another gun. You can continue to shoot matches with the 22 only if you choose.

Hope I was helpful.

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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by Froneck on Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:12 am

It's true that there are no ready for competition from the brand name Gun makers. But I'm sure someone will argue that.
First determine how large your pocket book is and willing to spend on a target 45. There are a few High End gun makers out there and can ship to an FFL dealer near you. If you call one Lie about your classification, tell them your a High Master and want to up-grade your other high end gun, pick any name. Too many will sell something that is good but not the best to a new shooter but reserve their best for top shooters. Having the best pistol you can afford will help your shooting. Accurize simply means make it more accurate than it was before.
 The reason to have an accurate gun is so that it will shoot where it's pointed and is determined by group size. The bigger the group the less accurate the gun is. Lots of things will cause group size to increase including the ammo used.
When learning to shoot the smaller the group size the gun will produce when fired in something like a Ransom Rest is better because any shot outside that group is your error that you can see and correct. But if the gun has a very large group you may have shot a perfect X but if the gun prints it in the 6 ring you have no idea what you did was correct and attempt to correct a perfect shot. When you have a gun that will print on the target a small group and you do shoot a shot within that small group you will have what is called an Ah Ha moment. Simply put you did everything right, the score shows it and you will say to yourself AH HA that's how it's done. The road to a match win will be a series of Ah Ha moments.
 I edited simply to address the previous post.
 Yes working with a 22 is probably the best way to learn, ammo is cheaper, most are very accurate, recoil is less and so on. But you will have to get a 45 and shoot it too. It's really not fun to go to a 2700 and shoot only .22! I've mentioned in another post who my son Adam is, he shot at Camp Perry Team match when he was 10 years old, (If some wants to ask I'll tell you the long and boring story) following year he shot the entire match. I did have a Colt National Match .38 Special, he shot it one time, didn't like it so I built him a 45. When he was 18 he was shooting High Master scores.

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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by DavidR on Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:02 am

There are ready for bullseye guns . les baer and rock river both have them, champions choice has the bare's in stock, they run from 2000.00 for the baer to 2500.00 for the rock river arms direct from them, forum supporters like Accuracy X is another step up in cost at around 3500.00 and builder and forum supporter  KC Customs offer custom builds of your choice ( click his logo on home page for his website). If cost is a concern then a more affordable gun would be a Springfield range officer which is a good entry level gun with adjustable sights and it so happens a great and affordable gun smith named Dave Salyer lives in rock hill S..C and he can turn the RO into a true tack driver with kart barrel and bushing, trigger job, clark dot rail and all for around 700.00 more, or he offers a RO tuneup, where he tightens the bushing and adds the dot rail and trigger job and says it will take you to master class with no problem for only a few hundred bucks. his contact info is Dave Salyer 803-327-6902

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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by Dr.Don on Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:13 am

Salyer is a good guy.  I knew him when we both lived in VA in the 80's-90's.

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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by Froneck on Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:29 am

I wasn't referring to Bare and Rock River, they are smaller companies. I don't know much about Rock River but Baer assembles guns from purchased parts. I really don't think they make anything. Although I have heard or rummer has it that Baer's guns are not what they once were but. I don't know just passing that on for someone to research the validity of that rummer.
 I do my own work and make some guns for a select few.   So I don't worry about what I'm getting.
 I can tell you what not to get. Mountain Arms or something like that in PA makes junk! Guy is really a nice guy but doesn't know anything about gun making. Don't buy anything he makes.

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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by mspingeld on Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:48 am

I've got a Mountain Competition Pistol from the guy in PA. Ransomed at 1" at 50 yards and has been very reliable. Yes, he is a nice guy.

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Thank You!

Post by Barry Wilson on Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:06 am

Thank you to all who have responded. Let me follow up on a couple of things.

1. I've been training on my .22 since Summer of 2014 and have been going through the Winchester/NRA .22 Qualification levels since then.  They only hold the quals every 4 months but I'm up to Sharpshooter 1st bar. I just came in from a practice session and easily shot the next two bars in practice.

2.  Now that you mention the name Dave Salyer I do remember someone at the competition recommending him, but I couldn't remember his name. Thank you for the info.

3. So far the smartest thing I've done is get a little coaching from Dr. Joel Sexton who coaches the Citadel pistol team.  The guy is amazing!

4. Cost will, indeed, be a factor in my decision. I'm thinking it could be up to a year before I can save up the cash to buy anything Crying or Very sad

Barry Wilson

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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by Froneck on Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:17 am

mspingeld wrote:I've got a Mountain Competition Pistol from the guy in PA. Ransomed at 1" at 50 yards and has been very reliable. Yes, he is a nice guy.
1" at 50 yards? May I ask what ammo/bullet you tested it with?

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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by mspingeld on Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:23 am

Fronick, my long line load is 4.5 grains of N310 with a Nosler jacketed 185 competition bullet, new Starline brass. I use 4.1 with Zero swaged HP for the short line. I'm very happy with the gun. The only negatives are: it won't function reliably with less than 4.1 grains and I was getting light hits until I put in a 20 lb mainspring. Now it hums.

Also, he's difficult to communicate with. Doesn't respond to e-mail, doesn't return calls. The secret is to call him in the evening and don't bother to leave a message if you get the machine. Kind of frustrating but he's very smart and does build a good gun at a good price and I didn't have to wait a year (took a few months, start to finish)


Last edited by mspingeld on Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:25 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : more info)

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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by Froneck on Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:45 am

I Know Dr A well, He's a great guy, funded the trophies out of his pocket for the match in MD. He purchased some top end guns for the match too! My son Adam won the Infinity.
 Your testing it and getting every time a 1" group? That's better than most smiths would dream of doing!
  International AMU good shooter bought a ball gun from him, came with a 1" group target. AMU can't get it to shoot under 8".
 Can say more but I don't want to.

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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by mspingeld on Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:50 am

Can't say I tested it extensively. Started shooting matches this past Fall so 1 day of testing and 1 outdoor match. Then indoor season started. Bench rested, indoors, it will punch out the x-ring of the 25 yard timed fire target.

(sorry Barry for hijacking your post)

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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by Froneck on Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:03 pm

Barry Find a hole and start stuffing money into it. Don't look but put all your spare cash there including change! Keep watching posts on club boards, go to a match while there ask about 45. Lots of shooters sell them when they get older, you might find a great gun at a fraction of the price new. Often the shooter don't need the cash and wants to see the gun go to a good home. Look at that stash you might be able to make a good deposit. Even if you can't find that great deal eventually your stash will be large enough to get a good 45.

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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by Jerry Keefer on Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:26 pm

mspingeld wrote:I've got a Mountain Competition Pistol from the guy in PA. Ransomed at 1" at 50 yards and has been very reliable. Yes, he is a nice guy.
That's great..!!! There's a lot of that going around.. But, I am suspect, and as Froneck states, smiths that do this every day, and I know quite a few, don't see that.... Very Rarely does a barrel shoot that tight from a barrel tester...You are a lucky shooter... I'd never sell that gun..

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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by mspingeld on Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:35 pm

Jerry, Froneck, I plan to get to the outdoor range before my next outdoor match in April, to check the 50 yard zero of this gun. The ransom rest belongs to a friend but, if I can work it out, and get to use it again, I'll see how consistently it groups. Otherwise I'll zero it bench rested so that wouldn't be a good measure of consistent group size. Barry, Froneck's last post is a great idea, you could end up with a great gun at a great price. Don't worry about the extra cash in your pocket, this sport has many options for that!

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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by Froneck on Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:15 pm

I might add, you might want to test the gun again. My son Adam says that anyone can build a 45 that will shoot a good group one time but how long will it shoot. I started working on my guns because of that.
 I got a gun built, shot good! went to a few matches and slowly my score went down hill. Gun would not shoot good group, back again $100 and it's shooting good but a few matches and same thing, another $100. After a while I figured I could do the same thing and save $100. Getting tired of fixing my gun after a few matches I began looking for way way to make the accuracy last longer. Each time I did it I got better. I became friends with Floyd Aikman and George Madore both built guns for top shooters and gave me pointers. The last gun I built was for my son Adam, he shot the entire season with out 1 alibi plus it grouped well or Adam would have told me about it! When he went into the Army and was attached to the AMU he requested I send the 45 to him. Armorer looked a it as said it will not shoot good, did he want it worked on? Adam said NO! Armorer asked if it was OK to put in the rest to see how it did shoot, sure why not was Adams reply. Armorer brought Adam the target shot at 50 yards with a Box of Ammo. Adam still has the Target 50X. Not bad from a gun that can't shoot good he told the Armorer!
 So that is what a good gun will do, shoot all season and still shoot a great group.
 If it's still is shooting a good group then as Jerry said you got a great gun!

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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by Magnusbullets on Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:23 pm

Take the help from Joel he offers. He knows the game as well as anyone.
Dave Salyer close by. He and I go back to early 80's. He did two Springfield's for me last year. Just got a led baer back form kc for a buddy of mine. Nice job.

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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by Froneck on Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:24 pm

Seems to me Barry that Dave Salyer is the man you should talk to, might have an entry level gun that he can work out a deal with you. Later you can have him upgrade it to a tack driver.

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Great Info

Post by Barry Wilson on Sat Feb 28, 2015 4:33 am

You guys are great! Thanks for all the help. Next question... I'm getting the hots for a Springfield Range Officer, but I like red dot sights.  So far I've not been able to see how one could install a red dot on an RO and haven't found any info online.  Anyone have any info on this?

Barry Wilson

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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by CR10X on Sat Feb 28, 2015 5:26 am

Take a look at the sticky section above in the Equipment sections:

 Show Me Your Bullseye Pistols

You will see how dots are mounted. 

Then we can start another discussion of slide mount versus frame mount with numerous opinions and examples of which is best.  I'd suggest you try both out and see what you like.  If you can get to the Durham, NC matches (Durham Pistol and Rifle Club) or the Raleigh, NC (Sir Walter Gun Club) we can hook you up with either.  


Sorry, just noticed your location.  Try the Asheville or Charlotte matches, you'll see a lot of good shooters and their setups. Dave Salyer will generally be at the matches in your area. 

Tell Joel I said hello and look forward to seeing him again.

Download this if you want to,  I'll take it down in a couple of days. 

Cecil 


Last edited by CR10X on Sat Feb 28, 2015 6:08 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by Otiso on Sat Feb 28, 2015 6:02 am

I went the Dave Salyer route and was very pleased. I used a springfield mil spec as the base gun. The turn around time on in was less than a month. If I had it to do over again, I'd do the same thing.

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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by KevinB on Sat Feb 28, 2015 7:05 am

Great info, I'm moving to the Charlotte area later this year and have a Range Officer on the way. Guess I'll be giving Dave a call when I get there.

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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by Froneck on Sat Feb 28, 2015 7:33 am

Barry; That's a great offer CR10x made and if I were you I'd take him up on that. Go to those matches and look at those gun before deciding what you want. He has avoided telling you which way is best but stated correctly it's your preference. Slide mount or frame mount is like asking which is better Ford or Chevy! Back quite a while ago when the winner at Camp Perry used an Aimpoint it started the red dot sight use in Bullseye. Every year at Perry someone had a better mount, I like everyone else bought them because the newer version corrected problems that came up with the older versions. Eventually I made my own. (having a machine shop I can easily do that) and still use it. I'm not going to mention the type, as CR10X said that's for another topic. Remember your best advice will come from someone that been there, done that and has the Tee shirt!

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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by DavidR on Sat Feb 28, 2015 8:00 am

Dave Salyer will install a Clark scope/dot rail on a range officer for around 125.00 total  including part and labor.

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Kimber Gold Match ii

Post by Barry Wilson on Sat Mar 07, 2015 3:33 pm

In a recent conversation with someone whose opinions about guns I respect, he said the Kimber Gold Match ii would be the way to go.  With an MSRP of $1395.00 what sayest thou?

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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

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