Help Me Decide on a .45

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Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by Barry Wilson on 2/27/2015, 9:06 am

First topic message reminder :

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!
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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by Jon Eulette on 3/7/2015, 4:43 pm

Kimber is low on my list of potential BE pistols. I've been building BE pistols for many years and Kimbers just aren't worth the money in my opinion. They are a pain in the rear to work on as well. 
Jon
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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by Jerry Keefer on 3/7/2015, 4:58 pm

Jon Eulette wrote:Kimber is low on my list of potential BE pistols. I've been building BE pistols for many years and Kimbers just aren't worth the money in my opinion. They are a pain in the rear to work on as well. 
Jon
^^^^^^^+1
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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by Rob Kovach on 3/7/2015, 4:59 pm

If you are really chomping at the bit to buy something on a smaller budget, it's gotta be a Springfield Range Officer for $725. You can shoot it and get good while you are saving up for a custom gun, a used bullseye gun, or have it be the base gun for it to be accurized.

Even if you decide it's not the right gun for you, you can sell it in an instant for $700. How can you go wrong with that?
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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by LenV on 3/7/2015, 5:13 pm

There is another lesser talked about choice. This is about as basic as a BE 45 comes. They are pretty Spartan but they have some loyal supporters. There are 3 going for 525.00 right now on Gunbroker. I would go for the Range Officer but this might fit the budget better.

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=471292190
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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by Jon Eulette on 3/7/2015, 5:26 pm

I prefer the STI over the Kimber. Very nicely machined with quality parts. Add a Kart barrel later and very nice BE pistol. 
Jon
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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by Rob Kovach on 3/7/2015, 5:43 pm

Jon,
Do all STI's come with that fiber optic front sight? Can you order a black target front sight from STI and replace it yourself?
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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by Jon Eulette on 3/7/2015, 5:45 pm

Dawson precision sells sights for it. Not sure if all of them have the fiber optic.  
Jon
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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by Dr.Don on 3/7/2015, 7:08 pm

Rather than put out $1400 for a Kimber, get the Range Officer for $700-800 and spend the rest of it with Dave Salyer or some other good Bullseye smith.  It is difficult for "gun people" who have neither shot Bullseye nor built Bullseye guns to give good advice on this subject.  It is a niche, and experience really is required for the advice to be of much value.

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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by Jerry Keefer on 3/7/2015, 8:58 pm

One of the main things I look for when putting one together, is the machine quality of the upper lugs. The STIs that I have done, had the best upper lugs I have seen from a mass produced gun..They also shot some of the very best ransom groups I have ever gotten .. The more radial contact you have, the better the gun will group.
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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by IDescribe on 3/7/2015, 9:44 pm

I know plenty of people whose opinions on guns I respect in general.  Unfortunately, none of them are bullseye experts, so their opinions on bullseye guns aren't of much value to me.  

Kimber makes nice 1911's, though I wouldn't personally start a bullseye project with a pistol with an FPB.  Also, if you compare it to a cheaper model up front, like a Springfield RO, the Kimber might might MIGHT be a smidge more accurate up front (or might not), but once a smith has worked the respective pistols over, the Kimber's advantage, if there was one, is lost, making you wonder what you paid the price premium for. Wink

I know 70 series Colts, e-series Smith&Wessons, Dan Wessons, and Springfield 1911's all lack firing pin blocks.  Then you have your semi-customs like Les Baer.  In your shoes, my choice would be to start with one of those.  If you're going to start with one of the ones above, the Springfield Range Officer can be had for $700-750, will have better than average fitting out of the box, higher grade than their mil-specs, and is one of the most popular starter platforms for a bullseye pistol for very good reason. 

I actually have a personal fondness for Smith & Wesson 1911's AND Dan Wesson 1911's, but if I were starting a project tomorrow, I would probably start with a Range Officer, and if I were making a recommendation to a friend, I would DEFINITELY recommend starting with a Range Officer if they didn't have the money to do a custom purpose-built wadgun up front.

Don't listen to me, though.  I'm not a bullseye expert.  Wink

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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by Froneck on 3/7/2015, 10:00 pm

I'm not impressed with Kimber. Guy at my club bought the Gold Match but then decides that Bullseye wasn't for him so he's selling it at 1/2 price. My other son Frank Jr. wanted a 45 so at the price it seemed like a good deal. Actually it was, couldn't get the parts to build one for $500. However it did not shoot good. Changed the bushing, spray welded the lower lug and hood refitted the barrel in the gun with a shorter link. Was able to get 3" at 50yards with it. Probably changing the barrel would have reduced the group size but Frank was happy with it. still has it and it's still shooting good But I wouldn't get one at top dollar! Before buying talk to Sayler, he might have a gun he can set you up with at a lower cost and you will be way ahead, if anything talk is cheap and you will come away with an idea of what a good gun will cost you.

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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by KenO on 3/8/2015, 8:04 pm

Just a question to the Pistolsmiths here.... I see the preference to the platform by each (STI, Caspian, RO, etc.). Why don't you stock what you like working with, instead of wanting the new shooter to send one in, and getting something that's hard to bring up to your standards?

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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by Wobbley on 3/8/2015, 8:32 pm

Jim Clark does that (or used to), but I seem to recall that the person on the phone said far more people sent them a gun for them to convert.  This was in 1990.

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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by kgs113 on 3/8/2015, 9:33 pm

I'm happy with my Range Officer.
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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by DavidR on 3/8/2015, 9:37 pm

Just had a  range officer accurized by Dave Salyer watch for my report tomorrow
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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by KevinB on 3/8/2015, 10:03 pm

Looking forward to it, I'm moving to his area soon and have a RO on the way.

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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by Froneck on 3/9/2015, 6:04 am

KenO wrote:Just a question to the Pistolsmiths here.... I see the preference to the platform by each (STI, Caspian, RO, etc.). Why don't you stock what you like working with, instead of wanting the new shooter to send one in, and getting something that's hard to bring up to your standards?
Simple, as you see here many have suggestions as to what gun is good. The new shooter runs out and buys one and finds it don't shoot to his standards. Being stuck with a poor shooting gun he goes to a gunsmith to have it accurized.  Also many think they are experts in the field and want what They thinks is best. Also many small town Gunsmiths really don't know that much about making an accurate bullseye pistol.
 So as I mentioned before if your interested in a good shooting pistol, ask about a good gunsmith and go to one that has been building bullseye guns for the top shooters and ask him what he suggests is best way to make a tack driving Bullseye Competition Pistol if your interested in a entry level gun. Nothing wrong with looking at something and like it very much realizing it will have to go to a smith to be accurized. Over all cost might be slightly higher but you understood that when getting that new toy. Getting a great gun at the lowest cost possible would be to go to a smith that has a reputation of building great guns and get his advise!

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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by LenV on 3/9/2015, 10:08 am

Just a question to the Pistolsmiths here.... I see the preference to the platform by each (STI, Caspian, RO, etc.). Why don't you stock what you like working with, instead of wanting the new shooter to send one in, and getting something that's hard to bring up to your standards.





There are several other problems with that approach that you need to consider. I am not a gunsmith but I do custom work (dba.Len's custom pots). 1. If you choose a pistol to keep in stock it will never be the one the customer wants. 2. Inventory is expensive. 3. The gunsmith becomes a assembly line worker and not an artist. 4. Not a problem I have but the Gunsmith also has to do everything through an FFL.

Len   (pots= crab traps, prawn traps and cod traps)
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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by DavidR on 3/9/2015, 10:41 am

I just posted my Accuracy upgrade report on the range officer in the equipment section, its a sticky in the top section.


http://www.bullseyeforum.net/t3913-accuracy-upgrade-to-the-range-officer-45
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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

Post by KevinB on 3/9/2015, 11:32 am

How are your 50 yard groups?  Or have you had a chance to really wring it out yet?

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Re: Help Me Decide on a .45

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