Beginner starting from scratch

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Beginner starting from scratch

Post by Highwayman on 11/9/2015, 8:20 am

I've only been actively shooting for about two years based in the Chicagoland suburbs, went from concealed carry courses to informal IDPA and USPSA work, later doing some tac courses. However, while I've built speed and form...Frankly, I still can't shoot. Close-up stages are a matter of speed and movement, but few things haunt me more than a distant steel plate or even just reeling my targets back on a crowded range. Asking around, some one told me to 'go shoot bullseye for a year' and learn hardcore fundamentals. 

I only own the one pistol, which is both my everyday carry gun as well as my Action Pistol gun, just an old 9mm Glock 17. I also have a .22 conversion kit for it for cheaper training. However, I'm loosely aware that showing up to a Bullseye league with a Glock is as non-competitive as one could be. But, I'd still like to get comfortable making accurate shots at longer distances, and get over my fear of one handed shots as well. 

I know of two nearby informal leagues I may be able to participate in, I believe one only features centerfire and .22 instead of the usual three. But frankly, I'd rather start with harder research, drills, and possibly instruction before taking last in my first league night. Some pistol sports are walk-on friendly, this one does not seem to be. 

So, you have a novice shooter with an old duty pistol who wants to learn bullseye...Where do I start?

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Re: Beginner starting from scratch

Post by KevinB on 11/9/2015, 8:32 am

I think you will find it more walk on friendly than most people perceive.  In most cases I bet someone would be willing to let you shoot their target 22 to try it out if you don't want to use your glock. A used Ruger MarkII can go a long way in bullseye if you want to make a small investment.

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Re: Beginner starting from scratch

Post by AllAces on 11/9/2015, 8:45 am

I was green as grass when I started in bullseye. At my first match fellow shooters taught me how to score and loaned me every thing from a pen to pastes to stapler. One shooter loaned me his spare gun and ammo. I was hooked. Yes, there is the occasional grump, and competition focus can be mistaken for aloofness, but overall there isn't a better group of men and women to compete with.
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Re: Beginner starting from scratch

Post by DavidR on 11/9/2015, 9:55 am

Your gun will hold you back, buy a 250.00 ruger mkII or III and join the 22 league. If you like the game of bullseye then decide how to move forward, cheapest get in the game gun that will do the job is the range officer 45 by Springfield. but remember to be cost effective and get the best scores you will need to invest and learn to reload too. This sport costs money like all others so be ready to drop what it takes to get set up if you want to advance.
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Re: Beginner starting from scratch

Post by Jack H on 11/9/2015, 10:46 am

It sounds like your goal is not bullseye competition for now.  (That may change Smile )   If you truly want to just improve your fundamentals with your gun, then do so.  Start shooting as careful shots as you can at about 25 yards.  Start closer if you want.  Have an experienced bullseye/precision shooter coach you some and even shoot your gun to get an idea of it's capabilities.  Then duplicate those capabilities yourself. And do try loaner/borrowed guns for sure. I sometimes shoot a stock Sig, PPQ or a M9 at 25 yards.  With purchased ammo, holding the black at 25 is about the best they can do.  The fundamentals doing that are the same as the fundamentals shooting the best tuned X ring gun and ammo.
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Re: Beginner starting from scratch

Post by BE Mike on 11/9/2015, 11:34 am

Here is a good place to get a lot of information about the sport. Reading the rulebook can help, too and you can find it here: http://competitions.nra.org/documents/pdf/compete/RuleBooks/Pistol/pistol-book.pdf The CMP has a good video: http://estore.thecmp.org/store/catalog/catalog.aspx?pg=product&ID=771DVD&item=&sfv=&cat=BKS

Once you get the gist of the sport, you might want to start out (as already suggested) with a .22 pistol. A Ruger Mark whatever or 22/45 would be a good starter and some models of the Browning Buckmark. Going to a club where the sport is practiced can get you a lot of good information and maybe a lead or two on a good used .22 pistol. It is a good idea to watch some shooting and after it is over, ask some questions.

I do think that trying the sport for a year really helps one ingrain the basic fundamentals, as someone suggested to you. No matter the type of shooting, sight alignment and trigger control are useful skills. Match shooting helps to learn to deal with pressure. Although you may see a lot of red dot scopes on bullseye pistols, stick with the iron sights for your purposes.
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Re: Beginner starting from scratch

Post by weber1b on 11/9/2015, 1:34 pm

There are a couple of Bullseye leagues in Chicago that you could check out. We are always looking for new shooters. When I showed up for my first practice a little over three years ago, I was sporting an HK 40 cal with combat sights. I had never shot at an indoor range. Through a series of borrowed and now owned guns I shoot much better and love the sport. I was loaned guns, offered the chance to try out many guns and all sorts of help as I found my way into the sport. I think you would find a lot of help in how to shoot etc. The people involved in this are awesome and ever so helpful. Message me if you want to talk directly and I can give you more details.

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Re: Beginner starting from scratch

Post by orpheoet on 11/9/2015, 3:34 pm

I started with a Ruger MKIII and a Sig 1911(combat sights). I was hooked from day 1.....
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Re: Beginner starting from scratch

Post by Regular_Guy on 11/9/2015, 6:55 pm

I'm still green, with only a couple bullseye matches under my belt and I have a similar background to yours coming from military/IDPA/USPSA shooting. Going from not having to focus closely on the front site to the front sight meaning whether or not the bullet goes anywhere near the center of target is definitely a big change. I actually quit shooting action sports to focus on Bullseye just because of the challenge of it, even though I'm still young and quite fast.

I think if IDPA or USPSA is your intended game, shooting one handed Bullseye for a year is not going to help you as much as focusing on USPSA specific drills. Yes Bullseye will definitely help you improve, but taking a year off from USPSA to focus on shooting one handed standing with no reloads under time is effort that could be better spent elsewhere. With few exceptions, I'm not aware of many action shooters that have a Bullseye background. Even the AMU has separate teams for Service Pistol (Bullseye) and Action Shooting.

If the further plates or smaller plates are your biggest challenge, practice where you are weak to build confidence and gain the skills in those areas. Surely someone else at your club of an A or Master classification would help you train in areas you need improvement in.
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Re: Beginner starting from scratch

Post by Sc0 on 11/11/2015, 7:35 pm

Bullseye is just another shooting discipline with different equipment, rules, and format. Fundamentals are sight alignment and trigger control, other than that not much else is going to transfer over to IDPA/USPSA unless they have a timed stage where you shoot with one hand without cover. Practice more at 25yds and when you can keep the holes in the black then move it to 50yds and continue, IMHO the glock factory sights and trigger are combat worthy and are not as easy to use at distance...

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Re: Beginner starting from scratch

Post by BE Mike on 11/12/2015, 8:25 am

Having been one who started out pistol shooting with bullseye, I have to say that it never held me back when I decided to dabble in other disciplines. I have shot NRA Action Pistol, PPC, Hunter's Pistol, IHMSA, International air, free, standard and centerfire pistol. IPSC and the Steel Challenge. I also have competed in Police Marksmanship Assn. matches, as well as, local "combat" matches. I think, based on your statement, "I still can't shoot", that learning the fundamentals can only help you improve your accuracy. By shooting one handed, you really pick up on how important good trigger control is to accurate shooting. Shooting two-handed masks many faults in trigger control. Shooting at slow fire targets, be it at 50 yards or 50 feet, teaches one the importance of sight alignment and follow through. Whatever you decide to do, the worst thing that you can do is to keep doing the same thing you are doing now.
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Re: Beginner starting from scratch

Post by Highwayman on 11/13/2015, 8:25 am

Stopped by a local team club last night to ask questions and feel out how I could get started. They were incredibly friendly, educational, and encouraging for new shooters. However, I'm seeing some walls I can't hurdle over.
"For a starter gun, you'll need at least a grand. Then you need to work on it some more."
"You're going to need to start reloading .45, we go through a few hundred rounds of it a match."

Unless I find a very casual club where I can shoot my Glock or something secondhand, I have to admit this niche of shooting simply may not be possible for me currently because of those numbers. However, if I can find a notable deal on an old Ruger .22 I could at least try some fundamentals in rimfire.

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Re: Beginner starting from scratch

Post by weber1b on 11/13/2015, 8:35 am

We have a few folks in our team who only shoot rimfire. You can get a reasonable starter 22 (Ruger Mark or Browning Buckmark) for under 500.00. Shoot that with open sights for awhile. Matches in the TriCounty league are simply a National Match course, 30 rounds per gun. We shoot Rim and Centerfire. So starting with that, matches 30 rounds, practices, up to you.

When (and if) you decide to add centerfire, you can shoot a variety of guns. You can shoot your Glock if you want, just not an ideal gun for the discipline. I shot my first 6-7 matches with an HK 40 and a Sig 228. When I got my own centerfire gun, I bought a Springfield Range Officer for under 900.00. The reloading is to get your ammo cost to an affordable level. My lead rounds are costing me under .14 each vs over 50 cents a round for factory. You can afford a nice reloader in a short period of time for the cost difference in the rounds.

Again, all of this is up to you and whether this is of interest. I do think there is some crossover effect. I shot an IDPA match with my BIL. I had never done any action shooting. He beat me that day on speed but I bested him on accuracy and ultimately out scored him on that day. I know my Bullseye shooting was responsible for that.

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Re: Beginner starting from scratch

Post by Fire Escape on 11/13/2015, 8:37 am

You do not have to have "the right gun", but they have warned you that there will be some frustration trying to make do with something not intended for the sport. Not having sights that can be adjusted fairly easily will challenge you once you want to hit the "X" ring rather than just the black. Triggers can make a huge difference as to what you feel but don't have a tremendous effect on the intrinsic accuracy of the gun.
As one who is still just trying to 'hit the black part' after several years, I'd say find a reasonable .22 and give it a try. There are many here who can tell the story of attaining high classifications with less that perfect choices for their guns (I am not among them!).
Just do it!

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Re: Beginner starting from scratch

Post by BE Mike on 11/13/2015, 9:11 am

I started out shooting only the .22 match because it was all I could afford. I had a family and was attending college full time and working part time. I used a new (telling my age) Ruger Mark I. I never had anyone look down their nose at me for only shooting the .22 match, nor my selection of equipment. Of course, I don't know your budget, so if you can't afford a decent .22 pistol (used is fine) then yes you may not be able to start shooting bullseye. Your goal isn't to become a 2600 shooter, but ingrain some basic fundamentals of pistol marksmanship. The folks you talked to, although well-meaning, were trying to tell you what you needed to jump into the game with both feet. No need to do that. Just get into it as much as you can afford. As has been stated, trying to get into the game with something like a Glock might be pretty frustrating. While it has proven itself to be an excellent pistol for many purposes, it would be very hard to get decent groups with that trigger and the accuracy might also impede you.
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Re: Beginner starting from scratch

Post by LenV on 11/13/2015, 11:11 am

Starting with a budget I don't see where you could go wrong with a S&W 22A. I shoot one of these in the "Talo" version for our local indoor league. They are also available in the "Target" model and some 7" barrels still out there. I like shooting this pistol and the price is right for a starter pistol. I have no horse in this race just putting my .02 in.

Len

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Re: Beginner starting from scratch

Post by Wobbley on 11/13/2015, 7:33 pm

Shoot the 22 only for a while to see if you like the discipline. Start looking in the larger gun shops for a Springfield RO in 45. That will take you to high expert. Might be all you need.

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Re: Beginner starting from scratch

Post by JCalhoun on 11/29/2015, 8:57 am

I started shooting pistol matches in rimfire silhouette with a S&W 22S Target model.  It's challenging but the amount of time you for each string is very generous and allows for working on proper fundamentals without hurrying.

I recently picked up at a STI 1911 that is CMP/NRA ready so I'm getting into that now. It's certainly different from Silhouette but I like the challenge. At the moment I don't use optics since I will shoot more CMP matches but I do intend to shoot Bullseye.

That being said, take a look silhouette shooting also.

If I were you, I'd shoot the Glock and a good .22 pistol until you are shooting them well enough to decide if Bullseye is the sport for you. If you decide to stick with it you will have a better idea of what your next gun will be.  Beside, you could always save your money for a while and get a good pistol for Bullseye and keep banging away with the Glock in the other sports.

I also never worry about where I will place. There is enough to think about during the match anyway. The person I need to impress is myself. As long my average scores get better them I'm happy.

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