Am I handicapped by shooting this pistol? 9mm Range Officer

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Am I handicapped by shooting this pistol? 9mm Range Officer

Post by CO1Mtn on 2/26/2018, 12:11 pm

Sirs,

I'd like to ask for your advice, and if you have time, thank you in advance for any help you can provide.
I shot for all of 2017 with a 9mm Springfield Range Officer. The barrel rifling has a 1:16 twist rate. I was using PPU 147 gr HP ammo. It's $12.50 for a box of 50, which is pretty cheap. I've never ransom rest tested this pistol (I didn't know anyone who had a ransom rest), but on my best day shooting I shot five 10s in a row at the 50 yard line. But my scores at the 50 yard line in slow fire usually ranged from 60-70. For timed and rapid fire, my average score was 70-75. My highest NMC score was 228 with this pistol and the PPU ammo.

I only have one year of experience so far, shooting bullseye/CMP/EIC pistol. I have a small amount of prior firearm experience from deer hunting and occasionally trap shooting.

I really have my heart set on winning an EIC pistol match. It might take me a long time, but I'll keep trying until I get there some day. I shot in eight EIC matches in 2017 (one rimfire EIC match and seven service pistol EIC matches (five regional and two special matches)). My first EIC competition I scored a 88/300. They made all of us use these beat up rack-issue M9s that were straight out of the armory, and it was too big for my hand and the trigger was awful. I remember when we got back to the picnic tables to clean the pistols, I shook mine side to side and you could literally hear the barrel rattling inside the slide. After that match, I tried using a Glock 17 in a regional match, and scored a 109/300 with that. Then I bought the Range Officer. I had it worked over by a gunsmith, so it has a great trigger, a better barrel bushing and guide rod, and better grips. One thing it does not have is a fitted match grade barrel. It only has the stock barrel. My highest EIC score with that was a 228. I went against the gunsmith's advice, and I peened the rails and squeezed the slide in a vise at home in the garage. I did that because the slide had some slop in the front and the back, and I wanted to tighten it up. It actually worked, and after I filed down the burrs from peening the rails, it was a tight fit, and all the play was gone. I haven't been able to shoot it since then though, so I didn't get to test out if it was shooting more accurately after that.

I think I was steadily making progress in 2017, but then I got deployed, and I wasn't issued a pistol here, so right now my training has come to a dead halt. But I am thinking on whether or not I need to upgrade my pistol. Is it worth it for me to buy a $3000 pistol from AccuracyX right now? It would be ready by the time I finish this deployment. That is the question I am asking myself. I paid $919 for my Range Officer, including the gunsmithing, shipping fee, and transfer fee. I can keep shooting with the Range Officer, or I can buy a Les Baer or a custom made pistol (which would be much better than a production run pistol). If I keep shooting EIC with my current pistol, it won't cost me anything more since I've already paid for the pistol...but is it worth it, to keep trying with that 9mm? I understand the 9mm cartridge is inferior to the .45 in CMP/bullseye. Follow-through is more critical and less forgiving with the 9mm. And I should have bought a .45 instead of the 9mm, but I didn't know what I was doing when I first got into the sport so I bought the 9mm version. What do you suggest that I do? Should I buy a new service pistol? And if so, what should I buy? I'd like to have a better shooter shoot my Range Officer through an entire centerfire stage so I can see how accurate it really is, in the hands of a pro. I'm wondering if this pistol is good enough to win an EIC match with, or is it futile to keep trying with it?

Thank you,
Daniel
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Re: Am I handicapped by shooting this pistol? 9mm Range Officer

Post by Jon Eulette on 2/26/2018, 12:43 pm

Stock RO 9mm barrel can be hit or miss: crap shoot. A match grade KKM barrel will hold 1" with good match ammo. You can rebarrel and gun will be capable of winning any EIC match. 9mm typically will shoot smaller groups at 50 yds than the 45, but not by much. 9mm needs higher velocities to shoot well/accurate. 45 can be downloaded to reduce recoil and still easily hold 10 ring. Most shooters shoot mediocre EIC scores because they stress themselves out. There are lots of really good EIC pistols out there shooting low scores......shooter not the gun. So a good gun helps but it's mostly the shooter.
Jon
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Re: Am I handicapped by shooting this pistol? 9mm Range Officer

Post by Jon Math on 2/26/2018, 12:57 pm

I was sure the pistol I was using was the problem.  I tried different ammo, changed springs, triggers, and other components etc. I finally had one of the top men on my team shoot it and his score was worst than mine.  So I changed pistols and put over 50 points on my average almost overnight.  That is a rare thing however, most quality pistols shoot better than the shooter can these days.  Maybe you do have a dog, but I’d try different ammo first and / or have someone else shoot it before giving up on what for many shooters is a really good first 1911 style pistol.    
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Re: Am I handicapped by shooting this pistol? 9mm Range Officer

Post by james r chapman on 2/26/2018, 3:28 pm

You'll never know till you at least sand bag it. if it shot 5 10's in a row, it's probably not a dog.

but, a BE smith can fix it up fairly cheaply compared to what that AccuracyX will cost you. Great guns they are though.

My opinion only, on a non-dot gun, slide to frame fit isn't a deal breaker.
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Re: Am I handicapped by shooting this pistol? 9mm Range Officer

Post by daflorc on 2/26/2018, 4:08 pm

Have you tried 115 grain bullets? You might do well to switch it up - my 1:16 9mm barrel in my les baer sucked with 147 grain bullets at 25 yards, can't imagine how bad it'd be at 50.

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Re: Am I handicapped by shooting this pistol? 9mm Range Officer

Post by Sc0 on 2/26/2018, 4:21 pm

I gave up on my 9mm RO for consistent accuracy and had it rebarreled to .38Super... .38Super is showing much better accuracy potential by comparison but haven't loaded any bullseye rounds for it yet.

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Re: Am I handicapped by shooting this pistol? 9mm Range Officer

Post by jglenn21 on 2/26/2018, 4:30 pm

I have a super EIC pistol and it is much easier to get softer jacketed bullet loads  to shoot well IMHO


Last edited by jglenn21 on 2/26/2018, 5:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Am I handicapped by shooting this pistol? 9mm Range Officer

Post by SmokinNJokin on 2/26/2018, 5:02 pm

Jon Eulette wrote:There are lots of really good EIC pistols out there shooting low scores......shooter not the gun. So a good gun helps but it's mostly the shooter.
Jon
 This describes me. I shot a 286 NMC with my ball gun, turned around and shot a 250 eic match with it. Its all in your head. Remember 2/3 of your score is on the short line, and the RO you have can clean the short line all day, every day, forever.

If you are in the Army, you also need to check out AR 350-66. There are additional restrictions placed on us for EIC matches. We are only allowed 4 matches a year, and 2 of those are Perry and Benning. So only 2 local matches. If you had won points at any of those 8 matches past the first two, they would not have counted. Hate to add to the pressure, but would be worse if you won a leg and didn't get points.

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Re: Am I handicapped by shooting this pistol? 9mm Range Officer

Post by CO1Mtn on 2/26/2018, 6:32 pm

daflorc wrote:Have you tried 115 grain bullets? You might do well to switch it up - my 1:16 9mm barrel in my les baer sucked with 147 grain bullets at 25 yards, can't imagine how bad it'd be at 50.
I used to use 115 grain bullets to practice with because they were cheaper. I tried all different brands, and even tried some 124 grain. But 147 grain is definitely shooting best in that pistol. Hollow points and XTP are shooting very well in it. I think the PPU factory ammo is doing ok. I'd like to buy some Atlanta Arms ammo and see how that does.
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Re: Am I handicapped by shooting this pistol? 9mm Range Officer

Post by CO1Mtn on 2/26/2018, 6:35 pm

SmokinNJokin wrote:
Jon Eulette wrote:There are lots of really good EIC pistols out there shooting low scores......shooter not the gun. So a good gun helps but it's mostly the shooter.
Jon
 This describes me. I shot a 286 NMC with my ball gun, turned around and shot a 250 eic match with it. Its all in your head. Remember 2/3 of your score is on the short line, and the RO you have can clean the short line all day, every day, forever.

If you are in the Army, you also need to check out AR 350-66. There are additional restrictions placed on us for EIC matches. We are only allowed 4 matches a year, and 2 of those are Perry and Benning. So only 2 local matches. If you had won points at any of those 8 matches past the first two, they would not have counted. Hate to add to the pressure, but would be worse if you won a leg and didn't get points.
Thank you for your feedback. I'm Air Force, so we're allowed up to 5 EIC matches. Plus I did 2 special matches that didn't count against that. Sometimes I wish EIC would go back to the days when everyone was issued a rack-grade pistol and ball ammo straight out of the armory. Then having expensive equipment wouldn't be a factor.
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Re: Am I handicapped by shooting this pistol? 9mm Range Officer

Post by CO1Mtn on 2/26/2018, 6:42 pm

Are there any BE pistol smiths in Pennsylvania? I'd like to get a KKM barrel fitted to it.
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Re: Am I handicapped by shooting this pistol? 9mm Range Officer

Post by mprince on 2/26/2018, 8:25 pm

AR 350-66 wording for those Army folks amongst us:


Two non-Army matches will be allowed per calendar year for a maximum lifetime total of 14 points. Once 14 points have been earned, further participation in non-Army matches is prohibited. There is no match substitution restriction but the total number of EIC matches remains at four per calendar year. Participation eligibility is according to table 3–1.



This is from the current (2012) version.  Rumor has it the number of matches will change in the newer version, but that has been floating around the powers that be for a year or two.



If you are deployed, don't be surprised if there is a Combat EIC offered somewhere in theater.  Dont' expect them to be easy, however.



A rack grade M9/issue ammo is easily capable of a 250+ score in a NMC.  Major Sleem even shot 260+ at last years all army, so if you can draw one to practice with while you are deployed, I would highly recommend it.

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Re: Am I handicapped by shooting this pistol? 9mm Range Officer

Post by HogCommander on 2/26/2018, 8:32 pm

OP, sent you a PM on this topic.

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Re: Am I handicapped by shooting this pistol? 9mm Range Officer

Post by CO1Mtn on 2/26/2018, 9:13 pm

I wonder if I can do a combat EIC with the Army? I'm in the Air Force, so maybe they won't allow that? It's probably Army only. The problem is, we're all on base restriction, so we're not allowed to leave base. I'll have to find a soldier and ask for some info.
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Re: Am I handicapped by shooting this pistol? 9mm Range Officer

Post by Wobbley on 2/26/2018, 11:06 pm

You can probably shoot it, but my experience is that the paperwork seems to have a hard time finding the right office in the other service. So if you win something, you might not get the points.
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Re: Am I handicapped by shooting this pistol? 9mm Range Officer

Post by Jon Eulette on 2/26/2018, 11:19 pm

Military shooters get orders cut for points earned shooting EIC matches. I still have all of mine. I have a rifle 4 point leg that cmp (DCM) never received. But I have orders for it!
Jon
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Re: Am I handicapped by shooting this pistol? 9mm Range Officer

Post by mpolans on 2/27/2018, 5:45 am

Maybe just get a match barrel and bushing fit, get the trigger worked on if it needs it, and take some of the money you save to buy some reloading equipment.

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Re: Am I handicapped by shooting this pistol? 9mm Range Officer

Post by Sc0 on 2/27/2018, 8:00 am

When you rotate back into the states, look into the National Guard Governor 20 match that is held once a year. They normally shoot an EIC match with rack grade pistols.

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Re: Am I handicapped by shooting this pistol? 9mm Range Officer

Post by SmokinNJokin on 2/27/2018, 9:25 am

If you find a combat EIC match, let me know. They usually aren't well advertised, I have never seen one or heard of one being run in my 12 years in the Army.

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Re: Am I handicapped by shooting this pistol? 9mm Range Officer

Post by Wobbley on 2/27/2018, 9:43 am

SmokinNJokin wrote:If you find a combat EIC match, let me know. They usually aren't well advertised, I have never seen one or heard of one being run in my 12 years in the Army.
I think they’re run at what used to be called FORSCOM Matches.  These were usually at a regional command training area. Occasionally a NG or Reserve component might hold one when they did their qualification but that was rare.
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Re: Am I handicapped by shooting this pistol? 9mm Range Officer

Post by robert84010 on 2/27/2018, 9:53 am

I don't know the specifics of interservice transfer of points but the Wilson matches have had a combat EIC match annually for many years. All Army also has one, just recently went back to including NMC EIC matches.

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Re: Am I handicapped by shooting this pistol? 9mm Range Officer

Post by Sc0 on 2/27/2018, 10:00 am

Winston P Wilson is April 28- May 3 at Camp Robinson in Arkansas.
PM me your email and will send you the frag for it. Think the EIC matches are somewhere in the middle of the week.

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Re: Am I handicapped by shooting this pistol? 9mm Range Officer

Post by jmdavis on 2/27/2018, 10:07 am

You need to test the pistol and see for yourself. A Ransom Rest and good technique would be best, but some people get good results with sandbags. 

Also note that you are actually testing the load, pistol and technique with any test that you do. So don't assume that a load that doesn't perform well means that the pistol will not perform well.
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Re: Am I handicapped by shooting this pistol? 9mm Range Officer

Post by CO1Mtn on 2/27/2018, 1:23 pm

I think you're right, that it just needs a KKM barrel and a tight bushing probably. I'm going to have one hand fitted when I go home.

I have a Nelson conversion, that I had been shooting with it on that lower, and I noticed my NMC scores were 20 points higher, shooting rimfire than when shooting centerfire.
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Re: Am I handicapped by shooting this pistol? 9mm Range Officer

Post by james r chapman on 2/27/2018, 3:09 pm

might I suggest fitting a bushing to your existing barrel?
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