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Post by Warden on 2/18/2019, 12:53 pm

I started bullseye shooting in 1985. Always with a revolver. I just got back into it, still using my trusty S&W 19 with 148 full wadcutter. I'd like to go semi auto as well, back in the day the Goldcup and S&W 52 were the dominant choices in the pistols. What is competitive out of the box now? Is .38 wadcutter still a viable semi auto option? I'm ready to shop so I'd really appreciate advice.

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Post by mikemyers on 2/18/2019, 2:06 pm

Call/contact Jon Eulette, Dave Salyer, or "KC" Crawford, tell them what you want, probably a 1911 wad gun, what your budget is, and place an order.  It may take a while to get the gun, but you won't spend forever wondering if you should have gotten something "better".  And while you're at it, consider a good red dot sight, which means you want a rail on the gun.  And if you get an Aimpoint, buy the "Kodiak" mount from Ken.  As to ammo, you can do what I did, post in the ammunition forum here, and follow the recommendations - or just call Terry at Magnus Bullets, which I also did.  Just my own 2 cents worth of advice.  

Forget all the fancy magazine advertisements, and "big names".
(....and if you want, ask them if they know of a gun they've built that is currently for sale.)
(....and you can also watch the "classified" section of this forum, but from now on, if I have the $$, it will mean buying a gun from one of the three people I listed above.)


Last edited by mikemyers on 2/18/2019, 2:29 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : typo)
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Post by Wobbley on 2/18/2019, 2:08 pm

If you want to go semi-Auto, I’d forego the 38 Wadcutter Pistols.  Instead I’d opt for a 9mm 1911 Springfield Range Officer.
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Post by weber1b on 2/18/2019, 2:10 pm

Or a 45ACP Range Officer which is the route I went for both my Wad gun and my EIC gun.

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Post by Jon Math on 2/18/2019, 2:16 pm

A lot of people have been using the 1911 in .45 for both courses of fire for a while now with excellent results, and a fair number of people are even using a 1911 frame with a .22 slide and barrel for the rim fire portion too.   
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Post by Jack H on 2/18/2019, 3:49 pm

Consider:

I think it all depends on your ambition to be a weekend shooter, or a Camp Perry every year and four matches a month shooter.  Or somewhere in between.  Also budget, and time and space for stuff.
Stuff can fill up space real quick.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.

But still you should buy the best you can with the budget you got going for the ambition level you have.

Tastes change.  I used to say I would never shoot the High Standard slant grip or the Ruger bent grip.  Now I like them best.  Go figure.
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Post by zanemoseley on 2/18/2019, 4:11 pm

If you're getting 1 semi auto it needs to be a 45 so you can use it in both CF and 45. What is your budget. The cheapest decent pistol is a Springfield Range Officer but if you have the budget for a real wadcutter pistol then get one.

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Post by Warden on 2/22/2019, 6:40 pm

1200 is very doable. 2000 or more could result in marital issues, but that doesn't completely rule it out. Lol

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Post by zanemoseley on 2/22/2019, 7:09 pm

$700 will get you a new SA Range Officer. You can shoot it as is and upgrade as you go. All new trigger will be $400, new bushing $50, new hard fit barrel $600, scope rib $100. So you could have roughly $2k if you fully upgrade via a decent gunsmith and it will still never be a ground up custom.

You can find really nice used wadcutter pistols in the for sale section here. They'll range in price from $800 - $2k+ depending on age, wear, quality and which gunsmith built it. You can get a lot of gun for your money if you play it smart.

You can get a "semi-custom" wadcutter pistol from RRA for about $2500. I had a late 90's RRA at one point and it was nice, had some creep in the trigger but frame and barrel for were pretty good.

If you want the best of the best go with a ground up custom build from Jon, KC or one of the other master smiths that cater to the bullseye crowd. These will run $3k to $3500. This is kind of overkill for someone brand new to the sport but if you plan on taking it serious it's not a bad idea.

Also don't forget a reloading budget, wadcutter pistols are useless without good ammo and you cannot run cheap bulk ammo as they come or you'll beat it up.


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Post by mpolans on 2/24/2019, 1:18 pm

I'd keep an eye out on the classifieds here and search "wadgun" and/or "bullseye" in the Semi-auto pistol section over on gunbroker.com.  Sometimes, some deals will pop up.

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