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Post by hooah09 on 10/29/2019, 10:28 am

Hello everyone, this is my first post, and also my first concrete step toward achieving a goal I have had for some time now. For 5 or so years now, I have had the goal to "someday" earn my President's 100 tab. I am in the Army, with 10 years in, and I now finally have the time in my current assignment to actively work toward achieving this goal. I do not have any bullseye shooting experience, having only competed in USPSA and 3-Gun in the past. I understand that there is much to learn and new skills to master (one-handed shooting will be new for me). 

I believe that I should set myself up for success early and get a decent pistol, although I know that starting out I will be the limiting factor in my success, not the handgun. I am hoping that I can get some insights from the knowledge base here! Ideally, I would like to spend less that $2000, although I have the funds for $3000 if need be. (Spending any more would almost certainly be wasted on someone of my skill level.) I am not wed to any particular platform or caliber. Based on some initial research and looking through the list of CMP match-approved service pistols that interest me, I have selected the following for my short list: 

- Sig Sauer P210 Target
- Sig Sauer P320 X5 / X5 Legion
- a custom Beretta M9 (accurized)
- Springfield Armory XDm 5.25"
- Springfield Armory Range Officer in 9mm or .45 (with some accurizing work done as well?)
- Les Baer Premier II in 9mm or .45
- Rock River Arms NM Hardball in 9mm or .45

I know there is a lot more to this than the pistol, but to me it is a good first step to take, so that I can start training from the get-go with the handgun I'll be using in competition. I would appreciate thoughts on my list of potentials, as well as any additional recommendations. 

At the end of the day, I am not looking for the most accurate pistol out there. I am looking for a pistol with the greatest value, i.e. the most accuracy potential for the dollar, that will still get me in the top 100 at Camp Perry, so long as I am up to the task.

Thanks!


Last edited by hooah09 on 10/31/2019, 6:00 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Al on 10/29/2019, 11:29 am

Springfield Range Officer in 45 ACP (that way you can shoot both the CF and 45 stages of a 2700 with the same pistol).  The only work you should need will be a trigger job by a good bullseye gunsmith and MAYBE a fitted bushing.  The only extra thing I do is checker the front strap, although you can accomplish the same with a layer of skateboard tape. Or if you're not in a hurry, there are always good values in used BE pistols for sale here by guys retiring from the obsession. That way you'd get a purpose built 45 with the modifications already done.

Either a Nelson or Marvel 22 conversion with the open sights. I've had both, but prefer the Nelsons. That way you're shooting the 22 stage with the same lower/trigger as your CF & 45 stages.

Now you're into the game with excellent equipment and minimal outlay of cash, which can be used to purchase lots of ammo.

There's a Nelson & a Marvel conversion on the BE list right now along with a Range Officer (no affiliation with either party). Good values without the wait. Only downside is the conversions are both set up for dots, not open sights.

RO:
https://www.bullseyeforum.net/t13265-wts-springfield-armory-range-officer-45acp-as-new-price-reduced

Conversions:
https://www.bullseyeforum.net/t13439-wts-nelson-and-marvel-conversions

These will go quick, FYI.

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Post by adminbot1911 on 10/29/2019, 11:59 am

+1 to Al's recommendations. I bought an RO on a whim a few years back before I was really into bullseye, sent it to Shue for a barrel, bushing, and slide stop pin, and it will clear P100 scores. Now I just have to shoot those scores on P100 days.

I have a bullpen of .22 pistols but a conversion is what I go back to.

Cruise the for sale section and see what's out there. If you have more questions, there are plenty of folks willing to answer.

Welcome to the forum.
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Post by james r chapman on 10/29/2019, 12:20 pm

I’m thinking the RR NM .45 is already ready.
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Post by CR10X on 10/29/2019, 12:29 pm

I've been shooting P100 for quite a few years and have at least P100 X 15 or more. 

So here goes my suggestions.  If you are truly pursuing P100 and I assume Distinguished Pistol, then as you said - the shooter is the most important part and especially learning how to shoot with open sights consistently from the very first shot.   Foremost, get an eye exam and get fitted for vision correction that will bring the front sight into natural focus. (Now that will depend a little on the exact gun, but not much.)  BUT you have to see a dust speck on the front sight to accomplish your goal.  

First, unless you have some extraordinary reasons, I would not suggest any other options except a 1911 or M9 platform.  Now that's not to say it can't be done, but you will be limiting yourself some from an equipment, and most importantly, equipment modification and potential accuracy standpoint.  We're talking the difference between "good" groups and "X-ring" groups here.  

Second, try out both the M9 and 1911 platform using a decent pistol example of each.  You should be looking for grip, trigger reach and alignment and there is  slight difference in front sight distance which can help.  Which one fits your hand, grip, eyes, trigger operation and feels the best?

Third, if the M9 was the better fit and feel, then you have your caliber chosen for you.  If you feel and shoot better with the 1911, then you have the choice between a 9 and .45.  I would recommend the .45, it makes things easier in the reloading department and scores a hair better on the target and with bullseye loads ok to use, recoil should not be a problem.  

Fourth, if you choose the 1911, then by all means get a .22 conversion to provide more opportunities to train and shoot matches. AND use a 4 pound trigger for everything!  You need to train on holding the sights aligned while operating the trigger and that takes work, technique and repetition to perfect. 

Fifth, get the best you can for either platform, test it, find the best load and then forget about the equipment.  No changing, second guessing, futzing around with loads.  Then get your ass in gear and just train.  Sight alignment, trigger, accept the wobble and the target is just a distraction to ignore. Let nothing distract you from your goal.  "What is my focus" is the thought for each shot / string. You should not be thinking about shooting the lower cut off score or "expecting" anything; you need to be training to shoot the winning score!  

Just my thoughts.  Good Luck, Train Hard, Shoot Easy and Have Fun!

CR

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Post by Steve B on 10/29/2019, 3:21 pm

james r chapman wrote:I’m thinking the RR NM .45 is already ready.

Completely agree...
I started shooting EIC matches at the beginning of 2014.  By the end of 2014, after 4 matches, I earned my badge using a Rock River NM Hardball pistol.  They're great guns but can still have a few issues that may need addressing.  My gunsmith made several corrections and improvements to mine.  If you're interested I may be open to selling.  If you'd like to talk just PM me.

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Post by Larry2520 on 10/29/2019, 5:03 pm

Whatever you go with make it a 45. With the bigger hole you'll have a bit of an advantage over a 9. If you don't mind waiting I'd go with a range officer and have it worked. Most smiths are busy and have a wait time. If price is no problem go with the Rock River. There's a lot of 22s that are accurate.

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Post by chiz1180 on 10/29/2019, 5:45 pm

My range officer grouped 3" from a ransom rest, the 10 ring is a little over 3 inches. I personally do not shoot at a P100 level at the moment, but I am confident the gun could do it.

On the other hand though the gun is the least expensive aspect of the sport, match grade ammo is not cheap. You can either buy factory or take the time to make it yourself. Totally depends on your situation.

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Post by james r chapman on 10/29/2019, 7:50 pm

https://www.rockriverarms.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_ID=134
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Post by hooah09 on 10/31/2019, 5:08 pm

Wow, thank you everyone for the great replies (especially CR)! I think that this forum will be a figurative cornucopia of great help as I work my way toward my goal.

CR10X wrote:First, unless you have some extraordinary reasons, I would not suggest any other options except a 1911 or M9 platform.  

Are there not many competitors going outside the 1911 or M9? Is this a function of those platforms being truly superior? Or is the rule change so recent, that not many new shooters have come in to utilize the new options? (Assuming that current shooters would not want to change the platform they have already been using for years.)


Larry2520 wrote:Whatever you go with make it a 45. With the bigger hole you'll have a bit of an advantage over a 9. If you don't mind waiting I'd go with a range officer and have it worked. Most smiths are busy and have a wait time. If price is no problem go with the Rock River. There's a lot of 22s that are accurate.

I understand the mathematical advantage to using a .45 (bigger hole), but does that offset other considerations? Would a 9mm pistol be lighter and reduce muscle fatigue? Does the reduced recoil of the 9mm translate into any real benefits in bullseye shooting? I read somewhere that 9mm's are easier to achieve tighter groups with, is this true? (Of course, I probably read the exact same thing about .45 somewhere too.) These are probably incredibly n00b questions, thank you for bearing with me.

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Post by Jon Eulette on 10/31/2019, 5:19 pm

Presidents Hundred is 40 shot match. Every shot REALLY counts! In many cases number 100 and 101 is determined by either a point or an X. The larger diameter bullet does make a difference! 9mm requires hotter load to get the ideal velocity for good accuracy. The 45 can be pushed slow and maintain its accuracy. 9mm in my opinion requires a better more consistent grip to shoot well compared to the 45. 9mm is snappy and the 45 just pushes. 40 shot match is not an endurance match, so the weight is negligible.
RO with minor work is a good P100 pistol.
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Post by adminbot1911 on 11/1/2019, 8:54 am

hooah09 wrote:Wow, thank you everyone for the great replies (especially CR)! I think that this forum will be a figurative cornucopia of great help as I work my way toward my goal.

CR10X wrote:First, unless you have some extraordinary reasons, I would not suggest any other options except a 1911 or M9 platform.  

Are there not many competitors going outside the 1911 or M9? Is this a function of those platforms being truly superior? Or is the rule change so recent, that not many new shooters have come in to utilize the new options? (Assuming that current shooters would not want to change the platform they have already been using for years.)

The 1911 is about as good as design gets for a lot of reasons.  Grip angle, ergonomics, short throw/short reset, weight, and caliber are all ideal for most shooters. The platform is helped by armorers and smiths perfecting it, not just in service competition but on the civilian side... for generations.  

Maybe some day another platform will replace the 1911 as top dog.  But right now and for the foreseeable future it is king.
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Post by CR10X on 11/1/2019, 3:33 pm

Well, we have 2 pretty good choices that probably fit a large number of shooters, trigger can be roll or crisp and the grip fat or thin depending on the platform.  The other Service Pistol options can be used, but unless forced to or you just want to why spend the time chasing something that may not work out as well?  (And remember, time is the most precious resource you have, so why waste it chasing something that might work out, experimenting with different guns, loads, etc., every time somebody says this is the new thing?) Good M9's and 1911 ball guns can be obtained pretty reasonable and fairly quickly.  

It's pretty much like the reasons I gave for choosing 1911 or M9.   "Now that's not to say it can't be done, but you will be limiting yourself some from an equipment, and most importantly, equipment modification and potential accuracy standpoint.  We're talking the difference between "good" groups and "X-ring" groups here.  "

And the reason for getting the best gun you can is; "get the best you can for either platform, test it, find the best load and then forget about the equipment.  No changing, second guessing, futzing around with loads."


Now I did not say it had to be X-ring or 2 inches, or whatever, just the best you can get within your limits.  Then find a load and then forget about equipment and loads.  

There should be no doubt in the back of your mind that anything on that target was the result of anything else but YOU.  Second guessing impedes training and performance.  That bullet went there because you put it there.  Good or not so good, learn from it.

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Post by Wobbley on 11/1/2019, 11:26 pm

There’s a lot of wisdom in Cecils post. There are lots of Presidents 100 shooters who posted less than 350/400. So you don’t need a pistol that is “x-ring”. You need a pistol that will shoot 10s with your ammo when you break the trigger. So it is far better to just find a gun that will hold the 10 ring with your ammo then train yourself to shoot it as best as you can.
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Post by lonegunman on 11/3/2019, 9:36 pm

For $3,000 you could by the Rock River and a Range Officer and then buy a .22 kit from Marvel for the Range Officer.  While shooting for leg points or winning the P100 is a good plan, shooting actual matches will get you the skills you need to win.

I have fired the President's Hundred match at least a dozen times and screwed it up a dozen times.  I've shot solid 350's in the warm-up, a nice NIT score and a decent score on an Out-of-Competition team and then went dismal on the P100 and missed the cut.  All manner of things can make it tough, rain, nerves, a gun malfunction, a few soft rounds or bugs crawling around on your glasses.  It's the only thing I really want that I've never won.

The years I do not get to Perry, the scores are low, so I'll let you know what years to go if you want?   lol!

Team matches and the ball gun are my favorite things to shoot.  If you can find a pistol league at the local ranges, join it.  Indoor 22 leagues are fun and great practice.  Shoulder to shoulder training and matches will add to your skills and you won't get the rhythm and commands figured out until you go to a few matches.  

I've shot all sorts of guns for ball matches, I still love my Ed Masaki built 1911 ball gun the best.  Some guys prefer the 9mm because they have thin feminine wrists and lack the manliness required to shoot the 1911.   New to Bullseye, President's 100 is the Goal, Need a Pistol 2309170423
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Post by mikemyers on 11/3/2019, 11:58 pm

CR10X wrote:...........First, unless you have some extraordinary reasons, I would not suggest any other options except a 1911 or M9 platform.........

A lot of this is new to me, but after reading what CR10X wrote above, I started doing some searching.  I ended up on this page:
https://accuracyx.com/new-9mm-rule-for-1911s-in-cmp-competitions/

The last part of this link: 

"When the competition is so close that X’s determine who is the National Championship or who goes distinguished, any advantage is huge. Being able to shoot the 1911 in a 9mm is like letting a V12 engine into NASCAR. It is just too much of a performance advantage to ignore. 
 There will still be 1911s on the line chambered in .45, and there will still be M9 Berettas. But I think those who are serious about getting the best tool for the job and those who are looking for whatever advantages they can, will ultimately trade in their .45 Ball gun or M9 Beretta for a 9mm custom 1911."
==============


If someone is just starting out, doesn't this imply that of the two choice you suggested, this is a way to get the best of both? 
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Post by CR10X on 11/4/2019, 5:50 am

If someone is just starting out, doesn't this imply that of the two choice you suggested, this is a way to get the best of both?

Not the best option in my opinion for the OP.  Read the topic part that says "New to Bullseye..."  If I was to give an opinion on exactly what the OP should do, then I would recommend a 1911 in .45 ACP with open sights (sight choice is mandatory of course).  But, the OP needs to find the best fitting gun for himself and his particular circumstances. 

As for my opinion, with the change in the CMP ammo requirements from FMJ to just jacketed, then JHP and especially 185 JHP; bullseye .45 loaded ammo is probably a better option for a shooter looking to maximize return on time and investment.  The new ammo requirements reduces the recoil considerably for getting accurate loads to use with the .45.  That simplifies loading for other matches (see below) and reduces some of the benefits of going to a 9 mm option.  

Now a lot of people, including Steve at Accuracy X are building and shooting some great shooting 9 mm 1911's that are producing great groups, but the .45 options can be as good.  It all depends on how much money the OP wants to spend and what the score improvement may be.  (Every hour a shooter spends chasing loads or setting up the gun is an hour lost that he could have been training (dryfiring, etc.). 

Most importantly, the 1911 .45 ACP platform would allow the OP (along with a .22 conversion) to participate in all three aggregates in a regular 2700 match, significantly increasing the time (under match conditions) with the same trigger / gun setup.  And believe me, mental preparation and training is pretty damn important for the P100 and NIT matches.  Confidence, sight settings and trigger control are three things a shooter needs to walk up to the line with at 7:30 in the morning in the rain and wind or bright light from the low right, etc.; with no sighter shots, to get on that list. 

CR


Last edited by CR10X on 11/4/2019, 10:06 am; edited 2 times in total

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Post by Outthere on 11/4/2019, 6:17 am

CR10X wrote:
If someone is just starting out, doesn't this imply that of the two choice you suggested, this is a way to get the best of both?

Not the best option in my opinion for the OP.  Read the topic part that says "New to Bullseye..."  If I was to give an opinion on exactly what the OP should do, then I would recommend a 1911 in .45 ACP with open sights (sight choice is mandatory of course).  But, the OP needs to find the best fitting gun for himself and his particular circumstances. 

With the change in the CMP ammo requirements from FMJ to just jacketed, then JHP and especially 185 JHP bullseye load ammo is the best option.  That reduces the recoil considerably for getting accurate loads to use.  That simplifies loading for other matches (see below) and reduces some of the benefits of going to a 9 mm option.  

Now a lot of people, including Steve at Accuracy X are building and shooting some great shooting 9 mm 1911's that are producing great groups, but the .45 options can be as good.  It all depends on how much money the OP wants to spend and what the score improvement may be.  (Every hour a shooter spends chasing loads or setting up the gun is an hour lost that he could have been training (dryfiring, etc.). 

Most importantly, the 1911 .45 ACP platform would allow the OP (along with a .22 conversion) to participate in regular 2700 matches, significantly increasing the time (under match conditions) with the same trigger / gun setup.  And believe me, mental preparation and training is pretty damn important for the P100 and NIT matches.  Confidence, sight settings and trigger control are three things a shooter needs to walk up to the line with at 7:30 in the morning in the rain and wind or bright light from the low right, etc. to get on that list. 

CR
What CR said.

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