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Is it better for bullseye guns to be "heavier", or "lighter"?

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Is it better for bullseye guns to be "heavier", or "lighter"? Empty Is it better for bullseye guns to be "heavier", or "lighter"?

Post by mikemyers 6/16/2021, 2:43 pm

For Bullseye Shooting, is it preferable for a gun to be "heavier" or "lighter"?

Obviously, if the gun is too heavy, and the shooter can't hold it still because of the weight, that's not good.  But everything else. being equal, do you guys try to minimize the weight of your guns, or the opposite?

What got me to thinking about this, is that I mounted my Aimpoint 9000sc on top of my Nelson/Caspian conversion.  The total weight of the gun came to 3# 0.4 oz.  It was very noticeably heavier than when I had one of my micro sights up on top. but what amazed me was the gun felt "very steady" as I noted in my paper where I was keeping notes.

My plan had been to replace the 9000 with a 1" Ultradot when it arrives in a couple of days, but now I'm not so sure.  For action sports, I imagine lighter = better, because of less "inertia", but maybe for Bullseye I've been wrong about that for all this time.  




There are lots of discussions about this on the internet - Google just summarized the discussions as follows:

With a heavier gun, it takes more effort to move the gun, so for the same level of effort, the heavier gun will move a smaller distance. This makes the motion of aiming easier as the gun's inertia will help keep it on target once it gets there.
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Post by zanemoseley 6/16/2021, 3:20 pm

Most of my 1911's end up closer to 3.25# with the 9000SC dot. On paper a heavier gun should give you an advantage but that only holds true if you can hold it properly. Also assuming you're shooting 2700 matches you'll be holding the same weight for half the day so just if you can start the match off with a heavy pistol doesn't mean you can last the whole match with the same quality of hold.

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Post by Axehandle 6/16/2021, 3:46 pm

I'm thinking the simple answer is "Yes."   As a younger shooter I liked my BE guns heavy.  Shot an Aimpoint MK II (I think) on a Bomar ribbed Colt 1911.   Now 40 years later I find that I still like heavy guns.  However I find if shoot slow fire in a timed fire cadence I shoot a better aggregate simply because I'm not as tired.

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Post by spursnguns 6/16/2021, 4:25 pm

Hello mikemyers,

Everything else being equal, Bullseye is a weight lifting contest.  Your gun should be of a weight that you can control all day.  If your pistol/muscle combination yields only five minutes of steadiness then something will need to change.  What I prefer and what you prefer are, and should be, to different things.

Jim
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Post by mikemyers 6/16/2021, 6:27 pm

Jim, my attempt to deal with that is to do holding drills and dry-firing every day, several times a day, and if I"m watching a TV movie or something, use my timer to do the holding drills while I'm watching.  I know it's helping.

Maybe this is why I saw several photos of LenV's guns, with the 9000sc up on top.

As to "something will need to change", this could refer to the gun, or to the shooter's strength.  

Funny though, I never thought of Bullseye the way you describe it, as a "weight lifting contest".  I can now appreciate what you meant.  A year ago I wouldn't have understood.
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Post by Larry2520 6/16/2021, 8:34 pm

The weight of a gun is a personal preference. If it is on the heavy side it reduces recoil which some like. If it's too heavy that can be compensated for by strength exercise. The lighter the gun it is easier to hold but not necessarily still and felt recoil is stronger. You have to reach a happy medium. Good luck!

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Post by chiz1180 6/16/2021, 9:26 pm

Depends on you and your physical conditioning to shooting. For a while my 22 was close to 3.5lbs, I shot it well and without getting worn out, but at that time I was shooting three nights a week and a match just about every other weekend. I have more recently lighted up my 22 as I at best am shooting 2x a week, and maybe a match every month. I also started shooting air which is just different enough from a balance and weight perspective.

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Post by mikemyers 6/17/2021, 7:51 am

Something about "use it, or lose it"?

With enough dedication, I'm hoping dry-fire and holding drills are enough to stay in shape.  I stopped everything when the pandemic hit.  Now trying to make up for what I lost.  I haven't shot 45 since before the pandemic, when I was told to only use one gun.  At least I'm dry-firing exclusively with a 1911.  I haven't experienced real recoil in over a year.....  I guess I've had a one-track mind (reinforced by lots of reminders here about only shooting ONE gun.
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Post by spursnguns 6/17/2021, 8:53 am

mikemyers wrote:As to "something will need to change", this could refer to the gun, or to the shooter's strength.  

Hello mikemyers,

That is exactly what I mean.

A lighter gun may be exactly what you need for "right now".  Build up your strength and you will possibly be able to take advantage of a heavier gun "in the future".

Holding drills are fine but good health is better.  For older folks think....pilates, walking, weights, etcetera.  I've never seen an superior shooter struggle to manage (properly hold) the equipment.

Jim
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Post by 10sandxs 6/17/2021, 11:20 am

Overall weight is important, but WHERE that weight is matters as well.. also, is it moving with the slide or not during recoil matters too...

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Post by zanemoseley 6/17/2021, 12:49 pm

10sandxs wrote:Overall weight is important, but WHERE that weight is matters as well.. also, is it moving with the slide or not during recoil matters too...

Very true. I can handle a 3.25# 1911 with ease, give me a GSP of the same weight and I'm in trouble. Balance is key, my favs are 1911 and 208S.

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Post by mikemyers 6/17/2021, 12:58 pm

I don't have enough experience to say much about that.  There's the weight of the rail, and then the weight of the sight, and based on all that you may need to change the recoil spring accordingly.  

For my own 45, Dave Salyer suggested the lighter and lower 1" Ultradot with the low Leopold rings.  Jon Eulette (from here in the forum) makes an excellent rail - I bought one to use, and one more that eventually I'm likely to use.  And if you decide to go with an Aimpoint Micro, KC makes a steel "Kodiak" mount for the Aimpoint, that attaches to the rail.

Long before the pandemic, everyone here was encouraging me to concentrate on one gun, and I picked a 22.  Which 22 kept changing - my flavor of the month right now is the Nelson kit, which has my Aimpoint 9000sc on top.  Before you guys "educated" me, I was planning on mounting a one inch Ultradot.  I haven't yet decided, but "inertia" tells me that the 9000 will remain up on top.

I don't yet understand it, but. "where" the weight(s) are on a gun makes a huge difference.  If there's a barrel weight, to use it, or not.  If it's optics on top, where to mount it on the rail.  If the weights are in a poor location, I've found that the front of the barrel "wiggles" a lot.  Moving things around can make the gun much more "stable".  I've got many more questions than answers.
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Post by James Hensler 6/18/2021, 9:26 am

One thing not mentioned is a heavy gun will move less in the wind
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Post by bpettet 6/19/2021, 2:31 pm

To me, trigger weight and trigger pull characteristics are more significant than heavy or light guns.  I'm looking for guns that sit as stable as possible and then a trigger pull that doesn't disturb the sights any more than necessary.  I can shoot light or heavy guns well if the trigger is right.  Having said that, I prefer a heavier gun for bullseye because they tend to sit still a little better for me.

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