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Compare and contrast air pistol to service pistol

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BE Mike
robert84010
chiz1180
WesG
Wobbley
Jon Eulette
Merick
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Compare and contrast air pistol to service pistol Empty Compare and contrast air pistol to service pistol

Post by Merick 9/7/2021, 10:39 am

On the rifle side of the fence, a strong air-rifle competitor will be a force in service rifle on day one. The whole skill set is immediately and directly transferable from one to the other.

However I have found that while I am making measurable improvements air pistol, service pistol performance languishes (rim-fire somewhere in the middle). 

So anyone that is knowledgeable about air and service pistol; please explain the similarities and differences of the two, how to be good at one or the other, and ideally good at both.

Merick

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Post by Jon Eulette 9/7/2021, 11:08 am

Shooting good service pistol pistol requires good solid firm grip, a really good 4# trigger pull so that you can apply good trigger control, and watching that front sight for “real”.
Air pistol will teach you to watch the sights, not much else.
Grip is important for consistency on squeezing the trigger and recoiling consistency.
If your service pistol trigger is so so you will only shoot so so. 4# isn’t heavy unless your trigger sucks! Are you getting my point? Trigger is probably more important on service pistol than anything else. If you’re not friends with it you will never shoot it well. A trigger pull with slight roll is much easier to shoot service pistol with than a crisp trigger. 
Good shooting is good shooting and it crosses over from gun to gun. Shoot your air pistol as much as you can. Dry fire your service pistol as much as you can. Learn how to grip it and work on your trigger squeeze. 
Jon
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Post by Wobbley 9/7/2021, 11:56 am

As Jon said, air pistol is about sights and trigger control.  Service pistol (45 in particular) is about all that PLUS recoil management.  A GOOD chunk of the recoil is when the slide bottoms on the frame.  You can mitigate that by gun fit up, load development, and spring adjustment. But this Bear will always be present.  Training on service pistol is the key.  You can do this with a 38 Super, 9mm, or 45.  For this role a Springfield RO was a good option.   At a 2700, shoot the CF portion with your service pistol.  Or your 38/9 trainer as above.  Trigger time is key.
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Post by WesG 9/7/2021, 12:55 pm

My limited experience with an air rifle suggests it's of little value in terms of developing prone skills for a service rifle. With no recoil, every shot is a 10 if the sight alignment is good, regardless of tension and pressure on the stock. A smallbore rifle is another story ...

They also don't shoot sitting, so day one is gonna be a learning experience. But offhand ... once they get used to the horrible ergonomics... 'one size fits none'.

As Jon has noted, sight picture and trigger are the only thing that seems to matter with the air pistol. But even a 22 needs a consistent grip, and a 45 won't be pointing anywhere near the center of the target at the end of a RF string of you aren't hanging on to it. A revolver ... even worse.

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Post by chiz1180 9/7/2021, 1:44 pm

Many Bullseye shooters struggle with an air pistol, and many air pistol shooters struggle with a typical bullseye gun. However both can work together to help make you a better shooter. 

Air pistol is great for developing and solidifying a good shot process, but you can develop certain habits shooting air that will hurt your service pistol. Some examples, holding too long and trigger reset. Also don't have the "next" shot in air pistol as you would in sustained fire. Scoring rings in air are also tighter per caliber meaning that you have less possible error to shoot a 10. 

Service pistol, you have to pull a 4lb trigger in such a way that the sights are aligned and centered when the shot goes off. For air you have to do the same thing, but with a much lighter trigger pull (and typically a longer sight radius). You don't have ergo grips to help guide your grip as you do on an air pistol with grips that correctly fit your hand, once you learn how to consistently grip slabs, that same process can be applied to ergo grips. You also have recoil and shot concussion to worry about with service pistol, but if you shoot an air match you have music playing (and not necessarily something to your taste).

End of the day, you want to do pretty much the same thing with both an air pistol and a service pistol, center all the shots on the target. Accomplishing that is just a bit different with each

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Post by robert84010 9/7/2021, 8:20 pm

I don't get why people approach everything, i.e. 22, CF, AP... different from service pistol if getting distinguished is the goal. Why do people have a 500 gram AP? To get better at a 2 pound .22? What have you accomplished towards getting distinguished? Then they shoot a 3.5 pound trigger on a CF with a dot and wonder why they struggle with a service pistol.
Once you shoot expert with a regular 22 put the trigger to 4 pounds. put the AP trigger to at least 3.5 pounds. Do the work once. Go to matches with just a 22 and a service pistol don't look at what others are doing. The 4 pound trigger is the big hurdle not the recoil because its friggin wadcutter now, put a 4 pound trigger on your 22 and watch what happens to your 22 score the first few matches. 
I remember shooting local matches with my SP and yeah being well behind some with their dot guns and then they would show up to the Navy matches. Being 60 points or more on top in just a 30 round match, and we are not even talking about super high scores here,  really speaks to who knows fundamentals. 
Why is it that in NRA High Power Rifle nobody tells a marksman "shoot a 6BR TUBB across the course with a nice light trigger with variable scope and just shoot service rifle in EIC matches, you'll go out in no time." Is that they way to go out in rifle?
I don't think people truly set the goal to get distinguished like people did 20+ years ago. We talk about how people don't shoot bullseye anymore because its so hard, well that applies within our group to why people don't get distinguished. They would rather bolt the dot on and shoot their 2 pound triggers and feel good about their 22 or 32 score and not talk about their 45. unless you are shooting 880 regularly with either what are you really accomplishing? Why not just take the lumps like people used to do at the beginning? The first time I shot a dot sight 45 I shot a 835. who cares. I didn't either but I had just distinguished and thought it was the easiest 90 rounds I ever shot.
Going out gets you on stage at Perry. Just put that in perspective vs. shooting a little better with your 2 pound trigger and dot. Does being 6th in the CF match get a person on stage at Perry? Don't think so. 

Hopefully this motivates at least one person to not shoot dots until distinguished like all the guys that taught me and all the guys that taught them....

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Post by BE Mike 9/8/2021, 9:13 am

2/3 of a hardball match is sustained fire and as previously pointed out, it is fired with a 4 lb. or higher weight trigger pull. The best way to train for it is to shoot it. Air pistol really helps with sight alignment and follow through, but it isn't much help with sustained fire.
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Post by Orpanaut 9/8/2021, 11:04 am

Another difference is that with air pistol, you're shooting indoors with no wind and consistent lighting, plus you get sighter shots before shooting for score. In a service pistol match, you get no sighters and the lighting conditions can vary from overcast to bright sun from any direction. This means that it is crucial to know the 50 yard and 25 yard zeroes for your ball gun and know how to adjust the sights to compensate for different lighting conditions before you load the first magazine.

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Post by straybrit 9/8/2021, 11:49 am

LP50 with the 1911 angle grips and the 'heavy' trigger. Mine goes up to ~3.75 lbs - close enough anyway.

No recoil management but pretty much everything else.

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Post by WesG 9/8/2021, 12:04 pm

Dot vs irons ...
As a 'beginner' looking to improve, I looked at eliminating variables. Reduce the number of things to learn all at once.

Cant get rid of the variation in grip. Or trigger control. Or point of aim. Or sight alignment. Oh, wait ... yes... yes I can. A dot.

At least now I know when the shot isn't somewhere near where the dot was, it had nothing to do with not paying attention to sight alignment.

So I think it makes a good training aid, even if your only goal is the badge.

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Post by bruce martindale 9/8/2021, 12:22 pm

Have to be smooth on trigger be it o to 18 gram as in Free Pistol (mine), O to 500 gram in air, O to 2, 3.5, 4 # in BE; it all has to be smooth. AP is an Olympic sport due to long barrel time and Precision hold but l would say ( my opinion as former AAA USAS rated/Master) trigger control is the major factor in Air. TIMs, Trigger Induced Motions, throw you badly with longer bbl time. Pointing is the factor in Free since triggers are usually lighter and targets very tight. 

Service Pistol, as others point out, is both heavier trigger and recoil, therefore requires harder grip, which degrades your trigger control. Learn to Walk, then learn to run. I got good first in Air, then 22, then 45 wad, then Ball. Good luck

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Post by bruce martindale 9/8/2021, 12:25 pm

Learning irons is good for you; you won't notice all the motions and will not be hesitant with the trigger. I suspect that many National Records stand because of Iron sights. Dots let you be a bit less focused.

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Post by chiz1180 9/8/2021, 12:29 pm

More important the specific training regime if your goal is distinguished, is to make sure people show up to the ball match. It doesn't matter how well you can shoot your service gun if no one shows up to the match.

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Post by robert84010 9/8/2021, 7:47 pm

Merick wrote:On the rifle side of the fence, a strong air-rifle competitor will be a force in service rifle on day one. The whole skill set is immediately and directly transferable from one to the other.

However I have found that while I am making measurable improvements air pistol, service pistol performance languishes (rim-fire somewhere in the middle). 

So anyone that is knowledgeable about air and service pistol; please explain the similarities and differences of the two, how to be good at one or the other, and ideally good at both.
comparing a Steyr LP10 to a 1911 service pistol is like comparing a  300M Bleiker to your service rifle. The level of precision needed on target is reflected in the precision of the tool to achieve it.

I was out before I shot my first pellet. I was a solid high 270 hardball shooter in 2001 with a PB of 285 in practice and get this I didn't break 400 at my first air pistol match with a Hammerli 480K. The level of precision in shot execution is much higher in air. The processes to do each is much different for me. I first shot air at the Prado range and was intimidated by the surroundings and people alongside me. It was the 84 Olympic venue. Now to my defense the next month I shot 500 so there was just a few adjustments and then I was into 520's next month and up to 559 a little later. I don't think that is really considered good in the USA Shooting world, not trying to put anybody down. It was just more trigger time close to home for me so I started USA Shooting matches.  
I had the privilege to coach two collegiate All Americans in air and standard. One was second at collegiate nationals his third year of eligibility. solid 550's. He could not hold paper 10 shots timed fire with a hardball pistol at 50 feet. It was the 4 pound trigger and the whole different process more than the recoil. Would he have gotten better quickly, most certainly but he had focused for several years on one thing so why change a goal. His standard pistol high was like 520 at the time. None of the collegiate students I was around ever shot service pistol or even NRA 22 more than once . They wanted to achieve All American and keep getting scholarship money. 
Once again when starting especially you have to establish one goal, reach it, set a new one and so forth.  A heavy trigger air pistol is a great training tool. A 500 gram air pistol did help me with NRA 3 gun, my slow fire definitely improved. A 747 Daisy helped me make P100. There was a reason why FWB made a Model 65 with a switchable trigger. Like 3 pounds or .5 pound, roughly. 

There is a big difference in using an air pistol in your house to establish a shot process to facilitate getting distinguished versus the leap to trying to reach 565+ in USAS air pistol. Pick your major and don't change it. right?

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Post by Ghillieman 9/9/2021, 10:01 pm

Air pistol will help improve your slowfire scores for Service Pistol.
But thats only 1/3rd of your score. You still have to master shooting the turn and keeping the trigger moving.
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