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HOW GOOD IS YOUR PISTOL?

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troystaten
chiz1180
10sandxs
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LenV
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BE Mike
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Post by BUDRICKETT@GMAIL.COM 10/29/2021, 9:51 am

HOW GOOD IS YOUR PISTOL.

This is the end of my 2nd season shooting pistol.  I have three;  .22, 9mm, and .45 ACP.
In the beginning, I had no idea how addictive this process would be, and my targets look like they were hit with a shotgun blast, if I hit it at all.  Was it me, the gun, or both?

I recently set out to see how accurate my pistols are. 
For the .22, I shot multiple 5 shot groups from a bench at 25 yards and averaged the groups.  2.5”  using CCI standard.

I haven’t yet tested the .45 ACP

My M&P9 2.0 PRO.  I used 4 different bullet weights 115, 124, 135, 145, and 150 grains.
For each grain bullet, I made 20 EACH with 3.8 grains Bullseye, 4.0 Bullseye, and 4.2 bullseye.
I then bench shot 5 rounds to each target at 25 yards, using each of the formulas. 

The best group average was 4.5 grain bullet with a 3.8 powder load.  It was 3.5” group average. 
The worst group average was 7.59 for the 150 grain bullet and 4.2 grains of bullseye.

My 9mm likes the 145 grain with the 3.8 charge.  But it is not nearly good enough for Bullseye shooting.

On the last range test, I also measured the vertical width of groups.  I averaged 3.7” in group width while average 4.7 inches in overall group size, indicating my bench groups are more vertical in shape, eliminating trigger pull issues, indicating wrist issues.

Has anyone else tested their 2.0 pro and found it not acceptable for Precision Pistol?

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Post by mspingeld 10/29/2021, 10:26 am

There are many here more knowledgeable than I but, since I'm reading this, I'll comment.

First, welcome to the obsession!

Only a small percentage of shooters use 9mm for center fire and those that do typically use a 1911. I would suggest you use your 45 for both center fire & 45 or, a good choice would be to shoot 22 only until you are consistently on the repair center. Easier to master the fundamentals with a 22 and then progress. 2.5" groups is acceptable but not ideal. Depends on your budget and dedication. What 22 are you shooting? What 45? Where are you located? Do you shoot in a league? Find one if you can. Great training.

Keep asking questions. Read every post in the fundamentals section of the forum.

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Post by BE Mike 10/29/2021, 11:57 am

A decent centerfire gun and load should be able to group 10 shots into 3 1/2" group at 50 yards to give the shooter confidence in his/ her equipment. A decent .22 should group around 2" or better at 50 yards. One cannot assume that a 25 yard group will be just double the size at 50 yards. You don't say what pistol you are using for .45 ACP. A decent precision pistol, not only has good mechanical accuracy, it has a good trigger, good adjustable sights and is reliable.You certainly can shoot what you have, but until you come up with a decent gun/ load combination, as you say, you won't know for sure if bad shots are you or your equipment or both!
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Post by Wobbley 10/29/2021, 2:28 pm

The vast majority of pistols (designed or converted for precision pistol shooting) should hold well inside the ten ring at 50 yards.  So I’d be looking for a pistol or ammunition that shot into about 2.5 inches at 50  or 1.3 inches at 25.  99.9 % of 22 LR semi autos with adjustable sights have this potential.  And 100% of “purpose built” target 22 LR pistols have this level.  

Centerfire…not so much.  Fundamentally because of the way they operate OR the cartridge used.  During the heyday of the Colt National Match or Colt Gold Cup or the S&W 52 pistols, no accuracy guarantees were given.  Even then the ammunition was barely capable of the accuracy limits previously stated.  So the gunsmiths took over and developed pistols that would meet the accuracy levels stated above on a pretty regular basis.  We now have ammo that is easy to get to shoot.  And truly accurate pistols can be built.  

So, test your pistols at 25 yards with an optical sight (a dot is fine) and see if they’ll hold 1.3 to 1.5 inches.  If they do the pistol is as accurate as it needs to be.  Anything better is gravy.
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Post by BUDRICKETT@GMAIL.COM 10/29/2021, 2:45 pm

Thanks everyone. 
I needed that group size target. 
I see I need more experience bench shooting to reach those close groups. LOL

It was stated that few people use 9mm for the center fire. 
Can you explain why?  My experience has been I can't hit the side of a barn standing inside. 

One thing I failed to mention is that I use open sights for every caliber.   I'm dedicated to tradition.  

My .45 is a Springfield Colt 1911 that is the continuation of the 1918 production run, but brand new, out of the box.  I bought it because it's like my granddad's.  

I have yet to do the extensive testing on it like I did the 9mm.  But, I'm expecting the tolerances will not be as good as modern day production. 

Have I mentioned the word addiction?  LOL
I'm at this every damn day.  It's getting expensive.

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Post by RoyDean 10/29/2021, 3:00 pm

Bud, if you search the Forum you can find a lot of threads about 9mm. In general, to get the accuracy at 50 yards, you need to use match quality 115gr high velocity ammo - in most guns that is very "snappy" and, arguably, more challenging than a good 45. Standard "white box" ammo is not good enough for 50 yards.

Some guns like 147JHP ammo at somewhat lower velocity and more manageable recoil impulse, but then you most likely need to reload.

I really liked the SIG P210 with 147 reloads, but I never did master the 1911 9mm I had. Recently decided to switch to 45 for everything and got rid of all my 9mm stuff.

YMMV!

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Post by James Hensler 10/29/2021, 3:18 pm

HOW GOOD IS YOUR PISTOL? 18347810

This is what a good C/F group should look like at 50 yards
This is what a good 22 group should look like at 50 yards ( yes it’s a 25 but it was my last target I had )
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Post by James Hensler 10/29/2021, 3:19 pm

HOW GOOD IS YOUR PISTOL? 9e3d9c10
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Post by LenV 10/29/2021, 7:53 pm

Almost all of the current generation 22's should shoot very small groups at 25yds. Here are  3 ten shot groups.HOW GOOD IS YOUR PISTOL? 20181210
HOW GOOD IS YOUR PISTOL? 20210310
HOW GOOD IS YOUR PISTOL? 20180311
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Post by BUDRICKETT@GMAIL.COM 10/30/2021, 7:58 am

In response to all the pictures with 10 in the X.
Did you use a ransom rest to get those? 
If not, what did you use as a bench rest?  

And why do you think the 9mm should not be used for Bullseye.  What characteristics suggest I shouldn't.

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Post by James Hensler 10/30/2021, 8:11 am

I just used my range bag and both of my targets were shot at 50 yards
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Post by Dcforman 10/30/2021, 8:14 am

RE: 9mm...

As you probably know, a full 2700, which is the basis for all Bullseye shooting, is 3 900's using a 22, a CF pistol, and a 45 pistol. As a 45 is required anyway, and qualifies as a "CF" pistol, most folks just shoot 2 guns to make life a little easier. This means learning 2 triggers instead of one, reloading 1 caliber instead of two, spending money on two accurate pistols instead of 3, etc etc. I know I myself, when all said and done, will have something in the neighborhood of $7K invested in two pistols for competition. Spending another $3-4K for a CF specific pistol is a lot of money, especially when not required.

That said, there's some other things that make 9mm not a great choice...

1st, factory loadings of match 9mm are typically snappy and not pleasant to shoot. 9mm requires much higher velocity than 45 to shoot accurately. So much so that the recoil impulse feels much sharper, and some find it harder to control and to not flinch. Also, my experience is that it's a lot louder as well, which doesn't help.

2nd, when it comes to reloading, 45 is a much easier cartridge to reload. It's much more forgiving to subtle variations in OAL, crimp, and powder charge.

Lastly, even if you build/buy a 9mm that you shoot as well as your 45, the holes are smaller. The larger 45 bullet will enevitably get you a few extra points across the 900.

If you really want to have a CF specific gun, I'd recommend looking at a 32 acp, 32 S&W, 38 special, or 38 Super. Although there can be issues with these guns as well. If you're strong enough, I'd say stick with 22 and 45.

YMMV!!!

Dave

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Post by BE Mike 10/30/2021, 9:05 am

BUDRICKETT@GMAIL.COM wrote:In response to all the pictures with 10 in the X.
Did you use a ransom rest to get those? 
If not, what did you use as a bench rest?  

And why do you think the 9mm should not be used for Bullseye.  What characteristics suggest I shouldn't.
As far as the 9mm goes, why learn to shoot 2 pistols in centerfire when you can simplify the process by shooting only one? You also only have to work up a good load for .45 ACP. The KISS principle applies here. Unless you are an accomplished bench rest shooter (I'm not) you don't really get a good idea how well your pistol/ ammo shoot. Having shot a lot of machine rest groups in the past, I also know that good 10 shot groups at 25 yards don't necessarily translate to good 10 shot groups at 50 yards. Good five shot groups don't necessarily translate to good ten shot groups. At this stage of the game, you only need a gun/ammo combo that is capable of shooting all tens, so anything less than 3 1/2" at 50 yards is "just gravy". As long as your pistol/ ammo combo is reliable, your time, trying to get that extra 1" tighter, 10 shot group at 50 yards is pretty much time wasted. You could be spending that time training. Bill Blankenship addresses that in one of his articles in "The Pistol Shooter's Treasury". In the article, he discusses his experience at a match where one of the competitors had a gun that was much more accurate than his.
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Post by BUDRICKETT@GMAIL.COM 10/30/2021, 10:14 am

Thanks all. 
I swear that sometimes, the hole shape is elongated as if the 9mm 115 grain is tumbling.  

Too cold and miserable to shoot outdoors now, and I suspect my brand new, very old 1911 .45 doesn't have the tolorance requirements.  

And craps, I don't have that kind of money to spend on  $3k ++ guns.   

I'd better do more research this winter and come up with a Bullseye .45 in the spring.  Maybe.  

You guys all use telescopes.  Can I expect same results with open sights?  I've never used anything but open sights.

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Post by 10sandxs 10/30/2021, 10:44 am

I believe many of the national records that still stand were shot with open sights... do your part, and your scores will improve. 

Also, keep an eye out in the for sale section here. Bullseye guns come up for sale pretty regularly in the $1500 range.

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Post by Dcforman 10/30/2021, 11:01 am

Please let me clarify! You do not need to spend that much for good pistols, and I don't want to discouraged you. My main point was that buying an additional CF gun will cost you 50% more than just having 2 guns!

On a budget, you can certainly make High Master shooting a Ruger 22 and a Springfield Range Officer with a slight rework (bushing, slide stop, trigger job). I am fortunate, but you don't need to spend that much to be competitive! At the end of the day, it's still mostly the guy behind the trigger.

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Post by BUDRICKETT@GMAIL.COM 10/30/2021, 1:32 pm

I am putting in honest effort. 
I joined a BE league this year. Began at the bottom, ended at the bottom.   Now for next year. . . .

I shoot league on night a week, and live fire 2 additional days.  

I have a SIRT, and use it nearly every day at 25 yards. 
That has helped a lot.  Now that weather has turned, I will be using it indoors all winter. 

I have come to the conclusion the 9mm is only good for IDPA and ringing gongs.  

Next year I will concentrate on the Colt .45 ACP, if large primers are available.  If that doesn't work out, I will use my tax return to buy a Precision Pistol.  

I hesitate to buy a used gun.  There's a reason they are for sale.

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Post by Wobbley 10/30/2021, 1:37 pm

And if money is tight, I’d suggest sending your 45 to AccuracyX and have him put a multi-sight slide on it. Then buy a progressive press and load 1000s of rounds of practice ammo.  There are plenty of workable loads to choose from on this site.  With the “Multi-sight” slide you can have iron or optic sights.  For an optic a Holosun or Sig-Sauer Romeo 5 tube sight are very good value.  

So for less than $2500 you can have a system that can take you anywhere.  You can sell the 9mm to aid in generating cash or keep it for a carry gun.

This was shot at 25 yards offhand.HOW GOOD IS YOUR PISTOL? C5f0d310
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Post by chiz1180 10/30/2021, 3:14 pm

So my 2 cents....

Keep your goals reasonable. Don't expect to jump into the game and magically overnight be setting records. Getting good at this game takes time and effort. 

Shooting a pistol from sandbags is a technique within itself, as is getting consistent results from a ransom rest. 

3 vs 2 vs 1 gun... Start with one gun (a 22), when you can consistently shoot it well (you can define this. when I started, I shot 22 only until most of my shots were on the repair center) then move on to a 45. A dedicated CF gun, for the most part is a luxury. 

Optics vs Iron Sights. Sights are sights they will both do the job. However, many find dot sights more intuitive, many recommend a dot sight for this reason. When shooting a dot, your shot will appear on the target where the dot was when the shot broke. I personally shoot both, though most of my time with irons is with a 10m air pistol. 

While many have significant investment in their equipment. It is very possible to shoot extremely well with modest equipment. My service pistol (iron sight 1911) is a Springfield range officer that out of the box shot 3" groups from a ransom rest. Even after trigger work, I had significantly less than $1000 investment (this was 2019  to be fair) and I can blame no deficiency in my performance on the gun.

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Post by BE Mike 10/30/2021, 3:32 pm

If you have good eyesight, there is no reason to go the scope route, especially right now. I hear what you are saying about used guns, and they do deserve discretion in general. Having said that, there are some very good accurized guns for sale now by retired bullseye pistol shooters or the family members who inherited them. The vast majority of members here who have accurized pistols or high end .22 pistols are trustworthy.
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Post by James Hensler 10/30/2021, 5:39 pm

Guys why does the vast majority of you assume if you shoot a 32 you have to learn 3 guns and triggers to shoot a 2700? The SP HP New are combo capable so for me to shoot a 22,32,and 45 I only have 2 guns and triggers just like everyone else
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Post by chiz1180 10/30/2021, 5:53 pm

James Hensler wrote:Guys why does the vast majority of you assume if you shoot a 32 you have to learn 3 guns and triggers to shoot a 2700? The SP HP New are combo capable so for me to shoot a 22,32,and 45 I only have 2 guns and triggers just like everyone else
Does a 32 have the same recoil as a 22? No, it does not. Trigger may be the same but it is still a "different" gun to learn. To the average/typical shooter a CF gun is more of a novelty. Most who shoot a CF caliber other than a 45, struggle with the 45. For a novice beginner sticking with a 22 (and maybe a 45) to get base fundamentals down minimizes distractions.

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Post by James Hensler 10/30/2021, 5:57 pm

chiz1180 wrote:
James Hensler wrote:Guys why does the vast majority of you assume if you shoot a 32 you have to learn 3 guns and triggers to shoot a 2700? The SP HP New are combo capable so for me to shoot a 22,32,and 45 I only have 2 guns and triggers just like everyone else
Does a 32 have the same recoil as a 22? No, it does not. Trigger may be the same but it is still a "different" gun to learn. To the average/typical shooter a CF gun is more of a novelty. Most who shoot a CF caliber other than a 45, struggle with the 45. For a novice beginner sticking with a 22 (and maybe a 45) to get base fundamentals down minimizes distractions.
I can Agee with a beginner might want to keep it simple but as far as my shooting goes I shoot the 32 a few points higher than my 22 and the 2 calibers are not day and night different either. My 32 rounds are not remotely close to anything from the factory
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Post by LenV 10/30/2021, 7:20 pm

BUDRICKETT@GMAIL.COM wrote:In response to all the pictures with 10 in the X.
Did you use a ransom rest to get those? 
If not, what did you use as a bench rest?  

And why do you think the 9mm should not be used for Bullseye.  What characteristics suggest I shouldn't.
My targets were shot one handed with my pistol and elbow resting on a sandbag. All three pistols are stock except for grips, some trigger work and Red dots. The middle picture was a 9mm . I like 9mm .
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Post by 10sandxs 10/30/2021, 9:49 pm

I think $4K for a pardini was something the op wasn't interested in at this point.  I can relate to being on a  budget.  Good thing the wait on my first bullseye pistol was a year... took me that long to save the money for it. Almost 20 years ago...

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