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Best Caliber for Bullseye Shooting ( Indoor 25 yrds)

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Gary Collette
RodJ
straybrit
Wobbley
rburk
Soupy44
chiz1180
zanemoseley
Fezzik68
Oleg G
james r chapman
mspingeld
rimfirewala
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Post by rimfirewala Tue Nov 09, 2021 1:51 pm

Hello there !
Please forgive me if this is a lame question.  What is the best caliber to start with  ( other than .22) for a novice shooter ?  I tried .45 but cannot handle that recoil.  My local FFL has a used Colt Special Combat Government 38 Super for an attractive price.
Is that a good gun/caliber for bullseye ? 


Thank !!


Last edited by rimfirewala on Tue Nov 09, 2021 1:52 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Bold letters)

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Post by mspingeld Tue Nov 09, 2021 1:59 pm

Is there a specific reason you can't handle the 45? Are you trying it with factory ammo? Longer term, are you planning to try to advance in the sport i.e. shoot indoor and outdoor 2700s? The answers to these questions will better enable us to give you good feedback.

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Post by rimfirewala Tue Nov 09, 2021 2:03 pm

mspingeld wrote:Is there a specific reason you can't handle the 45? Are you trying it with factory ammo? Longer term, are you planning to try to advance in the sport i.e. shoot indoor and outdoor 2700s? The answers to these questions will better enable us to give you good feedback.
Hi there,
thanks for your response.  I tried with factory ammo (blackhills ammo company) and did not like that recoil. Yes, I am interested in indoor and outdoor 1800/2700!  Currently  I have a colt long slide used (clark) that I acquired from a retired local bullseye shooter. 

Thanks!

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Post by james r chapman Tue Nov 09, 2021 2:18 pm

I’ve heard some gunsmiths hav gotten .45 1911’s to reliably cycle mouse fart loads using frame mounted optics.

That would get you thru the 2700’s

Otherwise, the clear but most frustrating winner would be the .32
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Post by mspingeld Tue Nov 09, 2021 2:36 pm

If there's no physical reason for difficulty with the 45 then it's likely a few things. You're not used to it, you need to work on your grip and you need to shoot softer, target loads. If you're planning to progress in the sport, you'll eventually need to shoot the 45. I suggest you shoot 22 only until you're at expert level (or close). That's the fastest way to gain proficiency in the fundamentals (not to mention 22 is cheap and fun!). Once you're there, start training with the 45. At first, just slow fire and "sustained" fire. That's 5 round strings, not putting the gun down between shots but not worrying about a time limit. 5 good shots, no dawdling but not rushed. Adding a 3rd caliber just complicates things.

Hope this helps.

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Post by Oleg G Tue Nov 09, 2021 3:13 pm

+100 on what Mike said - especially about shooting .22 only until you get your proficiency to the Expert level. You will thank Mike later!

Best Regards,
Oleg.
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Post by Fezzik68 Tue Nov 09, 2021 4:16 pm

I can attest that the .32 S&W Long (GSP) is the most pleasant centerfire to shoot, and the most frustrating to get an accurate 50 yard load...but it can be done. 25 yards it is a tack driver.
That said, it is a constant distraction to prevent working with the 45.
Ask me how I know.

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Post by zanemoseley Tue Nov 09, 2021 4:30 pm

I actually found .32 S&W to be a bit snappy, and its a bitch to load. I would recommend sticking with 22 to start out then progress into 45 light target loads with 160-180 grain lead SWC. You will need to look into reloading if you don't already.

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Post by chiz1180 Tue Nov 09, 2021 7:23 pm

If you are dedicated, a 38spl/357 revolver with 148hbwc. However, as stated by others start with a 22 until you get proficient. 

As far as recoil of a 45, in my local club their is a lady (who was an elementary school teacher before she retired) who got Distinguished in 1985 shooting 230 ball. Recoil is something that you have to learn to address with proper stance and grip.
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Post by Soupy44 Tue Nov 09, 2021 9:15 pm

+1 to shooting 22 for a long time to start.  It's cheaper, you'll progress faster, you'll learn more, and it will definitely help your 45 shooting.  I shot 22 only for only about 8 months, then started 45.  I wish I had taken more time with the 22, developed some tough habits with the 45 to break.

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Post by rburk Tue Nov 09, 2021 9:25 pm

I started shooting bullseye about 2 years ago, and I agree with using the 22 for awhile.  You said you tried Black Hills ammo, I looked at their website, and they have a 200 gr lswc load, but it is listed at 850 fps.  That is a pretty stiff load.

The first thing I did when I started shooting 45 was to get equipped to reload.  It is an easy cartridge to load, and you can make much softer shooting loads.  You said your league is 25y, so short line loads are what you need.

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Post by rimfirewala Wed Nov 10, 2021 12:49 pm

mspingeld wrote:If there's no physical reason for difficulty with the 45 then it's likely a few things. You're not used to it, you need to work on your grip and you need to shoot softer, target loads. If you're planning to progress in the sport, you'll eventually need to shoot the 45. I suggest you shoot 22 only until you're at expert level (or close). That's the fastest way to gain proficiency in the fundamentals (not to mention 22 is cheap and fun!). Once you're there, start training with the 45. At first, just slow fire and "sustained" fire. That's 5 round strings, not putting the gun down between shots but not worrying about a time limit. 5 good shots, no dawdling but not rushed. Adding a 3rd caliber just complicates things.

Hope this helps.
Sir - thank you ! I will follow your advice and stick to .45acp.  I really appreciate your input.  Thanks a lot

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Post by rimfirewala Wed Nov 10, 2021 12:50 pm

Oleg G wrote:+100 on what Mike said - especially about shooting .22 only until you get your proficiency to the Expert level. You will thank Mike later!

Best Regards,
Oleg.

Thank you Smile

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Post by rimfirewala Wed Nov 10, 2021 12:52 pm

zanemoseley wrote:I actually found .32 S&W to be a bit snappy, and its a bitch to load. I would recommend sticking with 22 to start out then progress into 45 light target loads with 160-180 grain lead SWC. You will need to look into reloading if you don't already.
thank you ! I will definitely learn and begin reloading sometime next year.  Thanks again !

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Post by rimfirewala Wed Nov 10, 2021 12:55 pm

chiz1180 wrote:If you are dedicated, a 38spl/357 revolver with 148hbwc. However, as stated by others start with a 22 until you get proficient. 

As far as recoil of a 45, in my local club their is a lady (who was an elementary school teacher before she retired) who got Distinguished in 1985 shooting 230 ball. Recoil is something that you have to learn to address with proper stance and grip.
Hi - yeah...I agree.  I am sure I am not shooting 45acp the right way in terms of grip , stance , etc.  I will try to improve on that front.  Thank you

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Post by rimfirewala Wed Nov 10, 2021 12:57 pm

rburk wrote:I started shooting bullseye about 2 years ago, and I agree with using the 22 for awhile.  You said you tried Black Hills ammo, I looked at their website, and they have a 200 gr lswc load, but it is listed at 850 fps.  That is a pretty stiff load.

The first thing I did when I started shooting 45 was to get equipped to reload.  It is an easy cartridge to load, and you can make much softer shooting loads.  You said your league is 25y, so short line loads are what you need.
Thank you.  I will look for those soft loads and practice.  May be starting off with blackhills was a bad idea  Smile

Thanks for your input  Smile

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Post by Wobbley Wed Nov 10, 2021 1:43 pm

Give Jack at Loader Monkey a call.  You can tell him Ashley Palmer sent you. 

https://www.facebook.com/loadermonkey/

See if he can load you some coated 200 LSWC from Brazos.  He normally loads 185 Zero with 4.5 N310 which is the “Marine load” that Atlantic Arms loads.  You might ask if he could load WST (4.2 Gr), Bullseye (4.0 gr), or Titegroup but I don’t know if he has those powders.  Then re-balance your gun for function.
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Post by straybrit Wed Nov 10, 2021 2:06 pm

If you're using the Brazos 200 LSWC then 3.4g WST with a .463 crimp works fine at 25 yds with a slide mounted red dot. Even my aging and unstable elbow copes with it.

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Post by RodJ Thu Nov 11, 2021 1:34 am

I’m a newbie at this as well, but I have been a newbie at a lot of things. What I am good at is being old enough to have been around the block a few times. It hit me a few years ago that if old timers / proficient experts give advice, I should take it. 

My point is that your responses indicate to me that you are going to be an excellent student and will become a proficient bullseye shooter.  It’s refreshing to read someone asking for advice and taking it.  Bravo!!

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Post by Gary Collette Thu Nov 11, 2021 11:39 am

First off the OP is looking for a caliber other than 22LR.
I myself find the 1911 a challenge.
I did find a good shooter 52-2 (with four mags!!) at a decent price and got 
into the 38 sp loading.
I found the 2.8 BE and 148 GR HBWC to be a soft recoiling load
that gives very good accuracy at 25 yards and have shot better with 
that combo (pistol and caliber) than using a 1911 45 cal with 185 or 200 GR LSWC
with enough energy to function the pistol.
For new shooters the trigger of the 1911 and recoil of 45 ACP I feel, can present a long
uphill learning curve.

G
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Post by zanemoseley Thu Nov 11, 2021 12:36 pm

You're never going to shoot well in bullseye if you can't shoot a 1911, that's a fact. I think its bad advice to suggest someone not get a 1911 as their first CF bullseye pistol. Shoot a 22 and save your money for a real wad pistol with a rail, plenty of good ones show up here lightly used for $1500 - $2k.

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Post by Jon Eulette Thu Nov 11, 2021 12:52 pm

Here’s what 45 can do on 25 yd short course. New National Record last year NMC 299-17x John Zurek. Shot with Zero Factory 185jhp ammunition. I built the pistol.
I’ve shot 296 on International Center Fire slow fire course with 38 special. I’ve always had better results with 38 than the 32 for tightest group from hand. 38 seems more forgiving because it’s not as snappy.
Jon
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Post by WesG Thu Nov 11, 2021 3:51 pm

straybrit wrote:If you're using the Brazos 200 LSWC then 3.4g WST with a .463 crimp works fine at 25 yds with a slide mounted red dot.

3.4? I'm using 4.3 and it feels soft. What dot are you running? Maybe a lot lighter than my MD2? 

I'll have to check which crimp die I was using. I know I set the crimp tighter for the 160's, but not sure about the last batch of 200's when I switched to WST.

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Post by straybrit Thu Nov 11, 2021 5:31 pm

Aimpoint H1 with Alex's shades on it. If you have a vice-like grip (or use both hands) 3.2 will work and is accurate but I need 3.4. From a sandbag it nicely holds the 10 ring on a B16.

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Post by Gary Collette Thu Nov 11, 2021 6:36 pm

Many tell, and in this case show, what a 45 1911 can do in the hands of a gifted
High Master shooter.
What that has to do with a novice is beyond my understanding.
They also point out the high iron sight scores of the past, again shot by 
the best of the best.
I shot indoor bullseye starting with a high standard with irons because there were no dot sights back then and upgraded to a Pardini using a dot sight.
I shot Master and came within a point in average of High Master.
Over twenty years I NEVER shot centerfire or outdoors.
So, to say you must shoot a 1911 is misleading to a new shooter.
It is preached here don't bother with any center fire other than 45 to be an advantage to a new shooter
because you only need one pistol to get used too.
I feel there are little or no absolute musts as far as equipment goes.
Find shooters who are willing to let you ask questions and even let you try their pistols and form your own opinions.
Should you decide enter outdoor 2700 events you could use a GT45, in 45 class,
a 32 upper and 22LR upper in Hamerli and Pardini.
I'm Sure to get flamed for this but what the hell.

G
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