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New gun suggestion for Tyro/Marksman competition

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chiz1180
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Post by Buck13 12/10/2022, 4:09 pm

Thanks in advance and sorry for a boring question that's probably been asked a thousand times:

What would you recommend for a more-or-less turnkey new .45 that would be minimally suitable for a rookie who will probably not make it to many matches.  By turnkey I mean I'm willing to replace recoil springs, of course.  Not so sure about other springs or parts unless they're pretty easy even for someone who has no 1911 experience and only a modest ability to work on other guns.  I like reloading (although a bit less so for autos, due to the nuisance of chasing and losing brass) so it doesn't necessarily have to remain a "hardball" gun.

Ideally, out-the-door with a couple of mags and 10% tax would be around $1000, but I might be willing to go $1200 or MAYBE a little more if that makes a big difference.  I'm not genuinely on a tight budget, but I start to feel foolish paying over $1000 for a range toy unless I'm convinced it's the bee's knees.  So, feel free to suggest things at different price points if you can explain why.

Given the age of my eyes, I should probably be looking to put a halfway decent red dot sight on it, but I'm not sure I'll get that far.  I can *almost* still use irons...

Or am I asking this question wrong?

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Post by Merick 12/10/2022, 6:02 pm

At the risk of being a slight killjoy of centerfire aspirations, I'd say get a ruger mk 2/3/4 with adjustable sights or an ultradot, then spend the remainder on targets and ammo, and attempt to wear it out.

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Post by JRV 12/10/2022, 6:06 pm

Are you already shooting .22 in matches?  That’s incredibly easy to do for under a grand. Fixed barrel guns are inherently accurate. 

.45 can be done for under a grand, but probably nothing will work “out of the box” unless the stars align.

I went with a used SA Range Officer to start.  Usually recommended as the “go-to” starter gun.

Mine was not mechanically precise enough to call shots on the long line.  Fit an EGW angle bore “drop-in” bushing and a .200” slide stop, and it became more than adequate.

I have less than $850 in the gun as it sits.  At our last state championships, that gun and Wilson Combat remanufactured ammo were a competitive setup.  My .45 NMC slowfire string started with eight 10s in a row.

If you are comfortable with a tiny bit of “kitchen table” smithing or paying a local gunsmith for a bit of work, it’s doable.

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Post by RoyDean 12/10/2022, 8:10 pm

On Gun Broker
https://www.gunbroker.com/item/959572569

~$650

Then send it to a competent Bullseye gunsmith to install a rail, trigger job and tighten it up. OEM barrels are pretty good so no need to swap out. ~$300

1" Ultradot - good used ones come up on this forum quite often ~$150

Total under $1,200

The SA Range Officer (with adjustable target sights) was the preferred base gun, then you could get a combo or removeable rail and maybe an extra 4lb sear spring so that the gun could double as an iron sight Service Pistol. Unfortunately SA discontinued them and new ones on GB are now quite expensive.

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Post by Wobbley 12/11/2022, 12:05 am

Tyro/beginner gun selection…

I’ve maintained for a long time that beginners should purchase the most capable gun they can afford.  So to purchase a “starter” grade of gun doesn’t really help a person develop as quickly as he/she should.  This doesn’t mean a you have to get a $6000 Cabot custom, but it should be capable of x-ring to ten-ring accuracy at 50 yards.  I’m not sure that a gun like a “SA Range Officer” meets that criteria.  I’d be far more inclined to go get a decent 1911 from a reputable maker (Sig, SA, Colt, S&W), even used,  then send it to Accuracy X for an AccuracyX upgrade with the multi-sight slide.  Total cost should be about $2300 or less and you’d have a pistol you won’t need to do anything to “fix”.
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Post by RoyDean 12/11/2022, 12:12 am

Sorry Wobbley, I disagree. My very mildly tuned SARO with OEM barrel got me to Master in less than 2 seasons and still shoots great even now. Yes, I have moved on to full custom 1911's and they are indeed superior, but part of the development process includes figuring out what works for you - trigger style, grips, dots, etc.

It does not have to be a SARO, but they are at such a good quality/price point I don't see where you can beat it. OP is looking to spend no more than $1,200.

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Post by Buck13 12/11/2022, 12:34 am

Merick wrote:At the risk of being a slight killjoy of centerfire aspirations, I'd say get a ruger mk 2/3/4 with adjustable sights or an ultradot, then spend the remainder on targets and ammo, and attempt to wear it out.  
.22s I'm fairly well equipped with:  3 different MkII Targets (one of which I put a Holosun 507 on a couple of years ago) but none with any trigger upgrades, as well as a High Standard Sport King, a 6" S&W K22 pre-model 17 that I think my dad bought new around 1955, and a High Standard "High Sierra" 9-shot revolver.  That High Sierra is actually quite a shooter, at least in slow fire.

I've never entered a formal match, only casual B2/B3 300 point contests with a small group of acquaintances.  I'm an also-ran in those.  My best score was a 263, and a couple around 250.  I would probably average somewhere in the 230s if I shot enough to be statistically significant, I'll bet.

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Post by chiz1180 12/11/2022, 8:28 am

I would agree with Roy, a Springfield offerings such as mil spec or range officer is a solid option. I earned my hard leg at Canton this year with a stock barrel range officer. 

If you want iron sights, with patience a Range Officer can be found used for under $1000. If you want to shoot an optic, the mil spec option would be the way to go. 

If you are going with a different make, it is preferable to get a series 70 style, without the extra safety parts. Generally easier to deal with.
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Post by tovaert 12/11/2022, 9:39 am

Yesterday I checked out one of these at my LGS in Indiana (it's $360 on sale): https://www.budsgunshop.com/product_info.php/products_id/115201/sds+1911a1+.45+acp+5+7rd+black

Very good slide/frame fit and decent ~4# trigger. Good reviews, made in Turkey. Add an angle bore bushing and rail w/optic, and perhaps a trigger job. Well within your budget.

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Post by shanneba 12/11/2022, 10:06 am

If your primary interest is only an occasional competition but using the gun mostly for your personal target shooting,
You can get a new Colt Gold Cup for about your $1200 price. (More like $13-1400 in blue maybe a little less in stainless non-competition model)

Tisas also offers a "Match Pistol" with adjustable sights with a MSRP of $1199 you may be able to find for less.
Tisas 1911 Match Pistol (tisasusa.com)

If you want to shoot in competition, the NRA offers competitions using the 22 only for the CF and 45 competitions.
(This is even available at the National Championships.)

.22 CALIBER ONLY AGGREGATE
22.2 Course of Fire - Shooters will shoot standard courses of fire shoulder-to-shoulder with other shooters competing in open NRA Pistol competition. 
However, shooters will shoot the below described pistol in all three phases of a standard 2700 aggregate instead of changing pistols during the center-fire and .45 caliber matches. 
They will record aggregates in the same manner as other shooters shooting more than one caliber of pistol, but will compete only against other eligible .22 Caliber Only Aggregate shooters 
and will only be eligible for awards designated for the .22 Caliber Aggregate Competition events except as provided in Rule 22.1. 
Just as each open class competitor will compile 900 point and 2700-point aggregates using more than one gun, 
the .22 Caliber only competitors will compile those aggregates with only one firearm as described, in NRA Pistol Rule(s)

Shooting glasses with the proper prescription to allow you to focus on the front sight can help shooting adjustable iron sights.

Old Pistol Shooters Don't Give Up, They Just Lose Their Sights - Decot Hy-Wyd Sport Glasses, Inc.

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Post by Buck13 12/11/2022, 12:08 pm

RoyDean wrote:
The SA Range Officer (with adjustable target sights) was the preferred base gun, then you could get a combo or removeable rail and maybe an extra 4lb sear spring so that the gun could double as an iron sight Service Pistol. Unfortunately SA discontinued them and new ones on GB are now quite expensive.
Dang, I thought the SA RO might be a suggestion.  I guess this explains why my preferred LGS doesn't have it on their "we can order these from our distributor" page.

What surprises me is that they have NO Springfield 1911s on that page, only Saint rifles and some grotty plastic handguns.  Is Springfield not making any 1911s right now???

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Post by Buck13 12/11/2022, 12:35 pm

Wobbley wrote:Tyro/beginner gun selection…

I’ve maintained for a long time that beginners should purchase the most capable gun they can afford.  So to purchase a “starter” grade of gun doesn’t really help a person develop as quickly as he/she should.  This doesn’t mean a you have to get a $6000 Cabot custom, but it should be capable of x-ring to ten-ring accuracy at 50 yards.  I’m not sure that a gun like a “SA Range Officer” meets that criteria.  I’d be far more inclined to go get a decent 1911 from a reputable maker (Sig, SA, Colt, S&W), even used,  then send it to Accuracy X for an AccuracyX upgrade with the multi-sight slide.  Total cost should be about $2300 or less and you’d have a pistol you won’t need to do anything to “fix”.
I agree with you, in principle.  To paraphrase T. Whelen, only accurate handguns are interesting.

I drives me crazy to see people write on forums (fora?) "That gun is more accurate than I am."  Yeah, it better be!  Particularly when you know this is someone who's thinking "I shoot 6" groups at 50 feet, so a gun/ammo that shoots 3" groups off a rest is OK."  Yeah, no.  Anything much worse than an inch at 50' and that should be disposed of, unless you plan on some criming and need a gun you can throw in the lake afterward.

However, if we're talking about $1000 to gain 1 inch of accuracy at 50 yards from a Ransom Rest, maybe I'd be better off with $1000 worth of ammo.  Three inch difference at 50 yards for $1000?  That *might* be worth it. 

Two inches?  Hard to say.  I'm never going to be really good.  I have a touch of essential tremor.  Nothing like the prof I had for 1st semester physics, who's hands could be seen to shake from the last row of a 600 seat lecture hall, but I'm wobbly enough that right now, I think I can barely hold the black without even thinking about the trigger.  I'm hoping to improve that a little with some improvement in my grip and stance, but I don't expect miracles!

Basically, my initial goal is to keep all my shots in the scoring rings!  In our casual .22 matches, I still sometimes drop a couple zeros in ten rounds of sustained fire...

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Post by Buck13 12/11/2022, 12:42 pm

RoyDean wrote:you could get a combo or removeable rail
Geez, I'm so ignorant, I think I'm going to have to an explanation of exactly what this means.  Or just a link to a page showing an example...

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Post by Buck13 12/11/2022, 12:45 pm

As long as I'm asking stupid questions, here's a doozy:

Browsing the list of all the 1911s currently available from Bud's, I see a few with 6" barrels, all from inexpensive importers, I think (Fusion, Iver Johnson, Rock Island were the ones I remember seeing).

If I'm not mistaken, most people are using 5" guns.  Why is that?

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Post by Buck13 12/11/2022, 1:06 pm

shanneba wrote:If your primary interest is only an occasional competition but using the gun mostly for your personal target shooting,
You can get a new Colt Gold Cup for about your $1200 price. (More like $13-1400 in blue maybe a little less in stainless non-competition model)
That would probably be a fair description of my intentions.

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Post by Buck13 12/11/2022, 1:12 pm

shanneba wrote:
Shooting glasses with the proper prescription to allow you to focus on the front sight can help shooting adjustable iron sights.
Funny you should mention that.  I just yesterday received a couple of pairs of cheap single-vision mail order glasses in which I tried to guess how much to reduce my correction on the right lens to see the sights.  I *almost* got it right on one pair, although 1/4 diopter less might be ideal.  The other pair may have to be used only with my cheap red dot, or my rifle with the aperture rear sight, since they're 1/4 stronger and I can't get the front sight of a pistol to focus at all.

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Post by shanneba 12/11/2022, 1:15 pm

uck13 wrote:
RoyDean wrote:you could get a combo or removeable rail
Geez, I'm so ignorant, I think I'm going to have to an explanation of exactly what this means.  Or just a link to a page showing an example...


A combo rail will have adjustable sights plus a rail mount for optics.

New gun suggestion for Tyro/Marksman competition Large_66_Combo_rail

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Post by Merick 12/11/2022, 2:33 pm

shanneba wrote:
uck13 wrote:
RoyDean wrote:you could get a combo or removeable rail
Geez, I'm so ignorant, I think I'm going to have to an explanation of exactly what this means.  Or just a link to a page showing an example...


A combo rail will have adjustable sights plus a rail mount for optics.

New gun suggestion for Tyro/Marksman competition Large_66_Combo_rail
I am unclear if those are rules ok for EIC.  Being it would be an easy answer that would make cheaper guns useful in multiple classes, I'm going to assume they are not.

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Post by RoyDean 12/11/2022, 3:35 pm

That rail is probably for a Marvel. Not the easiest solution. Many folks simply cut slots in a standard rail so that it will slide on over the existing iron sights. The slide is drilled and tapped. Rail then screwed on to slide and dot mounts on rail. The dot obscures the iron sights .

If you want to use the gun for EIC Service Pistol the rail generally has to be removed entirely. When you put the rail back on the dot will then most likely have to be re-zeroed. Obviously not meant to be done routinely every week, but if you are on a tight budget it is doable.

There are various micro rail and qd dot solutions on the market, but they tend to be very expensive and defeat the point of an entry level inexpensive gun.

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Post by Wobbley 12/11/2022, 4:02 pm

Combo rails are available from Rock River Arms.
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Post by RoyDean 12/11/2022, 4:12 pm

Wobbley, good call. $135 for the RRA Combo Rail with built in adjustable sights. Perfect solution for the cheapest Springfield Armory A1 model. Probably will still have to re-zero the dot each time it is off/on, but a very good solution nonetheless.

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Post by RoyDean 12/11/2022, 4:24 pm

TISAS 1911. As mentioned by tovaert. Made in Turkey. Yes, surprisingly nicely made and the two I've tried shoot well. Can't go wrong at the price. I would still choose a SA A1 as the best starting point for a budget build though, simply because they are very well proven and the internals are robust enough to bear "tweaking" by a competent gunsmith.

Buck13. Just get a 5", please. Not a 6", not a 4". Get a 5".

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Post by Jon Eulette 12/11/2022, 4:27 pm

SA RO; barrel fit close enough that 0.200” slide stop pin and bushing improves things to sorta competitive pistol.
SA A1; will need everything done. Period!
Get the RO
Jon
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Post by RoyDean 12/11/2022, 4:32 pm

Whoops! OK. Cancel my suggestions about an A1. The guru has spoken and I always take his advice over all others, not joking! Never touched an A1 myself. Find a SA RO!

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Post by Buck13 12/11/2022, 8:05 pm

Jon Eulette wrote:SA RO; barrel fit close enough that 0.200” slide stop pin and bushing improves things to sorta competitive pistol.
SA A1; will need everything done. Period!
Get the RO
Jon
There's an allegedly unfired RO on Gunbroker for a thousand clams.  Maybe I'll start with that and see where this goes...

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