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Set of competition pistols

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Froneck
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Post by Hawker4224 Sun Mar 19, 2023 5:07 pm

Ok guys first thing I want to say is hi my name is Matt and I am brand new to this forum. 2nd thing I want to say is sorry but this might be a long question. 

I just started shooting bullseye competitions this year. I have shot one handed messing around trying to match my dad, still can't by the way but let's not get side tracked. My dad has shoot bullseye for 50 years and I finally decided to follow in his foot steps and see what I can do. I have been shooting handguns for 20 years just not bullseye competition. So I jumped right in the deep end and now I am committed. Here is the question/questions.

I started buying guns plus I have inherited my dad's guns but every gun has opene sights. Everybody I shoot with is using red dots and they all say red dots will increase my scores. Right now these are my guns I am working with.

Smith model 41 1961 7 1/4" barrel with compensator and original box and weights.

High standard victor

Colt national match mid range 38 wadcutter with a Bomar and Clark trigger job

Smith model 52-2 38 wadcutter in the original box

Colt gold cup national match 45

Kimber stainless target long slide 45

Pair of springfiled armory range officers 9mm and 45

I am looking for a 3 gun set 22lr center fire and 45acp for bullseye competition. I have been told to shoot your best you should have as small of change as possible so I am thinking I want 3 1911s with red dots. 

With that said I am not sure I want to drill and tap some of the guns I have as they are pretty valuable and collectable. 

My thought is this but really not an expert and looking for advice from experienced shooters and pistolsmiths.

I have a colt ace slide and chip mccormack frame that I would like to be built into a 22lr with a frame mounted red dot. I think putting a rail and red dot on the slide will be to heavy and potential effect cycling. Then I would like to take the 2 range officers and have them redone and modified and put a rib mounted rail and red dot on both. With trigger jobs and barrels with custom bushings etc. 

This should get me 3 semi custom guns without ruining the value of some collectable guns and not waiting 6 years and 15k for 3 full custom guns. 

Am I on the right track and if I am who should I reach out to for this work. Thanks in advance for all the help. Hopefully I'll be able to beat my dad and his old eyes after this.

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Post by SingleActionAndrew Sun Mar 19, 2023 5:14 pm

An excellent option also in my opinion would be to shoot the guns you have. It looks like your father has a great collection for you to continue with.
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Post by Jon Eulette Sun Mar 19, 2023 6:47 pm

The Colt Ace is not BE worthy conversion. Floating chamber cannot provide the accuracy needed.
Take the 45 RO and have it rebarreled, new ignition parts and scope mount. Learn to shoot a 22 and 45 and you’ll be your best. Using a CF sub 45 caliber is a crutch. Learn how to shoot the 45.
Jon
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Post by Hawker4224 Sun Mar 19, 2023 7:39 pm

Jon,
So in your mind you can't make a 22lr 1911 accurate enough for bullseye competition. Do most BE shooters use different 22s and 45s?
They don't worry about the same grip angles and hand positions sight patterns weights etc.

Also isn't a full BE much a 3 gun competition 22lr centerfire and 45acp.


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Post by Dcforman Sun Mar 19, 2023 7:42 pm

You can absolutely shoot a 22 1911, but the Ace conversion isn't accurate enough. Lots of people shoot Nelson's or Marvel conversions.

You're allowed to shoot any CF cartridge for that portion of the match, so a lot (most) shoot 45 for both CF and 45. 

9mm is more prevalent in service pistol matches (CMP EIC).

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Post by NukeMMC Sun Mar 19, 2023 7:59 pm

Hawker4224 wrote:Jon,
So in your mind you can't make a 22lr 1911 accurate enough for bullseye competition. Do most BE shooters use different 22s and 45s?
They don't worry about the same grip angles and hand positions sight patterns weights etc.

Also isn't a full BE much a 3 gun competition 22lr centerfire and 45acp.

I think what Jon was saying is that the Colt Ace, due to the floating chamber, is not worth the effort to make a good bullseye pistol from.
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Post by Wobbley Sun Mar 19, 2023 8:24 pm

I agree with Jon, take your 45 RO and get it rebarrelled.  Then shoot it with iron sights.  Take the kimber and put a 6 inch Rock River Arms rib on it and shoot it with a dot.  See how it really performs at 25 yards with a “standard” bullseye load like 4.0 gr Bullseye and a 200 gr Cast Semi wadcutter.  If it won’t hold the X, put it away.  If I’d does hold the X, then that is now your wadcutter and training gun.  A 6 inch is a bit tougher to learn on but you’ll find the true benefits of trigger control.  The 22 is a bit easier, there are available ribs for High Standard Victors that can be direct swapped with the factory rib.  The 41 can be barrel swapped with a Clark or other “optics ready” barrel.  Another option is to get a 22 conversion for your RO (could use your 9mm RO for that).  As for using the Colt or Smith 52, my answer is to not until you get to at least Expert classification.
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Post by Hawker4224 Sun Mar 19, 2023 8:48 pm

Thank you some great info so far. I am going to look into a marvel conversion for sure. Now to build out that lower. Who should I contact about doing the work on the RO. Also what red dots should I be looking at. Thanks again for the help



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Post by NukeMMC Sun Mar 19, 2023 8:51 pm

A question and a comment:
- what is the vintage on the Gold Cup? The early ones (pre-series 70 and even some early Series 70) shoot really well right out of the box. I have a 1965 example that is tight in the 10 ring at 25 yards and loose in the 10 ring at 50yds from the bench.

The Victors I own (a Hamden ML series and a 107 Military) shoot just as tight a group at 50yds as my GSP Expert or Pardini. Get a set of Horton's grips, replace the springs with a set from Wolff and it will take you as far as your skills let you. Just don't dry fire it without a snap cap.

The Colt 38 mid-range, if it has a Bomar rib, can accept a Clark rib, but you should really learn to shoot irons. There are still standing records with irons. Shift to a dot when your eyes tell you you have to.
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Post by NukeMMC Sun Mar 19, 2023 8:55 pm

Hawker4224 wrote:Thank you some great info so far. I am going to look into a marvel conversion for sure. Now to build out that lower. Who should I contact about doing the work on the RO. Also what red dots should I be looking at. Thanks again for the help


Talk to Jon about your RO.  He's doing a second one for me right now.
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Post by Hawker4224 Sun Mar 19, 2023 9:28 pm

NukeMMC wrote:A question and a comment:
- what is the vintage on the Gold Cup?  The early ones (pre-series 70 and even some early Series 70) shoot really well right out of the box.  I have a 1965 example that is tight in the 10 ring at 25 yards and loose in the 10 ring at 50yds from the bench.

The Victors I own (a Hamden ML series and a 107 Military) shoot just as tight a group at 50yds as my GSP Expert or Pardini.  Get a set of Horton's grips, replace the springs with a set from Wolff and it will take you as far as your skills let you.  Just don't dry fire it without a snap cap.

The Colt 38 mid-range, if it has a Bomar rib, can accept a Clark rib, but you should really learn to shoot irons.  There are still standing records with irons.  Shift to a dot when your eyes tell you you have to.
Thank you I really appreciate the advice. The gold cup is pre series 70. I don't know the year. The high standard is a 107 military. I'll look into the grips. Question on the open sights vs dot. Don't you focus on a different sight picture depending on the use. How long does it take to master from going from one to the other.

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Post by RoyDean Sun Mar 19, 2023 9:52 pm

OK, so another important question - age and eyesight? If you have youngish good eyes then shooting irons is definitely one option. There are several recent threads on this forum regarding eyesight correction for irons, if that is something you need.

The bottom line in BE shooting is to perform as good as possible with the 45. A tube type red dot definitely makes that easier. PM Jon Eulette and ask him about upgrading your SARO 45. His advice is solid gold!

Then also get him to put a Marvel conversion with combo rail on your SARO 9mm, with identical dot, grips, etc. That can then be used for both BE 22 and also EIC 22.

Then you will have two superb guns that will easily take you to Master if you do your part. Keep all of the other nice guns if you wish - or sell them for a good price and buy a good reloader, a ton of 45 components and a truck load of decent 22 ammo! If you have the funds, buy a decent air pistol for winter training (depending on your location).

Oh, and keep the Gold Cup, if it does not currently shoot great, send it to JE and make it your Service Pistol. Using a 45 for SP keeps ammo simple and relatively less expensive.

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Post by NukeMMC Sun Mar 19, 2023 9:55 pm

This will help you find the year:
https://www.colt.com/serial-lookup

You focus on the front sight with irons. You normally focus on the target in slow with a dot, but some only focus on the dot. Each person is different about how long it takes to transition from one to another.
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Post by BHeintz Sun Mar 19, 2023 10:12 pm

The early Colt Ace pistols didn't have the floating chamber, I have one and used it for Bullseye when I started. But even these are not good Bullseye guns. Accuracy and reliability is not where it needs to be.
  Lots of shooters use different guns for .22 and .45, for example your Model 41 and a .45 1911. But many also use a modern .22 1911 conversion ( Marvel or Nelson) for a .22. You will find that most shooters don't use a centerfire caliber, the majority just shoot .22 and .45.
  I wouldn't feel rushed to use red dots, you already have some great guns ready to go. I would start with what you have, and allow youself to get a feel for things. You can get replacement barrels for either your 41 or High Standard that are set up for red dots, that way you don't have to modify original equipment. Or you could buy a Marvel or Nelson conversion.  
  Then you could shoot one of your iron sight 1911's for now, while you are in the process of building up your Range Officer.

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Post by Wobbley Mon Mar 20, 2023 12:09 am

The rationale for a dot isn’t just because it helps your score; it also helps you train.  A dot shows your actual wobble, how it starts then diminishes and how it disintegrates.  It also shows what the gun does when you pull the trigger.  If you have a problem with trigger control, you’ll see an indication with what the dot does at release.  If you only shoot with a dot on your 22 you’ll get a better training experience.
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Post by Jack H Mon Mar 20, 2023 1:50 am

Wobbley wrote:The rationale for a dot isn’t just because it helps your score; it also helps you train.  A dot shows your actual wobble, how it starts then diminishes and how it disintegrates.  It also shows what the gun does when you pull the trigger.  If you have a problem with trigger control, you’ll see an indication with what the dot does at release.  If you only shoot with a dot on your 22 you’ll get a better training experience.

I do not agree with that.  IF your eyesight is good, and you keep your eye on the front sight, you will see the sight alignment before, during and after the fall of the hammer.  (Where have we heard that before?Smile
Your sight alignment I believe is more important than wobble.  Assuming your wobble is not horrendous.  And that is for another discussion.
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Post by chopper Mon Mar 20, 2023 9:37 am

I agree with Jack, you need to learn the open sights, especially if your eyes haven't changed from aging. I'm 71 and have to use an additional  correction to see the front sight clearly, be sure to blacken both sights to cover any shiny edges. For me it helps with trigger control while holding "aligned sights" on the aiming area of the target. Eventually you'll need to learn them to compete in EIC 22 and SP, also NRA Distinguished Revolver. 
 Matt, think about this, your fathers pistols were and are fine, clean them and shoot them. If they are good enough for him they will take you a long way toward Expert and beyond. By the way, a friend of mine who's a High Master said his mentor would not let him put on a dot until he was classified as an Expert.
 As Jack said and everyone I know of that teaches shooting with open sights : "before, during, and after the hammer falls". Brian Zins is the only person I know of that says no to after the shot, he says it's out of the barrel by then. But "I" believe it also helps you to call your shots by seeing where your sights are afterwards when the hammer falls.
 I'm no Master or HM but this works for me, what I train by, and was suggested by some HMs. I'm glad you are getting hooked on Precision shooting it is much more fun than action as far as I'm concerned.
 Stan

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Post by Hawker4224 Mon Mar 20, 2023 9:50 am

RoyDean wrote:OK, so another important question - age and eyesight? If you have youngish good eyes then shooting irons is definitely one option. There are several recent threads on this forum regarding eyesight correction for irons, if that is something you need.

The bottom line in BE shooting is to perform as good as possible with the 45. A tube type red dot definitely makes that easier. PM Jon Eulette and ask him about upgrading your SARO 45. His advice is solid gold!

Then also get him to put a Marvel conversion with combo rail on your SARO 9mm, with identical dot, grips, etc. That can then be used for both BE 22 and also EIC 22.

Then you will have two superb guns that will easily take you to Master if you do your part. Keep all of the other nice guns if you wish - or sell them for a good price and buy a good reloader, a ton of 45 components and a truck load of decent 22 ammo! If you have the funds, buy a decent air pistol for winter training (depending on your location).

Oh, and keep the Gold Cup, if it does not currently shoot great, send it to JE and make it your Service Pistol. Using a 45 for SP keeps ammo simple and relatively less expensive.
Thanks for the great info I will definitely reach out to Jon. I am 41 I have contacts and nearsighted. I have been shooting pistols for years just not 1 handed bullseye pistol. I feel like I have pretty good trigger control but it's definitely harder one handed. 

I am shooting 250s right now with open sights. Want to get better though this is my first year. Also not going to sell any guns they are priceless to me. I do reload but currently shooting factory ammo until I find a load I like. My dad always used bullseye powder loads but man are they dirty I was hoping to find a good load with a more modern cleaner powder. 

I am going to get a marvel conversion. Went online last night looks like I have to call. It might be easier to have Jon do it all at once though.

Thanks again for the help.

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Post by Hawker4224 Mon Mar 20, 2023 10:00 am

Jon Eulette wrote:The Colt Ace is not BE worthy conversion. Floating chamber cannot provide the accuracy needed.
Take the 45 RO and have it rebarreled, new ignition parts and scope mount. Learn to shoot a 22 and 45 and you’ll be your best. Using a CF sub 45 caliber is a crutch. Learn how to shoot the 45.
Jon
Jon,

It sounds like you and I should have a conversation as you come highly regarded by some great people on here. If you wouldn't mind I would love to get a chance to talk to you about some projects. I really look forward to seeing how far I can go in this.

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Post by Jon Eulette Mon Mar 20, 2023 10:51 am

PM sent
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Post by Froneck Mon Mar 20, 2023 2:32 pm

I disagree that it's best to learn to shoot iron sights first! When I started everyone was using iron. Soon the Red dots became popular after the Winner of the National Match used it. When I mounted Red Dots on my gun my scores increased and oddly my EIC scores also increased! When my son Adam started shooting he didn't like Iron sights so he used only Red Dots. When he went into the AMU he got out of basic in May due to a leg injury. They gave him the set of competition pistols, he would go to Perry with the team but since his late start he would not shoot on the team. He didn't care as long as he was going to Perry. They had National Match team tryouts with the Beretta 9mm, a gun he never shot before. He shot better that everyone on the team, was selected as National Match team member as the new shooter. At Perry he was the highest team shooter, not bad for the new shooter, he won the National Match individual that day! BTW he also shot on the Bullseye team, Amy won the bullseye team matches that year also. He credits the red dot was able to teach him the shooting skills needed. The one advantage the red dot offers is you can see your mistakes, I know I've been able to see a jerk starting, stop it and fire a good shot and soon stopped making that mistake! As coach of the AMU Adam started new shooters with red dots. In reality the sights don't matter as long as they point to actual bullet impact with the target, cheap red dots with parallax are useless! Inaccurate pistols are useless too! A red dot sight will Not make a inaccurate pistol shoot better! However proper execution of each shot is very important and the red dot helps learning that.

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Post by Zipp0 Wed Mar 29, 2023 5:11 pm

if shooting NRA 2700 - follow the above advice.

If shooting ISSF - buy a set of Pardinis

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Post by troystaten Thu Mar 30, 2023 11:54 pm

Just my opinion which with 5 bucks will get you an over priced coffee at Starbucks.  Try both the High Standard and the S&W model 41 and see which you like the best.  I have a 41 like yours and it shoots well, some don't.  Try the Gold Cup and see how it shoots with bullseye loads and if it is an X ring gun at 25 yards and a 10 ring gun or better at 50 it will serve you ok. If the Gold cup does not fit that bill have the Range officer done over by someone who caters to bullseye shooters.  The S&W 52's are fun but as other posters have said the really serious bullseye shooters favor using just 2 guns (a 22 and a 45). I think the triggers on the 41 and the HS tend to be better than the various 1911 22 conversions.  As for the 1911 Colt 38 is it one with the blowback action or is it one with a traditional 1911 action.  Have fun and shoot more.

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Post by mikemyers Fri Mar 31, 2023 8:06 am

Two thoughts - not really suggestions, but I think they make sense.

First, if your eyes are in good shape, don't give up on your open sights yet.  Give them a chance.

Second, since you already have a Gold Cup, there are lots of choices for getting your gun updated.  Jon has a wonderful reputation, and seems to both know, and understand everything.  KC Crawford - ditto.  Because he built the 45 Range Officer that I bought in 2018, you might want to contact Dave Salyer.  All my guns seem to go to him for whatever is needed.  Below is a photo of my Range Officer that Dave built - the only change I made was to replace the original red dot sight with a 1" Ultradot, because that's what Dave recommends.  (On the other hand, I enjoy shooting my Les Baer Premiere II just as much, with the original open sights.). But I'm being old-fashioned - red dot sights seem to have taken over....

You can write to Jon, KC, and Dave, and find out if your Gold Cup is a good starting point to make it into a Bullseye Gun, how much it would cost, and how soon they could get it back to you.  And consider that once your 45 is built, you can put a Nelson 22 Conversion on top of it, and use one gun for all three classes, changing the "upper" as needed.  

(Maybe people in this forum can advise you on whether or not your Gold Cup would make a good Bullseye gun.)

 

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Post by Zipp0 Fri Mar 31, 2023 10:10 am

To add to mikemyers note if your eyes are good.... even if not..  invest in some good shooting glasses. The simple, single focal length lenses are not expensive and get them focused on the front sight (I have two pairs, one for sport pistol and one pair for air / 50m pistol as they are much longer) look at gehmans.

I started shooting with my Dad when I was 8 or 9 and could see the sights and target perfectly (yes I know - impossible to focus on all three at once) but the accommodation was so fast that everything was perfect. I looked at the american shooting guide picture saying this is impossible. Not so.

I remember the day I picked up a pistol and couldn't see perfectly - guessing I was 18 or 19. Somewhat depressing at the time....

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