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Off the shelf 1911 suitable for a ENTRY level BE shooting

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Rush223
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Post by ptf18 Fri Jan 12, 2024 4:36 pm

I suspect that this question has been asked a million times. I apologize.

I've taken an interest in the possibility of BE shooting. I shoot NRA/CMP High Power Rifle, and have for decades. With that in mind I think I would lean toward NRA/CMP type Service Pistol  shooting. I've gone thru their rule books(s) and have a bit of a feel what types of handguns are allowed.

I have several 1911s (all commander length) and  shoot them once or twice a year....wither I need to or not. So I'm "familiar" with that family of handguns. That aside... I like 1911's.

I'd like recommendations for  full size, OFF THE SHELF, 1911's that you feel would be suitable for (ENTRY LEVEL) BE shooting. I fully realize that OFF THE SHELF guns are not the ULTIMATE BE gun...BUT.... what I'd like to know what 1911 would get me "in the door" shooting BE especially if my "interest" wanes and the gun goes back into the safe. I suspect, as it is in High Power Rifle shooting, that shooting well (good to great scores) is more about the shooter. Of course (at least in HP Rifle) the firearm and ammo needs to be quality...BUT..... it's still the shooter.

I could spend the big bucks and purchase the most accurate 1911 that some 1911 guru could build me but that's not what I'm asking.

I understand that the out of production Springfield RO was one sort of 1911 that would fit my "needs".  AND from what I found on the 'net, the RO price point was one that I would have been interested in (years ago). I think there are (were) other 1911's that, IMHO,  I would consider ENTRY LEVEL which would "outshoot" me.... a newbie to BE shooting.

Thoughts?

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Post by JRV Fri Jan 12, 2024 4:54 pm

What price is entry level to you?

Springfield Loaded Target is probably the cheapest American-made gun that I would recommend. Tisas/SDS Imports has a 5” match pistol with black sights and a traditional adjustable rear sight that has a decent reputation for grouping well enough.

You need a pistol with a good trigger that makes weight, all black sights with repeatable adjustments, and enough mechanical precision to shoot on call at 50 yards with good ammo. If you try to compete with a gun/ammo combo that doesn’t cut the mustard, you’re basically guessing at 50, regardless of your ability. That makes progressing as a shooter impossible.

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Post by chiz1180 Fri Jan 12, 2024 5:20 pm

Seek out a good used Wadgun or service gun (depending on goals) if you are on a tight budget. Find an active club as local as possible to you, go shoot some matches 22 only and ask around. 

Rock River Arms makes and excellent production level gun. Typically hold their value too.

In my opinion doing the basegun to the gunsmith option is basically paying more for the same value you would get in a good used gun. Not to mention most smiths in this game have extensive backlog. Piece part guns also don't hold their value as well, not to say they don't have the potential of being good guns, they just turn out to be better deals as used guns.
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Post by Rush223 Fri Jan 12, 2024 5:30 pm

Scroll down about 7 topics from this one and find the exact question with 30+ responses. 
I would second the Springfield Armory Loaded Target. It can be found for $900 and shoots well beyond my capabilities. I just walked out the door with one a few days ago. I’m impressed with it and have great guns to compare it with. 
Rush

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Post by ptf18 Sat Jan 13, 2024 1:10 pm

Thanks Fellows. Rush...thank you

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Post by Froneck Tue Jan 16, 2024 6:08 am

Again I see too often the gun will shoot well beyond my capabilities as a reason for bullseye gun selection. Simply put that's wrong! The secret in good shooting depends on the shooters desire to learn how to shoot. Guns have little to do with the skill other than they demonstrate the ability learned. If a new shooter were given the best 1911 ever built that will shoot a one hole group at 50 yards without the skill needed to deliver an accurate shot will not help his score! But it will demonstrate where the shot was directed. If the shooter does everything correct and the shot released so that it will hit the X ring but the inaccuracy of the gun used directs the bullet to the 7 ring the shooter is confused. The Ah Ha moment is lost and shooter left with wondering what they did wrong! Too often I see the gun blamed because it's known to be inaccurate as the reason for a bad score! You can't buy a score in Bullseye! But you will never learn to shoot using a gun that can't deliver. The opposite is also possible, shooter shoots a 7 but the gun's inaccuracy puts the hole in the X ring, that's a false Ah Ha moment, the shooter now thinks what was done will deliver Xs!
 For those that don't know what an Ah Ha moment is, it's the point at which everything was done correctly (shooting or anything else) and the results confirm it you have the feeling Ah Ha that's how it's done!
 Best is to purchase an off the shelf gun and have it worked on or buy a used gun that has been worked on by a top bullseye gunsmith! A gun capable of shooting a consistent 3" group is required 2" is better. Remember the shot result is the combination of the shooter "group" size and the gun's. 
 Learning to shoot is a series of Ah Ha moments, gun inaccuracy will prevent that!
 So get the best you can afford. Advantage is that if you decide Bullseye competition is not for be a better gun is easier to sell! It's possible to get more foe it that it cost!


Last edited by Froneck on Thu Jan 18, 2024 3:56 am; edited 2 times in total

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Post by rich.tullo Wed Jan 17, 2024 2:44 pm

Springfield Range officer is the first choice of many. That gun is ok off the rack and can be made excellent. They will typically shoot 5 inches or better at 50 yards off the rack and much better with a new NM Bushing.
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Post by Texasref Thu Jan 18, 2024 3:39 am

Froneck,
Well said. Hope that it's understood.

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Post by ptf18 Fri Jan 19, 2024 9:09 am

So... A SA Range Officer is what I'll be looking for. The little bit of quick searching I've done show me that there are different "versions" of this handgun. I'm I correct and if so, which "version" should I focus on?   Also... year of manufacture? Does that matter?

Thanks all.

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Post by JRV Fri Jan 19, 2024 10:02 am

You just want the standard Range Officer. 5” gun with all-black LPA adjustable sights, parkerized finish. The later “Elite” models had fiber optic sights made more for action shooting.

They’ve been discontinued for a while, but they come up for sale on GB pretty consistently. Get a couple boxes of match-grade ammo and test it at the longest range you have available to you (50 yards is best). My RO needed a drop-in EGW angle bore bushing to shoot on-call at 50 yards, but that was all.

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Post by Froneck Fri Jan 19, 2024 10:34 am

I would avoid parkerized finish. You will have to have the RO worked on. So RO shoot great out of the box but in a short time they loosen. Guy at my club purchased one. Shot great, good group at 50 yards but in a year the group opened up to it had to be worked on. Most Gunsmiths don't do parkerizing.


Last edited by Froneck on Fri Jan 19, 2024 10:58 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by 8eightring Fri Jan 19, 2024 10:55 am

I have had excellent performance from both a Kimber Eclipse Target II  (let the flames begin) and a Dan Wesson Pointman 7.
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Post by Froneck Sat Jan 20, 2024 4:34 am

Texasref wrote:Froneck,
Well said. Hope that it's understood.
 What most new shooters don't understand as well as quite a few that have shot for quite a while is the goal is group size. The gun in hand is a combination of the gun's group capability as well as the ammo and sights. The shooter must also evaluate themself to group size. The target is nothing more of a means to record the results! Too often I see new shooter take a shot and adjust the sights and continue repeating that shooting sequence during practice. The location of one shot means nothing, establish a group. Actual score of any group can be determined by overlaying the center of the group on the center of the target. Having a combination of gun, sights and ammo that will create a small group now will indicate what the shooter adds to the combination. Having a small group in the 7 ring is correctable buy adjusting the sights. What has to be understood is all 4 must combine to produce a good score. Therefor the shooter having a gun so that the gun, ammo and sights will produce a small group will indicate what the shooter must do to make their group size smaller. Great scores is a combination of group sizes in the center of the target recorder!

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