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Balance and weight

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Balance and weight Empty Balance and weight

Post by 30harry 1/2/2018, 10:47 am

Can someone with a lot of experience in bullseye/ISSF help me with some basic info on pistol balance and weight.  

All other aspects being equal, trigger, accuracy, etc. and discounting recoil impulse is a lighter gun better or a heavier gun or weight has no bearing?  Using Pardini SP as a for instance, would you be equally good with it if it weighed half as much?

Also, what is the optimum balance a shooter should seek?  Muzzle heavy, muzzle light, or perfectly balanced in your hand?  

Or does recoil impulse have a major part in determining the necessary balance point needed for optimum scoring?

Thanks all

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Post by Jon Eulette 1/2/2018, 11:01 am

'You' need to shoot lots of guns! It's different for everybody. Balance is individual preference. I don't like a muzzle heavy pistol, others do. I've shot nearly all 22 pistols made for BE/Int'l competition. I have my favorites but they will all get the job done. The trigger pull is my biggest hangup......it has to be exceptional. Most shooters will let you shoot their pistol....so ask. There's no magic pistol, fundamentals is more important than the pistol. Recoil does vary from gun to gun. So sometimes you do have to figure out a way to make it more user friendly. On my 208s I tried heavier barrel weights and didn't like the muzzle heaviness. Switched from Aimpoint Micro to Aimpoint 9000SC and now its perfect because weight is more over the hand. So you need to see what works for you.
Jon


Last edited by Jon Eulette on 1/2/2018, 3:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by gregbenner 1/2/2018, 2:13 pm

Jon is absolutely correct.  Over the last couple years I started collecting bullseye target pistols and have virtually all the current Olympic versions (Benelli, 208, 208s, Pardini, AW93, GSP, Matchgun, & Beretta 89,  as well as S&W 41, Volqurtson Scorpion, HS Victor and a Nelson 1911 Conversion). 

My ideas of "perfect" have changed considerably over this period. Initially, I thought lighter was better, although this changed as I developed more arm strength and stamina. Recoil was also more of an initial issue. My ideas of a perfect trigger have also changed with practice.

Also, for me, grips are very important, partially because I have a medium size hand. If you handle a gun with the wrong size grip you might well get a imperfect impression. 

Currently the trigger I like best is the Match Gun MG2, followed closely by the Pardini and 208s. I would probably rate the GSP every bit as good, but the gun is a bit nose heavy. 

Unfortunately, my experiences may not be all that helpful since you might well have different conclusions. If you get to San Diego I'd be happy to let you shoot mine.

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Post by Jack H 1/2/2018, 3:21 pm

I will agree with the word "individual", but not "preference".
First comes the individual's condition, meaning strength and physical makeup.
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Post by 285wannab 1/2/2018, 3:28 pm

It really is a matter of shooters choice.  And you have a lot of choices out there.  Go to the matches and ask to try different guns.
I was having back issues and made up a 22/45 with a Volq. barrel.  That thing was light.  Maybe to light. I think it is best to being holding some weight to put tension on your muscles.  Or else it will be just floating around.
I also like my gun to sit in my hand.  But you might shoot better scores with a nose heavy gun.
Try as many as you can.

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Post by mikemyers 5/8/2021, 6:12 am

Jon Eulette wrote:'You' need to shoot lots of guns! It's different for everybody. Balance is individual preference. I don't like a muzzle heavy pistol, others do. I've shot nearly all 22 pistols made for BE/Int'l competition. I have my favorites but they will all get the job done. The trigger pull is my biggest hangup......it has to be exceptional. Most shooters will let you shoot their pistol....so ask. There's no magic pistol, fundamentals is more important than the pistol. Recoil does vary from gun to gun. So sometimes you do have to figure out a way to make it more user friendly. On my 208s I tried heavier barrel weights and didn't like the muzzle heaviness. Switched from Aimpoint Micro to Aimpoint 9000SC and now its perfect because weight is more over the hand. So you need to see what works for you.
Jon

I was searching for good information on whether or not to use barrel weights, and accidentally found the above response by Jon.  I was thinking about this last night (woke me up!), and while I got the HS barrel weight with my X-Series gun, I think I will remove it today.  If the barrel weight is to reduce the gun rising from recoil, that doesn't seem necessary with a 22.

I'm also having second thoughts about the Aimpoint Micro.  I've got a one-inch Ultradot on two of my guns, and maybe because of the weight distribution, or maybe something else I'm unaware of, the guns seemed to be more "stable".  I've still got my Aimpoint 9000SC, but every time I put it on a gun, within a few hours I remove it - too heavy.  I know Jon isn't a fan of the Matchdot II's reliability, but as far as I know, nobody in this forum has ever written anything negative about the 1" Ultradot.

I know it all comes down to the shooter, and the fundamentals, but I think weight and weight distribution can enhance or detract from a person's shooting ability....  ...and this comes last, well behind things like trigger control and sight alignment.
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Post by radjag 5/8/2021, 10:36 am

"nobody in this forum has ever written anything negative about the 1" Ultradot."

UD 1" - I currently own 9 of them - sold at least one more with a gun - don't use any of them any more. But keeping them all for now in case I need to go back to them. Very round dot, convenient wind/elev turrets, very good Service  - Katy Zobel? a very pleasant and helpful soul.

But, I've had to return several of them, mostly with tubes coming loose from the body and degassing, usually identified when specks of thread sealant appear as debris inside the optic. UD advises that rings should be located as close as possible to the main body - and definitely not over the tube ends where the lens are located. Also be careful not to tighten the rings too much as it is easy to deform the tubes.

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Post by mikemyers 5/8/2021, 10:51 am

Oops, but you left out the words that preceded what I wrote: " as far as I know".


Thank you for posting the warnings. I knew most of them, but not about where to place the rings. Makes sense to me now.  

For what it's worth, I replaced the Aimpoint H-1 with the 1" Ultradot, and removed the barrel weight.  The High Standard now feels lighter, and better balanced in my hand.  The front of the gun doesn't "wiggle" as much.
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Post by Gary Collette 5/8/2021, 11:57 am

I will be shooting a 52 outdoors this season.
I mounted a Vortex reflex in the rear sight dovetail.
Using the factory grips this pistol seems very "twitchy" to me.
The dot moves around a lot more than my Pardini and the targets show it!
I do have Horton grips on the Pardini and have a set coming for the 52.
I will be ordering a weight to fit the frame rails and will be suprised if that along 
with the grips don't improve the "feel" of this pistol.
I can call my shots with the Pardini by ring but not the 52.
A called 5 o'clock 8 can be a 6 and i know this is NG.
The pistol and loads from a bag can hold the ten ring at 50 yards * out of ten shots the the others
could be my 69 year old eyes.

G

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Post by Wobbley 5/8/2021, 12:43 pm

The 52 can be an unforgiving beast.  Your problem is much more likely a fundamental not the guns balance.
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Post by Schaumannk 5/8/2021, 1:19 pm

Gary Collette wrote:I will be shooting a 52 outdoors this season.
I mounted a Vortex reflex in the rear sight dovetail.
Using the factory grips this pistol seems very "twitchy" to me.
The dot moves around a lot more than my Pardini and the targets show it!
I do have Horton grips on the Pardini and have a set coming for the 52.
I will be ordering a weight to fit the frame rails and will be suprised if that along 
with the grips don't improve the "feel" of this pistol.
I can call my shots with the Pardini by ring but not the 52.
A called 5 o'clock 8 can be a 6 and i know this is NG.
The pistol and loads from a bag can hold the ten ring at 50 yards * out of ten shots the the others
could be my 69 year old eyes.

G
Moving your wrist, your other fingers, or hesitant triggering is the kiss of death with the Model 52.   Be extremely careful with adding more weight.   It can help when you are fresh, and can be the kiss of death for an older person after a long break and a big lunch in 90 degree heat.   

The Pardini allows you to naturally carry the weight of the gun on the web of your hand where it meets the thumb.  A factory straight grip requires you to think about how much pressure you are using to hold the gun, and reevaluate your entire shot process to insure independent triggering.

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Post by mikemyers 5/8/2021, 1:51 pm

People here told me to grip the 52 firmly.  That helped.

I've also got a Vortex Venom on my 52, and also on my Victor.

My 52 feels beautifully balanced in my hand(s).  That's what I wanted for my X-Series.  The 52 is the most unforgiving gun I own, but I love it despite that.  If you have the book "The Pistol Shooter's Treasury" there is a lot of good information regarding the 52.  

The Vortex Venom probably weighs as much as the52 rear sight, so the gun feels the same with either.  That's the feel I wanted on my High Standard.
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Post by mikemyers 5/8/2021, 8:59 pm

I'm pleasantly surprised from what I thought I learned from Jon Eulette's post.  Yesterday I thought I had my High Standard working reasonably well, with the red dot "wobble" filling the 9-ring, and the targets coming out just like what the sights indicated.

After removing the barrel weight, and switching from the Aimpoint Micro to the one-inch Ultradot (thanks again, LenV !!!)  the "wobble from the dot mostly turned into a single spot, that wobbled a tiny amount and got slightly larger in time with my heartbeat.  I spent 45 minutes dry-firing, and it looked like the dot was staying in the bullseye except for when my heart would beat - and it then came back to the bullseye.  

I don't think I have the skills to do so, but I remember reading how people wrote about shooting between heartbeats.  I thought it was a myth back then.  I never, ever, noticed my heartbeat as the dot moved around.  Now I do.  Strange.  I don't think anyone I know is going to believe this - but on Monday I'll ask someone else to hold my gun and tell me what they see.
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Post by popchevy 5/13/2021, 9:34 pm

Question . You got me thinking. Do you have high blood pressure ?

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Post by mikemyers 5/14/2021, 6:09 am

If you're asking me, I think my blood pressure is low, but my cardiologist says it's "perfect".  

Is there some correlation between the "dot movement" and "blood pressure"?  Interesting thought...
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Post by mikemyers 5/23/2021, 1:04 pm

mikemyers wrote:.........After removing the barrel weight, and switching from the Aimpoint Micro to the one-inch Ultradot (thanks again, LenV !!!)  the "wobble from the dot mostly turned into a single spot, that wobbled a tiny amount and got slightly larger in time with my heartbeat.  I spent 45 minutes dry-firing, and it looked like the dot was staying in the bullseye except for when my heart would beat - and it then came back to the bullseye..................I don't think anyone I know is going to believe this - but on Monday I'll ask someone else to hold my gun and tell me what they see.

Here is the reply from Professon Kellerman, at Kellerman Research:

Mike,
 
Within the body we generally look at oscillations in otherwise healthy people and call that physiological tremor. Other types of pathological tremor include parkinsons, essential tremor, etc. This “movement” in healthy individuals comes from two main sources, the neurological signal coming from the brain and from the mechanical properties of the limb. The neurological tremor is consistent but the mechanical tremor will vary based upon many factors like length and weight of the limb, distance from the trunk, fatigue, etc. I think it’s very likely the weight at the very end of the barrel was contributing to your tremor because you were trying to control that weight a long distance from your torso. My hunch is that by moving the weight off the barrel and closer to the hand you put the weight in a more advantageous position, closer to the core, and reduced the load on the arm musculature thereby reducing the magnitude of the tremor. I also think having a longer sight probably helped because of the swing differential within the aiming profile. Kind of like the difference in sights between a pistol and riffle.
 
Basically you instinctually did what I would have recommended had you came to me before you made the switch, so nice job!
 
I will add that weight held in an outstretched limb will usually initially dampen the tremor but then if held outstretched for long likely will increase tremor due to fatigue. I’m not certain your competition procedures but it may benefit you to potentially try to shoot a little faster so fatigue based tremor doesn’t impact you quite as much and add some muscular strengthening exercises. Often we get caught up in the gear of our sports and hobbies and forget to take care of our bodies as much. Cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness play a larger role than many think in shooting sports.
 
Please let me know if you have any questions.
 
Respectfully,

Balance and weight C9dc71a1-b7c8-4e1c-be07-6730d62d7c66Kyle J. Kelleran, PhD, CSCS
Assistant Professor
Department of Health & Human Sciences
Bridgewater College
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Post by James Hensler 5/23/2021, 2:15 pm

I’m surprised no one has mentioned this so I will. Unless you shoot indoors 100% of the time the rest of us have to deal with something called wind! A heavy pistol will be less effected by the wind than a light pistol
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Post by bruce martindale 5/23/2021, 6:54 pm

Heartbeat shooting is more appropriate for rifle where you have a sling on your arm and it restricts blood flow especially in prone. I only notice heartbeat in pistol when I get worked up or anxious. Generally I'm underexcited.

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Post by Gary Collette 5/24/2021, 7:24 am

I have a Horton grip at a 1911 angle on my Pardini SPE.
I holds very well for me and I am beginning to shoot at a level
that I feel satisfied with.
I shot a 867 at our clubs weekly 900 at 25 yards indoors.
this was a personal best.
So I feel my fundamentals are pretty solid.
I am in the process of final fitting a Horton grip on my 52.
The grip is feeling good, the trigger is typical to a 52 (sweet)
however, the hold is still no where near as steady as the SPE.
So, next I will be purchasing a weight to add forward balance to the nose
of the 52.
To me it feels light there and as I hold it feels like the short pistol 
that it is next to the SPE.
G

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