High End Pistols

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High End Pistols

Post by Pistol Pete on Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:54 am

i all

Trying to progress I have kitted out my Ruger Mark III stainless "competition" model with everything I could find and even had the barrel cut down to meet ISSF rules (except for an 820 gram trigger which I will have to increase a little)
Next (and last) might be an orthopedic grip.

I know it is reasonably accurate because once after chasing some dirt out of it with compressed air it fired a double shot in competition, twice. So fast I didn't pick it up except my counting shots didn't tally with the numberloaded each time. This was at the rapid fire stage of a 25m standard pistol competition using cheap Federal standard velocity target ammo. 
The target showed that there were eight unpatched holes with two of them slightly vertically oval where those missing shots had clearly hit. I assume that the pistol had rotated imperceptibly in my hand as it malfunctioned and cycled for the second round. It was a pity that those duplex holes were off in the 7 ring, 10's would have people believing I did it intentionally.

So, what Will an expensive high end world championship level pistol give me in terms of competition performance? What percentage score increase could I expect with better gear? Would it allow me to progress beyond where i am and why would it? 

Please be specific, I will never reach those levels but a 5% increase with practice would be worth it. Say going from a score of 550 to a score of 577 would be a massive payoff. But say a 1% improvement might give 555 and I couldn't justify the cost benefit.

My chances of extensively sampling other high level hardware is zero however hence the questions.

Would I get a pistol that I can aim more accurately? Better fit? Lighter? More stable? Less wobble? Better sights? Better trigger?
Would these make that much difference to my scores? 

The Ruger seems inherently accurate & I would suspect that in a machine rest it could put all ten rounds into the same hole with cheapest entry level target ammo at 25m. (I will never even aspire to get close)

Can someone who has stepped up their gear explain what measured advantage it gave them and why? Is it just marketing or everyone following the trend without thinking? Would a champion (at whatever level) do as well with my Ruger or would they automatically struggle with the weight, sights, grips and trigger and drop back a few percent on their usual score? 

I should say that I am only talking about one handed paper target competition here.

Pistol Pete

Pistol Pete

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Re: High End Pistols

Post by Tim:H11 on Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:49 am

A high performance pistol model vs an entry level pistol model will not yield any better results over the other unless the shooter is improving their technique, learning and mastering the fundamentals, and learning what real focus feels and looks like. So if you can’t hold it, then a good gun isn’t going to improve that for you. 

So basically - in my opinion, most if not all factory guns with decent or good Ammo ought to hold black at 50 yards AT LEAST and until you’re there I wouldn’t bother spending the money to upgrade your gun - that is to buy a better one. By all means, modify what you have to make it legal for your chosen sport and shooting preferences. 

High end guns, are probably more accurate with a little bit wider range of ammunition selection maybe. For example: My Nelson conversion shoots two inches with typical ammo but shoots one inch with really good Ammo. If I had the barrel re-lined and a proper crown then it’ll shoot closer to one inch at 50’yards with some (maybe) of the cheaper Ammo too and the expensive good stuff will group even better. 

As far as trigger feel goes - even high end guns get trigger jobs. It’s a preference in how a trigger feels to each individual shooter. Grip too. Look at pictures here and you’ll see many like slabsides and many like a variety of “ortho” grips. It’s preference. 

High end vs entry level: more accurate out of the box, maybe a better feeling trigger, more reliable possibly. But I think the big one is Accuracy. Quality in the barrel/chamber and how the guns parts are finished and work with one another. No rough edges and binding anywhere.

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Re: High End Pistols

Post by willnewton on Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:36 am

Pistol Pete wrote:I should say that I am only talking about one handed paper target competition here.

That is a clarification you will NEVER have to worry about making on this forum.  Smile

 Also check out to help jump start your learning,  http://www.bullseyepistol.com/index.htm  

You should also start going through old forum posts and becoming friends with the search button.  There is seldom a question that has not been answered several dozen times.

As to your gun question, you will find the desire to search for greater accuracy in your equipment is neverending.  You will also find that it is highly likely that a really great BE shooter, such as Tim:H11 or other Master/High Master level shooter will be able to take your least accurate gun and very likely outshoot the highest score you ever shot with it most any day of the week.  Smile

Reality hits hard in Bullseye.  I am not saying not to pursue accuracy, because that is a lot of fun and it does help.  I am saying you can often get more points by giving your head the tune up.

If you already know the Ruger can outshoot you, is reliable, and you like it, then you won’t be gaining much by upgrading to a new pistol.  You may get cheaper gains by simply improving the trigger and doing some testing to find an ammo that your Ruger really likes. 

Now, when it comes to centerfire or .45 and 1911s, then guns can become a larger part of the equation.  A stock gun vs. custom can change the group 2-4 or even 6” depending on how rough the stock gun is.  There is not a huge difference in group size for .22 when you go from a good pistol to a high end one.  You may pick up a half inch or so, depending on the pistol and ammo.

I jumped from a Ruger to a Hammerli and would never go back to the Ruger, but I also don’t have the illusion that the Hammerli magically made me a better shot.  The sandbag rested group difference was only about 1/4” at 25 yards and I picked up another 1/4” by testing ammo on the Hammerli.  

Even with the Hammerli, I have “downgraded” to a Nelson conversion for most of my shooting.  It does not have the ultimate accuracy the Hammerli does (again 1/4” difference), but I shoot it well and it helps me shoot .45 better.  So there are tradeoffs everywhere.

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Re: High End Pistols

Post by carykiteboarder on Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:10 am

In my opinion, folks thinking of upgrading from their first bullseye .22LR pistol waste far too much time thinking about accuracy.  Almost any BE grade target .22LR is accurate "enough".  Your upgrade should be mostly about getting the best trigger you can afford.  The skill improvement you need most is trigger control and for that you need a great trigger that will let you get the feedback you need to improve.

Yes, weight, weight distribution, grip angle, grip fit, etc are all valid reasons to upgrade. Never-the-less, I suggest you spend your time investigating trigger feel of your candidate upgrade rather than looking for a quarter inch improvement in group size.

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Re: High End Pistols

Post by Jon Math on Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:05 pm

I started with a Benelli 90 and in my first six matches could not break 200 in 300 point indoor matches. Frankly I was ready to pack it in and go shoot trap.  I switched to a Ruger MKIII and was averaging 220 for the first 5 matches I used it.  I bit the bullet and purchased a Pardini and finished the 13 more matches of season with a 250 total average using it.  This is the first year I’ve ever shot a pistol other than air and a free pistol.  I’m disappointed with my overall results, but the Pardini did help me improve faster than the first two pistols did I feel.
Jon Math
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Re: High End Pistols

Post by dronning on Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:06 pm

Browning Buckmark, Ruger Mark XX, S&W M41 all are capable of shooting Master and even High Master scores in the right hands.  

So what is the advantage of spending $2,500 on a Pardini.  A Pardini will/may shoot tighter groups and the ergo grips will help the competitor be more consistent with their grip plus the trigger is completely adjustable and is just a dream.  All these things make it easier to shoot but can make it more difficult to transition to a 1911 for CF & 45.

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Re: High End Pistols

Post by Ed Hall on Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:10 pm

I started out with a Ruger Mark II and was able to make it to 880 with it**, but not often.  When I switched to a Hammerli 215, I immediately shot two 888s back to back and regularly shot 880s with it.  When I switched to a 208s, I really didn't improve based on the pistol, but on the training and touched 890.  I had a couple seasons where I regularly shot 885s.  Was it the Hammerlis, or was it the training?  My coach/mentor would often tell me that the real difference was not in the accuracy, but in the shootability.  The Hammerlis (and others) have adjustments that make it easier to shoot better.  He often told me I could shoot well with the Ruger, but I would have to work harder.

**Although I didn't buy anything like the Volquartzen parts, I did do extensive work on the sear, hammer, trigger and pins to get the Ruger "adjusted" correctly for me.  Additionally, I was quite often having to refresh my work on the original parts.

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Re: High End Pistols

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