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Old January 12, 2009, 04:41 PM   #1
chadflys
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Competition Shooting?

I've asked several questions to try to narrow down what to purchase, but have not gotten as much feedback as I had hoped....So to as many competitive shooters out there I'd like there best advise as to which gun would be best. I've been leaning towards the Rugers, but have not gotten much feedback on the various models. At this point I'm stumped on barrel length 5.5 or 6 7/8. Is barrel weight a consideration? Am I going to have to upgrade the sights? It seems all the rugers do not even have dots on them??

Thanks,

Chad
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Old January 12, 2009, 05:53 PM   #2
73flyby
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Very good question. I'm surprised more haven't already hopped on this one.

Ruger is an excellent choice for a starter pistol. Accurate and reliable. To do significantly better you will end up toward Hammerli quality target pistols.

I started with a Ruger Competition model with the +/- 7 inch barrel. A particularly good choice if you are only interested in shooting with open sights because of the longer sight radius. However, in bulls eye competition, (micro) red dots are the name of the game and they are very accurate. That will be about a hundred bucks extra, but well worth it. The advantage to one of the Ruger target models is that is will likely have the mounts you need for a red dot sight already installed.

The downside of this approach is that the Ruger bull barrel target models are heavy. Not an insurmountable problem. You can learn to shoot and hold your own with the local boys, but by the time you become a 90-95 shooter, you will appreciate the value of the lighter (and more expensive) models that are available.

The only other extensive experience I've had with .22 target shooting is with the Buckmark. The model I shoot is fun in that it is a 1911 style that is an inexpensive practice alternative to the 9 mm and .40 calibers. But in no way does that model compare in accuracy to the Ruger competition models. (Browning probably does have some very accurate target models though.)

If I were starting from scratch today, I think I would opt for one of these Ruger models (Mark III Bull Barrel) with a Ultra DOT 30 mm sight:

http://www.ruger-firearms.com/Firear...es&type=Pistol

These are not the least expensive alternatives, but the reality is that (range fees notwithstanding) this is a very inexpensive sport. I rarely shoot more than 100 rounds when I am shooting for score. It is relaxed and time consuming. But at about 2 cents per shot, and 8 cents per target (if you print them at Staples) it's cheaper than just about anything else I could do so I don't consider a few extra bucks up front to be excessive.

See you at the range.
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Old January 12, 2009, 05:53 PM   #3
darkgael
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advice

Chad: I've responded to some of your other posts. The Ruger is a good choice. It was my first .22 target pistol. I have "moved on" to a H-S Victor made back in the early 1970's but I still use the Ruger in gallery matches. I had the trigger done to improve it - more about that later.
I have not fired the Mitchell version that you referred to in another thread. I do recall hearing some unfavorable press to the effect that, if you ever want a H-S buy one used that was made in the Hamden factory as opposed to any of the recent iterations.
About barrel length - if you are going to shoot iron sights, the longer barrel is advantageous because of it's sight radius. If you intend to put a red dot on it, then barrel length is relatively unimportant. My Ruger has a 5.5 inch barrel. At the moment, it has only iron sights. I have campaigned it with red dots. One of the finest target pistols ever made - the Hammerli 208 - had a barrel length of 150 mm (about six inches). Now that's a gun.
Red Dots - there are quite a few good ones. The last few years I have opted for one of the small reflex sights (mine are by JPoint) as they weigh only 1/2 oz. I have them on my .22s and on my .45. Millet makes one as does Docter, Burris and others. They are not particularly inexpensive. You will have to buy a mount; no big deal. (http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpag...m_campaign=657)
About triggers - the issue with Rugers is the trigger. It just does not have the quality trigger that a H-S, a S&W 41, a Walther, or a Hammerli has. It also doesn't have their price tag. A competent gunsmith can improve the trigger for not a lot of $ - there are kits available from Clark (maybe not anymore) and Volquartsen.
Pete
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Last edited by darkgael; January 12, 2009 at 06:22 PM.
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Old January 12, 2009, 06:00 PM   #4
73flyby
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Could not agree more w/ darkgael, although I have not found my Ruger to be a major problem. The pull is barely above the match legal 2 pounds (from the factory) and it is relatively crisp. However I do notice an almost imperceptable creep just before it fires. At first it drove me crazy, but now I know that when I feel it, all I have to do is breathe and it's going to fire.
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Old January 12, 2009, 07:58 PM   #5
melchloboo
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I don't think a ruger would come from the factory at 2#, more like 6.

But anyway, as far as barrel weight, it is all personal preference.

Some shooters feel a heavier barrel:
1. Stabilizes arm muscles when shooting 1-handed, resulting in a steadier hold.
2. Helps with recoil during rapid-fire.
Others:
1. Feel the gun is too heavy and cannot hold it steady.
2. Do better with a lighter gun.

As far as sights, yes, you want partridge style sights for bullseye shooting. The fiber-optic/v-style that come on some rugers is ok for you to get started at 15 yards. But out to 25 and 50 it is extremely difficult to shoot with any precision. If you are going with a dot-scope, then it doesn't matter.

I think you will find a broader audience on a bullseye focused forum, if that is what you want.
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Old January 12, 2009, 08:19 PM   #6
chadflys
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73flyby and darkgael....

Thanks so much, now thats the kind of info I'm looking for. More please if you do not mind me asking...this is stuff I can work with. I do plan on working on my iron sights as to improve my sight picture and target accuisition. But eventually the way it sounds I'd have to go to the red dot to be competitive. One gun I started looking at is the MkII or III Hunter 6 7/8. It seems to address the weight issue (4oz lighter than competion model, has fiber optic front sight and dovetail rearsite. BUT on the other hand I thought weight was good (more stable, less flip, less muzzle jump). From what I have gathered the S/W 41 is heavier than the Rugers and that it takes some getting use too. Please more on weight and its effects.

I want my initial purchase to be right. The problem is I cant compare any of these in one place and its been hard to remember what felt good before. Driving 20 miles between 3 different stores...

So....From what I've experienced thus far. The Blue Bull 5.5 felt good, but irons sights were yuk. Liked the hunter, but $150 more. Competition model felt good, but weight was noticable. You say that might become a factor down the road...I'm assuming when I get competitive... Does the weight difference between these three really effect performance in competition?

mkIII 678Hunter 41oz. / nice fiberoptic fnt/ dovetail rear sights / standard grip / Fluted barrel

mkIII 678Comp 45oz. / nice grip / basic square sights

mkIII 5.5Bull 42oz. / no extra's but seemed very balanced.

Look forward to reading more your insight.......Thanks
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Old January 12, 2009, 08:27 PM   #7
chadflys
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melchloboo

Hey I've been taking your advise on honing my iron sight skills at 25yds. Wow thats tough to do (5.5 in @ 25yds) I'm about 50% at that range. I'm dong well now staying inside 3in at 30ft. I'm about 99% there. Using a 50 year old hi-standard sportking 100 with bulk ammo I borrowed from a friend. Until I get my own. That why I'm pulling my hair out trying to make up my mind. Thanks for anymore input you have.

Chad
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Old January 12, 2009, 09:01 PM   #8
Casimer
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Do you have trouble seeing iron sights?

If you need a dot, you may not want to spend the money on better iron sights - the dot will also affect the weight and balance.

Also what type of competition do you want to get into?
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Old January 12, 2009, 09:09 PM   #9
melchloboo
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I'll try to take things one at a time.

1. Sights. Partridge is the only way to go. You will find no other sighting system (for iron) on any type of gun involved in precision sports. 10m air, free pistol, bullseye. There is a reason nobody in precision pistol uses the fiber-optic/v-notch. It simply does not reveal the type of vertical and horizontal precision that the partridge system does. But it is fairly trivial to swap out the sights.

2. Red-dot. Keep in mind this is a fairly new innovation, and plenty of top shooters and the historical records with iron are still around. It is not true that all shooters will do better with a scope. Also, keep in mind that bullseye shooters tend to get involved in more than one discipline. If you want to shoot 10m air in the winter months or just to be indoors, that's an iron only event. To my knowledge, bullseye (nra conventional outdoor) is the only precision event that allows the dot. Now, if your eyes are such that special corrective lenses are required for iron, and you just want to have fun and like the dot, then go for it.

3. Ammo. At 25 yards it doesn't matter what ammo you use. Especially at your level. Buy the cheapest. SV, HV, it doesn't matter. If you have a match just use something you've proven reliably goes bang, or spring for a box of CCI Standard at most.

4. Feel. Many beginners to bullseye don't like to hear it, but you don't really know how to evaluate yet if a gun is right for you or not. If I were your formal coach, I would have no interest in how you think the gun "felt". There are certain ergonomics that I would look for based on your hand structure and base my evaluation on that. Not until about 6months of daily practice would I care about your opinion on how the gun felt. Because after a few weeks of practice, you'll adapt to the gun, it will feel right, and you'll wonder why you ever thought another gun felt better. Then we would talk about changing the grips. After about a year only then would I care what you thought about how the gun felt, and let you pick your own. The standard Ruger fits 90% of people adequately to start (the 22/45 fits many people poorly).

5. Right gun. You're not getting married to it. If you want to get serious in Bullseye then get used to the idea of trying a gun out for a while and selling it or shelving it if it doesn't work out. Rugers hold their value well, and most shooters keep their old ruger around no matter what, even after they move on to other target pistols. Maybe if you take up the .45 (required for NRA CP) then you'll want to go with a marvel conversion kit... Lots of maybes down the road. Again, you're not marrying the gun. Its like a golf club or tennis racket as far as you're concerned.

6. Priorities. Right now they are out of whack, its not your fault. Your focus should be on how to train, the pistol is relatively unimportant at this stage in your game. Can you get to a range every day? No? So really the priority should be on how you can train everyday, and your real question should be what is a good air pistol to do that with? Am I right?
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Old January 12, 2009, 10:47 PM   #10
darkgael
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iron

+1 about iron sights making other disciplines directly accessible. ALL international style pistol shooting is iron sights only. NRA Conventional pistol is the only bullseye competition that allows scopes.
The great Bill Blankenship's three gun record of 2674 (2700 points possible) was shot with iron sights. It has only recently been eclipsed.
BTW - if you want to see your slow fire/precision scores improve, shoot 10m Air Pistol matches.
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Old January 12, 2009, 11:53 PM   #11
40cal_joe
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Bullseye and the "right" gun

I myself have recently started shooting Bullseye league. Shot Centerfire in the fall and Rimfire started last week. My gun of choice for rimfire is a S&W model 41 with Ultradot optics. I shot Centerfire with iron sights (45 springfield 1911 Target loaded < Nice gun!) and averaged 78 points per target over the 10 weeks @ 50' indoors. That gun now has a Matchdot on it and practice targets are in low 90's.

I tell you this because I am very glad I started out with iron sights and learned the art of sight alingment, picture and a steady hand. I was shooting for score against 35 + people with optics of some sort. I faired well 12th overall my first round of league.

Now that I learned the basics and have a good shot plan the Ultradot just takes me to the next level. That and the 41 is an awsome gun! The barrel is cut down to 5.5" and I have an original 7 3/8" as well (but have not shot with it). For me the 41 balances well, sweet trigger and crisp release. My scores last week were SF = 91, TF = 94, RF = 92 using CCI SV rounds. Reliability with the 41 has been flawless. My only FTF's have been poor quality ammo. Some Remington that had a FTF 2-3 every 50 rounds.

All the jibberish aside the 41 has worked out very well for me and I intend to use it for some time, including Camp Perry this year. I would highly recommend this gun for anyone wanting to shoot at any level of compitition. My experience is limited but the results have been satisfying.

Good luck with whatever gun you choose. One thing to keep in mind is resale value or the weapon you choose. If it does not work out you do not want to take a huge loss on it.
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Old January 13, 2009, 02:04 PM   #12
73flyby
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Lot's of issues since my last post. Here's my take:

For bullseye/target competition type shooting you won't be happy with a fiber optic sight.

I do not think that the Hunter is tapped for a Weaver/etc. mount. If you think you might want to upgrade to a red dot sight, make sure your pistol choice is tapped (usually when it is, the mount comes with the gun). Otherwise you will be making an unnecessary trip to the gunsmith.

Weight is a personal choice. If a gun is heavy, you can get used to it and continue to improve if you shoot a lot. I don't think that shooting even once a week is enough to develop good muscle memory. I'm a 90-95 shooter, and I don't think I will be able to break that plateau with my heavy gun. (I like my Mark III but I'm not ready to make the leap to a lighter $2000 pistol just yet.)

Ammo does matter. You are not at a level that warrants match grade ammo. It's too expensive for general practice, but once you get into it, you are likely to find certain brands, that you will not care for. For me, like 40cal, I had problems w/ Remington. I find that with a solid rest, my pistol can consistently tag the 10 ring at 50 feet with inexpensive Federal copper plated hollow points. The same is not true of other ammuntion I've tried.

A red dot will make you a better shooter. This is my conviction, and I stand by it. If you use one for a while and go back to open sights, you will be a better open sight shooter. They do add weight. That weight will serve you better than the extra inch and a half of barrel length. I know archers that use pin sights that can outshoot the average freestyle shooter using a scope. But that's apples and oranges. Generally a person's scores go up when they use a scope, and I believe that to be true of red dot use on a pistol.

Melch is right about the "right" gun to a certain extent, but for the same price, some will serve you better than others. But in that vein, don't expect that you will find the "perfect" gun on the first try. The more time you spend at the range, the more opportunities you will have to try other models. I have found shooters to be very friendly, generally proud of their guns, and eager to let folks try them out a bit when they show an interest.

Melch, I'll get back with you on the actual pull on my Ruger. I have not actually measured it, but I know it's lighter than some of my others that have been measured. I have an appointment with the smith in a few days to pick up a gun that I'm having set at 3.5 pounds. I'll have him measure it for me then. But it's a light pull, and I bought it new with no modifications.
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Old January 13, 2009, 04:35 PM   #13
73flyby
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I already stand corrected. I see from the Ruger site that the Hunter does come with the Weaver mount:

http://www.ruger-firearms.com/Firear...ew?model=10132

Here's a review you might be interested in from Guns and Hunting:

http://www.gunsandhunting.com/marklll.html

I noted that the pull on that model measured at 3.5 pounds.
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Old January 13, 2009, 05:53 PM   #14
melchloboo
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Interesting, maybe they changed the factory weight. Mine was 6# from the factory.
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Old January 19, 2009, 05:01 PM   #15
Old Gaffer
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Do Not Use High Velocity Ammo

...in a High Standard pistol.

It's well documented that high velocity ammo can cause the frames of High Standard pistols to crack - I've seen it myself. And while the crack(s) can be fixed, it's not a cheap repair, and it is entirely preventable.

Use ONLY standard velocity ammunition in High Standard semiauto .22's.

All the best,
Rob
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