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Old May 31, 2013, 03:48 PM   #1
GregInAtl
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Shooting bowling pins

The range where I attend has a weekly bowling pin shoot. Although, I do pretty well shooting at bullseye type targets during practices, I do not do so well in bowling pin competition. I have come to the conclusion that I need to change my practice techniques. Instead of seeing how many time I can hit the bulls eye center of a paper target, I need to concentrate more on shooting from left to right (or vice versa) placing one shot on each target.

Any ideas where I can get some targets that will help me do this, either printing them myself or purchasing them. Any other practice tips would be appreciated.
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Old May 31, 2013, 04:01 PM   #2
SgtLumpy
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I love bowling pins...

They're pretty much a small version of the regular torso sillouette target. I think there are lots of pins and torsos in small format that you could buy, download, print etc.

Pins are, obviously, narrow compared to their height. Contrast that to a regular round bulls eye which is the same dimension in height and width. So moving from L to R and trying to stop on a pin is a pretty tight challenge. So instead of moving L to R (or R to L) move UP or DOWN. As you draw your pistol, your muzzle and sight picture is moving UP. Use that to your advantage. Move that sight picture UP into the pin.

After the first shot, if your recoil causes your arm/pistol to move UP, then use that to your advantage and on the next shot, move the sight picture DOWN into the sweet spot of the pin.

In other words, after the first shot, picture a series of inverted "U"s. Recoil moves things UP, your muscles move things DOWN. I find that I don't actually STOP on the sweet spot. I fire when I'm coming on target while still moving the gun.

Like a bouncing ball moving across the field of view.


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Old May 31, 2013, 04:10 PM   #3
jrothWA
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Get a pin that ready for the dumpter (fire, etc)

and cut it in half length-wise and made cut-out target using thin card stock.

You goal it to place a shot within the vertical lines and in the lower section of the pin before the outline curves up, start at the base of the pin and up thru the top.
Any hits inside that area will be NORMALLY a straight push away from you of the table, those outside will be your fall flat spinners and need extra hits to clear the table.

Use a duplicate of carry ammo for handling the recoil. ENJOY!
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Old May 31, 2013, 05:00 PM   #4
g.willikers
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If your range allows it, set up multiple targets at various distances apart.
And at various distances downrange.
Start with simple 8" circles, fairly close together and close to you.
As you improve, decrease the target size and increase the distances.
If you want to get fancy, buy a timer to let you know how fast you are.
It's hard to judge time otherwise.
If you want only bowling pin targets, like SgtLumpy said, just download a picture and print it out whatever size you want.
Google images, Ixquick images and others have plenty of them online.
https://ixquick.com/do/search?
Heck, bowling pins are real easy to draw freehand, too.
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Old May 31, 2013, 06:30 PM   #5
MTSCMike
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You are having the same problem most shooters have when they switch from range shooting to action pistol shooting. They have not yet learned how to "transition" from target to target. Do web searches for "transition drills".

The main points up front are:

Good grip - control the recoil instead of letting recoil control you

Good trigger control - learn to squeeze the trigger quickly without disturbing sight picture. Pin it to the rear for each shot.

Good transition - lead with your eyes...find the next target with your eyes first followed immediately with the gun.

Don't wait to see the pin fall...go to the next pin and fire make up shots later if needed.

Practice, practice, practice
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Old June 1, 2013, 01:54 PM   #6
Erno86
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For a right handed shooter...it is easier to shoot right to left, than left to right; but both transitions should be practiced. Prep the trigger while you're still swinging to the next bowling pin, and break the shot when the sights arrive on target.
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Old June 1, 2013, 02:03 PM   #7
themalicious0ne
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I love pins! I do the exact same thing as Lumpy, I pull up on the pin. if you are moving to fast right to left, you can pass your target, If you pull up, if you are an inch high or low of the sweet spot, its going down. Cant say the same if you are an inch right or left. Just remember, you have time, dont rush. You have to focus on all your basics and move from pin to pin. Breath! Eventually it becomes natural, I always end up shooting very good by the end of the season.
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Old June 1, 2013, 02:07 PM   #8
Edward429451
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Sometimes bowling alleys will give you old pins for free. I got a bunch that way before. They will take a tremendous amount of hits before they're unusable. They are tough! I had some occasions where 45acp bullets would stick in the front side of the pin, in the plastic!

Practice transitions slow. Speed will come by itself.
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Old June 2, 2013, 08:58 AM   #9
kraigwy
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I also love shooting pins. It's different then paper. You have to take the pins off the table, not just hit them. There is a difference.

For practice I took an old swing set frame. I put some eye bolts in the top of the pins and hung them from the cross bar of the swing set frame.

The pins, per rules are spotted 16 inches a part. 36-40" High, and firing is done at 25 Feet.

So in any practice one should use those measurements. If you don't have pins to practice, make some paper targets and set them up on a target background that gives you those measurements.

However, pins don't last forever. At pin shoots many of the pins get so they wont stand up. Clubs normally discard these pins. Though they can't be used on tables, they can still be used suspended from as I mentioned above. Hanging them from an eye bolt means you can shoot them until there is nothing but splinters on the ground.

Its not hard to hit pins, but having them knocked over and spinning on the table is a different matter. You want a round that takes them off the table.

I shoot pins with a revolver. A six inch Model 27 357. I load the shells at hot 357 levels, but still bullet selection is critical.

I shoot a lot of other action pistol matches with a revolver, I got Lyman bullet 358665 which works great with speed loaders. How ever, being sort of a round nose bullet it sometimes goes through the pin with out taking them off the table. But, loading Lyman's 358477, a SWC bullet at the same velocity grabs a hold of the pin and deposits it in the next county.

45's make a great pin bullet if you get the right bullet. But in semis like the ACP the bullet shape doesn't work as well as a full wad cutter. The 45 Long Colt, with SWC's works well. It doesn't take much velocity with that 250 gr bullet. I tried them and they work. My problem is the only 45LC I have is a SSA, which makes for slow reloading if I miss.

For practice when you're alone use a shot timer to record your progress.

Like anything else, Pin Shooting takes practice, but its a heck of a lot of fun practicing.

HINT: 32 gr 204 Ruger's make lousy pin guns. They barely move the pin, but will take a big chunk out of the back of the pin.
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Old June 2, 2013, 09:09 AM   #10
g.willikers
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If you want some really good pin practice and challenge, do them with a .22.
They mostly have to be hit in the top skinny part to fall off the table.
Many pin matches have a .22 division.
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Old June 2, 2013, 09:27 AM   #11
kraigwy
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More on Pin Shooting:

In the 22 class, pins are set at the back of the table, not to hard to get them to fall off the table.

The pin table is eight feet wide and 4 feet deep. For center fire, the pins are 12 inches from the front edge of the table for rounds more powerful then the 9mm/38. For the 9mm/38's the pins are set 16 inches from the back of the table, so practice depends on what your shooting.

Most clubs don't have a special category for 9mm/38s so your at a disadvantage.

The problem is not hitting the pins, they are easy to hit, what happens is lack of follow through. Where the mind goes faster then the bullet. Meaning you're on the pin, you shoot, but while you're pulling the trigger, you mind is subconsciously moving to the next pin, causing a miss or poor hit.

Get your mind in the game and you'll have no problem getting 5 pins off the table with 5 shots.

For 22s your limited to 10 rounds per clip to start, CF limit is 8 rounds, don't depend on lots of spray and pray, reloading will cost you the match.
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Old June 3, 2013, 08:53 PM   #12
Loronzo
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530 Law Enforcement targets would probally work. They have 5 spots that are similiar in size to bowling pins. My friends and I use them a lot for reflex/speed shooting.
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Old June 3, 2013, 09:33 PM   #13
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I've only been able to do a bowling pin shoot once, but it was awesome! I went at it with my STI Edge and I did fairly well. I lost to a guy who was using a .22. He was a regular competitor so I don't feel too bad. One thing about .22, you better hit it in the center. If it falls on the table, you're done. The STI Edge is an incredible soft shooting gun and it soaks up a lot of the .40's recoil. The .40 really smacks the pins and can easily knock them off the table even if they tip over. The fiber optic front sight makes it very easy to aim.
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Old June 4, 2013, 06:47 AM   #14
g.willikers
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For even more fun, do what one club I used to attend does.
They save the pins that are still intact, but real heavy with lead.
And they put at least one on the table, among the others.
Very cute.
Provides a lot of cussin' and reloading.
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Old June 6, 2013, 08:48 AM   #15
jrothWA
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THAT'S

DEVIOUS! I like it.

Try using a J-frame on a run of table, puts placement a priority!
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Old June 6, 2013, 09:33 AM   #16
kraigwy
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Quote:
Try using a J-frame on a run of table, puts placement a priority!
A couple of us do that after a match. It's humbling but if you keep at it, you'll sure lean how to use your snubby.
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Old June 8, 2013, 06:30 AM   #17
GregInAtl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g.willikers
Many pin matches have a .22 division.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kraigwy
Most clubs don't have a special category for 9mm/38s so your at a disadvantage.
What we do is have centerfire night on the 1st and 3rd week of the month, .22 night the 2nd week and revolver night the 4th week of the month. That levels the playing field.
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