View Full Version : Anyone use light guns?

October 19, 2005, 01:49 AM
I don't know anything about competition shooting, but I was wondering if anyone here uses aluminum framed handguns for competitive shooting in a heavy caliber like .45 ACP?

If you took two athletes at the top of their game, basically equal skill and one had a P220 with either stock or lightened trigger and one a 1911, how big of a gap would there be in stuff like speed shooting?

I know Ernest Langdon beat all the 1911 users in his class but he was using a stainless...

Old Shooter
October 19, 2005, 07:55 AM
There are at least 2 or 3 shooters at one of the matches I frequent that use and do well with Glocks in 45acp. Those are certainly lighter then a alloy frame 1911.

October 19, 2005, 08:16 AM
I prefer a light gun. They get moving faster and stop faster than a heavy gun, recoil control is a little more challenging but not a problem.

Jim Watson
October 19, 2005, 11:00 AM
A lot of IPSC shooters use (relatively) light guns and depend on their compensators to keep things under control.

For a .45 stock gun - IPSC L-10 or IDPA CDP - I prefer an all steel gun to hold down the flip. I do like a light gun in a light caliber, 9mm 1911 and P226.

I see some good shooting being done with Glock 21s and P220s but I think it is a triumph of skill over equipment.

October 19, 2005, 01:38 PM
I guess what I'm asking is, how much of a handicap is using an aluminum framed handgun, no compensator? Theoretically, and just roughly here, how many more shots per second could a guy with equal skill fire out of a 1911 do you think?

I know its more the man behind the machine and all that, I'm just wondering exactly how much better that man would have to be...

AJ Peacock
October 19, 2005, 04:22 PM
A lot will depend on the target size, distance, target orders, heavy/light loads etc.

If multiple taps on a small/distant target, then a heavy/compensated pistol will be a HUGE advantage. If the targets are large and the shot to shot movement is large (2 small targets 10 feet apart, left and right alternating) then the light pistols will have a HUGE advantage. Because of speed out of leather and target to target transition speed.

Hope this helps.

October 19, 2005, 05:59 PM
Actually that does help alot thank you! I had no idea that light pistols were anything but a disadvantage in competition, this really opened my eyes.

I welcome any more input.

AJ Peacock
October 19, 2005, 07:47 PM
For most skill levels, heavier pistols will improve performance. But once you are good enough that you start thinking about 1/10ths of seconds for a stage time, your skill level will be such that over some courses of fire a light gun can be an advantage. As I said before, it depends on a bunch of factors.

I tend to favor heavier pistols, just because they are more forgiving; and I'm not a small guy (220lbs, 6'1") so I don't feel that 6-8 ounces hurts me too much. Carbine is a different story though, because target-target moves are typically larger than on pistols, I prefer lighter carbines. For each of my competition CAS rifles, I spent $100 each to remove 8oz of unnecessary weight.

Good luck,

October 19, 2005, 08:06 PM
I've been shooting for a long time but just started IPSC back in March with an alloy P14 used most of the time. I've gone from the back of the pack to a solid upper C/lower B class in that time. The lighter gun hasn't been a problem and I feel it is an advantage, recoil control isn't hard and is just as fast for me on any target presented as a heavier gun. I shot a little with an all steel Kimber in 45, tungsten full length rod and so on. It was a TANK, and handles like it. I found return from recoil to actually be a little harder due to stopping that much weight and getting it back on target. I didn't see much difference in actual times, but it felt like I was working a lot harder to shoot the Kimber in the same amount of time. My alloy Para is lighter than anything else but Glocks at the matches I shoot and most people remark that it is hard to shoot light guns as well but I really don't think the majority of them have tried it.

My new superduperracing STI should be here in the next two weeks, I had it built as light as I could get it.

I would not go with an alloy frame if I was buying a competition gun, they just don't hold up like a steel or poly gun will. Modular guns like the STI split the difference and can be built as heavy or as light as you want.

October 21, 2005, 12:12 AM
Light guns are all the rage now in USPSA to ease the transitions. Of course, they were actually always in vogue to some degree when you consider the STI Edge with full dustcover and bull barrel still weighs less empty than your standard 1911!

As for me, I got a tungsten barrel sleeve on mine and I'm never going back, but I'm slow to say it's better. Whatever the weight and load you need to get used to the reoil and find what fits you. Heavy is DEFINITELY better for me. I can track the front sight through it's total arc now.

The Sig is a whole different ball game than the 1911. Yeah, and Sevigny is going to wipe everyone up with a Glock while Leatham can do it with an XD, but the majority of shooters seem to shoot best with a modified Glock or 2011.

T. O'Heir
November 13, 2005, 01:58 AM
"...competition shooting..." That covers a lot of ground. Bullseye shooting is just as competitive as any other form of shooting. No running about pretending you're practicing for self-defense or game playing either.
If your only firearm is aluminum framed, work up a load and go shoot the match anyway. You'll meet some of the nicest people you ever will meet and the type of match doesn't matter. Nor does where you place. Match shooting is fun.
Nobody uses a factory trigger in any competition. Factory triggers are poor due to stupid lawsuits. All new commercial firearms, except for very expensive the Colt Python, need a trigger job.