View Full Version : What 3rd pistol for NRA bulls eye?

Edmund Rowe
December 14, 1998, 10:34 PM
As I understand it, a full 2700 course
in NRA bulls eye pistol has a .22 rimfire
portion, a centerfire portion, and a "shooter's choice" portion where you shoot whatever you want.

What do other bulls eye shooters use for their 3rd pistol stage?

I won some informal NRA style bulls eye matches with my Glock 21 and am considering trying the big time.


December 17, 1998, 10:30 PM
The 3 catagories are 22 RF, centerfire and 45ACP. When Bullseye was established the Idea was to use the sportsmans .22, the police officers .38 and the soldier's .45. Most competitors use a custom 1911 or something similar for both centerfire and .45 shooting.

Michael Carlin
December 17, 1998, 10:45 PM
Edmund Rowe,

You have been provided with good information, here is a detail description of how a 2700 is shot:

90 rounds with a .22 rimfire

90 rounds with any centerfire of .32 caliber or larger. You can shoot .45 and most do!

90 rounds with a .45 caliber pistol.

Each 90 rounds is fired in the following format:
200 points Slow fire (20 shots)
two strings of 10 shots in 10 minutes per string at 50 yards

300 points (30 shots) fired in the "National Match Course"

10 shots in 10 minutes at 50 yards

10 shots of timed fire at 25 yards fired in two five shot strings of twenty seconds duration per string.

10 shots of rapid fire fired in two five shots strings at 25 yards, thime for each string is 10 seconds.

20 shots of timed fire (200 points)
fired in four strings of five shots per string at 25 yards with a time limit of 20 seconds per string.

20 shots of rapid fire (200 points)
fired in four strings of five shots per string at 25 yards with a time limit of 10 seconds per string

The aggregate adds up like this
200 points slowfire
300 points National Match Course
200 points timed fire
200 points rapid fire
EQUALS one 900 point Aggregate

Then fire the whole thing over with the centerfire and then the .45 caliber and you have a 2700 point aggregate.

I own two Glocks and as good as they are, I honestly do not believe that a Glock 21 could compete in the .45 match at the state, regional, or national level.

I likewise do not believe that a shooter could win the centerfire match with a Glock pistol at any of those levels.

Some time back on Glock Talk I addressed this issue of accuracy. Fellows, what an NRA Master class shooter can do at 50 and 25 yards with a good match gun is nearly amazing.

Most matches will see scores in the 2620 range or better. Out of 270 shots fired the shooter will have fired 190 or better 10s and Xs and 80 or fewer 9s and less. The ten ring is 3.3 inches across. At 25 yards in the timed and rapid fire matches in the expert class and above, the winning scores will be 196 to 200 points, in the master class 198 to 200 points.

At fifty yards, bullseye shooters will often shoot 95 or better in the master class. Out of 30 shots fired at that distance a master class shooter will hit a coffee cup rim diamter sized 10 ring about 60 -70% of the time and his misses would usually hit the saucer diameter 9 nine ring it sits on.

Bullseye shooters are generally keenly aware that their ranks need bolstering, and if you go prepared to shoot without impeding the match, most will go out of their way to help you. See the NRA pages for tips on being a good competitor.

You are welcome to gather up your Glock and test it against the guns being shot at the local gun club. I suspect you will find that it is much easier to shoot good scores with the type of equipment that the bullseye shooters favor. Usually M1911 series pistols that have been seriously accurized.

Hope that this helps you, and that you come out and shoot a bullseye match or two.

You will undoubtedly some great shots who are great guys!

yours in marksmanship


[This message has been edited by Michael Carlin (edited 12-17-98).]

Edmund Rowe
December 20, 1998, 10:36 PM
Michael Carlin:

Thanks a bunch for the detailed info! I know I've done great at 25 yards with my Glock 21, but 50...hmm....yeah, that sounds like a job for a well-tuned 1911 unless I just shoot a local match and not care too much about national ranking.

arrgh...as if I didn't already have enough ways to spend $$$. Say...are the .22 rimfire pistols similiarly tuned up? Is the Ruger 22/45 used much because it has the same grip angle (supposedly) as the 1911?

I strongly regret not getting my bulls eye pistols made from Mr. Edward K. Banks when he was still alive. Mr. Banks was a USAF pistol team shooter, USAF armorer, and later one of American Handgunner's top 100 pistolsmiths and lived about 3 miles from me. At the time I felt I would never be interested in bulls eye pistol. Doom on me.
Rest In Peace, Mr. Banks.


Michael Carlin
December 22, 1998, 09:58 AM

sorry for the delay in response, I had not checked this venue for a couple of days, and I see that I should have.

Yes, the reason that you see many Ruger's is that their accuracy is good and the grip angle is the same as the ubiquitous 1911s.

If you are inclined to start, go and shoot the .22 matches with your Ruger, its capable with the right ammo of yielding the scores you need.

Of course, you know by now that this is a developmental process, and you will probably not become a master in the next year even if you immediately purchased the best equipment available.

That is not to say that good equipment is not important. In a recent discussion concerning service rifle, a friend and fellow shooter, Alvin Bethel pointed out that eliminating the equipment variables permits one to descern his errors. If you don't there is a human tendency to accept that "9" as equipment generated. Your inclination to do that will be greatly diminished if you KNOW that your gun and ammon will shoot "X"s all day!

Usually the Ruger is tuned with a trigger job only. Jim Clark does a good job among a host of many. I have a Clark 1911 and so does my father, we spent a fair price and got guns that are not going to lose their value. If you send him the cheapest 1911 of good manufacture that you can lay your hands on you will have a battery that will serve you very well.

Yes, I understand about not having had Mr. Banks build you a good bullseye gun. I regret that I did not buy several 1911s and have Jackie D. Best tune them before he passed on. I am fortunate to have one!

Since you have won several informal mathes why don't you continue to use the equipment you have in matches of a more formal and perhaps keener level of competition.

Ed, you have done the hard part, getting started. As you now know, this is a life long avocation. I continue to improve at age 48, what other endeavor can one say that he is improving in skill at age 48?

Drive on, you are the MAN!

Ni ellegimit carborundum esse!

Yours In Marksmanship


December 24, 1998, 03:04 PM
Michael, had to chuckle at your remark as to what a Master class shooter could do, years ago when first shooting Bullseye I had gotten to what I thought was as far as I could go with my Gold Cup, made this remark to a fellow shooter friend (life time Master),
he asked if he could try the gun and proceded
to shot 20 rds in a row in the x ring at 25 yrd and 18 of 20 at 50 yds, handed the gun back and said (with a smile) yup! don't shoot worth a dam. ate lots of humble pie that day and got ribbed for most of the year.

December 27, 1998, 03:10 AM
you hit on one of the best reasons to belong to a gun club with some serious shooters in it. We all need feedback to help us know where our problems are. eating crow may be humbling but we need to make mistakes or we are not trying hard enough.

Edmund Rowe
December 29, 1998, 06:17 PM
Any special iron sights used on .22 pistols?

I want to stay away from the dot scopes because my personal defense weapons all have iron sights and I want to keep my sporting equipment as similiar to that as possible.


December 30, 1998, 05:16 PM
Ed, ask ten shooters and probably get 9 different replys, when I shot Bullseye I used the same sights that came on my Gold Cup and Model 41 S&W, the rear sight was square cut(going braindead, can't remember correct name) also front sight was trimmed slightly so there was a small gap on either side of the rear sight when the front one was alined.
good luck shooting, Bullseye can be fustrating at times.


Benton Quest
January 9, 1999, 01:29 AM
I believe that if you try to weild your Glock amongst the big-leaguers, you will get stomped like a Narc at a biker rally...Not speaking ill of the weapon..it just wasn't designed for such precise work.

In a reply to the previous post...The older S&W model 41 with the 5 1/2 Heavy Barrel used the same rear sight as their model 52 (also a bulls-eye favorite in .38 special)

I also have a rather sweet Colt 1911 in .38 special that was built by Clark in the seventies. It shoots like a house on fire. Hang in there. Bulls eye is not for the weak of heart, but you'll be better for it in the end.

June 20, 2009, 06:06 PM
To the person who was talked about the gun Ed Banks made be glad if you have one. I wish I would have been able to help make them in the shop with him, but I was too young to do so when he died. So now I have been looking online for information about his gun making and haven't been having that great of luck. Until I saw this page most of the information online was not about him.
Love, Banks Granchild

June 20, 2009, 09:48 PM
Here is an example of the 3 Guns for Bullseye. The top gun is my 45, its a Series 70 Gold Cup turned into a Hard ball gun, the second is my S&W Model 52, 38 WC, Center Fire Gun. The bottom is my High Standard Victor.

In addition to the three guns, to work on your Dist. Pistol Badge you need a Hard Ball gun for the Leg Matches. Most, until they earn their Dist Badge use the Hard Ball gun for the 45, CF and EIC Matches. Using the same gun helps get you in shape for the EIC Matchs.

I recommend staying away from the aimpoint type sights until you leg out as it will hurt your 45 Scores, which in EIC matches prevent the use of those type sights.


June 22, 2009, 10:16 AM
I've tried both a SW K14 and a Beretta 92F for the Centerfire portion, and went back to the 1911 45ACP. I could never get either to shoot as good as my Rock River Bullseye Wadcutter.

June 23, 2009, 02:34 PM
Or you could go crazy like I have and go all-revolvers:

Left to right:

.45: S&W 625-6, 1" 4MOA UltraDot, Ahrends "Tactical" grips, forged Combat .312" trigger

Centerfire: S&W 686-5+, 4MOA UltraDot, Ahrends "Tactical" grips, forged Combat .312" trigger

.22: S&W 617-4, 4MOA UltraDot, Ahrends "Tactical" grips, forged Combat .312" trigger

And for Distinguished Revolver (same course of fire as EIC/Leg/Service matches, but with a revolver shooting .38SPL) I use a S&W 19-3, 6" w/ Patridge front sight and Ahrends "Retro Combat" grips:

June 23, 2009, 04:47 PM
What kinds of scores you getting with those wheelguns? I wish I had the funds to put together a set like that too.

June 23, 2009, 07:25 PM
2009 Maryland State 2700 Championship scores @ 12th Precinct (http://www.twelfthprecinct.org/Pistol-MD-State-Champ-June13%20&142009FinalBulletin.pdf)
EIC and Distinguished Revolver scores (http://www.twelfthprecinct.org/Pistol-2009-MD-State-June-DR-EIC-Results.pdf)

I'm "Le, K." in those listings, right at the top of the Expert class (1st Expert). The scores posted are for the 2009 Maryland State 2700 Championship (two weeks ago) in which I had my equipment mostly finalized--the 617, 686, and 19 wore different grips, but the optics and triggers were good to go. I just now picked up matching grips for the 617 and 686 (same wood as the ones on the 625, anyways), and picked up the current set for the 19. For the 2700 I shot a 2534-66x (858-23x, 839-22x, 837-21x), and for the DR match I shot a 265-5x and picked up my first 6 Distinguished Revolver points.

Yup, the set was expensive, and the grips, triggers, and optics added about $200 more to the cost of each gun. But then I'm single with a lot of disposable income (well, not really disposable, but I dispose of it anyways).

June 24, 2009, 01:42 PM
Nice scores!! What kind of load are you shooting in the 686?

June 24, 2009, 02:07 PM
In the 686, I'm using a Remington 148gr hollow-base wadcutter bullet over 3.1gr of W231 in Winchester .38SPL brass. Right on the money for the 'classic' wadcutter load; very accurate at 50 yards. I'm about to try a different load tonight, though--same bullet, but using AA#2 Improved powder. Can't remember what the charge is, off the top of my head, but it should be something like 3.5gr or something like that; the powder is a little slower than W231 or Bullseye. The charge is 2.8gr of AA#2 Improved--pretty accurate, too.

In the 625, I'm using a 185gr lead semi-wadcutter bullet (make unknown) over 3.7gr of W231 in W-W or R-P .45ACP brass, but I'm experimenting with 7.0gr of AA#5 under a 185gr Hornady jacketted semi-wadcutter.

For my 617, I'm using Federal #750 wally-world 550-round bulk ammo, 36gr "high velocity" stuff. Works pretty well in the gun, about as well as CCI Standard Velocity, and far cheaper.

For the DR match in my Model 19, I used some commercial reloads by "Precision Delta"--158gr swaged LSWC bullets (unknown powder charge). Pretty accurate stuff.

June 24, 2009, 05:25 PM
I find it real interesting your getting competitive scores with a 38spcl case vs 357 mag case. Are the cylinder chambers cut special for 38? That's a big gap for that bullet to cross with a 38 case in a 357 cylinder. I'm going to have to do some experimenting with mine now.

June 24, 2009, 09:38 PM
Nope, it's got the stock .357 Magnum-chambered cylinder. This used to bother me, too, but the more I shoot with it, the more I actually believe that it doesn't affect accuracy, at least with this bullet. This has been my experience with my Model 19, as well as another 686-1 that I have (that I'm also considering for use in Distinguished Revolver--I won't be shooting these loads, but I've tried them in it with good results).

Now if we're talking about .38SPL 158gr semi-wadcutters, then I start to see a difference. Some ammo my Model 19 likes, some it doesn't. Some ammo my 686-1 likes, some it doesn't. Unfortunately, neither gun likes my practice reloads (3.9gr AA#2 Improved under a 158gr LSWC bullet) with hits barely on the paper let alone near the repair center with either gun.

I think the difference lies in the longer bearing surface of the HBWC bullets--the bullet encounters the 'shoulder' in the chamber before it's left the casing, and the hollow base has expanded with the casing to create a tight seal around the expanding propellant gases. Whereas with a LSWC, the bullet may not have hit the shoulder before the base leaves the case, and there isn't any expansion/obturation of the base to create a seal as the case expands. At least, that's what I think is going on, anyways. My practice loads are accurate enough out of my 4" Model 10-6, chambered for .38SPL. Too bad I don't have a Model 14 to really wring out any more accuracy out of my practice loads...