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Old September 1, 2011, 06:51 AM   #1
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So I am about to do competitive pistol shooting for a project...and I have no idea what equipment I need, what caliber I should buy, what brand or any of that. Well, I have some idea, but not enough to waste serious money and figure out I thought wrong
Any ideas? I have shot a couple pistols and prefer the tactical 'no safety' pistols like sigs, but I don't know how they fare in competition.
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Old September 1, 2011, 08:33 AM   #2
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If someone was to come to me with no experience, and no equipment, no ideal what he wants to shoot, but wants to get into competition on the Cheap, (maybe that's what you are doing),

I would recommend he go to J&G Sales (or something similar) and pick up one of those Model 64 police trade ins. They are about $200, they are durable, smooth, accurate, and ammo for 38's are relatively cheap. Also they fit the "no safety" requirement.

With the 38 revolver you can shoot just about any type competition. Most types have a revolver class. Then there is ICORE where revolvers are required.

Get some speed loaders, Fubus holster (about 25 bucks) ear muffs, eye protection and you're read to go. You can get in the game for less then $300 bucks.

With such a hand gun you can concentrate on your marksmanship fundamentals without worrying about jamming, (those little K frames with shoot anything). With practice you can load pretty quick. Some of the revolver shooters I shoot with can load their revolvers faster then I can load magazines in my semi autos.

I can shoot my 64 better then my autos but I'm not quite up to speed in reloading. (cause I don't practice like I should - my fault, not the guns).

The only modification I did to my M-64 was to put some bright orange paint on the front sight. Makes that puppy really stand out.

Going this route gives you something to work with on the cheap while you figure out what route you want to go.
Kraig Stuart
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
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Old September 1, 2011, 09:20 AM   #3
Jim Watson
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What kind of competition for what kind of project?

Certainly kraig's police surplus .38 Special would get you into IDPA SSR, USPSA Revolver, and ICORE, also PPC if you are a LEO, at a moderate cost. You could even try NRA Conventional (bullseye) shooting with one.

If you want an auto and don't mind paying more for one, the leading guns in the IDPA SSP where I shoot, as well as USPSA Production, are Glocks, Smith & Wesson M&P, and Springfield XD. They all have striker fired actions, no manual safety, and consistent (not great, but consistent for all shots) trigger pulls. Double action autos like Sig Sauer and Beretta are less common but still seen.

If your project covers conventional (bullseye) or metallic silhouette, the best way to start is with a good .22 like a Browning Buckmark or Ruger Mk III.
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Old September 1, 2011, 09:47 AM   #4
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Consider Rimfire Steel Challenge,,,

Click here please.

If you are just getting started this might be the one for you,,,
They shoot .22 pistols at steel plates under the clock.

You don't need a $1,000.00 race gun,,,
Last match I attended was won with a stock Ruger Mk-II.

I'm a penny-pincher so I always look at what's fun and inexpensive,,,
Can't get much less expensive than a Ruger with 3 extra mags,,,
And a brick of Federal Bulk Pack .22 LR cartridges.

Just my suggestion

Caje: The coward dies a thousand times, the brave only once.
Kirby: That's about all it takes, ain't it?
Combat: "A Silent Cry"
Aarond is good,,, Aarond is wise,,, Always trust Aarond! (most of the time)
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Old September 1, 2011, 10:08 AM   #5
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I'm in a similar situation: getting into IDPA. kraigwy has some good advice, especially if you're only getting into competition for a project and don't see it developing into something permanent.

If you're looking to combine your purchase for competition with a SD piece or just a range gun, then I would advise that you visit a local gun store and check out whatever you might be interested in. Actually handle some different models to see what fits your hand and points naturally for you. (Be it a revolver or an auto) Whatever is comfortable to you is key here. Competition shooting induces stress, so the more comfortable you are with your gun, the better.

As for "tactical" guns without external safety features, Sigs are great. Expensive, but great. Glocks are a cheaper, similar option (have internal safeties that disengage as you pull the trigger). Both brands have models in .9mm, .357 sig, .40 S&W and .45 ACP.

As for caliber...if you're not too familiar with shooting, or if your competition specifies which caliber you can use, then I'd recommend something light like a .9mm. Competitions like IDPA require a .9mm or above for pistols. Make sure to check to see what the caliber restrictions are for whatever competition you're doing. Best of luck and be safe!

Last edited by Ambishot; September 1, 2011 at 10:16 AM.
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Old September 1, 2011, 12:44 PM   #6
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I am thinking about possibly finding some kind of action shooting competition or some kind of timed event...I just dont know a lot about pistol because I compete rifle.

This is all for Senior Project, a project that counts almost my entire english grade this year (has no relevance to english. I plan on trying to get sponsorship from a variety of organizations and companies, but I have $500 to start without any external support (which isn't much, but a decent start I think)
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Old September 1, 2011, 02:11 PM   #7
Don P
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Attend a IDPA match, USPSA match, and a Steel challenge match. See what folks are using, ask questions then decide what "YOU SHOULD BUY AND USE"
NRA Life Member, NRA Range Safety Officer, NRA Certified Pistol Instructor,, USPSA NROI Range Officer,
ICORE Range Officer,
,MAG 40 Graduate
As you are, I once was, As I am, You will be.
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