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Old April 17, 2017, 10:02 PM   #1
Miles42
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Center fire Bullseye

Our club is considering a center fire hand gun bullseye league. Indoors 50 Ft. We are all seniors. I need a recommendation for a caliber , gun and a red dot site. I have a a Beretta 9 MM Border marshal. A Sig 1911. Scorpian in 45 ACP. Neither have a red dot. My eyes at 75 years of age really do need a Red dot site. So advice accepted
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Old April 18, 2017, 12:18 PM   #2
T. O'Heir
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What's your budget?
Bullseye league shooting is great fun. A lot depends on who's rules you plan on following. Same firearms mostly though.
The NRA only mentions rimfire except for their 2700 match. That's a .22, a cf(usually a .38 Special with WC's or .32 S&W Long and a .45.). Big bucks for those .32 calibre pistols. 2 grand 35 plus years ago.
There's also ISSF(Used to be called ISU. That's Olympic style shooting), shot at 25 meters. Shot it for years, myself.
Red dots usually cover too much of the target. Irons are ok if the light is good.
A 9mm will not be competitive. Pistols, sights and ammo are not target grade kit.
A .45 can be with the right sights. Adjustables being preferred. Tried it with non-adjustables and got taught a lesson by an inanimate object. snicker.
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Old April 18, 2017, 12:48 PM   #3
g.willikers
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Bullseye matches allow plenty of time between shots, so recoil management isn't as important as with other types of shooting.
Anything you can point and shoot well will do, at least until or if you decide to get more serious.
There are target grade 9mms, like some of the High Power models, especially custom versions.
But like T O said, hold on to your hat when you price them.
Red dot sights might seem like the way to go, but a really good set of irons would be my choice.
Red dots are better for the action games.
For us old fahts, check to see if they have rimfire categories.
Our local club did/does and many Bullseye clubs do.
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Old April 18, 2017, 01:17 PM   #4
g.willikers
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P.S.
Almost forgot.
If the reason you're thinking of going with a red dot is being unable to see your sights, you might consider getting prescription shooting glasses.
That's what I did.
Right eye allows focus on the sights and left one focuses on the target.
Works real well.
I do use red and green dot sights, too.
But for the action games, like steel challenge and such.
They are quicker, but less useful for the pin point accuracy that Bullseye requires.
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Old April 18, 2017, 07:50 PM   #5
jcj54
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Centerfire bullseye

Springfield Range Officer full size .45
Clark Custom slide mount for scope
Ultra Dot 30mm red dot scope.
4 guys in our club use this combination with great success
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Old April 19, 2017, 11:31 AM   #6
David R
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If you are going to shoot bullseye, a 45 is the way to go. Light loads and a weaker recoil spring make it easy. I use a red dot on my 22. Irons are getting difficult to see and I am only 56.

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Old April 19, 2017, 12:20 PM   #7
darkgael
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Bullseye

I just finished a 26 match set of indoor Bullseye match shooting.
A coupla things:
Bullseye shooting (also known as Conventional Pistol) normally is divided into .22 rimfire matches, Center Fire matches, .45 caliber matches. Ostensibly three guns; in reality, two guns as most shooters use their .45s for both the CF and .45 matches. The .45s are virtually all 1911s (though I had a friend who shot with a Colt SSA).
All shooting is done "one hand, unsupported". Two types of targets are used one for slow fire and the other for sustained fire (timed fire and rapid fire). All targets regardless of type or distance will appear to be essentially the same MOA in diameter.
The basic unit of Bullseye shooting is the National Match course - 30 shots: 10 shots slow fire, 10 shots timed fire, 10 shots rapid fire. A single set is called a 300 match. ALL Conventional Pistol matches are based on repetition of this simple set.
I am of an age where a red dot sight is a help. I have repeatedly tried irons but shoot better with the dot (Note: the NR for a 2700 match is held by Herschel Anderson since 1974 at 2680-159X out of a possible 2700-270X. It was shot with iron sights).
It is not accurate to assume that all red dots will obscure the bull. There are quite a few red dots that that offer dots of 3 MOA or less. Those are the ones that you want. I use a Bushnell TRS reflex sight with a 3 minute dot...very precise. Two MOA dots are not hard to find.
International Bullseye (ISU) uses different targets and does not allow red dot sights. Rapid fire pistol in the Olympics is one type of International bullseye.
Precision Pistol (more commonly called Free Pistol) is another.
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Old April 19, 2017, 01:30 PM   #8
David R
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I learned to turn the dot down so you can almost see though it. Makes it easier.

The last time I shot an outdoor match with my 45 was about 5 years ago. I was the only one on the line with Irons. I used a merrit for a lot of years, now a dot is just easier.

I remember when "my dot went out" was not an alibi and got a burst of laughter.

I have seen a few shoot with a revolver, usually a smith K 38. I have had my butt whooped by one on a weekly basis.

Some shoot a semi auto 32 with wadcutters so recoil is minimal. I prefer the 45. 200 grain cast lyman 454460 over 3.5 grains Bullseye. 675 fps. I needed 6 clicks to go from 25 yard to 50. This will not matter shooting @ 50 feet.

I remember folks shooting a smith and wesson model 52 which was a semi auto that shot 38 cal hollow base wadcutters. It was THE gun to have.

Enjoy, and have fun.
Its you against you.

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Old April 19, 2017, 06:36 PM   #9
straightshooterjake
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In my opinion, for serious bullseye shooting, you need a pistol that will hold at least 1.5" groups at 25 yards, and hopefully a bit better. There are many moderately priced rimfire pistols that will meet this standard. Every heavy barrelled Ruger Mark .22 auto that have tried shoots this well, and similar pistols of other brands also shoot very well.

However, to get a centerfire semi-auto which is mechanically capable of 1.5" groups, you generally need a custom gun that cost far in excess of a thousand dollars. I am not aware of any factory semi-autos which are really good enough for bullseye shooting. And it makes no difference if they have "target" or "match" in their model names. Those names indicate a model with adjustable sights and possibly a good trigger, but they are not hand tuned for extreme accuracy.

There are two big issues with making extremely accurate semi-auto pistols. One is cost. It is expensive to make pistols where the action locks up very tightly and repeatably. And the other problem is reliability. When a gun is tight enough to have very good mechanical accuracy, the tight tolerances can sometimes compromise reliability. Hand fitting by a good gunsmith can deliver a very accurate gun which is also reliable, but then we are back to the issue of cost.

Quality centerfire revolvers are often capable of 1.5" 25 yard groups, but most people don't want to do timed and rapid fire with revolvers.

If your matches are informal "fun" matches, and if most of the shooters are not at a very advanced level, then people may be satisfied with production centerfire semi-autos. But for more advanced centerfire competition, equipment can become a significant investment.

Regarding red dot sights. I like them, and I have yet to see a picture of Brian Zins where he did not have one. If it works for him, it is going to be fine for the rest of us.
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Old April 19, 2017, 07:39 PM   #10
Slamfire
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Quote:
My eyes at 75 years of age really do need a Red dot site.

I recommend an Ultra Dot. That is what I am using. There are people with exceptional eyesight, even into their 80's. Joe Farmer of Colorado, last I saw him he was 86 and was third overall in a Regional Smallbore Prone match, with irons!. However, handguns have a much shorter sight radius and most people over 40 find that they can shoot their handguns better with an optical sight.
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Old April 21, 2017, 09:27 AM   #11
darkgael
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capability

Quote:
you need a pistol that will hold at least 1.5" groups at 25 yards,
I am going to go a bit further with that idea.
The big matches - three guns, 2700 points (270 shots) - tend to be shot outdoors (though I just shot one indoors). That means that the slowfire stages will be shot at 50 yards - Serious competitors are shooting for Xs. That ring is 1.7" diameter. That is what the gun should shoot ideally.
The current national records for 20 shots SF at 50 yards are very similar regardless of the caliber of the gun:
.22RF = 200 -12X
CF = 200 -10X
.45 = 200 - 11X
The 10 ring is 3.3" in diameter.

Note: the International Pistol 50 yard target (B-19) has a 10 ring that is 1.78" wide, essentially the same size as the X-ring on the NRA B-6 50 yard target. The current NR for this event (Free Pistol/Precision Pistol) is held by the late Don Nygord at 574/600....so most of his shots were in the ten ring. Would have been Xs on the B6 target.
Shot with very specialized pistols. Iron sights only. 22RF only.
One can shoot the match with any safe .22RF pistol..single loading only. I have a friend - an NRA Master class/CMP distinguished shooter - who used his High Standard for these matches. His scores were typically 530 to 540.

Note: about shooting glasses. You need only have one lens that will focus on the front sight. Clear focus on the target is unnecessary. Focus on both at the same time is optically impossible. Many shooters, maybe even most, will occlude the non-aiming eye.
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Old April 21, 2017, 03:02 PM   #12
g.willikers
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I've tried that, but after years (decades) of shooting with both eyes open,
blocking the vision in the left eye gives me a whopping headache after awhile.
So for me, a reasonably clear view of the target as well as the sights works far better.
But whatever works is good.
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Old April 21, 2017, 06:53 PM   #13
darkgael
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eyes

G.W: I shoot with both eyes open....keeping the non aiming eye open and unobstructed allows better vision in the aiming eye. I just disregard the image that I get from my left eye (non-aiming) and concentrate on what the other eye shows me.

Pete
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Old April 22, 2017, 01:13 PM   #14
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Well Maybe

I believe that targets are scored in that if the round cuts the scoring ring it counts a hit for that ring. So if all else was equal the extra diameter of the larger round would pick you up some extra points over time. But it's not equal the 45 can have more recoil which counts against you in several ways.
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