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Old September 23, 2016, 05:22 PM   #1
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What's a good .45acp to start out with and do most people go open sights or some kind of red dot? If red dot, what's a decent one for this application?

The main 1911 I was looking at is the Range Officer. Any others I should look at in the same price range. Maybe $650-$850 price range...

Planning to cast 200gr SWC and load over 3.6-4.0gr of Bullseye.



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Old September 24, 2016, 09:09 AM   #2
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You are speaking of Bullseye the competition, rather than Bullseye the reloading powder, yes?
If so, first check the rules for the matches you are thinking of attending before buying anything.
Local rules for any of the games can vary from the standard NRA Bullseye rule book.
And, of course, definitely get that and read it thoroughly.
If nothing else it shows the folks running the matches that you are serious enough to have done that.
As for choosing between irons and a dot sight, that can depend on the distances you will be shooting and your eyesight.
Also on if the matches are indoor or outdoors, as the target distances and lighting conditions can vary quite a bit depending.
In other words, first research the matches and then the equipment.
Attend a couple to watch and learn.
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Old September 24, 2016, 10:49 AM   #3
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A Range Officer is a very good choice for a starter Bullseye gun, and is a bargain for the price. At least that's what Brian Zins told me when I shot next to him and showed him mine.

Zins uses an Aimpoint Micro red dot with custom made front and rear shields, with a mount so solid he grabs the red dot to rack the slide. Of course, a setup like that adds almost as much cost as the gun itself.

I have a good number of 900 matches behind me and my Range Officer (iron sights) has never had any kind of failure. On one occasion I put 29 of 30 in the black at 50 yards with it.
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Old September 24, 2016, 12:13 PM   #4
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Red dot dots tend to be far too big. Mind you, they're not all 2 or 3 MOA dots. Anyway, between irons or optics, it depends on the course of fire. Optics aren't allowed in all of 'em.
3.6-4.0gr of Bullseye is below minimum for a cast 200. 4.1 is the start load.
If you're thinking RO, shop around. Prices vary a lot. Cabela's is asking $699 minimum.
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Old October 13, 2016, 07:29 AM   #5
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Springfield RO is indeed a good choice for starting out in bullseye competition.

I started shooting bullseye comp. last spring, and bought a Colt GCNM. Found out right away that Iron sights do not work well indoors with older eyes.

Shot that pony all summer at 50yd and 25yd with nary a problem. I just could not bring myself to have that Colt butchered up by drilling and tapping for scope base to mount a red dot for indoor 50' gallery matches.

I wound up buying a Les Baer wadcutter gun for the indoor shoots, mounted an Ultradot red dot on it, and will now use the GCNM for a "hardball" gun outdoors.

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Old October 13, 2016, 10:47 AM   #6
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I don't know what the bullseye shooters are currently using, but my old High Standard has a Burris 1.1X scope made for Gil Hebard, the leading civilian shooter of his day and maybe still.
It has a 7.75 MOA dot which Mr Hebard explains will, if you zero your gun to hit under the middle of the dot and if you can hold it so the dot is anywhere in the black of the 50 yard target, assure you of a 10.

Toheir has found a "minimum load" not available to me. There have been several barge loads of .45 midrange loaded with everything from 3 to 4.5 grains of Bullseye. Lyman shows a pressure tested starting load of 3.5 grains of Bullseye with their 200 gr SWC.
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Old October 13, 2016, 03:25 PM   #7
David R
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I shot tens of thousands of 200 swc with 3.5 Bullseye. I think it's written in stone somewhere.

Irons or optics? Last match I shot in, I was the only one on the line with irons.
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Old October 14, 2016, 05:15 AM   #8
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The classic Bullseye match load is 4.0 grains of Bullseye powder and a 200 grain LSWC. 185 grain LSWCs and 4.5 grains of Bullseye are also popular as are 185 jacketed HPs and 4.5 grains.
I prefer a bit more zip for the long line targets with 200s and up the charge to 4.5 grains.
Red Dot sights are popular. The micro sights have the advantage of being a bit closer to the line of the bore. You want a 3 moa dot or smaller. The X-ring on the 50 yard target is slightly larger than 3 moa.
If you wish to shoot EIC matches, you will use irons. At a standard 2700 match, though, red dots dominate.

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Last edited by darkgael; October 16, 2016 at 05:54 AM.
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Old October 14, 2016, 06:18 PM   #9
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Range Officer with DeltaPoint red dot sight mounted in place in rear dovetail. The DP comes with mounting adapters already in the box. I shoot 200 gr lswc's using 3.7 and 4.0 gr. of Bullseye powder. Works well while getting started.
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Old October 15, 2016, 11:34 AM   #10
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It's a Springfield.

I have a Springfield Mil-Spec - kind of their bottom-of-the-line 1911, if there is such a thing. And let me tell you, it is an excellent firearm all the way around. I bought it last year, and after break-in (which went as smooth as can be), it took on the task of nightstand duty - if that says anything.

My brother also has a stainless Springfield 1911. I don't know what model it is, but it has fixed sights; but a target trigger, full length guide rod, and other goodies - so it's not a low-end unit. I'm not a fan of target triggers (small hands; so I prefer the "combat" [short] style triggers); but otherwise, I love shooting it too.

I have shot other Springfields - all have been a pleasure.

Point is, it's hard to go wrong with Springfield. That much, I know.
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Old October 15, 2016, 12:13 PM   #11
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Slightly off topic, but if there's 22 rimfire category at your local Bullseye matches, you might want to start there instead of with a .45.
The matches where we used to live had far more rimfire competitors than center fire.
That made for more of a fun challenge as well as a quicker learning curve to the game.
Just a thought.
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