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Old March 5, 2011, 02:28 PM   #1
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Requesting help gearing up for action shooting

I'm a long-time shooter, but just bought my first 1911, a Para GI Expert.

I'd like to have fun with it and join my local USPS action shooting league.

It says I need 4 mags and a holster. I assume I'll need a magazine holster too?

Which mags are affordable, yet reliable? I see that people talk about Wilson a lot, but they seem to be spendy and out of stock at Midway.

My Para will include two 8 round magazines. When they say bring 4 magazines, does it assume 10-round mags, or what? If so, I guess I'll need 8 magazines.

What holster is cheap, yet decent? This will not be a carry holster, as I can't carry here in IL, but it should at least be rugged and it should clear easily.

What other stuff should I plan on bringing. Water and maybe sunscreen or bug spray, I guess. Anything else?
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Old March 7, 2011, 06:01 AM   #2
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on the cheap

MOST HIGHLY RECOMMEND starting with inexpensive yet serviceable gear, as you don't yet have enough experience to know what expensive stuff you'll prefer when you do.

For $20--30 you can get a Kydex Uncle Mikes holster ($20 in the Dillon catalog) or a fine Safailand 5187.
(In the same catalog) you can find a fine Blade-Tech for under $30, and their double mag pouch is very good.

McCormick 8-rd mags are a common choice, and for more money folks often choose the Wilson 47D.
I suggest those 8-rd magazines have an extended base pad for more reliable seating.
Five or six on your belt, one in your gun.

The stuff I carry with me: drink, magazine brush, rag, ammo, extra earplugs.
The stuff I have along: spare gun(s), gear, kitchen sink....


Find stuff in that Dillon catalog, or
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
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Old March 7, 2011, 08:17 AM   #3
Jim Watson
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Blade Tech is now doing molded holsters and ammo carriers nearly as cheap as Uncle Mikes and better made. And Safariland has an economy lineup for around $40.

I think McCormick Power Mags are the best compromise between price and performance, you can usually find them on sale someplace.
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Old March 7, 2011, 09:58 AM   #4
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Actually, step one is to get a cardboard box at least 2 feet square. You'll need it to hold all the holsters, etc., that you buy and don't like.

Most of us have at least 2 boxes!
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Old March 8, 2011, 10:28 AM   #5
Jesse Tischauser
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I recommend buying the good stuff first as it is no fun shooting a match with guns and gear that don't work. The Wilson 47D mags have worked great for me. I also suggest the extended base pads.

For holsters and mag pouches check out bladetech, Comptac and Kytac for the best and most popular stuff.

As stated above Brownells is great place to buy stuff and so is Velocity shooter, shooters connection, and CPWSA.
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Old March 9, 2011, 04:51 PM   #6
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Thanks fellas.

Unfortunately, I bought the stuff before I got any responses.

I think I got some high-end stuff. (except the magazines, that is)

I got 3 extra Chip McCormick 8 round mags. with steel baseplates for $18 ea. They look pretty cheap, but seem like the'll be reliable. The clerk (I know, that doesn't necessarily mean much) said they are good mags. I'll have to check the brand on the holster and mag holders. The holster is plastic with a quick-release button, and seems VERY nice for competition.

The mag holders, I haven't quite figured out yet. I guess the mags go in upside down, but they are a very tight fit for the mags, and didn't come with much in the way of instructions.

I bought this stuff at the LGS mostly to try to support the local shop. The holster was $45, the mag holders were $25 ea. 10% off on everything, since I'd just bought the gun from them. From the prices you guys quoted, I either got good quality gear, or I got reamed by the LGS. (in which case, I won't support them any more for gear purchases) I'll check in later with pix or links.

Japle, who said I should get a 2 x 2 box for the stuff I bought and don't like might be onto something here, as the mag holders seem too tight.

weshoot2: I've only got a total of five mags. I hope that is enough.

It sure does cost a load of money to get started in this sport:

$600 for the gun.
$275 for 5 boxes of ammo, holster, and mag holders
It's going to be $200 to join the local range
$10 for each competition, each of which will require $40 worth of ammo. (assuming factory)

Speaking of ammo, does anyone have a good reliable load for a full size 1911 with HP 38 powder? I'll need to buy more bullets, and I'll probably go jacketed to cut down on scrubbing lead out of the barrel.

This place says the first match of each month is 22LR friendly. I'm thinking it may be worth investing in another 22 just for the ammo savings. (My Mk. II Target has a long barrel with an undercut front sight, which will not be ideal for holster duty)
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Old March 9, 2011, 06:40 PM   #7
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First, ask if the "22LR friendly" match requires a holster for a 22. Might not. Regardless, you would need extra 22 magazines.

There is a fair chance you could borrow 1911 single stack 45 mags at a match, but 5 of 8 rounds should be ok. I am not sure what "USPS" is, but USPSA allows 10 round single stack mags, but it is a different division. No big deal, means you do not need to buy as many mags.

Stuff mags into the mag holders, and let sit until the match. Also work them some to smooth and/or loosen. Not too much, be patient.

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Old March 10, 2011, 12:29 PM   #8
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New guy here

Depending on the make/model of the mag holster there could be an adjustment screw to strengthen or lighten the tension that is put on the mags. Some shooting sports want mag carriers to cover a good portion of the magazine and to be able to retain the mag if turned upside down.

Speaking of mag pouches, put one on your belt and make sure when you draw your magazine you bring it up to the gun in the correct position. It's hard to illustrate on the interwebz and in forums but when you draw, depending on how you grip the magazine, it will either come up to the gun bullets-forward or bullets-rearward depending on how you grab them from you pouch. I shot IDPA and in my first match about 2 or 3 years ago I didn't even give that a thought and I was grabbing magazines and trying to insert them backwards. It's little stuff like this that you will learn during the first several trips to a competition.

The Chip mags are good and seem to be the 'other mag' people get when they don't want to drop the coin on Wilson 47D mags. Having said that, the Wilson 47D mags do seem to be the best mags I've bought/used in my 1911. Sometimes you get what you pay for. I shoot primarily Glocks now but my 1911 has all Wilson mags in both 8-round and 10-round and I'm happy I got them despite the extra $$$.
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Old March 11, 2011, 08:16 AM   #9
Don P
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Like many have stated Chip McCormick 8 rounders work extremely well for me. I prefer to use the Chip mags being 1/2 the price of the Wilson and THEY DO WORK. I shoot USPSA Single stack and carry 6 magazines and a Barney mag ( 1 round to load the pipe).
Depending on how many matches you plan to shoot per month re loading will definitely help cut the cost.
Yep it does cost to get STARTED same as it will when you start re loading. Once you have the gear for shooting its just ammo and match fees. Same for re loading, once you have the equipment its just supplies and time needed. I was able to recoup my equipment money after just re loading 2,000 rounds in what I saved from what would have been factory ammo purchased.
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