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Pretzel

Pistol Competitions

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I'm headed to Nebraska for the 4-H Smallbore Pistol National Championship, so I was curious to see if anyone else competes in bullseye (or speed) events. I find the challenges in both golf and shooting (at least in bullseye competitions) to be very similar in my opinion, so I'm curious to see if crossover is common. 

I'm competing in the Slow-Fire Bullseye, Camp Perry Round, and Smallbore Hunter Pistol Silhouette events. The slow-fire bullseye event allows red dot sights and scopes for 40 shots at 25 yards one-handed, the Camp Perry is 10 slow, 15 timed, and 15 rapid at 25 yards one-handed, and the silhouette event puts targets with diameters of about 4, 6, 8, and 12 inches at distances of 40, 60, 77, and 100 yards. The silhouette round is a pretty fun challenge for a pistol, especially one of a small caliber like .22 long. We use the B-8 targets for Bullseye and Camp Perry, and so far my average scores have hovered between 92 and 95 so I'm hoping I can keep it up at the competition and have enough time to sight in for the altitude change.

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I've never done it but it sounds like a blast!  Good luck and I hope you have a great time.

I have built AR rifles in 5.56 and 6.8 and I really enjoyed building and shooting those although I hardly ever get to go to the range.  

I've wanted to get a .22lr pistol for a while.  I am told that becoming a good target shooter with .22lr round really improves your shooting in other calibers.  Would you agree with that @Pretzel?

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8 hours ago, Pretzel said:

I'm headed to Nebraska for the 4-H Smallbore Pistol National Championship, so I was curious to see if anyone else competes in bullseye (or speed) events. I find the challenges in both golf and shooting (at least in bullseye competitions) to be very similar in my opinion, so I'm curious to see if crossover is common. 

I'm competing in the Slow-Fire Bullseye, Camp Perry Round, and Smallbore Hunter Pistol Silhouette events. The slow-fire bullseye event allows red dot sights and scopes for 40 shots at 25 yards one-handed, the Camp Perry is 10 slow, 15 timed, and 15 rapid at 25 yards one-handed, and the silhouette event puts targets with diameters of about 4, 6, 8, and 12 inches at distances of 40, 60, 77, and 100 yards. The silhouette round is a pretty fun challenge for a pistol, especially one of a small caliber like .22 long. We use the B-8 targets for Bullseye and Camp Perry, and so far my average scores have hovered between 92 and 95 so I'm hoping I can keep it up at the competition and have enough time to sight in for the altitude change.

Good luck and have fun. My Godson went to a couple of national competitions in GA on a military base and then went to the Junior Olympics in CO last year. They are long days, but he had fun. Remember to relax between sessions because you need to focus during them. He did air rifle.

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I shoot IDPA.  Both Stock Service Pistol and Compact Carry divisions.  A lot of fun and keeps you somewhat real-world tactically sharp.

I never had the nerves or patience for bullseye...!  

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7 hours ago, cipher said:

I've wanted to get a .22lr pistol for a while.  I am told that becoming a good target shooter with .22lr round really improves your shooting in other calibers.  Would you agree with that @Pretzel?

.22lr is a great caliber for practice because it's cheap, and because it has little recoil. It makes it really easy to see if you flinched (and helps to cure a flinch if you have one already), and the low cost of ammunition means you can practice a lot more. 

If you're looking for a decent entry-level pistol, I'd definitely go with either one of the Browning Buck Mark pistols or one of the new Ruger Mark IV's that came out this last fall. I have a Mark IV Competition that I use and it's definitely accurate (I can shoot out the X at 25 yards from a rest), but the nicest part is how easy it is to field strip it. Drop the bolt, put the safety on and press a button before lifting up on the back of the bolt. The bolt, barrel, and chamber lift straight off, letting you slide the bolt out and get everything cleaned and lubricated.

The big advantage of the Browning guns, however, are the triggers. Ruger, admittedly, puts some REALLY rough sears in their guns at the factory and it makes for a gritty 5.5 lb trigger. Browning does a much better job with their triggers, but there is also a fantastic kit from Volquartsen that replaces the trigger, sear, and hammer to give you a really smooth 2 lb trigger in the Ruger pistols. I did that about two weeks after I got the pistol and it was a great upgrade since the sear is like glass and the trigger is adjustable for pre-travel and over-travel. 

If you want something a bit fancier than that the Hammerli Xesse is a great gun at sort of the start of the "match grade" .22lr pistols. It's ridiculously accurate and can be ordered with adjustable bullseye grips for under $1,000. Up at the high end you have some of the more expensive Hammerli's and the S&W Model 41, but those are guns that I honestly wouldn't even look at since I think the Xesse can match them at a lower price point with a better grip. Regardless of what you get, odds are that the gun can shoot better than you ever will unless you get to a really high level of competition. I know I still can't outshoot my gun.

1 hour ago, David in FL said:

I shoot IDPA.  Both Stock Service Pistol and Compact Carry divisions.  A lot of fun and keeps you somewhat real-world tactically sharp.

I never had the nerves or patience for bullseye...!  

I would like to shoot IDPA as well as in some of the 3-gun competitions, but the problem is that I can't buy a pistol or the ammo required to shoot with major power factor. Pesky federal laws and all, requiring that you need to be 21 to purchase handguns or handgun ammunition... :-D I'll stick to .22 for now and see if I still have the time once I'm 21.

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Good to see the Rugers still doing well. I have a Ruger Mark II slab-side with a red dot scope. It's not a bolt action; I think I have the semi-auto. It's been a few years… I should get it out and go plinking some time.

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3 hours ago, Pretzel said:

.22lr is a great caliber for practice because it's cheap, and because it has little recoil. It makes it really easy to see if you flinched (and helps to cure a flinch if you have one already), and the low cost of ammunition means you can practice a lot more. 

Thank you for reminding me how physically weak I was last time I went shooting... it was about eleven years ago and I remember starting with a .22 and thinking that I better not try a higher caliber, as that recoil was enough for me.  

I'm 5'8-5'9 and at that time was probably 120 pounds.

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3 hours ago, Pretzel said:

.22lr is a great caliber for practice because it's cheap, and because it has little recoil. It makes it really easy to see if you flinched (and helps to cure a flinch if you have one already), and the low cost of ammunition means you can practice a lot more. 

If you're looking for a decent entry-level pistol, I'd definitely go with either one of the Browning Buck Mark pistols or one of the new Ruger Mark IV's that came out this last fall. I have a Mark IV Competition that I use and it's definitely accurate (I can shoot out the X at 25 yards from a rest), but the nicest part is how easy it is to field strip it. Drop the bolt, put the safety on and press a button before lifting up on the back of the bolt. The bolt, barrel, and chamber lift straight off, letting you slide the bolt out and get everything cleaned and lubricated.

The big advantage of the Browning guns, however, are the triggers. Ruger, admittedly, puts some REALLY rough sears in their guns at the factory and it makes for a gritty 5.5 lb trigger. Browning does a much better job with their triggers, but there is also a fantastic kit from Volquartsen that replaces the trigger, sear, and hammer to give you a really smooth 2 lb trigger in the Ruger pistols. I did that about two weeks after I got the pistol and it was a great upgrade since the sear is like glass and the trigger is adjustable for pre-travel and over-travel. 

If you want something a bit fancier than that the Hammerli Xesse is a great gun at sort of the start of the "match grade" .22lr pistols. It's ridiculously accurate and can be ordered with adjustable bullseye grips for under $1,000. Up at the high end you have some of the more expensive Hammerli's and the S&W Model 41, but those are guns that I honestly wouldn't even look at since I think the Xesse can match them at a lower price point with a better grip. Regardless of what you get, odds are that the gun can shoot better than you ever will unless you get to a really high level of competition. I know I still can't outshoot my gun.

 

16 minutes ago, iacas said:

Good to see the Rugers still doing well. I have a Ruger Mark II slab-side with a red dot scope. It's not a bolt action; I think I have the semi-auto. It's been a few years… I should get it out and go plinking some time.

My old MK II...

A great little pistol, but a challenge to reassemble.  Ruger finally figured it out in the MK IV.  

I still use it to teach fundamentals to new shooters.  Accurate, quiet, and very little recoil.  As you said though, the factory trigger has never been up to the otherwise quality of the pistol.

 

 

 

IMG_1728.JPG

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I am thinking of getting into 3 gun next year. Still debating on whether I'll truly have the time to devote to it. I have a glock 34, Mossberg JM Pro, and a DPMS AR but still lack the shot shell holders and what not.

Edited by TN94z

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Yeah, the Mark pistols are pretty reliable. They're all semi-auto, @iacas, and since yours is slab sided it would likely be their Mark II Competition Target model. The design since then hasn't changed much, with the exception of the fantastic disassembly of the Mark IV's.

The Mark III I use for the NRA bullseye that allows red dot sights:

X6UGPr4.jpg

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The Mark IV of mine with open sights that I got this last spring:

PQ20FDq.jpg

Uno3X3L.jpg

I will say that I do greatly prefer the left grip scale from the newer Mark IV compared to the older ones. It's contoured underneath the bolt release, which lets you kind of hook your thumb around it and use your thumb to help hold the gun tight in your grip without much effort. The older grip scale with only a diagonal slanted thumbrest gives your thumb a place to sit and is more comfortable than flat scales, but doesn't necessarily give you any extra grip since your thumb still cannot pull the gun into your hand like with the newer grip. The Mark IV has an ambidextrous safety, but my hand is large enough that I couldn't take the gun off safe while holding it if it was still installed so I just removed it altogether. 

Both guns, however, shoot very accurately and have some nice Volquartsen triggers, hammers, and sears installed. They have a very different grip angle than a 1911 would have, since it's based off the Luger, but it's generally a better angle for shooting with your strong shoulder towards the target and I find it pretty comfortable for the one handed shooting I do. 

Edited by Pretzel

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12 hours ago, Pretzel said:

Yeah, the Mark pistols are pretty reliable. They're all semi-auto, @iacas, and since yours is slab sided it would likely be their Mark II Competition Target model. The design since then hasn't changed much, with the exception of the fantastic disassembly of the Mark IV's.

The Mark III I use for the NRA bullseye that allows red dot sights:

X6UGPr4.jpg

That looks like it, yeah. Maybe I'll dig it out here soon. I was into shooting way more a long time ago (nearly 15 years ago when I got it), but still hadn't done anything competitive or changing out triggers or anything like that, so I won't do much to derail the topic into a general discussion.

Thanks.

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This is the first and only pistol I've ever owned and picked it up about 2 years ago. Taught my wife to shoot it as well as our 14 y/o niece. 

The ammo is inexpensive and starting to become readily available again, the slide is easy to pull back and we can shoot it all day long. Cleaning it wasn't as bad as some Youtube videos said it would be, but it's still far more complicated than any of my rifles.

A great target pistol for the money (though my shooting skills are on the same level as my golf game, Lol).

I hope you do well at the competition @Pretzel.

IMG_0644sml.jpg

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Good to see there are other shooters here. I also own Ruger Mk IV .22/.45 (mimics 1911 grip angle). Love that thing. The cost of 22LR these days is crazy to me. It used to be around .02 cents a round. 

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1 hour ago, Kalnoky said:

Good to see there are other shooters here. I also own Ruger Mk IV .22/.45 (mimics 1911 grip angle). Love that thing. The cost of 22LR these days is crazy to me. It used to be around .02 cents a round. 

Hell, it used to be .01 a round!  Now it's almost as expensive as some center fire ammo. :-( 

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Got back late this evening from the competition and a short vacation afterwords. I didn't do too poorly, placing 11th in the nation. There was some controversy with two of the shooters placed above me and how they held their pistols during the hunter pistol silhouette portion though, so if you discard the scores that didn't follow the rules I ended up in 9th. Either way a pretty decent finish considering how abysmal my red dot shooting was last Tuesday.

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2 hours ago, Pretzel said:

Got back late this evening from the competition and a short vacation afterwords. I didn't do too poorly, placing 11th in the nation. There was some controversy with two of the shooters placed above me and how they held their pistols during the hunter pistol silhouette portion though, so if you discard the scores that didn't follow the rules I ended up in 9th. Either way a pretty decent finish considering how abysmal my red dot shooting was last Tuesday.

Is there anything you don't do at a freakishly high level?:beer:

Seriously Tyler, that's really impressive for a national competition. Congrats!

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