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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My shooting club is attempting to start a 3-gun bullseye competition. For the .45 portion I was considering a Colt Gold Cup or one of the Kimber Target models (Custom Target, Gold Match). I have a couple of personal defense/combat Kimbers which are fine guns, but I'm also partial to the Colts. Does anyone care to share experience with the guns I've mentioned? Thanks for your inputs.

Dennis
 

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When I first started shooting bullseye, I bought a Kimber Eclipse Target for $1150 out the door. It's fine gun, but doesn't have the accuracy for bullseye. At 25 yards, it's fine, but at 50 yards, my Kimber won't cut it.

A bullseye gun needs to shoot 3 inch groups at 50 yards to hold the X-ring. Most guns out of the box just won't do that. I found a used bullseye top end that someone was selling and lucked out. It's a pre-series 70 Colt with a fitted barrel and bushing, Clark rib and Ultradot sight. The slide had been tightened and fit snugly on one of my old Colt frames. It needed a little fitting, but not much.

If I was to do it again, I'd look for a used bullseye gun. It would cost you about the same as a Gold Cup or Kimber Target model, but will have the accuracy you need. If you want everything new, buy a Springfield WWII Mil-Spec and send it out to a bullseye gunsmith to fit the barrel and slide. Sights would be your choice.

I have a Marvel 22 conversion that sits on an old Colt frame. I used to swap out the top ends, but at matches, I found I really didn't like fiddling with that stuff on the line. My Marvel also has an Ultradot. Optics seem to work better with my old eyes.

Check out http://www.bullseyepistol.com/ for more info.

Randy
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I had a Kimber that shot 2.5 inch groups at 50 yards out of the box, so my experience was quite favorable. Of course, YMMV. Recent Colt products have been quite good also.
 

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I would not hesitate to use my Kimber ST for Bullseye. It is as accurate as any Bullseye gun I have used. That being said, some are more accurate than others.
I remember shooting the Inner Service Match at Ft. Benning when we did not have enough .45. The entire Match was shot with .22s.
 

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May I suggest the Rock River Armory Hard ball gun.. It is about 1600( New) and shoots at least 3" at 50 yard with hardball ammo. I have one and it shoots better than me. I found a used one in my local gun shop and purchased it for less than buying the parts for a 1911 new.

Also, You may want to see if a local pistolsmith in your area does bulleye guns. My local (Jax FL) pistolsmith starts with a SA milspec, adds kart barrel, melts bo-mars, stipples front strap and rear MSH, add a new trigger and tightens frame slide. He was about 1200 and shoots 2-3" at 50 yards.

Hope this helps?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Smokers,
I also have a Marvel conversion kit, which I had bought for an earlier attempt at bullseye. I now have a dedicated Colt GM frame for the Marvel (part of a recent trade). The Marvel is a marvel! Thanks for the web site link.

Joe D,
Shooting all phases with the .22 I believe will be an option, but I'd rather use the .45. With my small-ish hands, the 1911 is a great fit and target .45 ammo is fun to shoot in steel guns.

p01forme3,
The Rock River is a great gun (goes for their AR-15s also), but I hesitate to invest too much up front. I'm leaning toward the Gold Cup to start with and perhaps having it "customized" in the future, if the situation warrants.

Thanks to all for your insights. Gotta love this sport.

Dennis
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dalpra said:
I'm also partial to the Colts.
It doesent matter what name is on the side of the gun. Its all abot how well it shoots.

As smokers said, find a good used bullseye gun that was built up for bullseye.
 

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There is nothing wrong with buying a Gold Cup and having it worked up later. But realize that when you have it worked up, the gunsmith is going to replace many/most of the parts you paid extra for in the Gold Cup. Most people that go that route start with a base level Springfield or Colt. It's simply a matter of economics.

It would be preferable to get the carbon steel (blued) version. An all-stainless gun is not optimal (tight tolerance frame to slide fit may result in galling over time).

Bullseye is a lot of fun, but without a super accurate gun it ultimately becomes an exercise in frustration.

Good luck and have fun!
 

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If you are looking to build a gun over time, I would suggest getting a SA mil spec about $530. Have a Bo-Mar sight milled into the frame about $120 or add a red dot sight set up, NM bushing about $35, trigger job about $80. Then when you are comfortable, add a NM replacement barrel, checker the front strap and MSH, you can use skate board tape in the interim, tighten slide frame, etc. With this approach you loose the initial NM bushing when the barrel is replaced.

You will initially have below $800 invested and one great shooter and the start on a potentially outstanding bullseye 45. Your base investment will be kept rather than spending $1000 plus for a production gun and when you have it redone loosing most of the parts.

This was the tack I was going to use for a hardball gun. I found a great used hard ball gun which was less than the parts to build up one. You can look at the used market as well.
 

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I started with an SA Mil-Spec ($495) and almost immediately had a trigger job done ($65). And I'm now due to go and pick up the gun again with its competition barrel, bushing, slide to frame tightening and the installation of a rib for a red dot ($500). With the addition of the red dot ($160) I will have about $1300 in the gun. It should be a top shooter.

For me, two factors were at play. First, I needed to learn to shoot the 45 and, for that, the stock "Mil-Spec" (with the trigger job) fit the bill. Secondly, with the entry-level price, I could spend the leftover money on ammunition.

Now that my shooting has improved and some cash has become available, I'm doing the upgrade.

Obviously, YMMV but that path fit my needs.
 

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Tommy said:
Bullseye is a lot of fun, but without a super accurate gun it ultimately becomes an exercise in frustration.

Good luck and have fun!
Hi

Bullseye is an exercise in frustration anyway. I'm shooting a Les Baer Hardball gun, and I'm still well below Sharpshooter level. Bullseye DOES have the advantage of allowing practice (at least at 25 yards) indoors year round. The whole concept of shooting one handed, using a .45 ACP at a target about 2 inches around is tough.

Mike
 

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I bought a used gold cup from a local gunshop for 600 last year and started with that. I have since ordered a new barrel bushing from Gil Hebard for $14 and hand fit it to the slide and barrel and that significantly reduced my groups. She will shoot 2 1/2 in groups at 50 yards with my reloads. I just bought a mil-spec to work up as a ball gun for the EIC matches. All it needs is a trigger job and match barrel and bushing, which I will be sending it to Springfield for.
 

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A Hardball gun IS a bullseye gun, just made to meet certain specialized sub-set requirements.

Hardball model is no less accurate than the Wadcutter model, just not as fancy so costs less. You're going to be tweaking stuff like the recoil spring weight anyway, if you shoot bullseye.
 

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A Hardball gun IS a bullseye gun, just made to meet certain specialized sub-set requirements.

Hardball model is no less accurate than the Wadcutter model,
Actually, no it ISN'T...RRA National Match, $1490, guaranteed to shoot 3" at 50 yds w 230gr ball.

BE wadcutter, $1625, guaranteed to shoot 1.5in at 50 yds w Federal Match 185 SWCs.

EIC gun will have a spur hammer, milled in BoMar sights, standard government grip safety and a 4# pull.

Wadcutter will have one of 4 scope mounting options (RRA rib, Clark rib, Caspian frame mount, Weigand frame mount), Commander hammer, a beavertail and a 3.5# pull.
http://www.rockriverarms.com/catalog-list.cfm?Category=11&Subcat=Custom Pistols&storeid=1

A little greater difference than just "tweaking a spring." While a hardball gun can be quite adequate for BE use, it is not a BE specialized wadcutter...esp. if one wants/needs optics.
/Bryan
 

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You're trying to draw such a fine line, Canuck, you might be simply wrong.
The "Hardball" matches that you're talking about ARE bullseye matches.
A specialized type, but they are definitely Bullseye matches.

So a "ball gun" is definitely a BE gun, albeit a gun that meets the configuration restrictions of that class. There's no restriction on accuracy, only ammo. Plus those cosmetic things like no beavertail, etc. These cosmetic things don't make the gun more accurate, just maybe easier to shoot accurately, that's personal taste. Anyway, not everybody wants/needs optics.

A specialized gun used for Hardball, can shoot regular wadcutter too. I didn't ransom rest mine, but it's the same Kart barrel, with the same hard fit and tight bushing, as the Wadcutter. I'd expect it shoots as the same as a wadcutter, WITH the same ammo. Hardball ammo is not as accurate as wadcutter ammo. If you shot hardball ammo from a wadcutter gun, you'd get 3" groups too. The guarantees from RRA are specific to the ammo/gun combo, not just the gun.

I could have sworn I saw one for sale somewhere for $1350 but I can't browse those sites from work. I paid $1295 for my RRA Hardball.
 

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Probably the best (?) place to get opinions on 1911s for Bullseye would have to be the Bullseye-L mailing list where a great many of the country's top Bullseye shooters freely voice their considerable and often expert opinions on all sorts of Bullseye-related topics. For a link to the list and (free) subscription information, browse to http://www.lava.net/~perrone/bullseye/

I would also rather have an RRA wadder than the SA I now have (for arguably comparable prices) but I would have had to wait considerably longer and get less practice with the RRA than I did by buying the SA earlier for less, getting in a lot of practice as I learned the basics, and then upgraded the gun later when my needs and finances advanced. That path fit my needs so, obviously, YMMV.

10s and Xs!
 

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You're trying to draw such a fine line, Canuck, you might be simply wrong.
and the vice-versa is true...original poster asked specifically about Bullseye guns. The wadcutter design (with its attendant ammo) is classically a BE design and the details that make up the gun (cosmetics?) are what most folks find prefereable for that shooting competition. I don't think we do a potential new participant any favors by stating or implying that "almost" the same gun IS the same gun. For that matter, doesn't Ruger make a 45 cal...and less expensive too??

If the poster is interested in a classic BE gun, he's going to be quickly dissatisfied with the few dollars saved on a $1200 NM that didn't need its BoMars, does need a rib, causes hammer bite and/or permits a lower than optimal grip due to the classic pattern safety. YMMV but tally the guns of each type at a BE match.

As I noted above, "IF one wants/needs optics"

I'd doubt that the 3in vs 1.5in is all in the ammo - both Match loads from Federal...it's also in the fitting of the gun and the selection of the barrel. You can also find that large (and larger) a variation among barrels from the same manufacturer, using a barrel tester.

The recent deal you might have seen on a RRA Nat'l Match was a couple of weeks ago on Gunbroker...claimed NIB went for $1225 after 8 bids.
/Bryan
 
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