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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Help. I am thinking about starting bullseye. I have a smith 41 and a kimber gold match. What else do I need? What types of ammo, should I use red dot sights? What other gear would I need to be competative? I don't want to have to spend thousands of dollars, but I want to be able to have a chance.
 

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While a really good gun does make a difference (I started with a Model 41 and now have a Hammerli), NOTHING matters as much as the person behind the gun. You can be fully confident that the Model 41 and the Kimber are both more accurate than you. Bullseye shooting involves technique, but once the essentials are mastered--which is pretty simple--it is a mental game. If you don't believe in your subconscious mind when you start, you soon will! Every time you make a poor shot, you can be pretty sure that it was your subconscious mind creating a rapid muscle twitch that threw off the front sight. Learn to watch that sight THROUGH the shot. Don't think "NOW" or you are screwed in precision shooting especially. You can politely ask your subconscious mind to fire the gun, but if you try to force it you are going to piss it off. Your subconscious mind is about as emotionally stable as a two-year-old, but it is also about ten times faster than your conscious mind and capable of amazing physical reactions--bad and good.

Try to find a club where there is a core of shooters who like to help others shoot better. You have to practice with dedication; shooting once a week or once every couple of weeks won't usually result in consistent improvement. You will tend to fall back to the starting point between sessions rather than progress smoothly.

It is a lot of fun and very challenging. I am still learning, but I see myself getting better and better, and the rewards are very satisfying. I also find that no matter how lousy a day or week I'm having, an hour or two of shooting and I am completely mellow.

Enjoy!
 

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You will be shooting for an X ring on both the B-6 and B-8 targets. The X-ring is 1.69" in diameter, and the 10-ring is 3.38".

Don't feel handicapped by the use of your Kimber, or your Model 41 Smith. The National Record which I believe was set by Donald Hamilton, was set with a Smith 41 and a .45 ACP 1911, and a .38 revolver--with iron sights!!

Good luck, and welcome to the sport! You will find that you are entering perhaps the most user friendly sport in the world. Where else in the shooting sports would you have people offering perfect strangers guns to shoot with that in some cases cost more than $2000? And, have your fellow competitors willing to lend you guns to shoot with if yours breaks?

Want to see it in action? Try this:

1. Find a Bullseye match, preferably one with a DCM/CMP match going on in the same day. Take along some money for the match fee.

2. Mention to anyone there that you are interested in shooting Bullseye.

3. Watch what happens.

Again, welcome!
 

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The Model 41 does have a bit of reputation for being fussy with ammunition, btw. Mine certainly is. While it will cycle high-velocity rounds without any problem, it can be balky with most standard velocity rounds. The only one that mine likes in standard velocity is CCI; with Remington, Winchester and Eley it will regularly misfire or fail to feed. See what yours likes. Some people have no problems regardless of brand, but I've seen lots that don't. I personally don't feel that high-velocity is needed for bullseye, and the extra recoil is not going to help in timed or rapid fire.
 

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The 41 and Kimber will do just fine for your initial efforts in shooting Bullseye, as others have said, YOU are the major factor in performance. The 41 does have a rep of being a touch finicky with ammo but I'd recommend avoiding the HV stuff. It does batter the action and S&W will only rebuild it a limited # of times before they claim abuse. Try a WIDE variety of ammo in it and buy a case of whatever it likes.

If you don't reload for the Kimber, I'd sure advise you to consider starting. Good practice ammo gets pricey!

As far as other gear? A red-dot does help but it won't help much if your fundamentals are weak. The BEST gear to help you? A copy of "The Shooters Golden Treasury" by Gil Hebard, it's a compliation of wisdom from some of the best shooters and coaches from the 'old days'.

You'll want to get a decent spotting scope, a shooting box is a really nice thing to have, 3-4 TOTALLY reliable magazines for each pistol and you should be good to go!
 

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minnesota oldie said:
Help. I am thinking about starting bullseye. I have a smith 41 and a kimber gold match. What else do I need? What types of ammo, should I use red dot sights? What other gear would I need to be competative? I don't want to have to spend thousands of dollars, but I want to be able to have a chance.
Check the rules of the competitions you are going to shoot in before you buy any gear or guns. Some don't allow optics, and some don't even allow anything but externally (mostly) stock guns shooting only hardball.

You don't need to spend a fortune, but hardware definitely matters in bullseye. I'd suggest starting by shooting the Kimber from a rest to find out how accurate it actually is... the accuracy of factory guns (even supposedly "premium"ones) can vary pretty wildly.
 

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The national record was set in Nashville Tn. on 7/24/74 by Herschel Anderson. 2680-159X. I was lucky enough to be there when it was shot. I still have the match results bulletin. BTW this was done with iron sights.
 

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A 41 is OK for RF. I always prefered a High Standard. I would take my fellow team members rounds that failed in their 41 and fire them in my HS after a practice session.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the info. As soon as I get some work done on my right eye I will be attending my first Bullseye shoot. I will have a report when I do.
 

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41's like to run wet. Break Free won't make it. Mine runs OK on FP-10. The problem with T-22 and the Remington stuff is not a pistol problem, it's a factory QC problem. I use CCI standard .22.

A pistol box and scope is a item you will want soon.

A good practice load for BE if you are a reloader, is:

4.6 Grs. of Bullseye behind a 230 gr. lead round nose in a GI case with a CCI large pistol primer. If you go to 4.5 grs of Bullseye the group will open up. Of Course every gun is different and you migh have to play around to get yours in the groove.

Dry fire is a plus for the 45 part.
 

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Good to hear about another Minnesota Bullseye shooter! I've been dabbling in the sport for several years. I also shoot a 41 with a Clark barrel and trigger job by Larry Leutenigger. I've had good luck with CCI standard velocity. A good red dot like an Ultradot really helped my 50 year old eyes.

I've been trying to compete in center fire with a Colt Gold Cup Trophy with iron sites. But rather than drill and tap it for optical sights, I have a line on a used Baer Wadcutter with an Ultradot. Hope to make that purchase in the next week or two.

Lots of good advice in this thread. Maybe I'll see you in the state meet this spring up in Grand Rapids.

Sven
 

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Myself and a few friends have had the same trouble with S&W 41s being ammunition sensitive and we fixed it by getting reduced power springs for S&W 41s of course available form Gil Hebard and then sticking with the type of ammo that works. Most Bullseye shooters like standard velocity ammo. Hope this helps.
 

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Hard Head said:
Myself and a few friends have had the same trouble with S&W 41s being ammunition sensitive and we fixed it by getting reduced power springs for S&W 41s of course available form Gil Hebard and then sticking with the type of ammo that works. Most Bullseye shooters like standard velocity ammo. Hope this helps.
Ya, I forgot about recoil springs. I use a 6# spring in my 41 -- the lightest spring Gil Hebard lists in his catalog. You wouldn't think 1/2# would make a difference, but I still had occasional failures with a 6 1/2# spring. With a 6#, it's been flawless!

Sven
 

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EdGCNM made some outstanding points. Your guns are fine and actually better than many beginners start with.

Bullseye is primarily a mental game. Gadgets and toys can help to a certain point, but you have to be dialed-in mentally to be a seroius competitor. I would HIGHLY recommend the following books to get you started. They are all smaller paperbacks and easy/quick to read. The information in them comes from the mouths of champions and after 8 years of Bullseye competition I'll admit that applying what I learned in these books has done me more good than any of my "fancy" equipment.

1. The Pistol Shooter's Treasury by Gil Hebard

2. With Winning In Mind by Lanny Bassham

3. Shooting From Within by J. Michael Plaxco

Don't get me wrong, equipment is an important part of Bullseye, but don't get carried away with the "toys" aspect of the sport. Believe me that there are more gadgets out there than you could probably afford with a year's salary. I started out with a Ruger MkII and a borrowed Colt Gold Cup. As I competed more I bought appropriate/better equipment and slowly added to my list of "necessary supplies'. You will, too. If you go to the store and buy a bunch of stuff without first familiarizing yourself with the sport, you'll wind up wasting a lot of cash.

The single thing that will make you a seroius competitior is proper training. This includes visualization, dry-fire, live-fire drills, and finally practicing the National Match Course. Also, a critical part of training is competiting in as many matches as possible. There is no substitute for shooting under match pressure.

Bullseye is by far my favorite shooting sport. I compete in a Winter-indoor .22 county league and in the Summer I travel throughout NE Ohio to shoot in club matches, NRA regionals, OH State Championships, and the Nationals at Camp Perry.

Good luck starting out and I hope to see you someday on the firing line.

*A quick word on my S&W Mod 41. I use CCI Stardard Velocity because it is amazingly accurate for the price. I cut a few coils off of my recoils spring so it would reliably function. I've shot it that way for 6 seasons and had no porblems at all.
 
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