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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi All,

I am interested in building a 38 Special WC gun for bullseye shooting. Does anyone have any recommendations on the best pistol smith to do this. I have heard that the conversion to 38 Special is tricky and if not done correctly makes a gun essentially unusable due to poor reliability. Also, how much would this gun cost to build if I did not own a 38 Super to start with? Clark has a price for this build at $4500. Which to me seems insane. If it is going to cost that much do you guys recommend that I find a used Smith Wesson M52?

Best,

Joe
 

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Joe: there are so many better choices in the 1911 platform for bullseye that the 38 Special is almost non existent . A Model 52-2 is a much better choice in .38 special. Or a 9MM in the 1911 format with a KKM 1:32 twist barrel.
 

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Centerfire Bullseye gun.....

A Model 52-2 is a much better choice in .38 special. Or a 9MM in the 1911 format with a KKM 1:32 twist barrel.
+1! Even a Beretta M-9 can be made to shoot outstanding groups for Bullseye competition.....the Army Marksmanship Unit accurizes them.

As far as cost, I have never built a Bullseye quality Beretta, so I have no idea.

When building any gun, some gunsmiths have preferences for parts, so it might be best to contact a good Bullseye gunsmith and discuss exactly what you want and which base gun or parts he prefers. The better the Gunsmith, the longer the waiting time. I would definitely ask for an accuracy guarantee......

If you wanted a 9mm that can shoot 1.5" groups at 50 yds., you could order a Les Baer PPC match gun with their 1.5" accuracy guarantee for right at $3,300. This is a gun with iron sights. If you plan to use optics, you might be able to order it for the optics of your choice and perhaps get a lower price.....
 

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Unless I am mistaken Clark still does them.

As a former bullseye shooter they are great fun but hard to shoot well and require more follow through because of the low velocity. They are also not good for windy days.

As suggested there are a number of smiths making very accurate nines...
 

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Greg Derr, what weight range bullet is typically used with the 1:32 twist barrels?
 

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I got Knapp gunsmithing, but not the Claptrap forum.. I am assuming he was running off at a forum. I may have assumed incorrectly..
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OK I got it....took things to literally there.. Duh..
 

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SIG P240 should fit the bill. Expensive, out of production and nobody knows how to work on them just like other good .38's.

It's on my orphan target pistol collection list below a Green free pistol and above a TOZ 49 revolver. There something about blued steel, carved walnut and no parts that pushes my buttons.
 

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Probably should have said "yapper" or "jibs". Those are other words I use to sound as if I am utilizing my Harvard education to it's fullest.

I got Knapp gunsmithing, but not the Claptrap forum.. I am assuming he was running off at a forum. I may have assumed incorrectly..
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OK I got it....took things to literally there.. Duh..
 

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Hi All,

I am interested in building a 38 Special WC gun for bullseye shooting. Does anyone have any recommendations on the best pistol smith to do this. I have heard that the conversion to 38 Special is tricky and if not done correctly makes a gun essentially unusable due to poor reliability. Also, how much would this gun cost to build if I did not own a 38 Super to start with? Clark has a price for this build at $4500. Which to me seems insane. If it is going to cost that much do you guys recommend that I find a used Smith Wesson M52?

Best,

Joe
If you are actually interested in a 52, there was a 52-1 listed in the classifieds on the S&W forum earlier today. $900 if I recall correctly.
 

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I am not a bullseye shooter but KC's idea sounds good to me.
An accurized .38 Super would be a lot less fuss.
There was an article about it in the old NRA Gunsmithing book. Done before case mouth headspace control barrels were available, the 'smith bushed the chamber and recut it. He said it was less work than a .38 Special conversion, more reliable, and just as accurate. He put a hang tag on it not to shoot with factory ammo, just a light load similar to .38 Special Midrange wadcutter but with a H&G semiwadcutter.

Of course a .45 "wad gun" will serve both centerfire and bigbore, but if you just WANT that .38...
 

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1911 with a 9mm 1:32 twist barrel.....

It is my understanding the 9mm 1:32 twist barrel is pretty finicky about powders and bullet weight to get the optimal accuracy.... I believe using a 115gr. JHP with 5.8 gr. of Vhitavouri 3N37 was a good, light load that shot very well......
 

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I am a M-52 apostle. I realize they have their quirks and downsides but for $900 to $1000, you couldn't start to build a 1911 that would shoot nearly as well. Keep in mind, they are Bullseye guns, only, but fill that role very well.
 
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