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Posted: 6/27/2005 1:07:29 PM EDT
I want to get into some competitive, open class, match shooting. I run pretty low budget (public school educator-former Marine), and want to build my own race gun. How about some advice on brands, prices, and priority of accessorieshave
Any and all advice welcome!!! Thanks in advance to all who offer! I'm sure more than just I will benefit! Let experience reign!!!hug.gif

Link Posted: 6/27/2005 2:55:39 PM EDT
I thought "low budget" and "race gun" were mutually exclusive terms. But seriously, back when I was a racegunner I used STI.
Link Posted: 6/28/2005 4:09:54 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/28/2005 4:12:51 AM EDT
The market definately is not flooded with used STI's... That tells you something about them...
Link Posted: 6/28/2005 5:15:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/28/2005 5:16:58 AM EDT by BC-Sgt-USMC-3rdRec82]
Just saw the Trubor on the STI site... WOW!happening.... The Stinger looked pretty hot alsohy.gif, But I think the longer brl on the Trubor would be of benefit... They do offer a naked frame for about $370... But I also think it might be wise to buy the whole gun at once...

What is 9mm "major"???
Link Posted: 6/28/2005 5:30:26 AM EDT
Well it's been ten years since I shot open class USPSA so I probably won't be much help but here goes. I had a 38 super. Back then major power factor was 175 and 9mm was illegal to use for safety reasons. I'm not sure what the power factor is now but I believe they dropped the "no 9mm" rule so that explains the "9mm major" that you are talking about. Basically it would be a 9mm handloaded to make the power factor. I used a Tasco PDP3 red dot sight and would guess that has also been replaced by some new techno marvel. I don't remember what model STI I had but I'm sure they have fancier ones now.
Link Posted: 6/29/2005 4:25:44 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/29/2005 10:16:13 AM EDT
I have a couple compact/tactical .40's and love 'em, so I already invested into a dillon press and have a couple "ol time reloaders guiding me in that department! It makes a guy feel pretty good when so many people "in the know" are willing to take their valuable time to help out a "newbie" in the gamehould days to finance this endeavor! I know I'd hate myself in the morning!!! I truly appreciate both of your time and guidance as I head down this road. Mistakes can be dangerous, and expensive for sure! All tips, tricks, opinions, and guidance is welcome & appreciated!

Bill C.
Link Posted: 6/29/2005 2:27:38 PM EDT
40 S&W or .38 Super are what rule the roost. To be competitive your gun will need a great barrel, an efficient brake, strong mount, and either a "beer can" or a JP dot sight. Between gun, mags, Levitation style race rig with mag pouches, and holster you will most likely be $3k - $5k all in. (Retail / new prices)

To me there is little to no point in shooting limited - yeah high mag cap but no comp and no dot. IMHO the "game" is L10 and Open. Obviously, YMMV.

You said "you want to build it" - do you mean you fit the parts? Or spec the parts to your smith? If you are going to build it - have you built an accurate 1911 before? Not that you don't already know this but - the game isn't about pretty guns - its about go fast - and that's it. If you haven't built a reliable hyper accurate 1911 you *might* consider shooting L10 and saving you money or looking for a used open gun. If your club is anything like mine, there is always someone that is trading horses out there. Personally, I would hate to dump a lot of $ into something that I built only to feel like I was being held back by it in the end- classic "I could'a had a V-8".

Good luck

Link Posted: 6/29/2005 5:07:43 PM EDT
When I say "build it," I mean spec out the parts to a quality smith. who do you rec. for the barrel? What style brake? I have never "built" a 1911 before, just shot the heck out of some old colts in the service, and tset fired some friends kimbers, and cz's. I liked the cz's, but still think I'm going STI... Want to avoid the trade game on used rigs, my first wil be mine from start until I retire it to the safe (then hopefully pass it on as a legacy peice!) I want it to fit me physically and aesthectically. If I'm going to drop upwards of 5K into it, I want it to reflect me, my style, and stature. Who makes the best sights in this game right now? What are the pro's and con's of the "beer can" vs a JP dot sight? Thanks for sharing!

Link Posted: 6/30/2005 10:39:25 AM EDT
BC - do you have ties to a local USPSA group now? If not - figure out where there are some matches close by and attend. Talk to as many open shooters as you can. Find out what they like and why. There are many commonalities but there are just as many differences and everyone there has a reason for doing what they do. Find out why. Figure out if it makes sense for you. See if you can shoot some different set ups.

Also go to Brian Enos' site on the web www.brianenos.com/ go to the forums and ask all of your questions there. You will get more than a ka-jillion bits of info. Lastly if you haven't already - read his book. Many think of it as 'the bible' for competitive shooting. It is without question the best book I have ever read on the subject of shooting and how to compete and be mentally competitive at a shooting event.

Lastly, I am not an open shooter so I am not up on the 'best' compensator or 'best' otptics mount. However as for barrels - a Schuman / Kart / Barsto / Nowlin that has been properly fitted is 100%. You are going to run a wide body so - Para, STI, or SVI. The last two are very popular because of the customization that can take place esp. with respect to grips and color - some of these are very, very trick. Then again - so are the SGs and ARs at the matches too - candy apple red with metalic flake, Rainbow splatter, Green to purple fade - depending on sunlight and angle - but I digress.

As for an optic - kinda like the diff between and EoTech and an Aimpoint - both have their fans. Things to watch out for - some models (and they may be older models) have the battery compartment under the base so when it goes dead - you need to re- zero. See the problem this is if it is mid match? Can you say backup gun? (And it better fit the rules to a "T" b/c your whole squad will bitch to high heaven against most anything). Also you need to shoot with a "beer can" to see if you like it. To me, it is phsysically too big; and mentally effects the swing - esp for steel matches. I like the JP set up.

Anyway - go to B.E.'s place on the web, read his book, make nice with the IPSC crowd, take notes and map out a plan.

Good luck
Link Posted: 6/30/2005 2:00:06 PM EDT
Like you I am wanting to get into comptetive shooting. Open class is pretty sweet, incredible competition, sweet guns, big rewards, etc. But is it practical for me? NO. I have little competitive shooting experience nor do I have the funds to spend that kind of money on an open gun, just to get spanked. If you're just wanting the adrenaline and maybe when some prizes, look into the "Production" class. It's a HECK of a lot cheaper to compete in since you only need a stock XD, Glock, CZ, etc. And it will give you (and me when I start) a lot of experience to prepare for the next level of competition. It's your life, if you want to run with the big dogs go for it! Best of luck, but my advice is maybe try a different, less expensive class for a season or two and then move up. Just my 2 cents.
Link Posted: 6/30/2005 3:03:42 PM EDT
BC-Sgt-USMC-3rdRec82, Best advice I can give you is run production or limited class and not unlimited for a few years.

Limited guns can be made for around $1000 if you play your cards right. Dawson has specials on STI frames and slides from time to time, or you could build on a Para SX16-40 limited to get your feet wet for the first year.

An unlimited pistol will run in the $1800 mark if you build it yourself (lots of dealer discounts), and due to the hot ass ammo being used (read pushing a 38 super or 9x23 to MPF), it does tend to wear out the pistols fairly quickly. Plus, no one in their right mind would just jump into the unlimited class from the beginning. Point blank, the guys that shoot this class are beyond fast (read you would feel that your time could be measured using a sun dial compared to the rest of the guys).

Go to USPSA and find a couple of matches that are being shot in your area, and get a feel for different classes. Then, if you have the $2000 to drop from the start getting set up to run the class, then we can walk you threw a build, holster rig, and how to set up the Dillon 650 that you will be trying to wear out faster than the pistol.

Link Posted: 6/30/2005 5:30:05 PM EDT
Face -n-the Crowd, thanks for the direction. I'm going to junp right on the book. Been doing a lot of reading on the net, and am ready for some plain paper reading (my eyes!!!). My ties are local and informal... we try to mimic competitive setups & rules w/archaic timing! I definately need to test as many race guns as I can. I am pretty comfortable with my stock Glocks, Springfields, and Taurus's... and am very competitive locally. I need to find a good IPSC crowd locally and sit back and watch & learn! Copious notes! I am a former Marine Sniper, so my long gun skills are quite above par. Short arms are still pretty new to me, and I have alot to learn. Using them on a combat level, I'm proficient... These race guns are a totally different ball of wax! Good planning & good mentors will pay big! My continued thanks! jharms - I do a lot of shooting with production class, just not "formal" competition... It would be good experience and a confidence builder as well as working on form and muscle memory. Getting into some formal production class competitions is definately on the agenda! Really looking forward to these race guns though! Patience will pay big! Thanks for the guidance!
Dano523 - Spent a good part of the day looking at STI and DP's... drool all over the keyboard! Just how good are these out of the box rigs? They look and sound ood on paper... do they perform as well as they advertise? I have a Dillon 550B setup... Older, but I like it! Is the upgrade to the 650 worth selling off my existing setup +$$$? How will I benefit? I am going to do my research and slow down on this project as I don't have the money to throw away... When I do invest, I like to get the most for my hard earned $$'s!! I'm currently an Assistant Principal at a high school and deal with 9th grade disciplinehis!) I look forward to the journey and continued discourse! Thanks for sharing!

Bill C.
Link Posted: 6/30/2005 8:38:18 PM EDT

To answer your question about the pistols, they are race ready out of the box; the question just comes down to whether you are not. In USPSA/ISPC, once you hear the beep, the clock is running, and so are you.

The open class pistols have the recoil of a BB gun, so your mind is on the next three targets as you tag the current one. If you have a problem during the run, 99.9% of the time, it's all you due to your bad form, or bad reloads (read jams).

Limited class is little tamer, but not by much. The MPF was dropped to 165 from 175, and with most of the pistols front end heavy, the recoil of the pistols is like shooting 22's (40 cal loaded right). What slows the pace down a bit is the little more recoil, the fact that you have to line the sight up (really just center the glowing front site on the target and pull the trigger), and maybe a extra mag change (open runs 170mm mags with 28 round counts, limited runs 140 MM mags with 19 rounds in each mag).

The key to both of these upper classes is that you can build the hell out of the pistols, and where the money portion comes into effect. On the other hand, the production division was designed to allow shooter to compete with factory pistols. If you are going to start USPSA, start off in this division to get your feet wet. If nothing else, the Glock/basic holster will be used for IDPA shoots if you find that the run and gun game of isn't your cup of tea.

Bottom line is before you buy anything, check out a few of the local shoots to see what the guys are shooting, and what class you really think that you are up to speed to jump into. Also, don’t limit your self to viewing the USPSA events only, you may find that the IDPA shoots are more fun since the playing field is evenly matched (limited to what you can do to the pistol, and the presentations of targets including using cover).
Link Posted: 7/1/2005 10:56:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/1/2005 11:09:19 PM EDT by jwrig]
Here's three of the rigs I use. The top pistol is good for Limited 10 and with a few changes, will be good for the new single stack class this coming year. The second is an SV Infinity. It was a factory gun (out of the box) that a local smith, Frank Glenn, went through and then hard chromed. The third is a 38 super SV Infinity that was an out of the box gun as well. Frank did the fine tuning on it also. The 38 super's impact has lessened on the Open class. There are a number of other calibers that work as well with the new power factor of 165. Each has its own plusses and minuses. They are 9X19, 9X23, 9X21, 9mm super comp and the 38 super comp. The smaller calibers are the way to go for Open. They make more gas to work the comp and you can stuff more rounds in a magazine. 40 cal is pretty much the caliber of choice for limited class. Limited 10 is home to both the 40 cal and 45 cal. The biggest difference in the Open vs the Limited class pistols I have are the C-more scope, compensator and the caliber for the Open Gun. All of these utilize the 1911 operting controls and as such, are fairly easy to transition back and forth between. Most people start with the single stack, then the Limited rig and then, the Open rig. Start with which one you prefer. The technology will change the least on the single stack, then the Limited gun. The open gun is the most susceptible to being outdated the soonest. The production class someone mentioned earlier is a great way to start shooting matches also. It's the cheapest way to get started. For example, Glock mags are $20 each. 170 mm SV open mags can run $120 each.

The uspsa.org site someone mentioned above is a great resource.

I believe there is a very highly ranked shooter in your state. His name is Chris Tilley. I think christilley.com is his website. Frank Glenn's site is glenncustom.com .

Brian Enos' site is good. robleatham.com is a good one. mattburkett.com is another.

The neat thing about living in the Phoenix area is the weather makes shooting year round possible not just for you, but the world's best as well. Brian Enos, Rob Leatham, Angus Hobdell, Matt Burkett, Don Golembieski all shoot here. It will elevate your game much faster if you can find the best shooters in your area, watch them like a hawk and ask questions. Most of the shooters I mentioned above have DVD's, books, etc to accelerate your learning curve.

Hey, have a ball! Sorry to ramble. Just trying to share my .02 with you.

Link Posted: 7/2/2005 3:29:48 AM EDT
Going on a budget, 9mm major is the way to go. Brass is cheap.

I highly recommend Dan Bedell for a 9mm major builder. You can see his guns and prices at www.shootersconnection.com

There are also used Open guns for sale on the www.uspsa.com website. You need to be a member of USPSA with a name and password for entry into the classifieds. I know there is a real nice package there right now for about $1600.00.

Link Posted: 7/2/2005 4:31:08 PM EDT
I just built my STI framed open gun for about 1600 complete with mags. There alot of used open guns out there for sale right now. I am looking to pick one up for a backup gun. You definitely want to with 38 super or 9mm major. Cheaper brass in 9mm. You will also have to reload. I chambered the new gun in 38 super to avoid getting ammo moxed up with my carry guns and IDPA gun. If you can I would check the uspsa site to look at some guns for sale. BE.com sometimes has some.

Link Posted: 7/7/2005 4:06:51 AM EDT
You guys are the best! Thanks again for the continued advice, links, anf .02's!!! I'm maintaining a log as I go, and printing all of your posts and copies of the pages you've provided links to as well. Keep 'em coming! Thanks again!!!
Link Posted: 7/10/2005 8:35:31 AM EDT
JWRIG - Awesome looking firearms!!!! If this message doesn't post, its because I was drooling into my keyboard...... I'll get there!!!
Link Posted: 7/10/2005 9:56:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By BC-Sgt-USMC-3rdRec82:
JWRIG - Awesome looking firearms!!!! If this message doesn't post, its because I was drooling into my keyboard...... I'll get there!!!

Thanks. Each one is a hoot in its own way. You can't go wrong with any class you decide to start in, so have at it! Good luck and keep us in the loop.

Link Posted: 7/23/2005 5:25:42 PM EDT
STI 38 super!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Link Posted: 7/24/2005 6:31:16 PM EDT
Race guns are as variable as the wind. The best bet is to fingda good gunsmith, supply the basics and have him built it. I am Shooting a .38 Super +P, built on a Para frame, 16. You need to have a high cap capability, I have a Clark custom Barrel that is comped and a C-More seridipenty Red Dot site.
I would sugggest you attend a IPSC match and talk to the shooters. Also go to the IPSC web site and view the classified ads. Hope this helps. All the best. TK PS I would suggest www.Defensiveedge.com, Gunsmith is Shawn Carlock who is a world class shooter and master gunsmith. He bulit mine. , TK

Link Posted: 8/2/2005 7:59:20 PM EDT
Hey BC, We've been shooting more and more 3 gun, and I have an STI 38 super open gun I was thinking of turning loose to feed the 3 gun monkey. Complete package, C-more, mags, also have an older Safariland holster that I would throw in. The holster would be a start but I would upgrade it with a CR fairly quick. This gun is an STI 2011 and looks very similar to the bottom picture that is posted above. Only my gun is all silver with a black grip and black C-more.
ONE THING I WILL SAY ABOUT SHOOTING THE OPEN CLASS: If you are going to run with the open boys, you have to practice! I can come up with a limited gun and have a good sight picture every time, but I can't come up with the dot every time. That may sound silly, but do be good with the C-more, you have to practice coming out of the holster and picking up the dot with a proper pistol presentation. Nothing is more frustrating in a match than coming up with your gun to a blank scope lens, and having to roll your pistol around to pick up the dot. The clock is running, and you are wasting time!!! I know all of ya'll are gonna be yelling that I don't dry fire enough and practice enough, and you are absolutely right!! It's just after working 50 hrs a week, and having a son on a traveling soccer team, and he plays school ball at the same time, I'm just glad to go to a match!! So don't yell at me, I'm trying to spend time with my kid. Oh yea, on his off weekends he shoots with me. Not too bad a shot either.
Anyway BC if you are interested give me a shout.
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 8:03:07 PM EDT
By the way, I'm just up in Charlotte, and you could shoot this gun before you decide, but if you shoot it, you will want it. Be warned!!
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 6:54:02 AM EDT
Can anyone recommend a good smith local to the Hickory, NC area??? Thanks!
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