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Those of you who are experienced in the Bianchi Cup type matches please offer me some insight. I've been considering attempting this game for several years but I'd like some information first. I've noticed that several guns have shrouds of one type or another added to them in open. Do these shrouds usually involve removing part of the slide? Are different pre calculated optic adjustments made to lead the moving target or is it general practice to develop an appropriate lead of the sights at the various ranges?

If I do attempt to shoot a match I'll likely begin with a fairly simple 1911 to learn the rules and procedure. Would a .22 be a useful tool in the early stages of learning for this match?

Thank you

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Hi JS-

A shroud normally doesn't require removing part of the slide.

For Open and Metallic there are options that add the lead for you so you can always aim at the center of the target. In Production you have to use just regular sights and estimate the lead. It is a different amount for each distance.

You can't use a 1911 in Production class, you would be in Metallic with that one. Still, it would not be a bad way to start. It's advisable to make sure you like it before building an Open gun.

A .22 is a useful tool for any level of shooter because it lets most of us shoot (practice) a lot more than we normally could afford to do.

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JS. I shot Action Pistol for the first time ever last year. I have never shot a more challenging pistol sport. This had been a goal of mine for a long time. That being said I'll just say I was no newcomer to shooting. I'll turn 50 just prior to the 2012 Cup and you can bet I'll be there again. Once you shoot Action Pistol it gets in your blood.

This year (2011) I shot a borrowed Springfield Armory XDM 9mm in the metallic division. I choose the metallic divison for a couple of reasons. There are typically fewer shooters in the metallic division than either open or production. Also the gun I borrowed had a lightened trigger and would not meet the Production class rules standard. Last year at the Cup I believe there were 28 shooters in the metallic division. I finished 18th and was still in the money at the awards ceremony. The gun I shot didn't prove nearly accurate enough for this sport. Shortly after the Bianchi Cup I bought my own S&W model 64 revoler that had been done up as a PPC gun. I continued to shoot in the metallic division until the Region X match at Bates City MO. Since then I have had Warren (Tool Guy) upgrade my gun to an open gun. My main reason for moving up to open so quickly was one of eyesight. I wear bi focals and seeing the sights clearly was just becoming to much of an issue. In Action Pistol the time limits are so short you have to get on target quickly and accurately. A dot optic allows me to do that much easier now. Any gun you choose should shoot a group under 2 inches at 50 yards as a standard.

You will meet and maybe even shoot with some of the big names of the sport at the Cup. I was squadded with Jerry Miculek and country western singer Mark Wills for the Pracitacal event at this years Cup.

You didn't mention your past experience with shooting or competitions. I was a dyed in the wool auto fan until Action Pistol. I've used a 1911 and Glock for carry duty and competittions for the last 18 years. But I decided to shoot a revolver in Action Pistol for several reasons. First, you never shoot more than 6 shots in any given string of fire. A good K or L frame 6 or 7 shot revolver can be outfitted to shot this game pretty easy. Revolvers don't jam/fail to feed/fail to extract, etc. Revolvers are also cheaper to build. I won't weigh in on the accuracy aspect because most quality built auto's are going to be just as accurate as a good revolver. Proof of that is in a recent post by Kevin which shows an amazing group from his 1911 at 50 yards. But I will say that a revolver is typically not as finicky as an auto. Another nice thing about a revolver is dry fire practice. I can practice inside just about anytime I feel like it and when I do shoot outside I don't have to search for brass on the ground anymore.

I shot over 4000 rounds of 9mm prior to the Cup last year in practice. I also used a Ruger MkI .22 to practice with and shot an additional 5000 rounds through it. I problaby won't be using a .22 for practice this year since switching over to an open gun. I simply don't have access to a .22 revolver with a dot on it. Just remember whatever caliber you choose to shoot with has to make power factor (120,000) and it should be managable enough for quick follow up shots.

I can tell you that having a place to practice each of the 4 events is a key to success. I am lucky that I have a range with a falling plate rack and a mover. Instead of turning targets for the Practical and Barricade I use a timer as a start signal. A timer is a critical piece of equipment in my mind. Don't get to wrapped up in it at first though. What I mean by that is get comfortable shooting the different courses of fire before going under the clock for timed fire. Get a copy of the C.O.F. and learn it, be able to recite it by heart. That way when you go up to the line you don't even have to think about what you are going to do. I won't even get into the whole mental "thing" that comes with this sport. Thats a whole thread in itself. Suffice it to say that you have to have your head screwed on right when you step up to the line. Your main focus is the task at hand.

If there is an action pistol club nearby get to know the shooters there. I live 90 miles the Green Valley Rifle and Pistol Club in Columbia and about the same distance from the Pioneer Gun Club in the K.C. area. I try to go to the practices whenever I can. Not only will you get some good quality practice in, you will get to meet some of the other shooters too. I have found that most shooters will be glad to give you some help or advice along the way.

Ultimately the choice is yours as to what gun you choose to shoot and if you shoot open, metallic or production. You will see that most of the top A.P. shooters use an auto. Most of them also have a back up gun in case the first goes down for some reason.

I poured over article after article on here during my spare time reading about the events and trying to prepare myself for the matches. Another piece of advice would be to print off a copy of the Action Pistol rules. There is quite a bit of useful information in it. You can get a copy of it from the NRA website. I ended up shooting 4 Action Pistol matches last year and one 3 gun event. I had a blast!

If you have never shot Action Pistol before then you will start off as an Unclassified shooter. After the Cup you will recieve your classification card. I stayed at the Holiday Inn which is the official hotel for the Cup in Columbia. I only live 90 miles from Columbia, but stayed there for the Cup, regardless of the distance you need to get the whole Bianchi Cup experience. You will bump into all the top shooters and find that many are very friendly and easy to talk to. The NRA has a new shooters orientation the night before the match begins which you will want/need to attend. They had a BBQ one night and Mark Wills performed in Columbia one night also. For the awards ceremony you will need to bring a suite or sport coat at the bare minumum as it is a formal attire only event.

I know I got off the topic of your original question, but I hope some of this helps. If you want my two cents worth of advice it would be get a gun, practice with it and come to the Cup in 2012. You won't regret it one bit, I know I didn't. And, just like me you can check off one more thing from your bucket list.


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