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rlyons124

YOUR evolution of buying competition handguns

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Hi everyone, instead of asking the question that everyone ask, "what gun should I buy", I'd rather ask if everyone could share their experience with buying hand guns for competition use.  Here is mine, I have bought, sold and tested quite a few guns over the past few years and haven't been able to find one that really rings the bell for me.  My first "compitition" gun I tried was a custom 2011, super smooth beautiful gun.  I don't remember all the specs on it.  I liked shooting it but I didn't get the amazing warm fuzzy feeling.  Bought a TSO because I found one brand new from a private party for 1400.  How could you pass that up.  Shot it for a short time and realized that the weight up front really bothered me but man was it sexy and it was the best feeling gun I've ever picked up.   I went shooting with a friend that had a few Glocks.  Of course I stuck up my nose cause of the guns I have been shooting recently.  He finally said you should really shoot my 17.  So I shot it, then I ate crow because I was just as accurate with it as I was my TSO.  What a terrible feeling I had in my stomach, shot a few more Glocks and ended up buying a 17L.  Shot it pretty good, gun was cheep but I could never get a good connection with it.  Every time I pulled it out of the box I felt like I was shooting an ugly brick, never felt nice in the hand.  So, my experience is that I shoot everything from a 2011 to a Glock the same, I don't know if that means I suck or I am amazing, probably the former.  I feel like the only way to become amazing is to stick with one platform and shoot every second your awake.  Now my problem, I have no gun right now because a guy a work begged me for my 17L.  I actually ended up making money on it and never really loved it anyways.  Just last week I was able to shoot a friends Shadow 2, first double single I've ever shot.  Loved the feel fit and finish.  Shot it good, I was impressed.  So now I'm in the market again, a lot of people have told me to go big or go home, if your into competitive shooting you will eventually spend the money on a really nice rig and setup.  With that said I don't really mind spending around 2K on a gun, I've already got 2800 into my JP.  I really feel like I need to pick a platform and stick to it so I can hone my skills, if there is an option out there that is under the 2k mark I would much rather do that and spend more money on ammo.  Here's my thoughts:

 

2011-I shoot them good but they don't feel great in my hand.  I could get a full custom gun that will probably feel like a glove but I don't want to spend 3-6k on a gun and magazines.  Also concerned with reliability and having to work on it all the time.  I would rather spend more time/money on shooting and ammo.  I feel like I am missing something though, they seam to be the dominating force in most divisions they are used in.  

 

CZ-I love the feel of these guns, they fit so well in my hand.  I would say the SP-01 fits the best then followed by Shadow 2, TSO then TS.  I shoot them well but not that much better a Glock or 2011.  From my experience and from what I have read they are very reliable and only need minor maintenance/tuning.  Also, way cheaper than a 2011.

 

Glock-Super reliable, cheap, shoot them well but don't feel that great in the hand.  Not sexy at all.  Great bank for your buck.  

 

I am going to shoot 3 gun and steel challenge with it.  Most likely in a limited type division, I don't have any desire to do open.  I thought about getting a Shadow 2 so I can dabble in USPSA production then switch it to SAO just for fun in steel challenge in 3 gun.  If you guy have any recommendations or opinions I would love to hear them but most of all I would love to hear your story of how you got started and what you ended up with now.  Anything you would do differently from the start.  Thanks everyone, can't wait to hear your experience.  

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Hi everyone, instead of asking the question that everyone ask, "what gun should I buy", I'd rather ask if everyone could share their experience with buying hand guns for competition use.  Here is mine, I have bought, sold and tested quite a few guns over the past few years and haven't been able to find one that really rings the bell for me.  My first "compitition" gun I tried was a custom 2011, super smooth beautiful gun.  I don't remember all the specs on it.  I liked shooting it but I didn't get the amazing warm fuzzy feeling.  Bought a TSO because I found one brand new from a private party for 1400.  How could you pass that up.  Shot it for a short time and realized that the weight up front really bothered me but man was it sexy and it was the best feeling gun I've ever picked up.   I went shooting with a friend that had a few Glocks.  Of course I stuck up my nose cause of the guns I have been shooting recently.  He finally said you should really shoot my 17.  So I shot it, then I ate crow because I was just as accurate with it as I was my TSO.  What a terrible feeling I had in my stomach, shot a few more Glocks and ended up buying a 17L.  Shot it pretty good, gun was cheep but I could never get a good connection with it.  Every time I pulled it out of the box I felt like I was shooting an ugly brick, never felt nice in the hand.  So, my experience is that I shoot everything from a 2011 to a Glock the same, I don't know if that means I suck or I am amazing, probably the former.  I feel like the only way to become amazing is to stick with one platform and shoot every second your awake.  Now my problem, I have no gun right now because a guy a work begged me for my 17L.  I actually ended up making money on it and never really loved it anyways.  Just last week I was able to shoot a friends Shadow 2, first double single I've ever shot.  Loved the feel fit and finish.  Shot it good, I was impressed.  So now I'm in the market again, a lot of people have told me to go big or go home, if your into competitive shooting you will eventually spend the money on a really nice rig and setup.  With that said I don't really mind spending around 2K on a gun, I've already got 2800 into my JP.  I really feel like I need to pick a platform and stick to it so I can hone my skills, if there is an option out there that is under the 2k mark I would much rather do that and spend more money on ammo.  Here's my thoughts:
 
2011-I shoot them good but they don't feel great in my hand.  I could get a full custom gun that will probably feel like a glove but I don't want to spend 3-6k on a gun and magazines.  Also concerned with reliability and having to work on it all the time.  I would rather spend more time/money on shooting and ammo.  I feel like I am missing something though, they seam to be the dominating force in most divisions they are used in.  
 
CZ-I love the feel of these guns, they fit so well in my hand.  I would say the SP-01 fits the best then followed by Shadow 2, TSO then TS.  I shoot them well but not that much better a Glock or 2011.  From my experience and from what I have read they are very reliable and only need minor maintenance/tuning.  Also, way cheaper than a 2011.
 
Glock-Super reliable, cheap, shoot them well but don't feel that great in the hand.  Not sexy at all.  Great bank for your buck.  
 
I am going to shoot 3 gun and steel challenge with it.  Most likely in a limited type division, I don't have any desire to do open.  I thought about getting a Shadow 2 so I can dabble in USPSA production then switch it to SAO just for fun in steel challenge in 3 gun.  If you guy have any recommendations or opinions I would love to hear them but most of all I would love to hear your story of how you got started and what you ended up with now.  Anything you would do differently from the start.  Thanks everyone, can't wait to hear your experience.  
ok so let's go further into this:

Which sport draws you more to it USPSA or 3GN?

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XDM-45 first gun used in comp. recommended by friend when neither of us competed. I started shooting IDPA with it.

 

686- wanted to see if I really practiced if I could win local IDPA with a wheel gun.

 

625-to shoot IDPA ESR, then moved to USPSA

 

627-because 8 shots became legal

 

Open Glock- switched to open on the cheap to see if I could be competitive with local fast guy.

 

2011 Open - Holy crap that glock sucked as a open gun. Really liked the 2011 feel

 

Now I have 2011's for Limited and Open, a 1911 that feels vary similar for SS and ESP, and I'm building another just for IDPA CCP. All my guns feel vary similar in the hand, trigger pull and reach is the same, sights are the same. Everything but the Open guns are 40 to keep things simple. The biggest difference is weight depending what is legal for the division I shoot. This allows me to switch between divisions and even sports with out much trouble.

 

 

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Started with a (don't laugh) Ruger P90 45ACP, then went old school with a couple of Springfield P9 factory comp guns in 40S&W (I was shooting mainly bowling pin matches), then to a Springfield Trophy Match in 45ACP, then to an XDM 40 for Production, then an STI Trubor 38s for open, then a SP01 Shadow for Production, and finally a S&W model 610 for revo. I still have all of them except the XDM and Ruger.

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1 hour ago, Rnlinebacker said:

ok so let's go further into this:

Which sport draws you more to it USPSA or 3GN?

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Definitely 3GN or steel challenge.  USPSA randomly but nothing serious.  

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1 hour ago, Racinready300ex said:

XDM-45 first gun used in comp. recommended by friend when neither of us competed. I started shooting IDPA with it.

 

686- wanted to see if I really practiced if I could win local IDPA with a wheel gun.

 

625-to shoot IDPA ESR, then moved to USPSA

 

627-because 8 shots became legal

 

Open Glock- switched to open on the cheap to see if I could be competitive with local fast guy.

 

2011 Open - Holy crap that glock sucked as a open gun. Really liked the 2011 feel

 

Now I have 2011's for Limited and Open, a 1911 that feels vary similar for SS and ESP, and I'm building another just for IDPA CCP. All my guns feel vary similar in the hand, trigger pull and reach is the same, sights are the same. Everything but the Open guns are 40 to keep things simple. The biggest difference is weight depending what is legal for the division I shoot. This allows me to switch between divisions and even sports with out much trouble.

 

 

How are your 2011s reliability?  Would you mind elaborating more on your 2011/1911 and your experience with tuning, maintenance, problems......

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I wanted to start with a Shadow 1 but than I got to shoot a Para ordnance 18.9 and that just felt right so I decided on a 2011 in 9mm.

Ordered an Infinity for as my first gun and bought an older Para 18.9 to tide me over while waiting for the Infinity.

 

Did a "triggerjob" on the 18.9, mainly removing the series 80 safety "features" and adjusting the sear spring, never did anything to the SVI other than clean it.

Both guns were/are (Sold the para) dead nuts reliable, only malfunctions I ever had on the Para were self induced, mostly  ammo related.

The SVI was a bit picky magazine wise but after finding a few mags that work properly it is 100% reliable as well.

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My progression went like...G35 > G17 > G34 > G17 SJC Open > SVI Open > G34 > CZ Shadow > G34 > QC10 PCC > G17 Carry Optic

 

I don’t care what gun I shoot, I focus on the fundamentals. 

 

 

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Started with a Bedell Custom Limited 2011, added a Bedell Custom Open 2011, a Bedell Custom 1911, a Glock 35 and 27, an XD Tactical, M& P CORE, a Dan Wesson Pointman 9 and have sold all of them and now have 2 Glock 34 MOS pistols for CO and a Glock 26 for BUG matches. The custom guns were incredible, but for some silly reason, I like my Glocks!

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27 minutes ago, xrayfk05 said:

I wanted to start with a Shadow 1 but than I got to shoot a Para ordnance 18.9 and that just felt right so I decided on a 2011 in 9mm.

Ordered an Infinity for as my first gun and bought an older Para 18.9 to tide me over while waiting for the Infinity.

 

Did a "triggerjob" on the 18.9, mainly removing the series 80 safety "features" and adjusting the sear spring, never did anything to the SVI other than clean it.

Both guns were/are (Sold the para) dead nuts reliable, only malfunctions I ever had on the Para were self induced, mostly  ammo related.

The SVI was a bit picky magazine wise but after finding a few mags that work properly it is 100% reliable as well.

Since you have owned both, what is your opinion on a Para vs SVI.  Do you shoot any better with the SVI, what is your over experience between them?

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17 minutes ago, HoMiE said:

My progression went like...G35 > G17 > G34 > G17 SJC Open > SVI Open > G34 > CZ Shadow > G34 > QC10 PCC > G17 Carry Optic

 

I don’t care what gun I shoot, I focus on the fundamentals. 

 

 

I really love your quote, "I don’t care what gun I shoot, I focus on the fundamentals. "  I agree 100% that it's has more to do with the shooter than the gun.  With that said, why aren't we all shooting Hi-Points.  Can a high end SVI be justified over a mild  Glock.  Since you have owned Glock, CZ and 2011 what would you shoot for a limited gun and why?

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6 minutes ago, rlyons124 said:

I really love your quote, "I don’t care what gun I shoot, I focus on the fundamentals. "  I agree 100% that it's has more to do with the shooter than the gun.  With that said, why aren't we all shooting Hi-Points.  Can a high end SVI be justified over a mild  Glock.  Since you have owned Glock, CZ and 2011 what would you shoot for a limited gun and why?

I’ve missed a 2yd open targets with my SVI before, I can pull off a target just as fast with an expensive gun vs my Glocks. I would not shoot a hi-point as I think there is a minimum baseline the gun has to work 100% and have a decent trigger. You can justify any purchase you want, if you have the money to buy a higher end gun and it gives you motivation to pick it up and practice then go for it. I would shoot a 2011 if I was to shoot limited division. I did start out with a G35 in limited and have shot 9mm glocks in limited minor. I would say a metal gun like CZ or Tanfo does feel nicer in the hand than a Glock, but my glocks have never failed me and quickly after I started shooting a shadow, springs break, sear cages get loose and if you want a light trigger your always replacing springs. Nothing beats a good 2011/1911 trigger, makes all other triggers feel lacking. 

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I bought a Norinco 1911 because it was cheap and started shooting SS. Upgraded parts as needed over the years and have pretty much replaced everything at this point. Still shoot it 'cause I like the challenge.Swutched to L10 for local matches so I have more people to shoot with.

 

Picked up a Gen 4 G35 for 3gun 'cause single stacks suck for 3gun and safe action pistols are nice for abandoning.

 

Thinking about playing in Production and eyeballing a CZ Shadow 2. We'll see where this goes.

Edited by Jakobi

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I started in the late 80's with my BHP P35, since I had owned it since the mid - 60's.

 

It was good, but not MAJOR.

 

So, I got a 1911 .45, and never got the thing reliable (my fault - this was before BE Forums).

But, it was Major, so I stuck it out.

 

Until 12 years ago - bought a 2011 TruBor 9mm Major, and been using that ever since.   :)

The TruBor is twice the gun I am a shooter, or maybe more.  Accurate, flawless and

fantastic to shoot.   Got me into the B's (low B's, unfortunately, but that's ME, not the gun).

 

Bought an AR .223 two years ago, but quit shooting around the same time, so I haven't

yet gotten myself into 3-gun yet, but looking forward to it as soon as things smooth out

a bit, and I can get back into competitive shooting.

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Hardly an expert but started with a Glock 17 and eventually spent too much money foolishly pimping it out. Then I got a 1911 to see what the fuss was and loved it so I got serious with a custom 2011 that shot so much better it wasn't funny. 

 

Had a few carry and fun range guns as well, but after shooting a lot with the 2011 I started to shoot my carry Glock 19 because it was more of a challenge. Eventually talked myself into shooting only the G19 and sold the nice 2011. Ended up with three Glock 19s 😜 because one is none and I figured it was smart to master the damn thing. At least I learned how to shoot them sort of but the 1911/2011 platform always shot better.

 

Finally bought another custom 2011 similar to what I had, while keeping two G19s for carry and HD. 

 

In there was a detour with revolvers, spent a Summer messing around trying to get a SW627 to have a light trigger, good timing, and still fire factory ammo. Determined it was really hard to achieve and I could shoot the stupid G19s better. 

 

Lesson was I never should have sold/traded any of the initial guns I first bought because I ended up buying them over again. You blow a few $$$$ learning what you want, might as well just accept the process. With freaking shotguns I went Beretta > Benelli > Beretta for goodness sake. Dumb dumb dumb.... 

 

And that's just 9mm/38, don't tell me I need to shoot 45 I don't want to think about it. 

 

 

Edited by Frankly

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3 hours ago, rlyons124 said:

How are your 2011s reliability?  Would you mind elaborating more on your 2011/1911 and your experience with tuning, maintenance, problems......

 

I built most of my guns, so reliability problems can only really be blamed on me. The biggest problem I've had is learning to cut the sear properly and trying to get to light of a pull when doing trigger work. I think I've got it down now but I've had some slips to half cock along the way. Looking at my logs between my guns I've put about 42k rounds on them. Out side of the half cock listed above I haven't had much trouble. I've had a few FTF some of which were from rounds I take to practice because they failed the case gauge. My limited gun will sometimes FTF if you don't have a good grip shooting one handed with a full mag, I think that's happened to me once SHO and once WHO.

 

I think total I've had 4-6 slips to half-cock and a additional dozen or so malfunctions. Of those dozen, a couple were over inserting mags on single stack guns when at slide lock (IDPA), and a few were rounds that didn't pass the case gauge. Not many that were completely un-explainable. 

 

I stay on top of things, get mags that work keep good springs in them. Keep them clean. If anything act's up even a little I'm looking for reasons why.

 

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I went from a Taurus beretta clone to a Glock to a CZ Tactical Sport.  All in Limited division.  

 

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that if you didn't connect with a 2011, TSO or Glock, then the problem is you and no gun is ever going to be what you are looking for, in the beginning.  They all have their compromises, and you have pretty much tried whats out there.  Pick one and shoot it until you have handled and shot it so much that it feels right.  In my opinion, your 17L was what you should have held on to, especially given your interest in steel challenge.  

Edited by obsessiveshooter

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I started shooting USPSA this year with a brand new Glock 34.  Liked it, practiced with it a lot, added as much as I could while still being production-legal.  Shot production all the way up through the Area 8 match in August, and haven't really shot it since.

 

-Bought a Sig P320 X5 with a DPP for CO.  I put the Grayguns competition package on it, but only shot that for a match or two.  While it was a very nice gun, something about the ergos caused me to flinch pretty severely on some shots, even while slow-firing.  What's strange is that it was a problem that ONLY happened with the Sig - not the Glock, nor any of my other guns.

 

-S&W TRR8.  I had this revolver for almost a decade, but it had been sitting at my parents' house from when I moved out.  Thinking that it would be interesting and fun to shoot revolver, I invested in some moonclips, a moonclip rig for my belt, speed holster, and a trigger kit.  I shot it for two matches before I started getting weird accuracy issues that caused the gun to be completely unshootable.  I'm talking like 8" groups at 10 yards.  Constant keyholding.  And this was with every type of ammo - both jacketed AND lead!  I don't know if the gun needs to be re-barreled or what, but for now it's retired.

 

-My current gun: Very old Tripp Research (pre-STI) 2011.  I talked about this relic of a gun in this thread.  It's my first foray into the open division and it's been wonderful so far.  I find myself practicing fundamental skills more often because of how much I like this gun.  Sure, it's a money sink, but most importantly I'm having FUN.  I shoot this in both USPSA and Steel Challenge.  I recently purchased a 9x19 barrel from fellow poster Aircooled6racer for the purpose of Steel Challenge, mainly so I don't have to pick up brass!

My biggest question right now is whether I should work to upgrade this old gun, or just get a totally new one.  The gun doesn't hold me back, with the exception of the optic and lack of racker (I can't put one on because the optic mount is so big).  It seems like there are enough affordable open guns in the classifieds section that I save for a little bit and pick one up.

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On ‎11‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 6:29 PM, rlyons124 said:

Since you have owned both, what is your opinion on a Para vs SVI.  Do you shoot any better with the SVI, what is your over experience between them?

 

I would love to say the SVI makes me a better shooter but I am not sure

Trigger is a lot better, the steel grip fits my hand a lot better and the weight makes recoil easier as well so I probably do shoot better with the SVI. 

$5K worth better, not in 5000 years :)

 

Would I buy the SVI again? Absolutely, without a doubt.

 

I would say all this matters a lot more for beginner/novice shooters than for shooters with more experience. When I just started I heavily preferred the 147s in 9mm, now I shoot both 124 and 147 and it's pretty much a wash.

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Thanks everyone for your input, it's really interesting to see what everyone's progression was.  For now I think I'm going to just look for a good deal on something and really try and practice my fundamentals like some have suggested, rather than try and find that holy grail perfect gun.

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Glock 19 to CZ 75 SP01. Night and day difference for me and this was after 12 plus years of running a Glock in one form or another.

If I were in your shoes CZ SP01 Shadow is where I would take a hard look.

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Started competing with what I carried at the time, a Taurus 24/7 Pro Compact in 9mm. 

 

Once I realized I wanted to be competitive I went with an M&P 5" Pro in 9mm for IDPA.

 

Found USPSA and realized that to compete in Limited I really needed to shoot major and found a Rock Island 2011, and now I'm running an STI Edge.

 

Wish I would have found the 2011 platform to begin with. 

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3 minutes ago, tkane said:

 

Wish I found the 2011 platform to begin with. 

 

Amen.    :cheers:

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Glock 21 for IPSC Standard to SVI got rid of the Tupperware never bought one again.


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Years and years ago I shot Hi-power and small bore. Stopped and moved on. 

 

Decided to get a handgun and my carry permit and while taking a tactical class I wondered if there was any kind of shooting competition kind of like a tactical course. 

 

Started with IDPA because I read the rules for USPSA and was completely lost, plus I could barely afford ammo at that point and only had 3 mags for my M&P 9. 

 

My progression was something like M&P > CZ75 > Para 16-40

 

Decided to try USPSA in Prod. Met a gunsmith that took my Para and worked it over into an awesome Limited gun

 

Para > STI Apeiro shooting Limited

 

Then CO took off and I wanted a dot. 

 

XDM OSP > Walther Q5 > Screw it lets go all in and go open with an STI MatchMaster. (Did get a Sig X5 for non-open shenanigans)

 

STI MM > Hardy Mongooses > Full custom full size open gun OMG WTF FTW!!!!

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