Quote Originally Posted by Triton View Post
Well. First one down. I came in last  with a score of 1904, out of 2700.
here is what I learned:
  1. This requires a lot of gear. - I now have a list of basic items I need. (Tape, good stapler, brass catcher so your casings don’t pelt the guy to your right)
  2. spotting scope is needed
  3. i need to bench my CZ Shadow 2 and figure out where it’s hitting
  4. 50 yards is a freaking hard shot with iron sights
  5. i need much much more practice with my CZ
  6. if shooting 22 for the 45 match, clean it before the match starts
  7. scoring for the alibi shots is confusing
  8. pace yourself with slow fire. - this is where the spotting scope would have been really handy to check each shot and I wouldn’t have finished in a minute and a half
  9. strength training. - start holding the 5lb dumbbell while watching tv. - I stopped doing this and noticed quicker fatigue and more arm wobble
  10. 50 yds is a heck of a freaking hard shot even with a red dot
  11. most people there are really great and open to help out, they have been doing this for years
  12. the Pachmyar box I ordered off EBay won’t work, it doesn’t allow for scopes pistols (back to gear again
  13. i will need to buy a .45
  14. i will need to start reloading
  15. i will need to figure out a way to convince my wife these things are needs 

all in all I had a great time. Pride is bruised from the low score. But that’s how it goes. Sometimes you just need to jump in and get started.
First of all, congratulations on getting that first one done! Most will never accomplish that. Your learning curve is steep right now, and, it will pay off later.

Brass catcher to your right is for saving your empties, once you start shooting .45. Piece of hardware-cloth mesh clipped to your shooting box to your left, to keep the other guy's hot ones off you .

The best piece of advice I can give you right now, to get yourself to the next rock in crossing the stream, is to get that .45 and start dry-firing with it. Every day. It is better than a dumbbell. Do it until you can see it in your sleep. Do it until you see God.

The Springfield RO with the square black front sight is honestly the best start you can get. The priority on spending money on modifications is to get a 3.5lb. trigger job done by a good gunsmith first, about 100 bucks usually. This will allow you to 1) dry fire, dry fire, dry fire with that gun, 2) live fire factory loads with it occasionally, although your range sessions will focus around the .22 for now. All .45 factory triggers are pretty much too daunting for beginners to use shooting one-handed precision fire. A good 3.5 pound trigger makes the shots go off easier and gets you started down the road, watching those sights line up and the shot go off, time after time.

Next step would be getting an inexpensive red dot sight milled to the slide; I recommend a Vortex Venom ($200 range). I prioritize this as "next," because it will be a substantial help in making those 50-yard one hand shots less intimidating. I also place it "after" the trigger job, because shooting a dot one-handed on a centerfire gun with a heavy trigger is extremely nerve-racking. I realize this type of optic is not in common use with bullseye shooters. They are a very traditional lot, and most are still using accu-dot tube scopes because of the rebuild policy. I simply believe there's no reason for a beginner this day in age not to take advantage of the good reflex dot sights that are on the market, at modest price, that are light weight and can be easily mounted directly to the slide without affecting the cycling of the gun. This avoids two problems; cycling issues with a heavier slide-mounted scope, or having the frame drilled and tapped for a frame mount, which is more extensive work because to do it right, the (later) accuracy job now involves squeezing and lapping the slide rails to the frame to make sure the slide+barrel mate consistently to the frame (where if your optic is slide-mounted, the gunsmith really only needs to worry about getting the barrel mating up repeatably to the slide, which is less work).

Next step is reloading, because the .45 is two-thirds of your match in bullseye, and you want _soft_ ammo for this (talking like in the 650~700 fps range with a 200 gr. wadcutter). This type of ammo is not reliably commercially available, so you have to load it yourself. When you start shooting light ammo, you will need to put in a 15-lb (or possibly lighter) spring so the gun will cycle (but remember to pop the heavy 18~20 lb. one back in if you shoot any factory loads, so you don't batter the gun unnecessarily).

Getting the gun accurized would be the next step, a little bit down the road yet, but hopefully you identified a good gunsmith for the job when you had your trigger job done in the first step (if you liked his work, send it back to him to have the recoil lugs welded up and a match bushing fitted).

The priority of the above steps is of course debatable. Some might say start reloading soft ammo before doing gun work. I cannot necessarily argue with that, but it involves buying a press, and I think if you're still in the beginning stages of exploring this, the Springfield RO with a red dot milled in the top of it is a much less-risky investment, because even if you don't stick with bullseye shooting, you are still going to _love_ having that gun. And if you ever want to sell it, will get decent money out of it easily.

And obviously, if you hit the lottery and the missus is in a good mood...just do it all at once . But I realize that's a lot, and most people (myself included) end up doing it in stages.