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Bowling Pin Match

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My range just started a bowling pin competition every other Monday. I was thinking about giving it a try tonight. I am going purely for fun. I have never shot competitively, or shot at pins before. What I know about the competition is that is against another shooter, 5 pins at 15 yards, first one to get 5 off the table wins. What I don't know is how far the pins are from the back of the table and if there is a limit to rounds in the magazine.

I'm debating whether to use my Legion 9mm or my K2 .45. I feel more comfortable with the Legion but from my "extensive" research this morning on shooting pins, not sure a 9mm is up to the challenge. I'm still getting used to my K2 and have less than 50 rounds shooting it at 15 yards.

Any thoughts on using a 9mm against pins? I have only shot 115 gr and would be using that. Will the pins just wobble and smile back at me? It's double elimination so I plan on shooting just 2 matches. Maybe shoot one with each. Any advice, tips would be great. I'm excited and think if I get 2 pins off each round it's a win for me.
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IMHO, 9MM is worthless with respect to your proposed Task. The pins under 9MM impact will simply fall over (At best). At this point, you are in a Real challenge, because the 9MM will suffice to roll the pins around the table in circles (Spinning bowling pins) and cause you to become frustrated. Very frustrated.

The Bowling Pin match was initially designed by a bunch of bunch of Crack shooting Sadists. Its purpose was to inflict Humility on anyone who could not follow the Jeff Cooper rule of "Accuracy, Speed, and Power". The Favored weapon was the 1911 ACP in .45, with some few people using the .41 and .44 Magnum calibers to apply force to the sweet spot on the pins.

You need to remember you are shooting at a Rounded Surface, with a key "Sweet Spot" of 1 1/2 by 2 inches (Vertical) intending to sweep the pin off of the table by sending it back 2 feed off of a 3 foot wide table. Hit the top of the pin, and it falls down, but probably will roll around doing nothing for you. Until all the pins leave the table, against a Timer, and under a minimum shout count, it does not matter.

Bowling Pin Matches are like GOLF. Which is FLOG spelled backwards.

But it is a Heck of a lot of fun.
Just don't take your results too serious. And NEVER bet a case of beer against a guy with a revolver wearing a hat tabled "Mack Diesel". I did in 1981, and lost when he cleared the table with 5 shots in 5 seconds.
 

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Take the opportunity to develop some new skills with a new weapon. Bowling pin matches are fun, and when the pins are soft and lumpy (shot up and full of lead) they can do some weird things but stay with it and finish the task at hand.

larger bullets at moderate speeds seem to work better for me. Seems the pins just laugh at .38 special and 9mm, the .45 and .454/.45LC are my preference.

HAVE FUN!
 

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45acp 200 gr swc, 7 gr Power Pistol
That would work.
There was a Special set of .45 bullets developed into the 1990s that had a Jaggered edge Hollow point on them. the idea was they would "Bite" into the pins and act more reliably to push the pin from the table.

I was out of it by then and so I didn't try them. But I am sure they are still around as there are always a few Die Hard Pin busters. out there.
 

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That would work.
There was a Special set of .45 bullets developed into the 1990s that had a Jaggered edge Hollow point on them. the idea was they would "Bite" into the pins and act more reliably to push the pin from the table.

I was out of it by then and so I didn't try them. But I am sure they are still around as there are always a few Die Hard Pin busters. out there.
It's a hell of a hard hitting load .
Use it in my 1911s....sometimes.
 

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Mills
You are right. it is a Heck of a hard hitting load. And that is where the whole challenge comes in.
5 yards, a total "good" target zone of 1 inch by MAYBE 2 1/2 inches. Draw from a holster on 5 different targets and hit the "zone" exactly right to push the pin Off of the Table. Shoot Left to right, and save the 6th shot for the Clanger (If they still use one).

Fastest I EVER saw this was from a Policeman from Ohio. He was shaped like a Barrel. Arms like Thighs. Shooting a 4 Inch 29-2 weapon. And he cleaned the table in 4.5 seconds. From bell to Clanger.

And that wasn't the record as I understand it.

We are talking about some SERIOUS shooting. I bet he couldn't do it again.

That case of Budweiser was His.

I could never do that with a wheel gun. The 357 wasn't good enough, and compared to this guy, the Semi Auto's were too slow. (Too much time in recovery and slide action was too slow)

I did it in 8 in the 1980s. Consistently. But that was on another world of health.
 

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I actually had a range officer complain about the load I was shooting, he claimed it was too hot. I told him it was not even close to the listed max.
I think the boom flash was freaking him out.��
 

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My 357 SIG loads are like that. Not a lot of Flash. But the BOOM!. Oh yea.

Speer Lawman is probably the closest to it.

Except for one time i HAD to fire a magazine of Underwood 357 SIG. Flash? Not too bad. About like Speer Gold Dot.
BOOM. Oh yea. a class by itself. I didn't even like it.
 

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I am currently using Berry's 230 Gr Hybrid HP over 5.8 Gr of Win 231 (HP-38) for a good manageable load and fairly economic bullet. Working up some loads to test Hodgdon's CFE Pistol.

Our club has a steel table with three bays set up for five pins each, the trick is thats it's about four foot deep and pins must leave the table completely. Time stops when the last pin hits the ground. .45's rule and we're allowed 8 rounds loaded but can perform a reload if needed. Shooters shoot all three tables then times are averaged.

Once a month we have a revolver match and a .22 match. We use just the pin heads cut off from old shot up pins and are allowed ten rounds loaded per table.
 

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I am currently using Berry's 230 Gr Hybrid HP over 5.8 Gr of Win 231 (HP-38) for a good manageable load and fairly economic bullet. Working up some loads to test Hodgdon's CFE Pistol.

Our club has a steel table with three bays set up for five pins each, the trick is thats it's about four foot deep and pins must leave the table completely. Time stops when the last pin hits the ground. .45's rule and we're allowed 8 rounds loaded but can perform a reload if needed. Shooters shoot all three tables then times are averaged.

Once a month we have a revolver match and a .22 match. We use just the pin heads cut off from old shot up pins and are allowed ten rounds loaded per table.


Those most be in the +p range!!! I use the same bullet type and powder but only 5.3 for pin loads. I go as low as 4.0 for one of my guns for a plate load.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
A couple updates from my original post.
I went that night and gave it shot. Shot two matches with my .45 which I was very new to shooting and got beat down pretty easily. Talked to a few guys and found out a few were using 9mm with no problems. Also learned since there was a lower than normal turnout that night, it wasn't just a double elimination. I quickly grabbed my trusty Legion. Won the next two matches before losing to the eventual winner. Had a great time and learned a lot.

Last night went again. Long story short, I won but with an asterisk. In the final match, I got smoked by the guy that has won most if not all the matches they've had. So after a quick chat between the winner and the range officer it suddenly became a best 2 of 3 match. I won the next two. Still think it is a victory with a * However, my competition record sits at 1 win in 2 attempts not bad for just over 3 months of pistol shooting under my belt.
 

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Last night went again. Long story short, I won but with an asterisk. In the final match, I got smoked by the guy that has won most if not all the matches they've had. So after a quick chat between the winner and the range officer it suddenly became a best 2 of 3 match. I won the next two. Still think it is a victory with a * However, my competition record sits at 1 win in 2 attempts not bad for just over 3 months of pistol shooting under my belt.
Best 2 out of 3 in a Bowling Pin match, after 3 months of Pistol Shooting?

Friend, you are not just extremely lucky. You are astronomical.

How many rounds and how long did it take to clear the table?
 

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Those most be in the +p range!!! I use the same bullet type and powder but only 5.3 for pin loads. I go as low as 4.0 for one of my guns for a plate load.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
5.8 gr of Win 231 (HP-38) gets a 230Gr jacketed or platted bullet out of the barrel at just over 800 FPS. I worked up to knowing 3 of my 1911 (probably most of them) fire Winchester White Box at that velocity.

I noticed working up the load that there is a a reduction in standard deviation as I worked up from 5.2 to 6.0 gr. Not extremely important in knocking down pins at 10 yards or so but worth knowing.

I and most others have chosen heavier/faster loads as the table is quite deep and the pins get pretty lumpy and heavy full of lead before we swap them out.

I have noticed the club has adapted the rules and philosophy reminiscent of the Second Chance Pin Shoot right down the road form us that was started by Richard Davis back in the early 80's.

About | Pin Shoot
 

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Love the pin shoots, first one I ever went to was when I was shooting Bullseye in the early 80's.
Took the bullseye 1911 with the bullseye loads.
One round to knock the pin over, 2 or 3 and sometimes more to finally get the pin off the table.

But I became hooked, found a better load and had a blast.
Used to have some of them flat bullets, I think we called them ashtrays or something like that.
They seemed to disappear years back and I used 200 gr SWC after that.

I have three guns I like to use, a SVI .38 super open gun running 144 gr round nose flat point, a 1911 Gold cup in .45 acp and a S&W 625 in .45acp.

Don't see many pin matches here anymore, it's to bad as they were a lot of fun.
Lucky you.

Al
 

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Love the pin shoots, first one I ever went to was when I was shooting Bullseye in the early 80's.
Took the bullseye 1911 with the bullseye loads.
One round to knock the pin over, 2 or 3 and sometimes more to finally get the pin off the table.

But I became hooked, found a better load and had a blast.
Used to have some of them flat bullets, I think we called them ashtrays or something like that.
They seemed to disappear years back and I used 200 gr SWC after that.

I have three guns I like to use, a SVI .38 super open gun running 144 gr round nose flat point, a 1911 Gold cup in .45 acp and a S&W 625 in .45acp.

Don't see many pin matches here anymore, it's to bad as they were a lot of fun.
Lucky you.

Al
The "Ashtray" you are talking about was the Speer 200 grain JHP, nicknamed the "Flying Ashtray", which had awesome expansion, but was a "SOB" to get to feed properly due to that gaping cavity... It was replaced by the "Gold Dot" family...
 

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Lol, seeing this reminds me of the story my grandpa told me about when he used to shoot pin matches at a local range. He got sick of his Beretta 92FS not being up to the challenge, and decided to work up a load that would blast those lil buggers off the table. Needless to say, his stubborn self did it, and managed to destroy his locking block after his last shot to clear the table LOL.

I would love to find somewhere that does these locally and see how a really toasty 357Sig load knocks them down.
 

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The "Ashtray" you are talking about was the Speer 200 grain JHP, nicknamed the "Flying Ashtray", which had awesome expansion, but was a "SOB" to get to feed properly due to that gaping cavity... It was replaced by the "Gold Dot" family...

Was a local guy who cast an all lead version similar to them and he called them ashtray rounds, I seem to remember they didn't have quite the depth on the hollow point though.

I remember the rounds you mentioned but I can't remember ever using them.

Halodub, if your in Wisc have you heard of the show Holman gun club puts on?
Been a few years so I don't know if they are even still around, but they had a weekend of shooting, pins included.

Maybe email them and ask if they still have it.

Rod and Gun, Club Events, Club Activities

Al
 

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All relative and as you mentioned, how wide are the tables. Informal matches tend to use smaller tables but not really. Our range uses tables 3 feet wide x 6 feet long. 9mm in 124 or 147 grain weight work fine. If regulation then they work if you hit them right the first time. Other wise go bigger in your caliber. Fun as hell.
I believe Pin shoots were started by Ricard Davis of Second Chance body armor fame. But I could be wrong. Chances are you will get hooked.
Best of luck.
 
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