Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Pin Shoot Ammo

When talking about pin shooting, the conversation usually turns to the topic of ammunition. With the exception of rimfire, most of the regular shooters load their own ammunition, both to save some money, and to fine tune their ammo to what suits them best. However, "Store Bought" can be used with good success, particularly when you are first getting into pin shooting.

First, lets have a look at rimfire ammunition. Probably the most popular is the bulk Federal 550 packs, or the Federal Match that comes in 325 round bulk packs. The CCI Standard Velocity is also a favorite, particularly with the S&W model 41 shooters, as the 41's seem to be kinda picky anyway. I've used some of the CCI Blazer, and it seems to work fairly well too. I shot Winchester Dynapoints for some time with good results, until they became unavailable, but they are now back into the marketplace. People seem to either really like, or really dislike the Dynapoints. Everyone I've talked to that has tried Remington bulk pack ammo has been plagued with misfires. I've been shooting Sellier and Bellot .22 ammo, and it seems to work well for me. .22's seem to be a little more fussy and it varies from gun to gun, so I'd recommend shooting plenty of ammo through your .22 until you find what works in YOUR particular gun, then stick with it. What works for you may not work well for someone else.

Centerfire ammunition is another story. First and foremost, do not use full metal jacketed bullets on pins for reasons of bounceback. Plated bullets, soft points, hollow points, or lead bullets are all OK.

For .38/.357 revolvers, I've used the Remington .38 +P with 125 Gr. Semi-jacket hollow points with good results. They might be a little more powerful than you need, but they do the job!

The Remington 9mm. 115gr. Jacketed hollow points work well, although just a little bit more power would be nice.

The Winchester soft point white box 9mm. with 124 gr. bullets seem to be just not hot enough to move the pin with enough authority.

The Winchester .45 ACP 230gr. jacketed hollow points work very well, and if you start loading your own .45's, these would be a good load to duplicate.

Of course, after having said all of this, there are going to be folks who disagree, and have their own favorites. Try different ammo, and perhaps you'll find something even better than these suggestions, but this gives you a good place to start. The ammunition pictured above is all made in USA, and available at Walmart at reasonable prices. Some of the other big chain stores will run sales on these from time to time, so watch the sales, and stock up when you get the chance......

See you at the pin shoot!


At Wednesday, February 14, 2007 2:01:00 PM, Blogger Rivrdog said...

I think it's only fair to point out that my club, the Douglas Ridge Rifle Club, had their rangemasters do a test with pins in cardboard boxes, and the test show no bouce-backs from ball ammo.

I understand that your club had a bounceback that stuck a shooter on his shooting glasses, and that one case, out of many, many shots fired is why you have the no-ball-ammo rule.

Ball sells for at least a third less than hollow point or softnose lead. You shoot thousands of rounds every year, and having to exclude ball is a rather severe penalty, especially since the risk-to-reality ratio is so huge.

I don't have the reloading background that you do, Mr. C, but, since most riccochets are caused by a bullet striking something harder than the pin, the no-ball rule doesn't make much sense.

If it was that dangerous, cops, who shoot a lot at pin-shooting ranges, would be getting hit a lot, and ball would be banned at their shoots.

I think that the rule is groundless, and other unaddressed risks offer a lot more chance for the competitor to get hurt.


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