Wilson Combat Classic for Bullseye?

Discussion in 'Competition 1911's' started by PilotPhill, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. PilotPhill

    PilotPhill New Member

    Jun 9, 2018
    Hi All,
    I am very new to this sport of Bullseye pistol shooting.
    What do you think? Is a Wilson Combat Classic with a 3.5lbs trigger pull a good Pistol for this sport or should I start thinking about something else? Will I/it be able to hang with the the competitive bullseye shooter using this pistol?
    I’ve been reading on The Encyclopedia of Bullseye shooting website and have been learning a lot lately. Very excited to get into this sport.
  2. DD_USMC

    DD_USMC Well-Known Member

    May 23, 2014
    I never saw a Wilson built pistol (or one with a WC barrel) on the firing line in Bullseye competition. Some pistols might have been built with a few WC made parts, but no complete pistols. The keys to 50 yard mechanical accuracy is attained with slide to frame fit, barrel bushing fit, barrel fit, and the actual accuracy of the barrel. It's a waste of time to have perfect fit on all parts, but the barrel itself can not hold a group. I used a barrel tester for my builds to sort out barrels by Hardball, Wadcutter, or combat (25 yards max). Overall, Karts were the best, followed by USGI Match (Marked IMI), Bar-sto, or Clark (not in specific order). Tried a few Briley barrels and returned them all because their best group was approximately 4" @ 50-yards with a barrel tester using match 185gr ammo. I only had to return 2 Karts (out of 100 or so) that didn't shoot really good at 50 yards. Fred exchanged them without a hassle and I would currently use a Kart over any other barrel maker.

    Get a pistol built by a reputable bullseye smith and ask for a Kart barrel....buy once- cry once...until you need a another barrel fit.
    Mike Meints and Boatbum101 like this.

  3. Oldgunner

    Oldgunner Well-Known Member

    Mar 30, 2018
    If you ask that question on the bullseyeforum.net, you'll probably get a very similar answer. There are also a couple of well-known bullseye smiths that hang out there.
  4. Boatbum101

    Boatbum101 Member

    Mar 9, 2019
    Forum member Joe C. is also a Bullseye 'smith . If you review his barrel challange thread you'll see many high dollar customs without the lug engagement needed for 50yd accuracy . Among Bullseye shooters even the semi-custom Baer & Rock River barrel fit is viewed with a jaundiced eye . Barrel fit / lockup is the heart & soul of 1911 Bullseye accuracy along with an excellent trigger . I totally agree with DD_USMC's statement about Kart barrels . Military armorers have built many accurate guns with them along with IMI , Barsto ( when Irv Sr. ran the show ) & KKM . Even S&W & HS made very good NM barrels that shot well . Colt NM barrels also shoot well if welded up & refit correctly . More Kart barrels in the winners circle @ Camp Perry than all the rest combined & IMHO that says it all .
    Mike Meints and Oldgunner like this.
  5. JNW

    JNW Well-Known Member

    Apr 19, 2017
    You can start with a lower end pistol and have it built up to bullseye standards for much less than a new Wilson. Many like to start with a Springfield RO Target because it’s got a decent adjustable sight. John Vincent’s RO package is a great way to get an excellent shooting gun.


    There’s a sales forum on this website and buying a used, proven pistol is another way to go. This is where many bullseye shooters hang out.


    Boatbum101 likes this.
  6. AlchemyCustomWeaponry

    AlchemyCustomWeaponry Crabby Old Gunsmith

    Nov 4, 2011
    A Nowlin barrel has won Perry the last two years running. I'm big on Kart though.

    To the O.P., you're not going to shoot bullseye competition with a gun that has a drop in barrel and bushing in it. Get yourself a real purpose built gun. That way, you can blame yourself and not the gun.

    duketbrd88, HOTCHKIS, MDP and 3 others like this.
  7. PilotPhill

    PilotPhill New Member

    Jun 9, 2018
    Okay, that all makes sense. I think I'll shoot my Wilson for a few more matches and then consider having a purpose built bullseye pistol. Thanks for all the input!
    Old Sea Dragon likes this.
  8. pistolpete

    pistolpete Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2016
    I had a Heavy slide built years ago, used the least expensive SA gun available at the time. Most parts were replaced in the building of the gun. Wish I had sent a Colt gun but it wouldn't shoot any better. I can't see sending a Wilson or any other 3000.00 pistol to build it on.
  9. Boatbum101

    Boatbum101 Member

    Mar 9, 2019
    Until you can consistently shoot Master scores building on a base gun is probably the common sense approach . $ 650 - 800 plus base gun vs a custom built wadgun @ $5K from Joe C. When you make Master then get a full blown custom .
    PilotPhill likes this.
  10. Boatbum101

    Boatbum101 Member

    Mar 9, 2019
    So Cabot is using Nowlin barrels........interesting . SACS used them for a long time . Have heard that like a KKM barrel they need a special reamer . I mainly shoot lead so Kart for me .
  11. Capthobo

    Capthobo NRA Endowment member Supporting Addict

    Nov 9, 2016
  12. Joni Lynn

    Joni Lynn Professional Pest, NRA Patron member

    Dec 21, 2014
    Initially, shoot what you have. As you learn more and improve as a BE shooter you will find your taste in what you want changing. It'll probably happen more than once. Once you figure out what you want to be shooting, go for it. If you have the opportunity to shoot other people's BE guns, do so, that will also be a learning experience.
  13. Jim w.

    Jim w. Well-Known Member

    Jul 27, 2016
    Gil Hebard says that when you make Sharpshooter is the time to start thinking about a custom gun.
    JD31 likes this.
  14. JNW

    JNW Well-Known Member

    Apr 19, 2017
    Mike Meints, PilotPhill and Busa Dave like this.
  15. PilotPhill

    PilotPhill New Member

    Jun 9, 2018
    Yes, I am familiar with that article, it is quite a good one! Thanks for sharing it
    JNW and Busa Dave like this.
  16. Busa Dave

    Busa Dave Well-Known Member

    Mar 3, 2018
    Ok going to go out on a limb here below! Excellent Article!

    If everyone who thinks they understand about how and why certain things are done to a 1911 would read this which puts Everything into perspective as it is a SYSTEM they will have read an excellent summary of what is required for accuracy!

    The shooting part is CRITICAL as well. Have to know your limitations and work on your core skills which for most means unlearning bad habits. Again Excellent Article--should be a sticky for those that want to learn how to shoot accurately.

    I am a 1k BR rifle shooter and I hate to lose -- this article reminds me of some of the articles of my builder (HOF BR Shooter and World Record holder in the past) and one of my shooting mentors has written. This guy makes perfect points and does not mince words and has the skins on the wall.
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
    JNW and PilotPhill like this.
  17. David R

    David R Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2018
    I read all of this thread. I shot a Bullseye match today. National Match course, 30 rounds. One rim fire with my High standard Victor and one with my Dan Wesson Valor in 45. Both are capable of under 2” @ 50 yards.

    I shot terrible. Had a miss in Timed fire with the 45. Not even on the paper. A good day is when I don’t need to repair the target outside the repair center that gets changed every relay.

    My point is, get out and shoot. No matter what you have, shoot a match and work on your form. It does no good to have a $5,000 pistol if you shoot a 5 or even a 7. That is all on you. Time spent improving your game is what is really needed. So, shoot what you have today. Go to the match. Equipment will be improved as you go. Don’t worry if you do not have the best gun on the line. Be there.

    I compete 3 times a week. Two NM courses and steel bowling pins. My wife shoots with me. Today she beat me in rimfire. It’s more important to be there and compete than to have the best equipment.

    I guess I am saying is the best equipment is not going to get you there, you are.

    Mike Meints, PilotPhill and Joni Lynn like this.
  18. AlchemyCustomWeaponry

    AlchemyCustomWeaponry Crabby Old Gunsmith

    Nov 4, 2011
    I just built one for a new team member that has a Kart barrel. If I have my druthers I use Kart. In Jon Shue's gun, the slide geometry dictated use of a Nowlin. Kart and Nowlin use different upper lug geometry theories. KKM barrels are R.H. twist, that's why some guys like them for bullseye. The recoil comes back and to the left, allowing them to get back on target more quickly.

    I use the best barrel for the application. A properly fit barrel carries much more weight than someone's superstition that a certain barrel is more accurate than another.

    Busa Dave, JNW, HOTCHKIS and 4 others like this.
  19. mbacker_99

    mbacker_99 Well-Known Member

    Jul 3, 2017
    10 and 2 vs 12?
  20. AlchemyCustomWeaponry

    AlchemyCustomWeaponry Crabby Old Gunsmith

    Nov 4, 2011
    That's a good way to describe it, yes.

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