Bullseye Pistol

About Bullseye Pistol

Bullseye encyclopedia http://www.bullseyepistol.com/

Bullseye is the granddaddy of all popular handgun competition in this country. Shooters fire at a circular bullseye target (hence the name) with a pistol held with one hand. It was initially shot on outdoor ranges but has been adapted to be shot on indoor ranges, such as ours, as well. Its three-gun format goes back to the 1941 National Matches and has been the standard ever since for national and state championships, regional championships, and most outdoor tournaments. Many shooters are surprised to find that bullseye, three-gun, conventional pistol, or precision pistol, whatever name you choose, is still the most popular of the pistol-shooting games in this country with over 42,000 classified shooters. This format got its start as a way to determine the best marksman using a cross section of the available weaponry of the time, this being the combination of the civilian’s .22, the police officer’s .38 revolver and the military man’s .45 autoloader.

Bullseye events focus primarily on accuracy, since misaligning the sights or jerking the trigger can result in a complete miss. Competitors fire from a standing position, using only one hand. Bullseye shooting is a “traditional” form of target pistol shooting and is quite similar to Olympic (or international) pistol shooting. The skills in trigger control and sight alignment shooters attain can be beneficial when applied to other shooting disciplines such as rifle or action pistol shooting.

Elements of Competition

There are three elements to most bullseye competitions; Slow Fire (10 shots in 10 minutes fired at 50 yards), Timed Fire (two strings of 5 shots, 20 seconds per string, fired at 25 yards), and Rapid Fire (two strings of 5 shots, 10 seconds per string, fired at 25 yards). The slow fire stage consists of ten shots fired in ten minutes, and then the targets are scored and replaced. Next, the timed fire stage, the shooter has 20 seconds to fire the first 5 round strings, then the process is repeated for a second 5 shot string, then the targets are scored and replaced. Rapid fire is the same as for timed fire, except the time is only ten seconds per string. Leagues or matches are made up of various combinations of these elements. Our range is a 25 yard indoor range so when we shoot Slow Fire we use a reduced size target to compensate for it being only 25 yards away instead of 50 yards. Each competitor scores the targets of the shooter next to him or her.

Guns Used

Years ago revolvers were commonly used but since semiautomatic pistols were developed that are both accurate and reliable almost all bullseye shooters use semiautomatic pistols. They are easier to shoot accurately in the Timed and Rapid Fire stages than revolvers. Guns should have adjustable sights. Iron sights, optical sights or telescopic sights are acceptable.

Depending on the competition, three calibers of guns may be used. Almost every match includes (or is entirely for) .22 rimfire pistols or revolver, gun two must be a centerfire pistol or revolver of .32 caliber or larger, and gun three must be a .45 caliber pistol or revolver. Since the .45 also qualifies as “centerfire, .32 caliber or larger”, many competitors use only two guns, a .22 and a .45, to save on equipment costs or to only have to master two different pistols rather than three for the three matches.

Equipment Needed

Eye and ear protection are required. After that it is up to you what else you need to help you shoot your best. Commonly shooters will have a gun box to store and carry their equipment. Most shooters like to have a spotting scope so they can confirm where their shots are hitting. A timer or stopwatch is also handy so you know how much time you have left during slow fire.

Types of Competitions

We have three types of bullseye competitions at the NCRR all using NRA rules; a winter Bullseye league, a summer .22 league, and periodic NRA approved matches.

The Summer Bullseye league, the most informal, shoots on Tuesday nights, using .22 pistols only. We shoot two targets of slow fire, then two targets of Timed Fire, and then two targets of Rapid Fire using a .22. There are no teams or prizes. It is quite informal and it is a good way for new shooters to try out bullseye shooting as well as a way for regulars to keep up or improve their skills.

The Winter Bulls eye league (two-gun league) shoots on Tuesday evenings beginning at 4:30 using the .22 and center fire pistol format. Shooters fire a National Match Course (10 shots of Slow Fire, 10 shots of Timed Fire, and 10 shots of Rapid Fire) with a .22 and then another National Match Course with a Center Fire gun. Each shooter is on a team and the individual scores are combined to make up the team’s score. The league runs from October through May and new shooters are always welcome.

Our third type of competition the NRA approved match, is our 3-gun matches held one weekend per month February, March, April, May, June, September, October, and November. They take about three hours to complete. We fire 20 shots of Slow Fire, 20 shots of Timed Fire, and 20 shots of Rapid Fire with each of three guns, the .22, the Center Fire and the .45. We may substitute special matches such as an indoor Sectional match which is a match fired at 50 feet using only a .22. Results from all Sectional matches around the country are sent in to the NRA who compiles them into a single national bulletin. Check the NCRR calendar or upcoming events section of the web site for match details.

Safety Procedures

Come to the firing line with your guns boxed. If not boxed, then they must be unloaded with cylinders open or slides back and magazines out.

Do not handle firearms until the range officer says the preparation period has begun.

Do not load guns until the range officer gives the command to do so. Magazines may be loaded at any time but they are to be out of the gun until the command to load is given.

Chair: Ken McKinna