It doesn't take much in the way of equipment to get started in conventional pistol. A .22 caliber pistol, a few bricks of ammo and a positive attitude will put you well on your way to enjoying this popular sport. There are many expert and master class shooters who use simple setups. If your budget can handle it, there are plenty of exotic guns available for this sport. You can easily start out with a .22 and then add a center fire gun of your choice as your interest grows.
Rim Fire Pistols
One of the most popular guns used in the .22 caliber conventional pistol match is the Ruger Mark II .22 caliber pistol (see our link page for more info). These guns come in a variety of materials and barrel lengths. They are reasonable in price, very accurate and there are many custom parts available to the shooter. Start out simple. When your ready, add custom grips and an electronic sight and this gun will compete with the expensive imports.
Another popular rimfire pistol is the High Standard. This pistol has been around for quite a while and the people who manufacturer the High Standards have changed too. The best ones are the older guns made by the original manufacturer. They command as high a price as the new ones but are worth the money. Their resale value has remained high throughout the years. There are plenty of replacement and custom parts for these fine pistols.
When you feel like spending a little money and want to customize your pistol, you will find that there are a handful of options that you can add to your gun to "personalize" it and make it more competitive. The most common customization is having a gunsmith smooth out the trigger. This one adjustment can increase your scores dramatically. Other things you might do would be adding custom grips or putting on a "red dot" electronic sight. With a trigger job, competition grips and an electronic sight, the only thing you need to add is patience and practice.
Center Fire Pistols
There are Many guns to choose from when it comes to shooting center fire. By far the most popular is the 1911 Government .45 originally made by Colt (still in production) and copied by many companies (Springfield, Para Ordnance, Les Baer, etc.). A stock 1911 generally requires a little work to make it a smooth shooter. A trigger job and some work on the slide and barrel fit turns this battle field standard into a nice bullseye gun. Most manufacturers offer an "upgraded version" of their 1911 which can include custom triggers, sights, hammers, barrels, grips and metal finishes.
As with the rimfire guns, there are many customization options available to the 1911 shooter. Better barrels and custom sights are a good start. Triggers and trigger smoothing are an excellent choice that offers a sizable performance difference for a small amount of money. A wide range of custom grips available in different hand sizes help tame this big gun. Add a "red dot" electronic sight and your ready for serious competition at your local club.
There are plenty of goodies available for the gadget minded individual with a large balance in their checking account. One of the most popular items is a "gun box". These boxes provide room for four to six guns, ammunition, ear and eye protection, oil, tools, etc. Many people mount spotting scopes on their boxes which allow them a better view of their targets. All you need for an afternoon of shooting or that evening bullseye match.