Let me start with a bit of humility – I have competed against good shooters. I wasn’t at the bottom of the heap, but normally four or five competitors were between me and the top. I performed at that area where I was treated politely by the top competitors, who, on a bad day might shoot at my level, but normally didn’t. In any endeavor, the hardest place for an athlete is being almost good enough. The nice thing about competitive shooting is that it isn’t like football or boxing – you just lose the match on points, and don’t have to take a physical beating. And honest humility isn’t a bad thing.
That said, I think the spot to learn is Bullseye (folks are beginning to call it precision pistol). The website mtrpa.org describes the requirements – basically a 22 handgun and a 45 for the minimum investment:
“This format got its start as a way to combine shooting with the civilian’s .22, the police officer’s .38 revolver and the military man’s 1911 .45 auto. As the 1911 accuracy improved, however, shooters began to use the .45 for both center-fire and .45 matches, and today it is rare to see a pure center-fire pistol.”
For learning, start with a decent .22 pistol or revolver, get the Bullseye targets for reduced ranges, then practice. The scores will tell you how you’re doing – and reduced targets can be set for 50 ft ranges. The nice thing about Bullseye is the standard ranges are 25 and 50 yards – distances that are realistic where we live.
The B-16 is the standard 25 yard slow fire target – 10.5”x12”.
If your group is too large at 25 yards, go ahead and get a closer shot, and when that becomes comfortable, go back out to 25 yards.
The Civilian Marksmanship Program even offers a class on how to shoot bullseye – the description is at the link. You will note from the picture that you’re even allowed to use two hands – I recall using two hands years ago, and receiving the patient, condescending criticism “If Colonel Colt had wanted you to use two hands on his revolver, he would have put two handles on it.”
I think these ladies are using Glocks – I prefer the 1911A1, which is something like a Glock, but with a steel frame and is the handgun that started the business.
I recall an old gentleman who showed up at Whittington Center with his 1911 and a white cane about 35 years ago. Despite being legally blind, he beat my slow fire score by 7 points. I thought that he might have a lesson for me, so I asked. He explained “Son, you just have too many distractions – all I can see clearly is the front sight, so I concentrate on it.” I’m older now, but I’m pretty certain he was always a better shot.