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Old 05-29-2010, 22:52   #1
DJ Niner
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Anyone have any bowling pin shooting tips/tricks?

I'll be shooting in a pin match next weekend. Last time I shot pins, I had a blast, but I was young and relatively new to shooting, so technique wasn't much of a concern to me back then. That was also a quarter-century ago, so I figure there may have been a few "new" tips and/or tricks developed since I last tried it.

I'll be entering the following classes (with these guns):
- Stock Auto (Glock 22 .40)
- Open Auto (probably the same Glock 22 .40)
- Stock Revolver (Ruger Redhawk .44)
- Stock Rimfire (Ruger .22/45)

I'm thinking I'll shoot the Revolver class to get the big boomer out of the way first, then the two Auto classes, and finish with the rimfire. I'd welcome any input for pin shooters, past and present, as to shot placement, general strategy (beyond "Hit them quickly"), and anything else I might be overlooking. Thanks in advance for all inputs; I really do appreciate any help you can offer!
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Old 05-31-2010, 06:50   #2
hump
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I shoot bowling pins every month and the only advice I could give is to take your time and make clean shots instead of just slinging lead down range. If the pins don't clear the table on the first shot they are hard to get off the table.
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Old 06-04-2010, 00:47   #3
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Thanks, hump. That is better advice than you might think, as I've been told that in the coming match, my score will be the TOTAL of three runs. Three chances to screw-up, be tempted to go "too fast", or leave one spinning due to a bad shot. This will reward consistency, and I hope I am up to the task.

Anyone else have any pointers? Just a few days left, and I'm all ears...
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Old 06-05-2010, 22:37   #4
larry1096
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There's a spot on the pin where, with a vertically centered hit, it moves straight back off the table. In other words, the top doesn't tip backward or the bottom kick out, it just stays in the same vertical plane it's in and rockets backward.

THAT'S where you want to aim, and it can be tested with a bowling pin and your finger. Poke it until you find the spot that doesn't try to tip it, but just moves it to the rear. Once you have the geometry of where that spot is, try and hit it. (Sounds simple...)

Larry
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Old 06-06-2010, 08:59   #5
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M. Ayoob did a little book on the subject. Title: 'Hit the White Part.'
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Old 06-06-2010, 09:26   #6
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You probably already know this, but I've had to work on look w/ eyes, then move sights to target. (instead of trying to 'save time' by doing both at the same time) Your muzzle is more likely to swing past your target otherwise, but if you've been shooting for 25+ years you probably already are aware.
Shooting pins is a lot of fun. I printed off some paper bowling pin targets for practice and I aim 'center mass.'
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Old 06-06-2010, 22:18   #7
DJ Niner
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I want to thank my GT brethren for all the valuable advice/assistance. Despite the "go faster" side of my brain shrieking at me the whole time (and causing many costly misses), I still managed to maintain enough control to end up with top-three finishes in 3 of the 5 classes I entered. For this semi-old-fart, it doesn't get much better than that!

Thanks for all the help, folks; I couldn't have done it without you!
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Old 06-07-2010, 00:57   #8
jdh31313
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If you are shooting against someone else don't watch their pins. The first time I shot a pin match, I spent too much time watching the other guys pins fall and quickly lost the match. Here is a link to a pin match I shoot in at Mission Essental in Hinesville, GA.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nWKOj6HBZw
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Old 06-08-2010, 19:59   #9
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We shoot our matches heads up against another shooter. First one to clear the table wins. (double elimination) We also place the pins on a 4x8 sheet of plywood 12" from the front of the table. It takes a well placed hit to knock the pins off the back with anything less than a 45 cal. I will try and get some videos next month.
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Old 07-09-2011, 19:30   #10
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I Wrote a Book About pin shooting

Way back in 1989. It is sort of out of print now. "Pin Shooting - A Complete Guide"
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Old 12-15-2011, 21:42   #11
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Well, if it's SORT OF out of print, why don't you post the text version so we can learn from it....


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Way back in 1989. It is sort of out of print now. "Pin Shooting - A Complete Guide"
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Old 12-17-2011, 10:50   #12
Orive 8
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Focus on your front sight, not the pin. Happy shooting
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Old 12-17-2011, 12:54   #13
436
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<!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} </style> <![endif]--> I think the key to pin shooting is bullet energy and recoil management... I like very, very “fast” and very, very “light” say; 88gr HP 9mm bullets for minor, out of my P7M8 it’s a winner.
On the major side; I think a G20 10mm at the top end with 135gr HP bullets works great; the old standby .45 ACP with 230gr HP’s is kinda the gold standard.
Just my .02 have fun.

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Old 12-17-2011, 23:31   #14
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This thread's a year and a half old, but I'll play in case new pin shooters are reading.

As someone implied above, the worst place to hit the pins is low because it knocks the legs out from under the pin and it just dies ON the table.

Only only tip... like plates, don't watch and wait for the pin to fall off the table; shoot 'em and move on, come back if necessary.

Historically, the most popular round for pins is the .45 ACP, but I use my G24 for centerfire, Ruger MkIII for rimfire, and whoever's revolver I can borrow for the wheel gun third.
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Old 01-08-2012, 21:06   #15
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New pin shooter here. I can hit the small post-it notes regularly with my 1911-9mm at 25 feet. I just got back from my second pin shoot and I have to agree with Orive 8 and SARDG.
Keep your eye on the front sight, and shoot a 45.
Also, don't get anxious and yank the trigger, especially when you're on the clock. You can only get fast SLOWLY.
Shoot C.O.M. and be deliberate. Even when it's cold (we shot outside), you need to FEEL the trigger. TAKE YOUR TIME.
Shooting those post-it notes help you when you're shooting post-it notes but you have to remember HOW YOU HIT them when you're shooting pins. It's all about technique and patience. When I took my time, I cleaned tables but when I got too anxious I wasted lots of ammo. And you can imagine what that did to my times....
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Old 01-08-2012, 21:24   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdh31313 View Post
If you are shooting against someone else don't watch their pins. The first time I shot a pin match, I spent too much time watching the other guys pins fall and quickly lost the match. Here is a link to a pin match I shoot in at Mission Essental in Hinesville, GA.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nWKOj6HBZw

Thanks for the link......that looks like a blast!!!
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Old 01-09-2012, 14:22   #17
SCmasterblaster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Niner View Post
I'll be shooting in a pin match next weekend. Last time I shot pins, I had a blast, but I was young and relatively new to shooting, so technique wasn't much of a concern to me back then. That was also a quarter-century ago, so I figure there may have been a few "new" tips and/or tricks developed since I last tried it.

I'll be entering the following classes (with these guns):
- Stock Auto (Glock 22 .40)
- Open Auto (probably the same Glock 22 .40)
- Stock Revolver (Ruger Redhawk .44)
- Stock Rimfire (Ruger .22/45)

I'm thinking I'll shoot the Revolver class to get the big boomer out of the way first, then the two Auto classes, and finish with the rimfire. I'd welcome any input for pin shooters, past and present, as to shot placement, general strategy (beyond "Hit them quickly"), and anything else I might be overlooking. Thanks in advance for all inputs; I really do appreciate any help you can offer!
I wrote a book about pin shooting back in 1991. I must ask if your pins are set up on a table that has a full three feet of table surface behind each pin. If so. then your .40-caliber loads are a bit underpowered. A good minimum bullet power factor for such tables is 195-200. This means a 200-gr bullet at about 1000FPS. I use a 255gr bullet at 860 FPS. Now this really limits a shooter to .45 ACP or larger. In .44 Magnum I use a 215gr bullet at 1250 FPS. Both of my loads take the pins off cleanly, especially if the bullet goes into and stays in the bowling pin. Now if your tables are more forgiving, you may get by with a .40 S&W.

One other thing. When you shoot, keep your eyes tightly focused on the handguns sight picture. Shoot one bullet at each bowling pin, and then look for missed shots or deadwood. You must assume that each of your shots will take the pin off the table. Concentrate on your sight picture. This is the best way to quickly clears a table. But to start with a gun and cartridges that are up to the task is the best way.

Even in .40, the best loads are with the heaviest bullets. It is bullet momentum, not bullet energy. that clears the tables.
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