Service vs. Target

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by 358 winchester, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. 358 winchester

    358 winchester *TFF Admin Staff*

    Apr 25, 2004
    Pensacola Fl. area
    OK all the really sharp people out there jump on in this is an opinion question to some extent :D

    A service handgun is what ?
    A target handgun is what ?

    Lets take a revolver with say a six inch barrel, adjustable sights, that has had the trigger fine tuned and over-sized / target grips added :confused: what would you call it ?
    how about a US-GI 45 auto nothing done but a trigger job :confused: what would you call that one?
    Couldn't my S&W 686 that fits me like a glove with a 6" barrel and a extra fine trigger job be my service gun ? It would be fine for any duty I can think of ;):D

    AL MOUNT Active Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Cleaning my Thompson in The Foothills of the Ozark
    I would say a service weapon is one an armorer has issued you.

    Tinkering with it could get you a big "aw shiite" ......:eek:

    A target weapon would be one an armorer has put all the bells & whistles on it

    that you can afford.......:D

  3. sportour

    sportour New Member

    Jan 18, 2008
    Portland Orygun
    I'd say the service gun is the one you are going to reach for when you really need it. On the other hand, a target pistol is the one that's going to give you the tightest groups and that usually means enhanced sights and triggers.
  4. AngelDeville

    AngelDeville Member

    Aug 28, 2007
    Target on the left..... Service on the right....

  5. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    My take.

    A service gun is one that you can take into harm's way, and be sure that it will fire first time, every time. It will generally have smaller sights, as smaller sights are not as prone to being knocked out of alignment. Ramp front sight, so it comes out of the holster easier, and doesn't get caught on clothing. A heavier trigger pull because it has a heavier hammer spring, so that it will fire any primer underneath it. It will be as near bulletproof as can be, because when it comes out of the holster, your life is depending on it working.

    A target gun is made for a totally different purpose. It will have tall, easier to see sights, as it will be carried in a padded case, and there is no danger of getting the alignment knocked off. It will most likely have a partridge-type front sight. This gives a clearer sight picture, but has sharp edges that could cause trouble if drawing it from a holster. The trigger pull will be very low, since a lighter pull means less jerking when the trigger breaks. The hammer spring will be very light, contributing to the lighter trigger. That is alright, since you will probably be shooting Federal primers, and they are very easy to pop. And if the gun does not fire, you just raise your hand for an alibi shot. A target pistol can be as finicky as it wants to be. Any serious target shooter will have several as backups, because he knows that the more finely tuned a gun is, the more apt it is to break.

    Your GI 45 with a trigger job? I'd call it a service gun, if all the trigger job did was to get any and all burrs out of the action and therefore make it work as it is supposed to. If, on the other hand, it had a "target trigger job", I'd call it a hermorphadite. Neither fish nor fowl nor good red meat. Trigger to light to trust my life too, but sights and tightness of the gun too sloppy for target work. I guess it would be a plinking gun.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2008
  6. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    A service gun is made for maximum reliability. It WILL shoot every time the trigger is pulled.

    A target gun is made tight for accuracy. While it may occassionally not feed or extract, when it does work correctly it will be very accurate due to all the tightened tolerances of the chambers and the guns general tight fit.

    When my life depends on it I'd take a service handgun. When the match depends on it I'd take the Target handgun.

    I will say that S&W revolvers with adjustable sights kind of cover both bases, but concealment of that S&W revolver might be a problem when the long barrel gets in the way and the sights snag and catch up the pistol when you try to draw it for use. Better to bet your life on the service revovler with fixed sights and a short barrel, I would think. S&W makes some fine revolvers that have fixed sight, a bit lighter, shorter barrels, that lend themselves to much easier and safer concealment which includes getting the gun to a working shooting position.

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