There are many benefits to getting into competition.  Whether you’re simply tired of the static range, looking to sharpen your skills, or wanting to test them against others in a safe and legal way, competitive shooting offers a lot.  There’s a style and category to fit just about anyone’s budget, interest, and skill level.  A deterrent, however, is the cost.  There are divisions which permit or even require competitors use every-day-carry handguns and gear, but that often serves as only the invitation to the slippery slope of expenses.  What if you want to eliminate any excuses one could throw on the equipment and truly have a handgun ready for your maximum potential?

 Slide-to-Frame fit rarely found on a factory gun
Slide-to-Frame fit rarely found on a factory gun

 

A common method, and one that the author found himself in, is to purchase a higher-model of a common handgun such as the upgrading from a Glock 19 to a Glock 34.  The longer sight radius makes aiming simpler and the extra barrel length provides the velocity boost sometimes needed to a little extra energy to knock over an imperfect hit on steel.  The problem of course is that the control and trigger are far from ideal and slowly we find ourselves buying aftermarket parts in a step-by-step attempt to build the perfect gun.  In the end, you have a monstrosity that has cost you more in modifications than the original cost of the gun and the trigger still hasn’t achieved that single-action crispness that a 1911 offers right out of the box.  Your significant other is tired of packages showing up and hearing you grumble as the new part didn’t quite perform as you expected.

Bull barrel, full-length steel guide rod, and full-length dust cover.
Bull barrel, full-length steel guide rod, and full-length dust cover.

At the next match, you watch one of the pros smoke through each stage with the cost equivalent of a decent used car in hand that he ordered and waited months to receive.  There has to be a middle ground.  Enter the S.P.S. Pantera.