Have you seen Bianchi Cup Open Pistols? They are a different league than your traditional USPSA or IPSC open pistols. Here is an STI DVC Open for comparison. Many open pistols are some derivative of this setup.


But look at the Bianchi Cup setup.


Below is Bruce Piatt’s Bianchi Cup pistol.


The Bianchi Cup pistols add a barrel shroud and large wings on either side of the pistol. These are barricade stops. You can see the photo of Jessie Duff below, anchoring her pistol against a barricade.


Many of the Bianchi Cup style open pistols seem to be running a tube red dot. I am not sure why they prefer this setup vs a reflex sight like a JPoint, RMR, or Vortex Venom.

Do any of our readers have a Bianchi Cup Open Pistol? Why do they have these sights on there?


  • There are some Micro red dots running around the cup. But nearly everyone who wins uses a tube dot. If I were to guess it would be due to the ease of adjustment.

  • The_Automator

    Larger tubes are much faster and more sure. You can tell the difference even between a full size Aimpoint and a Micro. I know lots of people who shoot others for a living that prefer the larger models.

    • Bianchi isn’t exactly about speed. If it were they would be using more Cmores.

    • Mike N.

      There’s something to that. I put a Burris Fastfire III on my Buckmark, and it’s slow to pick up the reticle because you have to hold it just right. Certainly slower than the factory sights with a fiber optic front, and slower than my AR with an Aimpoint PRO.

      • Flounder

        Is your buckmark one with no iron sights? Or are they too low to see? I think that would be your immediate problem. I never would have been able to shoot my M&P with an rmr well if I didn’t have suppressor sights on it to get lined up to start with.

        You pick up the dot by lining up the irons. But then to keep the dot takes some practice. It is a bit weird but also kinda highlights your ability (or lack thereoff when you start) to manage recoil.

        • Mike N.

          They’re too low (the gun now has a Tacsol threaded barrel and top rail with a built-in sight, but the factory sights were the same height).

          This was my first foray into electronic sights on pistols, I’m mostly a rifle guy hobby-wise and competitively so my handgun marksmanship skills are not exactly good.

  • USMC03Vet

    But The Internet has declared grip safeties worse than Cancer and Ebola combined.

    I’m so confused right now.

    • Xtorin O’hern

      badly done grip safeties are worse than cancer and ebola* when done properly with little travel and no side to side movement there fine

    • ozzallos .

      And dat 1911 action. The internet says they’re anarchist fudds.

  • Mystick

    May be a dumb question, but what’s up with the “blades” protruding at 90 degrees from both sides just forward the ejection port?

    • Those are “wings” for the barricade event. You use those to lock the gun into the barricade, so it bounces around less. The dot still moves around through.

      Open Division almost always requires a perfect score to win. And typically it comes down to X count (which are hits inside the black circle).

      • The wild thing is that Sgt. 1st Class Adam Sokolowski (US Army) actually shot a perfect 1920 in Event X this year in the Metallic Sight division. This was the first time a perfect 1920 was scored with iron sights. Barricade shrouds aren’t allowed in either the Metallic Sight or Production divisions.

        • Adam’s score is amazing, and IMO is the culmination of the last few years of the bar being set higher and higher.

          When I first started shooting Bianchi getting a high 1800s would be a high placing if not winning score for the iron sight divisions. Now you pretty much have to get into the 1900s to even have a chance of winning.

        • surlypat

          Anyone got a link or pic of the pistol he used?

  • These guns are purpose built for the cup (or as Brian Enos calls it “Bloated Boat Anchors”), and I should mention a few of features that differentiate from USPSA Open guns that aren’t not noted.

    1. They are almost always single stack
    2. They are setup to shoot Minor PF ammo, in fact the required PF is below even USPSA minor at 120PF, but typically powder puff loads are rare because the XTP and Zero JHPs used typically shoot better at 125-130PF.
    3. The magwell isn’t there for reloads, it is called a prone pad, and is used to get the gun higher off the ground while prone so you don’t have to strain to get low enough to see the sights.
    4. The rail is a moveable sight base which by flipping the lever left or right will put the proper amount of lead for the moving target event. Makes the event much easier, you just put the red dot on the X ring’s black dot.
    5. They are set up to be extremely accurate. Like sub-2″ at 50 yards.

    • Nicholas C

      Thanks for the added info. Very eye opening.

  • Raptor Fred
    • Chris

      Yep, this 👍
      But you should check out the Cup gun he built for himself in the 90’s.
      Big photo shoot in American Handgunner.
      Revolver, comped to the moon and back, barricade wings, side sliding scope base, more grip tape than Tony Hawks skateboard and an f’n huge tube!
      Wild does not begin to describe it.

      • Raptor Fred

        Been looking for a pic or issue number, would love to see it.

        • Chris

          Been looking online all damn day – nothing.
          Bear with me, gunna deep dive through a couple of boxes in the study, definitely an issue I kept, will post some pics later

        • Chris
    • Kelly Jackson

      Pftt, anyone could hit the target at that range

  • Edeco

    O.O I want one of them shrouds. Nothing to put it on tho Glox are too floppy.

  • DoctorH

    They may be prism sights or “prismatic” red dots, which use a glass prism,
    as opposed to traditional holographic red dots, which rely on the dot
    reflecting off of the lens surface. The fact that holographic sights
    rely on this reflection can cause some shift in the location of the dot,
    with just movement of the head, even when the point of aim remains
    steady. (Try putting your firearm in a rest and move your head side to
    side, you will notice that the red dot does not stay in the same
    location on the target). While the movement is minor, it can make a
    difference in precision shooting, especially on a pistol without a cheek
    weld to maintain constant position. Prismatic scopes do not suffer from this issue caused by reflection. Additionally, prismatic scopes can have more sophisticated reticles, including ranging or bullet drop information, because the reticle is etched into the optic’s lens.

  • James

    Does anyone know what tube sight Jessie Duff has on her pistol?

    • Looks like one of the Leupold/Gilmore models.

      Riley Gilmore was the 1991 Bianchi Cup champion.

  • John Smart

    Mmmmmmm….Jessie Duff. 🙂

  • Full Name

    Whatever floats yer boat

  • Stephen Stewart

    Most everyone in Action Pistol shoots a 2 moa red dot tube sight so Aimpoint is usually the norm.