Just some rambling

Posted: May 23, 2012 in Handgun, Information, Product Reviews

Hey all! Well, as you know, my son was born about two weeks ago. Things have been busy, obviously. I did get to hit the range for an hour this past weekend, though. My wife is a wonderful, tolerant person. Anyway, I had a good time overall, and got to work with a buddy of mine a bit. I’ve taken him shooting before, several times, and even got him to come to a couple IDPA matches with me. He enjoys shooting, but I don’t think I’d really run him through the grip/stance stuff very well before. So this time, I tried to help get him to a solid baseline on that stuff, and he did very well with it. I also wanted to get back to working on my slow fire precision again, especially pushing out past five yards. I tend to do most of my shooting at five yards just out of habit, I guess. Sometimes I’ll go out to seven or ten, but not terribly often. This time, though, we did a little .22 shooting at longer distances. I was still able to keep fist-sized groups with the .22 at 35 feet, which I was pleased with.

This is a business card I shot at 7 yards with 5 rounds from the XDm. I’d like a smaller group, obviously, but I still felt pretty decent about this. I’m going to try to push out to 10 yards and keep all my rounds on the card next time. That seems like a good gauge, and a nicely measurable goal.

I’m also still working on resetting during recoil, even when doing slow fire. It’s a good habit to get into, for sure. Another thing I want to improve is my malfunction drill. I think I might have mentioned this before, but I noticed that what I’m doing is to automatically tap and rack while looking at the gun. That’s not really ideal, for a couple of reasons. For one, if I’m already tapping and racking, there’s no real reason to look at the gun. Looking at the gun is what you’d do to see whether you should tap and rack to solve the problem. Second,  What would be best is to automatically tap and rack and then get back on target. From there, I make the conscious decision to press the trigger again. If I have another failure, then I do a reload. That would be the best, for sure, and I need to start practicing it to get it ingrained in my brain.

What else? Well my friend mentioned that he thought the grip of my XDm was a little too wide for him, so I wanted him to check out the Walther P99. It’s a neat design, feature-rich, and has a very slim, ergonomic grip to it. Unfortunately, the shop had sold it recently, so they didn’t have one available. That didn’t stop us from poking around a little more, though. We handled some Glocks, an FN Five-seveN, a Sig P226 and an H&K USP both in 9mm. Here’s what I concluded: I don’t care for the Sig or the H&K. I already knew that they weren’t going to be my favorites, because I’m not a fan of DA/SA guns anymore. If you’re not familiar with the terminology, check out my post So You Wanna Buy A Handgun. So I knew these weren’t going to be my favorite guns ever, but I’d heard so many people i respected talk them up so much. I’d always figured that eventually, someday, I’d probably pick up a Sig. I don’t know why, it just seemed like a thing that I would probably do.

Anyway, I actually spent a little time with the Sig and I didn’t care for it. For one, the grip is significantly wider at the top than at the bottom and it feels weird to me. Second, the trigger weirded me out. Let’s take my XDm as an example so I can explain what I mean. I have a pretty long, pretty mushy trigger pull. What the means is that there’s resistance for a while during the press. A “crisp” trigger has slack, where there’s no resistance, but then there’s suddenly a point where you hit resistance. Once you press past that though, the trigger breaks, and it’s a quick thing. Does that make sense? Anyway, my XDm isn’t great in this regard. Okay, after the press, then you reset. My XDm, again, leaves something to be desired here. There’s a longer reset than I’d like, but when you reach the reset point, you’re right back at the beginning of the resistance. With the Sig, there was some slack, then a fairly crisp break, but the reset was really long, and after you reset you had to press through a bunch of slack again. It was weird, and for a $700-800 gun, I really would have expected more. The Sig also had the issue where the slide release was directly under my thumb, which I can’t complain about too much, but was worth noting. The H&K had a similar issue with the trigger reset, though not as pronounced. There was a lever safety/decocker that seemed pretty nice overall, and the slide release was much farther forward, closer to where the release is on a 1911 design, which meant it was well out of the way of my thumb. That was cool, at least. But really, overall, these two “luxury” brands weren’t really blowing my skirt up. At $800-900, the H&K isn’t cheap. I really expected more from them and from Sig, trigger-wise. The funny thing is that the cheapest gun we handled, the Glock, had the best trigger by far. The trigger is reasonably crisp, with a short reset that leaves you right at the breaking point. Why can’t these guns costing twice as much manage that?

Anyway, now I’m just rambling. I’m hoping to get a little more range time within the next few weeks and I’ll let you know how that goes. Thanks for reading!

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