My Gun Selection

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by Vladimir, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. Vladimir

    Vladimir New Member

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    I hit the range again today, and made the jump and bought a year-membership. They really hooked me up nicely at (Sharp Shooting in Spokane, WA). Gave me a student deal, basically I paid for 10 months (instead of the full 12), got free rentals for the day, and 5 more free rentals.

    For those that haven't been following (or have normal memories and need a refresher ;)) my eye was initially on the Glock since I had been shooting my dad's Glock since I was 13. I recognized the value of looking elsewhere, though mostly kept it to the Springfield XD. Shot the XD-9 and was surprised that I shot a sub-compact XD better than the Glock I had been shooting for years. This encouraged me to open my selection a little bit more- as I now fully believe finding the right fit for the right person is clearly very important. As seen in the picture attached.

    I shot 9mm last time, went to .40 this time. Started off with (full sizes) XD-40 and a Smith and Wesson M&P. The M&P was decent, but the XD still felt way better, and more importantly I shot it way better. I went to try out a 1911 (not so much on my shopping list but never shot one before so wanted to try it out) and one of the guys recommended I try out a sig. So I picked up the Sig Sauer in .40 and hated it from the get-go. The magazine didn't slide nicely, the exposed hammer threw me off (I could get used to it but why bother) which resulted in my firing a random shot thinking the gun wasn't cocked (luckily it still hit my target lol) and just all around was not a fan. I took the mag out and started to turn it back in but decided I'd give it another shot, still no luck.

    You can see from the attached photo I took with my phone. The non-taped shots are the XD (some of the taped shots are prior XD shots though) so you can really see how much better I was shooting the XD (that one shot in the corner I just never taped it wasn't with the XD). [EDIT: I put exactly 100 rounds through this target so I was pretty happy with the grouping on the XD, not competition worthy but I wasn't shooting competition so...]

    [​IMG]

    My next test will probably be to match up another Glock and XD, this time in .40. That being said I am not still convinced on caliber. Maybe I will try and get a friend to go with me and rent a 40 and I'll rent a 9, or vice-versa, so I can compare them next to each other (the range will only allow one caliber per lane for rentals normally). I think if I can handle the .40 (which I can) that is the way to go, however, though minor the price jump for ammo is not as enticing. Range FMJ is $13 / 50 for 9mm, $16 / 50 for .40. Though as someone said, in a caliber debate I just read through, if there was a simple answer there wouldn't be much of a debate.

    Fortunately I have those 5 free rentals so I will also get a chance to shoot a revolver and 1911 before I am 100% certain about what I am buying, but neither seem likely. Oh I also want to shoot a Walther, they don't have the PPS but I figure whichever Walther they had (can't remember for sure) would be similar- however I am not super fond of the 6/7 round magazine.

    --

    The only thing I dislike to this point about the XD, though this seems universal among all pistols I have shot, the magazine release seems out of reach. I can't really get at it without waving the gun around, so normally use my stabilizing hand- not preferable for those potential "action reloading" situations, but frankly if I have the time to reload I'm likely not standing there waiting for the perp to shoot back at me so... Maybe I have short fingers since like I said, this has been the case with every pistol I have shot yet.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2008
  2. Vladimir

    Vladimir New Member

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    Looking at some websites and the decent prices I have seen, for buying bulk (1,000 rounds a pop) it is about 17 cents a bullet for 9mm, vs. 22/23 cents a bullet for .40... Not a deal breaker by any means. Bummer, that would have made my choice easier. =D
  3. pickenup

    pickenup Active Member

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    Good to see you realize the importance of getting one that "fits" YOU.
    There is a difference in fit and function with different people.

    Some guns do NOT have a natural point of aim. (for some people) Sounds like that may have been the case with you and your dad's Glock. You were "making the Glock work" because that is all you had, but the XD felt more in line with your natural pointing.

    As far as mag release buttons, that is a common occurrence. I see it on the line ALL THE TIME. See if the Walther they rent is a P-99. Or if they have an HK USP. The mag release in "in" the trigger guard. I LOVE IT!!! That is one of the reasons I went back to shooting an HK this year. The grips on an HK are a bit too large for some people, but the Walther has interchangeable backstraps to fit different size hands, and has no exposed hammer. The Walther fits the wife fine with the small backstraps, and fits me with the larger ones.
  4. Vladimir

    Vladimir New Member

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    I will have to take a look at the USP, the price seems a bit steep (1k at the local shop's website), though their prices tend to be pretty good maybe this was a fluke?

    I'll have to shoot an USP next time, I know they have one for rental, not sure which caliber it is though.
  5. thunderstruck507

    thunderstruck507 New Member

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    HK USP are very nice guns

    I've never cared for glocks

    Glad you had fun and found somethings you like. I personally prefer a real hammer on a gun and would not care to buy one without. I have a Hi-point already that has that and am not a fan in comparison. If for no other reason than the ease of trying a dud round again (in leisure, in a serious situation I'd clear it anyway)
  6. Vladimir

    Vladimir New Member

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    Okay 'nother range report!

    Shot a USP .45, some .45 1911 (just 10 rounds for fun), a 9mm Walther P99 (just 20 rnds) and just for kicks (literally) a .38 special revolver (can't remember which brand).

    The USP wasn't my cup of tea, I'm disappointed they only had a .45 because I'd like to have shot a .40, though I know it wasn't the .45 making me shoot poorly (my first shots were off, and the recoil wasn't bad either) the sights just weren't a good fit for me, which would probably be the same problem on the .40 USP. Which was a bummer because I have to say I really liked the mag release in the trigger guard!

    Same deal with the Walther, though my accuracy was almost as bad, which was particularly disappointing with a 9mm. That being said the Walther was a long shot, the Walther I like is the PPS, but I would have to have fallen in absolute love with Walther to cut myself down to that 6 or 7 rnd magazine it has. Which I never expected to happen anyway. But, I do like that trigger guard mag release, so since I got 4 more free rentals I'm thinking Sunday after church I'll stop in and put a box of rounds down range through the Walther again.

    As for the revolver, I could see the appeal of a small frame revolver as my "deep carry." But other than that it wasn't my cup of tea either. The kick would make it a poor sport-shooter, I even cut my thumb in two places (it was resting against the cylinder release). I know different revolvers have different kicks and such, but personally I don't see it being practical as regular CCW, limited capacity, the DA annoyance (is there no SA [without pulling the hammer each time] revolver? I'm assuming not) and kick just make it a poor competitor - IMO - to an XD or even Glock.

    Oh and the 1911 was just for kicks as well, not my cup of tea either. Again it was just 10 rounds, I don't think it was anything special, but I didn't fall in love, which I was kind of afraid I would. Personality wise I am a 1911 person =P I love tweaking and "maintenance" and upgrading etc.

    --

    In conclusion. The XD is still my top choice. I do love the trigger guard release on the USP, maybe I'll try and hunt down a .40 I could shoot at another range or something, but shooting wise I prefer the XD. I'm leaning towards .40 cal at the moment. Next serious test is probably to shoot a .40 sub-compact or compact Glock side by side with XD. I like both guns, shot the XD better but in all fairness they were different frames so might not have been a fair comparison.
  7. pickenup

    pickenup Active Member

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    Sounds like it might be narrowing down to an XD.
    Nothing wrong with those.

    Now you know what I mean about the mag release. ;)
    While that gun doesn't fit everyone, it "fits" me.
    I'm spoiled.
  8. Vladimir

    Vladimir New Member

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    Ugh now my parents are doing their "we don't want to fight so waited till the last minute to bring it up" thing and saying they don't want me to get a gun. They offered to buy me off by paying for my range membership so I can afford rentals or something. I told my dad I'm a conservative and payoffs aren't my thing =P

    He backed off quick though, I have a feeling he wasn't ready to fight it. Since I was 13 or 14 he knows I've thought less of him for not carrying his glock while off-duty =P

    He said it would give them "peace of mind," I simply pointed out statistically the most dangerous thing was when they let me move off campus, driving every day to school puts me at a much greater risk of injury or gruesome death than owning a pistol ever will. He backed off pretty quickly though and basically ended by telling me to just not flaunt it to mother, which I don't do anyway.

    So the inevitable battle I knew was coming is over already? I hope!

    P.S. I told him if he was eager to spend money on me, instead of paying me back for the membership he could just buy me a gun safe. =P
  9. troutwest66

    troutwest66 New Member

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    Hey Vlad,

    Did you put the different grip panels on the M&P? Even women with average to small hands should be able to shoot that gun with the medium or small backstrap panels. That would help with reaching the mag release. Most people have to alter their grip on the gun just a bit to release the mag. Don't let that deter you. Practice, with an empty gun and mag, releasing and reloading a fresh mag with the guns and see how quickly you can get both hands back on the gun and on target. It doesn't have to be lightening fast but rather smooth. Smooth is fast in a fight. I'm a lefty and have to release the mags on a 1911 with my trigger finger which is out of the trigger guard anyway. No problems.

    On caliber, I know with good hollowpoint ammo the 9mm can do the job. I choose the .45 because bigger, slower bullets hit harder. You also run less risk of over penetration, especially with hollowpoints. If I couldn't get a .45 I would carry a .40 and nothing smaller because of bullet weight, and in my experience the .40 has a slower, less snappy recoil than the 9mm. Bigger slower bullets don't have as much snap in the recoil, more of a push. This is all up to a point.

    I have the Taurus 1911 and the grip is very comfortable. Now, you're used to your dad's Glock. I don't care for the feel at all. I can shoot it just fine, just don't like it. It sounds like the XD is feeling the most comfortable to you. I know that Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch in Oregon uses an XD a lot, and he's a 1911 guy. You can get the XD40 in the compact and it comes with a full size magazine that makes the grip the same size as the duty and tactical models. Use the compact mag for concealment and carry the full size mag and maybe one more for back up. You'll have more ammo on you than you could shoot in a week.

    By trying several different guns you're doing the right thing. Choosing the right gun is not something to enter into lightly. Also, kudos for thinking for yourself when it comes to your parents. They don't have to like your choice but they do have to respect it.
  10. Vladimir

    Vladimir New Member

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    Trout: I'm thinking .40 at the moment, though I am not sure I plan to go for JHP, I might stack with 2-4 JHP and the rest FMJ. If I'm in a situation where 3-5 bullets didn't do the job I am less concerned with over-penetration heh. I do still like the 9mm price appeal, not even so much for now but as prices go up over the years. I dunno heh.

    I am pretty narrowed down to the XD right now, I am giving the USP another shot tonight because it is a gun I want to like. I shot the glock pretty well the other day, but decided I kind of want something "different," which is another huge appeal of the USP. The XD is quickly becoming another overly-common CCW!
  11. troutwest66

    troutwest66 New Member

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    Remember "different" isn't always equated with "good." If the XD feels right regardless of how many others carry one, then it's the right one for you. "Unique" might not always go bang or function correctly when you most need it to. When your life is on the line stick with tried and true! Let us know how your range session went today. With some of the punks I have in class (I teach PE at PFHS), I could have used some range time this afternoon.:D
  12. Vladimir

    Vladimir New Member

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    I didn't make it tonight, I'll be going after church on Sunday for a wholesome day :D

    I know different doesn't mean better, but the immediate downsides of a USP vs. Glock are unimportant, increased maintenance is not an issue, I grew up shooting with my dad who not only does a complete cleaning but replaces most the springs etc. after any bullets go through (I think mostly because the department supplies them for free).

    And there are some things I really like about the USP, namely the mag-release being in the trigger guard. Otherwise I am pretty sold on the XD. I just worked it out, my birthday is the 15th, but I am leaving town on the 19th. If I can get it to work out perfeclty that is the 5 day waiting period. Otherwise I will just have to buy from the shop at the range where I will be- but I would like to get it here to support my range.

    EDIT:

    I think it is now down to...

    XD Sub-Compact (bi-tone or the green sure are both pretty)
    USP Compact
    Glock 19/23

    I am not entirely sold on caliber between .40 or 9mm though. It might come down to what is in stock, though (does anyone know if they are shipping yet?) I'd like to get an '08 XD if I go XD, I might as well have the thumb safety if it is available [not that I intend to always use it].
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2008
  13. troutwest66

    troutwest66 New Member

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    With the XD being a striker fired gun I wouldn't wait for the thumb safety. Cocked and locked carry with a 1911 I feel it's a good idea but not needed with the Glock, XD, M&P, etc. The XD has the grip safety and that's more than needed. I want an M&P45 but I wouldn't get one with the thumb safety. Again as far as caliber goes I'd go with the .40 because of the heavier bullets and a slightly bigger wound channel from the start. That's another reason my choice of caliber is .45

    Does Washington have a five day period? I bought my Taurus from D&B out of Walla Walla and got it the same day through a transfer to an Idaho dealer. I also gave them my CCW because I forgot to renew my driver's license. :eek: My birthday was a week or so before the gun show in April last spring.:eek: Have a good time Sunday. We're going trap shooting tomorrow. My daughter and I shoot league and my wife had a free weekend so she's going to shoot a round with us.
  14. Vladimir

    Vladimir New Member

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    Washington has a 5-day, which apparently (dammit) is 5 business days, so unless on Monday is actually 7 days. Dammit because I turn 21 on the 15th, exactly 5 days before I leave town on the 19th- but not 5 business days :mad:

    The 5 day waiting period does not apply to anyone who holds a CCW, but I can't apply for that until I'm 21, and it will take 30 days to get so no way around there either.

    Unfortunately I am stuck now! I put 50 through a .45 USP and 50 through an XD-9 subcompact. I really like the USP, unfortunately it is much pricier, and the guy at the store is really trying to sell me on the XD, making good arguments- such as the warranty, accessory selection, and reliability of the XD, but not arguments I particularly care about. I care, but enough to choose an XD over an USP? I don't know.

    The good news is I found with the ambi mag release, I read this online somewhere and it was genius, I can easily trigger the release with only one hand, by using my index finger on the right side of the grip, instead of trying to stretch my thumb on the left side. So my one real hangup with the XD is virtually gone. I don't like the tiny magazine, which forces my pinky under the magazine, which is not comfortable- but for target shooting I can just always use the extended magazine which extends the grip.

    I'm sort of in a position where I wouldn't mind getting both a USP and XD, one full size for winter and maybe even .45 (I shot the .45 just as accurate as the 9mm) and one sub compact in .40 or 9mm (for cheap shooting too). If I decide to go that route the question is, which gun in which caliber, and which gun first :rolleyes: And then again I'm not a huge fan of that plan anyway so... I dunno. I am so stuck, at least I have it narrowed down to two firearms now.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2008
  15. troutwest66

    troutwest66 New Member

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    What's the price difference between the XD and HK? If it's substantial then you can get the XD and with the money you saved you can by a real nice concealed carry holster, mag pouch, weapon light or tactical handheld light, etc. When you get your CCW you'll want good factory self defense ammo. Your savings could be spent there as well. I still suggest either .45 or .40 for the caliber.
  16. Vladimir

    Vladimir New Member

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    According to their website the bi-tone XD 40 sub-compact is about $550. A compact USP (stainless slide) .40 would be around $800 he figured, though the ones on the shelf were more like $900- though they were .45 so I dunno, $800-$900.

    If I make the XD my first weapon I am very unlikely to purchase a USP in the near future, that is a lot of bones to lay down, particularly if I already had a pistol that would get the job done.

    EDIT: Something naughty happened, I found *********.com = /

    A used USP is pretty affordable. eek

    EDIT II: Wow bummer. I was just clearing my desk looking for a highlighter. I didn't find a highlighter, but I did find two seasons of 24 (I really need to clean my desk), Jack confidently holding a USP compact on the cover of Season 5. *sigh*
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2008
  17. troutwest66

    troutwest66 New Member

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    Unless you buy used, I bet you won't find a USP for the price of the XD. You should be able to do better than $550 for the XD. Try White Elephant. Black Sheep over in Coeur d'Alene usually has pretty reasonable prices and those stores are connected by owners or some deal. There should be a gun show at the fair grounds coming up here the first part of April. You ought to find a good deal there as well. For $800 you can get outfitted with an XD or M&P and get holsters, ammo, belt and other stuff with money left over for lunch! Be patient. The deal you're looking for is out there somewhere.
  18. Vladimir

    Vladimir New Member

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    Bleh not a fan of the M&P. I can (maybe) be patient, but also by not buying I rack up a lot of costs by renting (now up to like $8.50) which is going to significantly cut into range time. With the membership (the idea, and so far its working :D) I don't feel guilty about putting only 50 rounds down range, because all I pay for is ammo (used my last free rental up today though). Every time I'm downtown I shoot, no biggy. But with a rental it is going to be a pain to the pocketbook.

    The big question is I know I want a gun very soon, logically that should be the XD because it is more affordable, but since the USP is more expensive I am less likely to throw more money down later for it. So in the end the question is do I take a jump and spend a little more right away for the USP, or save and start with the XD?

    Theres so many extenuating circumstances too that it is driving me crazy :rolleyes: My first gun should be sub/compact for easy CCW, my first gun should be 9mm or .40, and my first gun should be the pricier one. But it would make more sense to go 9 or 40 sub-compact XD, and full size 40 or 45 USP. So in the end I have to compromise somewhere, the question is where would I rather compromise. Alas I have only given it one day of thought since yesterday I didn't care much for the USP and today it is my favorite yet :confused:

    However, like I explained to a friend, there are several pistols out there I like, but don't want as a first gun since I can't test 'em, namely the Steyr MA1 and the Five-seveN. So I could always go compact 9/40 USP, and grab one of those as my full size winter carry :rolleyes:

    Honestly what it will probably come down to is if I find a good deal on a used USP (particularly if that USP is compact AND stainless slide) that is what I will jump on. And all that being said, in the end I prefer the USP, so it would probably be best if that was my compact since that will probably be the majority of any CCW.

    $550 on the XD was with stainless which IIRC ups the price a bit. I have been trying to stop at the white elephant, particularly since one of my roomates is friends with the family that owns it, but alas, I am normally only downtown on sundays for church and shooting, and they are closed on sundays :(

    --

    You might notice I tend to over analyze and over think things. But it is really driving me crazy, to be 100% honest I probably shouldn't be putting ANY gun on the credit card in the next few weeks*, so I want to make sure I am getting the best bang, for my buck ;) (AKA I want to know I made the better choice).

    *Without making this post disgustingly long I'll just say I don't really have enough money to where I should buy it, but once I do buy it and then have a credit card bill, I in turn make a lot more money. AKA it works out just fine.
  19. Vladimir

    Vladimir New Member

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    I'm getting optimistic!

    Following up on a USP compact stainless 9mm for $600, and there's one on ********* starting at $675. I would still prefer .40 but...
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2008
  20. troutwest66

    troutwest66 New Member

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    If you want the .40 then don't settle for the 9mm. My experience has taught me to figure out what I want and to keep looking until I find what meets my criteria. It might take a bit longer but you'll be happier in the end.
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