By October 4, 2006

Range report

Lady Jaye and I went to the local shooting range this weekend with our friends Duke and Pixie. It was primarily a chance for Duke and his wife to shoot my Mossberg 590 shotgun and a bunch of handguns. They are a interested in something for home defense, maybe something for concealed carry. Duke took the handgun safety course with us earlier in the year.

Anyway, on to the range. We rented a bunch of handguns and tried them all:

Out of all the guns we rented, only the Kahr, the MYSTERY 45 and the xD in .45 ACP were new to me. I was happy to get some range time with my carry weapons and to try out the xD.

Springfield Armory xD in .45 ACP
Despite being billed as a carry gun, this pistol is big. It is fairly light, considering it holds fourteen rounds of ammunition in the magazine, but the frame was just too big for me to consider it as a daily piece. I also found the grip to be a little too thick for me. While my grouping was consistent, I shot low and to the left by about two inches at seven yards. The trigger pull seemed nice and smooth, especially in contrast to the Kahr. I am very glad I got to test shoot it, as I would have regretted spending ~$500 for a pistol that I would probably never carry. If I recall correctly, Duke liked this pistol a lot. It suited his hand very well.

Kahr P9
Tiny, single stack, polymer — the makings of a good carry pistol. Unfortunately this gun had a very long and uneven trigger pull. Pixie found it particularly unnerving with her small, slender fingers. Once you learned the pistol’s idiosyncrasies it was fairly easy to shoot. Unless the trigger pull could be smoothed out and shortened, I doubt this gun would be very accurate for double-tap or rapid shooting. The sights were difficult to see, but this could be easily remedied by aftermarket sights like the ones on my Glock. Everyone disliked this pistol, and only the (t)rusty Smith & Wesson beat it out for the least liked gun of the day.

H&K USP Compact.45
Even larger than the xD, the H&K USP Compact .45 was a full-featured, full frame autoloader, complete with decocking lever, manual safety, exposed hammer for SA/DA shooting, the whole match. I expected to dislike this gun, but I have to admit that I liked the way it shot. I shot the best out of the three .45s with it. Too bad it didn’t fit what I needed out of a handgun. It was just too big, and too heavy.

Smith & Wesson 649
This thing jammed on all four of us. I told the gun range (again) that the cylinder was sticking and the cylinder release lever won’t engage fully. Without exception, everyone disliked this gun.

I’m not going to go over the Glock 36 and 26 again, because they weren’t noteworthy a second time around. We wanted Pixie to shoot at least two 9mms and I wanted Duke to shoot the 36 to compare it to the other .45s.

The biggest outcome of the day was how much everyone liked my Glock 27. It was Pixie’s favorite, and she went from barely hitting the target with the .45s and the S&W 649 to putting round after round into the red center of her target. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Everyone has different preferences for handgun ergonomics, and one size definitely does NOT fit all. One person’s paperweight is one person’s dream shooter. Well, except for that piece of trash 649.

After ten years of of ownership and carry, I feel validated that my Glock 27 still shoots great and is the best fit for me. I was looking for a bigger caliber, more capacity, or a thinner handgun, but I can’t seem to get an advantage in one area without losing ground in weight, grip size, or precision and accuracy. I was also impressed to see that my accuracy and precision increased some more with the Guardian. If I ever have to bust out the Elf Gun, I’m glad to know that I can shoot it well.

Shooting the Mossberg 590 is always a hit. I like to bring it out last, to show the huge difference between pistols and shotguns for home defense. Between the four of us, we shot eight handguns and probably 300 – 400 rounds of pistol ammunition. Each had its own level of bang and punched differently-sized holes in our paper targets. When you go from any common handgun to the shotgun, the difference is, well … almost comical. I put nine shots through the center of my target, and by the third shot there was nothing in a four-inch circle to shoot at in the center.

Like my Glock 27, our time at the range validated my choice of the 590 as my primary home defender. Lady Jaye and I have talked about getting another one, although she’s (somewhat sarcastically) requested a pink camouflage one. We’ll see. 😉

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3 Comments on "Range report"

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  1. Do y’all wear earplugs or over-the-ear pads (like headphones, except maybe that’s the wrong word) while shooting?

    Would painting little flowers (or camouflage designs) on the grip in ladylike pink nail polish mess up the feel? 🙂

  2. drfaulken says:

    I wear both. I wear the same type of earplugs I wear when I ride and then external ear protection over those. I can’t imagine shooting in an indoor range without both! Especially when we get to the Mossberg.

  3. cymwyd says:

    nice side step on the pink nail polish 😉