Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Something to (Re)Consider

I had a great time at the gun range on Sunday. My best friend is getting married, and he had asked me to organize a gun range outing as part of the bachelor party festivities. Our original choice for location was to be a large, outdoor range in the DFW area; however, "Spring" weather in Texas struck a death blow to that plan with temps in the 40s and a windchill in the 30s.

No worries, the recently reopened DFW Gun Range took care of us on short notice with a three lane bay all to ourselves. We got there at the right time too. When we packed up to leave, there was a huge crowd waiting for an open lane. For those in the Dallas area, DFW Gun Range has made some really nice improvements as part of the rebuild following the fire. It's well worth your time to check them out.

As is known to happen from time to time when acquainted gunnies gather, gats were passed around for sampling. This is both a good and bad thing. It's a good thing in that you get to try out things that you don't currently own without forking over a rental fee and paying range ammo prices. It's a bad thing in that people, like me, afflicted with gun trader ADD might be tempted to sell or trade something for something else because....OOOoooo, shiny.

For the most part, I was immune. I ran a box of .45 through best friend's newly acquired Ruger SR1911...which set me off jonesing for another 1911 (the Sig Traditional Reverse Two Tone to be exact). There is nothing wrong with the SR1911. It's as accurate as every other 1911 I've had the pleasure to play with including a Colt, a Kimber, the Sig 1911, a Umarex/Regent, a Firestorm, etc. Price point wise, you will have a hard time finding a higher quality 1911 for under $700 (buddy paid just over $600 plus tax for it at a gun show a couple of months ago).

The Smith & Wesson 4 inch Model 27-2 in .357 did not awaken any urges for me nor did "Bertha". Bertha is a Colt Single Action Army clone in .45 Colt. She makes a big boom and puts a big hole in the target. She's also heavier than an opera singer on a Ben & Jerry's binge. The Sig P238 in .380 wearing the Equinox finish was cute, and I succeeded in shooting it without leaving blood on the slide (unlike his Colt Mustang from ages ago). Alas, I have no need nor desire for a pocket mouse.

Here's the thing that really threw my gun ADD in a tizzy. The Gen 3 Glock 19 in 9mm. Ugly as sin, and boring as all get out. Couldn't be planer than a white bread bologna sammich. I have no need of a polymer wonder 9. I have the Smith & Wesson M&P40 (with the 9mm barrel). But, here's the thing I could not ignore.

I flat out just shoot a bone stock Glock better than I shoot the M&P.

The Glock has a better trigger out of the box than the M&P. There is no debating that point. The Glock also gives up a half inch of barrel length and sight radius to the M&P, but that's mostly negligible at social distances. The M&P has better ergonomics, better factory sights and just feels better in the hand; but, even with the crappy plastic stock Glock sights, it outshoots the M&P for me.

This is intolerable.

I could spend about $100 on parts from Apex to make the M&P trigger better than it is, but there's no guarantee that it would improve it's shootability enough for me to shoot it better than I shoot the Glock. I had a Glock in the past (a Gen 1 or Gen 2 G23 in .40) with which I had a neutrally ambivalent relationship. I have shot Glocks in the interim with similar results though never head to head with the M&P like this. I bought the M&P on the premise that it's made in the USA (because...'Murica! Dang it!), felt better in my hand and had better sights which should mean that it shoots better. Right?


I ignored my own good advice (given freely to others and now, again, to you) to try before you buy. Seriously. Go find a range or a friend who has what you are interested in. Shoot it against possible alternatives. If it ain't working for you, don't buy it.

Now, I have to go hang my head in shame secure in the knowledge that I will be stuck carrying an ugly Austrian just because it's a better tool for my hands than the sexy M&P.

[grumble, grumble]

Maybe I will name it...Frau Blucher.


GunDiva said...

Keep your head up, Daddy Hawk. Glocks are manufactured in Georgia, so not all is lost.

Still waiting on my G42 to arrive. I'm hoping to have it this weekend.

SENIOR said...

Glad you enjoyed the Ruger SR1911 and yes they are quality side arms. Concur with your price point, that's another reason I got a commander model.

Daddy Hawk said...

GunDiva, I had heard rumor that Glocks were now made by God fearing Americans in a free state, but every Glock I've seen lately still says made in Austria. Perhaps they just haven't updated their molds and stamps yet?

Daddy Hawk said...

Senior, I did enjoy the Ruger. The only hiccup to me getting one is that the Sig I mentioned has exactly the look and feature set I want out of the box.

GunDiva said...

I'll check the stamp on mine when I pick it up, but I'm fairly certain US-sold Glocks are built in Smyrna, GA, to get around the finicky US import laws regarding firearms.

However, I have no doubt, after talking to the Glock reps at SHOT, that they'll still be stamped with Austria somewhere, because those Austrians don't want us to forget where they came from. :)

Daddy Hawk said...

GunDiva, according to Wikipedia, "Glock pistols are manufactured by the Glock Inc. subsidiary division located in the United States. Those batches are nearly the same or identical compared to the Austrian-made ones, but they are marked as "USA", instead of "AUSTRIA", on the slide; and they have 7-digit serial numbers". As near as I can tell, the more popular Gen 3 models and most, if not, all Gen 4 models are now being made in the US as well as Austria. Not sure how to tell them apart if you are looking to buy online from a place like Bud's Gun Shop. Obviously, buying in person you can easily see a slide marking.