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Sunday
Apr292012

Striker Fire Day at the Range

Yesterday we went to an outdoor pistol range in the area.  The indoor ranges are packed on weekends so we go to the outdoor range. Unfortunately, all shooting takes place on stationary targets 50 feet down range.

Mrs. Wolf and I both shot the Ruger Sr22 and three striker fired pistols, Glock 26, M&P 9 Shield, and Ruger SR40c. The Glock and Shield are both 9mm sub-compacts and the SR40c is a compact .40S&W caliber pistol.

(Left to right, Glock 26, SR40c and Shield).

I’ve posted extensively on all three models. You can find posts using the Search box above.

My primary mission was to shoot all three of these pistols under the same conditions and see how the triggers compared. I also was interested in seeing which pistol I shot the best under identical conditions.

Well over 5,000 rounds have been fired through the Glock 26, which was one of my authorized carry guns on the job for over a decade. 

We’ve fired over 600 rounds through the SR40c and 350 through the Shield. All three have performed as expected without any miss feeds, misfires or other malfunctions. 

The Shield is the most recent purchase and frankly I expected it to be my favorite at the end of the day.  All my shooting was offhand and the range does not allow rapid fire.  There must be at least two seconds between shots.

I’m impressed with the triggers on all three guns.  I was surprised to find that the trigger on the Glock and Shield felt the same to me.  Both are excellent, crisp triggers with short resets. I was even more surprised that the SR40c had a slightly better feel for me.  I shot all three pistols, three rounds at a time repeatedly and each time, much to my surprise the Ruger felt the best to me. 

The SR40c trigger may have felt better because the pistol felt better in my hand than the other two.  The SR40c balances perfectly in my hand and the grip feels like it was custom made for me.  Of course, this is my individual preference and will vary among shooters. 

I did not want to like the SR40c the best because I hate the sights, dislike the magazine disconnect, the magazine release, the external safety and the chambered round indicator!  But I love the way the SR40c shoots.  It feels more like a sub-compact 9mm than a 40S&W, with much less muzzle flip and recoil than my much more expensive Sig Sauer P239 SAS, with DAK trigger.

The SR40c sights are too tiny for me and adjusting the windage is a pain in the butt.  I’m not a fan of adjustable sights, especially the ones on my SR40c.  I did shoot a good group, but never dead center like I did with the other two pistols.  The SR40c shot to the right even after I attempted to adjust the sights. It did shoot better after adjusting but still was not right on at 50 feet.  I’m leaning towards replacing the stock sights with XS Big Dot sights.

My Glock 26 has Trijicon small dot sights that are over ten years old but still work great in low light. In daylight they suck, because they just aren’t very visible. This gun is a shooter and as reliable as any pistol you could own. I’ve done nothing to it but field strip for cleaning and replace the spring (twice).  Sooner or later it may need to be broken down completely, but after a decade and close to 6,000 rounds, it has performed flawlessly (after replacing a couple of the original magazine springs). 

The Shield has very visible stock sights, excellent trigger, and shot dead on right out of the box. Recoil and muzzle flip are not an issue for me with this pistol.  At fifty feet I consistently shot as good a group as I have with any pistol. My first five shots were in the center bulleye.  Sight picture and trigger control work really well for me with the Shield. The SR40c has a little better trigger “feel” for me and the grip fits me perfectly, whereas the Shield fits Mrs. Wolf’s tiny hands better.

Every shooter is different, so what feels good to me, may not to you.  I expect Glocks and Smith and Wesson to be robust, well designed and enginered pistols that perform flawlessly.  I really was not as familiar with Ruger firearms and had no experience with them until I purchased the SR40c after shooting my brother in law’s SR9. I’m impressed with my SR40c and definetly prefer the way it feels and shoots better than my Sig P239 SAS, which is a custom shop pistol with a DAK action.  

If I could only keep one of these pistols for concealed carry, I would have a very difficult decision to make.  I like all three guns, have no plans to sell any of them and will carry all three with confidence. But if I could keep only one of these three FOR CONCEALED CARRY, it would be the SHIELD.  It’s doesn’t packs the punch of the SR40c but its EXTREMELY comfortible to carry and shoot and is the most accurate of the three guns in my hands (with the 8 round extended mag).

What’s best for you, is totally up to you.  Try it before you buy it at a range near you. Most ranges rent pistols for $10-$20. If you are new to firearms and/or concealed carry, I would recommend the Shield 9 without hesistation.  It’s a serious “fighting” gun in a size and weight that should accomodate just about anyone at a very reasonalble ($400) price.

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