Shootin Iron

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Lynn Brazelton
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Joined: Feb. 25th, 2011
Shootin Iron

After shooting a few matches now, I've come to the conclusion that I need something other than my little S&W 3913. Don't get me wrong, I do love the little thing, but, it's just that, little. It only has a 3 3/8" barrel and a 7 round magazine. That give me 8 shots to start with and only 7 after that. I can really feel the slowness of the extra mag changes on some stages. With all that said, I decided to start looking around.

I wasn't sure what to go with, but decided to stick with the 9mm platform since my Dillon is already set up for it. If I go with something other than the 9 or 38 special, I'd have to buy new dies for the press. Just one more expense. So, 9mm it will be. I started by doing some research on this wonderful thing we call internet, (ain't it great?) and finally narrowed it down to the Glock 17, S&W M&P and Springfield Armory XD. The next question is what length barrel? Well, it seems that they come in various lengths up to 5". Since all will fit in the "box" I think I've decided on a 5" barrel.

The next step was to fondle some of the irons so off I went to Shooters Paradise, the local gun shop in Yuba City that has an indoor range and rents handguns. In I go and lay my sorry story on the proprietor. He proceeds to pull out a Glock 17, a S&W M&P and a SA XD with a 4" barrel. Well, I proceeded to fondle all of them with great enthusiasm, sighting down the barrel, racking the slides, and just generally getting a feel for them. The first was the Glock. I just didn't like the feel of the fit in my smallish hands. The grip was just too large and didn't feel right. The next was the Smith, and while it felt better, it also didn't fit just right. Better than the Glock, and something I could get use to shooting, I could tell, but not right. Then came the XD. Wow, it just slipped into my hand like it belonged there. Just a very nice fit. Right there, I decided I didn't need to shoot the Glock or the Smith, but I was sure looking forward to shooting up that box of cartridges I had brought along.

At 7 yards, I was placing them all within the x ring. Now, I was shooting at a range, without some nasty old Safety Officer with a timer standing over me, but I was impressed. At 10 yards, the shots were equally impressive. Out at 17 yards, the longest this little outdoor range provides, I was doing head shots. Sure there were a few misses, but with a bit of practice to learn the trigger, I feel I'll be a much better shooter than I have been using my little 3913.

No, I didn't buy one yet, I wanted to get some practical advise from the folks on here that regularly shoot. Is it an advantage to have the 5" barrel or is the 4" sufficient? Why do you feel one is better than the other? I do think I'm going to get the XD, I like the feel in my hand, I like the price. But which should I get, 4" or 5"? Any other real consideration I need to take into account before plopping down my hard earned money? Well, maybe not hard earned, but scrimpy retirement pay! Please chime in and give me your opinions. I'll seriously consider each and every one. Even if you tell me to get something different. Thanks.

NVSA Staff's picture
NVSA Staff
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Joined: Feb. 8th, 2011
Lynn, Your are thinking

Lynn,

Your are thinking correctly. The 3 you mentioned are all great choices. I don't own a glock but can contest that they are a VERY popular IDPA gun. The M&P 9mm in 5" is what I shoot. I have 2 of them if you ever want to give one a go at a match with a timer. The XD 9mm is also a very popular IDPA gun. The 3 guns you mentioned are the most popular brands of IDPA guns outside of the 1911 platform.

About size. In Concealed Carry what fits your body is what size to get. Get the biggest one you will carry religiously. When it comes to IDPA, bigger is better. By that I mean long sight radius. When you buy and IDPA gun the long sight radius will have more forgiveness if you front sight is right, left, up and down slightly. That is the benefit of a longer sight radius. Get the longest that will fit in the box. You said you like the XD. Well then you are in luck. XD makes a 5" 9mm that is on the safe list in California. My wife shoots an XD 9mm 5" in IDPA. I am sure that she will share if you want test drive it. You might get a better idea how it shoots with a grumpy old Safety Officer wielding one of those blue memory erasers thingies that goes beep.cheeky

Your on the right track. Let me know how your quest progresses.

"If you plan to leave early, please arrive early to help set up. If you arrive late, please stay late to help take down. If you plan to arrive late and leave early, please do your shooting someplace else."

Brian Gonsalves's picture
Brian Gonsalves
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Joined: Feb. 19th, 2011
Hi Lynn,   I have

Hi Lynn,

 

I have multiple Glocks.  You are welcome to try them anytime.  Just let me know!

 

Take care,

Brian

Lynn Brazelton
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Joined: Feb. 25th, 2011
I did it, bought an XD. It's

I did it, bought an XD. It's a used one but didn't have too many rounds down the pipe. Since I was able to get it at a good price I think I did OK. It came with three mags, a mag well, a holster, and all the gear that comes from the factory. I ordered three new mags so I should be OK. Now all I have to do is get it out of jail and do a bit of practice with it. I'll also have to requalify I guess, so I assume I'll just be shooting unclassified for awhile. Hopefully I'll have it for the next match. By the way the one I bought is the Tactical with the 5" barrel.

Lynn

NVSA Staff's picture
NVSA Staff
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Joined: Feb. 8th, 2011
That it way cool. Don't buy a

That it way cool. Don't buy a holster until you try out one of mine. I know you get one with the gun but the factory one leaves something to be desired. I will bring it to the next match for you to check out

"If you plan to leave early, please arrive early to help set up. If you arrive late, please stay late to help take down. If you plan to arrive late and leave early, please do your shooting someplace else."

Lynn Brazelton
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Joined: Feb. 25th, 2011
The one that came with it, in

The one that came with it, in addition to the factory one, was an OWB Crossbreed. It is a slide type and it may work, but I'll have to wait for the jail term to run before I will know.

Lynn

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