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  1. #1
    prof_fate is offline Member
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    Revolver vs Semi Auto - which is more accurate?

    I was talking with the local gun club IDPA guy and he also shoot combat and he says you need different guns as semi autos are not accurate enough to be competitive in combat shooting. The favored gun is a S&W 686 with a 6" barrel for combat.

    What he's basically saying is autos are not capable of 2" groups at 25 yards.

    I'm not a revolver fan and didn't like the feel of a 686 at all and went ahead and bought (on order) an XDm 5.25" comp in 9mm and don't see why it wouldn't be sufficiently accurate.

    Is one style of handgun inherently more accurate than another?

    Wouldn't an SA auto be superior to a DA revolver for target shooting, which is essentially what combat is?

  2. #2
    rgrundy's Avatar
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    There are some extremely accurate semi-autos out there and nearly all standard size pistols are more than accurate enough for combat style shooting. The XD you bought will be fine. The IDPA and USPSA shoots use targets that have quite large "A" zones. If you can hit a grapefruit size target quickly you're golden.

  3. #3
    prof_fate is offline Member
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    Combat has you shooting at a b27 target B-27 (i can't get a picture to post no how...)

    It's scored as (X=10, 10, 9, 8, 7,etc.), any hit outside of the 7-ring receives zero (0) points. Sixty(60) rounds per match will translate into a 600 point perfect score. Less than 515 as a total score doesn't count at all.

    The 10 ring measures 3x4 inches, maybe less.

  4. #4
    rgrundy's Avatar
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    Here's the first two rounds I put through my Glock 35 Gen 3 in 40 S&W just to see where the point of impact was. It still shoots that well after 5000 plus rounds.

    Glock 35 .40 cal - YouTube

    Checking some reloads in my SIG P220.

    SIG P220 Checking Reloads - YouTube

    Your pistol will be fine. Enjoy it.

  5. #5
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is offline Senior Member
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    First of all, anybody who regularly shoots at a 3"x 4" target at anything over about seven yards is not practicing practical "combat" shooting. A 10-ring of that size requires slower, more careful shooting than would be practical in a save-your-life panic, when "small-motor" control goes out the window and your "lizard brain" takes over.

    So, second of all, you need to decide exactly what it is that you are trying to accomplish. Do you want to practice real combat shooting, or do you want to participate in an esoteric accuracy game?

    If you decide that you wish to learn and practice real, practical, effective combat shooting, any revolver firing .38 Special or larger, including two-inch snubbies, or any semi-auto of caliber 9mm or larger, will be quite accurate enough. It will be you, not the gun, which will cause you to miss, or to deliver low scores.

    It is easier to shoot accurately with a SA semi-auto, than with a DA semi-auto or revolver. However, there are safety concerns with SA semi-autos which must be addressed. You must learn to manipulate the gun's safety at exactly the right moment in your presentation, or you will be guilty of unsafe gun handling, and may suffer a negligent discharge.

    As you see, everything is a compromise or a trade-off.

  6. #6
    prof_fate is offline Member
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    The rules/course of fire are here http://www.bvrpc.org/Combat%20League...0for%20Web.pdf
    This type of shooting has been popular here for over 25 years. The B27 target is what's always been used and it's the size of a typical human torso - but to be competitive you need to be able to put 96%+ your rounds in the 10 ring, and to win you need to do put them in the X ring - 2x3 inch or there abouts.

    The course of fire is:
    First half:
    - 7 Yard Line- 12 rounds / 25 seconds - you must reload
    -25 Yard Line- 18 rounds / 90 seconds - you must reload twice
    - 6 rounds kneeling
    - 6 rounds left hand / left hand side of barricade
    - 6 rounds right hand / right hand side of barricade
    Secondf Half
    - 25 Yard Line- 24 rounds / 2 minutes & 45 seconds, reload every 6 rounds.
    - 6 rounds sitting
    - 6 rounds prone
    - 6 rounds left hand / left hand side of barricade
    - 6 rounds right hand / right hand side of barricade
    - 25 Yard Line- 6 rounds / 12 seconds
    Strong hand - NO support

    So while it's not rapid fire like some more 'modern' combat competitions there are limits but time isn't part of the scoring.

    The last club I belonged to shot a modified version indoors on a 50' range - 12 shots at 7', 6 shots at 15 feet and 18 at 50 if I recall correctly. Standing and kneeling, 6 at 50ft weak hand. Nothing prone. Same timing scheme, roughly 2 seconds/shot. Home but they don't list the course of fire.

    What type of pistols are most popular at bullseye competitions?



    Explain the 'safety manipulation' bit if you would... I looked at S&W 686 and saw no safety on it. The Springfield XDm has no 'active' safety - it uses a mix of passive ones (grip safety like a 1911, trigger safety like a glock). My ruger mk 1 has a safety as do my rifles from BB to 30-30 as did my shotgun. I'm sorta surprised that some pistols have no safety's

  7. #7
    manta's Avatar
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    Either will normally be more accurate than the shooter.

  8. #8
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by prof_fate View Post
    ...Explain the 'safety manipulation' bit if you would... I looked at S&W 686 and saw no safety on it. The Springfield XDm has no 'active' safety - it uses a mix of passive ones (grip safety like a 1911, trigger safety like a glock). My ruger mk 1 has a safety as do my rifles from BB to 30-30 as did my shotgun. I'm sorta surprised that some pistols have no safety's
    I wrote that if you decide to use a SA semi-auto, that you would have to learn to properly use its safety.
    To clarify, a typical SA semi-auto is the M1911/Government Model platform. It has a safety lever which you are required to actuate in the proper manner. (Its grip safety is not an issue, since merely holding the pistol properly defeats it.)
    TDA semi-autos almost always have hammer-dropping safeties, and DA semi-autos most frequently have no separate, manipulable safety.

    It seems, from your most recent post, that you are interested in an accuracy game called "combat (something)," rather than the actual practical combat and tactical shooting which is my area of expertise.
    In that case, please disregard my remarks, as they probably do not apply to you. Although I know about the target your discipline uses, and how it's scored, I have no appreciable experience in that style of shooting.

  9. #9
    rgrundy's Avatar
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    The pistol you ordered is an XDm 5.25. The little "m" in the alpha-numeric designation stands for match which means it has a match barrel.
    It does look like you are shooting a discipline far removed from actual combat shooting but the distances are short and after you become proficient with your choice of pistol or revolver you'll be fine. Just have some fun and stay away from the guys who take it too seriously..
    The courses we shoot look like armed track meets and you may shoot several shots per second as you move through the course of fire. It's a real blast!

  10. #10
    prof_fate is offline Member
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    The m in the XDm stands for 'm factor' and is just a designator for the most recent model change. Since they put it on all their XD models now I doubt it refers to match grade barrels on all of the models. The 5.25 barrel version, in all calibers, does have a match grade barrel and adjustable sights, but is identified as a 'competition' pistol. If you scroll through the specs you'll see that only those 3 models have match grade barrels.

    Springfield Armory - Introducing the XD(M) Polymer Handgun

    You'll also see it is a SA auto and it has no manual, user operated safety at all. None. Springfield Armory - Introducing the XD(M) Polymer Handgun

  11. #11
    rgrundy's Avatar
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    Must have changed. The XDm I had a few years ago (gave it to my stepson) had a match barrel on it and the barrel was marked as such. The only safety is the grip and trigger safety and seems sufficient. It's called a single action but actually has a sear that holds back the striker and is pulled downward off of it as you pull the trigger. At the ranges you are going to shoot at it'll be fine. We watch Rob Leatham spank us on a regular basis with his.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlhaZ82dTz0

  12. #12
    Bulldog is offline Junior Member
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    Personally after shooting both. I am definitely more accurate with a semi auto pistol. Though for a self defense situation I would take either.

  13. #13
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    I saw a on-line video of Tori Nonaka (Glock team member, just 15 years old) shooting a IDPA course. They are shooting at man-sized targets. Almost any weapon is good enough for that. Most are using longer barrels for easier aiming, and 9mm for lighter recoil. The S & W 686 SSR is purpose built for this kind of competition. I believe it has a 4" barrel.

    The Glock long slide is also purpose built for this competition and is about the same size as a full sized 1911 goverment model.

    I was able to put 8 rounds in a single hole at 50 feet with my Colt Gold Cup. That is more accurate than you will need for these practical combat shooting competitions.

    Here's the video. She's shooting a Glock 34.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8t1tp73Qa8

  14. #14
    VAMarine's Avatar
    VAMarine is online now Administrator
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    Quote Originally Posted by prof_fate View Post
    The m in the XDm stands for 'm factor' and is just a designator for the most recent model change. Since they put it on all their XD models now I doubt it refers to match grade barrels on all of the models. The 5.25 barrel version, in all calibers, does have a match grade barrel and adjustable sights, but is identified as a 'competition' pistol. If you scroll through the specs you'll see that only those 3 models have match grade barrels.

    Springfield Armory - Introducing the XD(M) Polymer Handgun

    You'll also see it is a SA auto and it has no manual, user operated safety at all. None. Springfield Armory - Introducing the XD(M) Polymer Handgun

    A "Match" barrel is found on all of the XDM models and not all XDs are XDMs. The standard XDs are still in production.

    If you look through the XDM Gallery, you'll see every barrel marked as "match" the XDM 5.25 has a separate designation for the barrel as "Match Grade Select Fit"

    Edited to add:
    How do you expect the grip safety to be disengaged if not by the user? Magic? The grip safety IS user operated as it requires a proper grip to run the gun, I've never seen a trigger safety fail, but have seen many not grip the gun well enough to disengage the grip safety.

  15. #15
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAMarine View Post
    A "Match" barrel is found on all of the XDM models and not all XDs are XDMs. The standard XDs are still in production.

    If you look through the XDM Gallery, you'll see every barrel marked as "match" the XDM 5.25 has a separate designation for the barrel as "Match Grade Select Fit"
    The match barrel is not the only thing that is required for an accurate weapon. You need a tight lock up of the barrel, a tightly fitted slide, a tight barrel bushing (or a tightly locked tapered barrel), a good trigger, decent sights, etc.

    You could throw a match barrel on a WWII service weapon and still have a gun that shoots like a clunker. It needs to have the entire package going.

    In any case, if a shooter is not satisfied with the accuracy of the weapon he could send it to a good gunsmith and have it accurized. Springfield Armory's Custom Shop offers a complete accurizing service for $895.00. See: http://www.springfield-armory.com/custom.php

  16. #16
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Packard View Post
    The match barrel is not the only thing that is required for an accurate weapon. You need a tight lock up of the barrel, a tightly fitted slide, a tight barrel bushing (or a tightly locked tapered barrel), a good trigger, decent sights, etc.

    You could throw a match barrel on a WWII service weapon and still have a gun that shoots like a clunker. It needs to have the entire package going.

    In any case, if a shooter is not satisfied with the accuracy of the weapon he could send it to a good gunsmith and have it accurized. Springfield Armory's Custom Shop offers a complete accurizing service for $895.00. See: Springfield Armory

    You do realize we're talking about the XD/XDM line, not 1911s.

    1911-A1 Accurizing Package: . . . $895.00
    Otherwise I agree with the above, but non of that is relevant to my previous post regarding how XDs and XDMs are equipped from the factory.

  17. #17
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAMarine View Post
    You do realize we're talking about the XD/XDM line, not 1911s.



    Otherwise I agree with the above, but non of that is relevant to my previous post regarding how XDs and XDMs are equipped from the factory.
    I clicked the "XD" button and scrolled down. I did not realize it was for the 1911.

    My understanding is that the Military Berettas get a lot of custom work before they enter them in competition (I read that somewhere). Glock 34s are often entered as from the factory. I read that Nonaka paints hers purple but that was the only mod she makes. And she is on the factory team so budget is not a factor.

    But they are shooting at man-sized targets. I would think that almost any quality weapon with a 4 or 5 inch barrel should be accurate enough to compete.

  18. #18
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Packard View Post
    I clicked the "XD" button and scrolled down. I did not realize it was for the 1911.

    My understanding is that the Military Berettas get a lot of custom work before they enter them in competition (I read that somewhere). Glock 34s are often entered as from the factory. I read that Nonaka paints hers purple but that was the only mod she makes. And she is on the factory team so budget is not a factor.

    But they are shooting at man-sized targets. I would think that almost any quality weapon with a 4 or 5 inch barrel should be accurate enough to compete.
    There are many different types of competitions, Military Berettas that get heavily welded/smithed up aren't used in IDPA, USPSA, etc. those are basically a bullseye pistol in M9 clothing, Ernest Langdon kick most peoples asses with a 92Compact.

    And while yes, in IDPA and USPSA we're shooting at "man sized" targets, what we're really shooting for is the Down Zero and A Zone of those targets, not just any hit in the torso etc. In the Bianchi Cup, you're shooting at a 4" circle.

    "Combat Matches" are typically referring to PPC, which is whole other sport where you're shooting for the X-ring of a B27.

    The welded up M9s are for National matches which again, are bullseye matches.

    As for Nonaka's gun, I'm pretty sure it's safe to say that there's more going on with the gun other than Purple paint.

    There's competing and being competitive. Yes, you can compete with almost any 4"-5" barrel, but if you want to be as competitive as possible it may take a little more regardless of match type.

  19. #19
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    Tori Nonaka's "Purple Glock" actually broke at Vegas and she finished with a backup gun. It was not totally stock, the custom trigger had had issues. Even though we shoot at mansize targets sometimes there are 6 to 8 inch plates you must hit at distances out to 40 yards and partially hidden targets with "no shoots" that cost you twice the highest scoring ring in penalties if you hit it. Most of us do lots of bullseye shooting as well as shooting as crazy fast as we can. One stage at last weeks steel shoot had pepper poppers hidden behind a steel plate except for about 2 to 3 inches of them. You had to knock them down. You could tell who had practiced accuracy shooting and who didn't. It was downright bloody!

  20. #20
    hideit's Avatar
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    most respondents discussed the combat shooting sports but your other question
    yea there are a lot of factory production semiautos out there that can do 2" at 25 yds

    you can even get 1" at 25 yds from 45acp if you buy the hi end $2,000+ custom (type) guns

    MOST people don't need a 2" @25yds handgun -
    MOST uses are for HD, & SD and that isn't 25yds (and target range for practice)

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