Well, I finally got to escape the confines of fatherhood for a couple hours with a bud that came to town.. So we had a plan together when they came to town to rip on down to the local range while his little girl had romper room with our two while both mommies ogled over their newest little 1-week year old.. So for congratulatory fun, I treated for busting a few rounds..

We shot his Ruger P89, his S&W .357mag 7-shot wheel gun (nice!), and I rented their HS2000 (pre-springfield XD) in 9mm for comparisons between the P89 and the XD.. and for kicks (no pun intended) some wee bit stouter rounds through his "almost-bear gun" as I call it.

1st, I can rip up a box of ammo in no time flat! ... dang time flies when you're having fun.

The "XD" rental (this was an earlier HS import before Springfield put their name on it)... NICE pistol.. In 9mm the grip was as I expected, infact I think my fatter hands may actually prefer the larger .45 XD grips, but... This 20K+ round rental was definitely well broken in so I can say I was impressed with the action... SA trigger was super smooth (to me). The 9mm kick was to me being used to high-powered hunting rifles... nothing.. "pop! pop!" I thought... So I proved this later when I grabbed the wheelgun. Accuracy for me on a 9mm XD.. eh, okay.. I grouped so-so but seemed to pull everything low and to the right compared to the Ruger at 10 yds I blame me, before I blame the gun, because it was at least grouping, but I think it's some terrible uneducated habit I'm totally unaware of.. yet.

The Ruger P89.. Nicely maintained 500 or so rounds pistol... First grouped with my friends slightly hotter than range rounds.. Bit more authoritative recoil. I felt the difference right off.. Grouped equally with those and with the range rounds. I gotta say... Dadgum nice pistol for the money.. I thought the trigger was adequate and the grip actually felt a little better than the XD.. I liked the "heft" of the all-metal gun.. I think all these things combined better for me because my friend's eyes bugged out when he saw a completely new shooter pull roughly 3 inch groups with a token flier here and there at 10 yds with his $300 pistol.. I was unable to pull that off with the XD.

The S&W.. trying to remember but I think it's a 686... It's a .357mag/.38 7 shot with a fairly long barrel... NICE wheel gun.. My friend was knocking groups of 3 inches at 10 yds and 4 inches at 25 yds.. I was nowhere nearly this accurate at 25 yds but at 10 yds I faired ok.. but.... That .357 mag... Talk about getting your jollies!!! ho ho ho.... BOOOOMMM!!! hehe.. the owner of the range was next stall over and I heard him laugh.. "@#$% That's a loud-a@@ gun!".. "Dadgum dirty harry pistol!" I replied. So in all honesty, I can say the .38's felt like plinking .22's, the .357 had a significant kick, but nothing I'd call overwhelming.. I guess sitting behind .338s and .308's and mausers and big-bore black powder rifles as a kid was good experience. These little 1-inch not even bullets don't scare me none. But anyway, I grouped well with the revolver and though I reeeeeally liked the single action trigger, the double action pull was smooth as silk to me, but I can really see the benefit of a single action trigger pull. I also would have to have a fatter grip. 1911's will be on my short list for these reasons.

So results... I reeeally gotta try a P90 because that P89 and I got a long reeeeally well. The owner walked through and said "You can shoot here anytime you wanna".. as he saw me moving trash cans to get the broom to brass hanging out behind the lines.. I'm firm believer in "leaving it cleaner than I found it". Cool! Cut me a deal on a pistol! hehehehe He's also been told to me to be a phenomenal smith, which is good to know as well.

Needless to say, it was a fun afternoon to say the least.... I can tell I need the targets that put rings around the shots for instant feedback.. definite value in that I think.

Next stop... A glock and a 1911 from the rental case and gotta get my hands on a 92 of some flavor (beretta or taurus) if I can... But I want to definitely get the feel for a .45 acp 1911 for a reference point.

Hope you guys had a very Merry Christmas and wish a Happy New Year!