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  1. #1
    jimmy's Avatar
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    Question which pistol to choose?

    Hi all:
    I have just joined in the forum..About a month ago a friend of mine from work took me to a shooting range where he practices every once in a while. I enjoyed the experience and decided to join in. So I am now shopping for my first 9mm..I have been reading for weeks now about different 9mm guns and came up with a list of guns which I divided into 2 gripus: Steel Frames and Polymer frame..The number of guns in each category is about 6 in each group, i.e. 6 in steel frames and 6 in polymer frames..My plan is to rent 2 guns (one from each category) every week until I try them all and decide which one I like..Today was my first experiment. I rented the Beretta 92FS (from the steel frame category) and the Springfirld XD(M) from the Polymer frame category..Here is my story where I need help:

    1. I like the feeling of both guns, I shot 100 rds (50 rds in each gun)
    2. My accuracy in both guns was very high at 10 yrds, 15 yrds, 20 yrds and 30 yrds.
    3. When I started shooting at 50 and 60 yrds, some how my accuracy in the Springfield XD(M) was better than my accuracy in the Beretta 92FS. My Berettashots were more towards the upper right corner..

    Is it the gun is less accurate or is it me..and how come the XD(M) was more accurate than the Beretta 92 FS..I can not judge much, because this is my second time shooting..The first time I used my friend's Sig Sauer P226 and I got high accuracy up to 70 yards as a first time shooter.

    I need your advice, because I am so excited about the experiment I am running with the plan to shoot and try all 12 guns to decide which one to buy, and I want to carry this experiment as objectively as possible.

    So any explanation of why my beretta 92 FS shooting accuracy dropped at 60 yards while it stayed really high in the XD(M).

    Your answers will be much appreciated..Here is a list of the guns I am planning to compare:

    under steel frames:
    1. SIG SAUER - P226
    2. Beretta 92FS
    3. Browning HIgh Power
    4. CZ-75
    5. EAA Witness
    6. Baby Eagle


    under Polymer frames:
    1. Springfield XD(M)
    2. Glock 17
    3. Walther P99
    4. S&W Sigma
    5. EAA Witness Polymer
    6. Baby Eagle Polymer - BE9900L/BE991

  2. #2
    jimmy's Avatar
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    correctio of units

    I am sorry, the range units are in feet and not in yards..My appology.

  3. #3
    harlequineternal is offline Junior Member
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    If it were me making the choice I would go with the 92FS and the glock 17. I may be a little biased on the 92FS because I was issued the M9 while overseas. It's a great gun and extremely easy to break down. I wish all handguns were as easy to tear down and clean! And the glock's track record speaks for itself.

    As far as your range accuracy issues...were you using the push/pull technique? If you are right handed you push out with your right hand and pull with your left. Arms should be slightly bent. See it here http://www.expertvillage.com/video/2...-push-pull.htm

    This may improve your accuracy a bit. And be sure to focus on the front sight blade. The target should be blurry if you place your focus there. And man you are up early!

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    92FS accuracy vs. the XD-M

    I can't imagine why your accuracy suffered at 60' the difference may be the grip shape as it fits your hand in the alloy framed 92FS vs. the polymer framed XD. I carry a 96 in .40 S&W and have enjoyed the inherent accuracy the design produces for several years. I have a 92FS that I shoot quite a bit as the ammo is less costly when I have to purchase it. It also works very well with a suppressor. Still accurate as can be and the Gemtech suppressor allows the LaserMax guide rod laser to work as well. A much better package than my last suppressor. I've never owned an XD. I have had the priveledge to shoot friend's XD's and they shot well enough. For some reason, I am just not a fan of the type. Not a Glock fan either, go figure. Good luck and good shooting!

  5. #5
    truman565 is offline Member
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    Well first off you are doing just what you should be. Trying the guns first hand. I don't know if price matters to you but you didn't mention it so I am assuming it doesn't. I also don't know what you will use it for. Carry or strictly a glove box or home gun?

    For a glove box or home gun I am partial to the Sig P226 and 92FS. Why? I have a Sig P226 and I bought my Dad a 92FS for Christmas last year. I love my Sig as does anyone that shots it. It just feels damn solid and shots well. However mine cost about $750 new and that is a steal considering that it was also the Navy version (coated internals). You can buy factory certified used Sigs though for about $550. The Sig factory tears them down, inspect them, services them, and signs off on them. Basically a new gun. The frame and slide of these guns are rated at 60K plus rounds. If the Sig factory says it is still good then you are good to go. I have about 3000 rounds through mine in only 2 years and I have yet to have a jam or problem of any kind. I got my Dad's 92FS brand new with 3 mags for $440 so that might be another good choice. He loves it.

    For a carry gun I would choose a Glock 26. I just picked one up and love it. Very compact, lots of holster options, it shoots well, and it is a Glock so you know it will work. All Glock 9mm mags work in the G26. That means you can use the 10 round G26 mag to carry and then when you want more rounds at home you can use a 15round or 17 round mag for a G17. They make aftermarket adapters to make the G17 mags fit seamlessly to the G26. If I have to have just one gun that would be it.

    So far the Glock, Sig, and 92FS have functioned perfectly. I personally choose not to own guns that require a "break in" period. To me that seems to be either bad manufacturing or bad engineering. God forbid I need the gun to function flawlessly while defending my life during the "break in" period.

  6. #6
    jimmy's Avatar
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    Thanks All

    Thanks ... i appreciate the time you guys put to reply and the worthy advices..I liked both guns (the XDM and the Beretta 92FS)and I really feel sorry that my shooting in the Beretta 92 FS wasn't accurate..Thanks for the "Push and Pull" trick I got from harlequineternal. It really works..I taped a laser pointer (the one I use for presentations) to my son's toy gun and started practicing against the wall..Man, this trick does work..The laser red dot was wiggling on the wall in my basement (about 15 feet) but when I pushed and pulled with the supporting hand that dot became more stable..Thanks again..Great guys and great advice. Can't wait to go to the range next week to try it on the Beretta 92FS again.

    As for truman565 's advice on the SIG P226..I agree it is a very nice gun..I tried my friend's but he told me that he paid around $800 for it, so that's why I want to give the Beretta a second chance..i will try it again along the XMD with the new technique..and I'll tell you the results.

    Any more tips on techniques..I am new to the hand gun world, and all my experience is in shotguns (even that was over 15 yrs ago).

    I appreciate the honest and worthy advices..Thanks to all.

  7. #7
    brif is offline Junior Member
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    If I had a range that rented guns, I would have saved some money. You're doing it the right way trying out different models. May I suggest you also add a Smith and Wesson m&p to your poly gun list.

  8. #8
    jimmy's Avatar
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    thanks for the tip

    Quote Originally Posted by brif View Post
    If I had a range that rented guns, I would have saved some money. You're doing it the right way trying out different models. May I suggest you also add a Smith and Wesson m&p to your poly gun list.
    thanks "brif"..I will consider the Smith and Wesson m&p .

  9. #9
    jimmy's Avatar
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    Smile preliminary results

    Well my fellow hand gun enthusiasts, after some replies to my initial post to try some techniques like "push and pull" and to pay more attention to the trigger (pull rather than squeeze) etc.. I was excited and I went to the range again today and rented both guns the Beretta 92FS and the Springfield XD(M). Again with these techniques my target shooting enhanced relatively in both guns, however, still the XD(M) had an advantage edge in accuracy over the Beretta 92FS at ranges of 40 ft and up..Now I know I might be pissing off many Beretta fans, but I was so objective about it, even though I like the feel and the look of the Beretta since it looks so professional, however I conluded that the XD(M) is more accurate and fun to shoot (at least for me, my hand grip, and my limited experience).
    So for me:
    the Beretta 92FS gets a thumb down and a frown
    and Springfield XD(M) gets a thumb up

    Next week I will try the Sig P226 from the steel frames and the Glock 17 from the polymer frames..I'll post my results next week.

  10. #10
    JeffWard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmy View Post
    I am sorry, the range units are in feet and not in yards..My appology.

    Umm... I kinda thought so!!! hahaha I really wouldn't worry about 60 yd handgun accuracy.

    Back to your question. BOTH guns are more accurate than they can be held by a beginning shooter out past 15-20 ft. The variance in YOUR accuracy will have more to do with the trigger, and your trigger pull. The variance in mechanical accuracy (man out of the loop) will be minimal compared to "driver error".

    As to choice...

    Choice is very personal. First, scratch the Sigma, and replace it with an M&P... To make the best choice, you have to first decide what you are using it for. The best carry/concealment gun is not going to make the best bullseye/competition gun. Rank your factors by variables, like weight, ammo capacity, thickness, sight designs/preferences, safety design/preference, and trigger action.

    Some will be heavy, and very accurate. Others will be lighter, but less precise. If it's a defensive carry gun, consider two things:

    1) The carry comfort equation. If it's too big, too heavy, or too uncomfortable to carry it every day, everywhere, you won't carry it, and the first rule of a gunfight... is to HAVE a gun.

    2) The self defense rule of threes... The vast majority (90%+) of gunfights follow the rule of threes: 3 shots, inside 3 yards, in less than 3 seconds... Choose a gun you can shoot very fast, with accuracy, and in close quarters. 70ft accuracy with a carry gun, is about as relevant as the carry-comfort of a sniper rifle...

    If it's a range/plinking gun... Adjustable sights? Precise sights? Exceptional accuracy? Reliability and function are less important...

    You see, there is no perfect gun. You have to choose the best gun for YOUR usage. And you will soon find your all-around-one-size-fits-all gun traded for specific multiple guns for each use... So pick one for what you do most, then pick one for what you need later. From expensive experience...

    I shoot an M&P9 PRO Series (5") in competition, and I carry an M&P9C (3"). I also own a Kel-Tec P-3AT for deep pocket carry. Three needs. Three guns.

    Welcome to the forum.

    JeffWard

  11. #11
    jimmy's Avatar
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    Thanks Jeff

    Jeff, thank you so much for a sincere advice..It definitely shows that you are speaking out of experience..I will take your advice and replace the Sigma with M&P for sure..Here are my priorities for now:
    1. Range Accuracy
    2. Range Accuracy
    3. Range Accuracy

    As you can tell I am a novice user, but I like to handle my first purchased gun well at the range..and to shoot it with self satisfaction..Then may be with time and experience, I will disscover other needs and then I will probably purchase another gun if my current gun does not address them.

    Now back to my range accuracy question..What is the max range distance that I should compare these guns (the one I am trying) to compare accuracy, and by accuracy I mean (both the mechanical design of the gun + me in the loop) as a combined performance outcome.. Is it 20 ft 30 ft 40 ft or what? So far I do shoot very well in both guns up to 30 ft for example out of 5 shots I get 2 in the 10; 2 in the 9 and 1 in the 7 circles.

    So how shall I gauge my performance when I am comparing these guns for accuracy:
    1) what range distance to use? and
    2) what target clustering to evaluate.

    So far with my experience, accuracy (and I need your help in how to evaluate it, i.e. range distance and clustering) is the only measurable parameter I can emphasize and put the largest weight coefficient in the comparison process..All other factors as you can see are comparable, barrel length, weight all of these I take them into considerations but the major ones are range handling (or accuracy per say) and the general look and feel of the gun (engineering wise and design cutlines).

    Your input regarding which range distance to use will be appreciated. I'll be looking forward for your reply.

  12. #12
    jimmy's Avatar
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    new list of guns to try

    Based on the recommendation of experienced forum members, here is the updated list to try (2 already tried and 10 to go):

    under steel frames:
    1. SIG SAUER - P226
    2. Beretta 92FS (tried on 02-02 -09 & 02-04-09)
    3. Browning HIgh Power
    4. CZ-75
    5. EAA Witness
    6. Baby Eagle


    under Polymer frames:
    1. Springfield XD(M) (tried on 02-02 -09 & 02-04-09)
    2. Glock 17
    3. Walther P99
    4. Smith & Wesson MP 9mm
    5. EAA Witness Polymer
    6. Baby Eagle Polymer - BE9900L/BE991

  13. #13
    jimmy's Avatar
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    update 02-05-09

    Updated test list on 02-05-09

    under steel frames:
    1. SIG SAUER - P226
    2. Beretta 92FS (tried on 02-02 -09 & 02-04-09)
    3. Browning HIgh Power
    4. CZ-75 (tried on 02-05 -09)
    5. EAA Witness
    6. Baby Eagle


    under Polymer frames:
    1. Springfield XD(M) (tried on 02-02 -09 & 02-04-09)
    2. Glock 17
    3. Walther P99
    4. Smith & Wesson MP 9mm (tried on 02-05 -09)
    5. EAA Witness Polymer
    6. Baby Eagle Polymer - BE9900L/BE991

  14. #14
    hideit's Avatar
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    i would vote
    92fs and
    Glock 17 but the 19 feels better in my hand . i already own a g26 and love it

  15. #15
    Dal1as is offline Junior Member
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    You ought to also try the regular XD. Some people prefer it over the newer XDM. I know I did.

  16. #16
    JeffWard's Avatar
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    If you priority is range accuracy...

    1) Buy a heavier gun (steel). Heavier guns simply by inertia wobble less, and are less effected by user error. The perceived recoil is less, as the gun absorbs more.

    2) Buy a longer gun. Longer barrels, translate into longer sight radius. At pistol distances, a 4" gun is NOT significantly less accurate than a 5" gun, but a 6-7" sight radius is much better than 3-4". The longer the spread between the sights, the greater allignment precision you can have, and the smaller the groups. SOME people seem to shoot more accurately with shorter sight radius guns, because they can better focus on BOTH the front and rear sight at the same time. With practice, most shooters will shoot a long-sight-radius gun better, focusing on the front sight, with a fuzzy rear, and a fuzzy bullseye.

    3) Buy a gun that you can afford ammo for (9mm). The more you shoot, the better you get. Accuracy-nuts most often reload. If you think you may eventually want to compete, look into a gun that is legal for competition and learn on it.

    4) Shoot at shorter distances first. (7-10 yards) When you can tear ragged holes at 7-10 yards (2" groups off-hand), THEN move out to 15 yards, 20 yards, etc. Shooting at 25 yards right off will tell you almost nothing about your progress. Your good groups will be more luck than skill. All the guns you listed will shoot 2" groups at 10 yards... Some will be more accurate at 25.

    5) Evaluate your groups in "4 out of 5"... Shoot 5-round groups for accuracy, focus on trigger squeeze, .25 lbs at a time until the gun goes off as a surprise (surprise break). Measure your groups center to center of the biggest spread of the 4 closest holes (out of 5). Throw out one "flier" as shooter error. The best 4 of 5 will give you your best gauge of how well you shoot the gun.

    Based off your goals... as a range-blaster... for accuracy... I'd buy the Sig P226. Sigs are some of the most accurate guns from the factory there is. They are heavy. They have a long trigger pull, and they have a high bore-axis, which causes more barrel-rise, but for slow, precision work. They're great. They have good sights, great barrels, and with a bit of work, excellent triggers. You just have to get use to them. And it will last longer than you will.

    I chose the M&P platform, because my competition (USPSA) is all about speed. Accuracy comes second. It is 24-30 rounds, on 12-15 targets, in 20-25 seconds (or less). I need a faster, shorter, lighter trigger, and a low bore-axis to control recoil. The gun (S&W M&P PRO Series) costs only $575, but by the time I'm done with it, I'll have about $800 in it in mods. The P226 will cost you $800 or so, stock...

    Enjoy,

    Jeff

  17. #17
    jimmy's Avatar
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    Thanks Jeff for a wonderful advice...I could understand every single suggestion because of the elaborate justification and thorough explanation you provided..

    A quick recap, yesterday I tried the M&P and the CZ 75 BD..I found out that the M&P is slightly better than the XD(M) in terms of grouping..It is a nice gun and fits my hand and it looks nice too..But what surprized me was the result I got with the CZ 75 BD..I had very good accuracy with this gun..I sure felt its weight but that helped in stabilizing my hand, and I was shooting at 15 yrds with high confidence..I really like the gun alot..It is half the price of the SIG P226 so I am anxiousx to compare it side by side with the SIG again this weekend.

    One thing i am convinced of now is that I want a steel frame gun..I will propably consider the poly frame for a compact version later for a carry gun..But my first gun will be a steel frame..I just like the weight of the gun.

    As for reloading, is the advantage in cost or in accuracy (like higher speed thus minimizing error or something)...and if it is cost, how much is the saving, is it worth the effort..I have to do the math if you can help me with some numbers.

    Thanks Jeff

  18. #18
    jimmy's Avatar
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    A decision is to be made HELP..!!

    Today Friday I went to the range and rented the SIG P226, the CZ 75 BD (yes again so I can compare it with the SIG sisde to side) and the range owner advised me to try the Ruger SR9 ... He insisted that I try it eventhough I told him that I already set up my mind for a first purchase on a gun that has a steel frame. But he insisted and I couldn't refuse. Even though I am kind of developing my preferences now in a gun:
    1. it has to be a steel frame (I like the weight and the stabilization effect), remember this is not a gun for carry, it is my first gun for range practice and home protection.
    2. I like to see a hammer in the gun with a decocker option..I really don't feel comfortable around a gun with a hot chamber without a hammer..Even if it has a safety of some sort, but where is that pin located and there is no way for me to tell if there is a faulty pretensioned pin or not..While on the other hand, a hammer is a hammer, and I can see where it is located.


    Now back to our range report...I shot 30 rds in the CZ 75, 30 rds in the Ruger SR9 and 40 rds in the Sig P226. The sequence of shots was 5 rds @5 yrds; 5 rds @7 yrds; 10 rds @ 10 yrds and 10 rds @ 15 yrds.. the Sig has an extra 10 rds that I shot on misc. distances..The results came in as follows:

    • The CZ 75 BD has amazed me for the second time - I feel very comfortable with this gun.. At 5 yrds, I hit all 5 rds in the middle zone of an oval shape(2 in x 3 in) and at 15 yards the grouping was great for about 8 rds in an oval shape of 5in x 7in.

      The Sig P226 was agreat gun..This is the second time I shoot this gun, the first time was 2 weeks ago but I was not gaging neither the gun nor my performance..It was my coworker's gun and that's what opened my eyes to this interesting experience of handguns. My performance with The Sig P226 came as such: at 5 yrds, 4 rds in the middle zone of an oval shape(2 in x 3 in) and at 15 yards the grouping was great for about 8 rds in an oval shape of 5in x 7in.

    • The ruger SR-9 was a nice gun too and performed in a similar fashion up to 10 yrds..At 15 yards The grouping was lousy - not even comparable to the CZ75 or the SIG P226. But for sure, it is a good gun.


    So my friends...I came to the conclusion that the CZ 75 BD and the SIG P226 have exactly equal performances as I use them (may be other people will claim differently) but based on my own usage and my limited experience (4th time shooting a hand gun) I concluded that they are equal in accuracy and I can be satisfied by purchasing either one...I am so satisfied by the performance of these guns to the extend that I will drop my experiment at this stage..I won't be interested in a full size poly frame as of now and my chois for a first gun purchase is hung on between:

    1. A CZ 75 BD, and
    2. A SIG P226

    I love both guns ... And I cannot make a decision. I once went through this when I started upgrading my photography hobby and couldn't decide between a NIKON or a CANNON, and I ended up purchasing the NIKON and after few months I purchased the CANNON too..I still use both and each has its advantages over the other...I am afraid I am going to buy both guns..Am I wasting my money and should buy only one of them and my next purchase should be a smaller 9mm to consider for carry if I decided too..But again, one is $850 and the other is a mere $440...How come they perform the same..Am I missing something here guys..Please help me make up my mind..Any one went through this comparison or have heard something like that..

  19. #19
    jimmy's Avatar
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    End of experiment..

    Hi All:

    I had to cut my experiment short after I decided that my first gun purchase has to be a steel fram WITH a Hammer...Here is the list ordered by top performers:



    FINAL LIST of tested and prioritized guns by performance:

    There is a tie for No. 1 between
    CZ-75 BD (tried 50 rds on 02-05 -09 and 30 rds on 02-06-09) &
    SIG SAUER - P226 (tried 40 rds on 02-06-09)
    2. Smith & Wesson MP 9mm (tried on 02-05 -09)
    3. Springfield XD(M) (tried 50 rds on 02-02 -09 & 25 rds 02-04-09)
    4. Beretta 92FS (tried 50 rds on 02-02 -09 & 25 02-04-09)
    5. Ruger SR9 (tried 30 rds on 02-06-09

  20. #20
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    Hey Jimmy,

    I really enjoyed reading your reviews and the experience you had. Where in MI were you shooting? I used to live in Royal Oak and went to Target Sports on Woodward Ave as often as possible.

    Glad you had good results with the CZ - its an intriguing gun and I may have to try one myself. Although my first purchase was a Beretta 92FS, I certainly didnt go through the testing you did because my objective was personal protection and frankly if I can keep them all on a pie-plate at 10yds I am happy with that. The Beretta "fit" me better.

    One point is about accessorizing or modifying. My Beretta, and I bet the CZ too, is very expensive to mod or accessorize. For me, one of my next purchases will be a Glock 17 or 22 because the cost of "fiddling" with them is much less than my Beretta or most others. For example, its tough to change the sights on my Beretta - no big deal with Glock, Glock match barrels, competition springs, mags, etc are much more available too.

    Good luck and enjoy shooting safe!

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