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  1. #1
    helacus is offline Junior Member
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    which would be better to carry?

    im looking to get a gun to carry, and i think ive narrowed my decision down to either the mp9 or the xd9. i would like to have a longer barrel for precision as this will me my only gun and my range gun, but i plan to carry as well, and i dont want it to be uncomfortable. so i think the 5" tactical is out of the question.

    but my question is with the service and the sub-compact, does the service shoot noticably more accurate, and im sort of a big guy, so im concerned with the small grip on the sub-compact. so im really just curious if the full size service is too large to carry comfortably? and even if its not would the sub-compact be better suited for my position?

    also on a side note, im curious what your opinions are on shoulder holsters, as i feel they would be harder to conceal, and take longer to get to your gun.

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  3. #2
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    I believe the shorter the barrel is, theoretically the more accurate it can be as the rifling is stiffer (more turns for a given length). In other words, a 5" barrel might not rifle (spin) the bullet as quickly as a 3.5" barrel. I know this applies to rifles, not sure about handguns...it would depend on the model.

    XD-9 subcompacts are very accurate, especially if you have the sights mounted by a very qualified gunsmith (like those at springerprecision). You can also get match-grade barrels and triggers. The 3" XD-9 is super easy to conceal, is lots of fun to shoot, and has a ton of aftermarket options for different match-grade parts. The subcompact comes with an extended grip 16-round mag, which would be plenty big for your paws. Pearce makes finger extensions for the 10-round mags as well. If it were up to me, I'd go with the XD.

    I'm not big on shoulder rigs, but some prefer them over IWB/OWB holsters.

  4. #3
    OlsenG_360's Avatar
    OlsenG_360 is offline Junior Member
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    if you're serious about going with a shoulder rig, don't limit your search for a handgun. shoulder rigs can accomodate almost anything you can think up. My coworker wears a shoulder holster with a full size xd45 tactical every day. can't even tell it's there 99% of the time.


    longer barrels lend themselves to being more accurate due to the longer sighting plane. it also just makes sense in my mind that the longer the barrel, the more rifling there is to stabilize the bullet for precision shooting. however i don't think anyone has actually clamped down a 3" barrel gun vs a 5" barrel gun and tried to shoot the tightest groups possible without the human error factor.

    my advice, shoot a bunch of guns and get the one that feels the best for you.

  5. #4
    JeffWard's Avatar
    JeffWard is offline Senior Member
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    XD9SC fits fine in big hands with the Pearce Grip Ext.

    I'm 6'4" and 240#. Big hands...



    The M&P is nice w/ the adjustable back-strap..., but they won't let you swap in and out at the range on a rental gun...

    Both are good. Pic the one YOU shoot better.

    JW

  6. #5
    PanaDP's Avatar
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    A longer barrel will pretty consistently give better accuracy for a couple of reasons.

    One is the longer sight radius. When you line up the sights of a handgun there is a little amount of variation possible in how you line them up. With more distance between front and rear sights, that variation accounts for a smaller angular variance.

    Two is that a longer barrel simply gives the bullet more "guidance time" before it exits.

    I wouldn't be surprised if longer barrels give a bit better accuracy because they get a bit better speed out of a given powder charge, as well. More speed=more spin=more gyroscopic stability.

  7. #6
    helacus is offline Junior Member
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    i would like to get the 5 inch tactical, and i would most likely carry with a shoulder rig when circumstances permit, otherwise IWB, as being 100% concealed is a high priority to me. but im concerned with the 5" being to large, however ive read about people who carry full size all the time with no problems.

    also being new to this, im curious how on average how much it would cost to go to the firing range and rent guns, and if they provide ammo or should i supply my own?

  8. #7
    Wyatt's Avatar
    Wyatt is offline Member
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    The ranges in my area typically charge $12-18 for the lane, good for as long as you are there. Rental guns are $8-12 each. Usually with the rental guns they require you fire ammo (usually reloads are the cheapest) purchased from them. For 9mm, while I can get FMJ at Walmart for $9 per 50 rounds, the ranges charge $13-15 for the same number of reloads. In your own guns you can fire your own ammo, the only requirement being it is FMJ.

    If you plan on being a regular, then joining is the way to go. The membership usually pays for itself just in the lane fees if you go once a month or so. Then rental guns are free and they offer member discounts on ammo, targets etc.

    Check the ranges in your area, prices could be way different from where I live. But if you are shooting your own guns it is almost certainly cheaper to bring your own ammo. None of the ranges around my area are close to Walmart's ammo prices.
    Last edited by Wyatt; 02-23-2008 at 09:48 AM.

  9. #8
    helacus is offline Junior Member
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    commonly is there a wide variety of guns available to rent? or just bare bones?

  10. #9
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by fivehourfrenzy View Post
    I believe the shorter the barrel is, theoretically the more accurate it can be as the rifling is stiffer (more turns for a given length). In other words, a 5" barrel might not rifle (spin) the bullet as quickly as a 3.5" barrel. I know this applies to rifles, not sure about handguns...it would depend on the model.
    You've misunderstood. Shorter rifle barrels are often more accurate because they are stiffer and don't whip and flex as much under recoil. There isn't "stiff" rifling and "flaccid" rifling.

    Rifling twist ratios are generally the same for a given pistol design, regardless of whether it's a subcompact or a full-sized gun. This is also generally true of rifles. The 14.5" M4 carbine has the same rifling twist (1:7) as the 20" M16A2.

    In pistols and iron-sighted rifles, a longer sight radius normally increases practical accuracy - that is, the ability of the shooter to use the gun's mechanical accuracy.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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    All opinions, particularly those involving politics and Glocks, are mine and not Galco's.

  11. #10
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    themayer78 is offline Member
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    Helacus,

    Before the recent purchase of my very first pistol my decision was influenced by ALMOST the same set of requirements/factors with exception to: I have not yet considered a shoulder holster; and I would consider nothing other than a .45 for my first gun.

    I chose the 4" XD45 Compact. Let me just say.. I have quite a bit of experience shooting guns owned by friends and family of various make and caliber so I'm not new to shooting, just owning. I bought my XD yesterday and this morning shot 160 rounds (all Win FMJ) at an indoor range. (I'm trying not to get too worked up as I type this) I... Love.. this.. gun. I am so glad I went with an XD and the 4" .45C in particular, the SC is WAY too small for me. If I were a competitive shooter I'm sure I could come up with something but I'm not so I will say it, after day 1 I have zero complaints and zero regret. I have biggish hands, the shorter grip isn't too small for me to shoot comfortably and if I want to stretch out a bit I have the option of using the 13rnd mag w/grip extension.

    The best I did today was a 3 shot group within about 3.5 inches from 7-8 yards.


    Good luck with your decision I know it's not an easy one.

    Ben

  12. #11
    dovehunter is offline Member
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    I don't think it really matters what you carry, as long as you are proficient with the weapon. Statistics says that most encounters are between 5 to 10 feet. With that distance it does not matter if you carry a 38 snubby or a full size 1911, what matters is if you can hit your intended target.

    In regards to concealing your weapon, of course the smaller it is the easier to conceal. Unless you are using a bag to conceal your weapon, the other choice is use a holster or tuck it in your waist, which you will still need a shirt, or a jacket to go over it. I've seen people with a bulge on their belt line and it's not a gun, but their cell phone or pda.

    Lastly, I'm 5'5" 155lbs and I carry a springfield 1911 with 14 shot capacity. I use a fobrus hoster and do not have a problem concealing it even during the summer months in Texas. Your gun will dictate how you will dress yourself in public.

    Last but not least, practice, practice, practice. Learn how to draw, point and fire, because you will not have enough time to aim.

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    You've misunderstood. Shorter rifle barrels are often more accurate because they are stiffer and don't whip and flex as much under recoil. There isn't "stiff" rifling and "flaccid" rifling.

    Rifling twist ratios are generally the same for a given pistol design, regardless of whether it's a subcompact or a full-sized gun. This is also generally true of rifles. The 14.5" M4 carbine has the same rifling twist (1:7) as the 20" M16A2.

    In pistols and iron-sighted rifles, a longer sight radius normally increases practical accuracy - that is, the ability of the shooter to use the gun's mechanical accuracy.
    Ah, gotcha.

  14. #13
    Willy D's Avatar
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    I was told by the guy at the shop I go to that "match grade" barrels (like the XDM) give less degree of twist on the bullet...This allows the bullet to exit the barrel quicker and reduce the blowback of the gasses in a typical regular barrel.....is this true or not true? If it is true that means that the bullet spins more in a standard barrel than match grade...I see the point of the bullet getting out quicker and less blowback of the gasses, but would less spin mean less accuracy over a distance (maybe 25 or more yards)....Before I asked him, I assumed the machining on the barrel was just a higher grade...

    Willy

  15. #14
    zhurdan's Avatar
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    Willy,
    I'd say take two steps back from that steaming pile of poo advice you got there. the pressure is going to escape at exactly the same speed. The tolerances between rifling of one barrel to the next aren't going to cause the gun to speed up or slow down the round. It's a volume issue. The barrel still has the same volume regardless of how fast the bullet gets outta the barrel. Not even getting into the fact that the only gas operated pistols I can think of are the HKP7 and the Desert Eagle, the transfer of mass is initiated at ignition, not because of how fast the gas escapes. There's a misconception that the recoil process starts before the bullet leaves the barrel. This is just simply not true. The bullet is long gone before whatever locking system in use on that particular gun 'unlocks'. Sure the forces are already at work, but the recoil process is just a fraction of a second after the bullet leaves the barrel.

    Sorry rambled a bit, but the only way to reduce 'blowback' is to do it thru different operating systems, like gas operation, or porting or a heavier front end. Being that the XD does not have a gas operated system, you aren't going to mitigate recoil any other way than by adding a heavier barrel, or a weight of some sort to the front end of the pistol, or porting it. (Not sure the XD's come in a ported version)

    **Edit** http://youtube.com/watch?v=XXZUMGRxPM4
    A Video of slo mo recoil. If you take a look at right around 2:30, you can see that the process has started, but the barrel doesn't unlock until after the bullet has left the barrel. If it unlocked before it was on it's way, it would effect accuracy too much.

    Zhur

  16. #15
    submoa is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    Shorter rifle barrels are often more accurate because they are stiffer and don't whip and flex as much under recoil..
    Yes and no.

    Yes only when the contour or weight is the same between the barrels being compared.

    However, longer barrels have greater muzzle velocity and are more accurate at distance when built with the contour thickened for the length.

    Heavy barrels take longer to heat-up, thus maintaining good accuracy for more shots. They are also usually more consistent in the way they vibrate as a bullet passes down their length, which is very important for good accuracy. They resist outside bending forces, like changes in forearm pressure or pressure from a sling pulling the forearm against one side of the barrel, better than light barrels. They are less sensitive to how they are bedded in the stock. Their weight (within reason) makes it easier to hold the rifle steady. For all of these reasons, heavy barrels are generally more accurate than lighter barrels.

    From a practical standpoint, running around all day with a long heavy rifle is both tiring and cumbersome.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    Rifling twist ratios are generally the same for a given pistol design, regardless of whether it's a subcompact or a full-sized gun. This is also generally true of rifles.
    Rifling twist rates optimize based on bullet weight and propellant load not barrel length.

    Ideally you want to use the slowest twist rate possible that will stabilize the bullet you choose to shoot. It takes less twist to stabilize a given bullet at high velocity than at low velocity. At the same velocity in the same caliber, longer (pointed) bullets require faster twist rates than shorter (round nose) bullets of the same weight, and heavier bullets require faster twist rates than lighter bullets of the same shape. It is undesirable to spin a bullet a great deal faster than necessary, as this can degrade accuracy and reduce velocity. A fast twist increases pressure, and also the strain on the bullet jacket.

    Quote Originally Posted by helacus View Post
    but my question is with the service and the sub-compact, does the service shoot noticably more accurate, and im sort of a big guy, so im concerned with the small grip on the sub-compact. so im really just curious if the full size service is too large to carry comfortably? and even if its not would the sub-compact be better suited for my position?
    Select the gun you shoot best. Select the gun you can conceal better. Select the gun that is most comfortable to carry. Prioritize. All handguns are compromises.

    Quote Originally Posted by helacus View Post
    also on a side note, im curious what your opinions are on shoulder holsters, as i feel they would be harder to conceal, and take longer to get to your gun.
    The act of drawing from shoulder holster causes the muzzle to shadow your offside arm, violating Rule II: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.

    However, CCW is always a compromise and sometimes only a shoulder holster will do. Examples include: ease of draw when in a vehicle (car, motorcycle, plane, helo), backup for sidearm when wearing a vest and boots, or added retention during ascents.

  17. #16
    Willy D's Avatar
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    So what is a "matched grade" barrel all about??

  18. #17
    zhurdan's Avatar
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    Match grade, as I understand it, has more to do with lock up than barrel. For instance, they are usually bushingless, larger locking lugs (different timing) and usually heavier. It may have something to do with the steel they use, but I don't think so.

    zhur

  19. #18
    submoa is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willy D View Post
    So what is a "matched grade" barrel all about??
    Match grade barrels have end to end bore uniformity of less than 0.0002” and exceptional internal finish. Given the short length of handgun barrels, this is much easier to deliver than on a rifle.

    Another definition is that a match grade weapon is capable of less than a minute of arc accuracy (sub-MOA) when fired from a test bench.

    From a practical sense, most handguns are more accurate than the shooter. Do not confuse a handgun with a sniper rifle.

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