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Friday, February 24, 2017

M&P 9 and Glock 31 (357.Sig.) Runoff

The real reason for this blog post is that while LRDC is primarily a deer camp, and hunting blog, this time of year gets wearisome in it's repetitiveness. I gather roughly 3500 pictures a week on my cameras, and almost all are of deer. They are repetitive and boring after the first 500, so I try to save only the exceptional ones. In the meantime, I fill in with such things as farm issues, and firearm issues, and have done quite a few gun
reviews over the years. As a veteran L.E./SWAT/Instructor guy, I obviously have my favorites. We all do! In any case, if you follow this blog, you know that I dumped the 1911 platform for the striker fired platform after carrying both for long periods of time. In fact, our PD was one of the very first in the N.E. to issue the Glock pistol for duty. I was an instructor and armorer for some 27 years. To me, this pistol was the end all in handheld fighting weapons. Between competition, Academy instruction, and SWAT training, I put some 45000 rounds through my issue Glock 17 before I had a single malfunction  (the slide lock broke, and I replaced it in less than a minute) . What could be better?
About two years ago, I was shooting on the local range (my duty model 31 Glock in 357 Sig) when a fellow asked me what I was shooting for rounds. I explained, and he wanted to try my 357. I said sure, and of course he offered me a full magazine of his gun, a 9 mm S&W M&P9. . I accepted. My life changed. In short, I shot his, immediately bought one, and have never looked back.
I love the Glocks, they are rugged, and utterly reliable. They are safe. They are reasonably priced. They clean up easily, and once you learn their weaknesses, they are nearly flawless. They are reasonably accurate and fully combat accurate. There is nothing wrong with them. If you have and carry one, keep it.
That said, I shot that M&P 9, and bought one that evening. THAT is what a difference in ergonomics meant to me. I was unfamiliar with the M&P line, so totally open to what it had to offer. Now, some 7500 rounds into the M&P, I want to do an objective comparison with the Glock family. I took my duty Glock 31 and my M&P 9 to the range for a shoot off. By that, I mean a subjective comparison.
Both, by the way are two tiers superior to the 1911 platform. (I welcome hate mail!)

Above and below you can see the basic field stripped weapons. Twins. Now, the S&W touts that it is not necessary to pull the trigger to complete disassembly as is required of the Glock. BUT, you must use a tool on the M&P to lower the sear de-activation lever before disassembly - or, you can simply pull the trigger as on a Glock (after double checking the empty chamber, thank you) and the weapons come apart like one another.
Below is a side by side comparison., Glock on right, M&P on the left. They are nearly identical in thinckness. ( Glock 1 1/8th and M&P 1 1/4)
Not much in difference here although the grip angle WILL rise it's head...
Seemingly twins below...Fully loaded these beasts are almost identical in weight...Glock at 2 lbs. 2.6 oz. and M&P at 2 lbs. 4.6 ozs.
Below, we get to shooting these masterpieces. The first target is rapid fire from the Glock at 15 yards. Now, I have to admit I haven't fired this beast for three years, so the addition oomph did toss me a bit left. Perfectly correctable.
 The rapid fire group from the M&P. I admit, I have fired a lot of rounds from this piece.

 Rapid fire group from low ready, head shots at ten yards with the Glock. Very decent group. (Don't worry about the left sided group, that is correctible and easy!
 Rapid fire group form the M&P and you see they are right in there. But then, I shoot this gun often...
 A magazine each from both guns. 10 yards, as fast as I can fire and hold the sights. It is impossible to determine which gun hit where. But does it matter?
 It does. Let me explain. First I have to say that the 9mm and .357 Sig rounds below have radically different recoil postures. Comparatively, the 9mm is easy to shoot. The .357 you hold onto, with meaning, if you want fast follow up shots. For general law enforcement work, I don't believe there is a better round than the .357 SIG. It is superior in every way to the 9, 40, and 45. (I love hate mail)
But. Here is my take. Forget the caliber issue. With modern bullets design and proper placement, both these calibers are generating stellar records in the field. As far as which gun is better, I choose (breaking my own heart) the S&W M&P. Both guns are twins in size. In any comparison they are virtually the same except in one. The grip angle. The Smith sports an 18 degree grip angle, and it makes all the difference. It is so much more instinctive than the Glock, that I was swayed the first 15 rounds I ever fired through it. Secondly, in every training session I have ever been in that required more than 200 rounds, I got a sore on my middle finger mid knuckle from the Glock, and also on the lower part of my trigger finger. (now, I realize that my duty Glock is a 3rd gen so has no grip adjustments)
But this M& is flawless. It hasn't had a single malfunction in some 7800 rounds, (nor, if I can recall, has my Glock 31 in about the same number) and it is as easy to shoot, and as fast back on target as any gun I have ever picked up. For me, a 30 year Glock/Amoroer/SWAT/DyedinthewoolGlockDude to jump ship like this has got to mean something.
I don't own stock in S&W, but I should. Because of this experience, I bought a Shield. Same thing. Shootability I hadn't experienced before. They are Wow!
As I always say, try both, and takes your pick! I took mine!

Friday, February 3, 2017

LRDC Census Station

Each year, starting on December 15th (the end of season), we do a deer census to both count deer, and to see how many were taken . We are most interested in counting the resident deer on this property. Buck count is important, but mostly we want to see how many does and babes made it through, and to monitor their condition through the winter. This is the second mild winter we have had in the recent few years, and the deer have gone into winter fat and sassy on top of that! Now, to census deer, there are several things to keep in mind. You want to draw deer only from your 'square mile' around you. Here is what we do. I back drag and clear of snow about a 500 square foot area with the tractor. Every morning I drop about nine piles of corn ( about a cup or so each) about the area. Set up a camera. They will come. Our station is behind a heavy stand of thirty foot spruce trees so the deer have plenty of cover. This is about 150 yards from LRDC porch, so on my daily visits to camp I often see deer flitting around behind the boughs. Below you see two separate groups having a discussion on who should have first dibs....
 Settling down and enjoying the bounty.
 What is that red light???
 The pictures below show the buck from several posts ago having shed an antler. I'll go look for it soon.

 Below you see a night crowd.
 And a day crowd
 Here is a spike that has been hanging around.

 On alert. I must be approaching LRDC with the pups...

 One antler hanging in there...
 And of course the squirrels and crows chow all day.

 Remember me when I had both sides intact?

 So unbalanced now.
 Daytime feed is the safest and best,.
So, when I say we do a deer census, is how we do it in snow country...
Once season is done, start puting out some corn in small piles...I emphasize small piles. We are not attempting to feed deer, or take them off their natural food, but rather bring them in for a snack, after which they move on to their natural food sources..
Once snow comes, you will begin to see heavily used trails coming into the site. After about three weeks of feeding like this, take some hikes along these trails. This year for instance I have a group coming from all four directions, N,S,E& W . Once we had 8-9 inches of snow, I follow each trail back until I find the beds in softwoods. If the bedding area is within a half mile of the corn, Then they are within my square mile of 'deer per square mile' census. I have done that twice this winter so far, and my estimate is that we are running a population of about 15-19 deer per square mile at Long Ridge. That is slightly higher than F&G estimates, but then so are our average weights for deer taken...
In any case, it is fun, entertaining, and beautiful to watch these creatures trek across fields during the day. And remember, if the snow gets much above 14 inches, cease feeding, and let them bed down for the duration. You'll see the results in the spring!
Comments welcome! 

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