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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&P...it 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!
 


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