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Range Report – 10/3/2010

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I’m really enjoying these range reports.  It’s fun for me to go back and look at how I was shooting a few weeks ago, and see improvement.

One of the goals of this week was to closely compare my performance with my Springfield Armory XD(m) and my Ruger SR9c.  I was concerned that there was a strong gap in my performance between the two, and that the SR9c might not be my best choice.

I first brought out my (antique?  vintage?) nickel plated Model 19 .357 – I need to take some photos of this beauty.  My Grandfather Walker Hollan gave my mother the gun around 1975 I think – when I was just 5 years old.  The gun was passed on to me when my mother died – I learned how to pistol shoot with the gun.

Here’s my warm up target at 15 ft:

Here’s a target set back to 65 ft. – the back of the course.  I normally don’t do this well with my semi-autos:

That’s DARN good for me at that distance.

Now it was time to compare my performance with the Springfield Armory XD(m) 9mm vs. the Ruger SR9c.  My methodology was hardly scientific – I simply put the target out to the desired distance, loaded up 10 rounds in the magazine, fired the weapon, replaced the targets and repeated the exercise with the other gun.

Here’s a series of head shots with both weapons with the target set to 25ft.:

XDm @ 25 ft. - head shots

SR9c @ 25ft. - Head Shots

Now here’s some chest shots:

XDm @ 25ft. - chest shots

SR9c @ 25ft. - chest shot

I then brought the target in to 15ft. and again fired both weapons:

XD(m) @ 15ft. - Head Shots

SR9c @ 15ft. - Head shots

It wasn’t until I laid out the photos in this article that I could see some very strong, consistent patterns – this really was an extremely valuable exercise for me.

In my personal assessment, I’m not particularly more or less accurate with either gun – a fairly stunning revelation for me as I was under the assumption that I shot my XD(m) MUCH better than my SR9c.  Even more stunning to me is the consistency of the shot patterns with each gun.  With the XD(m), my tendancy is to shoot high, and a bit left of center, but with the SR9c, I tend to show low and right of center!

I’m pleased as punch to see I perform equally well (poorly?) with each weapon, because I truly like them both very much.  One of the instructors at Sim-Trainer (Mark Avery) advised that if I’m going to shoot my XD(m) in the T3 league, that I really should shoot a Springfield Armory product as my carry weapon, like the 3″ XD Sub-Compact.  The advice makes perfect sense – the less your “carry” gun varies in both feel and controls from your “practice” gun, the less likely you’re to make some stupid error at a critical time.  And shooting the XD SC model is indeed much like shooting a smaller version of my XD(m) from many perspectives – in theory.  In practice though, when I shot the XD SC model last week during a private lesson with Mark, I really didn’t care for it.  Nor did I shoot with it as well as my SR9c.  The XD SC is much smaller, so naturally your going to feel more “kick” or muzzle jump than you will with a larger gun.  While the SR9c is a compact gun, it’s a bit larger than the XD sub-compact.  Not to mention the fact that the SR9c has the re-designed spring made specifically to reduce recoil, and an improved trigger.

I’m now very comfortable with using my SR9c as my carry weapon.  In most respects, it doesn’t substantially differ from my XD(m) in how it operates.  When it comes to drawing the weapon and firing it, I don’t see that there’s much “adjustment” necessary.  The most radical operating difference between the two guns is the safety systems.  But as long as I don’t set the thumb safety on the SR9c, in practical terms the two guns are nearly indistinguishable in how they operate.   If (perhaps when) Springfield Armory makes an XD(m) sub-compact model, I will certainly give it strong consideration.  Of course, by that time, Ruger might just have a sub-compact version of the SR9 too.  🙂

About John B. Holbrook, II
John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of ThruMyLens.org, as well as LuxuryTyme.com and TheSeamasterReferencePage.com. *All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.

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