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  1. #1
    Certified Regular Guy esrice's Avatar

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    A Farewell to Arms (Why I jumped off the Glock bandwagon)

    Most INGOers know me as a dyed-in-the-wool Glock Fanboi. I have been since I bought my first Glock 19 back in 2005. I first chose it due to its higher capacity, concealability, reliability, and availability of parts and aftermarket support. These characteristics were later confirmed when I was able to successfully run it hard through many training classes and practice sessions. Finding an available holster for it was easy. I enjoyed being able to share magazines and other components with lovemywoods and other folks I would shoot with often.

    My brand new baby!


    However, there was one thing I didn't care for on my 3rd gen Glock 19-- the finger grooves. Looking for a way to make the grip more Gen2-ish, I had my pal Cory Nash (phylodog) of Nash Gunwerx shave them off. I figured that since he'd already be doing that, I might as well also have him stipple the frame and coat the slide. What I got back was a very nice custom finished pistol.

    Nash Gunwerx'd Glock 19


    Another item I didn't care for was the factory plastic sights. I first tried TruGlo TFO 3-dot sights. They were quite bright both at night and during the day. Later I was bitten by the XS Big Dot sights bug so I had those installed. They were great for shooting on the move and hitting humanoid targets up close, but I was never really comfortable with them at distances much beyond 10 yards.

    This discomfort led me to start looking into other sighting systems. But as I started contemplating putting another $100 or so into my Glock, something in the wind caught my attention.

    Introduced in 2005 (right around the time I was buying my Glock. . .) the Smith & Wesson M&P9 was aimed squarely at Glock's market share. When I first heard of it I quickly dismissed it as a repackaged Sigma. No thanks.

    One couldn't ignore, however, its many similarities to the Glock wonder polymers. But I was still skeptical, and said it would take years of service before I'd even consider something other than a Glock. Glock's reputation for reliability had been built over many many years, and I would need to see some serious reports of reliability and durability from the M&P camp first.

    One of the first drawbacks to the M&P line that was discovered was its often-reported mushy/gritty trigger. I liked my crisp factory Glock trigger with its short and audible reset. But then along came Apex and their line of trigger components, giving the M&P line a reprieve in my book. So no more trigger issue.

    Then slowly I started seeing more and more police departments and professional defensive shooting trainers making the jump to the M&P. What perceived benefits were they seeing? Before you know it, even some of my hardcore Glock buddies were showing up with M&Ps. These weren't fad-jumpers, but guys whose opinions on gear selection I respected. If they were motivated enough to make the switch, could I also benefit from a change? After 6 years of being in the defensive pistol market their reputation for reliability has been stellar. Looks like no more reliability issue.

    Crap.

    Never one to make a decision lightly, I set out to find if switching to the M&P line of handguns would enhance my personal effectiveness as a shooter.

    I contacted my buddy OneBadV8 and asked if I could borrow his spare full-size M&P9 for a couple weeks. This had the added benefit of already having Apex trigger components and Trijicon HD sights. An hour later and I had his M&P9 sitting in front of me, with my Glock 19 watching suspiciously from the other room. I decided that, in my typical fashion, I would need to break things down and take a practical approach to this decision.

    There can be only one!




    Initial Impressions

    The first thing that struck me about the M&P9 was the grip. It was smooth yet grippy, and contoured to fit my hand very comfortably. I tried all 3 backstraps and found the smallest one to fit me the best (I have short sausage fingers). I appreciated the design of the backstraps, and liked that they could be changed quickly without any special tools. I had been a bit leery of removeable backstraps in the past, thinking that they could render the gun inoperable or difficult to shoot in the event that one broke or became torn off the gun. I was glad to see that their installation looked fairly solid, and that shooting the gun without any backstrap at all would still work just fine.

    I also preferred the slightly contoured slide, with a nice taper at the front. Racking the slide was smooth and had a nice sound. It certainly sounded less "harsh" than my Glock's action.

    One area where I feel the M&P clearly stands out is its use of non-shrouded metal magazines. Locking in and falling free from the M&P was a breeze, whereas my polymer wrapped Glock magazines would often take some coaxing (even the so-called "drop-free" mags). The magazines had a lesser outside diameter, as evidenced by them rattling quite loosely in a kydex magazine pouch where my Glock mags fit quite snug. I believe this is part of the reason why the M&P grip feels much less chunky when compared to that of the Glock. Sitting in my living room doing tactical reloads over and over again, the M&P again provided a more positive interaction and I felt more confident that my magazines were seating properly. Doing the same with my Glock mags, locking was more mushy and vague.

    Dry firing helped to prep me for what to expect on the range. It was definitely different. The pull weight seemed lighter than my Glock, and much smoother. Trigger reset was noticeable and tactile, but not nearly as positive or "clicky" as with my Glock.

    Time on the Range

    I had the opportunity to test this M&P over 2 different range sessions. The first time was simply to familiarize myself with the M&P line. The second time was to compare the two platforms side-by-side.

    For the fam-fire portion I quickly set up a target stand in the side yard at lovemywoods' property. I then shot about 100 rounds, focusing on different aspects during each string of fire.

    The setup.




    I focused on things like grip feel, recoil management, sight alignment and tracking, overall function, trigger feel, manipulation, and accuracy.

    Analyzing my grip.




    The slimmer grip felt great. I was able control and manage the recoil with ease. The sights were on and the big orange HD front sight was easy to track. There were no malfunctions during the testing. The lighter/smoother trigger allowed for an undisturbed sight picture, although I did "short stroke" it once by not allowing it to reset-- gotta get used to that. Basic manipulations were the same as with my Glock. For me the most impressive quality discovered was accuracy. While I recognize that accuracy is a function of both the shooter and the gun, I was able to make accurate hits that inspired more confidence than I had previously with my Glock. For a variety of factors, I was able to shoot the M&P better.

    An entire magazine on a 1-inch dot.


    The second day on the range was spend comparing and contrasting the two guns side-by-side. I wanted to get a first-hand look at why I was shooting the M&P better.

    I started by shooting a few drills into a stationary target at about 5 yards. I would shoot one drill with one gun, and then shoot it again immediately with the other. While I was comparing them in real-time in my head, lovemywoods was busy snapping pictures. These would later become instrumental in my diagnosing why one worked better than the other.

    Taking it slow and focusing on the fundamentals.


    I put each set of pictures into a .gif loop so I could compare each one in detail. I studied every line, every angle, everywhere my body interfaced with the gun.

    Here is what I saw:













    Now the differences might not be immediately evident to you as the reader, but they were to me as the shooter. I believe most of the benefit comes from a better hand-to-grip fit. Not only does my hand more completely wrap around the grip, but the angle at which is does so is more comfortable. Closing and reopening my eyes while sighting in, I found the M&P had a much more natural point-of-aim. Bringing my support hand up more completely fills the void left by my primary hand. This allows me a much improved purchase on the grip. Even though you might notice that my hand doesn't get quite as high to the boreline as it does with my Glock, recoil seemed much more controllable. I found myself almost never adjusting my grip during strings of fire-- something I often did with my Glock.

    To top off my testing, I used the M&P9 in my recent Range Report on engaging a vehicle at 50 yards ( http://ingunowners.com/forums/carry_...pics_vids.html ). The pistol performed very well and I was able to attain better-than-average accuracy at distance. I would not have the confidence to perform to that level with my Glock. If the M&P allows me to push beyond my current comfort zone, then the decision whether to switch or not is obvious.

    Now, does this mean that the M&P is a superior pistol to the Glock? Does this mean that M&Ps are more accurate than Glocks? Does this mean every Glock shooter will shoot better with an M&P?

    No way!!

    What it means is that for me, for my body type, for my shooting style, I can more effectively engage a target with a full-size M&P9 than I can with my current Glock 19. Your mileage may vary.

    Because I now feel that the M&P line is equal to Glock in terms of trigger and reliability, because I've now found that I can shoot an M&P better than I can a Glock, and because my budget is such that I can only financially justify having a single defensive firearm at a time, I will soon be selling my beloved Glock 19 and purchasing an M&P9.

    In respect for this occasion, I have decided to let Gaston Glock know about my departure personally and publicly. I will conclude this report with my "Dear Gaston Letter".
    Dearest Gaston,

    I know this isn't the way its supposed to be done-- writing in the open INGO forum. But, its the only way I have left. Sitting here looking at my Glock 19 on the bench, my mind goes blank, my muscle-memory jumbles, and I am left with nothing for you but shame and disloyalty.


    Shooting with you has been wonderful. At times. Using the M19 has taught me so much. And there is so much I am grateful for, so many rounds that I will cherish well into my training years. Every scratch, burn, and stipple-induced rash reminds me of the closeness we once shared.


    But the time has come to say good-bye.


    We were simply not meant to be, my love.


    You have your ways, I have mine, and nothing in the middle seems to make sense. You with your blocky exterior and double-stacked grip, and me with my short sausage fingers.


    I love you still. I will recommend you to others on the internet still. But the guilt that lies beneath the happiness that you and I once shared, has become more than I can endure. More than anyone should have to. For me, and for you. We are too good to settle for something that we will never be. Something that we dreamed of, all those range trips ago.


    My hands have become wrapped in the ergonomics of another. An American. One whose capacity for my love is greater by two. One who will change to fit my needs, and whose magazines eject gracefully and lock back with confidence-inspiring positivity. I wasn't sure at first. But continued reports of reliability shook my loyalty to its very core. Could there be something better?


    I wish for you, all the things you dream of. All the things you need. From single-stack 9millimeters to advanced carbines.


    I wish for you, a website that will endure.


    Good-bye my love.


    esrice

    Glock Fanboi 2005-2011
    Last edited by esrice; 11-15-2011 at 18:55.

  2. #2
    Diamond Collision Inc. Avon. AllenM's Avatar

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    You need help

    Nice write up though and yes I like the M&P better also
    07 FFL / SOT 2

    "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." ~Winston Churchill

  3. #3
    Grandmaster jblomenberg16's Avatar

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    Say it ain't so!









    Seriously, good write up (as always) with good information about the decision. Glock 19 fanboy since '09 myself due in large part that the Glock met a lot of the requirements for me that you liked better about the M&P. I think that goes to show that different guns fit different shooters, well, differently. Having th right feel makes a big difference in confidence, and in turn with effectiveness.
    Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD. Psalm 33:12

    Do kids still play Cops and Robbers, or are they just taught both are equally bad and given a participation ribbon after a rousing game of scoreless Everyone's a Winner Ball? - BehindBlueI's
    Well, gee whiz, if the Government released a nest of ants, roaches and bedbugs into everybody's house, they shouldn't be surprised if people run out to buy bug spray! - Comment on White House concerns over increased gun sales

  4. #4
    Grandmaster shibumiseeker's Avatar

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    I shot my GF's M&P .40C and it just did not fit my hand as well as the Glocks. A full size Glock 20 and 21 both fit me very well and it's a natural fit.

    And of course, they don't make the M&P in 10mm

    Glad you've found something that fits you better, that's what's important afterall.
    IWTFM Eternal vigilance is the price of chickens. JFC advocate.

  5. #5
    Certified Regular Guy esrice's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by jblomenberg16 View Post
    Say it ain't so!
    I'm just glad INGO didn't implode.

  6. #6
    Plinker

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    Great write up....but Im not giving up my glock.

  7. #7
    Certified Regular Guy esrice's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by 812homes4u View Post
    Great write up....but Im not giving up my glock.
    And I wouldn't dare ask you to. Damn good firearms.

  8. #8
    Grandmaster jblomenberg16's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by esrice View Post
    I'm just glad INGO didn't implode.

    Yet....if you would have changed from 9mm to .45 at the same time, then it would have definitley had the effect of dividing by 0, and INGO would have surely imploded.
    Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD. Psalm 33:12

    Do kids still play Cops and Robbers, or are they just taught both are equally bad and given a participation ribbon after a rousing game of scoreless Everyone's a Winner Ball? - BehindBlueI's
    Well, gee whiz, if the Government released a nest of ants, roaches and bedbugs into everybody's house, they shouldn't be surprised if people run out to buy bug spray! - Comment on White House concerns over increased gun sales

  9. #9
    Shooter

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    This is full of win!

  10. #10
    Master cornfused's Avatar

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    I love my new M&P also, but I'm not giving up my G19...


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