Last week I got the chance to fire a couple different guns from some of my students. It’s always fun to fire a new gun, and it’s a great idea to fire a gun before you buy it. You can learn a lot from just one magazine, especially if you have been shooting for a while. I’m a descent shot and have big meaty hands with fat, long fingers. I got to shoot an S&W M&P 9mm, a Ruger SR9, S&W Shield, and a Beretta Nano. I only shot a total of one magazine through all four guns, but learned a lot about each gun.
The M&P 9mm feels great in my hand. The trigger reach is a little short for my long fingers, but I’m use to firing guns like that. The M&P has interchangeable back straps to let you change the size of the grip. This one had the smallest size back strap. The weapon feels solid when picked up and during manipulation. What told me this pistol is not for me was firing repeated shots. Going into the trigger wasn’t bad. It was a little long and lacked a feel for where the shot would break. The next shot is what told me this wasn’t a gun for me. When released the trigger has no feel at all. I couldn’t even tell if the trigger was resetting like it should or if the gun was broken. It felt like someone had messed up doing a trigger job on a revolver. I didn’t like it at all. I couldn’t even feel the trigger reset or even if is was all the way back out. Follow up shots where hard to do, slow, and sloppy. With training I’m sure I could overcome it, and these pistols have quite a following. I think it’s one of those things you are either going to love it, or hate it. I do hear there is trigger kits that will make it feel more like a Glock. I really don’t like a stock Glock trigger, but it was way better then this one.
The Ruger SR9 is a gun I’ve wanted to shoot since it was released. I’ve always liked Rugers, and the SR9 seemed like everything I want in a gun. It has a manual safety like a 1911 (I like my on/off switch, just personal preference), a consistent trigger, slim, and light. I also like 17 rounds of 9mm in the magazine and the overall size. I’ve been shooting a Glock 19 and think it is the perfect balance of size for an all-around pistol and the SR9 is about the same barrel and grip length, but thinner then a Glock. I think it’s big enough to be carried as a duty weapon, but small enough to conceal. The trigger reach was a little short, and the grip was a bit narrow feeling, but it pointed very naturally for me. It might have felt weird because I had been shooting a double stack 1911 all day and my Glock 19 before that. The trigger pull wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either. It was workable. Follow-up shots came easy for me and the gun just felt like a workhorse. Nothing sexy or exciting, just something that would get the job done. I really wanted to like this gun more, but it was just okay. It is a huge improvement over the past 9mms Ruger made. I have one, it works great, but is heavy and feels like holding a brick. I’m still thinking about getting one as my next pistol.
I’ll hit the sub-compact pistols tomorrow, they where really interesting to shoot. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the new Shield. People won’t stop talking about it.