Beretta PX4 Storm .40 Smith & Wesson Full Size

Just got back from the range where¬† I shot my Glock 19 and compared the factory barrel to the Storm Lake match grade barrel I had purchased. Why did I buy an aftermarket barrel for my pistol? I can’t give you a rational answer. It was shiny (stainless), supposed to be more accurate and I had $150 I didn’t know what to do with.

The Storm Lake barrel is a noticeably tighter fit in the slide, but looking at the targets I shot, I can’t really tell much of a difference. Maybe the Storm Lake groupings were a little tighter, maybe it was just coincidence. If you like to shoot but are on a tight budget, spend your money on ammo. Not a bad word about Storm Lake, but for the average weekend warrior it’s not gonna kill zombies any deader.

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After I had used all my ammo I returned to the front counter for a look at the rentals, and spotted a Beretta PX4 Storm full size in .40 S&W. I had previously owned a PX4 compact in 9mm that I got rid of due to idiocy (mine) and bad advice (others), so I was curious to try it out now that I have a bit more mileage as a shooter. I bought a box of Federal American Eagle .40 S&W and returned to my lane gun in hand.

It’s a pretty big piece of hardware, but not excessively heavy; I would guess about 30 oz. I had never shot .40 before and was prepared for some snappiness, but it wasn’t bad at all. The gun was a dream to shoot, in my hands much more accurate than the Glock 19 or my Springfield Armory XDM 3.8 Compact 9mm. I mean seriously. I made ragged holes in the center of the target just like I see YouTube professionals do. The only thing I didn’t like was the safety/decocker tabs (amidextrous) that made racking the slide a bit awkward. It also adds some considerable width to the slide, but this gun wasn’t designed for concealed carry anyway. The trigger was OK, but not super tight and crisp like the custom PRP trigger for my XDM, but adequate enough not to need any kind of tinkering (why don’t all guns have really nice triggers out of the box?). We’ll see what Santa brings me this year. Anyway, it’s on my list of must-have guns.

Dude, I got a Glock!

I mentioned in this post some time back that I might consider getting a Glock. Well, I did. I am no the (proud?) owned of an ever so slightly used gen. 3 Glock 19. I traded in the Ruger LC9 for the Glock that was so sparingly used/well taken care of that the gun shop (Shooters in New Milford, CT) could have told me it was new and I would have believed them.

After having put a few hundred rounds through it my impression so far is (and I’m comparing it to my Springfield XDM Compact 9mm) that it is a crudely made gun (and I say that in the best possible meaning). The XDM feels like a much more finely engineered and tuned pistol. While you’re holding it in your hand and just checking it out. But from the very first shot I fired with it, I was much more accurate than with the XDM. For all its “crudeness” – the Glock trigger has a “rough” feel to it, but it also breaks cleaner and more predictable than the XDM – I am just better able to place the shots where I’m aiming than with the XDM.

I think the main problem with the XDM is the trigger. While it is very smooth, it also has very long pre-travel, an unpredictable break, and a fairly long reset. I ordered and installed (I’m a gunsmith now!) a trigger kit from Powder River Precision in Oregon that greatly improved the feel of the trigger, and also, my groupings at the range, but still not as good as the Glock.

So at this point my heart is with the XDM – I really like the feel of the gun – but my head is with the Glock; I simply shoot it better. I still have some ideas on how I might improve the XDM, though, and haven’t given up all hope. I’ll keep y’all informed.

Range Report

I took a trip to my friendly neighborhood shooting range today, Bridgeport Shooting Range, to put some holes in paper. I brought along my trusty SA XDm 9mm Compact and the newly acquired, not-so-trusty, Ruger LC9. While I was there I decided to rent a Glock just to see what all the hoopla was about. Personally I think Glocks are ugly, so I never considered them, but they’re everywhere and many shooters seem to have an unnatural loving relationship with this particular brand of firearm.

They're ugly as fudge, but after having shot one I may very well join the crowd of fanboys. Sweet!

They’re ugly as fudge, but after having shot one I may very well join the crowd of fanboys. Sweet!

The one I rented was a Glock 19, a mid-sized 9mm, so the comparison to my Springfield would be as fair as possible. First of all, let me say that the gun was filthy (note to BSR, maybe clean the rentals more often?), it didn’t lock back on the last shot, and while chambering the first round it jammed consistently throughout a box of 50 reloads bought at the range for $22 (the policy is you have to buy the ammo there if you rent; I know, they have to make their money one way or the other, but 22 bucks for 50 reloads?!?).

All this aside, the gun was sweeet to shoot. I liked it a lot! I shot it much better than my XDm, not to mention the Ruger, which I can’t seem to get a grip on at all; I’m lucky to hit the paper at all with that one, so I cleaned it out good once I got home and will leave in the box until it gets time for a trade-in. And guess what? Chances are it’ll be a Glock. But don’t tell my wife.

Virgin Gun Post

Just to get the Guns, Ammo & Shooting category going. In my old age I went and got myself a gun permit. After some back and forth and quite a few dollars down the drain (due to my own ignorance), I’ve ended up with a Springfield XDM Compact 9mm as my “main” gun. I have several at this point, but I’ve noticed that gun guys like to refer to their favorite gun as their “main gun”, my “EDC gun” (everyday carry gun), “my CCW (concealed carry weapon) and other such macho terms.

Personally I don’t carry anything but myself, and with dignity to boot, even though my CT permit entitles me to both concealed and open carry. At this point I’m quite happy to leave my gun at home unless I’m on my way to the range.

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Springfield Armory semi-automatic pistol XDM Compact 9mm.

 

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Springfield Armory semi-automatic pistol XDM Compact 9mm with extended magazine.

The photos shown are stock photos stolen from Springfield Armory’s website. The short magazine holds 13 rounds, and the extended 19. I’ve added a pinky extension to my short mag to improve the grip, but honestly I don’t notice much of a difference. It looks cool, though. I’ve become quite proficient at making holes in paper at 15′ distance. So if you’re a piece of paper up to no good, stay away from my house, or else…

I’m NOT a member of the NRA, by the way. Through a convoluted¬† process I’ve come to support the 2nd amendment to our constitution (in my interpretation, mind you), but I’m not a single-issue voter. The NRA (National Rifle Association of America), although they claim to be a single-issue organization, is far from it, and has a long list of political agendas that I’m not prepared to fund. I guess you could call me armed and liberal.

The Springfield XD and XDM series of semi-automatic pistols are made in Croatia, by the way. God bless America!