Not too long ago I invested in an M&P Compact in 40 caliber. I actually like it and find it to be very manageable compared to the Glock 23 Gen4 I have. There are other things besides recoil characteristics that I like about it, but that is not the focus of this article. What I want to talk about is a recent development that is making me kind of have buyers remorse.
When I got my Glock 23 Gen4, I immediately went in search of some affordable magazines that I could use for training. It is common for many people to regard anything other than OEM Glock magazines as strictly training magazines. However, let us not underestimate the need to have reliable training mags so that we aren't getting too accustomed to our guns giving us problems. Training and practice is the time we are supposed to be developing good habits, not anticipating the next issue.
It has been a hot minute since I have given the Beretta 96A1 any trigger time. I honestly was actually looking at selling the pistol in order to make some dough for something else. However, after handling the pistol a bit, I decided that it was time to put some rounds through it and see if there was any spark between us. The recoil was firm and the hits were right where I wanted them to be. The gun just has this odd characteristic that makes it hard to hate, but somewhat of a challenge to dedicate solely to. Let me use this article to explain what I mean.
Recently I took a huge step out of my comfort zone and took a course on how to use a red dot sight on a pistol. The idea of using an MRDS (Micro Red Dot Sight) on a pistol has seemed more like a trendy move and didn't appeal to me in the least. However, I like to step outside of my comfort zone often and try new things, so I coughed up some cash and took a course on the pistol MRDS using a rental pistol and gear. What an experience! Anyways, in the next few paragraphs, I want to glaze over a few things that I noticed that a red dot can do for you that irons never could.
I was shooting long before I started this blog or my YouTube channel. Prior to even living in Alaska, one of my favorite guns was the S&W M&P line. I say the M&P "LINE" because I owned virtually every caliber except .22 and .380. The reason for my love for the M&P line was that they simply performed perfectly in my hands. I cannot remember having any legitimate issues with the pistols in terms of reliability other than the one time my shield recoil spring popped off its guide rod. Any time I had an issue or had a recoil spring that was a bit weak, S&W was a quick call away willing to send me parts or offering a return label for me to get my gun fixed free of charge. In my simple mind, naturally performing well with the gun and having the manufacturer standing behind you 100% makes the M&P line a no-brainer for me now.
Being a human being, we have to be real with ourselves and understand that we are bound by physical limitations. Of course we can always ask more from ourselves and train our bodies to a higher level of performance. However, we must at least understand that we are flawed from birth. After understanding this, we must establish a reasonable and practical standard for how we will perform with our firearms, as far as accuracy is concerned. Barring you being part of a team/department/unit, you must focus on yourself and your abilities and just keep practicing and asking more of yourself....within reason.
I have not reached my desired round count to make a video update, but at 2000 rounds, enough has happened with this pistol in order to encourage me to give an update. It has not seen many rounds through it by my standards, but I feel that it has had enough trigger time to show or work out any "break in" issues. In the 2000 rounds I have shot so far, here is a breakdown of the round count sources:
- 600 Winchester Train and Defend 180gr FMJ
- 200 Blazer Brass 180gr FMJ
- 500 Remington 180gr JHP
- 100 Winchester 180gr JHP
- 600 Reloads 165gr FMJ
During this time I was also testing and using the 16 round ETS magazines, which played their own part in my testing. I did the best I could to train and practice dry and only use my range time as verification that my skills were solid and I was learning. This means I used a laser trainer alot and snap caps only when simulation of cycling or loading were necessary such as reloads and malfunctions. All my dry practice does wear on the service life of certain components after a time. Every time a spring is compressed and released, you are wearing it down. And every time you have metal on metal friction, you are wearing the surface of each metal face a little.
I know I have earned a little reputation for be a Glock hater or basher. I guess it is somewhat earned, but the reason for my past protests was based on experience. Now it is about time that I get back in the Glock game and record my experiences. Its time that I prove or disprove my own claims and fears on video and here on my blog with a record of this pistols performance.
I will admit that I am one of the worst when it comes to making a concerted effort to practice with just one hand. However, recent injuries from over-training mixed with a strong desire to continue my advancement of skill with a pistol have led me to training with at least one hand. I found it to be quite rewarding. Let me break down how this can do wonders for you in practice and on the range.
I will agree that firearms are indeed tools, and typically it is good to have a variety of tools in your toolbox. However, a firearm is not a $5 wrench that you can just toss in a little chest or bucket in case you need it down the road. Firearms require training, practice, commitment, care, etc. Not to mention that each firearm is hundreds of dollars, not including the amount of rounds needed to not only verify a lack of manufacturer defects but also to gain proficiency with the platform. These "tools" are money pits if you get too far down the rabbit hole on the "WHAT IF" game, which effectively turns them from being tools, into being financial burdens.
Do It Rite
Alaska-Based Youtube Vlogger, Retired Marine, Firearm and Gear Tester.