In my first post in this series on obtaining a Texas Concealed Handgun License (CHL), I decided I wanted a 1911 as my carry gun. Then I realized that my brain turns to goo when I have to pick between 1% and 2% milk at the store. Adding a thumb safety to an already stressful situation struck me as an invitation to disaster. Farago also pointed out that I shoot a lot of different guns. If I exclusively carried and practiced with a 1911, it would be a fine carry weapon. But given the amount of different guns I get to cycle through, I could undo a lot of mission critical muscle memory with each draw and trigger squeeze of my non-carry gun. So right now it’s a tie between . . .
The Springfield XD(m) Compact and the Smith & Wesson M&P45c. After putting my meaty paws on a Gen4 Glock the other day, I briefly considered purchasing Gaston’s handiwork. Unfortunately, my fiancée’s not cool with me carrying something that doesn’t have some sort of safety. Say what you will about whips and nether regions; fighting my partner on this is not an option.
I know what you’re thinking: a grip safety’s a safety only if you drop the damn thing. In fact, there’s a school of thought that says a grip safety can prevent you from firing the gun from an “awkward” position. You can buy an M&P with an external safety, but no. I’m not going there. And let’s keep this to ourselves, OK?
XD. M&P. XD. M&P. I’m so confused. RF sings the praises of the XD’s trigger—but says the M&P’s go pedal’s better with an Apex trigger swap. Both guns are reliable and comfortable. Both guns will git ‘er done, especially in my caliber of choice (.45). Which reminds me (now that Springfield has done the right thing): full-size or compact?
Here are videos of me shooting both full-size guns (rentals) at my local range. I fed both pistols 25 rounds of ammo apiece. I did all my shooting at seven yards as fast at the RO would let me shoot. I’ve cut the videos down a bit so you don’t have to watch me reload and look bored.
Let’s start with my 1911. Simulated failures courtesy of snap caps.
The Springfield Smith & Wesson M&P45
Admittedly, I have zero formal training when it comes to pistols or self-defense. But if you were sitting in my shoes and had these videos and targets for reference, which direction would you go?
Does it matter? I assume I’d get better with either gun over thousands of rounds. What else should I be considering in my choice? Customer service? Accessories? Help!