Competition shooters shell-out thousands of dollars for tricked-out polymer pistols. Glock has long been the big dog in the field (“Ole Reliable”). Over the last few years, more and more mainstream manufacturers have seen the advantages of (i.e. profit in) modifying their models for customers who are more results than price-driven. Smith & Wesson entered the fray with their M&P Pro Series. Springfield Armory (SA) recently introduced their XDm 5.25” Competition Models in 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP. Springfield graciously provided us with one of their 9mm Competition Models so we could see if a fool and his plain Jane pistol could soon be parted . . .
Nothing pisses me off more than getting a new pistol shipped from the factory with a crappy trigger. To wit, my new S&W M&P45c. I picked this gun up because the Sheriff’s Office I work for mandates we carry a .40 or .45. Unfortunately, when I moved back to Montana, I only had 9’s, 10’s and 357’s. The M&P fits me perfectly and fills a dual niche of duty carry and concealed carry. It sports graceful good looks that make my Glocks envious, all in a nice “man-sized” caliber (as my sergeant would call it.) Despite everything I like about this gun, the stock trigger was gritty, came with an advertised 7 lb. pull weight and had no noticeable reset. Obviously this would never do.
In my continuing effort to come up with a workable home defense strategy, some time back I bought a shotgun. Actually, let me be more specific. Sometime ago, I bought a shotgun to keep a borderline-homicidal, certifiably-crazy, martial-arts expert former roommate of mine from killing me. Curious? Well it was a curious story, and bears directly on my sad personal history with shotguns. To wit…
Back in 1899, Smith & Wesson introduced the .38 Special. The K-frame model 10 offered civilians reliability, simplicity, a kick-ass caliber and a classic design—all at an affordable price. From day one, the competition was fierce. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but many .38 Special knock-offs were “special” in the non-PC ironic sense of the word. In fact, some of these wheelguns were so bad they earned a “use-it-once and throw it in the river” reputation— an activity that had nothing to do with target shooting, The “Saturday Night Special” genre was born. Flash forward today. Progress?