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Wayne at the American Firearms School likes all four of these guns. So do I. But I like guns in general, compacts in specific and the Ruger SR9c, Smith & Wesson M&P Compact, Glock 26 and Springfield XD Compact in particular. You can watch Wayne fire these bad boys after the jump. At this point, I’ll cut to the chase. Wayne likes the Glock the best, the Smith next, Ruger after that and the Springfield last. For him, it’s all about the triggers. The ex-military man has a thing about triggers. As for me . . .

I like the Ruger SR9c best; it’s the sexiest of a distinctly non-sexy bunch and it feels much more accurate than the others. It isn’t. It’s just smaller in the hand with a much “sharper” trigger pull. The sights’ superiority is no optic illusion; they’re¬†phenomenal. Unfortunately, the SR9c’s slide-mounted safety is a deal killer. So why do I like it best of all? Love. [Click here to read the full review.]

I’m a far better shooter with the Springfield Compact than the other two guns. At the same distance as Wayne’s demo, I put four bullets in the same hole (I swear). But then I’ve fired nearly 10,000 rounds through a full-size Springfield XD-M. It must be said: the chunky but not funky XD Compact is the only gun that can make a Glock look svelte. Still, the XD Compact’s the best gun for me if I want to hit what I’m aiming at, which is kinda the point of the whole exercise, really.

I know: the Glock is even more accurate. And its trigger pull rivals the Ruger’s for control and precision. I love the Glock’s brick-like minimalism, but I can’t get on with the gun’s grip angle; it always feels foreign in my hand. Shooting the 26 is like driving a Ferrari V12: you have to drive it the way IT wants you to. But when you do, my God is it fast, with razor sharp handling.

For me, the Smith M&P doesn’t win in any¬†category. It’s got a squishier trigger than the Springfield, it’s only slightly better looking than the Glock, it’s not as comfy as the other guns and it doesn’t want to punch paper exactly where I aim it. So, no thanks. Unless I really need it. Then yes please.

Needless to say, I’m talking complete crap. All four of these guns are more accurate that I am. As Wayne points out, in this niche, it all comes down to personal preference. Which tells you just how good all four weapons are, and how great is to be an American. Unless you live in Massachusetts, which doesn’t let you buy the XD.

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  1. You can only get the Glock used in MA, which means you pay more for a used example than a NIB in another state.

  2. Five days ago, I accompanied a friend to help him choose between a Glock 26 and a Springfield XD Compact. The M&P wasn't really on his radar (nor mine) and the Ruger SR9 has an asterix in the reliability column, kind of like the asterix in Barry Bonds' MLB statistics. TTAG isn't the only website to report feeding problems. I preferred the XD Compact for my own reasons, and my friend ultimately chose the same gun based on his own preferences, which included magazine and ergonomic commonality with the full-sized XD he already owns and likes.

    I didn't bring a pair of calipers, but I thought that the XD's grip was both more narrow in width and slender in circumference than that of the Glock. I could not wrap my middle and ring fingers as far around the Glock's grip as I could with the XD, and that little extra bit of grip is crucial when you don't have the pinkie-grip magazine extensions pictured above. The XD's bore is higher than the Glock's, but not dramatically higher like, say, a Sig or a 3-digit Smith & Wesson automatic. The slide is slightly thinner than the Glock's as well.

    After the purchase, we took the new XD compact to the range the next day to run it through its paces. It exhibited first-rate reliability, with zero problems in over 400 rounds fired, literally right out of the box and with no break-in period. I guess that *was* the break-in period.

    As RF will testify, the XD Compact is also phenomenally accurate for its size. It was actually more accurate than its stablemate, the full-size Springfield XD, and is in fact one of the most accurate 9mm pistols I have ever shot. Shooting the XD Compact as fast as the range allowed (or slightly faster: I did draw a mild rebuke from the rangemaster) I kept all 12 shots in the center-mass and head zones of a small silhouette target at 7 yards. I was so impressed that I kept the picture on my camera phone, in fact. Muzzle flip was not an issue, at least for me, since the smaller grip allowed my medium-sized hands a very secure grip.

    The XD trigger, to me, feels like a short and heavy double-action revolver trigger. It's a little mushy and it stacks a bit. It's not exceptionally crisp, and it certainly isn't light, but neither is it gritty or uneven. I don't have any recent experience with Glock triggers to compare then to; my shooting buddies all own Generation-1 Glocks that are almost old enough to vote.

    From these four pistols, I would skip the M&P immediately (not based on any data; it just doesn't interest me), and I would also reluctantly avoid the SR9. They're sleek and svelte and sexy as hell, and I've seen how insanely accurate they can be, BUT I don't like the manual safety and I wouldn't trust the gun itself until its reliability issues are fully resolved. This might require a recall, or retrofit, or redesign by Ruger. Between the Glock and the XD, I'd go with the XD based on my shooting experience with it, and because its grip size and shape is a better fit for my hands.

    • Thanks for the REAL review. I want to make one thing perfectly clear. I am not a crook. No wait, that's not it. The feed problems with the Ruger were down to the ammo. Period. The SR9c ate everything I fed it except Remington 115-grain UMC ammo, which emerged from the factory telescoped (too short). I've run a thousand or so round through the SR9c (as I always do for any gun on TTAG). Only the Remington ammo failed to feed. And the other blogger reporting a FTF was using the exact same ammo. I would have no hesitation about carrying the Ruger—except for that damn safety. If Ruger wanted to increase sales, they'd offer the gun with or without a slide-mounted safety. Or with a vial of Locktite. Just sayin' . . . And you're right about the XD compact. Insanely accurate. I've got an extra mag pinkie thingie if you need it. Installs in seconds.

  3. don't forget the XD trigger also has a 'half way' reset point, which takes some getting used to, but shortens trigger pull for subsequent shots after the first

  4. This really surprises me as most M&P owners I know (including me) find them to spectacularly accurate and considerably more ergonomic than anything other than maybe the XDM. My M&P will out perform a Glock mid-size in almost anyone's hands at the local range and has converted more than one Glock/XD owner to an M&P owner. But in all fairness mine does have the Apex DCAEK. But to each his own, maybe this site should be called "Opinions About guns".

  5. Referencing mlk18's post, perhaps ""My Opinions On The Truth About Guns" We could call it MOOT TAG for short…

  6. I have, and carry, a glock or three. So what? Yeah, i agree. XD's, glocks, either way you are well armed. May Oba-Mao trip and fall on stage very soon.

  7. Man this comparison is just what I need, looking to puchase my first gun!! These are all some of my top contenders, thanks for this! Very very useful, most informative indeed ….
    still undecided of course, but a great aid it is.
    Peace out

  8. Wow, not a word about the M&P being the most accurate of the bunch as shown by the video with 2 bull’s eye hits and the tightest group. Hmmm… not a very impartial review in my opinion. And when asked about the most ergonomic, he says it’s the Glock? Pleeeease!!!

  9. Thanks for the imfo IV looked at all these and am leaning for the rugair just love the look hope I get us to the cheesy safety

  10. WEll, ill hae to agree with you on its a matter of “preference” more or less. ive neer been a big fan of any 9mm …ever… yeah they may be more accurate, but…i was a marine once, am now a paramedic. so i see and have seen what a 9mm does compared to other calibers… not gonna bash it, just a preference. and i own the M&p40c, glock 23, and XDm40 all as cc guns. now from a 40 cal review, i had completely different results. my m&p was the most accurate and most comfortable to carry and ergonimically better feeling in the hand, used middle size backstrap. next was suprisingly my glock 23, gen3, and lastly my XDm, just has never felt quite right holding it . i bought my first Xd, the original when they first came out some 10 years ago and in full size 45, and i loved it. it shot very well, could hit 2 liters at 30 yards all day long… but had extraction problems every now and then with cheap ammo. it fed everything no problem. my glock, have had some ftf, but again i will blame ammo for that. for tatical class, after the course, i used my m&p 40c on course to see how it faired, and it did as well, sometimes better, as the guys with 1911’s. so naturally they wanted to shoot it and they all as well loved it. there is a reason that law enforcement nationwide are slowly going to the m&p. dont get me wrong, the xd does fine as far as point and shoot and hit the paper, somewhere, but for me, the m&p is more line of sight accurate. i even hit better with my glock, which i ironically got just to have other options when going to the range, and to prove to everyone i wasnt a glock hater! as far as which i would carry and trust, my first choice would be the m&p, hands down. between the glock and xd, it would be a toss up. i like the fact that the XDm is more “straight”, meaning i dont have to angle my wrist as with a glock to have proper sight alignment. sloser to a 90 degree angle “up and down”, where the glock tends to angle back more. but is one really any better than the other? the “TRUTH” is this… everyone holds it , is built different, has different size finger/hands, looks/sites, and shoots different. a glock in ones hands , a m&p in mine, a XDm in someone elses, switch around and who shoots best? who knows… as a glock owner, prob not the guy with the glock, but… thats just me. i shoot fine and relatively accurately with mine, but i wouldnt trust it to be dead on hole in hole every shot, as i dont with any handgun, including 1911’s . personally, i love the m&p and XD both in .45 over any of the above stated. why 45acp? “because shooting twice is silly!”

  11. I own several Glocks and I am a certified Glock Armorer. I also own a couple of Springfield XD’s and an M&P 40. All three guns shoot very well and I would carry any one without any hesitation. But, without a doubt the M&P had the best ergonomics for me and gave me the best results at the range. If I had to choose one gun out of the three, I would choose the M&P.

  12. I have a few of all of these except the Ruger. Traded off my M&P .45 fullsize and compact, cuz the trigger on the full size felt like 12 lbs, and kinda felt like holding on to a shampoo bottle; the 45 compact only held 8 or so, might as well carry a 1911. Still own one M&P 40 with about 5K rounds thru it, broke the striker hook on it at 3500 rounds or so, Smith sent me a new part. have another full size M&P 40 still new in box, and the compact 40 with about 150 rounds through it. Trigger seems a little better on the compact, often thought about swapping mechanisims… I had a 5″ XD 40, sights were so far off the mark I had to get rid of it. Have a 3.8 XDM in 40, and it has a real nice trigger but it is HEAVY compared to the others. I love my XD 45 with 5″ barrel, if you were going to leave me behind in the woods; that’s the one I’d want. Real shooter, but too dang heavy to carry all the time. Also have the same with 4″ slide, might chop the grip on that one some day down to compact. Glocks rock, and are the lightest to carry, but like everybody else, either you like the grip angle, or you hate it. I bet most glock fanatics are brand specific and never have to adjust between grip angles. The gen 4 gripage is really nice compared to the gen 3, too bad they can’t bend the angle down so you could transition between guns better. I’ve had the most failures with the M&P, but in all fairness it’s because I shoot it the most, and some/most of the failures are because I mostly shoot reloads. High primers, wierd bullet shapes (stick to the truncated cone, not flat point round nose)
    I primarily carry the M&P full size 40, then get fickle and carry the glock 22 gen 4 for a while cuz I put a big XS dot sight on it, and it seems ‘lighter’. Also carry a gen 4 glock 23 on occasion, and quite often a 3″ J frame lightweight S+W357 because it only weighs as much as a used kleenex and conceals better than anything. And it’s accurate. There’s something compelling about the M&P, can’t put my finger on it, but I always find myself going back to it. Never tried the SR40 Ruger, because I saw that the rear slide rails are plastic…just turns me off…yeah, I know the XD is too. I’ve had a few ruger autos, and they all shot 6 o’clock 2 feet high for me, always had to grind the rar sight down to nubs to get them close.

  13. I own both XD .40, XDM 9mm and Ruger SR40c, SR9 and SR9c and I have to to tell ya…the trigger is amazing on the Springfields. Accuracy is very well too. It feels good in the hand. But the Ruger’s trigger takes a while to break in to, once its done it shoots amazing as well or you can get an upgraded smooth it trigger kit from The match-grade barrel on the XDM’s short 3.8″ is equivalent to the SR9’s 4.14″ barrel in my opinion. I shoot both fairly well but I can hit things fairly well with my SR40c too. The biggest cons on the Springfield is the grip safety that can become annoying and the higher price doesn’t make me jump for joy. The con of the Rugers are the feeding issues which can be easily avoided if you know how to rack the slide for the Ruger (use the momentum of the slide – it needs to be “racked”…and not gently) as well as the magazine disconnect safety feature (but this can be removed by the user). Both firearms models are amazing and I would trust either of them with my life. So it comes down to personal preference and if you want to spend the extra money.

  14. If preference is the only deciding factor, buy American!

    Otherwise, I found the XD to feel more brick like than others. I like the added safety feature of the grip safety, but not the price!

    The Glock felt like a Glock to me, but apparently I’m so used to the grip angle that it points better in my hand than the others.

    The Ruger seems to be the least appreciated of all of them, but in appearance, I think it’s a beautiful pistol compared to previous models. I shoot ambidextrously, and have no problem with safeties.

    The M&P is hard not to like, or to find fault with, and it’s nice that there’s an option for a safety or not, but they just don’t feel as good in my hand as the Ruger.

    On the issue of manual safeties, I am often troubled by hearing so many experienced shooters, and sometimes instructors, make derogatory remarks about them. I am of the opinion that those of us who grew up with a gun in our hands, or who have extensive experience and /or training may reasonably decide to forgo a manual safety, but for new shooters, and especially for new concealed carry shooters, I would rather they not get off a shot because of inexperience or lack of training, than to get off an unintended shot because of inexperience or lack of training because the latter may kill someone, and will definitely hurt the credibility of all of us! To me, a manual safety is nothing more than an “on – off” switch, and we should not be giving new shooters who read our comments the impression that we think they are “silly”. If we don’t practice enough to flick a switch in an emergency, then we aren’t practicing enough to carry or shoot safely in an emergency! Just my humble opinion!

    By the way, if you live in an area that has rentals, shoot all of them before deciding.

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