Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

Range report: Charlotte edition

Posted by Lissa on February 22, 2010

Greetings all!  As you might guess from the title, I spent Friday flying down to Charlotte.  Well, not ALL of Friday, as that would be a very slow plane flight, or a very interrupted journey, but you know what I mean!  We ate enormous burgers that night and we had dinner Saturday with my old friend S, my college choir conductor and his lovely wife, and it was an absolutely marvelous weekend.

Of course, any weekend that you get to try three new guns is slated to be an awesome weekend!  We went down to the local range and glutted ourselves on $5 rentals.  (All target pics have my target on the left, Mike’s target on the right.)

First up: The Kahr P9 —

The larger sibling of the MA-approved PM9, this petite lil’ gun was surprisingly pleasant to shoot.  Not as buttery smooth as a Sig, mind you, but WAY outclassing snubbies; you felt some kick but the shots went on the paper.  They didn’t go WELL on the paper, but I think that’s just because the sights were screwed up.  They were fine at 15 feet —

— but at 25 feet all my shots missed high and left (you can see those groupings).  I had to disregard the center of the target and instead aim for the center of the lower-right quadrant; once I did, all the shots hit the center:

Verdict: I think this might be the most awesome tiny-gun EVAH.

Next we tried the Smith & Wesson M&P9:

Although the gun can hold 17 rounds, the grips were much narrower, and therefore more comfortable, than I had anticipated.  With less kick than the Kahr (but more than Sigmund), the gun did a fine job punching holes in targets:

The biggest problem I had with the M&P?  The recoils kept bonking me in the face.  Seriously, hot brass off the nose, glasses and forehead can screw your aim if you’re not concentrating!

The third and final gun we played with was the Springfield XD Tactical in .45:

The XD had an ambidextrous mag release, which was weird and fooled me into thinking it had an external safety.  Despite being a .45, the grips weren’t too wide; it was a nice accurate gun:

Mike thinks he won this target; I think I did! What do you think?

The biggest problem?  The force of fire was great enough to knock my left thumb off the gun with every shot.

Final thoughts:

– .45 is fun, but I have a hard time investing in a gun that I’ll never be able to carry.  Also, it goes BLAM!

– I’d almost forgotten how QUIET Lissaville Gun Club is!  It took me a few minutes to acclimate to the noisy-noisy firing at the Charlotte range, but I think I did okay.

– BAD RANGE MANNERS!  BAD!  BAD!!!  There were two young women at the end of the line who:
a) transferred their guns off the firing line to the table behind us to reload them
b) did so with the slides closed
c) were careless with their muzzles as they did so.
Seriously, Mike and I were horrified.  The second time they did it (that we noticed), Mike was at the firing line and I was taking notes.  The woman retreated from the firing line with a closed gun held sort-of-aimed towards my knees and I hastily took an exaggerated step back, my eyes wide.  The woman immediately pointed the gun at the floor and apologized, which mollified me slightly, but the only reason we didn’t inform management was that they left shortly thereafter.  I can’t imagine such behavior at Lissaville Gun Club or Manchester Firing Line; they’d have been tackled!

– I look at my shooting results with strange guns at a noisy range, and I’m proud of myself.  My marksmanship has improved immensely over the last few months (as has Mike’s).  Hooray!!

Happy Monday, all!

3 Responses to “Range report: Charlotte edition”

  1. Mike said

    The only reason I thought I “won” the XD-45 round was that, with all of them, I was all over the place with the first magazine, but then I shot my tighter (and on-target) groups when we switched to longer range (that was true of all 3 guns). If the XD-45 were available in MA, I think I’d want one.

    After this experience, we are probably going to get a PM9 and an M&P compact at some point. The M&P may not be as cool as a Sig P239, but its outward dimensions are similar (a tiny bit smaller in fact), it’s lighter, it holds more bullets (especially in free states), and it costs hundreds less (they can be had new for $510 and then a $3 spring “fixes” the MA trigger). It seems really practical, when one considers the other option is paying more to get a used Glock, HK, Springfield, CZ, or whatever else someone in a regular state could pick from.

  2. Wally said

    Looks like a great way to spend an afternoon.

    BTW, My P239 was retired in favor of the P9. Do not believe I have even fired a round from the 239 in the 5+ years that I have had the P9.

  3. Ian Argent said

    The closest range to me; I wear a ball cap to. There’s something about the configuration of the ports that rains the empties down on me. If I wear a breast-pocket shirt, I have enough empties to fill a magazine in the pocket afterwards.

    Anyplace I’ve been, step away from the firing line with an uncased weapon and the RO comes down on you like a ton of bricks.

    (OTOH, last time I went window shopping the guy behind the counter kept covering me whenever he took something off the wall!)

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