At lunch today I ran over to the range to shoot my Shield for the second time. The first time I pulled the trigger was about a month ago. I have to say that I am disappointed. So far I have put about 2 boxes of 40 cal through the weapon and each time I have pulled the trigger it has been a less than satisfying experience.
Why? Well it is not the size, I can get my meat hooks around the grip fine, even with the 5 round magazine. The 7 round magazine gives me a bit more control. My problem is not with the ergonomics, the size, the shape, the trigger, or anything else mechanically. What kills me is the 40 caliber round. I cannot not hit the side of a barn with this thing. At first I thought, well maybe its the sights, then my grip, then my trigger pull. I know I anticipate the boom every time when shooting a hand gun, and I hate it. I wish there was a why to break that habit.
So I stood about 10 ft from the target and I was still getting a 8″ spread from where I was aiming and where to hole appeared on the paper. The farther back I stood the worse my shots became. Now my co-worker came along and was standing behind me and observing. After about shooting half a box of dirt kickers, he handed me his Ruger 9 mm and I was punching holes in a pretty solid pattern. Back to the Shield for another magazine, same distance, same stance, same everything. I was all over the place. Mostly down and to the left. Yes I know that’s anticipating and trigger pull. Handed me his Kimber 22, 1911. dropped every round in a 4 in. circle.
Now I am going to back up a couple of weeks in my story. I have a number of cops in my unit. So I was talking to one that carries a Shield. I know this from previous conversations. I mentioned to him I bought the 40 cal. His first words were, get the 9 mm. That 40 cal. jumps all over the place. Fast forward back to today. As I was checking out of the range I talked to the owner about my experience. He said the exact same thing as my cop friend. “that 40 cal. jumps all over the place” “I have had a number of customers say they have a hard time shooting the Shield 40 cal.”
Ok, I get it. The Shield is not for match shooting, or really target practice. It is for concealed carry and self defense. But my reluctance with this handgun is the thought that if I have an assailant beyond 10 ft my shots are all gonna drop, and the farther out I am the bigger dirt clods I am going to kick up. I might as well just throw dirt clods at him/her thinking more about it.
Or I could quit gripping and just let an assailant just close to 10 ft and unload the magazine into him or her.
On the way out of the door from the range, I looked at the Glock 26, the Springfield XDm compact, and the Smith & Wesson M&P9c – Compact Size, Magazine Safety.
Each has their pluses and minuses, most notably the 9 mm models carry more rounds in their magazines. Stay tuned, I may just do a trade here in the next week or so.