Well, the board is either fixed, or it's going to run terribly. Cross your fingers and hope for the best. I'm at my technical limit right now.

My Service 9mm shootout

Post Reply
Message
Author
PennsylvaniaRifleman
Member
Member
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2017 6:05 pm
Age: 52
Location: Philadelphia PA
United States of America

My Service 9mm shootout

#1 Post by PennsylvaniaRifleman » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:46 pm

While going over my collection of service 9mm pistols, I came to the realization that although I had a general idea concerning my likes and dislikes, I really couldn’t say for certain which one I would choose if the chips were down and I had to pick one to fill my holster. Although not interested in the proverbial “if I could only have one” contest, I decided that I should make an effort to figure out which one I would choose to have with me for a general mission over an unspecified period of time. I didn’t factor in ease of maintenance, life-span, price, or many other logistical concerns that a government agency might factor into their decision making. I wanted to keep it limited in scope. In other words, one might be easier to carry for an extended period, while another might be a better shooter, so I figured I’d just set up a set of criteria, calculate the scores, and let the chips fall where they may! I figured I’d share the process here just for fun. I limited this to five of my favorite service 9’s that are most likely to be called to duty—the Luger and P38 sat it out!

Again, my process was somewhat arbitrary in that it was set up by me, for me. These results should in no way be considered of use to anyone other than myself. Other than the shooting and capacity scores, which are clearly objective, the results of the other categories are rather subjective (one could also say the shooting is subjective, since just because I shoot a certain pistol well does not make it universally so). That said, I do believe the results are totally valid for me, and it was interesting to finally put objective “point values” onto previously nebulous terms like “which one feels better?” or, “which one is easier for me to shoot well?”
The contenders alphabetically:

Beretta M9
Browning Hi-Power
CZ-75
Glock 17
Sig P226

Since nothing is more important than how a handgun shoots, the main part of the scoring would be based on that. I used a silhouette target with a 5/4/3/0 scoring system, with a 50-round course of fire. Maximum raw score was 250 points, with the raw score divided by 2.5 to come up with a possible 100 points. Ranges were from 5 to 25 yards. I was unable to draw from the holster or use a shot timer due to range regulations, but I simulated as best I could by starting from a low-ready position and firing each string as quickly as possible. I wanted to come as close to a combat course of fire as reasonably possible from a static range position—it was decidedly not a bullseye competition. DA/SA guns were de-cocked between each string. To keep it fair, I only shot one of the pistols at the start of each range visit, with no warm-up shots. I didn’t want to give an unfair advantage by shooting one later in the visit once I was “warmed-up,” so the competition took several weeks to complete. A malfunction would have been -10 points, but as expected there were none. Ammo used was Blazer brass 115 fmj.

Additional points were calculated based on:
*Manual of arms/readiness (basically how much value I put on a design’s operating and safety systems): Using a 1 to 5 point scale.
*Handling/ergonomics/feel (subjective opinion on how much I like the way a pistol “handles”): Using a 1 to 5 point scale.
*Weight empty: The lightest pistol is awarded 5 points, subtract 1 point for each 4 oz over that weight.
*Capacity: A straight round count “as carried.” Magazines must be flush-fit, but counts would be with Mec-Gar High capacity magazines if I use them for that pistol (for instance, I have 18 rounders for the Beretta and Sig, 17 rounders for the CZ-75, and 15 round magazines for the Hi-Power. The Glock uses standard 17 round Glock mags.

As mentioned earlier, my goal was to come up with a scoring system, however arbitrary, and let the chips fall where they may. I intentionally didn’t calculate the running score until all testing was finished.
I’ll detail the results in later posts, but would first like to open this up to any comments. I will say I was a bit surprised by the results, as the pistol I carried for many years ended with the lowest score. The results finally removed any ambiguity in my mind about what pistol performs best “for me.”
I’d be curious to know what you guys think of these iconic 9mm pistols, and how you would rank them from “favorite” to least. I’d welcome any conjecture or predictions on how my little competition turned out…
Attachments
Service 9mm pistols.JPG
Last edited by PennsylvaniaRifleman on Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

M67
Member
Member
Posts: 338
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:52 pm
Age: 51
Location: Slovenia, Europe
Slovenia

Re: My Service 9mm shootout

#2 Post by M67 » Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:57 am

Very, very conservative, but I like the way of thinking and a choice.
»You're a disgrace. I'd like to know how you got to be a Captain, anyway. »Yossarian: »You promoted me.« Colonel Cathcart: » That has got nothing to do with it.«

sowbelle
Member
Member
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:52 pm
Age: 52
Location: Rossville Georgia
United States of America

Re: My Service 9mm shootout

#3 Post by sowbelle » Sat Aug 10, 2019 11:28 pm

I am tagging to see how this plays out
very interesting system you have devised
Don't leave us hanging too long

DaleH
Member
Member
Posts: 214
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:24 pm
Age: 57
Location: Mass, USA
United States of America

Re: My Service 9mm shootout

#4 Post by DaleH » Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:27 pm

No Glock fan here, but somehow guessing that may be your winner. Personally I’m still an all metal dbl-stack 9mm fan here, with the CZ-75B my personal favorite.

PennsylvaniaRifleman
Member
Member
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2017 6:05 pm
Age: 52
Location: Philadelphia PA
United States of America

Re: My Service 9mm shootout

#5 Post by PennsylvaniaRifleman » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:59 pm

I should add that I really like all of these pistols, hence why they were added to my collection. I certainly didn’t reinvent the wheel in selecting them—all of them are classics! It might be helpful to share a bit more about my history with each…

As a young avid reader of gun magazines in the late 70’s and early 80’s, I was fascinated by the Hi-Power. From WWII commandos to the modern S.A.S., it seemed to be THE choice of many armed professionals. At about age 12 I spent what seemed an exorbitant sum on a Japanese 1:1 scale blank-firing model of a Hi-Power. I handled it incessantly, making what was already an ergonomic design feel completely natural to me. As an adult, I’ve used and carried other designs, but have always held a soft spot for the Hi-Power. I never thought I would be able to afford one until a neighbor offered to sell me her late father’s T-series. I’ve had it for a couple of years now.

I was in the Marine Corps during the transition period to the Beretta M9. I carried an M1911A1 for the first half of my four-year enlistment, and an M9 for the last half. I got a police job in the Washington D.C. area upon my discharge. The department was transitioning from revolvers, and I was issued a Glock 17 (gen 2) as part of a testing phase of various designs. I came to really like the Glock for the short time I had it, probably less than a year total. The department ended up choosing the Sig-Sauer P226, and I remember being a bit disappointed when I had to trade in my Glock for the Sig. Eventually I came to appreciate the Sig as well, but I ended up moving back home to Pennsylvania before long. My new department issued me the Beretta 92 FS, and it felt like being united with an old friend. I carried the 92 for about 7 years. The department transitioned to .40 caliber--first the Beretta Brigadier, then the Beretta PX-4, and eventually the Sig P320. Although I was issued each of those, by then I had become a detective and my usual duty gun was a Glock 27 (the subcompact in .40).

Within the past few years, I began feeling nostalgic for the Glock 17, Sig P226, and Berettas that I had carried many moons ago. Who would have thought that people would be referring to Gen 2 Glocks and W. German Sigs as “vintage!” It seemed the right time to add them to my collection.

Last year I picked up the CZ-75. I suppose this is the pistol with which I have the least experience. Having always read rave reviews of the design, it didn’t take me long to agree. The grip melts into the hand, and the “pointability” is unsurpassed. After several range sessions, I began to wonder if the CZ is the most natural “shooter” in my collection. Just how does it stack up? I realized that I had to determine a way to find out.

I have to admit that aside from twice yearly qualifications, I never really “scored” my targets during range sessions. I tend to look at the target and just sort of get a feel for how I think I did. I determined that I would start taking my targets home to actually score them. That was the genesis of this “shootout…”

I tried to carefully weight the categories to reflect what’s important to me. Light weight and capacity are considerations, but shouldn’t outweigh reliability and the results on target. When all was said and done, thankfully the “best shooter” in the group also ended up with the “best overall” score. It might have troubled me to have it turn out otherwise. That said, several pistols did move up or down in the rankings based on all the factors considered. Stay tuned…

PennsylvaniaRifleman
Member
Member
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2017 6:05 pm
Age: 52
Location: Philadelphia PA
United States of America

Re: My Service 9mm shootout

#6 Post by PennsylvaniaRifleman » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:12 pm

DaleH wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:27 pm
No Glock fan here, but somehow guessing that may be your winner. Personally I’m still an all metal dbl-stack 9mm fan here, with the CZ-75B my personal favorite.
Well Dale, your instincts were correct. With a score of 130.6, the Glock was the clear winner of my little competition. Its shooting score was a near perfect 99.6, it was the lightest by about 6 ounces, and it was competitive in the capacity, handling, and manual of arms scores. I've always been rather ambivalent about Glocks, but this sort of pushed me to re-evaluate that, and I can now state that I'm squarely in the Glock fan camp. I've always liked the way I can completely and easily disassemble it with only a small pin-punch, and the simplicity of the design appeals to me. They just flat work, too. Over the years, the ugliness has grown on me, to the point that I now like its blunt, squared-off lines.

I appreciate it as a shooting tool, but I'm not one to tout it as right for everyone. To quote the late-great Stephen A. Camp, the Glock design does not tolerate poor gun-handling. Beginners and those with only casual trigger discipline might not fare too well with the passive safety systems and short-travel trigger.

My G17 is a police trade-in, and the right side of the grip shows some character marks from seat belts and bumps in the night. Aside from that, and despite shooting an untold number of rounds, it remains in exceptional condition. The Tennifer finish on the slide still looks great, and the barrel remains mirror bright. I did replace the recoil spring and the dead night sights. After its performance in my shootout, I couldn't justify not adding it to my carry rotation. It's so light and flat, it practically disappears under a loose shirt when carried in a simple Kydex IWB holster. In that regard, I judge it better suited to concealed carry than its competitors; sleeker than all except maybe the Browning and CZ, and lighter than each of them, especially the all-steel Browning and CZ.
Attachments
IMG_2061.JPG
IMG_2062.JPG
IMG_1660.JPG

PennsylvaniaRifleman
Member
Member
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2017 6:05 pm
Age: 52
Location: Philadelphia PA
United States of America

Re: My Service 9mm shootout

#7 Post by PennsylvaniaRifleman » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:19 pm

The battle for second place was the most competitive, with only 2/10 of a point separating the two shown here. Before I reveal which one came out ahead, I want to expound on why each of them scored better in the "Manual of arms/readiness" scale then did their DA/SA competitor, the Beretta...

Each uses a different way to overcome my main objection with the Beretta's combination decocker/safety. I prefer a semi-automatic pistol to be in a condition of instant readiness, so I like to carry this type of design de-cocked with safety off. When I carried a Beretta, I constantly found myself double-checking to ensure the safety hadn't been accidentally applied. The holster design we used had the uncanny ability to let the retention strap bear on the safety and move it to the safe position. (I know that Beretta eventually offered the G-model decock-only option, which eliminated this possibility.)

I like the fact that the CZ-75 cannot be placed "on safe" when the hammer is down, eliminating the possibility of the safety accidently applying itself. The Sig simply has no safety, so once de-cocked that is not a concern. The CZ-75 does not have a de-cocker (unlike the CZ-75 D models); but I don't mind lowering the hammer manually, and I like that its absence makes the design that much cleaner. Both the CZ and Sig scored a "4" in the "Manual of arms/readiness" category, while the Beretta scored a 3.

The CZ-75 scored a 5 in the "handling/ergonomics/feel" category. The only other pistol to score a 5 there was the Browning Hi-Power. The Sig had an edge in capacity because of the Mec-Gar magazine, and also had an edge on the scale. These two were really evenly matched...
Attachments
IMG_2064.JPG

OLDGUNNER1
Member
Member
Posts: 276
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:54 pm
Age: 85
Location: US Colorado
United States of America

Re: My Service 9mm shootout

#8 Post by OLDGUNNER1 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:50 pm

Well, after reading this it reminded me of what my dad told me a couple of times...’Learn when to just listen and not talk’. Obviously you learned a lot and wrote an excellent detailed review on your findings. And you did say that your test was for you and not necessarily for others, which is just fine. What did I learn? I learned that you have five nice handguns, which I don’t, and based on your past work history, know how to use them. I never really did learn how to use a handgun good. I did notice that you said that all of them worked without malfunctioning and I always thought that the main thing with any gun was that it would go ‘Bang’ when one wanted it to and would shoot where one pointed it and obviously you wanted to learn more than that. I have a habit of making detailed tests on various things also.

I appreciate your well written article.

Post Reply

Return to “General Firearms Topics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests