Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Got some range time with an M&P .40.

    This week I went back to the Pocono Pistol Club because my father wanted to see the place. This time while I was there I decided to rent an M&P .40 pistol. I originally planned on buying this as my first pistol but I changed my mind after firing this pistol. First let me say it's not because the pistol is a POS or anything, it's just that I discovered I suck with pistols. My first firearm and currently only firearm (as seen in my signature) is a rifle and it's a breeze to operate, the first day I took it out to the range I was able to hit targets dead on from 100 feet with just the iron sights, with very little experience so I figured operating a pistol at 1/5 the range would be a breeze. I was wrong it's a totally different animal, especially a pistol chambered in the .40 round.

    The first thing that took me two or three tries to master was just holding the pistol. At first I was afraid to handle the pistol because if I hold it wrong the slide would give me a nasty wound on my hand. Thankfully the people at the PPC were very friendly and showed me how to properly hold the pistol, and thats mastered now. The problem I have now is accurately firing the pistol. They took me out on the range and made me load two rounds to see if I could handle the firearm properly. This is my one complaint with the gun shared with my instructor, the magazines on this gun are hard to load. You need some strong thumbs to push that .40 round down into the magazine.

    After going through the whole loading thing I was ready to fire the pistol, and man that round has a kick to it more so than I expected. The two rounds I shot just grazed the target that was only 20 feet away. So I think I need to perfect my technique. My father on the other hand is a natural with the pistol. After he went through the whole process he loaded up 6 .40 rounds and put into the chest of the target at 20 feet. BTW, he is left handed and he operated the pistol largely with his right hand. Whats cool about the pistol is the ambidextrous controls, the only thing that wasn't set up for right and left handed people was the magazine release.

    After shooting through the 50 round box I noticed some of an improvement on my part, my shots were getting closer to the target but I still have a long way to go before I get proficient with pistols. I think whats throwing me off is the recoil, which is considerable from my point of view as a novice. Talking to my father later on I discovered he cupped one of his hands under the magazine of the pistol (Which I didn't do) maybe this helped him fire the pistol accurately?

    But after firing this pistol I understand why people buy carbines that fire 9mm's, .40's, and .45's the recoil. Something I might consider buying down the road, I saw a sweet .45 carbine based on the AR-15 platform I think it was called an M16k-45. Looks neat but a bit expensive at $1500. So I decided for my first pistol I should get a Ruger Mk. III. First as everyone knows the .22LR has very little recoil so this would probably be the best pistol to learn to shoot on. Second, not only does the .40 round have a lot of kick it's expensive to shoot. I must have paid nearly $20 for a box of 50 rounds.

    The only thing I don't like about the Mk. III's is the price. They seem to cost between $380 and $500+. My .22 rifle costed me around $480 so why does this pistol cost so much? Are these stores trying to rip me off or is their a specific reason why this pistol cost so much more than many 9mm pistols I have seen. Even pre-owned the price only comes down maybe $50-$70. So in conclusion I still want to get the M&P .40 but I want to get more experience with pistols before buying, and before buying I think I will buy a 9mm pistol first and slowly work my way up to the .40. I might even take a class on operating a pistol because I am so disappointed that I cannot use a pistol accurately.

    The only other thing to report is an update on my M&P 15-22. I was having some problems with it failing to feed and eject in the past, but again it seems like most of these problems are behind me. Out of 300 rounds I had maybe 3 or 4 failures to feed but I think it was because the magazine wasn't loaded properly (My father loaded these). The only other issue I noticed which is a newer issue is the incident of what I think can be described as a slamfire. This happened maybe 3-4 times. We would pull the trigger and the rifle would fire 2 or 3 rounds in a quick burst. After the slamfire stops the gun works just fine but I don't know if I should be concerned about this. I put about 500+ rounds of Federal Spitfire (1500 FPS/Hollow Points) through the rifle before the last cleaning, maybe it's time for another cleaning?
    Last edited by LifeInPa; May 15th, 2010 at 01:42 PM.
    Sanity, yours if you can keep it.....

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Got some range time with an M&P .40.

    I;m a rifle man too but dont give up on the Pistol just yet , they are a lot of fun and the single most best instrument for personal defense.

    One word of advice , next time you go to the range have your cofffee after your range session not before , you will shoot a lot better.

    Yes the Ruger .22 MKII,III series are expensive but trhey will last you a lifetime , your grandchildren will inherit them in perfect good condition, just look at them , they oooze quality .

    If you dont want to spend that much on one, there is a Gunshop in our area that has a almost new one , blued, skinny barrel for $250.

    Keep on pracrticing , the .40 is not a good round for beginers, next time rent a 9mm.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Got some range time with an M&P .40.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrnyman View Post
    I;m a rifle man too but dont give up on the Pistol just yet , they are a lot of fun and the single most best instrument for personal defense.

    One word of advice , next time you go to the range have your cofffee after your range session not before , you will shoot a lot better.

    Yes the Ruger .22 MKII,III series are expensive but trhey will last you a lifetime , your grandchildren will inherit them in perfect good condition, just look at them , they oooze quality .

    If you dont want to spend that much on one, there is a Gunshop in our area that has a almost new one , blued, skinny barrel for $250.

    Keep on pracrticing , the .40 is not a good round for beginers, next time rent a 9mm.
    I agree with those assessments. Even though I had the accuracy of a complete n00b the M&P was still fun to shoot. When it came to the M&P not only did I want it as a range pistol but as a weapon for self defense and God forbid a SHTF pistol. The reason I chose the .40 was for stopping power. Lots of people seem to think it has much better stopping power than a 9mm round while having a lot less recoil than the .45 ACP. I only fired a M1911 once and that thing has a powerful kick also.

    About the coffee I only had one cup in the morning and coffee doesn't seem to really make me jittery like some people, but I will take that into account next time and see if it makes a difference. For the Mk. III I am willing to pay the price if the gun is really that good. I prefer paying upfront for a quality product and having it outlast cheaper knock off's. What model do you recommend and do you know the best place to buy it?

    Thanks for the advice, next time I visit I will rent the M&P 9mm.
    Sanity, yours if you can keep it.....

  4. #4
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    Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania
    (York County)
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    Default Re: Got some range time with an M&P .40.

    I'm still learning my way around firearms, too. The best advice I can give is to go to the range with an experienced and patient teacher. You will also find many good tutorials on the web if you search for "handgun stance" and "handgun grip" and some variations there. Even some decent Youtube videos.

    Recoil is part of the experience. You can't really have zero recoil, but you can learn to control the gun better, and grip and stance are the foundations. For me, recoil is part of the fun of shooting. Otherwise, I'd shoot airguns. I had some trigger jerk problems when I started with this new gun, and I worked on not anticipating the recoil, but just concentrating on a slow, steady, straight trigger press. I learned to accept (and enjoy) the recoil.

    The other thing that will really help you get the most of your range time is to practice when you're away from the range. Get snap caps and dry fire the hell out of your gun. Practice your grip, stance and trigger pull while maintaining a steady sight picture. You can grow leaps and bounds in shooting skill without even visiting the range. And while it's not a cheap option, I found that attaching a laser sight and trying to keep the dot steady on the wall 20 feet away while I pulled the trigger was very helpful in fixing my trigger jerk problem.

    There's a lot to learn and a lot to experiment with. But concentrate on the basics. If you get a good sight picture, and place the front sight over your target, and pull the trigger without too much influence, the bullet will go very, very close to the X. Mostly, though, have fun!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Got some range time with an M&P .40.

    A few things I would like to note. I'm not being condescending but you haven't mastered anything, just found out how to do it without hurting yourself. Mastering a weapon system is something that takes alot of time, money, and training. I am not a master of anything, but I'm proficient with the guns that I own. Even that might be saying too much. I've never had any actual training, just spent alot of time on the range, holstering and uholstering, researching ballistics, self defense, etc.

    The .40s&w round has a significant amount of snap to it, that 9mm and 45.acp do not have. Many people have never touched a gun before they started training with their duty weapon, which many times is chambered in 40s&w, and they're doing just fine.

    My view on using a .22lr chambered target pistol for getting used to manipulating a handgun is not a bad idea, but IMO it's meant for women, children, people attending basic pistol courses, and it is a slow means of getting you where you want to be. I suggest that you buy the gun you want to use for self defense, home defense, carry, whatever. Train with that, take a couple classes.

    Only once you've become very experienced can you just jump from platform to platform and do very well with it, and that takes years of training to be able to do. The trigger on a target gun, the grip angle, the weight, and the recoil characteristics of a .22lr handgun, will be nothing like a gun chambered in 9mm, 40sw, or 45acp. So essentially you will be learning all over again once you decide on a self defense purposed handgun.

    Getting a target gun chambered in .22lr is not a bad idea, but IMO you're going to be spending the same amount of money twice just to eventually use only one of the guns for self defense. That's just my point of view. Take it with a grain of salt.(unless you just want to plink/target shoot alot, then you can't beat .22lr as it's dirt cheap. However I would like to note that plinking on the range has little to do with self defense, especially if you're using a round with virtually no recoil)

    Also, take into consideration the price of ammo, and what you are willing to spend on ammo to become proficient. 9mm is by far the cheapest at under $9 dollars for 50 rounds, where as 50 rounds of 45acp will cost somewhere in the ballpark of $25 to $30. 40S&W is somewhere inbetween that.

    Get training, it's the best advice I can give you to be honest. Take the NRA basic pistol course at PPC. Then seek out basic self defense, firearms oriented training, then move on to the advanced courses. If you're willing to spend $500 on a target pistol, I think you would be better served using that money to pay for 2 or 3 training classes.

    Also, try a few other guns before you settle on the M&P. I've never shot one, so I cannot give any insight, but there are quite a few other brands in the same price range that you might feel fit your hand better. The triggers are different between each brand, and the looks are too. Check out some Glocks, and XDs. Same price range, all polymer "hi-cap" guns.
    Last edited by jcabin; May 15th, 2010 at 04:46 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by headcase View Post
    let them eventually bring the FBI to kill my wife and son over fucking chickens....

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Got some range time with an M&P .40.

    I know I am going to get blasted for this but here goes.

    Look into a Hi-Point, you can get a used one for under $100 usually. They are big and heavy, but they are a great first gun. The extra weight absorbs alot of the recoil, and they are pretty accurate. You can get them in 9mm, .40, and .45 so you can get used to whatever caliber you like. When you feel your ready trade it in and use the $50 bucks youget for it on your next peice.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Got some range time with an M&P .40.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quigar57 View Post
    I know I am going to get blasted for this but here goes.
    You're right. I would recommend someone buy a .22lr target pistol for a first gun over a hi-point chambered in any caliber. Stay away from that garbage.

    The ergonomics are complete shit, I don't care what anyone says, I wouldn't trust one with my life, and even if they are "range reliable" it's just not a gun for someone serious about self defense, IF they can afford to pay more than $200 for a gun....
    Quote Originally Posted by headcase View Post
    let them eventually bring the FBI to kill my wife and son over fucking chickens....

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Got some range time with an M&P .40.

    I have a M&P 9 and the recoil is very managable, u should give it a try. I realize people say the 40 has more stopping power but 17 shots of 9mm should be a proficient amount fire power to put someone down, especially if u can't hit the target with the .40. Just my opinion.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Got some range time with an M&P .40.

    I really think a .22 is a great tool in learning to shoot handguns. Before you pick up the Ruger check out a Browning Buckmark, both are top notch and should last a lifetime. A .22 does have recoil, front sight does lift out of the rear sight when fired and this is a critical thing you need to be able to see. A .22 will teach you trigger control, target transitions and also sight alignment without worrying about recoil. You need to learn how to accurately fire a pistol, caliber doesn't matter, recoil doesn't matter all that matters is making sure the sights are aligned perfectly the second the gun fires and you will hit the target. If you are blinking the instant it fires you may or may not hit the target. If you are jerking the gun anticpating recoil you will miss, jerking the trigger you will miss. Handguns have a very short sight radius compared to a rifle so the smallest misalignment of the sights will cause a huge effect on where you bullet hits. Make sure the gaps on either side of the front sight are exactly she same and it's even with the top of the rear sight and sloooowly squeeze the trigger. You mentioned grip, best grip I can recommend is the thumbs forward grip. Fire up the Google and you'll see what I mean. Don't get discouraged. Shooting handguns is very similiar to martial arts. It takes a lot of discipline, focus and years of practice to get good. Here's a great video on how to grip a pistol by the Master Todd Jarrett. Hope this helps.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysa50-plo48
    "Take the guns first, then worry about due process" Trump

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Got some range time with an M&P .40.

    Good purchase with a .22, I wish that I bought a .22 first rather than later. BTW I love the .40 but stuck with the 9mm for now just because of the price of ammo.

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