First of all, this is my first posting to the Forum, although I have been an avid viewer for some time now. I have been having a very interesting (and enlightening) experience at the range over the past couple of days and just had to get it off my chest.
In the Beginning...
First, some background. I'm relatively new to pistolcraft, purchasing my first pistol (XD9SC) about 6 months ago with the intention of CCW. My first trip to the range resulted in a pretty consistent picture: 2-3" groupings at 15yd out of the box. In other words, I could hit the inside of a coffee mug with relative ease at that distance, and that had me feeling pretty darned good - especially with a "puny" 3" bbl. Subsequent range trips had me tightening that up as well.
Here are 13 shots @ 15 yds, and, scout's honor, there were no misses:
Enter Phase II
After a few months of familiarizing myself with the "gun culture," getting to know a number of my local aficionados and proprietors, and scouring various online resources, I get an itch that I just can't help but scratch: Sig Sauer
. Nearly everything I hear and read tells me that, while a bit pricy, you pretty much can't go wrong with a Sig.
Well, I had a decent bonus this year, and I was generally a good boy, so I broke down and purchased a Sig P229 .40 S&W in Nitron finish and Trijicons. This was followed shortly thereafter by a Milt Sparks VMII, several mags, Hogue G10 grips, and a couple of cases of Winchester White Box. I couldn't WAIT to get to the range now!
P229 Day 1:
I unpack my range bag, carefully placing my P229, XD9sc, and associated paraphernalia on the table. Perhaps it was just my excitement, but I'm pretty sure the 229 made a delightful <schwing> sound as I pulled it from its range bag "scabbard."
After performing the requisite safety checks, I load up my .40 clip, tap and rack, de-cock to experience the delight of a DA first shot, and BANG
! Oh, the delightful report of the shot; the clink of the brass hitting the floor; the expiration of my lightly-held breath; the "Hey, you hit my side of the target!" uttered from my fiancée standing next to me.
Wow - not only was I not in my usual center space, but I was a full 16 inches to the right (and down). Even as a brand-new shooter I hadn't had a shot that bad! Okay, I must've closed my eyes or something. Let's try that again. BANG!
Okay, now I'm at least on my own side of the paper, but I'm still 4.5" off - and to the left! Sheesh! BANG!
3" high and to the right. BANG!
4" low, centered. BANG!
Center hole "bullseye." BANG!
Missed the paper entirely.
Repeat this kind of inconsistency through 200 rounds and a whole lotta paper. If I had to put a number to it, I'd say my average grouping for the day was about 8" - no joke! I was all over the paper, and not one bit happy about it.
Feeling dejected, I ask my lovely fiancée if I may shoot "her" XD9sc. I load up 13 rounds into the mag, tap, rack, and proceed to send the lot down the line. All 13 hit, with an acceptable 2" grouping to boot.
First thought: how can it be that my new "Excalibur" - the supposed Mercedes Benz of pistols - be so completely outmatched by my three-inch, nearly-half-priced XD? First pangs of buyer's remorse are setting in...
P229 Day 2:
I have cleaned and lubed both of my babies. I unpack the gear, do my range ritual, and start off with a couple of clips in the XD. Pretty decent - 1.5" to 2" groupings at 15 yards.
Alright, so I'm feeling pretty good, so out comes the P229. Somehow, it doesn't look as shiny today, but I'm excited to give it another go! Twelve shots of .40 S&W Winchester White Box fly down to the paper.
With each subsequent shot, my heart feels heavier and heavier. Four inches left and high, two inches right and high, three inches center and low, one inch left and low... you get the point.
After 100 rounds or so, and almost no discernible improvement in my groupings, the Sig goes back in the bag. I finish off the box of 50 9mm rounds in the XD to lift my spirits and leave the range.
Two key points keep circling my brain today:
- Wow, that XD is a really great gun!
- What in the h-e-double-hockey-sticks did I just spend $800 on - not counting the toys?!?
I know that, theoretically, the more time I spend with the 229, the better my accuracy will get. And with some help from someone more knowledgeable and experienced than I, I can probably accelerate that process. But, while it speaks volumes to the out-of-the-box shootability of the XD, my experience here has me totally second-guessing my "love" of this Sig that - by many other accounts - I should have.
I know there are so many individual things at play here - my shooting style, the way I grip the SIG versus the XD, the wind perhaps changes speed and direction every time I pull the trigger with the Sig - but I just feel like I made a bad choice. Not every pistol works with every person, just as not every size 11.5 Nike works with every person, but it certainly makes me wonder if I have made a wise investment.
In conclusion, I wish to impart the following wisdom in the hopes that you, beloved reader, may learn from my predicament:
- Whenever possible, do not purchase a weapon system without having the chance to try it out first.
- Don't buy a plethora of expensive accoutrements for a new gun without ensuring that it actually works for you!
- Don't underestimate the quality of a reasonably priced, sub-compact weapon in the form of a Springfield Arms XD-9sc.
Thanks for tuning in, and happy shooting to all!