I just got back from a 3 day Insights "Intensive Handgun Skills" class. I shot my 4" XD9 with handloads of 115gr FMJ (Rem and Montana Gold; MG is better) and 4.2 gr of Bullseye. I shot 1500-1600 rounds over three days WITHOUT cleaning or lubrication. NO MALFUNCTIONS. Everyone else cleaned their guns daily, sometimes during class breaks. My only complaint with the XD is that the slide stop is in a poor location (like a Glock) and I kept got my thumb against it several times keeping it from working properly. The answer is to shoot with my dominant thumb elevated the same way most proficient Glock shooters do. But, it is hard to change 35 years of habit. I'll work on it.
I picked up a few tips in the class concerning details of how to shoot fast and accurately. It turns out that US Special Forces and all of the top IPSC competitors are all using these same shooting techniques. (The primary instructors at InSights are Army SF veterans). It was fun, and time well spent. One of the students was a 68 year old retired Army Special Forces sgt. He kept things livened up.
One guy, a Coast Guard chopper pilot, had his like new early 90s vintage Glock 19 (personally owned) break twice during the class. He said it had only been fired about 200 times before the class. Trigger spring broke and something with the extractor/ejector. The instructor was a Glock armorer and fixed the gun promptly both times. I guess both problems were related to the vintage of the gun. I think my G19 is about the same vintage.
Several fancy 1911s in the class. Mostly Springfield and Kimber. Lots of malfunctions after the guns became just moderately dirty (300 rounds or so). All the 1911 guys were shooting factory FMJ ammo. This is becoming a standard joke among professional trainers. I've witnessed it too; the 1911 guys have more problems than anyone else. (I used to think EVERYTHING had to be done with a 1911). The one Sig in the class owned by a cop training in duty gear (including ballistic vest) ran without problems.
The retired SF guy had a customized Glock 17 with a lightened trigger and some sort of small holo sight. Small enough to holster and carry concealed. I shot it and it shot very well. I'll stay away from these until someone makes one with a tritium source for the dot. I don't want to have to remember to turn it on. At 68, and with corneal implants, the retired SF guy had trouble with normal sights although when he shot my gun he turned in a respectable group. With my own eyes aging rapidly, it is good to know there is a reasonable option out there.
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