Sometime after January 1, we Kansans will start getting our CCL's. In preparation for that, I did an exhaustive search for what I hope to be my primary concealed weapon. I thought I would share for those that are interested my thought process and testing over a 6 month period and the guns I went through on my quest. I currently have a SW 642 and a Sig 232 that are both fine candidates for future carry. However, my wife loves the 232 (which is currently her nightstand gun) and the 642 is great for pocket carry, but for only being a .38, it can be a little beast to control at times.
First, let me start out by saying, I am not a Glock guy or a 1911 guy. I like both. I like wheelguns, too. I learned to shoot when I was a teenager with my dad's 357's and Colt 1911. I own a Glock 21. I have owned and sold a Glock 17 and Glock 19 and replaced them with a CZ75B and a Sig P228. I have owned various 1911's and will someday own another one.
I was open to most makes and models as long as they fit my criteria and I had access to them. I also wanted the largest cal I could handle effectively. (Sidenote: I didn't get to try some of the models in 40SW simply because they weren't always available.) So here's my criteria:
-Must be able to shoot each gun being evaluated at least 50 rounds (I used WWB for most of the testing)
-Must be reliable and can take a beating
-Availability of parts and night sites
-Must shoot well from a Weaver and Isosceles Stance
-Must shoot well single handed, right and left hand (I am right handed.)
-The gun will always be carried with a round chambered (Condition 1 for 1911s)
All of the guns were either rented or borrowed.
First Round (50-150 rds of WWB):
CZ 2075 Rami (9mm)- pinky finger curled under the magazine. Could never get a good handle on it. I like my CZ75b a lot, amazingly accurate and trouble free. But this one got the cut. (Borrowed)
Glock 19 (9mm)- owned a Generation 2 about 15 years ago. Fine pistol, worked fine. Good groups. Passed. (Borrowed)
Glock 26 (9mm)- fired great, but didn't fit my hand very well. Pinky finger issue. Cut. (Rented)
Glock 23 (40SW)- fired great, but groups weren't so great. I shot 150 rounds of WWB box and just didn't get it together. Cut. (Borrowed)
Glock 27 (40SW)- fired great, but didn't fit my hand well. Groups were horrible. 50 Rounds. Cut. (Rented)
Glock 30 (45ACP)- fired great, fit my hand well. Excellent groups. 50 Rounds. Passed. (Borrowed)
Glock 36 (45ACP)- fired great, fit my hand ok. Good groups. 50 Rounds. Passed. (Borrowed)
H&K USP Compact .45- fired great, fit my hand ok. Good groups. 1 FTE with WWB. Passed. (Borrowed)
Kahr P9 (9mm)- not bad feeling, slim. Decent group. 1 FTE with WWB. Didn't like trigger much. Cut. (Borrowed)
Kahr PM9 (9mm)- didn't fit hand well at all. Horrible groups. 1 FTE with WWB. Cut (Borrowed)
Kahr P45 (45ACP)- not bad feeling. Horrible groups. Cut. (Borrowed)
Keltec P-11 (9mm)- didn't fit hand well at all. In fact, felt cheap. Only shot 20 rounds. Cut. (Borrowed)
SA XDSC 9mm- fired great, excellent groups, not sure about the trigger or feel. Passed. (Rented)
SA XD Compact .45 Did not like the trigger for some reason. My groups were decent. Cut. (Rented)
Kimber Ultra Carry (.45ACP). I liked the feel. Fired well, good group. Passed. (Borrowed)
I thought it was interesting that I am a horrible shot with the 40SWs that I tried. Could be mental. I have a SW99 that is fairly accurate, but it's not the most comfortable gun to shoot. I was also amazed that I was shooting the 45s as well as the 9mm. My Glock 21 is pretty accurate and I have over 10,000 rounds through it. Could be why the Glocks are going well for me.
Second Round (100 rds of WWB)
Glock 19- performed well, excellent groups. (Borrowed)
H&K USP Compact .45- performed well, horrible groups. (Borrowed)
SA XDSC 9mm- performed ok, good groups, 1 FTEs. (Rented)
Glock 30- performed well, excellent groups. (Borrowed)
Glock 36- performed well, good groups. (Borrowed)
Kimber Ultra Carry- performed poorly (4 FTE) good groups (Borrowed)
I was surprised by the Kimber. Could have been a bad box, but it made me nervous enough to cut it. I shot poorly with the H&K and really didn't gel with it. Both the Glock 30 and 36 did well for their size and cal. I cut the Glock 19 for size of the gun and the SA XDSC since I shot both the Glock 30 and Glock 36 better.
Final Round (100 rounds of UMC, 100 rounds of WWB, 25 rounds of Golden Sabre)
Day 1 Glock 30- Excellent groups with UMC. No FTEs. (Borrowed)
Day 1 Glock 36- Decent groups with UMC. 2 FTEs. 1 FTE with each clip. (Borrowed)
Figured I would use rentals for my second run, since they probably have had several rounds through them.
Day 2 Glock 30- Excellent groups with WWB. Excellent groups with Golden Sabre. No FTEs (Rented)
Day 2 Glock 36- Good groups with WWB. 2 FTEs. Only had 1 clip. Good groups with Golden Sabre. No FTEs (Rented)
This was an expensive search, but I had to know first hand what was going to work for me. Yes, I know using WWB and UMC isn't the best testing ammo for a gun, but it's cheaper and I figure whichever gun I chose should be able to cycle anything within reason. Between the two, I really wanted to like the Glock 36, since it's slimmer profile is a bit better for concealed carry. Of the two Glock 30's I tested, both the borrowed and the rental fired whatever I put through it and was amazingly accurate. I shot it well in both stances and it felt better than the Glock 36 one handed. The Glock 36 is a pretty good gun, but the FTEs bothered me considering I used two different ones. I figured it is a bit of a trade off for comfort, but I would much rather have the accuracy and reliability.
So I bought the Glock 30 today and put about 250 rounds of UMC though it right after buying it. Not one FTE and it was dead on accurate. I will put another 750 rounds through it before I will consider it ready for carry, but right now I am very optimistic that I found the right gun for me.