A Tale of Three Guns - USP, P2000, & Sig 229R DAK
Well, after 300 rounds of concentrated, single-minded, single-purpose effort (that should be read – fun) shooting a Sig 229R DAK, an H&K P2000 LEM, and an H&K USP, I have come to a definitive decision. Does anybody know of a holster maker that makes a holster that holds a Sig 229R, an H&K P2000, and an H&K USP all at the same time?
Seriously I think the only thing I (re)proved is that Sig and H&K make fine guns!
And Bud, I hear ya man, I got a number of 1911s; one of my favorite guns is a Caspian frame and slide based Commander size I built from scratch about 3 years ago. It shoots like a champ! I'm just focusing on 9mms right now because I shoot so much; .45 ACPs would get a little too rich for my pocket book right now. It’s about to the place I can buy gas or shoot. Gas went to $2.99 in Ooltewah, TN (my home) yesterday and we usually are below the national average so I suspect it’s more other places.
Actually I did discover one thing; I shot the H&K USP (TDA) and the Sig 229R DAK a little better than the H&K P2000 LEM. In fact, the order of best shooting was, the USP, with the 229R DAK pretty close to the USP, and then the P2000 LEM a little more distant. But, there is no question about it, I shot the USP with more efficacy than the Sig 229R DAK, but I think not everything is equal, the sights themselves are a little different and the sight radius is longer on the USP than the other two.
Here's what I noticed and I was a bit surprised by it - the triggers made a difference, and I didn't think that it would - not with me anyway. I had three guns with three different triggers. The USP was TDA (Traditional DA/SA) the P2000 had the H&K LEM trigger, and the 229R had the DAK trigger.
Most are familiar with the TDA trigger – long, relatively heavy DA pull followed by a short, relatively light SA. The DAK and LEM are Sig and H&K versions of a DAO trigger but they are quite distinct different from each other. The DAK has a light, even pull throughout the trigger stroke and a clean surprise break, the LEM is more like a long take up SA trigger. At the break point, the LEM requires about 6.5# of force with almost no further motion to break the shot.
I found when I was shooting “small” (trying to keep the hits in the 10 ring) at 15+ yards (the max on the indoor range) that the H&K DA trigger really gets heavy even though I put a slightly reduced power hammer spring in it and did some trigger polishing (not the sears BTW). The same seemed true of the LEM. It really felt heavy when trying to shoot small. The DAK is a buttery smooth, uniform trigger pull, but when trying to shoot small at 15+ yds., I was very aware of the long pull, even though it is never more than 6.5#. The USP SA is trigger heaven; once I got by the DA first shot, things went really quick and accurate.
To more accurately assess the guns, I resolved to shoot them as they would come from the holster. That’s irrelevant for the P2000 and 226R DAK, but I carry the USP hammer down so that’s the way I fired the first shot of each string – DA.
I shot 100 rounds through the three guns in two, five round strings at a time, in the following order, P2000 LEM, Sig 229R DAK, and USP. I wanted to shoot 10 rounds at a time through each gun then switch to the next gun. Over the years I have found that shooting two, five round strings produces better results than firing one continuous ten round string. For me, the break between the five rounds gives both the mind and muscles a short time to relax and I get to practice reloads more frequently. BTY, I reloaded via tac loads and I have to say again, I don't see the problem with it. But to reiterate my position as stated in another post, a tac load was never intended to be used in the middle of a bullets-flying gunfight. In fact, I think we’d find that speed reloads aren’t real desirable in a bullets-flying gunfight either. Anyway, USP mags are .030” wider than Glock mags, so they are pretty big mags, and still tac loads presented no problems.
My routine pretty quickly evolved to shooting as fast as I could get hits within the ten ring; which essentially meant as soon as I could get the sight back on target and stable, the next shot broke. I didn’t time it, but I was running about a shot a second at 7 yds and about a shot every 1.5 – 2 seconds at 15+ yards, somewhat dependent the gun. I fired mostly from a pretty well locked Weaver stance but interspersed some ‘I’ stance. I definitely did better from the Weaver, but I shoot that the most so no surprise there.
Which brings me to an off-the-subject issue. I’m now considering taking a course at Blackwater instead of Gunsite next summer. It will offer a variety in training, they teach the ‘I’ stance, although they won’t/don’t call it that, and with gas prices effecting airlines, I probably won’t be able to afford a ticket to Gunsite. Anybody want to join me? I hope so!
At 7 yards I had no problems with any of the guns keeping most of the shots in the X ring of a B-27. But when the X ring was completely shot out, the hits spread slightly because there wasn’t anything but a hole to aim at. I couldn’t help but notice that once I got past the DA on the USP, things really went fast. But the real difference came when I moved the target to the 50 foot range.
At 50 feet, after ten shots with a gun, I reeled the target in to see the hits. I didn’t do badly with the 229R or P2000; most were in or close to the ten ring, but this is where the USP really shined. The first time I shot the USP at this range, all but one went through the ten ring “hole” and the one was a flier. You know what a flier is? That’s a shot that we missed so we call it a flier as if a flier is ok and a miss isn’t ok??? A miss is a miss, is a miss, is a miss,…A flier is an excuse to miss. Wow, I keep drifting off the subject.
Really the USP was amazing; the vast majority of the hits from the USP were in the ten ring, which was just a big hole. I didn’t start missing the ten ring until I got the idea “I can’t miss”, then of course I did miss, but not often or by much.An interesting thing is, without a doubt, the USP DA trigger is heavier by far than the other two guns, yet it didn’t seem to affect accuracy, but it did affect speed. It took me noticeably longer to fire the DA shot than it took to fire the other two guns. But, after that…hoooo!
For some reason I couldn’t keep the 229R DAK and P2000 in the 10 ring nearly as well. And frankly when I started, the P2000 was my “favorite” of the hour. Some of it may have been the shorter sight radius on them compared to the USP, but I certainly noticed that I struggled more with the DAO triggers and I wasn’t aware I was sensitive to that. Another thing I noticed was that I seemed to favor the sight configuration on the USP – they just seemed faster. I don’t use “dots” unless I can’t see the sights’ outline, and in this case I could easily see the outlines. I just seemed to be more comfortable with the shape and size of the USP sights.
After 99 rounds through the three guns (OK, OK, I sneaked an extra round through the DAK if you must know), I ran the next 200 rounds through the USP and DAK. The USP won hands down in accuracy. I.e. in the ability to place hits in the ten ring quickly at 50 feet.
Lastly, recoil management was an insignificant factor; I noticed no difference in recoil among the three guns.
So my conclusion is this – more testing is definitely called for and more guns (Sig 226R and ST) should be included. I’m sure that will disclose for sure what’s best for me. In the mean time, based on my experiences and IMO, if you have a Sig or H&K, or, not to forget Bud, a 1911, you’ve probably already got the best gun! Well, and let’s not leave out our Glock enthusiasts either, you’ve got the best gun too. Hmmm, you know maybe I should consider a Glock?