Range Report: Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm (08/21/2011)

Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm - 1.jpg

Bright and early on Sunday morning, I decided to pack up my pistols and take a trip over to the local range to do some shooting. I’ve been fairly busy over the past couple of weeks and haven’t been able to get in a significant amount of trigger time.

Armed with four pistols and a few boxes of ammunition, I setup one of my Home Made IDPA Targets and got down to business. The target I decided to use included a “Hostage” or “No-Shoot” partially obscuring center mass. I don’t know if it was a mental thing or if my shots were consistently breaking left, but I found myself shooting away from the “Hostage”, which meant few shots in the main scoring ring.

The video below runs about nine minutes and is purely range footage and photographs. In addition to this video, I will have three more up in the coming days as I do some shooting with my others pistols (those videos are all shorter).

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Hi There, My name is Walt White and as the name of this blog suggests, I am a Pennsylvania resident. In addition to having numerous hobbies that I discuss on my blog - I’m also the father of three little girls and a pitbull.

9 thoughts on “Range Report: Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm (08/21/2011)

  1. Hey Walt,

    Just a couple observations that might help you out.

    The first thing I notice is your feet are never in the same position when you walk up to the line. You need to find out which stance works best for you and practice getting into it every time you pick up the weapon. I personally use a modified Weaver stance.

    When you draw the weapon you need to find a method that works for you. I use the 5 step Front Sight draw and it works well for me. The other part of it is I do the same 5 steps in reverse when reholstering the pistol.

    One thing that won’t make a difference on the range but might make a difference in a firefight, don’t slingshot the slide when racking or releasing it. Use the heel of your hand and your four fingers. That way if you hurt your hand in a fight you are trained to use better leverage.

    Let me know if you have any questions. Hope you know I’m not trying to pick on you, just help.

    1. Keith,
      I’m still not sure what feels the most comfortable. A few months ago I was happy with my feet being shoulder width apart, legs slightly bent at the knees, and arms forward but not fully extended. After watching video of myself do that, I could see that I wasn’t leaning very far forward and recoil was causing me to rock backward.

      To try and eliminate that rocking during recoil, I leaned forward much further, getting my shoulders infront of my hips. This seemed to create a much stronger platform and eliminated that rocking. Unfortunately, keeping my feet in the same position as above left me feeling like I was going to topple over. To cure that feeling, I simply placed my left leg forward, making me feel much more balanced.

      Reading your comment on racking the slide, I was all ready to comment that I do rack the slide in the manner. Hand over the slide, using my fingers (not including my thumb) to manipulate the slide. Then I watched the video again just to be sure, and you are right, sure enough I was using my thumb and slingshotting the slide. Looks like I’ll be needing to work more on that muscle memory. Thanks for catching that.

      I don’t mind constructive criticism and think of it as a way to become a better shooter.

      Thanks for the advice

      1. I’ve found that the Modified Weaver stance, with the strong arm straight, and the support arm bent and pulling back slightly on the gun, with the knees slightly bent helps control the recoil well.

  2. I’m always late to the party LOL. Walt when you have your left foot forward you are pretty close to using the Modified Weaver stance, point your left hip and shoulder more towards your target. Of course what every works best for you is best. I was trained in the Modified Weaver stance and it’s just what I use.

  3. I was going to say the same thing as tx tuff, turning your hip and shoulder more towards your target. This stance made a huge difference for me.

    Have you tried doing your firing in 2 rapid shots? I was trained this way, it really helps with aim control. Also, in real life scenario you want to put more lead into your attacker before they have time to react.

    Keep the videos comin’

    1. Jan,
      In this range trip I was trying more for trigger control than fast follow-up shots. I’ll give the double tap a try the next time I make it over to the range.

      Does it matter which hip and shoulder I turn to the target? I’m right handed but tend to orient my body backwards in certain scenarios (I played hockey with a left handed stick) and I’m curios if turning my left hip and shoulder into the target would be proper for a right handed shooter?

      1. I was told that whichever arm you consider your strongest aim with the opposite side turned forward in your stance. It really helps me with stability and control. Hope this helps.

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