Fun at Cabela's

09 Mar

I went to Cabela’s yesterday and spent plenty of time at the gun counter. I found it interesting that the counter rep hardly paid me any notice as I was inspecting the first firearm, a Walther P99 QA. As I asked for the next pistol, a Smith & Wesson 99, and began comparing the two pistols, I found that there was no difference between them, other than the grip aesthetic. The trigger pull was heavy and long. Since both pistols are polymer framed, pre-cocked striker fired, pistols, I found no reason to go any further with my investigation.

Please don’t misunderstand, I have nothing against polymer framed pistols. I love my XD, almost too much, but I found that neither the Walther P99 QA nor the S&W 99 were floating my boat.

Once I had proven that I knew a something of what I was talking about, the counter rep was very, very helpful. As I continued down the counter I came to an interesting case. The top shelf was filled with my beloved XD’s. The second shelf contained Smith & Wesson’s M&P. The M&P is Smith & Wesson’s latest foray into the world of polymer framed pistols.

After their first flop, the Sigma (some claimed to be a Glock knock off), and the second, a some-what successful venture, the S&W 99 (from a joint partnership with Walther), Smith & Wesson decided to go back to the drawing board before releasing their latest, and first solo, polymer product. Now, I’m not going to give you a run down of the pistol. You can read those here (also here and here) and here (probably the best article). And the home page here, which, unfortunately, isn’t very helpful.The M&P felt great in my hand. It was comfortable and felt like an extension of my arm. The trigger felt OK, not great, but OK. I later found that the trigger wasn’t great because it uses a pre-cocked striker like the Sigma and the 99.

At this point in my life I am NOT a fan of the pre-cocked striker. I understand that it acts as a passive safety, since there are no manual safeties on the gun to speak of (the .45 does have a thumb safety but I found it to be obtrusive as I tried to manually lock open the slide), but I’m not a total fan of the DAO. True, the pre-cocked striker is not a true DAO but it’s the closest comparison that you can come to with current terminology. I think I’ll create some new terminology, PCS and FCS. If you can’t figure it out, I don’t want to explain.

I love the FCS on my XD. There is a long draw, which moves all of the internal safeties but then, a crisp, clean break for the kaboom! If I could beg Smith & Wesson to change anything about the M&P it would be changing the striker from and PCS to an FCS because I really, really, really want to like it! In fact, I really did like it until I discovered the PCS. Some range testing will be needed to see if I can really like it once again.

What I was really looking for yesterday was some direction in finding a carry pistol. I’m sorry to say to all of you stingy 1911’ers that I will not be getting a Kimber Pro Carry II or anything of the sort. 1) I don’t have the funds. 2) I already own a .40 and for ammunition ease would like to keep my pistols the same caliber. 3) I am always willing to look outside of what other say is the “best” thing. You may think that the 1911 platform is the “best” that there is, but something else may have come along using a modified 1911 platform that might be “better” for me.

I couldn’t find anything that I liked in a polymer striker pistol. Springfield XD doesn’t have a compact model chambered in .40 S&W. Glock, gag me. Sigma, the counter rep called it a good truck gun. Simple to operate and effective when you need to let some lead fly. I was liking the M&P but now I’m not so sure because of the PCS. S&W 99, out. Walther P99 QA, out.

So I’m down to this either I look heavily into a P99 AS or I move away from striker fired pistols and stay with the traditional hammer fired pistols. Nothing wrong with a hammer. Heck, if I wanted to stay with a polymer frame I could purchase a Sig Sauer SP2022. Compact, chambered in .40 S&W, traditional SA/DA, 10 or 12 round mags. That would work very nicely. My brother has a Sig 220 Compact, if I’m not mistaken, in .45 ACP and it shoots very nicely.

The other pistol heavily considered is the CZ 75 B Compact, chambered in .40 S&W. CZ quality in a sweet little carry piece. Yes, that would work nicely as well.

But again, maybe I’m getting too caught up in this. The important thing with a carry piece is not who makes it but how you shoot it! I have a cousin who carries a Smith & Wesson similar to this (right) and he absolutely loves it. Just more proof that it’s not what you shoot but how you shoot it. If looks count though, I’m leaning toward the CZ.

It seems as if I have rambled off topic slightly. Well, in the end it was a successful day at Cabela’s. I got some answers to some questions that I had and of course, enjoyed a Buffalo Burger. Cabela’s is just one of those stores that I can spend hours in. So much to see, so little time. I learned not to tell my wife when I’d be home because, well, when that didn’t happen I got in trouble but that’s another story.


Posted by on March 9, 2008 in Guns


6 responses to “Fun at Cabela's

  1. Bobby G.

    March 10, 2008 at 7:33 am

    Reese: Sorry to hear you didn’t like the long pull of the “99”. From what the Walther says (per their 2004 caralog), that ONLY occurs on the first shot (approx 8 lbs), with all subsequent shots being about 50% less weight (same distance) -the 99AS has the lightest pull at 4.4 lbs after the first shot. I would think other versions of the 99 are similar – even the DAO (not MY favorite model, either)I also like the XD, especially after the torture test Handguns Magazine put it through (20K rds and not a hangup or misfire). Not too bad for a croatian product!As for a concealed b/u piece…I like wheelguns such as the S&W centennial airweight, or even a Kahr Micro MK in 9mm. But if you want to really get your point across, I’d opt for the Kimber Ultra Carry II or the Para-Ordinance PXT in .45ACP.And you know the ONLY reason we HAVE handguns, right?It’s to fight our way to our MAIN GUN -mine would be a 12 gauge pump /w rifled slugs.(we ain’t huntin’ wabbits, Elmer..just protecting our homes!)And this is INDIANA!;)B.G.

  2. Bobby G.

    March 12, 2008 at 10:18 am

    Reese: You need to check this out: scroll down about 2/3 of the page.I think These are what you’re looking for.;)b.G.

  3. Reese

    March 12, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    Bobby G.! I’d seen this site before but I havnen’t been able to verify that the .40 is an actual “compact” since the Springfield Armory site shows the compact chambered in a .45. Thanks!

  4. Reese

    March 13, 2008 at 8:03 am

    Bobbie G.,Here is an email I sent Springfield Armory “Hello, After viewing your website it appears that your “Compact” model is only available chambered in .45 ACP. However, I was viewing another website,, and they have what they are claiming to be a “compact” model chambered in .40 S&W, Is this correct? It is something that was ordered through the custome shop, that they are simply reselling? I currently own an XD Tacticle in .40 S&W and love it! It’s size make’s it difficult to use as a carry piece, thus I’m looking for a smaller carry weapon. I’ve held and fired the 3″ Sub-Compact and the grip is too small for my hands, making it difficult to control, which is why I’m looking for a compact model in .40 S&W. Your assistance is appreciated.”Here was there response – “We had planned to produce a 40 compact and the 9 but it never happenedI have asked and we never did ship any. You may want to inquire with Pearce Grips on the sub compactThat might give you enough to make it fit your hand better.” Looks like I’ll have to email XD Pistols and see exactly what this “compact” is.

  5. Jim

    April 4, 2008 at 10:13 am

    Reese,Have you held and shot a Service XD-40?Just a suggestion.–Jim

  6. Reese

    April 4, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    Unfortunately, Jim, I haven’t. I do have a Tactical XD 40, but am considering getting getting a Service or Sub-Compact 40 for a carry piece. Do you have/have you shot a Service XD 40? Would you recommend it for a carry gun? The reason I’m considering the Sub-Compact is for the shorter grip. I’m 6’3″ and 255lbs so I need something easy to conceal. ———I emailed XDPistols about the “compact” 40 and apparently since the Service model has a 4″ barrel they consider it “compact” since it is not a “full size”, i.e. 5″ barrel.


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