Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Did a direct compare of Shield and XDS...

...and results were a bit surprising.

At least for the two examples I happened to pick up, both trigger pull quality and reset quality favored the Shield.  I had remembered both a crisper trigger and shorter reset when I first met an XDS, but not so on this one.  (I may now make it a point to try out every one I see, just to have a sense of how variable each one can be.)

The Shield's trigger is indeed the partial-cocking striker-fire variety, and I was impressed.  At least on this example, it was superb--it reminded me very much of the impression I'd got the first time I saw an XDS.  :-)

Other variables went back and forth.  The trigger guard on the XDS is better for gloves than the Shield's...  The Shield actually felt slightly slimmer in the grip than the XDS, but recall that the Shield's magazines have a slight stagger that make them noticeably thicker than the XDS' true single-column tubes...  There's the whole 6+1 .40 versus 5+1 .45 comparison...  The Shield has the potential for a manual safety, but without a 1911-esque thumb extension, I might actually prefer the sans-lever model...  The XDS is very slightly smaller in height when both guns use their short magazines, but it's very much taller when the long magazines are used...

Really, it's kind of a wash, with all things considered.

And if I'm honest, I can also compare both the Springfield and the Smith to my Kahr CW40, which is 6+1 .40, 0.94" wide, 4.6" tall and 6.3" long (read:  effectively the same), and realize that its only real disadvantage is the revolver-length reset, which frankly only matters to me because of the (potential) glove problem.  The Kahr's trigger pull quality is better than either of the other pistols, it's lighter, and its grip frame is one length, rather than "extensible" by a longer magazine that also tries to replace grip space.  The grip is also large enough to get the whole hand on comfortably.

All duly noted.  I suspect that one would be well-served by any of these three choices.

I admit I'm still intrigued by the idea of the XDS 4 playing the role of LW Commander, with the ability to suddenly become a subcompact in grip profile, as a newbie's first and most-flexible piece.  .45ACP is pretty forgiving for a general purpose cartridge--moreso than .40--and in the end that might what sways a recommendation.

Looking forward to my first range experience with either of these newer designs.  :-)


MamaLiberty said...

nI've never figured out what this trigger "reset" thing is good for, or how it works. I pull the trigger back, follow through, release and then pull it again if I'm going to take another shot. The distance of a full pull is incredibly small, after all.

I'd love to know why this "reset point" is important to you.

Kevin Wilmeth said...

It's certainly an argument for excellence, not necessity. Nearly all gunfights are concluded with no party even knowing what "ride the reset" means. :-)

In short it's a "maximum performance" practice, either for precision or for speed. If your need is for a "hammer" (two shots at maximum speed), letting the trigger out only as far as it needs to reset can get the second shot on target faster, and more importantly, that second shot is more accurate (a true "hammer" does not reacquire the sight picture for the second shot, but rather uses the cadence of recoil control to put the second shot very close to, but not exactly on top of, the first).

If your need is for multiple precision shots, the short reset (and lack of the need for first stage/takeup) is less disturbing to the sight picture, letting you make your second precision shot faster.

So...max speed shots are delivered with a little better accuracy, and precision shots are delivered fractionally faster.

The 1911 lends itself to the practice specifically, since it typically has a very positive and tactile feel to the reset (unlike the P35 which is horribly long and un-positive), which you can feel easily.

But again, it's hardly necessary. It's something people do when they have already built basic skills and have a need to find a way to make them better. Yes, you do get a little faster/more accurate by shooting this way...but, perspective: you'd still lose to a grossly less skilled opponent who knows that there's going to be a fight three seconds before you do.

Nothing is more important than awareness and mindset. (And as to that, it's quite possible that the greatest value of understanding your trigger's reset (short, long or otherwise) is in instilling confidence.)

MamaLiberty said...

Hmmm, can't say I really understand much of that, and I've never been able to even FIND any sort of "reset point." Fully releasing the trigger seems a whole lot more reliable to me. In an emergency, with a million volts of adrenalin running through my veins, I really don't see how I could listen or feel some vague signal like that. Not to mention that all that adrenalin is going to mess up a great many of my fine motor skills. Therefore, consciously training to do this "reset" might actually complicate and inhibit my response to that emergency and make matters worse. Pinpoint accuracy is hardly a goal in self defense. :(

I can and have placed a number of shots in good position, very rapidly, and I do much of that with "point and shoot," not using the sights at all.

So, no. I'm not going to worry about it, especially since I'm not into shooting as a sport. :)

Awareness and mindset... absolutely. My ultimate goal is never having to draw, much less fire even a single shot in self defense. But I'm ready to do so if necessary. :)