Daddy got a new toy for Father's Day! I know the headline for this post has already got the blood of Glock fans out there starting to boil over. So first let me point out that I am not writing this to say in any way that Smith & Wesson M&P9s are better than the venerable Glock line.
I wrestled with the choice for months. I have been shooting a Browning Hi-Power MK III since 1989 and it wasn't until I attended a tactical pistol course taught by Larry Vickers last summer that I realized it was time for an upgrade. The Browning is a great gun, but it lacks modern features. I won't go into all the reasons I decided to switch, but magazine changing alone is downright painful with the Hi Power compared to pistols like Glock. My Browning's mags stick so bad that you have to pull them out manually. Inserting fresh mags is no easier since the Hi-Power doesn't have a flared magazine well.
Anyway, I was drawn to the Glock initially. It has a solid reputation for reliability and quite possibly one of the best factory trigger resets on the market. Then I had the chance to check out Smith & Wesson's M&P9 Full-Size with/thumb safety. I was just blown away at how much the M&P's ergonomics appealed to me. The gun just felt like it was custom-made for me.
I embarked on an exhaustive period of research. I read all the blog discussions I could on both the M&P9 and the Glock 17 and 19. I talked to several shooters from both camps. There was some discussion I found online that suggested that the M&P's accuracy was inconsistent from gun to gun and could not stand up to the Glock, but I couldn't find any hard proof. I did get the chance to shoot both the M&P and the Glock but not enough to find a decisive winner.
In the end, the M&P's ergonomics just felt more natural to me, in both grip comfort and in the speed I can acquire good sight alignment. The manual thumb safety also sold me. I know some Glock owners who feel that a thumb safety slows them down, but I like the extra safety precaution. And the M&P's thumb safety is smooth as silk, much like the safety on my Browning. My thumb naturally rests on it and it is now engrained into my draw.
I am rather surprised at how many improvements the M&P has over my Hi-Power. Magazine changes are now effortless. The sights are sharper. I like the M&P's rail system for mounting a light. My M&P has no magazine safety, a feature on the my Browning that I grew to hate. Now, I have to admit that the trigger isn't fantastic. It does feel sort of squishy and felt reset is very slight, much like the reset on my Browning.
Sadly, I haven't had the chance to go the range yet. I will report back after a few months when I have been able to put a few hundred rounds through it.