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calvin118
08-23-09, 14:29
I shot the m&p .40 a little while back, and it seemed to have freakishly low recoil and muzzle flip for the caliber. I have also shot the m&p 9, but not on the same day as the .40. My memory is confounded by the fact that they were not shot side by side, but from what I recall the .40 seemed to be just as fast as the 9mm (which is not the case with any other platform I am familiar with). I know this defies conventional wisdom, and was wondering whether it is my memory playing tricks on me.

Has anyone has timed their splits on the m&p 9 and .40, or shot them both side by side enough to form a firm opinion on the difference in speed?

I ask because I will be getting an m&p in either .40 or 9mm soon. I do not want to open the 'caliber war' can of worms, but if the speed and shootability is really as close as I remember I'll probably go with the .40. I am set up to reload and the couple extra cents per round doesn't bother me, nor does the 15 vs. 17 capacity issue.

Thanks

John_Wayne777
08-23-09, 19:07
The problem with split times is who you have behind the trigger. Most people are not a good enough shooter that they'd really be able to have a consistent, quantifiable difference in their times when using the 9mm or the .40. The M&P .40 is reported to have the best recoil characteristics of any service quality .40 currently on the market. DocGKR has commented on it's shootability many times here and on other boards.

I'm sure those who have a lot of trigger time on an M&P in 9mm would be able to tell the difference when shooting a .40 version, but whether or not that difference is significant is another question entirely.

My advice would be this:

Buy whatever version makes the most sense for you. If, for instance, you have multiple .40 caliber guns or a supply of .40 caliber M&P mags, get the .40.

Otherwise I'd suggest the 9mm version because it's cheaper to feed, and that leaves more room for training and practice, which is more critical in a real life fight than a marginally better performing pistol cartridge.

calvin118
08-24-09, 20:11
Thanks very much for the reply. While I realize that my split times are far, far slower than the best shooters here, there is still a noticeable difference in speed between most of the platforms that I have shot side by side in 9 and .40. This seems to be the result of a much longer recoil arc in .40.

Your point about what is significant, however, is very well taken. While both of our splits might be faster in 9, the magnitude and importance of that margin might be vastly different. The best advice for me would probably be to shoot them side by side and decide how significant the difference is 'for me'.

Alpha Sierra
08-24-09, 23:19
IMHO, this business of split times means nothing when using a handgun for real.

gringop
08-25-09, 17:14
IMHO, this business of split times means nothing when using a handgun for real.

I'm always willing to learn something.

Could you give me your definition of using a handgun for real and why fast, accurate follow up shots mean nothing in that situation?

Some examples would be useful in helping me to understand.

Thanks, Gringop

ToddG
08-25-09, 18:32
IMHO, this business of split times means nothing when using a handgun for real.

Depending on what you mean, exactly, I'd either say "+1" or "you're off your rocker."

Fast splits solely for the purpose of getting fast splits are mostly unimportant. How fast you can hit a huge high-probability static target while in a perfect, unmoving stance with time to prep and with very little stress ... fun, sounds cool, looks cool (if you're getting hits), not way up at the top of my priorities.

But, to echo gringop, the ability to make fast, accurate follow up shots is certainly a critically important skill "for real." We know handgun projectiles aren't particularly effective at making people Fall Down, Go Boom so putting more of them into someone quickly is increasing your odds for stopping the fight.

If I can put four or five hits into someone's thoracic triangle while he's trying to break his first or second shot, that's a big plus in my column.

When you watch the best shooters in the world under serious time constraints (like an IPSC match), most of them never shoot the kind of fun, sounds cool, looks cool (if you're getting hits) mid-teens splits that lots of people practice at the range. Because when movement, transitions, etc. come into play, you can't get that perfect stance or you can't put 100% of your mental & physical effort into recoil control, etc.

On the other hand, if you can't get off 3-4 shots per second and hit what you're aiming at at a reasonable distance, then you're probably not really practicing how you'll shoot under stress, either. That's another nice benefit of competitions ... people very quickly learn how their "slow is smooth, smooth is fast" thought process falls apart when there's the stress of a shot timer and a crowd.

Alpha Sierra
08-25-09, 20:11
Fast splits solely for the purpose of getting fast splits are mostly unimportant. How fast you can hit a huge high-probability static target while in a perfect, unmoving stance with time to prep and with very little stress ... fun, sounds cool, looks cool (if you're getting hits), not way up at the top of my priorities..
That's what I think of when I hear someone discuss splits.

I completely agree with you that being able to deliver multiple hits to the part of the body where it matters most as quickly as possible while moving off the line as quickly as possible it what matters.

In the training that I have had, the best way to accomplish that is through the use of a sight continuum and mostly one handed shooting to give you the most freedom of movement and speed.

IMO, avoiding being hit is as important as delivering the goods.

ToddG
08-25-09, 21:40
=In the training that I have had, the best way to accomplish that is through the use of a sight continuum and mostly one handed shooting to give you the most freedom of movement and speed.

Agree 100% on the "sight continuum" concept. See what you need to see has been part of effective firearms training since before I fired my first shot.

I'd disagree on the 1-handed part, however. All else being equal, my #1 priority is winning the fight by being the guy who finishes the fight. Having both hands on my gun lets me shoot faster & more accurately. I certainly train 1-handed shooting a lot, but not as a preferred response.


IMO, avoiding being hit is as important as delivering the goods.

In my experience (FOF), the guys who focus on "not getting hit" are the ones that have the hardest time succeeding. "Not getting hit" doesn't end the fight, it simply prolongs it and provides more time for your opponent to do the fight-stopping.

Aggression: not just for when you're driving on the highway. :cool:

Alpha Sierra
08-25-09, 23:05
I'd disagree on the 1-handed part, however. All else being equal, my #1 priority is winning the fight by being the guy who finishes the fight. Having both hands on my gun lets me shoot faster & more accurately. I certainly train 1-handed shooting a lot, but not as a preferred response.
Body kinematics and the difference in the limits of joint motion between shooting one and two handed become significant at certain angles of movement off the line of attack. Those limits of motion are greater when both arms can move independently. And since shooting one handed is more difficult than doing so two-handed, I tend to practice one handed shooting at close distances more so than what is easier.


In my experience (FOF), the guys who focus on "not getting hit" are the ones that have the hardest time succeeding. "Not getting hit" doesn't end the fight, it simply prolongs it and provides more time for your opponent to do the fight-stopping.
You're right, focusing on not getting hit means they are placing more importance on it than on hitting their opponent. I place the same importance on both.

Alpha Sierra
08-25-09, 23:07
Most folks who shoot machinegun-speed splits actually lose the front sight and just point/index shoot the followups.
And depending on what they need to be hitting, that is just a case of seeing what they need to see. :D

TiroFijo
08-26-09, 09:34
Back to the split time topic...

Anyone can learn to shoot 3-4 shots per second with good accuracy up to 7-8 m (or more if you are gifted o higly trained) with a service sized gun. Shorter ranges even faster.

Sure the split times are going to be smaller with lower recoiling calibers, or perhaps (depending on the shooter) just a better grip fit grip/size, better trigger, heavier gun, etc.

But how much does 0.25 sec vs 0.35 sec really matters in real life? Absent a CNS system shot, most times the recipient will not notice the difference if he got shot twice in 0.5 or 1.0 second.

ToddG
08-26-09, 13:00
Body kinematics and the difference in the limits of joint motion between shooting one and two handed become significant at certain angles of movement off the line of attack. Those limits of motion are greater when both arms can move independently.

Understood. However, I remain skeptical that most folks will actually take those lines of movement under stress. Our brains force our bodies to square up on threats like that if we go into fight mode rather than flight mode. If we're in flight mode, trying to get hits while running full tilt away at a weird angle seems contra-indicated and, as mentioned above, is focusing more about getting away than ending the fight.


But how much does 0.25 sec vs 0.35 sec really matters in real life? Absent a CNS system shot, most times the recipient will not notice the difference if he got shot twice in 0.5 or 1.0 second.

Respectfully, I think that is the wrong way to look at it. We all agree that it's likely to take multiple handgun rounds to stop a threat. Will it take 3? 6? 12? We don't know. But however many it takes, you have to remember that the threat is a threat until you stop him. He's shooting at you while you're shooting at him.

If you're firing two shots per second and I'm firing five shots per second, I'm hitting you a lot more than you're hitting me. All else being equal, I'm going to stop you before you stop me ... which is my goal.

TiroFijo
08-26-09, 14:11
Todd, I understand and agree with you... just wanted to point out that the "split time curve" is exponential, and I think the incremental gains in real world "effect on target" get smaller and smaller past a certain point, while the training, expense and effort to achieve these gains get larger.

ToddG
08-26-09, 14:35
Agreed absolutely. Getting from >1-sec splits to half second splits is just a function of learning some grip and sighting fundamentals. Getting from around 0.50 to around 0.33 takes some practice but is well within the range of anyone who puts effort into firearms training. Getting from 0.33 to the 0.25 range is about as far as most folks will go (for sighted, on-demand speed & accuracy against, e.g., 8" circle at 7yd).

From there, you start making changes that are measured in just one or two hundredths and the time/money necessary to make improvements rises. This is where the whole "slow is smooth, smooth is fast" concept breaks down and you can't just keep working on getting smoother ... you really need to push yourself and the gun to go fast for the sake of going fast.