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Thread: Article with informal accuracy testing: 1911, M&P Gen 2, Glock Gen 3

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Article with informal accuracy testing: 1911, M&P Gen 2, Glock Gen 3

    Ran across this interesting article with an informal--but structured--accuracy test between a custom 9mm 1911, an OEM M&P Gen 2, and a Glock Gen 3.


    Like all tests of this type, you can immediately see limitations.
    *The main one I see is that the sample size is too small--one gun of each type.
    *Also the 1911 was a lightly customized Para with a Kart drop-in match barrel (so this is not a highly tuned bullseye-type 1911). Personally I would've preferred to see the M&P and Glock both have common enhancements to the triggers/barrels as well, for example something like an Apex duty trigger plus a Storm Lake drop-in fit barrel.
    *Finally, I'm not sure if the Gen 3 OEM Glock would normally be as accurate as the OEM Gen 5; from a little searching, I see mixed views on that question as to how much difference in accuracy/precision the Marksman barrel has made.

    However--there were a couple things to like about the test.
    *The author used a Ransom rest (which has known limitations too esp with polymer pistols); this would at least enable consistency and remove shooter-specific idiosyncrasies from the equation.
    *He used the same loads in all pistols, and used a variety of loads including popular defensive/duty loads
    *Finally he tested with 50rd groups to establish a more reliable view of the mechanical precision and standard deviation.

    Bottom line: with the limitations this little test cannot be conclusive. But it does give a useful/interesting data point that goes beyond the typical informal testing most of us do.

    Takeaways for me, which fit the pattern I've seen with all plastic polymer pistols I've owned or tested vs 1911's:
    * It is often--I'd say 'usually' in my experience--the case that you can shoot even a reasonable quality factory or lightly tuned 1911 more accurately and precisely (with the same load) than you can a modern striker fired pistol. For example, think of a model like a Dan Wesson Vigil or a Springfield Range Officer, stock. I think the difference seen in this test would shrink a bit if you use an enhanced trigger/barrel on the polymer pistols. It definitely did for me with my Apexed M&P Gen 1's. But in the end, a factory Springfield Loaded 1911, and much more so a tuned 1911, always shot with significantly greater accuracy and precision than even a modified M&P.
    * There's not a substantial difference in mechanical precision between the M&P Gen 2 platform and the Glock Gen 3 platform. And I'd be surprised if this result changed much by using a Glock Gen 5. I did not see a significant difference in my informal testing of a rental range Gen 5 vs an M&P Gen 2. But then my testing was not high round counts, only used 3 different loads, only 5rd groups, using someone else's used pistols, etc., so my testing was far more rife with limitations/flaws than the test in the article.
    Last edited by maximus83; 09-26-19 at 18:31. Reason: correct typos

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Thats not a custom 1911, not even close. Para with kart barrel, just stop its like putting lipstick on a pig. Pretty much like a saying a Kia is a Nascar racer with hi test gasoline. But thankfully his groundbreaking research that 1911's are easy to shoot well will turn the tide.

    I apologize, I just couldn't get past Custom 1911. Really I'm sorry for being a dick but I couldn't.

    "Air Force / Policeman / Fireman / Man of God / Friend of mine / R.I.P. Steve Lamy"

  3. #3
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    Jun 2008
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    No worries, you were just a little dick.

    Assume all he meant by using "custom" is to distinguish it from a stock pistol, since he updated the barrel, whereas the others were run stock. Six, half a dozen, terminology, I got what he meant. Also if he'd run a nicer 1911 everyone would scream it's not a fair comparison--running a lower end one is better for this case.
    Last edited by maximus83; 09-27-19 at 01:02.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Mid-West, USA
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    It's common for 1911s to shoot well. Here is a 50 yard group of 115gr XTP handloads out of my 38 Super. While the gun is temporarily wearing a dovetail mounted RDS, the only accuracy work was to have a fitted barrel bushing. I shot this braced on a bench. By braced, I mean seated with my forearms supported against a bag.

    Screenshot_20190919-214504_Video Player.jpg

    Edit-not sure how I accidentally attached the same picture three times, but there you have it.
    Last edited by taekwondopreacher; 09-26-19 at 22:39.


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