Table Of Contents

A day at the range, despite Spring’s lingering chill. Photo courtesy Howard Communications.

Contents

News
DC Project
Defensive Strategies
Handguns
Ammunition
Gear
Handguns
Legally Speaking
Making A Difference
From The Editor

Smith & Wesson’s Easy Shooting Shield .380 ACP Pistol

 

The Shield is a modern design with much to recommend.

By Bob Campbell,
Contributing Editor

Over the years I have seen many people struggle with the handgun. Some older folks and others with limited hand strength have a difficult time with the revolver. While revolvers are simple enough to handle, the long double-action trigger press challenges some shooters. As an example I knew a woman about my age well that had suffered a serious injury in a fall. My friend had courage and worked herself back into shape by lifting weights and constant action. But she never regained full hand strength and could no longer handle her .38 revolvers.
Another purchased a snub-nose .38 but simply could not handle the recoil. She adopted a Walther PPK .32, far from ideal for her, but she was able to handle the recoil of the self-loader.
Semi-automatic pistols transfer part of the recoil into energy to work the slide; the recoil spring absorbs some recoil. A self-loader doesn’t have a stiff trigger action if the pistol is properly designed. Another impediment, however, is that the slide may be difficult to rack. The recoil spring must be compressed as the pistol is loaded by racking the slide. A 9mm designed to handle +P loads will have a heavy spring. If you are able to handle this type of handgun that’s fine but many of our brothers and sisters cannot.

Some will prefer the version with a manual safety while others will find the grip safety safety enough.

It is difficult for some folks to be able to chamber a cartridge if the recoil spring is heavy. A person needs a handgun that compliments their abilities, not challenges them unduly.
Smith & Wesson has introduced a pistol based on the MP22 frame. The new Smith & Wesson Military and Police Shield .380 ACP has the modern 2.0 Shield improvements. The slide features well designed cocking serrations that make for easy racking. The front of the slide is scalloped to allow easy manipulation. The frame also features the new 18 degree grip angle that makes the 2.0 pistols set so well in the hand. You have a good feeling of control with this handgun. I really like the handling of the Smith & Wesson Shield .380. The pistol isn’t one of the micro-sized .380 pistols introduced during the past decade. The Shield is a full size .380 you might say, larger than a Walther PPK.
The handling and design are reminiscent of the immensely popular Colt 1903 handgun. Going to this size pistol results in a handgun that is easy to handle, comfortable to fire, and with excellent accuracy in offhand fire. Another feature of the pistol is that the force needed to rack the slide is less than many other handguns.

The Shield isn’t striker fired but features a hidden hammer.

The recoil spring, designed to contain the recoil of the .380 ACP handgun, isn’t as difficult to rack as 9mm rated handgun springs. The leverage of the slide and recoil spring is good and makes for an easy handling handgun. Even though I have been handling firearms for several decades, including high capacity magazine pistols that are sometimes difficult to top off, I still have difficulty with some pistol magazines. I keep the Butler Creek magazine loader handy to load high capacity 9mm magazines and also the AR 15.
The Smith & Wesson Shield .380 EZ pistol features easy to load magazines. These magazines feature a tab on the body that is pulled down to load the magazines. The single column magazines are easy to load but have plenty of spring pressure to keep the pistol feeding. Hinged triggers and triggers with a finger lever safety are standard for modern pistols.
In contrast, the M&P Shield .380 features a single piece single action trigger. This trigger allows a clean trigger break. I was pleasantly surprised to find the M&P Shield .380 trigger broke at 5.0 pounds and clean.
I like this trigger very much, but a single action trigger demands some form

Field striping and maintenance is easy enough.

of safety as well. The Military and Police Shield .380 features a hinged grip safety. This safety must be depressed in order to fire the pistol. The grip safety doesn’t require a great deal of effort but makes a good safety feature.

If the pistol is dropped the grip safety pops out and the pistol is made safe. There is also a version with the thumb safety of the MP 22. I prefer a manual safety but can live with the grip safety. I simply obtained the first pistol available and that was the version without the thumb lock safety. As a side note when John Browning designed the Browning 1910 he tried to convince FN that the grip safety was the only safety needed, but they insisted on a thumb safety as well. The grip safety of the M&P .380 does the job.

The Shield .380 is easy to rack. It is a pistol with ergonomics first.

The pistol has many advantages in firing. The pistol is larger than some .380 ACP pistols. As I noted earlier, the Smith & Wesson Military and Police Shield .380 is similar in size and conception to the Colt 1903, a handgun that saw a great deal of action “back in the day.”
The Shield .380 is easy to use well. The slide is easily racked with only two fingers. The magazines are easily loaded. The three-dot white outline sights offer an excellent sight picture. Ammunition selection is critical with the .380 ACP cartridge. Some pistols are not reliable with a wide range of ammunition. Most pistols should be loaded with only the 90 to 100 grain loads. Light bullet loads and those that use specialty bullets do not make for the degree of reliability I like. There simply isn’t a surplus of power.

I have fired the Shield extensively with a variety of ammunition and found a useful handgun that is always reliable. The sights are well designed for precision shooting, the piece is simply easy to use well. I have fired at humanoid targets at 5, 7 and 10 yards and fired from the retention position as well, a sure test of a pistol’s reliability.

With the TruGlo combat light, the Shield is a formidable home defender.

The Shield never, never stuttered and provided excellent results. The magazines were very easy to load. A good test is to fire a full magazine as quickly as you can recover the sights in recoil. Doing so I have fired groups as small as four inches for eight shots.
Black Hills Ammunition offers a 100-grain FMJ loading. This load is 5 grains heavier than the average .380 ACP FMJ load. This makes for good penetration and better momentum in a handgun that may not have been properly cleaned and lubricated.

The Shield is lighter but slightly larger than the Colt 1903 pistol.

A good choice for personal defense is the 90-grain JHP loading. At about 950 fps this load is controllable and offers modest expansion, all we can expect of a .380 ACP bullet. Black Hills offers the 60-grain Honey Badger that leaves the Shield’s barrel at a blistering 1200 fps. This lightweight bullet is well machined of solid brass and features flutes that begin cutting flesh on contact. It doesn’t expand and exhibits excellent penetration.

The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield .380 has many good features. The sights are good, the trigger is crisp, the pistol is easy to operate. The safety doesn’t require thought to manipulate; just make a firing grip.

The Shield magazines feature a stub for loading. Simply pull the magazine follower down to load. This works well.

The pistol is easy to use quickly and those that practice will be delivering accurate fire. Those with limited hand strength or who have experienced an injury will find a pistol to use well. As for the easy racking slide, we did a side test to determine if the slide would go out of battery in tightly molded holsters and purse holsters. The answer seems to be that there is plenty of spring pressure to keep the pistol locked into battery. I like this pistol a lot.

 

 

 

 

 

Ammunition Choices for .223 Remington

A good rifle backed up with first class ammunition will solve a lot of problems from taking on varmints to area defense against gangs.

By Bob Campbell,
Contributing Editor

The 5.56mm/.223 Remington is America’s cartridge just as the AR 15 rifle is America’s rifle. The rifle is used for recreational shooting, competition, varmint hunting, medium game hunting and personal defense. The same rifle will handle all of these chores, given a skilled shooter. While the rifle is versatile and may fill each role well, no single loading will serve in every pursuit.

The .223 often fragments. Be certain to consider the likely scenario when choosing a load for a specific duty.

Sometimes the choice is confusing. The primary difference in loads is bullet weight. Some weigh as little as 35 grains, loads for long range use may top 80 grains. (There are 7000 grains in a pound.) The light bullets are designed to quickly and humanely dispose of a varmint weighing a few pounds.

The heavy bullet loads are useful for hunting larger game or personal defense. The most versatile loads may perform well in two or three roles, but we will find that specialization is a great aid in satisfaction with the rifle.

The author has personally tested every load discussed. It wasn’t a chore to fire such a quality selection!

There are highly specialized loads such as the Black Hills Ammunition 36-grain Varmint Grenade and others such as the Black Hills Ammunition 60-grain V Max that are versatile. Let’s take a look at some of the better choices. It isn’t possible to cover every choice but we may be able to get the rifle shooter started in the right direction. The loads enumerated have been test fired in the author’s Colt and Ruger rifles. A number were also fired in a long serving Bushmaster carbine.
Recreation
I would wager that over ninety per cent of the .223 rounds fired in America are fired in recreational use, in low stress pursuits. I have fired my old alarm and excursion Colt HBAR for fun, at varmints and at distant targets often over the past twenty years.

Winchester’s 55-grain FMJ USA load is a standby of police departments, competitors and savvy individuals.

I have settled into the bench in pursuit of MOA accuracy. I have practiced tactical drills. But—it was enjoyable. In the event the rifle was called on for real, well, I am very familiar with its capabilities. For recreational shooting the best choice is the least expensive quality ammunition available.

We all have brand loyalty and Winchester USA and Federal American Eagle may be found for a similar price, but sometimes one or the other may be on sale. This factory generic ammunition using a 55-grain FMJ bullet is the best choice for plinking and practice. I have avoided most steel cased ammunition, and not because it doesn’t function.

Two names the author trusts—Black Hills Ammunition and Colt.

Foreign powder is often dirty and requires excess effort to scrub the bolt free of carbon deposits. Hornady’s Steel Match is loaded by Hornady and performs as well as most Hornady loads, which is very good to excellent. I now use quite a bit of this offering. The one that is found in bulk at a fair price is the one to choose. If you are purchasing loads in bulk I have found that boxer primed brass is longer lived in storage, versus the Berdan primed steel cased loads. Just in case, in an emergency situation a rifle may be loaded with quality practice ball ammunition and you can expect good reliability.
Competition
Competition means different things to different folks.

Hornady’s Steel Match is an exception to the rule with steel cased ammunition and an excellent all around performer.

Three- gun competition demands reliability, and the loads covered in the recreational section will work well.

The National Match, of course, would be another thing. The long range stages at 3-Gun demand more accuracy. I have used the Federal American Eagle 62-grain Tip at 300 yards. Available in a bulk box, this load would fill the bill at 3-Gun nicely. A number of competitors use the least expensive 55-grain FMJ possible then switch to something like the Black Hills Ammunition 60-grain JSP at longer range. Recently I obtained a number of the Fiocchi Canned Heat loads with the 62-grain FMJ bullet. You simply cannot criticize the packaging. The plastic lid is pulled away and then there is another internal barrier similar to wax paper. Overall, good kit for those that like to keep a ready supply in storage.

At long range, names such as Hornady and Sierra dominate the field and the hand loads are filled with the individual’s choice of IMR 4895 or Varget.

This well used AR is a great home defender.

Handloads not only keep cost down they also allow the shooter to fine tune the load. For the rest of us beginning with the Black Hills Ammunition 52-grain MATCH, an old favorite, we have loads capable of cutting edge accuracy. In heavier bullets the 75-grain BTHP as loaded by Hornady is never a bad choice. Long range demands precision. There are several loads that are more accurate than I am able to hold. The Black Hills 77-grain OTM is the choice of the US Marine Corps and other units. Match the load to your rifle and control the trigger. These loads are excellent choices.
Varmints
The centerfire .22 was conceived as a varmint round. We have managed to get much, much more from the cartridge than first intended. Varmint hunting is a great pastime. The skill demanded crosses over into other fields.

Steel cased loads may not be the best choice for long term. These are from Russia.

Accuracy is important and so is a clean humane kill. Highly frangible bullets are the best choice. These bullets also limit ricochet and preserve public safety. Hornady’s 36-grain NTX is both fast and accurate. I have also used the 40-grain V Max, particularly in the Fiocchi load, and found it clean burning and accurate.

Despite the shorter bearing surface in the rifling with this short bullet these loads have given excellent results on targets well past 200 yards. Another favorite is the Black Hills Varmint Grenade.

Light bullet loads, heavy bullet loads and military loads function well in the AR 15 rifle. The final choice depends upon the mission.

 

On this subject some years ago a very poor recommendation was made that law officers and home defenders should use the 40-grain .223 based on low penetration and recoil. Some actually bought into this, and the choice is a very poor one for personal defense. These bullets are designed to blow up on a pest weighing a few ounces.

Maggie Reese of Team Colt shows how it is done. For competition use the primary requirement is accuracy, followed by reliability and affordability in ammunition.

The bullet would disintegrate on a belt buckle or heavy clothing. The 55-grain JSP is plenty frangible for home defense! Also, these 40-grain loads sometimes do not function well in service grade rifles, particularly those that have not been well maintained.

The 40-grain V Max by Fiocchi and the Hornady 36 -grain NTX each function well in my Colt carbine, but they are varmint and pest loads, not service loads.

That being said they are excellent choices for the intended purpose.
Medium Game

A close friend has dropped a dozen deer in three seasons with a single shot each using the .223 rifle. His Mini 14 was loaded in each case with the Winchester 69-grain JSP. This loading exhibits an excellent balance of expansion and penetrating. It does not fragment but mushrooms like a .30 caliber bullet. Some time ago I researched the .22 Savage High Power, a high velocity number from a hundred years ago.

Hornady’s training load, in the traditional 55-grain weight, is accurate in the author’s experience.

The reason this caliber was not successful, most believe, was due to a lack of proper bullets for taking game. This is no longer true and the .223 Remington can be a good deer taker with proper bullets. The Winchester Ballistic Silvertip is another good load. These loads expand and hold their weight rather than fragment. Another excellent choice is the Black Hills Ammunition load with the Barnes 55-grain TSX bullet.

 

The .223 is pretty frangible and a good home defense choice.

 

I have also tested the 62-grain TSX from the same maker and find it an excellent all around loading.

These bullets simply give the hunter every advantage. A superbly accurate choice is the Federal Vital Shock 60-grain JSP. This load uses the proven Nosler ballistic tip. Federal has more recently Introduced a 62-grain bonded core bullet with excellent performance.
Personal Defense
Personal defense isn’t the same as military use or police service. Those that use the .223 for home defense must concentrate upon reliability and cartridge integrity. The ready rifle or at least the magazine may be stored for use. (It is good to load the magazine down 2 in the 20 round renditions and 3 in the 30 round magazines―this releases more than ten percent of the pressure on the spring.)

Police shootings usually occur within 50 yards. Most are far shorter. The 55-grain JSP has been used across the board for many years. There are better choices, most of them intended to increase the penetration of the load and decrease fragmentation.

Black Hills Ammunition offers the classic 77-grain hollow point in 50 round boxes.

As an example some years ago an officer attempting to stop a fleeing robbery suspect fired a single 55-grain JSP into a vehicle windshield. The bullet fragmented in the glass. While the felon bled out, he did so after traveling some miles with a wound from a bullet fragment. Light cover penetration also needed to be enhanced. This is why special teams still rely upon the .308 precision rifle in addition to the AR 15.

Hornady’s new Full Boar load is fast gaining an excellent reputation in the field.

The .223 demonstrates less penetration in building materials and home structures than the common pistol calibers such as the 9mm, .40 and .45.

With standard loads beginning with the 55-grain JSP results against felons in the open have been excellent, with a single shot usually taking immediate effect.

This is a good thing for public safety. In this regards, practically every .223 55-grain JSP is a good choice. After considerable research I adopted the Black Hills Ammunition 60-grain JSP as my personal standard some time ago and have seen little reason to change. The cartridge is available in 50 round boxes.

This is Federal’s Green Tip 62-grain, a civilian version of the military loading.

Another solution to the problem is the Hornady 60-grain A Max loading. Available, affordable and predictably effective, this loading is versatile and accurate.

I have explored the heavier bullets, particularly in light of the excellent results of the Black Hills Ammunition 77-grain OTM in the hands of our young warriors. These heavy bullet loads are certainly formidable, but for my personal use I think the 60-grain loads are best.

Federal Cartridge’s 55-grain Vital Shock is among the few extensively proven hunting loads in .223 caliber.

The cartridges and loads discussed are all top quality. I have tested each for reliability, accuracy and ballistic performance. In the end, a loading that performs reliably in your personal rifle and which exhibits good accuracy is important. Consider the level of penetration needed. 8 inches or more is a realistic choice for home defense. (These loads were tested in water, ballistic gelatin results are similar.) The greater penetration loads are suited to deer sized game or felons behind cover or heavily clad, as in the winter.

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Cheryl Todd of Arizona, ‘Shepherd’ of Progress

Cheryl Todd speaking at the DC Project event in 2017.

By Genie Jennings,
Contributing Editor

As soon as Cheryl Todd heard about the DC Project at the Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in January, 2016, she knew she needed to participate. It wasn’t as if she didn’t have anything else to do.
In addition to being a wife, mother and grandmother, she is involved in myriad businesses and volunteer positions. She and husband Danny own AZFirearms, “the biggest little gun shop in Arizona,” as well as Pot of Gold Estate Liquidations and Auctions. They also own and co-host Gun Freedom Radio, which broadcasts from 1:00 to 3:00 pm Mountain Time on Saturday afternoons. She serves on the Board of Directors of both the Arizona State Rifle & Pistol Association, and the Southwest Valley Chamber of Commerce. In addition she writes a column for Women’s Outdoor News (WON) and is a prolific contributor on Twitter (@GunFreeRadio), Facebook and Instagram.
Being part of The DC Project: Revealing the Face of the American Gun Owner was simply something this Arizona dynamo had to do. She joined a small group of women in running a recognizance mission to Washington. DCP is composed of women from all over the country, some from cities, many from small towns and rural areas. They have varying experience negotiating things like The Metro and making appointments with their Congressfolk. The recon group became the hub of the project.
Cheryl is adamant about downplaying her role, “…none of us ladies wears any special title or holds any special position,” she insists. She further points to the enormous talent and dedication of the women who compose this truly grassroots organization. There are no monetary backers. Each delegate is responsible for her own transportation, lodging and meals. She must make arrangements for her visits to the offices of her representative and senators.

Cheryl Todd with her daughter, Cassie Todd-Jameson, and Cassie’s now three-year-old daughter, Raelynn Jameson, at the first DC Project event last year.

Cheryl acquiesced to the title of “shepherd,” being available to help group members find their way.
Cheryl was one of the eight women who spoke at the rally on the West Lawn of the Capitol Building during the first DCP. She is used to public speaking because of her weekly radio program, although she had never done that before she and Danny began broadcasting. She is a frequent speaker at the Gun Rights Policy Conference, too.
Joining this particular enterprise was important because her mission is to preserve and protect our Constitution and our rights as American citizens. She believes in and honors the words of President Ronald Reagan, which the Todds play at the beginning of every broadcast. “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
Last year she posed on the lawn in Washington with her daughter, Cassie Todd-Jameson, who is another delegate from Arizona and Cassie’s now three-year-old daughter, Raelynn Jameson. They are the reason why she does what she does.
Our children and our grandchildren are why all of us who work to protect human rights do what we do. Our rights are in constant need of protection. This is a year that the right to keep and bear arms seems particularly vulnerable. Yet, there have been many years when that seemed to be the case. Still, each year seems more dire.
After months of serious debate both within the confines of Independence Hall where the Constitutional Convention was occurring and in the newspapers with competing authors offering opinions and answers to opposing opinions, the day came when we had the document that would be sent to each of the former colonies that were to be the first of the United States of America. When he emerged from the building, Benjamin Franklin was asked what kind of government they had created. He replied, “A Republic, madam. If we can keep it.”
‘We the people’ is a term used so often as to lose its significance. However, it is, indeed, we the people by whom and for whom the Constitution of the United States of America were written. We are the first nation in history to be ruled by the citizens of the nation. We are not ruled by a king who derives his authority from his blood line. Nor are we ruled by a conqueror who has defeated us. We are no man’s subjects. We rule ourselves.”
For quite some time we have not been taught the awesomeness of that concept. Most of us were born into the freedoms we enjoy. Many have immigrated here to share those freedoms. But freedom is fragile. It is as Reagan stated. We can lose our freedoms in an extremely short period of time. We are losing them, now.
More than the rest of the population, almost all gunowners are aware of the possibility of losing our freedom. There are many voices clambering to take away our right to keep and bear arms. If not all the right, immediately, then tiny pieces of the right. Little chunks here and there. Bitty things we might not miss. Or, if they are missed, they are not missed by many because they are things that not many gun owners use. The Second Amendment is under attack more than any other amendment, although bits and pieces of the First and the Fourth and the Fifth have also disappeared.
Cheryl Todd is one person who is very aware of the need for constant vigilance. Going to Washington, letting legislators and their staffs get to know her, is an extremely important role. After spending years de-mystifying guns for her listeners and customers, she is now embarked on doing the same for those who make the laws under which our freedoms continue to flourish…or disappear. This is the face of one American gun owner who representatives and senators will not soon forget!

 

MI Teen Files Legal Action v. Dick’s Stores

An 18-year-old Michigan resident has filed a lawsuit against the Dick’s Sporting Goods chain after the store refused to sell him a rifle, according to WJBK, a Fox News affiliate in Detroit.
The plaintiff in this case is Battle Creek high school senior Triston Fulton. He went to a Dick’s store in Troy and attempted to purchase a rifle. When he provided identification, according to the report, he was not even allowed to look at a rifle because of the store’s newly-adopted policy of selling only to people over age 21.
Attorney James Makowski told WJBK that this amounts to age discrimination under the state’s Elliot Larson law.
In an interview with the station, Makowski asked a question of his own: “Stores should be able to violate people’s civil rights? Are we going to stop allowing black people firearms? Are we going to stop allowing Mexicans to buy firearms? No.”
The attorney said his client is a hunter and he asserted that Dick’s is “discriminating against a whole group of people based on age.”
This lawsuit and another one in Oregon could set off a spate of similar challenges to the age limit set by the stores

Perfect Sized Carry Pistols

We compared the M&P Compact 2.0(l) with the Glock 19 Gen5 with a mix of ammunition for carry and range use sporting Talon Grips.

By Scott Smith

In 2017 Glock and Smith & Wesson introduced the Gen5 and 2.0 versions of their compact pistols: the G19 and M&P Compact. This size pistol is practically perfect for CCW and duty applications because they carry plenty of ammunition and the size fits a lot of folk’s hands. Both pistols are priced so they don’t break the bank, around $550.
At first glance the upgraded pistols look surprisingly like the previous versions. This is not the case; there have been substantial changes to them. What you notice first on both pistols is the grip texturing is more aggressive to give you a better purchase.

After several hundred rounds we found both pistols are perform equally well. This is 16 mixed rounds of our test ammunition offhand at 20 yards.

Both companies are also including additional backstraps to further enhance the fit of their pistols. In my opinion this is the best change since earlier polymer pistols have not seemed to fit people who have smaller hands.
Glock was cheered for removing the annoying finger grooves; I give them two thumbs up. A flared magwell was also added to the frame, which I am ambivalent about.
The next change is the trigger. My personal Glock 17 and 19 pistols as well as my M&Ps are all first generation. The triggers were mushy on both until I either worked on the contact surfaces or replaced the trigger groups.

To make the pistols even we mounted Wilson Combat Vickers Elite Combat Sights.

The Gen5 and 2.0 triggers for a general purpose handgun were perfect. I prefer a 5lb-ish crisp trigger on all of my pistols. These pistols arrived from Glock and Smith & Wesson with 5lb-ish triggers. Personally I would not change out the triggers on these service-type pistols. Over the years I have seen too many issues with aftermarket triggers. On a pistol that I may have to use for a lethal force encounter, I know the factory trigger will ignite whatever factory ammunition I carry. As I have shot them both triggers have become smoother and crisper.

Both pistols now have aggressive texturing to overcome the complaint that polymer pistols are too smooth.

Both pistols had standard factory sights. While serviceable, they are too boxy for my taste. In my humble opinion, replacing the sights is all either pistol needs to make them perfect for virtually any application. We will discuss that shortly.

Glock’s most significant change with the Gen5 is the barrel. The traditional polygonal rifling of Glock barrels has been replaced with the Glock Marksman Barrel. The rifling is more aggressive which should allow the pistols to accurately shoot polymer coated bullets which seem to dominate the reloading market. Accuracy with 147-grain Ibjiheads and Blue Bullets was on par with Federals 147-grain full metal jacket, which is one of the most accurate 9mm loads on the market.

The flared mag well of the Gen5 Glocks aids in reloads and keeping your hand high on the frame.

Smith’s biggest enhancement with the 2.0 is a more rigid frame. This is accomplished by extending the frame chassis to the end of the frame. While it may not sound like a big deal this reduces frame flexing which enhances accuracy. Trusted sources tell me the 5” models are true tack drivers.

The last major changes were to the slides of both pistols. Glock rounded the front of the slide and frame to make holstering easier. Smith added small cocking serrations to the slide which do aid in press checking the pistol. If you didn’t know it, you would miss the last change. Glock is now using a DLC coating on the slide while Smith is using Armornite on their slides. Both of these coating will make the pistols more impervious to the elements while reducing friction.
I wanted to make range evaluations as equal as possible so a couple of items were added to both pistols. These additions were Wilson Combat Vickers Elite Combat Sights and Talon Grips Rubber Grips. This would make the two pistols as identical as possible.

These are the cutouts on the 2.0 M&Ps, you can see the black stainless sleeve through them.

I chose Wilson Combat VEC Sights because they give one of the best sight pictures I have come across in the last twenty plus years. The “U” notch rear is sharp, your eyes naturally center the front sight and it allows plenty of daylight around the front post. For those of us with well over-20 eyes, it gives you a clearer front sight. The other advantage of Wilson sights is you can get a fiber optic, tritium, plain black or gold bead—whichever best fits your needs. For this project I went with fiber optic. Fiber optic fronts tend to be the most versatile. Both sets of sights were dead on at twenty yards.

The plain black rear is $49.95, while the single tritium Is $64.95; the front sight will set you back $24.95 to $74.95.
Talon Grips Rubber Grip was chosen so both pistols would feel the same in the hand. Some folks prefer the more aggressive texturing of these pistols while others find it to be too aggressive. Talon Rubber Grips would be a good compromise. At $17.

Smith & Wesson’s Compact 2.0 and Glock’s G19Gen5 ship with backstraps and extra magazines; all you need to make either pistol fit your hand.

99 these grips are a steal and seem to wear like iron; while giving a secure grip in all but monsoon conditions.
To test the accuracy of the M&P and Glock I dug out hollowpoint ammunition from Black Hills, Federal, Hornady and Sig Sauer.

The ammunition mix was Black Hills 115-grain full metal jacket, 124-grain hollow points; Federal 115-grain Syntech and 135-grain HST; Hornady 115-grain XTP American Handgunner and 135-grain FlexLock and Sig Sauer 124-grain VCrown hollow points. This assortment would cover quality training and self-defense loads.
Testing was pretty straightforward; load magazines of each ammo and shoot ten rounds offhand at 20 yards for practical accuracy and reliability. Then from the bench five shots of each load were fired at 20 yards to see just how well the M&P and Glock performed. What I found was both pistols consistently fired sub 3.25” groups offhand and all of the test loads from the bench hovered at 2.5”.

Glock’s G19Gen is easily concealed and carried in the holster of this 5.11 Tactical purse when a holster is not an option.

A few of my associates were at the range while I was doing the testing so they all fired some rounds too. After a couple test rounds four of the shooters were keeping ten rounds inside the “8 Ring” of the Shoot-N-C Targets, which is 4”. That is pretty goof for not being familiar with either pistol.

This shows Smith & Wesson and Glock, with the 2.0 Compact and Gen5 G19, offer pistols that are reliable and easy to learn. That is the key when you are going to use the firearm for duty or self-defense.
What I found testing these two pistols is modern handguns are accurate, reliable and will out shoot the operator. Over a few trips to the range folks pointed out, small things make a difference in what works best. When some women shot these pistols they liked the slight flare of the G19; it forced their hands up into the trigger guard. The guys with big hands liked the beavertail backstraps that prevented slide bite. Both women and men also liked that the M&P had the smaller grip. Some liked the extension at the rear of the grip.

For home defense mount a Surefire light to Smith & Wesson’s M&P Compact 2.0 Picatinny rail and you are ready.

One thing a couple of folks noted was the mag extension of the M&P so you can use full size magazines.
If you can, try out the new Gen5 G19 or M&P Compact 2.0 to see what you like best. Check with your friends and see if they have one you can shoot. If that does not work, check local ranges to see if they rent pistols. If all else fails, try both pistols numerous times to see what feels best in your hand before plunking down your hard earned cash. We want you to have a handgun that fits so you shoot it well.

 

 

From The Editor

A lot has happened since I wrote my last column. While I usually try to focus on one topic in each editorial, I had already planned to discuss at least two events affecting the gun rights community.
But, as I got to work early on Apr. 4, the phone rang with the sad news of the passing of Sheila Link the previous week, just a few months shy of her 95th birthday.
Although it has been several years since Sheila wrote regularly for Women & Guns, long time readers will remember her as our first “contributing Aeditor.” Her regular Gear and Gadgets column focused generally on small accessories for firearms enthusiasts, and she prided herself on using everything that came across her desk, but only published comments on products she thought would be useful to others. She also wrote about hunting—a passion of hers, and, as it began to grown in popularity, Cowboy Action Shooting. At least once a year, at the SHOT Show, Sheila and I would sit down and discuss the coming year’s columns, as well as the state of the firearms industry—she was as plugged in as anyone—and of course, Women & Guns itself.
One year, for an anniversary column, I recounted how I had sworn there would never be a recipe in W&G, and then proceeded to break my own rule, providing “My Mother’s Nice Lemon Dessert” directions, a homage to my own sweet mom, who always supported me. A week or so after the column was published, I got a box of Meyer lemons from Sheila’s California backyard, with a note congratulating me on our milestone.
We will have a complete obituary in the next issue, with reminiscences by some of Sheila’s friends and colleagues.
In our news pages, as well as Genie Jennings’ “Making a Difference” column this month, some of the recent events discussed are the Parkland, FL, high school shooting and retired Supreme Court Justice Jean Paul Stevens’ New York Times op-ed exhorting the Parkland students who have become anti-gun activists to spearhead a drive to repeal the Second Amendment.
In his tenure on the court, Stevens was no friend of gunowners, relying generally on his reading of the 1939 Miller case as precedent.
So it’s no great surprise that he is anti-gun, but it is surprising that he apparently has no idea how the repeal of (or addition of) an amendment to the Constitution works. It would have to pass both houses of Congress and then 2/3rds of the states, all within certain time periods—a nearly impossible task in this day and age. The last time a Constitutional amendment was proposed—the Equal Rights Amendment–it died a slow death over many years.
You could certainly get some House and Senate members to vote in favor of it, but the required numbers would be insurmountable.
Similarly, while there are probably a handful of state legislatures which would approve such a move, the magic number of 38 would be impossible.
Forty states have state constitutional provisions protecting the right to bear arms, and, presumably, they would have to repeal them as well.
However, perhaps Justice Stevens’ call to action will give some of the young people pause—if only to consider how long and difficult any political fight is.
For those of us who have been active in the gun rights struggle for years, the idea that one event, or one march, or one really sincere request is all it takes to achieve a goal, is fantastical.
That is not to say that this new activism by young people should be ignored.
Rather, it should be engaged—hopefully led by young people who hold opposite views. But also by people who have been in the trenches for a long time, maintaining that the right to bear arms is a fundamental right.
We can, as Genie suggests, most always find some common ground with our opponents, even if it leaves both sides frustrated.
Finally, lost in the most recent debate has been the subject of trained school personnel, some armed, to protect students going about their lives in the “gun-free zones” of modern schools.
While the topic was revived in the initial aftermath of the Parkland shooting, it has sadly, taken a back burner, as the media focuses on the student protestors.
A lot of people have been quietly and effectively doing the hard work of providing this type of training to schools around the country for several years.
“Arming teachers” is a sloppy way of expressing it and the general media has not helped, with very little coverage of programs like FASTER, which in addition to firearms and active shooter training, provides instruction on trauma care and other related topics—it is a complete package, carefully thought out, and not just a program which hands out guns to teachers and expects them to be able to protect their students in a dire emergency.
Much like the debate surrounding arming pilots on commercial airliners in the wake of 9-11, it should be embraced by most everyone as another line of defense.

Poll Shows Guns In Homes Make People Feel Safer

With the nation in an uproar about gun rights versus gun control, a recent Rasmussen poll revealed that a majority of people with guns in the home feel safer.
The survey results said 61% of Americans who have guns in the home “feel safer knowing it’s there.”
Perhaps not surprisingly, 44% of the survey respondents say “they or someone in their household owns a gun.”
The Rasmussen survey was taken Feb. 19-20 and involved 1,000 American adults. It has a +/- 3 percentage point margin of error.

CA County Weighs Ban On Gun Shows

On March 6, the Santa Clara County, CA, Board of Supervisors was scheduled to hold a public meeting to discuss a proposal by Supervisor Ken Yeager to prohibit the sale and possession of firearms on county property. If such a proposal were enacted, it would have the effect of prohibiting gun shows from operating at any county-owned fairgrounds.
In response, attorneys for NRA and CRPA have filed a joint-opposition letter highlighting the superfluous nature of the proposal, as California law already generally prohibits the transfer of firearms from occurring at gun shows. The letter also serves to dispel the many myths perpetuated by anti-gun advocates regarding gun shows by providing the Board with a comprehensive summary of the restrictions applicable to gun show promoters and vendors in California.

KU crime down, no gun violations post campus carry

It would be rash to credit a 13 percent annual drop in crime at the University of Kansas (KU) to six months of legalized campus carry, but the new law certainly did not cause an increase in crime or a spike in weapons violations, according to The Sentinel.
In 2017, 671 criminal offenses were reported to KU police compared to 770 in 2016, a significant drop.
Again, it would be rash to suggest that would-be thieves feared an armed defense, but it is entirely reasonable to suggest that the law did not empower thieves to step up their game.
It would be equally rash, The Sentinel said, to tell virtue-signaling KU prof Kevin Wilmott that he no longer needs to wear a bullet-proof vest, but it is not too early to tell Wilmott that he rendered himself needlessly uncomfortable for however many days he has worn the vest since campus carry became law.
Wilmott made a national splash in August 2017 when he showily appeared on campus in his bullet proof vest. “Try to forget that I’m wearing a vest,” Wilmott said at the time to his imagined critics, “and I’ll try to forget that you could be packing a .44 magnum.”
According to the KU Office of Public Safety, there were zero weapons violations in 2017. Despite a near meltdown on campus by those like Wilmott indifferent or hostile to the Second Amendment, eight months have passed without incident since the law went into effect on July 1.