IF YOU HAVE ISSUES WITH FIREARMS THEN THIS ISN'T THE THREAD TO POST THEM IN, GO DO IT SOMEWHERE ELSE
Since there seem to be at least a few of us with an interest in shooting, I figured maybe we should have a thread for the discussion of just that. I mean real shooting, not paintball or Airsoft. That stuff belongs either in an existing thread or somewhere else, just not in here. Basically, chat about guns, ammo, whatever. I give no fuck as long as it's related to shooting and isn't covered by another thread.
Anyways, went to the range at West Ed for the second time. Last time I shot pretty well with the Ruger P85 in 9mm Para (first time with a handgun, first time also without a scope/optical sight of some sort). Tonight I tried out the USP (in 9mm para), the P85 again, and then it seems the instructors/safety officers there were so impressed they let me put a magazine through a Glock of some sort chambered for .40 S&W, same as the ones issued to the local police.
I found the USP to be poorly-suited to me. I don't know if it was the pistol, myself, or a combination of the two, but although I landed most rounds in the target area, a lot didn't and even those within it were very spread out. The USP definitely has a different feel to the P85; this may have had something to do with it. The sights in particular seemed to give more potential for parallax error than those of the Ruger. Otherwise it handled nicely; reloading was easy (although actually loading the mag proved a struggle), and the controls were nice and easily accessible. However, the fact I shot so badly with it suggests that it's not the right pistol for me.
Next came the P85, for the second time. It was the same gun I'd fired before, and it still had the worrying feel that it wanted to fall apart in my hand. I can't vouch for its age or the way it has been treated by previous visitors to the range, so that could be uncharacteristic of the type; either way, when it came to actually shooting, it was great. Just like last time, I shot the centre of my target right through, with only about ten percent of the rounds I fired landing outside the target circle (and not by much; none missed the paper as far as I can tell). The sights were easier to read and the recoil seemed a bit more manageable than the USP's. That said, the controls were again a bit of an issue. The push-forward design of the mag release meant I had to actually shift my grip on the gun considerably to release the magazine, and upon re-inserting it, the mag would catch halfway in, requiring me to force it rather aggresively. On one occasion this actually caused the slide to release and cock the weapon before I was prepared to do so, but of course it was under control at the time and did not go off. I'm a bit on the fence about this pistol. On the one hand, I love how it handles; on the other, I don't like the controls and reloading is a complete pain compared to the USP.
After putting my box of some 60 rounds through the P85, one of the range employees offered me a Glock chambered in .40 S&W, with one loaded magazine; when they asked if I'd shot before I told them I'm an Australian soldier, so we had a pretty decent conversation going about the equipment we use. He told me this was the same pistol that the Edmonton Police are issued (probably the same ours are issued, too), and let me try it out for free. The first thing that struck me was the tiny size of the slide stop. I guess this wouldn't be a problem once someone was trained enough that muscle memory would kick in, but for me it seemed a bit of an odd design choice; the thing is fucking tiny. The recoil was considerably harder than both 9mm guns; my secco at Kapooka described me as having 'muppet arms', so I guess that didn't help, but it did kick quite hard. The sights were okay, but I personally prefer the P85's. The first round ripped the guys out of my target's centre (it had a pretty big hole in it before, but this doubled its size somehow), and as far as I can tell each subsequent round passed through the resultant gaping hole. It was pretty awesome, but I'm not sure if I'd consider it ideal for me. Naturally, more shoots would be required to decide, and I also have little chance of getting a handgun of any sort while still in Australia; however the P85 made a very good impression, to the point where it'd be my first consideration for a CCW if I was in any position to get one.
No camera-PC link cable at the moment, so photos of the targets will have to wait; should be doing one last lot of shooting on Thursday before I go see the Oilers play (and hopefully fucking win, since only the Canadian juniors have delivered in that regard so far... even the Flames lost when we went to go see them).
My little sister also did pretty well with the P85, she seemed to like it. At this point I'd certainly recommend trying one out, as they're very accurate and a pleasure to shoot once you get beyond the rather clumsy controls.