Evidence 101

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Light Bulb Lessons, A Gun Review, and Nomenclature Rules

This is an unsolicited review of the Smith & Wesson  M & P Shield 9mm. It's brutal. I'm blunt in response to everything and everyone. My first duty weapon was a S &W 3953. Nice, nice. I miss that gun. I want it back and might offer the dude some day. However, upon departure with it, I have grown to really love Glocks which I know is passe and so ordinary.

It's cute, right? This is not the gun I fired, btw. Photo credit: GunsAmerica
Many light bulb lessons occurred during a recent trip to an indoor gun range. Yes, it was in one of those armored pods. Very cool. Except the AC didn't work fast enough. But I'm not here reviewing the pod.

Rule of thumb for range day. You need ammo. Don't forget to bring it. Some people might call these "bullets." In case you are wondering, if you forget your ammo you got at a good price, gun shops will sell you some but they jack it up when they realize you forgot it because they know you are desperate. It's called supply and demand emergency. Not really. That was an attempt at economics humor. 

This isn't just any ordinary review. This is a review based upon my preferences and likes and dislikes. I will explain in detail, but you might disagree with me. You might hate on this, but that's OK.

I think for the first time in my life, I looked at reviewing firearms in a totally different light. That is not what I mean by light bulb lessons. Watch. And. See.

As a side conversation, I don't know why gun manufacturers put paperwork and manuals in there for us to read. I like videos. Reading makes me fall asleep. I know. It's about liability and some brain surgeons would rather read a manual. I get that. I will use mine for taking up closet space.

First of all, I'm going to get past semantics. I am over the nomenclature rules. Fuck that shit. Use your own words. I don't care. Now to be clear,  many people ban or frown upon using the words "handgun"or "gun". Military gurus think different devices running through their heads like lollipops when you use the word "gun". It probably means a lot of different things to each person. That's not the point. The word firearm probably does the same thing. Or maybe the word "gun" is too lazy for you and only applies to those who don't know how to use them. Perhaps you prefer the word "sidearm" for pistol. So anyway. Fuck the gun guru rules. We're here to talk about bang bang devices. All of them. All the words. Who gives a shit about the nomenclature. That was a statement, not a question.

So what do you like about firearms? You might like different things than me, so don't take this as the gospel. It's all preference.  I do what I like. If you don't like, don't like. It's a free country.

The ammunition of choice on this day of ammo blasting was Speer Lawman 124 grain. Yes, it was an expensive day. Ammo gone. Like a lot of it. Similar to a fart in the wind. Only gunpowder smells a lot better.
This is the type of ammo, but not exact boxes.
Why? Because we used it all up,  duh!

Anyrambling, back to the S & W Shield. Just to preface this post, I have zero pics of my day with Smith and Wesson. I went with the boss. He bought it with me at the gun shop about a month prior and didn't want to shoot it until I helped him understand safety and stuff. It was time to break wind...I mean blast.

It looks cool, it's light, it's small for carrying purposes. It's easy to conceal. I really like that part.

So first order of business is handling and familiarizing yourself with your weapon. Do it. Got it? Good. This of course is without ammo. EMPTY. Figure it out. And if you can't figure it out, Google or YouTube it.

I've had to do that a few times when shit goes wrong or when I am stuck in processes.

The day started off with the gun shop dude eyeballing my Glock 19c. Get yer mitts off my goods, sir.

"What kind of magazines are those? I've never really seen ones like that."

I looked at him like he was an alien: the green type.

"Uh. Regular kind. They go in there and it goes pew pew just like any other Glock."

"No, I mean they are 13."

"No, they are 15."

"Oh. How did you get those?"

"What do you mean, how did I get those? At a gun shop."

"You can't get those."

By now I'm thinking he is going to call the cops and report me. I'm really leary of strange new persons.

"I used to be a cop."

"Oh. That explains it."

Weird. At that point, I was about to hide my weaponry, but they insisted on inspecting it before firing. Next time, I will bring a throw down Hi-Point so they don't judge me or try to take my magazines away. I could hide my Glock in my bag. They don't stick around to watch you shoot. They just inspect and leave.

Once he left, we started to die of heat sweats because the AC was slow to cool the metal box. But we didn't care because there were red lights and shit and it was cool in there.

Now I've read a lot about the Shield and have had questions answered by a few friends. Everyone seems to rave about it. So, naturally, this made me excited about it. It is not ambidextrous. Just saying. Right handed only.

So the Shield is full of surprises for me. Mostly, how do I operate this fucking thing? I mean to tell you, there are too many safety precautions and widgets on this thing that by the time I figured it out I would already be dead. Looking down from heaven, I would watch the cops fidget with the firearm and then an aha moment would occur. Yes, I was really frustrated at first. I had to YouTube that shit.

The first 20 minutes were very embarrassing moments for me because that normally doesn't happen when I get a new gun in front of me. I looked pretty stupid when I wanted to use the damn thing and it was only as good as a club.

Dropping the magazine is easy. Ok? Anyone can do that.

It's a small gun, so it's nice for small hands. Guys, I don't want to know. Just don't talk about the size of your hands. Ladies, you can feel free to discuss that because it doesn't apply to us.

Pulling and releasing the slide is a little tricky dicky and this one was stiff like a dead man. Poppin' it like a top isn't always going to happen. The slide locked and got stuck and the releasy thingy didn't work as planned. There is a little trick and some finesse.

And of course Smith and Wesson are kinder to you when you are empty rather than full of magic bullets.

This video is showing you the insertion problem I had. I'm used to giving that magazine a good shove and maybe an extra. Tactical training, you know.

Let me just say, don't forget a new firearm is stiff as hell and needs some attention before you use it, like fucking oil. The Shield magazines can be over inserted. Oopsie daisie. Fuck yourself in the ass. Don't do that.

Another issue I found was that it has too many safety precautions and widgets on it for me. Fuck you, you gun control freaks! The Shield answered the liberal cries for help. I hope you don't die because you are too slow and you have to switch all the safety doohickies before your fire. I don't like the safety. It's too hard for me to use in speedy time. I would leave it off. *gasp* I know, right? No safety. Well, the Glocks don't have one either, scaredy cats.

Here's a viewpoint from an OK hick.

Speed reloading that thing in a hurry would be a bitch if the slide didn't drop and just stayed stuck there. Just saying. That happened a lot. Why? Because this was the first time the boss handled a weapon and it was eye opening to watch someone who had no knowledge struggle with things we gun gurus take for granted as a muscle memory. And when I tried it? I was worried about over inserting it again and wussy loaded it.

So yeah. Be familiar with your weapon. We created stovepipes and bad jams and scenarios just to practice with it. We both became familiar with the weapon and once we did that, it was a nice firearm. In the beginning, I hated the bastard. So did the boss.

After we were all done, I gave my Glock to the boss and told him to handle it and shoot it. He said, "Wow, that was a lot easier and nicer."

Ok. It's really not fair to compare a new stiff gun to a nicely worn and loved one.

The boss is an excellent shot. He's a very left leftist and I was really proud of his willingness to learn and practice. He said he was going to properly store it and practice many times. We have future range times. I gave him some tips to go home and take the gun apart several times and dry fire a lot.

So am I sold on this? Yeah. I would recommend it as a good carry option. It's a great priced device and a really nice firearm. It's made very well. It's easy to conceal. I can push the safety off if I don't want it on. Will I be purchasing my own? Not sure yet.

I'm a little partial to Glocks and really would rather have a 42 or a 43 as a backup.


Daddy Hawk said...

With the price they are asking for the Shields these days, it's really tempting.

VEG said...

I have never shot a gun. I regret this because, a part of me REALLY wants to shoot a gun. Not at a person, but maybe a really evil Coke can or something. Those bastards have it coming.

I did once shoot a rifle at a tree out in the countryside. I felt totally badass, even though it was a pissy little weak thing. It made a huge bang and I giggled and clapped my hands. I would love to go to a range and fire the shit out of targets though. I have great eyesight, I'm pretty sure my aim would be top notch. Mind you, in my brain, I'm pretty sure I'm great at everything, including being 100% delusional! Yay. :)

Also thanks for making me update. You're welcome for the entirely tedious entry.

Bob G. said...

Momma Fargo:
---That 3953 is a slimmed down and cleaned up version of the old S&W M39. I've shot an M59 (nice) a long time ago.
---Yeah, it gets REAL easy to send a couple 100rd boxes downrange, and then need (really WANT) for more.
---The manuals that accompany pistols (to me) are a real hoot...LOVE the warnings and disclaimers (for idiots, no doubt - that's scary).
---There's a LOT I like with the M&P. My nephew out in Virginia (an FD Capt) bought himself one. (smart man).
---I don't think there is a mag-restriction in the Hosier state (that I know of).
---LOL...going from a Glock to a Shield musta tossed a couple (safety) loops at 'ya. I know the drill.
My Taurus is the same way, but safety can be a good thing (once in a while).
---My PT145 is a dbl-stack 10rd...NO over-insertion required, thank you.
---The XD isn't bad...bore axis is a bit high (for me).
That's why I got the Taurus and like the M&P.
(really want to get a Shield or a PT111 Gen2, as the prices are really GOOD out there.
---Yeah, a gun that's been "broken-in" is way better...kinda like a LOT of things in life (such as dress shoes and jeans).
Excellent post.

Roll sfae (and happy shooting) down there, Kiddo.

Old NFO said...

I'll stick with my Glocks and 1911s... Can't shoot the M&P for anything unless I really 'concentrate' on it. I'm high right NPOA. Too many years of 1911s.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

I like revolvers. Glocks don't fit my mitts. I understand the advantage of having more rounds but don't envision being in a combat situation. To old and fat.

My Charter Arms Bulldog .44 Special is simple. Squeeze the trigger and it goes "bang". Every time. Has for some thirty years.

The few semis I've owned were designed by John Moses Browning.

Finally, the wise words of Wyatt Earp. "Speed is fine. Accuracy is final".

Mad Jack said...

The releasey-thingy? You're so articulate, Fargo.

I would have terminated the conversation about my pistol and magazine a bit earlier than you did. Something along the lines of just ignoring the guy, or maybe telling him that if it were any of his business, he'd already know, wouldn't he? What a jerk.

My carry pistol of choice is a Fegyver- és Gépgyár (FÉG) PA-63 in 9×18mm Makarov. I make it a policy to stay out of harm's way, but should I ever get into a situation, the pistol is adequate to the task, and I have one spare magazine. After the smoke clears either my worries are over and you can drink to my memory, or the po-po will show up and, one way or another, confiscate my pistol.

I think the PA-63 cost me $250 when I bought it, and I bought two of them. So while I resent the loss of my pistol for no good reason at all, it isn't like the po-po got Betsy (Springfield 1911 Mil Spec) or Big Nose Kate - $1,500 worth of V-16 long slide in .45 Plus-P.

So my main question to you: Can you hit anything with it?

.45ACP+P said...

The Mrs. won a Shield a couple of years ago. Nice piece. She has issues with shot placement (low and left). Shoots fine for me when I (rarely) get my hands on it. We are working on trigger press to fix her placement.

VEG, hook up with a shooter. We can get you some range time. Every shooter I know loves to take a newb out to see that smile after you mangle a target for the first time.