Good morning, SF. As usual, I've got questions.
I went to the range with my good friend Mike yesterday; he took his P365 and I took a P228. Mike's a big fella, with big hands; I'm a skinny sort in whose hands a "compact" P228/P229 feels huge.
Neither of us gets to shoot a lot, though I know I've done a bunch more than he has (including a couple of OpSpec classes). I'm not about to claim that I could teach Mike to shoot better, but I've been able to point out a couple of changes he can make that will help his accuracy.
Driving directly to the point: my shots were somewhat more accurate than his. I know there are several components to this: different experience levels, different guns, different people, and -- to some extent -- the fact that he's left-handed. We spent some time trying to improve his accuracy, starting with the simple things: relax a little; grip the gun securely but don't try to crush it in your hand; try not to flinch/anticipate; things like that. As the afternoon progressed, we managed to get more of his shots to end up the same area left-to-right (I think he was pulling shots to the right by squeezing with all four fingers instead of just the one). Improvements were made, for sure. At some point we swapped guns. Using my gun, Mike's shots were closer together. Using his gun, my shots covered a larger area.
This unscientific work makes it look like Mike needs a bigger gun. Certainly, there is difference in the trigger setups for each pistol. As an opinion, I think the P228 trigger is smoother across its travel, and I wonder if that is a contributor to better shooting. P228 is all-metal, while P365 is not, so there's a hefty mass difference. Mass helps absorb recoil, and maybe the [tiny] light P365 is moving around in Mike's big hand?
Knowing that the real answers are "practice more" and "get better training than vthoky can offer," I go back to the general curiosity question: do you find it's just easier to shoot a bigger gun well?
God bless America.
Right gun for the right person. There is no one size fit all.
|My other Sig|
is a Steyr.
Anything can effect an individual's accuracy when shooting a pistol. The P365 may be too small for him?
I only know that it is too small for me. Same for the Glock 19. I don't have a use for either one.
You guys seem to have a good time at the range. Maybe he can try a P226?
I don’t think so. I do think a gun can be too extreme in size in both directions but that is the extremes.
Shooting a 228 (probably 100%) in SA isn’t a good straight comparison to a striker gun. Even a good striker gun. I can shoot any good hammer gun more accurately than a striker. It’s the trigger baby.
What he could do as a relatively inexpensive shot in the dark is buy a WC grip module. They are bigger in a small way that fit bigger hands better. Or just try an X grip module, those are easier to shoot well.
Long winded way to say I shoot my 365’s as well as my G19 sized striker guns. Bigger isn’t always better. The 365X grip module is sized like they used my hand as a model. That contributes to me shooting it well I believe.
Simplified, yes the larger the gun the easier to shoot well.
Which is why recommending small air weights snubbies or ultra compact autos for new shooters as defensive guns is a bad idea.
There are limited exceptions ( me as a very experienced shooter shoot my glock 26 as well or perhaps a hair better than my mid to full size semi autos)
But bigger guns tend to be more reliable, the controls will usually be less crowded larger and easier to manipulate, and longer sight radius all add up to being easier to shoot.
I first read about how handgun grip size can make a significant different in practical accuracy 60 or more years ago when S&W J frame revolvers were a thing and how most people (men, anyway) shot the larger models better because of the former’s small size. At that time it was common for LEOs and others who relied on the small frame revolvers to put larger stocks on them for that reason. Grip size can definitely make a difference.
But another factor may be the characteristics of the two triggers. My P365 and all the other striker fired pistols I’ve shot have had what is described as a “creepy” trigger pull: significant movement of the trigger is required after the resistance of the sear is encountered and before letoff. SIG Classic line pistols like the P228, however, usually have much less, if any, creep in the single action mode (which is how most shots are usually fired with such guns).
I prefer a creepy trigger in handguns intended for serious purposes, and that’s why I liked the DAO and then DAK models. I also prefer a creepy trigger in my striker fired SIGs. Using a creepy trigger well, though, requires maintaining good control of the gun during the trigger stroke, and therefore less-skilled or inexperienced shooters may not do as well with them. A nice, crisp single action trigger break can be more forgiving of poor trigger control such as “snatching” or jerking the trigger, and that can result in better practical accuracy. I of course don’t know if that was a factor in what you saw during your session, but it was a possible contributor along with the different grip sizes of the two pistols.
I'd add: Right gun for the right person and carry situation. Sometimes a bigger gun just isn't right for the occasion, due to things like weather and circumstances that dictate the carrier's choice of clothing/holster/method of carry. Larger firearms are generally easier to fire when blast and perceived recoil are taken into consideration, but are more difficult to conceal. Going smaller will naturally involve some compromises as well.
I'm not going to be the guy to advocate a "One Size Fits All" philosophy, any more than I'd suggest that one sized fishing rod and reel can be used for all situations. Using a lightweight combination to fish for trout in a local stream will work well in that application, but try catching a 25-50# tuna or even a 100# plus sized fish with it. NO WAY!!!
"I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."
|Gracie Allen is my |
Service type handguns are generally easier to shoot well than guns specifically designed for everyday concealment. IMHO that means that grips that fit the shooter better, cleaner triggers, more visible sights, etc., will do more for the shooter on a (generic) concealment-oriented pistol than they will on a service-type pistol.
OTOH, I'm a believer in the proposition that different shooters shoot different pistols better or worse depending on how well each pistol suits the shooter.
I guess that explains why I kept messing with different grips, sights, ammo, etc., when I first got started - I was trying to figure out which pistols worked best or me and which weren't optimal choices for me, and realizing that "adjustment" could only do so much for me. Sadly that was something of a time- and money-consuming process, but it also enables my inner gun nut; I have a ready-made excuse for buying different guns and shooting them for a year or two before deciding what I think about them.
For me the answer is yes. I shoot a larger gun like the M&P 2.0 Compact and my 226 better than my smaller guns like the the 365. I shoot a 4 inch 686 better than a J frame. I am no expert but I just assume its due to longer sight radius and a heavier gun to reduce felt recoil. That is why my primary EDC remains the M&P and not the 365.
I prefer to shoot a heavier, larger framed pistol. I shoot my 226 and 229 better than anything else I own. This is partly due to XL hand size and partly due to 35 years experience on the P series of handguns. I do carry the P365 and can shoot it well, but its not as easy to shoot well as its bigger relatives.
Another thing I have noticed is that I tend to push lightweight, polymer framed, striker fired pistols slightly left if I am not really paying attention to my grip. Its not a big deal, we’re talking an inch or so at 10-12 yards, but it’s noticeable. I never have this issue with larger, heavier pistols, including revolvers and 1911s.
All in, I shoot the P226/229 better and its easier to do so.
Thank you, pedro, for this -- one of the things we talked about yesterday was a different grip module. The shop at the range didn't have any, and I wanted to get a bit more input before chasing that rabbit too far. Is this module the one you're thinking of?
Is the swap something a user can do on his own, or is that something we'd need to see a gunsmith about? I'm reasonably mechanically inclined and fairly competent, but I'm not averse to asking for help when necessary. By the instructions on Wilson's site, it seems easy enough to do....
God bless America.
if little guns shot better than bigger guns as a principle then we would have that order in competitions, but we don't. As 12131 advises I would expand. Right gun for the right person for the right use. I know what I shoot the absolute best and there is not a chance on the planet I could carry one. So I compromise and carry something that I can shoot 'well enough' for defensive use. With sound mechanics almost anyone can shoot anything "good enough" for defensive use. I would assume Mike got a 365 for defensive use and not as his competition gun. So the goal really is to get his fundamentals to the point he can shoot it well. With practice almost anyone can get there. Now if his hand size is statistically off the charts I would wonder if his body size is also proportionate in which case rather than chase small changes in grip size just get a bigger gun. The nice part about 320's for example is one can experiment on that with low cost.
“So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”
|Sigforum K9 handler|
Larger guns are always easier to shoot.
"It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it works out for them"
|Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best|
Lee Weems and Randy Harris did a backup gun podcast a few weeks ago where Randy actually quoted a number (I think it was 18%, but don't quote me on that) which is the expected handicap for shooting a smaller backup-type gun in competition as compared to a full-size gun. They are harder to shoot. How much harder is likely determined by your hand-size and experience level.
I have a buddy who actually qualifies better with his P365 than he does with his P320. That gun just fits him. Me personally, I got rid of my P365 because it was too small for my long hands to get a solid grip purchase on, and it would jump in my hand under recoil slapping the trigger against my finger. It hurt, and was starting to give me a flinch. A Hogue grip sleeve did fix the grip issue, but I ultimately decided that if I was going to do that I might as well just have a P320 subcompact, which gave me more modularity (this was back before they started releasing a bunch of variants of the P365, and before all the increased aftermarket support) and the ability to accept mags from my duty gun.
In my hands, the P365 is not an accurate pistol. A P938 is an exceptionally accurate pistol, again in my hands. Size wise, not much different. Results on target are world's apart and I am experienced and proficient on multiple platforms. Just something about the P365 that does not work for me. So, as others have said, size is not the only factor and what works for you might not work for someone else.
Don't forget the weight of the gun. An all metal frame will be easier on recoil and have less muzzle flip. I prefer heavier guns for the range. Daily carry, something lighter. It all depends on what the shooter is comfortable with.
The first class I took from the Sig Academy in NH did not allow the P365.
They said it was too small and too hard to teach novices to shoot.
It broke my heart and I just had to get a P320 to take to class.
I could have brought my P229, but I couldn't pass up the excuse to get another gun.
Yes that is the grip module I’m talking about. The X version is slightly longer as well also with the palm swell. Inexpensive way to test the waters.
I disagree with the absolute “bigger guns are easier to shoot” mantra. Prior to the 365 I would have agreed. The 365 with the X grip fits my hand like they used my hand as a mold. I control it better because my fingers take up just about the perfect amount of wrap around the grip.
Now a shorter sight radius can’t help but I have an optic on one so that is a non issue. It kicks more in the hand but that is ameliorated by the fact I have such a good grip that it is probably a wash.
To me, I shoot a 365 X as well or better as any bigger striker gun. I still prefer and quantitatively shoot my bigger hammer guns better. Nothing is better than a crisp breaking hammer gun like my CZ’s and 92’s.
|Sigforum K9 handler|
Many years ago, I was teaching one of my courses that clearly in the descriptions it’s a high round count speed shooting course. Dude emails me a few days before wanting to take the course with a Shield in .45. Worse than that, it was a shield in .45 that some Cracker Jack had done a hatchet job of stippling on. I explained to him that the process transfers from firearm to firearm and that taking the course with his “train like you fight” gun was an increasingly bad idea.
He insisted, train like you fight and whatnot.
By the lunch break on the first day, his hands were hamburger. I offered up a Glock for him to complete the class with and he declined. He left and went to lunch on the second day and didn’t return.
"It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it works out for them"
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