Sunday, September 20, 2009
Glock fun in the summertime
Hey, it's been a while since I lasted posited any thoughts here, so let's go.
A trip to the range yesterday for an IHMSA match (don't ask how I did; I've shot worse and I've shot better) allowed me the chance to fire a few rounds through my beloved Glock 19, which only increased my respect for the pistol.
This session, I didn't focus on any self-defense drills. Instead, I shot only for accuracy--something the Glock 19, at least this particular Glock 19, has in abundance--and to chronograph two factory loads. No, it doesn't possess the same level of accuracy as my Thompson-Center Contender G2, but it was easily able to put rounds on a 9-inch steel gong at 25 yards from a bench. This gives lie to the idea still floating around out there that Glocks traded accuracy for absolute reliability; as far as I can tell, my Glock has both.
I chronographed two different Federal factory loads, the older Hydra-Shok and the newer HST, both non +P, both 124 grain bullets. The results were eye opening. The Hydra-Shok averaged 877.2 feet per second (FPS), with an extreme spread (ES) of 278.4 FPS, and a standard deviation (SD) of 116.7 FPS. Any way you slice it, these are anemic loads for self defense, and their shot-to-shot consistency was erratic. To think that I actually carried this round this summer for an unwelcome self-defense encounter...
Next, enter the the Federal HST round. Now we're getting somewhere. This is the first factory round out of any gun I've ever chronographed that actually beat what the factory said it would do. On the box, the factory said the round would get 1150 FPS, but I averaged 1477 FPS for five shots, with an amazingly low ES of 3.93 FPS and the SD was 1.73 FPS. I've never seen this kind of shot-to-shot consistency out of any ammunition, factory or handloaded. I'm still not sure how this ammo bested factory specs. by over 300 FPS, but I trust my chronograph; and don't forget, these are non +P rounds. As an added bonus, the increase in recoil from the Hydra-Shok to the HST did not seem to be large at all, especially when looking at the substantial increase in velocity from one to the other.
Armed with the above information, I now know which round my Glock 19 will be carrying: the 124-grain 9mm Federal HST. Anything else would be uncivilized. By the way, I ordered this ammunition from here. They sell them in 50-round boxes for the same price as the 20- to 25-round boxes sold in gun stores. I ordered three boxes of them back in March, during the ammo-buying frenzy, and it took five months to get my order filled, but now that things are starting to get back to normal on the ammo front, I hope a patron won't have to wait nearly as long.