A Tale of Two 9mm's

TheSwampFox

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Aug 11, 2012
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218
They were the best of pistols, they were the worst of pistols... Well maybe that's an exaggeration but as I set out to the range yesterday with two new and unfired 9mm pistols I certainly had my preconceived notions about each one.

First up is a Taurus PT709 Slim that I bought on impulse for what seemed like a great deal. Out the door for well under $300 and being in the market for a small 9mm I jumped on it. Buyers remorse set in by the time I got home and after a little online research I was really bummed. Lots of negative reviews made me think about selling it before even shooting it.

The second pistol is a Springfield XDs 9mm 4.0. I had spent hours reading reviews on this pistol and was confident this was the new carry pistol I had been looking for. None of my LGS had one in stock but one offered to order it for me. I paid a little more than what I could have gotten it for online but I try to support the local guy whenever possible. I was very excited about putting some rounds down range in this pistol.

So I headed out to the nearest range with a 200 rounds of 9mm in various weights and manufacturers both FMJ and JHP.


The Taurus had a soft and squishy trigger. One thing I did like was it had "second strike" capability. If I had a FTF I could pull the trigger again without having to tap and rack. Fortunately I never needed that feature because it ate up and spit out 100 rounds without a hiccup. Accuracy at 15 yards was spot on and if it was off it does have an adjustable rear sight for windage and elevation. I was very impressed with the function even though the trigger wasn't great.

The Springfield had a nice clean and crisp trigger. It did not have the second strike feature that the Taurus had and that is too bad because I could have used it. Out of 100 rounds I had 5 light strikes with different kinds of ammo. At 15 yards everything was about 3" low and no way adjust the sights. After more research into the XDs it appears I'm not the only one with a light strike issue or shooting low. The most common fix for the light strike is cleaning out the oil and dirt in the striker channel. Which makes sense because the light strikes didn't start until the end of my shooting. For the other issue I've read Springfield will ship you a higher rear sight.

I never thought I'd say this but as of today I trust my life to the Taurus over the Springfield. I'm going to give the XDs another 100 rounds to see if the cleaning did the trick on the light strikes.
 

PapaBear

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May 8, 2012
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I had the light strike issue with my XDS, which was one of the first ones produced. Yes, like you, it showed up after about 75 rounds. I called Springfield and they suggested cleaning the striker channel and it worked marvelously after that.

I, too had an issue with it shooting low, and Springfield DID send me a rear sight. I had to put it on, which wasn't a huge deal, but for someone without the tools, paying a smith to do it would be cost prohibitive, so most just sell and move on.

Other than those issues, it's a great gun. Sure, no new gun should have those issues, but I trust it now.
 

jisuho

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Jun 12, 2012
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This is a bit of a barge in on your topic but I decided on the Ruger LC9 three years ago after considering the Taurus Slim and other compact 9s. After reading numerous reviews and watching youtube vids I went for the Ruger without even shooting one. Bought it from buds for under 300 and have been 100% pleased. After over 500 rounds of various brands, bullets and loads that little LC9 has yet to to fail me. It went bang every single time and came back for more, even with TulAmmo. I am fully confident it will continue to function flawlessly, provided I take care of it.

j
 

TheSwampFox

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Aug 11, 2012
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The LC9 is a great pistol. My wife carries one as her CCW and loves it. No issues at all. I recently picked up a Ruger LCRx and have been carrying it over the 9mms I reviewed here. I am a huge fan of Ruger's products.

As a follow up with the XDs after cleaning the sticker channel I have put 300 rounds through it without any problems. I have much more confidence in it but the LCRx is so light I enjoy carrying it more than anything else.
 

Liquid__Mirage

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Jan 23, 2015
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I had a very different personal experience with a Taurus 709 slim. I had no issues through the first 300 rounds down range. Then began my issues of FTF from light strike, and multiple feeds through a single trigger pull. The sere wears on those guns really quickly. It fails to lock into the rear position and doesn't give full movement on the firing pin or it will not catch at all and multiple fire as the pin hits as soon as the next round hits the chamber. I contacted Taurus and without hesitation they sent a new sere free of charge, but I wasn't willing to go through the round count to find out if the new sere was any better. That gun is why I now own and love my 9 Shield.
 

TheSwampFox

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Aug 11, 2012
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I have heard lots of good stuff about the S&W Shield. I have actually sold my 709 since I wrote the review. Now that the LCR is my new favorite carry gun I'll probably sell/trade the XDs before too much longer to fund the next gun I just gotta have. :D
 

Dayman

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May 5, 2013
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Initially my shield was having some FTE issues. After a few hundred rounds though its smoothed out. Nice shooter for sure. If I'm carrying IWB i take the shield in a cheap galco holster. My LCR 357 is my usual carry but i only pocket carry it in a sticky holster. What holsters are you shield guys using at the galco is not the most comfortable holster. Swampfox how are you carrying you LCR?
 

rotarymike

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Sep 15, 2011
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Add me to the list of Shield fans. Added Truglo TFO night sights and the Apex sear kit (and disabled the manual safety) and it is a very, VERY nice shooting gun. If you've got bigger hands, the Pierce extensions on the 7-rounder add some grip without detracting from the profile or concealability.

I've got an aliengear IWB holster; great weight distribution and retention, but my skin reacts to the leather, and it doesn't cover the grip which is kinda rough on bare skin. If I wear that with a suit (with shirt tucked and jacket over it) no problems. Also have an In8 tactical original model; nice comfortable holster, but with only 1 clip it weighs down that side of my pants to the point I have to cinch my belt a few meals too tight. It also has a spandex gun pocket which of course means you have to remove the holster from your body to reholster the gun. If I could only combine the two...

I usually wear jeans as casual wear so a pocket holster doesn't work too hot for me, and I don't want it slinging around in cargo short pockets in the summer. So I guess I need some stiff leather and suede and make my own backing for the aliengear hardware.

Been thinking about a shoulder rig, as the majority of the time I carry seems to be on long car trips and IWB is neither comfortable or easily accessible. Read all the stuff about muzzling the people in back of you and your left arm when drawing... our military M9 holsters were vertical but a PITA to draw from (worn under a flightsuit). Suggestions?
 

TheSwampFox

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Aug 11, 2012
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I carry my LCR in an alien gear holster also. I'm still getting used to it but it seems to do the job. I always wear an undershirt so I do not notice anything from the leather. The cylinder makes reholstering a little difficult.

For carrying on long trips I use an ankle holster. Its not ideal for edc but I can draw from a seated position much easier that way and I am not flagging those behind me.
 
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