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Full power .40 or 9mm barrel

Discussion in 'GATE Self-Defense Forum' started by snowbird.40, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. Hello Mas - I just read your article in The Complete Book of Handguns about how competitive shooters are wringing better and better performance from the Glock Model 26 in 9mm.

    I have been shooting in IDPA and IPSC matches for about 6-7 years now and have decided to quit dabbling in assorted Glocks and just stick with the one that I'll use for CC and home defense ... the G27 (Gen 4). I love the gun and feel very confident in it, but I keep coming up short in the IDPA Classifier where I've been stuck in SharpShooter class (SSP division) ever since my first Classifier.

    A mutual acquaintance made a few suggestions on how I could pick up the 11-15 seconds I need to make Expert and still remain true to my belief that competing with my carry gun is a wise choice. First, he suggested I shoot Winchester White Box ammo in 180 grain to best duplicate the 'push' recoil - with faster recovery times between shots - of a .45 caliber weapon and if I still can't shave off the seconds required to reach 120 for the Expert Class, then I might want to consider purchasing a 9mm conversion barrel and some 9mm magazines just for the purpose of reaching Expert (a personal goal) and then go back to shooting factory ball ammo in .40 caliber.

    A couple questions: if nothing else changes about my skills and abilities, is it feasible in your opinion to make up the time difference shooting WWB compared to Remington UMC? If not, would it make that much difference to use the 9mm conversion system if my skill level doesn't improve? And, finally, do you think I could get by with just a 9mm barrel or would I have to exchange the extractor and/or other components?

    I some times feel like my goal of reaching Expert is a bit obsessive, but we all have our flaws ... :)

    Thanks for your advice, as always I know it will be well-founded and worth considering.
  2. Mas Ayoob

    Mas Ayoob KoolAidAntidote Moderator

    Nov 6, 2005
    Snowbird, it depends on what you want to achieve. If IDPA is strictly a test bed for your defensive shooting skills and the G27 is what you carry, stay with the little .40 and loads that mimic your carry ammo in recoil. You may not come in First Sharpshooter and it may take you longer to make Expert, but each match will give you a crack at an extremely relevant personal best.

    If you're looking at climbing the ladder competitively, bear in mind you're shooting against folks with longslide G34s and S&W M&P Pro pistols in 9mm. A 9mm barrel would certainly be a cost saver, and would give you faster double taps on the farther targets. Skills learned on larger Glocks translate very well to the more compact models. (By the way, those guys who won Matchmeister at GSSF with baby Glocks were ALL shooting the 9mm G26, not the .40 G27.)

    A middle ground might be 9mm barrel for cheaper practice, and shooting the match with a lighter-than-duty .40 round. If you don't handload, Federal's American Eagle line used to have (and may still have) a subsonic 165 grain jacketed truncated cone bullet offering that had very mild recoil and grouped quite well.

    Whatever your choice, I'm glad you're getting a lot out of IDPA, and wish you the best of luck.


  3. Thanks, Mas. Your advice is greatly appreciated and I'll probably stick with the full-power .40 loads for the time being. If I can locate some of the American Eagles, I'll give them a try as well, along with some WWB. Who knows? Perhaps as I'm working on the loads I'll improve my skills enough to make Expert. You're right about those 20-yard shots, though, it takes quite awhile to get back down on target with the hotter loads.

    Have a great year in 2012.