Steel vs polymer aka Striker vs da/sa

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  #1  
Old 01-13-20, 04:04 PM
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Steel vs polymer aka Striker vs da/sa

So I went to the range over the weekend to conduct an experiment. I took two very similar pistols (3.9" barrels and 15 round magazines, same manufacturer) with the main difference between them being one was hammer fired, all steel, da/sa while the other polymer, striker fired.

The range goes to 39 yards so I set up two targets side by side, one for each gun and aimed about as patiently and accurately as I could. One mag, 15 rounds from each gun with the first shot from the da/sa being da, since that's how it would come out of the holster. I then did the same thing at 30 yards but fired a little more quickly; more like firing as soon as I could get a good site picture again - first shot from the da/sa being da just like the first test. Finally, I shot at 20 yards but this time it was bring the gun up for each shot, as if I was taking one shot from the holster as fast as I could get a sight picture. In this case, I made every shot from the da/sa da.

Here's what happened:
39 yards: Striker 1 DA/SA 6
30 yards: Striker 1 DA/SA 5
20 yards: Striker 2 DA/SA 9

Regardless of which gun won, I never expected the difference to be so large.

Does it surprise any of you that I would see such a difference?
 
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Old 01-13-20, 11:21 PM
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having a hard time trying to figure out what your posting really could you elaborate a little more on the what happened part and what the numbers actually mean?
 
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Old 01-14-20, 05:27 AM
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I am surprised that you'r surprised at the results. You didn't say what your numbers mean but I assume the steel sa/da came out better.

I am much better with a full size, slightly tricked 1911. It's big, heavy, has a long sight picture and a butter smooth trigger. It's a dream to shoot. Compare that with many polymer striker pistols that are much lighter in weight and have a looong and moderately heavy trigger pull and it's no contest.

What really surprises me is how well I shoot compact/pocket .380's. I'm better with a tiny Kahr CT380 or Kel-Tec P3AT than I am with a striker pistol more than twice it's size. They are tiny, kick a lot and have pitiful sights but for some reason they come out of the holster and point beautifully for me where I have to concentrate and relax more with a mid size pistol. It's not until I get up to full size, metal sa/da pistols that my shooting improves again.
 
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Old 01-14-20, 09:36 AM
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The numbers represent how many times out of 15 shots I hit the target at each distance with each pistol. Over simplification, the steel gun was about five times as likely to hit as the polymer gun and I was very surprised to see such a difference; I expected the guns to perform more closely to each other.
 
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Old 01-14-20, 11:51 AM
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would probably shoot the polymer locked in a vice at a large target at 20 yards so you can take the human error out of the picture and see what group size your getting, can also check the sights at the same time, gun probably has an issue and its probably has nothing to do with the fire mechanism or it being polymer frame.
 
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Old 01-14-20, 12:07 PM
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Not odd in my case. I'm terrible with most plastic striker pistols and always have been. With a lot of practice I improve but I've always shot better with "target" and full size steel pistols. It can be a .22 or a .45 but if it's big and heavy I shoot it much better.

I used to shoot a thousand+ 9mm and .40 a month through plastic striker pistols. Even then I was still better with my target .22 or a full size 1911 that I hardly shot. That sorta makes sense since the target guns are specifically set up for target work and they do their job well. Big curvy shapes on the grip, heavy weight to dampen hand shakes, nice big sights, crisp light triggers and mild recoil all add up to good shooting for me. Put a boxy piece of plastic in my hand and my ability to hit the paper drops with a tendency to send shots low and left (I'm right handed).
 
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Old 01-14-20, 12:37 PM
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If you're shooting offhand you're testing the pistolero, not the pistol. Shooters capable of extracting the full potential for accuracy from any handgun are rarer than unicorns and honest politicians. And all shooters will tend to shoot better with one pistol than with another based on the quality of their training and depth of their experience with a particular gun. Shooting from a benchrest can partially remove the variability introduced by the shooter (depends on the technique) but you're not really testing the precision of the pistol exclusively unless you're shooting it from a Ransom rest or similar.



That's exactly what the Ransom rest is made for. Testing the precision of the firearm to the exclusion of the shooter.

I don't think there's any doubt but that right out of the gate most shooters will shoot SA better than DA for the simple fact that SA requires less trigger movement, which gives the shooter less opportunity to disturb the sight picture. It's a simple enough theory to test with a SA/DA revolver.
 
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Old 01-14-20, 07:24 PM
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I get what you guys are saying but these guns are made by the same manufacturer and are virtually identical except for the firing mechanism and the material in the handle (which causes the steel da/sa to come in at 29 ounces versus the polymer striker fire at 25 ounces). These aren't target guns versus carry guns and the ammunition used all came from the same box and every round was fired by me so I am discounting the idea it was the ammo or the shooter since those variables did not change; only the gun did. If no one's surprised, that's fine - I was and thought I might not be the only one.
 
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Old 01-14-20, 11:09 PM
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were not really saying it was the shooter or the ammo but until you shoot it with it locked down you really are not going to know.
 
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Old 01-15-20, 05:48 AM
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I've had plastic striker guns and full size steel guns in a Ransom. The accuracy built into the guns was surprisingly similar. In my case the difference in accuracy is all me. But, there is a much bigger difference in size and weight between my guns. I don't have two similar guns with very similar weights like Stickshift.
 
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