Selecting a good 9mm Range Shooter…


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Bushpilot
November 13, 2012, 09:04 AM
I’m looking to purchase a 9mm pistol to casually target shoot with. With 9mm being the least expensive and most widely available center fire ammo, I want to find a very accurate pistol that I can afford to shoot frequently without reloading. Although I do reload, 9mm is still cheap enough (at least for the time being) not to bother with. The only 9mm handguns that I currently own are more “collector” type guns; a Luger, a P38 and a High Power. The High Power comes somewhat close to what I’m looking for but I don’t really want to put a lot of rounds through it. I also would like a better trigger pull than the HP has and good quality adjustable sights. I don’t care whether it’s DA/SA or just SA but I’m not looking for a “striker” fire gun. I don’t like the feel of “striker” triggers (although I must admit the Walther PPQ is pretty good for a striker gun). Since what I’m looking for is a target gun I also expect it to be as accurate as possible. Right now I’m leaning towards a CZ 75 based mostly on reputation. I’ve heard good things about the (Tanfoglio) EAA Witness. I’ve also considered a 9mm 1911 and that is still in the running but not sure which one. I don’t want the pistol I choose to require a bunch of custom work after I buy it. I’ve heard great things about the Sig 210 but that’s not within my price range. I’d like to keep the price down to $1000 or less as the whole point here is lots of inexpensive center-fire target practice. Is there anything else that I should be considering or other thoughts?? Thanks...

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56hawk
November 13, 2012, 09:29 AM
One of the most accurate 9mms I have shot was a HK P7M8. While technically striker fired, it has a really nice single action trigger. Might have to shop around a bit to find one under $1000, or you could look for the older P7 PSP.

Certaindeaf
November 13, 2012, 09:34 AM
I'd get another Hi-Power or good clone. It's easy to improve the trigger if it's not acceptable.
They sell brand new ones for less than $1000 I think.

rodinal220
November 13, 2012, 10:16 AM
HK P7 series are very accurate and ready to go right out of the box.SIG P226s are accurate and nice shooter in SA mode.Glocks are way more accurate than most people think.I like the G34 or the older G17L,the triggers can be tuned somewhat and with proper ammo,accurate shooters.A good G17 is a nice informal blaster too.HK USP 9mm can be had used too,and again,used in SA mode,very accurate.
Got the bucks,go with SIG P210,X5,accurized 1911 in 9mm.

bc1023
November 13, 2012, 10:27 AM
One of the most accurate 9mms I have shot was a HK P7M8. While technically striker fired, it has a really nice single action trigger. Might have to shop around a bit to find one under $1000, or you could look for the older P7 PSP.

Finding a P7M8 under $1000 in any kind of shootable condition is impossible these days. Prices just keep climbing. A PSP is more like it, but even they are going up at a fast rate.

Having said that, as accurate as they are, I'm not sure they're great range pistols.

MrDig
November 13, 2012, 10:30 AM
I'd get another Hi-Power or good clone. It's easy to improve the trigger if it's not acceptable.
They sell brand new ones for less than $1000 I think.
ahh yup. A used HP or a Clone the FEG's and the Argentines are still out there about half the price of a Browning or even less.
FEG's in the 350.00 range and Argentines in the 400-500.00 range. With the exception of a Model 10 revolver I've never fired a better handgun.

f4t9r
November 13, 2012, 10:47 AM
CZ 75B would be a great choice,since you like the feel of a BHP.
Also the Beretta 92 is a great range gun. Both are still affordable

clang
November 13, 2012, 11:00 AM
I'm not sure there is another 9mm that is more accurate than a good Hi-Power for $1,000 or less. It's an all steel gun, so it can take a lot of use too. The trigger on mine (about 1997 vintage) was pretty darn good right out of the box.

Other good range guns that will last a long time and have good accuracy:
CZ 75 or 85
S&W 5906 (a best buy choice and a personal favorite)

If plastic guns are an option, the H&K USP 9 mm is nice and the FNP-9 is also hammer fired.

Rinspeed
November 13, 2012, 11:08 AM
226ST is a great choice.

Nathanael_Greene
November 13, 2012, 11:12 AM
Another vote for the Argentine FM clones. Very nice pistols, and affordable, too.

Some of the Hungarians have a beautiful glossy black finish; very sleek. (But if you go this route, be sure you get a true HP clone and not one the HP/S&W hybrid designs.)

kokapelli
November 13, 2012, 11:13 AM
That leaves me out because I have both a highpower and a couple of CZ pistols, but my favorite range gun is the Ruger SR9.

Pilot
November 13, 2012, 11:15 AM
I'm not sure there is another 9mm that is more accurate than a good Hi-Power for $1,000 or less. It's an all steel gun, so it can take a lot of use too. The trigger on mine (about 1997 vintage) was pretty darn good right out of the box.

I've had a similar experience. I bought my MK III BHP new in 1994. Nice, crisp trigger, with a clean break. It is a bit heavy due to the weight of the mainspring they use, but it is fine the way it is. It is my most accurate centerfire handgun. My CZ, and HK P7's are a close second though.

If you look a while you can usually pick up a used Hi Power for around $500 in excellent shape.

Certaindeaf
November 13, 2012, 11:22 AM
You really need two Hi-Powers anyway.. one to shoot the snot out of and the other to covet so it'll last your lifetime.
Just think.. you probably already have Hi-Power holsters and magazines galore so you'll actually save money!

PattonTime
November 13, 2012, 11:32 AM
For what you describe I would look at a Tanfoligo Witness match, I have owned several in different calibers and in the $550.00 range I do not think anything else comes close.
All steel, S/A triggers and lots of round capacity. The CZ is very similar but will cost more and especially in a S\A trigger.
If you would enjoy a 1911 , check out Rock Island or the upgraded Rock Island put out by STI as a "Spartan" Also very nice to shoot, but back to half as many rounds.
I have owned both and enjoyed shooting them a lot.
I am also shooting my first striker gun in years, a Smith M&P Pro with Apex trigger and Comp kit installed.
Best Striker gun I have ever fired, but striker nonetheless.
YMMV

Chris

Bushpilot
November 13, 2012, 11:35 AM
I’ve heard the HK P7’s were very accurate but I don’t know very much about them. I’m curious as to what it is about their design that makes them so. As bc1023 mentioned, they don’t “look” like they would be a great range pistol… Looks more like a "carry" type gun. I might have to bribe a friend of mine who has one into bringing it to the range some day. Either way, it's probably too pricey for what I’m looking for…

As far as the FEG High Power is concerned, I used to have one but would be hesitant to buy another. I sold the one I had because where the two piece barrel is joined together (chamber/lug to barrel) the solder or weld was incomplete and you could see day light through it from the middle of the barrel on up. Maybe I’ll keep my eyes open for either another used BHP with adjustable sights or a CZ.

You really need two Hi-Powers anyway.. one to shoot the snot out of and the other to covet so it'll last your lifetime.

LOL I can't argue with that... I think everybody needs two High Powers… No wait, that will make the price go up…lol.

Thanks for all the replies so far…

allaroundhunter
November 13, 2012, 11:35 AM
I personally would go with a Sig Sauer P226

Sent from my HTC One X

ku4hx
November 13, 2012, 11:42 AM
Get another Hi-Power and have Novak improve the trigger. Since you already have one, you already have a stash of magazines and other accessories.

I've had my "T" model since 1969 (Novak sights, trigger job and reliability package) and I've "shot the snot out of it" with tens of thousands or rounds down range. It's still my favorite handgun and still the most accurate.

56hawk
November 13, 2012, 11:54 AM
I’ve heard the HK P7’s were accurate but I don’t know very much about them. I’m curious as to what it is about their design that makes them so.

The P7 uses a gas delayed blowback action with a fixed barrel. I'm sure the fixed barrel helps with accuracy as well as the smooth trigger and being really well built.

sbmohr75
November 13, 2012, 12:50 PM
You really need to go to the range and rent as many as possible before making a decision. Just because a given pistol has a good reputation or it feels great while handling it at the LGS does not necessarily mean that you will shoot it well. For example, the HK P30 is very comfortable to me, but I shoot the Beretta 92fs much more accurately even though I do not find it very comfortable. However, I would not have known that if I had not rented the HK P30 (I own a 92fs).

That being said, the most accurate 9mm pistols for me are the CZ SP-01, Beretta 92fs, Sig p228, and Browning Hi power (though I agree the trigger really sucks).

Good luck in your search.

Cheers

sbmohr75
November 13, 2012, 01:38 PM
Get another Hi-Power and have Novak improve the trigger. Since you already have one, you already have a stash of magazines and other accessories.

I've had my "T" model since 1969 (Novak sights, trigger job and reliability package) and I've "shot the snot out of it" with tens of thousands or rounds down range. It's still my favorite handgun and still the most accurate.
Only problem is you'll be waiting for about year to get your pistol back.

Bigg Jimm
November 13, 2012, 02:06 PM
Ruger P95. An accurate and reliable pistol that won't break the bank.


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C0untZer0
November 13, 2012, 02:14 PM
I love my HK P7M8

I had a blast recently, outshooting a bunch of guys with their Glocks and Springfield XDs.

A lot of quizzical looks from them at the little H&K

But they're expensive.

I got a Glock 17L for a range gun and I think it's great. Very long sight radius, still fairly light weight (for a longslide), and the mass out in front of the trigger makes it a very mild recoiling gun.

IMO, you'll need a trigger kit, they run between 40 and 75 bucks for a decent trigger kit.

CZ223
November 13, 2012, 02:30 PM
I am not 1 of those guys who thinks 1911 is the answer to everything but in this case it might be the right answer. Pick a good base gun that is in your price range. Who knows you might be happy with it right out of the box. If not you can always Accurize it later..

2zulu1
November 13, 2012, 03:02 PM
Another vote for the Hi-Power, it's a natural for on target accuracy and one of my favorite shooters. I have a blued 75th anniversary model that is also carried IWB in town. Since the OP already has magazines and accessories for the Hi-Power, it seems natural to get one with adjustable sights, if adjustable sights are really needed.

The knock on the Beretta M92 as I see it, is the decocker lever operates opposite from the Hi-Power/1911 slide safety lever.

ku4hx
November 13, 2012, 03:18 PM
Only problem is you'll be waiting for about year to get your pistol back.
About six weeks for me. But as is the usual case ... YMMV.

oneounceload
November 13, 2012, 03:39 PM
I have a P7 PSP - accurate doesn't begin to describe it - and I suck at pistol shooting. After that, my Kimber 45 and Glock G17 are also surprisingly accurate

clang
November 13, 2012, 04:01 PM
Aren't the HK P7s known to get pretty hot when used at the range/prolonged shooting because of the gas cylinder?

I don't own one, but this has been a common issue with these guns, so I'm not sure it would make a very good range gun.

rangerphil
November 13, 2012, 05:26 PM
How about an HK P30?

BSA1
November 13, 2012, 07:34 PM
WOW. I don't want to be coming across as piling on but the first gun that popped into my mind was the Hi-Power.

I would sugggest you check out Cylinder & Slide. They are considered to be the best when it comes to custom tuning the Hi-Power.

http://www.cylinder-slide.com/custom.shtml

Thompsoncustom
November 13, 2012, 07:47 PM
For a 1000 bucks I would get a CZ 75b SA only gun. I would probably call up David at CGW (cajungunworks) and tell him I wanted the best SA only 75 he could build me for a 1000 dollars. I think you would be so happy you wouldn't know what you do with your self.

I have a CZ75b with a lot of CGW parts in it and I couldn't be happier.Tho it's my carry gun not just range only and I carry it in double action but if it was for range only without a doubt I would go single action only for the short and smooth trigger pull.

This guy is very good at what he does and his prices are great to, I'd check it out.
http://www.cajungunworks.com/

This way you could have the gun tailored to your wants and would never have to upgrade it.

Jed Carter
November 13, 2012, 08:53 PM
My 2 best shooting 9mm pistols; STI Trojan 1911 9mm and a Glock G34. STI is box stock except the grips, best shooting pistol I own. The G34 has had the sights replaced and I changed out the trigger and striker spring, good out of the box, great shooter now. Two completely different pistols, Glock and a 1911, as a matter of fact all my DA/SA pistols have been traded away. Except my rimfires, All I have now is a bunch of 1911s and several Glocks. Whatever you decide on, you may want to get a .22 conversion kit for it, trigger time is trigger time.

CZ57
November 13, 2012, 10:00 PM
These closest pistol to the BHP without getting a clone is probably the CZ-75B. The recommendation for the SA is a good one and you can buy one from the custom shop with their trigger job done to the pistol. IMO, it's the only modification you're likely to need. ;)

wrench
November 13, 2012, 11:55 PM
My two best shooting 9mm's are my Glock 34, and my STI Spartan 9mm 1911.
Couldn't be more different, but I love them both.
I love the BHP, too, but neither of mine is in the league with the Glock or the Spartan.
I do have a ratty Israeli police HP that could make a trip to Novak's, hmmmm...

History.Doc
November 14, 2012, 12:01 AM
I'll vote for either the cz 75 or the beretta. Both great range guns.

oneounceload
November 14, 2012, 10:44 AM
Aren't the HK P7s known to get pretty hot when used at the range/prolonged shooting because of the gas cylinder?

I don't own one, but this has been a common issue with these guns, so I'm not sure it would make a very good range gun.

If your idea of range shooting is pulling the trigger as fast as you can with non-stop shooting, then they get hot - and so do many others. The M8 added a plastic heat shield. I shoot for accuracy, so i do not repeatedly fire as fast as possible for any length of time

wally
November 14, 2012, 11:02 AM
I sure like my RIA 9mm 1911 "Tactical".
And at about $450, sure won't break the bank.

CPshooter
November 14, 2012, 12:05 PM
I don't own one, but this has been a common issue with these guns, so I'm not sure it would make a very good range gunThis is why I decided to pick up a p7m8 for my first p7. Just paid for it, and will receive tomorrow or friday. :-) I've heard of instances where people got burned by the trigger guard area after a few magazines, so I didn't want to take a chance on a still relatively expensive P7/PSP. Went with a m8 just to reduce the chances of this happening. I still wonder if you can get these guns hot enough to melt the heat shield itself. I guess I'll see for myself how it holds up under regular use, which can be anywhere from 100-200 rounds over 1-1.5 hours or so. I also bought it with 4 magazines and just picked up 3 more that were NIB, so I think I have enough to push the gun a bit. I've never even shot a live round out of a P7, so I don't really know what to expect. Pretty dang excited to say the least!

I'm not too bad of a shot, so I hope it proves to be as accurate and fun to shoot as people say! Whether it is a "good 9mm range shooter" though remains to be seen...

EmbarkChief
November 14, 2012, 12:16 PM
Congrats on your purchase! I'm sure you will be happy with it. I had a PSP w/Night sights that I let the ex wife keep when we separated. Was a great pistol, but it did get pretty toasty after 40 rounds. Wish I had another but they are going for about twice what I paid.

Blue68f100
November 14, 2012, 01:36 PM
I'm not sure I would use a BHP for a range gun. I love the BHP, a very accurate gun. Do not like mag disc in any guns, personal preference. With the BHP if your shooting more than 1 box it starts to get gritty. The 72 model I have failed the barrel locking lug at 7k rounds. I have since repaired it and did later found out that there were several years with leak bolt lugs. Just my luck. I like the Sig's for range guns, tough as nails and accurate. I have over 15k (4 yrs) though mine and still counting. The 1911 platform will give you the best trigger. The STI is a very good choice for the price range your looking at.

You said you do not want to reload the 9mm. Unless your able to buy it at $11-$12/100 you will save money reloading it. With my current supplies it cost me just over $10.50/100

armoredman
November 14, 2012, 01:42 PM
For JUST a range gun, and you like CZ, I reccomend the CZ SP-01.

http://www.cz-usa.com/products/view/cz-75-sp-01/

Excellent shooter with the same great ergonomics as the legendary CZ-75. It can be carried if need be, (I conceal one every day), but many think they are a bit big for that. You won't be disappointed.

Plan2Live
November 14, 2012, 08:43 PM
Bushpilot sadi: I don’t care whether it’s DA/SA or just SA but I’m not looking for a “striker” fire gun.
Someone responded: I like the G34 or the older G17L,the triggers can be tuned somewhat and with proper ammo,accurate shooters.A good G17 is a nice informal blaster too.
I'm confused, when did G-Lock start making hammer fired pistols?

C0untZer0
November 15, 2012, 01:40 AM
I have a G34 and I shoot my 17L more accurately than the G34.

CZ57
November 15, 2012, 01:50 AM
Hey, amoredman! Hope you and the family are doing well. I thought you bought the Phantom, it's another good recommendation. ;)

armoredman
November 15, 2012, 09:54 AM
Yes, I have my Phantom, and it's an excellent pistol, great carry gun. I said SP-01 because he wants just a range pistol. Family is doing fine, thanks for asking. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kC42QLurfrQ&feature=g-upl

MrDig
November 15, 2012, 11:41 AM
If you read Steven Camps book about Hi-Powers removing the magazine disconnect is so simple even a ham handed primate like me can do it.

Paul7
November 15, 2012, 01:09 PM
You really need to go to the range and rent as many as possible before making a decision. Just because a given pistol has a good reputation or it feels great while handling it at the LGS does not necessarily mean that you will shoot it well. For example, the HK P30 is very comfortable to me, but I shoot the Beretta 92fs much more accurately even though I do not find it very comfortable. However, I would not have known that if I had not rented the HK P30 (I own a 92fs).

That being said, the most accurate 9mm pistols for me are the CZ SP-01, Beretta 92fs, Sig p228, and Browning Hi power (though I agree the trigger really sucks).

Good luck in your search.

Cheers
I agree with the HK P30, it feels great in the hand but isn't that accurate.

My favorite range 9mm is an Israeli surplus BHP I got for $375. Had the mag disconnect taken out, put Hogue grips on it and replaced the springs and its like a new gun.

clang
December 17, 2012, 02:05 PM
If your idea of range shooting is pulling the trigger as fast as you can with non-stop shooting, then they get hot - and so do many others. The M8 added a plastic heat shield. I shoot for accuracy, so i do not repeatedly fire as fast as possible for any length of time
We all don't have the luxury of sipping martinis between our mag change outs at the range. Some of us even have to rent range time by the hour.

MR2Aaron
December 17, 2012, 02:11 PM
What about something like a Glock 34 or XD-M?

Edit: Oh, ok, no striker guns.

USP, maybe?

Ankeny
December 17, 2012, 02:26 PM
I too like the P7M8, but I consider the platform more of a fighting gun than a target/range gun. For a range gun I would lean towards something along the lines of a CZ SP-01 Shadow.

P5 Guy
December 17, 2012, 02:35 PM
Walther P88, if you can find one.

aka108
December 17, 2012, 06:54 PM
I once owned about 6 or 7 9mm's incl. a Mauser PO8 and a Walther P4. I sold all off except a Star M30 Starfire. It is more accurate, 100% reliable, DA/SA, simple and effective safety, built like a tank and 15+1 capacity. Stars are no longer made, were never the prettiest girl on the block but they shoot and shoot well. Try Gunbroker.

sappyg
December 17, 2012, 07:48 PM
Go for the CZ 75. Looks like it checks all the boxes for the OP.

Had a BHP in the 90's. Great gun but the mag disconnect turned me off. traded it. Wish I still had it.

I'd throw in the Sig 226 as a contender. It's in the budget with a solid reputation. If you want to draw down the budget to about $400 then take a look at the Sig 2022. Nice trigger. Excellent quality. More money left over for ammo.

Pilot
December 19, 2012, 07:16 AM
My three most accurate centerfire pistols (well five actually) are:

Browning Hi Power MK III
HK P7M8 (and P7 PSP) They only get hot if you shoot 50 rounds, rapid fire through them.
CZ-75B/ 75D PCR

All would serve well as range guns, and for home defense, but I also carry the P7 PSP, and PCR. Very versatile pistols.

clang
December 19, 2012, 01:09 PM
Walther P88, if you can find one.
I've actually got 2 of these. I am left handed and like that they are ambidextrous. Very nice guns, but only if you like a larger grip.

Original mags are expensive too, but Beretta 92 mags can be modded to work.

pat701
December 19, 2012, 01:20 PM
SIG P226 the best. Get very soon.

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