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Range Report: XD vs. Glock 17 vs. Walther P99

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by orangeninja, Jan 9, 2005.

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  1. orangeninja

    orangeninja Member

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    I had the good fortune to be able to go to the range the day before yesterday and pit 3 poly 9mm against each other head to head. The pistols were a Walther P99 DA/SA, a Glock 17 and a Springfield XD 9mm.

    Here is the setup:

    Ammo: Magtech 115 gr. FMJ

    Targets: two types, one the diameter of a silver dollar, one the size of a quarter.

    Standing Weaver and modified Weaver, slow aimed fire of 5 rounds, both eyes open (which is how I’ve been trained and am most comfortable shooting)

    Conditions were fair at indoor range.

    This was a test for accuracy but not from a bench. I can’t think of a single real world situation in where a bench would be available for shooting from. Think hostage shot. Each gun was fired the exact same way. Several five shot groups were given to each gun, approximately 6.

    Targets were between 21 and 33 ft. away.

    Walther P99 vs. Glock 17.

    The Walther was a range rental, does not really get shot a whole lot. The P99 was given about 5 to 10 warm up rounds to get an accurate sight picture. The first DA pull was obviously a little off due to a heavy pull. The Single action shots were fairly good with about 1 to 1 ¾ inches spread. One strange thing however was that out of every single five shot group there would be one flyer a little more than 2 inches off, usually high and right.

    Gun was light, felt good in the hand, was approximately the same size as the Glock 17 but more ergonomic. The Walther seemed to be less robust in design and materials than the Glock, with a cheaper feeling polymer frame, kind of reminded me of a Fobus holster material.

    The recoil on the Walther was a fair amount snappier than the Glock, could be bore axis, could be the top heavy design, either way it was not overpowering by any stretch, I would not recommend this weapon in .40 S&W.

    The layout of the controls was very strange. The magazine release was like an H&K with a leaver that I could only access with my index finger without having to change my grip from a shooting grip. This would absolutely suck for tactical reloads. I didn’t mind the de-cocker however, since I cannot think of any kind of “tactical†de-cock that didn’t belong on a crappy Hollywood movie.

    Glock 17 shot predictably well. Accuracy put all five rounds within an inch of one another, almost every one in the target area of a quarter or just on the edges. The silver dollar sized target usually held at least 3 to 4 of the rounds, very tight groups.

    Ergonomically the Glock was not as pleasant to shoot but had better sights. The Glock would be a little more difficult to conceal due to the hard lines of its grip and frame. The Glock seemed slightly heavier. The Glock also held 12 extra rounds over the P99. Recoil of the Glock was light. The Glock had a tendency to shoot high unless you are used to shooting a Glock, this is due to grip angle. Getting an improper grip on the Glock will almost assuredly result in pulling the trigger causing groups low and left, the nature of DAO’s.

    Glock control layout was predictable with a workmanship like design. The magazine release was accessible by my thumb without changing grip but the slide release is very small. I do not have a problem with the slide release as is, but if you have smaller hands you may want to look into getting a slide release extension.

    Here is the matchup.

    Accuracy: Glock wins hands down. No flyer, very tight groups, all groups were remarkably similar.

    Ergonomics: Walther wins. Glock is not bad, just not good. The Walther was a much natural pointer unless you take the time to learn to draw the Glock from the holster with the proper grip every time. The Glock will come right on target after you train yourself to shoot this type of weapon, however this will cause you to shoot almost every other type of handgun with normal grips low. Walther is much more of a natural feel.

    Controls: Glock wins. Whoever likes H&K controls will like the Walther, personally I despise changing grip to drop a mag.

    Fit and Finish: Glock wins. The material on the Walther did not seem nearly as rugged as the Glock, it was lighter, thinner.

    Reliability: Glock wins. The P99 at this particular range does have a problem once in a blue moon according to the range masters. This could be due to limp wrist, who knows, the Glock 17 however really never jams though. This is second hand information and neither range master likes either Glock or Walther designs, so I don’t see them being terribly biased.

    Value: Glock is cheaper than Walther unless of course you are getting the older model from CDNN. The Glock is flat out a better value. Cheaper, more accurate, better controls, more after market and smithy support etc.

    Winner: Glock.

    Glock vs. Springfield XD

    The XD tested was a basic 4 inch barreled duty model 9mm with standard factory sights etc.

    The XD had good ergonomics and was about the size of a Glock 19, thus smaller than the Glock 17. The XD did seem a little thicker than the Glock resembling a Sig in this regard. The XD had a capacity of 15 + 1 which is 2 rounds less than the Glock 17. The trigger was a little mushier overall but had a shorter break and reset.

    Here’s how it shot, accuracy was equivalent of the Glock. If I had not labeled the targets themselves I would not be able to tell the difference between the two. The XD seemed a little heavier than the Glock and the recoil seemed to be less than that of the Glock, probably due to weight since this weapon obviously has a higher bore axis. Overall this is how it stacked up.

    Accuracy: Same as the Glock 17. The only irritating thing was that from a distance of 21 to 33 feet the XD requires a 6 O’clock sight picture. I would place the target on top of the front sight after lining up the other 3 and hit dead center bulls eye. Being that the Glock 17 likewise has a funky grip angle which causes you to have to shoot pointed downward, I call this a tie. Both guns easily shot 1 to 1 ½ inch groups time and time again with no flyers. Tied.

    Ergonomics: I may be one of the only people on earth who appreciate the fact that Glock pistols all but force you to a correct grip to be comfortable at all. That being said, the XD is much more comfortable to shoot bar none. The grip is much more natural and brings the pistol to bear with almost no fore thought. Not too fat for little hands, not too small for big hands. Winner is XD.

    Controls: The controls on the XD were metallic and they were larger, thus easier to manipulate quickly. The features on the XD such as forward cocking serrations are not really necessary in my opinion; neither is the cocked indicator since there is no way to de-cock the pistol short of pulling the trigger. The loaded chamber indicator is much better than that of the Glock being larger and more visible. The sights were metallic instead of plastic and the grip safety is not obtrusive at all. I never thought about the grip safety once during the entire shoot and it never takes any fore thought to engage it. I think it was a marvelous idea. Let’s talk triggers for a second. The trigger for the Glock is predictable and fairly easy to use. The XD trigger is much mushier and harder to predict though the reset is shorter as well as the actual trigger stroke itself. Both take about the same amount of pressure to engage and I am not sure if there are any aftermarket triggers or trigger jobs available for the XD as there are for the Glock. Either gun is serviceable and easy to learn though. Taking everything into consideration the winner is XD.

    Fit and Finish: The finish on the XD is not Tenifer or even its equivalent. A used XD will look much more used than a used Glock with the same wear cosmetically. The stainless XD may be better, I don’t know. With the slide removed the Glock has a slight advantage to that of the XD and the back rail on the XD is plastic, but I’m not sure that it actually makes contact with the slide at all, still strange though. There is a slight difference in the quality of the frame in areas such as the seam where the two halves of the frame meet. It is more pronounced on the XD than on the Glock. Both use what seem to be identical grades of polymer and though I am splitting hairs here the Glock gets the win. Winner, Glock.

    Reliability: According to my own experiences and that of both the range masters, you are much more likely to be struck by lightening on a clear summer day while in the pool on the roof of a Las Vegas hotel with super model Naomi Campbell than you are likely to see either weapon jam due to a mechanical problem. As far as I know this only applies to the 9mm versions of each weapon. Each weapon has a very robust and well executed design. Tie.

    Value: Depending upon your personal needs this can sway either way. In Law Enforcement there is a trend that TDA and DAO pistols will be the only thing acceptable on and off duty for an officer. In which case buying an XD will not get you there since most agencies consider their Ultra Safety Assurance to be a single action in reality. However, if you are Joe Anybody, the XD gets the nod here. With a lifetime warranty, great ergonomics, good capacity and a ton of aftermarket support, I would not hesitate to carry an XD. Being that the cost is less and you don’t need necessary upgrades like metallic sights, XD is a clear winner here. Winner XD.

    Glock vs. XD vs. P99

    Since the Glock be the P99 and the XD beat the Glock, XD is the de facto winner overall.
     
  2. pchicone

    pchicone Member

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    Thanks for the post. I am on my way to get the XD!
     
  3. Marshall

    Marshall Member

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    Nice report Alduro. I sure like my XD service model!
     
  4. recondoc

    recondoc Member

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    Question about your comments on the Walther vs. Glock capacity: You say the Glock carries an extra "12" rounds? What kind of mags are you using?
    Doc
     
  5. garyk/nm

    garyk/nm Member

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    Most excellent report, alduro. The fact that I am an XD guy has nothing to do with my opinion ;)
     
  6. psyopspec

    psyopspec Member

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    Good review. I like you're writing, and it'd be great to see more from you in the future. I don't own any of these guns, but since I might one day I do have a couple questions.

    So it's the gun's fault you couldn't put the bullet where you wanted it to go?

    You said it yourself, who knows. Unless you verify that the malfunctions were not the fault of the user, how is it fair to hold them against the pistol? Did you inquire about how often the range's glocks malfunction?

    Last, what type of glock mags were you using that gave the pistol an extra 12 rounds over the walther?
     
  7. GlocksRock

    GlocksRock Member

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    Personally after shooting both the XD and the Glock side by side, I prefer the Glock, but both are superior weapons and will serve you well.
     
  8. Quickdraw Limpsalot

    Quickdraw Limpsalot Member

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    Personally, after owning both a Glock 17 and XD-9... I'll stick with my XD. The grip angle is a huge factor here. I still carry my SP101 primarily though.
     
  9. Brasso

    Brasso Member

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    I found it strange that you seem to have to change your grip to hit the mag release on the P99 but not on the Glock. I find it to be exactly the opposite.
     
  10. NMshooter

    NMshooter Member

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    So, would you risk being struck by lightning to be in a pool on top of a Las Vegas hotel with Naomi Campbell? ;) :p

    Have you purchased an XD yet? I considered getting one myself, but I figured I would wait awhile and see how they do.
     
  11. orangeninja

    orangeninja Member

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    "Question about your comments on the Walther vs. Glock capacity: You say the Glock carries an extra "12" rounds? What kind of mags are you using?
    Doc"


    That was a typo...I meant extra 2 rounds. TWO!

    Sorry about that.
     
  12. orangeninja

    orangeninja Member

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    "I found it strange that you seem to have to change your grip to hit the mag release on the P99 but not on the Glock. I find it to be exactly the opposite."

    I have big hands...what can I say?




    "The first DA pull was obviously a little off due to a heavy pull. "----Me


    "So it's the gun's fault you couldn't put the bullet where you wanted it to go?"---psyopspec


    It is a feature of the weapon that would cause most shooters likewise results. Not a fault of the gun, just a factor of the design worth considering. I do not blame the gun for being what it is.


    "The P99 at this particular range does have a problem once in a blue moon according to the range masters. This could be due to limp wrist, who knows... "----Me


    "You said it yourself, who knows. Unless you verify that the malfunctions were not the fault of the user, how is it fair to hold them against the pistol? Did you inquire about how often the range's glocks malfunction?"----psyopspec

    The range guys have their own particular biases, but usually don't lie. I think I qualified myself by saying "who knows" meaning who knows if it jammed or why. All guns functioned 100% in my testing.


    "Last, what type of glock mags were you using that gave the pistol an extra 12 rounds over the walther?"

    Typo, 2 rounds


    "Have you purchased an XD yet? I considered getting one myself, but I figured I would wait awhile and see how they do."

    I own both an XD and Glocks...however I am selling my XD, I cannot carry a single action in LE work....bummer.
     
  13. Island Beretta

    Island Beretta Member

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    The XD is a sweet shooter and just as accurate as a Glock. The XD even has a much milder recoil than the Glock. Even more importantly however it has a better grip angle than the Glock and a more ergonomic grip.

    Tough choice. Get at least one of each, if you can!!
     
  14. psyopspec

    psyopspec Member

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    Fair enough. While I don't have a range near me that rents pistols, I do like the way you write reviews. You should do pocket guns next and tell me if the Kahr I have on the way is more likely to be a good shooter or get me on that rooftop with the supermodel.
     
  15. SKeefe

    SKeefe Member

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    Great review!
     
  16. rock jock

    rock jock Member

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    I have all three and have seriously considered selling the XD. I bought it new for my nephew to shoot in an IDPA match in July and never fired it. He seemed to enjoy it, but in dry firing, I find it to be a little top-heavy and the trigger to be mushy. I may have to give it another chance.

    BTW, my favorite of the three is the P99.
     
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