This is a long post, so take your time. Since I bought my M9 last Fall, I've learned a lot about pistol shooting in general and the M9 in particular. First let me explain that I had a couple of rifles when I was a teenager back in the late '50's: a Mossberg 140B with 1/4 minute adjustable peep sights and a Lee Enfield Mark V. With the .22 I regularly got everything into the bullseye and indeed tried to get every shot into the same hole. This was at our local indoor range in the basement of a Recreation Centre on an airbase in Toronto. I also fired an FN assault rifle at a 200-yard military rifle range and a 76mm tank gun on a tank range. So, I guess what I'm saying is that my contact with guns was more extensive than some teenagers, but it was a long time ago. I bought the Steyr because I liked the looks, liked the 111 degree grip and respected its Austrian heritage. The one thing I didn't expect was that I'd have any trouble shooting it. The first time I banged away at an outdoor range the bullets flew everywhere but the target. I couldn't believe it. I went and got a bigger target to find out where they were. It didn't make any sense; they were everywhere. Then I got some instruction from an expert and changed my grip. This was a lot better. I could now get all ten shots on an 18" x 22" target. Still scattered around like buckshot though. Another expert suggested I treat the two-stage trigger like a one-stage. Accordingly I would pull the trigger back half way to the stop, aim and squeeze it off. This was better but still not very good. I was beginning to think either I, or the gun, had a real problem. The expert shot off a nice three-inch group with the Steyr so that left me as the problem. Next I tried a .22 target pistol. The result, a lovely group around 2 1/2 inches. So obviously my sight picture wasn't the issue. My friend then brought in a selection of pistols and let me try them. First off was a genuine FN Browning High Power. This weighed 885gms, compared to the Steyr's 780gms, and yes the group was a little better. Then he had me try a genuine Colt M1911A1. He loaded five rounds and I sat down and rested my elbows on a bench. It was the first time in my life I'd ever fired a .45 and I was a bit nervous. Bang! Oh, that wasn't so bad, but no sign of the impact. I concentrated again and squeezed off another. This showed up five inches from the centre. OK, I can do this I thought. I carefully fired the last three. At first I thought I'd missed with these as well as the first one. Then I walked down range and had a closer look. The last three were grouped in the black of the bullseye 3/4 of an inch apart, measuring from the centres. Holy Toledo! Today I had a long chat with my gun dealer. So why, I asked him, am I so much better with a 1080gm gun than my Steyr? The answer, to make a long story short, is that it's a single action with a smooth, light trigger pull and has 3/4's of a pound more weight to damp the trigger squeeze reflex befoe the shot goes off. And a longer barrel. Who knew? So, yes, now I'm looking at something a little heftier, say a Para-Ordnance P14.45 (PX1445SR). I still like the look of the M9 and it's still proving very reliable, but I've got to do better hitting what I'm aiming at. The more I think about it, the more I realize the main reason for the popularity of polymer-framed pistols is that people who carry them want to reduce the weight on their belt. They're willing to put up with the higher skill level needed in exchange for the additional comfort. The reason for the tough trigger pull (my friend the expert says it feels like 9lb to him, not 5lb) is that Police Administrators don't like their employees to shoot themselves accidentally. Gotta really squeeze that puppy, they figure. Which means more time at the range to compensate for the excessive force needed. As for the criminal element, because they don't get to the range very oven (read never) they throw bullets all over the place. There was one recent exchange in Toronto when two gangs opened up on each other with two pistols. More than twenty shots fired. The only person hit was a bystander (who was killed). Everyone else walked away untouched. I'm sure the guns used were all plastic, which doesn't say much about their natural pointability. In fact, you could make the point that criminals either need to be sent to ranges or given better weapons. Just kidding. So those are my thoughts on pistols so far. I think it's a great sport.