Wanted to shoot my new (to me) Sphinx AT-M 380 for the first time, so I packed my gear, my Sphinx and my M9 and drove up to my Mom and Dad's for some backyard target shooting. The Sphinx is DAO and has an extremely smooth trigger pull, like a nice S&W revolver, and I was curious to feel how much kick it has being a blowback design. It's a slim pistol about the size of a PPK, and I got it thinking it might be easier to conceal than my Steyr.
I set up my target stand at about 10 yards with two 3" Shoot-N-C targets, loaded up one 10-round mag for the Sphinx with 95gr WinClean BEB (Brass Enclosed Base), adjusted my grip and sight picture, and squeezed. Hmmm, two inches above the target. Squeeze again. Level with target but 3" left. Squeeze. Nicked the left side of the bull. Better! Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, left, high, 6"low??? Etc, etc. About a 10" pattern. Not what I was hoping for.
Sure, I'm a newb, and it's been over a month since I shot, but my last effort was much better than this type of shotgun pattern. So I loaded up a 10-round mag for the Steyr with Lancer 147gr FMJ and took aim at the right-hand bull. Ah, now THERE'S a sight picture! Bang! Just left. Bang! Bleed, you stinking bull! Bang! Bang! Bang! Yeah, I love this gun. Two more bulls and a 5-inch pattern.
Another mag of .380, another mag of 9mm, and then the base of my right thumb started to get sore, like a blister starting. Time to quit. No FTE, FTF or any other problems with either gun. Target shows more of the same - a scattergun .380 pattern, and a 9mm pattern that you can cover with your hand. Is it the gun, or is it me? :roll:
Summary: The Sphinx is a well-made pistol, with manageable recoil and muzzle flip; nice to shoot, but I'm sure it is responsible for the sore spot on my thumb. I've never had that with my previous outings; could it have been a rub from the slide? It's in the right area. I need to work on my grip, trigger finger position and trigger pull to get some consistency, or just relegate it to the safe as a collector item.
My M9 continues to endear itself to me. It points fairly naturally and quickly for me, and with the subsonic Lancer ammo this gun is very easy to control. The sights barely move with each shot. It did bounce one spent casing off my glasses and one off my chest, but since almost all the brass was around my feet it was very easy to clean up after. :wink: This gun is definitely a keeper, and will be getting alot of range time after I get a membership to the local Fish and Game. After I figure out how and when I want to carry, it will be my carry piece.
Sorry for the long post. I just had to let it out.