Alright, I've lurked long enough.
Range report here is really two in one, but I wanted to wait for conceal carry training and combine two days and a little lurk and learn time before embarrassing myself fully here.
I got my M9 at a gunshow after seeing it online. I literally came home and found resources to check it out and went back to get it after seeing nothing but good reviews at http://www.handgunreview.com
and here. A week later I finally got to try it out.
The local country range is run by an ex-cop, a man of phenomenal patience for a first-time shooter. After a quick lesson on grip and sight picture and a range safety review and a quick look around wondering for a second or two where's the damn foxhole I hit the firing line. 200 rounds later and not a failure-to-fire or a failure-to-clear to be seen I'm confident my weapon fires, clears, reloads and hits accurately. I'm not so confident about my grip, my slapping trigger finger (down and to the left) or my stance, but that came later. Winchester FMJ 124gr shot clean and recoil was manageable. With nothing but the giddy breakdown and lube the night I bought it, the M9 came out pretty clean after my first day on the range, though I did find the brass flecks I'd seen detailed in a thread here.
Range OIC was impressed when he saw it. "When you said you'd bought a gun and had never fired it and never had one before and I saw you pulling it out of the box I though, Aw hell, it's a damn Glock,'
" he said. He'd heard of Steyr, never seen one, and itched to get it in his grips. When he did, under the auspices of graciously checking my factory zero for me, He put two shots in the target and missed two beats and barked 'DAMN!' before he could get the third off. He let off a low whistle as he cleared and checked it and handed it back. "If you miss with that one," he said, "It's nobody's fault but your own."
I went home happy with my purchase.
Conceal training backed up a lot of what the Army and a lifetime among backwoods Germans instills in you naturally about people who want to kill you. Technically, on the other hand, I've got a long way to go. Another 250 rounds later I'm still manhandling the trigger, though not as often, and I'm anticipating recoil more often when I take aim, usually on the second shot. On rapid fire or on a seondary target, provided I move from the hips and not the shoulders, or in any instance where I'm thinking less and shooting more, I'm better. I'm trained enough in the state I live in to carry, but not trained enough, in my opinion, to feel good about putting my skills into action.
The Steyr series, IMHO, has got to be one of the top handgun lines in the world today. I'm a new shooter, so it don't count for much, but I like to think I'm fair good at research, and it ain't the first time I've smelled gunsmoke and Hoppes -- Could someone get on that one with the cologne industry!
-- so I can at least say it fires reliably, accurately and easily. Trigger pull is balanced and uniform, action is smooth and recoil is totally within the bounds of a trained shooter no matter the size. The construction is robust and the safety features are numerous, and the dimensions make it a concealable full-sized friend. Sorry bout that. I fall into PR-speak when I get excited (Take note, Austria! Hit me up!)
Now for the good part, the questions:
Any dry-firers out there? Techniques, drills, equipment (dum-dum rounds?) availibility or fabrication techniques, opinions, thoughts, gripes and warnings wanted!
Another old shooter and armorer/gunsmith at the range took one look at the M9, ejected a shell from the magazine and pointed to the scratch along the side of the brass. Other than the trigger pin drag mark on the edge of the brass the gun-range owner had pointed out the first time I fired the pistol it was the first time I'd seen evidence of the pistol needing more 'breaking in.' My new friend told me to get a Dremmel and some polishing compound and hit the inside edges of the feeding slot on my brand-new full-cap mags (Can't thank you enough for that timely heads-up Maj. D!) Seemed suspiciously reminiscent of the thread on brass shavings, tons of which I found in the post-range cleaning. Any thoughts? I'm curious to see what other capable folk have done along that line of modification with these pistols.
Reloading: What's the start-up cost and how long to recoup? What's the bare minimum equipment-wise, and what should a newbie avoid? Resources and horror-stories welcome!
Florida residents (Otherwise known as new natives)! Any thougths on gun laws, gun issues, carry issues in our great state. Resources in the Panhandle?
Finally, FlaChief, Mr. A, Maj. D, everyone else with mountians of knowlege to generously share, A million thanks for that resource. Sorry this ran so long. I'll try to keep it short on the appropriate threads from here on out, really, I will, and I hope I can contribute somewhere down the line like y'all are now.