August 2009

Polymer 9mm Pistols: Green, Dark Earth, and Black Beauties

Springfield Armory’s OD Green XD9 and Sig Sauer’s Flat Dark Earth P250 look good and shoot good too. CZ USA’s new

During a visit to Top Gun Range in Houston (, one of our favorite retail gun shops, two colorful 9mm polymer pistols caught our eye. One was the Springfield Armory XD Service Model No. XD9201HCSP06, with an olive-drab-green frame and black slide, $543. The other pistol was the Sig Sauer P250 Compact No. 2509205, with a dark-earth-colored grip and Melonite-black slide. Both of these pistols were double-action-only, but from the operators’ point of view, their unique triggers gave each gun a different personality. A comparison test was in order but we wanted to add a third pistol. That’s when we found a new model from CZ USA that was also a polymer 9mm semiautomatic. The CZ USA P-07 Duty arrived as a DA/SA, traditional double-action pistol. But the P0-7 was also shipped with an optional set of ambidextrous thumb levers. When swapped out with the decocker levers, the P-07 could be fired single-action-only with a thumb-operated safety. We decided to focus our test on the single-action capability of the P-07 because it was the only mode in which operation of the trigger remained constant. This played into our desire to test three polymer nines, each with a different, but simplified, way to light the fuse.

For accuracy tests we fired from sandbag rests at targets placed a measured 15 yards downrange. We also staged a rapid-action test from a distance of 7 yards. For our 15-yard session we fired Black Hills 115-grain full-metal jacketed ammunition, (, and two choices from the catalog of Atlanta Arms and Ammo, ( They were the 125-grain HAP rounds and the AAA Sub Sonic 147-grain JHP Match ammunition. For our 7-yard session we fired 124-grain FMJ rounds from Black Hills. Both the 147-grain and 124-grain rounds were sold in blue boxes, signifying that they were remanufactured ammunition. During the benchrest session, our pistols were fired utilizing a controlled press with the sights on target and the gun fully supported. Our rapid-action session was performed standing in front of a Hoffners ABC16 target, (from, 877-463-3637). The point of aim was the A-zone/chest area and the B-zone/head. The shooter began with the gun in both hands chest high. The muzzle was canted slightly upward so that the front sight was at the bottom of the shooter’s peripheral vision. The trigger finger began resting along the frame outside the trigger guard. Upon an audible start signal from a shot-recording timer, the shooter pressed the gun toward the A-zone, fired two shots then moved the sights upward to deliver one more hit to the B-zone. We took note of shot placement and recorded the elapsed time for each of 10 recorded runs. Since we were testing at Top Gun Handgun Training Center, a public indoor range which tends to be louder than an outdoor setting, we were wearing ear plugs as well as ear muffs. Taking note of the elapsed time between the buzzer and the first shot, we kept in mind the slight delay to our hearing as well as the physical manipulation necessary to deliver a first shot. Subtracting the first shot ET from the total time told us more about recoil management, trigger control and sight alignment. Happily, none or our guns showed any hint of malfunction when firing, so we were able to concentrate on the essential operation of each weapon. Here is what we found.

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