December 2017

Size 9mm Striker-Fires From Ruger, S&W, Springfield

The M&P9 M2.0 offers a custom grip that’s better than the Ruger American Pro Duty’s rendition. The XD MOD.2 Service lacks a customizable grip, but still feels good in the hand.

Size 9mm Striker-Fires From Ruger, S&W, Springfield

Our team would opt for the S&W M&P9 M2.0 (top, $599) due to its enhanced trigger and improved ergonomics. If price is an issue, the Ruger American Pro Duty (right, $579) costs slightly less, and, in our opinion, you get less, too, though it is a capable pistol. If a non-modular grip isn’t a show stopper, then the Springfield Armory XD MOD.2 4-Inch Service (bottom, $565) with built-in safeties, sights, and other features make it an excellent choice.

We live in a polymer-frame, striker-fire, double-stack world. At first glance, most of these types of pistols seem to offer the same features, so what separates these pistols aside from price point and manufacturer? A lot, we found out. We chose three recently introduced 9mm models for testing. The first was the Ruger American Pro Duty, which is Ruger’s new full-size striker-fire pistol with a modular grip. The second was the next evolution of the Springfield Armory XD series, the XD MOD.2 4-Inch Service, which wears SA’s GripZone texture in the grip. We previously tested the compact XD MOD.2 3.3-inch models in both 9mm and 45 ACP and gave them an A rating. The third 9mm striker fire was the new M&P9 M2.0 from Smith & Wesson. We tested S&W’s first generation of M&P9 models and found they rated from A to B+, depending on the model. All three pistols are striker-firers, use a polymer receiver/frame, are chambered in 9mm, have double-stack magazines, and are full-size pistols.

For range testing, we used a combination of hollow-point and full-metal-jacket bullets in different bullet weights. Our four test loads consisted of Hornady American Gunner, loaded with a 115-grain XTP bullet, a SIG Sauer 115-grain full-metal-jacket (FMJ) bullet, Liberty Ammunition Civil Defense’s 50-grain hollow-point bullet, and Aguila’s 124-grain FMJ load. We tested accuracy at 25 yards using a rest, then moved the target to 15 yards for speed shooting and reload manipulations. We were paying close attention to accuracy, ease of use, reliability and consistency. As the brass cooled, here’s what we learned.

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