Friday, August 24, 2007


A Look at the Springfield XD 9

By Stephen Camp

Hello. Like many traditionalists, I was wrong in thinking that "plastic guns" would break quickly and not last the test of time. Though I strongly prefer blue steel and old, "out of date" Hi Powers and 1911s, there are many who rather like these "modern" pistols using polymer in place of the traditional steel or aluminum alloy frame. Though there were such pistols before Glock, it was the design that entrenched polymer into the making of handguns.

Of late I've been reading and hearing about a newcomer to this field, Springfield's XD. The pistol's available in a compact version, the service version, and a longer, tactical version and is chambered in 9mm, .357 SIG, and .40 S&W. There are rumors of a forty-five in the future.

Some opine that's it's a superior pistol to the Glock, which it obvious emulates while others firmly disagree. I don't know, but decided to add one to my collection and find out. Understand that while I will make observations and give opinions, such are frequently subjective and might not be true for you. This report is a bit more detailed than others I've done as not all of us are so familiar with the XD as we might be other guns. I'm well satisfied that some are considering buying as well.

The 9mm XD proved reliable with a wide number of ammo types.

Specs from Springfield Armory:

Barrel Length: 4.05"

Weight: 25 oz.

Length: 7"

Trigger Pull: 5.5 to 7.7 lbs. (They have the Glock-like safety lever mounted in the trigger, but refer to it in combination with the grip safety as "Ultra Safety Assurance" (USA) action trigger system.

Magazines: 10 round stainless steel "Easy Glide"

Finish: Bruniral

I also took some measurements that might be of interest:

Slide Thickness: 1.04" (Glock 26 measures: 1.003" for comparison.)

Frame Thickness: 1.18"

(Both are at the widest points.)

Barrel Diameter at Muzzle: 0.53" (It holds this diameter rearward for 0.36".)

Barrel Diameter Beyond Above: 0.52:

Vertical Bbl Movement w/Grip Safety Depressed: 0.01"* (Gun not cocked.)

Vertical Bbl Movement w/Grip Safety Not Depressed: Same (Gun not cocked.)

Vertical Bbl Movement w/Grip Safety Depressed: 0.015" (Gun cocked.)

Vertical Bbl Movement w/Grip Safety Not Depressed: 0.02" (Gun cocked.)

Distance from Middle of Fully Depressed Grip Safety to Middle of Trigger w/o

Depressing Trigger Safety: 2.598"

*When released, the bbl moved back upward as do the Glock barrels when pressed in the same manner.

Unlike the Glock pistol that is close kin to a DAO auto in that pressing the trigger fully cocks and releases the partially cocked striker. When a round's chambered in the XD the striker's fully cocked and blocked by a sear and also has an internal firing pin safety that allows the pistol to fire only when the trigger's in the rearmost position. In this instance, I DO like the internal firing pin safety, as there is no half-cock notch should something go wrong.

The polymer frame around the magazine well, which is beveled on the sides and rear, does not flex, as do the Glocks, not that this really matters in terms of function. The front and rear grip straps are coarsely checkered and do provide for a secure grip. The thumb rests are more like thumb depressions and are actually very comfortable to me? I find the grip angle and grip "feel" more comfortable than any Glock. There is a slight relief cut under the rear of the trigger guard.

The recoil spring system consists of two springs and the dual guide rods are steel. I don't have any idea what strength these amounts to, but am guessing about 18 lbs. This system closely resembles the two-piece system sold by Wolff Gunsprings for the Glock 26. Unlike the Wolff, however, these springs are captive, something I don't like as it makes it more difficult to change out recoil springs. Also, the forward end of the guide rod consists of a flat disc, which protrudes from the front of the slide by 0.06". I'm sure that this prevents any problems or damage to the part, but this does not look all that great to me. Like most pistols these days, Springfield managed to squeeze in three front cocking serrations, so as not to be out of style.

Here's the front of the steel spring guide in its normal position.

The grooved trigger is steel with the safety being polymer. The trigger pull is long, but with a very minimal amount of over travel. Despite this weapon's firing from a fully "cocked" position, the trigger pull feels about the same as that of the standard factory Glock, but maybe not quite as smooth. Whether or not this smooths up with use, I do not yet know. Trigger reset is considerably longer than the Glock; it proved no problem for me as I'm an old double-action revolver shooter and currently shoot Browning Hi Powers quite a lot. Those who are really quick and welded to the 1911's exceptional trigger and short reset might have a problem with this pistol during speed shooting strings. The XD trigger is approximately 0.373" wide, centered in a trigger guard that's about 0.603" wide. This means the trigger's about 0.115" narrower than the trigger guard is on each side. For comparison, I measured my Glock 26 for these dimensions. The trigger measured 0.385" in width centered in a trigger guard that's 0.625" wide. Thus, the trigger is protected by 0.12" of trigger guard on each side. I see no particular "threat" from either being too wide for the trigger guard.

The ambidextrous magazine release is mounted behind the trigger guard ala 1911, SIG-Sauer, Browning HP, et al. Depressing the steel mag release retracts the catch from the notch located in the front of the magazine body. The stainless steel body is very highly polished and smooth as a mirror. It does drop free w/o hesitation. The follower is black polymer as is the magazine floor plate. It loaded smoothly and w/o excessive effort. Rounds stripped by hand did so very smoothly and the follower/spring/lips set up is such that loaded rounds are angled upward for slick feeding. Don't worry about losing this magazine at night. Just shine a flashlight in the general area and it should reflect like a diamond! Nothing bright shows while in the pistol. There is a hollow area behind the magazine well as is the case with the Glock.

The slide release lever looks very similar to the Glock, but is larger and operates the same way.

The pistol's take down lever is mounted on the left, forward side of the frame, but is rotated upward rather than downward for dismantling. It is an easier system than the Glock. Other than this, takedown is quite similar.

An obvious difference in these pistols is that the XD uses an internal extractor that's sort of similar to that of the traditional 1911's. There's a cylinder of steel at the end that fits a recess in the slide to hold it in proper position. This cylinder has a groove cut in it and it appears that the firing pin safety-retaining pin fits in the cylinder portion's groove to keep the extractor in place. At the top rear of the very Glock-like ejection port is the loaded chamber indicator. This pivoting indicator does have what appears to be an extractor-like claw on it, but in checking it with 9mm hulls, it does not appear to aid in extraction. It does not protrude upward enough to interfere with sight picture nor does it present any potential snagging problems.

The extractor is on the cartridge's right side facing forward with the loaded chamber indicator on top. It holds the case firmly.

On the rear grip strap sits the grip safety. Much narrower than the 1911's, it is easy to depress and really isn't even felt at all when preparing to fire. When the pistol's got a round chambered a small pin protrudes from the rear of the slide through the locking plate in a manner similar to the HK P7, but it doesn't protrude nearly so far. With a round in the bbl, but the grip safety not depressed, the slide will move rearward only about 0.12;" call it an eighth of an inch.

Sights are fixed and the common 3-dot style and mercifully, made of steel. SIG-Sauer pistol sights will work in this pistol. Though more durable than the polymer fixed Glock sights, the sight picture's similar with both pistols and both sit on the flat slide top. To me the Glock slide is "cleaner" than the XD. The latter's is wider at the bottom than the top and kind of reminds me of SIG-Sauer P226 and 228 slides.

Ammunition: Four handloads and six factory rounds were tried. They were:

Federal M882 124 gr. FMJ

Speer Lawman 124 gr. TMJ

Federal 115 gr. JHP

PMC Starfire 115 gr. JHP (This load's not offered in anything but 124 gr. now to the best of my knowledge.)

Winchester USA 115 gr. FMJ (This is NOT the same company's "target ammo.")

Remington 115 gr. JHP +P

Handloads included cast, plated, and jacketed bullets. This was done as some will want to reload for this pistol.

124 gr. Hornady XTP

6.0 gr. Unique

Winchester SP Primer

Starline Cases

LOA: 1.11"*

124 gr. Speer GDHP

6.0 gr. Unique

Winchester SP Primer

Starline Cases

LOA: 1.115"*

*(Both of these hit over 1200 ft/sec from Browning Hi Powers.)

124 gr. Rainier Plated RN

6.9 gr. Blue Dot

Winchester SP Primer

Starline Cases

LOA: 1.15"

122 gr. Rucker Cast FP

6.9 gr. Blue Dot

Winchester SP Primer

Starline Cases

LOA: 1.075"

The handloads using Blue Dot average about 1140 ft/sec from Browning Hi Powers and have proven reasonably accurate, something frequently not so easy to find in 9mm pistols.

Shooting: There was no 50-yard shooting today; it was sprinkling off and on between true showers and I stayed dry shooting at the closer distances as the 50 yard range was ankle deep in water. Groups were fired off-hand at 15 yards standing and w/2-hand hold. I did shoot the groups at 25 yards seated and using a rest. The 10-yard rapid-fire group was fired standing w/2-hand hold. Due to the rain, I did NOT chronograph ammunition from the XD today. I'd never fired this pistol before today and had no idea where it would hit so I aimed "dead on" at the 15-yard targets.

Fifteen Yards:

The arrows indicate the position of the first, hand-cycled round compared to the rest of the group.

Twenty-five Yards:

Cast bullets did pretty well out of the XD. The pistol uses does not use polygonal rifling, but has lands and grooves as do most service pistols

Observations: The most obvious one to me was that this particular XD suffers from "first-shot flyer syndrome." The first shot fired (chambered by hand) usually hit a bit low and left from the subsequent group. Until I saw the pattern developing after a few groups, I had thought it was just my shooting. The range master came over and fired with the same results and he is a very fine shot. I'm not sure if this will be common to the gun or just individual specimens.

Feeding, extraction, and ejection were 100% reliable in this admittedly low-round test. The loaded chamber indicator caused no problems that could be seen. Fired cases landed about 5' to my right regardless of their being standard pressure or hotter.

All rounds chambered w/o hesitation.

Recoil from any service-size handgun in 9mm is not much and this gun proved no different. I did note more muzzle flip than expected, but whether this has to do with its bore axis being 1.79" above the middle of the trigger, grip angle or a combination, I don't know. (On the Glock 26, the same measurement yielded 1.48".) The XD bbl was conventionally rifled, having lands and grooves and appeared to be a 1:10 twist.

This pistol hit a bit high for me. Switching to a 6 O' Clock hold helped, but it is still on the high end on POI. Windage seemed about right out of the box and while I prefer plain black on black fixed sights, these were not hard to use.

I found this pistol "hard" to shoot accurately in slow-fire @ 15 and 25 yards but got a little better as the testing proceeded. While I had no scales by which to measure the trigger-pull, it did not seem that much different than the Glock, although it did seem less "smooth." I could get decent groups, but had to work/concentrate for them more so than with some other pistols. In rapid-fire, I could tell no difference between this pistol and a Glock in terms of getting good hits.

Certainly, this pistol would need to be shot more before I'd consider it for self-defense use and I plan to use it as a "loaner" in CHL class I teach as well as personally shoot it quite a bit. Should there be dramatic changes, I will report them, good or bad. I have no idea how this gun's dark rust-resistant finish will hold up compared to the Glock's tennifer. Time will tell and so will I.

A personal concern that I've had with striker-fired pistols is reliability in firing "hard primered" rounds. I recall some Greek surplus 9mm that was not recommended for Glocks due to this. I checked primer strikes with CCI, known for harder primers, a military Federal load, and a +P Remington load. Though not definitive, it does show reasonably well-centered strikes along with some cratering and firing pin "wipe." This caused no problems, but I'd sure be sure of my ammunition, not only in feeding/extraction, but also in firing.

This particular XD9 was reliable with lots of varied ammunition, but was reliably unreliable with Glaser Safety Slugs. I suspect that has to do with the recoil impulse of this particular light bullet, high velocity load. With standard 115 to 124-gr. bullets at standard and +P velocities, there were no problems. Not many of these expensive Glaser rounds were fired due to cost, but all failed to extract. Always test a potential defense handgun with the ammo you intend to use.

It's my opinion after looking the gun over pretty closely that its intrinsic accuracy potential is there, but I had a somewhat challenging time in practically being able to get it due to the trigger. Part of this is just me. I can usually be found shooting light, crisp 1911 triggers or very nice BHP triggers. However, some more practice and familiarization with the XD might result in some tighter groups.

So what's it good for? I think it's obvious that the pistol's meant to be a down-and-dirty defensive tool rather than a match-precision target pistol, but I do think it has the mechanical capability of doing some tight groups with practice and ammo it "likes." If you like holsterless carry and prefer the Glock genre of defensive pistols, this would be the one I'd pick over the Glock. Fully loaded, weight is NOT a problem and I personally find the feel of the XD more comfortable than the Glock 19. (I think the G19 is the best Glock to compare the Service XD to, but I only own one Glock, the G26.) Assuming reliability, I would not hesitate to carry this as a trusted personal defense pistol and think it would be capable of "rescue shots" at 15 yards in my hands right now. However, in a tactical type situation or taking small game, I'd have to go with my 1911s and P35s. This does not mean that I wouldn't take a shot at a jackrabbit 40 yards out, only that I'd have to "work at it" more. I'm sure that this is due to my having used the single-action automatic pretty heavily for just over 3 decades now.

I have no perfect pistols and didn't find it with the Service XD, but I did find a pistol that appears well thought out and reliable for "serious" purposes. As they've become a bit more common, they have gained a pretty respectable following, but just don't appeal to me the way that a more traditional semiautomatic does.



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Geoff Elliott, Washington correspondent | August 25, 2007

BOB Baer, the former Middle East CIA operative whose first book about his life inspired the oil-and-espionage thriller Syriana, is working on a new book on Iran, but says he was told by senior intelligence officials that he had better get it published in the next couple of months because things could be about to change.

Baer, in an interview with The Weekend Australian, says his contacts in the administration suggest a strategic airstrike on Iran is a real possibility in the months ahead.

"What I'm getting is a sense that their sentiment is they are going to hit the Iranians and not just because of Israel, but due to the fact that Iran is the predominant power in the Gulf and it is hostile and its power is creeping into the Gulf at every level," Baer says.

He says his contacts have told him of his book: "You better hurry up because the thesis is going to change. I told them submission is in January but they said, 'You're probably going to be too late'."

Washington's intelligence community is abuzz about possible military action against Iran, which is being weighed at the highest levels of the Bush administration. While the guessing game has become "will they or won't they?", at least some experienced and trusted intelligence sources have told The Weekend Australian that the possibility of a strike in the next 12 months remains remote.

"The success of a strike is limited and the downside could be enormous," said one source, noting the possibility of a regional conflagration involving the entire Gulf because Iran would look to hit back at the US's strategic interests.

For his part, Baer is not an advocate of a demonstration strike on Tehran and he is scathing of the Bush administration's handling of Middle East policy, as he is of previous administrations, marking 1979, under the Carter administration, as the point in which US policy on Iran went awry.

He agrees with many in the intelligence community in Washington that a strike on Iran could be a disaster and counterproductive to US interests, but he says that the rising level of impatience in the Bush administration over Iran's belligerence on its nuclear program and its destabilising role in Iraq could mean that something snaps.

"In the CIA, they are calling what the Iranians are doing to us in Iraq as the slow cook -- where we get cooked there for the next 10 years and then we give up completely and leave."

But Baer says an emboldened Iran in the event of mass US withdrawal from Iraq "scares the shit out of Saudis, the Bahrainis and all the Arab gulf states". "They are saying: 'What are you going to do now that you've created a mess in Iraq and what are you going to do about Iran?'."

Intelligence sources say military contingency planning on Iran under the Bush administration has been under way since 2003 but the latest speculation has been a surgical strike on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

A case for a strike became more prominent last week when The New York Times reported the Bush administration was preparing to declare the Revolutionary Guard Corps a foreign terrorist organisation.

"If imposed, the declaration would signal a more confrontational turn in the administration's approach to Iran and would be the first time that the United States has added the armed forces of any sovereign government to its list of terrorist organisations," the Times reported.

The Revolutionary Guard is said to be the largest branch of Iran's military.

"While the United States has long labelled Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism, a decision to single out the guard would amount to an aggressive new challenge from an American administration that has recently seemed conflicted over whether to take a harder line against Tehran over its nuclear program and what American officials have called its destabilising role in Iraq," the newspaper said.

The Bush administration continues to try to ratchet up the pressure on Iran, pressing the US's allies to apply sanctions against Iran in the UN Security Council. The State Department and Treasury officials are pushing for sanctions that include an extensive travel ban on senior Iranian officials and further moves to restrict the ability of Iran's financial institutions to do business abroad.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has consistently denied US allegations that Iran was furnishing weapons to both the Taliban in Afghanistan and insurgents in Iraq. Two months ago, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said the volume of weapons reaching the Taliban from Iran made it "difficult to believe" that the shipments were "taking place without the knowledge of the Iranian Government".

Baer says the Iranians are "masters at using surrogates" and disguising their role in conflicts.

"They are not stupid, they are the least stupid people in the Middle East," he says. "If they are providing the EFPs (explosively formed penetrators), they are not leaving serial numbers, return addresses; it's not the way the world works out there."

Wednesday, August 22, 2007



Two Letters Re: The Current Ammo Shortage and Galloping Prices

Perhaps it’s a regional thing, but there seems to be an ammunition shortage in the United States. Here in NY, 7.62x39 has doubled in price in the past year. It is to $200 per 1,000 when you can find it. At last weekend's gun show only two of the 40 tables were selling 7.62x39 and one of those vendors only had 500 rds. The bad news is thus that it is too late to stock up on cheap 7.62x39. The good news is that your investment in ammo [already] on hand has doubled in value.

308[Winchester] is still available at $200 per 1,000 and up, depending on country of origin. A year ago I could find it for a few cents per cartridge less, but I think the time to stock up is now. One reason is that the military ammo is simply being used in Iraq and Afghanistan, so there is less surplus on the market. Another factor is the budding Chinese automotive industry absorbing every bit of metal they can buy. Copper wire has doubled in price in the past year. It is only reasonable to see this carry through to the raw materials for ammunition. So the price will be passed along to us even if the “shortage” is temporary prices are clearly rising.

I can see no downside to stocking up on the cartridges still available at reasonable prices. For instance, it is my personal policy to buy a 550 round box of 22 LR every time I’m in Wal-Mart. At $8.97 per 550 box that’s still under two cents per cartridge, including sales tax. I just don’t think prices will ever be lower. And with a 100+ year shelf life, how can you go wrong? Worst case - even in the unlikely event that my son and I don’t shoot it up during father/son backyard plinking sessions, I’m stocking a commodity for the next generation. Keep up the great work. May God bless you and yours, - Mike S.

God bless you Jim.
I just got back from a gun show here in the mid west and there were two over-riding topics of discussion among the dealers. First and foremost was that the cost of ammunition was going up. Soon. A case of .223 which was being sold at $219 will cost the dealer $250 just to stock it. Even if he sold it just to break even, that's a noticeable jump. Certain ammo streams (South African .308 for example) are drying up. One dealer who sells flashlights, cases, knives etc, told me not to buy his stuff and go get my ammo. I thought your readers should know now is the time to buy ammo.
The second topic of conversation is that people were being cautious, that they had feelings of unease, that things were not as good as we're being told it is. Add this to the bad wheat harvest projected and it equals Now is the time to get as prepared as you can. Just thought this might be of interest. - D.D.


A Critical Look at the SIG P-210 9mm

By Stephen Camp

Generally regarded as the most intrinsically accurate "service" pistol extant, the SIG P-210 has always commanded a hefty price. While part of this can be due to both import tariffs and exchange rates, the fact is that the gun's always been expensive. I bought my first one in the mid-'70's for the princely sum of $350.00 which would have bought two Browning Hi Powers and left change or nearly three Colt Series 70 forty-five automatics! A kindly gun dealer, Mr. Wilford Pierce, let me pay it out "on the book," as it was commonly called. At that time, the model designation was P-210-6 and it came with a very good trigger and a fine click-adjustable rear sight with a post front sight. The stocks were finely checkered and almost blonde. I don't recall what kind of wood, but the pistol appeared elegant.

Foolishly, I traded it off for a new S&W Model 66 with 4" barrel, an extra set of grips, a buck knife, and $35 cash!

I bought another on 03/26/96. Surprisingly, mine is marked "P-210-6," but is a fixed sight pistol. Perhaps model designations changed or the guns were originally intended to be for an adjustable sight pistol. I flat don't know.

This is my second SIG P-210. It's put together very well and its POI exactly matches POA for me with most ammunition. I've read that its spectacular intrinsic accuracy is limited to but one load, a 147-grain Swiss FMJ round made for maximum accuracy performance in this model pistol. I've never shot any of it so I don't know, but reports that the P-210 "is no more accurate than other quality automatics" has not been proven true in my experience. I have some other pistols that group as tightly as the P-210 for me, but none that group better and I'm not capable of shooting well enough to tell the difference. The pistol is 8.5" in overall length with a barrel measuring 4.72." It weighs 2.14 lbs. and is all steel. The single-stack magazine holds 8 rounds of 9mm ammunition. It has a FLGR and a captive recoil spring and uses a one-piece feed ramp like the Browning Hi Power and other pistols. Rifling twist is listed at 1:10 in most places, but it's actually closer to 1:9. It has internal slide rails, i.e., the slide rides inside the frame and this allows for longer slide rails. Like the Makarov, it has its magazine release at the pistol butt to the rear of the magazine well. There is no internal firing pin safety, nor is the external thumb safety ambidextrous. The extractor is external and pinned. It does have a magazine safety.

I do not know if the trigger, slide release, and hammer are hard chromed with a matte finish or some other finish has been applied or if they're matte finished stainless, but on the well-done blued slide and frame, they make for an attractive appearance.

This pistol's front sight is a serrated ramp that's steep enough to be almost a "semi-ramp" and is dovetailed in place. The top of the slide is nicely serrated.

The rear sight is a "U" shape that I find mildly annoying, but must say that it has not affected being able to get both a good sight picture in slow fire. Its front sight is thin and fine for precise, slow shooting, but hard for me to pick up at speed. You can see the finish on the hammer and slide stop in this picture as well as the thumb safety in front of the grip. Note also the reversed slide rails and the fit between slide and frame.

An unusual feature of this pistol is that the entire hammer, sear, mainspring assembly can be removed from the frame as a single unit for ease in cleaning.

In this picture, you can see how well the stocks fit the gun as well as the almost invisible seam where they meet. Under the tang, you can see a screw head. Removal of this screw allows for the hammer, sear, and mainspring to be lifted out of the frame when the slide is removed.

The interior finish on the P-210 is better than the exterior finish on many of today's pistols.

The SIG P-210 is well finished both inside and out. Though they cannot be seen in this photo, the slide grooves in the frame run the full-length of the frame and there's very little movement either vertically or horizontally between the slide and frame.

The barrel is precisely machined and fitted to the pistol. This feed ramp has not been polished nor have any "tool marks" been removed. What you see is how the P-210 comes out of the box.

The pistol feels "graceful" to me an in a way similar to the Browning 9mm Hi Power. I do wish that from the factory, the Browning/FN Hi Power had either fine stippling or serrations to improve the grip when hands are wet or sweaty.

The P-210 has a finely serrated front grip strap. It provides ample purchase and is quite comfortable in firing.

So, it's a well-made, very expensive pistol in 9mm, but how does it shoot and is it reliable? The two that I've owned were with ball and most JHP rounds but do hang up now and again with the short 90-grain JHP 9mm cartridges. This really doesn't bother me as I seldom shoot anything less than 100-grains and most often, 124-grain bullets are my choice.

This 10-shot group was fired using a rest from 25 yards with the shown handload that's proven accurate in several other 9mm pistols including Browning Hi Powers and CZ-75's.

If you happen to mortgage the house and buy one of these, you'll at least find that it groups the widely used Winchester 115-grain USA FMJ very well. The flyers in both targets are my fault, not the gun.

Also fired from a rest and with wrists sandbagged, this group was fired at fifty yards. It's the handload shown above and uses Hornady's excellent 124-grain XTP over 6.0 grains of Unique.

I killed this javelina using the same handload from the SIG P-210 in far south Texas a few years ago.

As shown in the preceding picture, I've used the P-210 in the field on a couple of occasions. I did not find the smallish sights to be a problem, but I do think they would be in dimmer light or if trying to use them very quickly…at least for my eyes. (I'm also happy to report that I've lost about 35-lbs. since that picture was taken!)

The P-210 does not have a "slow" barrel and here are the velocity figures for some loads I've tested in the pistol. As usual, they're based on 10-shot averages with the gun's muzzle being about 10' from the screens.

Load Velocity (ft/sec)

Handload: 115 gr Hornady XTP/6.0 gr Unique/Starline Cases/ WSP primer

LOA: 1.11" 1238 (ES: 9, SD: 6)

Handload: 124 gr Hornady XTP/6.0 gr Unique/Starline Cases/WSP primer

LOA: 1.11" 1280 (ES: 81,SD: 34)

Handload: Speer 124 gr GDHP/6.0 gr Unique/WSP/Starline Cases

LOA: 1.115" 1195 (ES: 62, SD: 26)

Winchester USA 115 gr FMJ 1242 (ES: 38, SD: 15)*

(*This is much hotter than previously checked loads. No Nato marking on cases.)

Remington 115 gr +P JHP 1291 (ES: 17, SD: 7)

Federal 115 gr JHP (9BP) 1173 (ES: 42, SD: 18)

MagTech 115 gr FMJ 1148 (ES: 50, SD: 18)

Notice that in the two XTP handloads, everything is identical except for the bullet weight. The slightly heavier, slightly longer 124-grain causes more pressure and in this case, higher velocity than the 115-grain load.

While this P-210 will group decently with cast and plated bullets, for me it has done its best with jacketed ammunition be it factory or home-rolled.

The pistol is a very good one, but it does have its less than stellar features as do all handguns. First, it is very expensive. Even used or refurbished ones run from about $800 and upward. Its importation is an on again - off again sort of thing and spare parts can be hard to find and they will be expensive. For example, a spare factory magazine costs around one hundred dollars. They're certainly well made, but I just don't see the single-stack 8-shot magazine being a hundred bucks' worth! As mentioned earlier, the recoil spring is captive so changing or replacing is not so easy as it might be was this not the case. In my case, the hammer routinely bites me and due to cost of replacing it, I'm very hesitant to try and bob the spur or alter the pistol very much at all. Unfortunately, as a result I don't shoot this gun as much as I would otherwise. When at the range, I take a bit lower grip on the pistol and usually have a piece of duct tape covering the web between my thumb and forefinger. When hunting, I just get bitten!

Though I've never really considered this pistol for a defensive arm, some might. While it absolutely has more accuracy than most could ever put to use, it does have some drawbacks in my experience. With eight rounds on tap, it has sufficient magazine capacity (some will disagree on this), but the butt release on this pistol is pretty stout and the magazine must be pulled from the gun. I really don't mind this for hunting or range work as a speed reload is not a necessity and I'm not so likely to drop, damage, or lose those high-dollar magazines, but it would be slow in a fight. For others, and myself the thumb safety is a bit too far forward for easy on and off manipulation and the smallish sights, slow to pick up in a hurry. Because the design uses the reversed slide rail set up, there's less of the slide to grasp in a hurry should you have a malfunction (very rare) or need to chamber a round in a hurry. While the trigger does have the usual military type take up, the actual trigger pull is light and crisp. I've not measured this one, but I'd estimate it at about 3 1/2 lbs. A momentary lapse of proper gun handling and a finger on the trigger with the safety off when not immediately preparing to fire might just result in an unintended firing of the pistol under stress.

I came pretty close to selling this pistol a short time back, but when I got it out and began photographing it from all angles for the prospective buyer, I realized that I really didn't want to…so, I didn't. I'll keep the thing and enjoy it for what it is, recognizing that while not perfect, it is very well made and try to appreciate it for its strong points. I am not interested in another unless at a ridiculously low price and in very good condition. I might consider some customization to such a P-210.

If they're still being imported, some of the complaints I've mentioned have been addressed by SIG in another version of the pistol. It has an extended tang, oversized thumb safety, better sights, and a push button magazine release. The last time I heard, it had a price tag near $5,000, too!

For me, the two P-210's that I've shot were extremely accurate with a wide variety of loads in several bullet weights. They've been reliable and easy to carry in the hunting field, too, but I remain quite concerned with the price and scarcity of both accessories and spare parts. That said, they do have a certain "style" or "class" about them and if you truly want high quality, this might be a viable choice. It will help if you have smaller hands to fully appreciate the pistol as you're less likely to get smacked with the hammer spur. If not, try and love a lower grip with this gun at the range!

Being perfectly honest, was I interested in another highly accurate and reliable 9mm, I'd probably get another FN Competition Model or STI Trojan 1911. The latter can be had in standard 5" barrel length or in the 6" long slide. All three of these have more built-in accuracy than I can wring out and I flat cannot tell you which is the most accurate. Even though I prefer the Hi Power in many cases, I'd probably go with another STI, but that's for another time.

For those still reading, I did buy the gun with the optional .22 conversion unit. While the conversion is quite accurate, mine has not proven reliable. Extra magazines are even more expensive than those for 9mm.

The finish and tool marks on the .22 barrel are much more visible than on the 9mm barrel.

Except for the magazine, this is the conversion unit. It, too, has fixed sights that are well regulated.

I like the P-210-6 and appreciate it for its extremely precise fitting and closely held tolerances, but in a fight and for general use with the 9mm, I'd take a lightly modified Browning Mk III Hi Power. For pure bullseye shooting, I prefer the FN Comp or the STI Trojan 6" and for hunting small game with a 9mm, I'll take the Trojan the vast majority of the time.




DEBKAfile: Fighting escalates between Israel and Gaza Strip in fresh spiral

August 22, 2007, 9:22 AM (GMT+02:00)

Palestinian snipers in Gaza

Palestinian snipers in Gaza

In the first half of the week, at least 16 Palestinians were killed by Israel military responses to the waves of Palestinian missile and mortar fire buffeting the population living around Gaza. Hamas, Jihad Islami, Fatah-Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Popular Committees and al Qaeda-linked Salafi groups are all shooting missiles and mortars at Israeli communities around the clock – two dozen in the last 24 hours. An empty nursery school and factory were badly damaged in Sderot. The IDF has brought into action new surveillance instruments and short-range high-precision surface rockets.

Tuesday night, Aug. 21, one Hamas terrorist was killed, and several injured as they crept up to the border fence. During the day, 9 Palestinians were killed, including two children standing by a launcher near Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza, who were mistaken for a missile team.

Palestinian organizations are now fielding their Qassam missile and mortar teams day and night. Marksmen armed with sniper rifles fitted with night-vision equipment are shooting at IDF border positions, armored patrols and civilian traffic within range of the border.

Israeli farmers have been ordered by the military to work their fields only up to one kilometer short of the border.

Yet Israeli forces are not permitted to execute their plan to carve out a 1.5-2 km buffer strip inside the Gaza Strip to keep Palestinian assailants at bay, although prime minister Ehud Olmert and defense minister Ehud Barak have promised that the Israel military will not pull its punches against the enemy.

A senior officer in command of the sector complained that without this buffer, Palestinians hold the initiative of when, where and on what scale to wage war. “We are only allowed to shoot when they are near the border fence. It is therefore inevitable that the Palestinians will intensify their attacks, extend their range and start building up casualties on our side.”

Military commanders told DEBKAfile Tuesday night that there is nothing to deter the Palestinians from bringing out their advanced anti-tank rockets and extended-range Qassam surface missiles against the towns of Ashkelon and Netivot, as well as the cluster of military facilities guarding the Israel-Gazan border.

They also believe that not all the tunnels running under the fence from Gaza into Israel have been found and the Palestinians intend to use them for surprise attacks.

DEBKAfile’s Palestinian sources explain that local Hamas extremists have intensified their offensive, defying guidelines laid down by their political leaders in Gaza and Damascus, in order to break out of the military, economic and financial blockade clamped down on their rule by the US, Israel, Egypt and the Europeans. This stranglehold prevents Hamas from exercising government and its rule is in danger. To save themselves, Hamas’ military chiefs are driving their war with Israel to extremes. They hope for enough civilian deaths to force outside intervention for a ceasefire in hostilities. Then, Hamas can make its acceptance contingent on the reopening of the Israel-Gaza and Egyptian border crossings under their control.


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Monday, August 20, 2007


WND Exclusive
Secret memo: One-world agenda dominates SPP summit
Document reveals plan for meeting of U.S., Mexico, Canada leaders

Posted: July 24, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2007

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice with her counterparts, Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay and Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa at February meeting
A multinational business agenda is driving the upcoming summit meeting of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, according to a document obtained through an Access to Information Act request in Canada.

The memo shows a secondary focus of the leaders' meeting in Montebello, Quebec, Aug. 20-21, will be to prepare for a continental avian flu or human pandemic and establish a permanent continental emergency management coordinating body to deal not only with health emergencies but other unspecified emergencies as well.

As WND has reported, President Bush, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexico's President Felipe Calderon will attend the third SPP summit.

The Security and Prosperity Partnership is unveiled in Jerome Corsi's book, 'The Late, Great USA'

The document, obtained by Canadian private citizen Chris Harder, is a two-page heavily redacted summary of the ministerial meeting in Ottawa, held Feb. 23 between Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her counterparts, Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay and Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa.

The purpose of the Feb. 23 meeting in Ottawa was to set the agenda for the August summit.

The Access to Information Act-obtained memo noted the nation's leaders intend next month to pursue the five priorities set at their second summit meeting in Cancun in March 2005:

  • Strengthening Competitiveness
  • Avian and Pandemic Influenza
  • Emergency Management
  • Energy Security
  • Secure Borders

Of the five issues, the memo clearly states recommendations by the North American Competitiveness Council, or NACC, regarding competitiveness "took centerpiece" at the Feb. 23 meeting. Almost immediately, the memo says, governments "will need to begin assessing the potential impact of adopting recommendations made by the NACC and coordinating their response to the authors of the report."

The memo states "the most dynamic element on the plenary agenda was a meeting with the NACC, the body created by the Leaders in 2006 to give the private sector a formal role in providing advice on how to enhance competitiveness in North America."

The NACC consists of 30 multinational business corporations that advise SPP and set the action agenda for its 20 trilateral bureaucratic working groups.

The memo notes the NACC was created by the leaders in 2006 "to give the private sector a formal role in providing advice on how to enhance competitiveness in North America."

According to the memo, the NACC made recommendations in three areas: border-crossing facilitation, standards and regulatory cooperation, and energy integration.

The memo suggested NACC members were getting impatient, charging the speed of SPP regulatory change was too slow. The members complained of "the private sector's seeming inability to influence the pace of regulatory change 'from the bottom up.'"

"Some NACC representatives," the memo comments, "felt that direct signals from ministers were required if work was to advance at a pace rapid enough to address challenges from more dynamic international competitors – particularly China. The subtext was clear: In the absence of ministerial endorsement, bureaucracies are unlikely to act on the more challenging recommendations."

The memo noted the ministers agreed at their Feb. 23 meeting to finalize by June a plan to create a coordinating body to prepare for the "North American response to an outbreak of avian or pandemic influenza." The leaders are expected to finalize the plan at the August summit.

The memo also reported ministers agreed to create a coordinating body on emergency management similar to that set up for avian or pandemic flu. The governance structure of coordinating body was also scheduled for completion in June, so it could be presented to the leaders for final approval at the August summit.

A comment at the end of the memo said the ministers at their Feb. 23 meeting "acknowledged that the SPP was largely unknown or misunderstood and needed to be better communicated beyond the officials and the business groups involved."

WND has reported that as many as 10,000 protesters plan to assemble in Quebec to show opposition to the summit.

The Corbett Report, a Canadian blog that first reported on the memo obtained by Harder, noted the term "Security and Prosperity" was first used by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, or CCOCE, in a Jan. 23, 2003, report entitled, "Security and Prosperity: Toward a New Canada-United States Partnership in North America."

CCOCE's membership consists of 150 of Canada's leading businesses. In the U.S., the Chamber of Commerce would be considered a counterpart.

WND previously reported on National Security Presidential Directive No. 51 and Homeland Security Presidential Directive No. 20, which allocate to the office of the president the authority to direct all levels of government in the event he declares a national emergency.

WND also has previously reported that under SPP, the military of the U.S. and Canada are turning USNORTHCOM into a domestic military command structure, with authority extending to Mexico, even though Mexico has not formally joined with the current U.S.-Canadian USNORTHCOM command structure.

Secrecy of Planned Montebello SPP Meeting Part of CFR Plot

Global Research, August 15, 2007
Old-thinker news - 2007-07-24

Foundational Council on Foreign Relations document calls for a "North American Advisory Council" modeled around shadowy Bilderberg group

The announcement that a 25-kilometre security perimeter is to be established around the Chateau Montebello, where the planned Security and Prosperity Partnership meeting (August 20-21) -- also known as the North American Union -- is to take place has shocked activists groups who were planning a public forum to express their concerns about the meeting and the issues being discussed. The announcement was perhaps not as shocking to those who have read the Council on Foreign Relations document titled "Building a North American Community."

On page 53 of the 70 page document, we read:

"A North American Advisory Council. To ensure a regular injection of creative energy into the various efforts related to North American integration, the three governments should appoint an independent body of advisers. This body should be composed of eminent persons from outside government, appointed to staggered multiyear terms to ensure their independence. Their mandate would be to engage in creative exploration of new ideas from a North American perspective and to provide a public voice for North America. A complementary approach would be to establish private bodies that would meet regularly or annually to buttress North American relationships, along the lines of the Bilderberg or Wehrkunde conferences, organized to support transatlantic relations."

On July 17, 2007, as reported by the Hill Times, Canada's Foreign Policy Newsweekly, an advisory Council has apparently already been created that will work to fulfill the CFR plan. The council will meet in August at the locked down Chateau Montebello.

"The North American Competitiveness Council, part of the Security and Prosperity Partnership, was established by the American, Canadian and Mexican governments at the June 2006 trilateral meeting in Cancun, Mexico. Comprised of 30 senior private sector representatives, 10 from each country (though there are 13 U.S. members), the council is mandated to provide governments with recommendations on issues including border regulation and competitiveness in the automotive, transportation, manufacturing and services sectors. The council is expected to meet annually with security and prosperity ministers and will engage with senior government officials on an ongoing basis. They last met in February 2007 in Ottawa and are expected to meet again in Canada in August. The following is a brief list of the council members."

click here to see a list of members.

The Bilderberg group, referred to by the cited CFR document, has been shrouded in secrecy since its very beginning, routinely locking down normally public resorts for the purposes of having a closed door meeting. Mainstream media members attend the meeting, but have taken a vow not to discuss what takes place during the meeting. The group consists of elites from around the globe. Prominent attendees include David Rockefeller, Henry Kissenger, Texas governor Rick Perry, and many other bankers and top officials. The Bidlerberg group represents the amalgamation of elites and other globalist organizations such as the CFR, and Trilateral Commission (often, members have chairs in each group) coming together under one roof. To see the Bilderberg mentioned in a CFR document therefore, is not surprising.

Robert Pastor, who has been one of the biggest proponents of a North American Union, has admitted that the CFR document cited above is the blueprint that he and the globalists behind the plan are following. As Jerome R. Corsi points out in his new book The Late Great USA,

"Pastor openly admits that the report was a "blueprint" for articulating the goals of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP). In his June 2005 testimony to the U.S. Senate, Dr. Pastor informed the Foreign Relations Committee of the link:

Entitled "Building a North American Community," the report offered a blueprint of the goals that the three countries of North America should persue and the steps needed to achieve these goals."" (Corsi, 27)

Pastor's efforts to create a North American Union include a paper submitted to the Trilateral Commission titled "A North American Community". Interestingly, the Trilateral Commission was founded by David Rockefeller, also a member of Bilderberg. In this paper, Pastor expresses his desire for an "Amero", a proposed common currency between Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Pastor states,

"Mexicans and Canadians do not want to be incorporated into the United States, and they are ambivalent about adopting the American dollar, but they are more willing to become part of a single country of North America and of a unified currency, like the “Amero,” proposed by Herbert Grubel."

The power continues to shift from the people to an unelected elite, as tyranny clamps down on America. Say no the the North American Union. Take a stand for the republic.


Senator John W. Warner (R-VA)

5th-term Republican from Virginia.

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Sen. John Warner

August 16, 2007






THE SPP WOULD HAVE BECOME LAW! "It is the sense of Congress that the United States and Mexico should accelerate the implementation of the Partnership for Prosperity to help generate economic growth and improve the standard of living in Mexico."

Senator's Reid, Kennedy, and all other supporters of 'S. 1639' tried to pull a fast one on the American People. Plan to be looking for a job in 2008. This is a promise.


"Pro-Immigration Forces Back North American Union"

Monday, July 9, 2007

America is finished.

Mexico and Canada are gone too.

In their place: One massive country, the North American Union (NAU), bordered by the Bering Sea to the north and Guatemala to the south, the Atlantic to the east and the Pacific to the west.

NAU citizens no longer spend dollars or salute Old Glory. They spend "ameros," and the flag that waves over its capitals shows the entire Western Hemisphere.

The national borders of the United States have been forever erased. While that scenario may sound far-fetched, critics of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) warn that future could be here sooner than anyone realizes.

President Bush, Mexican President Vincente Fox, and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin informally agreed to set up the SPP in 2005.

Not so well known is the fact that supporters of the NAU concept slipped an initiative into the recently defeated immigration reform act. Largely unnoticed amidst the amnesty furor that ultimately sunk the Immigration Bill was the statement, "It is the sense of Congress that the United States and Mexico should accelerate the implementation of the Partnership for Prosperity to help generate economic growth and improve the standard of living in Mexico."

The bill called for measures to boost the economy of Mexico, including:

U.S. support for Mexico, to strengthen its education and training programs.

A call for better health care for "poor and underserved" people in Mexico.

And U.S. assistance to "establish a program with the private sector to cover the health care needs of Mexican nationals temporarily employed in the United States." The bill also called for U.S. assistance to Mexican businesses and government to eliminate corruption, which it termed, "the single biggest obstacle to development."

"This was the first attempt by the SPP to go public, and it failed," says Dr. Jerome Corsi, author of The Late Great USA. They thought nobody would notice. They were wrong."

Corsi called the SPP "a coup de-tat by bureaucratic means," adding that it works underhandedly like a shadow government.

"It is an attempt to turn North America into something like the European Economic Community," he says, "which began with economic cooperation and expanded eventually to include a common market, and then a full-scale regional government replacing, in many ways, the governing powers of the member nations."

Documents recently obtained by public interest group Judicial Watch reveal that "working groups" of the SPP are developing plans for U.S. taxpayer-funded initiatives to improve Mexico's infrastructure, within just six to 18 months.

SSP plans include:

Creating a North American Pandemic Influenza Plan; Facilitating cross-border travel;

Establishing Social Security totalization for Mexican aliens working in the United States; Creating a Trans-Texas Corridor superhighway with truck, car, and train lanes running from Mexico to Canada.

Following the 2005 tri-lateral summit, the three leaders agreed, "We will establish ministerial-led working groups that will consult with stakeholders in our respective countries. These working groups will respond to the priorities of our people and our businesses and will set specific, measurable, and achievable goals."

The working groups include committees on "Manufactured Goods and Sectoral and Regional Competitiveness, Movement of Goods, Energy, Environment, E-Commerce and Information Communications Technologies, Financial Services, Business Facilitation, Food and Agriculture, Transportation and Health," according to the SPP Web,

"Basically, the SPP eliminates borders," Dr. Corsi tells NewsMax. "Just as in Europe, once free-flowing cross-border travel and full economic cooperation are established, the next step will be multi-national regulations and multi-national court systems to resolve disputes, with powers that supersede those of U.S. courts in many cases."

Opponents of the NAU slipping its provisions into a bill sold as way to strengthen the integrity of the nation's borders reflects the determination of those pushing a North American union.

The SPP has struck back with a FAQ section on their U.S. website,, which attempts to counter "myths" of its ultimate aims, stressing that the SPP "does not change our courts or legislative processes and respects the sovereignty of the United States, Mexico, and Canada. The SPP in no way, shape or form considers the creation of a European Union-like structure or a common currency."

As to charges that the SPP is being undertaken without the knowledge of the Congress, the FAQs state, "US agencies involved with SPP regularly update and consult with members of Congress on our efforts and plans." SPP confirms that the SPP is a "White House-driven initiative. In the United States, the Department of Commerce coordinates the 'Prosperity' component, while the Department of Homeland Security coordinates the 'Security' component. The Department of State ensures the two components are coordinated and are consistent with U.S. foreign policy."

"They deny it - of course they do, but the ultimate direction of all these actions is driven by a one-world view," Dr. Corsi says. Corsi contends that President Bush has a secret agenda to dissolve the United States of America into the North American Union.

"However, as more people in the United States are becoming aware of the goals of the SPP, grassroots opposition to the SPP is growing very fast."

One example: 12 states are currently considering resolutions opposing the establishment of the NAU.

It is spearheaded by a RERSOLUTION, HCR 40, which states,

"The United States should not allow the Security and Prosperity Partnership to implement further regulations that would create a North American Union with Mexico and Canada; and the President should indicate strong opposition to these acts or any other proposals that threaten the sovereignty of the United States." The resolution also calls for the U.S. to not "engage in the construction of a North American Free Trade Agreement Superhighway System."

The resolution notes that "reports issued by the SPP indicate that it has implemented regulatory changes among the three countries that circumvent U.S. trade, transportation, homeland security and border security functions and that the SPP will continue to do so in the future."

The bill is sponsored by REP. VIRGIL GOODE, R-VA., who tells NewsMax, "I hope that more Americans will become aware of the Security and Prosperity Partnership, which will lead to a North American union and the destruction of the sovereignty of the United States."

Cong. Goode, who opposed the Immigration Bill saying it would be "A DISASTER FOR OUR NATION IF IT WERE TO BECOME LAW," says his resolution has attracted over two dozen co-sponsors so far.

"Defeat of the Immigration Bill was a setback for the supporters of the SPP, but they won't just give up and go away," Corsi warns. "There is a huge amount of international capital driving this.


By: John O. Edwards
Monday, July 9, 2007
© NewsMax 2007. All rights reserved




Burke , VA

Duceppe slams "secretive" three amigos meeting

Philip Authier
CanWest News Service
Monday Aug 20, 2007

MONTREAL -- Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe Thursday denounced the secretive nature of the Security and Prosperity Partnership summit opening Monday in Montebello, Que.

Duceppe said the Bloc is not opposed in principle to the event but the leaders of Canada, the United States and Mexico will make decisions affecting the Canadian public directly and that should not happen behind closed doors.

He insisted that since Prime Minister Stephen Harper never made public his views on issues going into the summit, the PM must provide an account of any decisions taken there before the government follows through on them. At the very least, the government should freeze the application of any measures until MPs can be consulted.

"They are important subjects which have a direct impact on the population," Duceppe told a Montreal news conference. "Prime Minister Stephen Harper is hiding what will be going on at Montebello from the population," he went on. "When I talk of the secretive nature of the talks, I deplore the fact that only business people are present for the meetings when they should have included civil society too."

Duceppe offered several examples of potential direct consequences from the summit including possible changes to workplace norms that could affect workers. The same goes for regulations governing the use of pesticides. He said 90 per cent of pesticide regulations in Canada are stricter than those in the United States. Agreeing to level the playing field in the name of more closely aligning the three countries would mean a decline in Canadian standards.

The summit will discuss increasing oil production levels of the Alberta tar sands. Duceppe said more petroleum may be good news for the oil-starved United States but Canada would be stuck with the increased pollution. One of the summit's sub-committees is proposing a five-fold increase in tar sands oil.

"The problem is we don't really know what they're discussing," Duceppe said. "We have a lot of concern with that."