There are many benefits to getting into competition. Whether you’re simply tired of the static range, looking to sharpen your skills, or wanting to test them against others in a safe and legal way, competitive shooting offers a lot. There’s a style and category to fit just about anyone’s budget, interest, and skill level. A deterrent, however, is the cost. There are divisions which permit or even require competitors use every-day-carry handguns and gear, but that often serves as only the invitation to the slippery slope of expenses. What if you want to eliminate any excuses one could throw on the equipment and truly have a handgun ready for your maximum potential?
A common method, and one that the author found himself in, is to purchase a higher-model of a common handgun such as the upgrading from a Glock 19 to a Glock 34. The longer sight radius makes aiming simpler and the extra barrel length provides the velocity boost sometimes needed to a little extra energy to knock over an imperfect hit on steel. The problem of course is that the control and trigger are far from ideal and slowly we find ourselves buying aftermarket parts in a step-by-step attempt to build the perfect gun. In the end, you have a monstrosity that has cost you more in modifications than the original cost of the gun and the trigger still hasn’t achieved that single-action crispness that a 1911 offers right out of the box. Your significant other is tired of packages showing up and hearing you grumble as the new part didn’t quite perform as you expected.
At the next match, you watch one of the pros smoke through each stage with the cost equivalent of a decent used car in hand that he ordered and waited months to receive. There has to be a middle ground. Enter the S.P.S. Pantera.
Thanks to the good folks at Eagle Imports it is possible to wield a true competition handgun with all the bells and whistles for less than a month’s salary. The Pantera is a truly worldly gun. The original design and material come from champion handgun maker in Barcelona and are then expertly crafted by the gunsmiths at MAC in the Philippines; the same wizards that brought us the Bobcut. This cost saving combined with precious time being spent on what matters makes for one of the smoothest actions the author has experienced; equal to handguns costing three times as much. Adding further value is that the Pantera is available in 9mm which not only costs less to shoot, but also results in a staggering 21+1 round capacity.
For the consumer, the end result is a handgun ready for competition right out of the box as Patrick E. Kelley recently proved. The initial cost may be more than tuning up a lower-cost gun, but the Pantera is ready now with a proven design and combination of parts.
Other industry tricks come standard such as the weight-saving and balance-shifting of using a polymer lower end and full-length dust cover. The result is a handgun that is both lighter in the hand and yields less muzzle flip.
The use of polymer also means that it is easier to form desired features like a massively flared magwell.