To make the comparison fair, I’m not going to compare the screen-used models. I prefer using red dots on my pistols, so I’m going to compare the Sand Viper and the Copperhead Combat Master.
The Sand Viper is essentially the same as the on-screen Pit Viper in “John Wick 4.” I actually have another article and video about this very topic. The only real difference between the Pit Viper and Sand Viper is the finish color and the fact that the Sand Viper has an optic cut.
Similarly, the Copperhead Combat Master is almost identical to the “John Wick 4” Combat Master, except for the finish color and optic cut.
In essence, we are doing a 2011 versus Glock comparison. It’s a bit more complicated than that, because these guns represent the pinnacles of their respective classes.
Some may say that this is not a fair comparison, but I think there are some good arguments to be made on both sides.
Conventional wisdom says that Glocks are the most reliable pistols ever, and 2011s are finicky competition-only guns. I think this is outdated thinking.
Stock Glocks are reliable, but they are not infallible. All mechanical things can break, and I’ve seen my share of Glock stoppages. Most of these malfunctions were because of some modification.
Because the Copperhead is a customized Glock optimized for performance, modifications can reduce the overall reliability of the platform. Personally, I had absolutely no problems with the Copperhead. However, the slide is lightened and the springs are tuned to deliver a softer recoil impulse and lighter trigger. I’ve heard it’s possible to shoot pistol loads that are too light and don’t cycle the action reliably.
On the flip side, custom 2011s have a reputation of being competition-only, unreliable guns. This was true at one time. But over the past decade, leaps in engineering and manufacturing technology have made it possible to produce very reliable 2011s.
This is a simple category – the 2011 is more accurate. The Sand Viper is a custom-made, hand-built pistol using the highest quality parts. The accuracy is excellent.
The work on the Copperhead does not focus on accuracy. Essentially, it has the same accuracy as a stock Glock. This is good for a combat pistol but does not compare to a tuned 2011.
This is another easy category. The Copperhead is lighter. But is lighter what you want?
A light pistol is easier to carry. If this is going to be a carry pistol for you, weight is a concern. Even a few ounces add up over many hours in a day. However, increased weight affords lower recoil, stability, and less muzzle flip for faster follow-up shots. So, it’s really more about its intended use.
This category is also user-specific. The 2011 grip is larger than a standard Glock grip. The Copperhead has reduced the Glock grip even further.
Personally, I prefer the 2011 grip. I like the grip angle, and I find it very controllable. It is a bit large for my hands. On a normal 2011, I have a difficult time hitting the mag release and slide stop without adjusting the pistol in my hands. But I consider this a training issue that I have solved. The Sand Viper has the added benefit of having an extend mag release and slide stop. This helps my issue greatly, and it’s why I love the Sand Viper so much.
Also, I’ve never really liked the Glock grip. I find it boxy, and I don’t like the grip angle. I have no problems shooting Glocks, but they are not my favorite grips.
How large are your hands? Which grip works better for you? There isn’t a right answer, it just depends on anatomy and personal preference.
The Sand Viper has a better trigger in every measurable way. It’s lighter, crisper, and has a better reset. But the Copperhead has an amazing trigger as well. We are really splitting hairs at this point.
This round also goes to the Sand Viper. There is no way around the fact that the compensator and the sight block make the Sand Viper have less recoil and muzzle flip. Again, the Copperhead is probably as good as it can get for a Glock without a comp, but the Sand Viper is just in a different class.
Anyone who picks up these two guns will shoot the Sand Viper faster and more accurately.
Now this is where it gets interesting. The Sand Viper is $7,000 without an optic. The Copperhead Combat Master upgrade package costs $1,500, and a new Glock 34 Gen 3 costs around $600. That’s $2,100 total, without an optic.
That’s a big difference. Is the performance increase worth the $5,000 price difference?
In my humble opinion, with pure performance-wise considerations, I say “No.” You could put a comp on the Copperhead and still be way under the price difference.
But I still choose the Sand Viper for myself, because there are other considerations besides performance. The aesthetic, the exclusivity and just the pure shooting enjoyment make it work it for me.
These are both amazing guns, and I am honored to shoot them both.
So, what do you think? Is one of these the gun for you? Tell us in the comments below. And while you are at it, remember to like and subscribe.