Thursday, December 24, 2009

My First Handgun Part 1 - Springfield Armory XD-40 Service

Just as a note, if you haven't read my post about me and guns then you should know this is my first pistol which I feel gives me a different perspective on the gun than an experienced pistol shooter.

Ok! The Springfield Armory XD 4in. compact in 40S&W. You'd think Extreme Duty would merit ED-40 but no one wants erectile dysfunction plus X in a name makes it cooler, so they rocked the XD tag :)

I got the gun about a week ago at the gun show here in Kent. I paid $489 for it which is what Impactguns.com has the one I have listed at. For that price you get a hard case with 2 buckle latches, a fitted foam insert, 2x 12 round mags and the XD gear kit. The XD gear kit includes a plastic fitted belt holster, dual magazine belt holster, a magazine loader, cable lock with 2 keys and a cleaning brush. Mine also came with a red plastic thing. I think its for showing the gun. It looks like you place it in the rear of the chamber and let the slide forward. A piece of it sticks out and it indicates that the gun is unloaded as it prevents the slide from moving all the way forward. The packaging is pretty nice and works well.


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Proceeding on! My XD-40 is the basic, 4 inch barrel chambered for .40S&W. The polymer frame is nice; it feels strong and has presence, which is something I didn't get from the Glock that I held some time ago. For a compact it feels large and in charge! It also has some heft to it adding to the durable feel and all the springs are tight. The only thing I don't like is the magazine release is just a little too small for my taste. Other than that so far I have no complaints.


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The XD kit is nice as everything is designed to fit the gun. One thing that I noticed with the holsters and loader is that everything has a Picatinny-like bracket on it. The mag holster has 1 on either side and the gun holster has 1 on top. The mag loader has the adapter and attaches to the brackets on both holsters. That way if you need to take it with you, you can mount the loader and not have to pocket it or hold it. The bits don't weigh very much so having it on your belt is hardly noticeable.

While I have strong hands, they're big (I can fully grip a Desert Eagle) and loading the magazines can be a little annoying. I can get the first 3 rounds in no problem, but after that I have to put effort into it. The new springs are very stiff. The loader they included took a moment to figure out but helps wonders.

Now, I took it to the range for the first time yesterday and used an OPOTA target. I emptied a 50 round box into the target with varying groupings at 3 distances. For the most part at 7 yards and finally at 14 yards. I'll go back soon for 25 yards. I got the feeling that the gun was shooting low left but not having fired a pistol in a while, I found myself doing some things I shouldn't have. I noticed I'd try to compensate just before I'd pull the trigger by tilting down. This only happened when I focused on the gun and stopped when I focused on the target. This will take a little getting used to but I'm very confident in my skills as a shooter.

The pistol rocks back but not as much as the Glock .45 that I shot. The kick from the 1911 was about as comparable with just a little more power to it. Part of the reason I went for the 1911 and subsequently the XD was because the Glock felt like a pissed off cannon but the 1911 felt forceful but controlled. I chose the 40 for tactical reasons. Out of a pistol chambered for 9mm, .40 and .45, though the 9mm has the least amount of power the magazine capacity more than makes up for that. The .45 being the most powerful out of the 3 typically has a smaller magazine capacity. In a home defense situation, having the power to drop someone on the first shot is important but if you miss you have start thinking about getting into a tactical situation. I want to be able to keep firing without reloading if I did miss. The .45 will run out sooner meaning a reload but the 9mm may require more than 1 shot. The .40S&W I feel offers the best of both worlds. A bigger punch than the 9mm and a higher capacity than the .45 cal. Usually this would ring true, however, in the XD series a compact .45 comes with the "X-TENTION" which holds 13 rounds plus the standard 10 round mag. The X-TENTION actually extends the grip a little bit adding to the size.


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I intend to go for my CCW or Carry of Concealed Weapon for Ohio soon. The gun feels nice on my hip, though I have trouble keeping my hand correct when I pull it from the included holster. Sometimes the gun doesn't want to come out smoothly and it pulls a little bit. I think I'll get a shoulder holster for it for when I'm out. As a note, the holster is designed for a 1.5 inch belt which my usual is a 1.25 inch. I bought a 1.5 inch belt to test it on and the draw is much better.


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All in all, I think the Springfield Armory XD Service .40S&W is a great gun. It definitely feels like a gun I can carry in the field and rely on.

I'll post on what it feels like to live with it.

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