[right]may 16, 2008[/right]
this morning i decided that i wanted the new springfield XD-M, but after browsing the online auctions i wasnt very optimistic about finding one. imagine my surprise when my first call hit pay dirt. i happened to call scheels in billings montana and the gun manager told me that they had ordered one and expected it to be delivered today with their morning deliveries. after i couldnt even find a price by which to compare anywhere in the entire state of montana (course, i didnt tell him that) he informed me that the price would be $599 and i told him it was sold and drove to the store to await the delivery (ok, i get a little overly excited with each new gun purchase). on the drive down he called me to let me know that my gun had arrived and was being processed into their system.
my first impression was a favorable one. as OEM gun cases go, this one is very nice. the XD gear isnt impressive by any means, but its awful handy to have....especially with a design so new that the aftermarket doesnt yet support it. the holster is now a paddle holster with adjustable retention. its not uncomfortable at all, and appears to be durable. i dont like that the double magazine holder is molded to carry the magazines reversed from one another. under the stresses of a defensive shooting i could see the potential for attempting to load one of the magazines into the weapon backwards. i prefer consistant motions that can be performed instinctually as instinct is all youll be left with during a crisis such as a defensive shooting. i dont mention this under "what i dont like" because this is an issue with the included gear and not the weapon itself. the magazine loader is next to worthless and in fact i found that i could consistantly load the magazines faster by hand.
i never factor in asthetic value on carry weapons as i find beauty in proper function. with beauty being in the eye of the beholder, ill let these pictures speak for themselves. if asthetic value is important to you, this is one of those guns that youll either love or hate.
from top to bottom for size comparison:
- glock 31, 357 sig
- XD-M, .40
- S&W M&P, .40
- HK USP, .45
[size=4]What I Like:[/size=4]
- ergonomics: this weapon is a natural pointer and is in the same league (in terms of ergonomics) with the 1911, the BHP, and others who use similar grip angles and control locations. aiming this weapon is as natural as pointing your finger.
- slide serrations: the slide serrations offer the best slide grip ive ever found. cut perfectly square, they are sharp enough to provide a positive grip but not sharp enough to hurt. i purposefully lubed them with mobil 1 synthetic oil just to see if manipulating a lubed slide would be difficult and i had no trouble at all. i like these slide serrations!
- capacity: 17 rounds of .40 is .40 stopping power potential with 9mm capacity. this is beautiful!
- grouping: the match barrel provides very decent grouping for a production line weapon. that said, this really isnt a selling point with me. i dont shoot for points or for trophies, i shoot to practice defending my life for which combat accuracy is perfectly acceptable. still, its nice to have a match grade barrel for those who are into target shooting. grouping was indeed impressive by my standards.
- melonite!: speaks for itself. i love melonite/tenifer.
- interchangable back straps: this handy capability allows you to size the weapon to your hand. i find the smallest back strap to be a perfect fit.
- consistant extractor: after each volley i noticed that the brass piled up in one pile almost as if they were placed there by hand. this was really neat as id never seen this before. it made policing brass very easy.
- controls: all controls were placed perfectly. both the slide stop and the magazine release are easily accessible and manipulated. i notice no real difference with the cut-outs as i had no trouble manipulating the magazine release on the standard XD. the field stripping procedure is fast and easy. springfield makes it a point to market that you dont have to squeeze the trigger prior to field stripping the weapon but this is a non-issue to me since i utilize proper procedure every time im handling a weapon. this step was done to correct issues from those who do not follow proper procedure, so i guess for their sake (and those in their vicinity) this is a good thing but i certainly wouldnt factor this in either way in my decision to purchase this weapon.
[size=4]What I Don't Like:[/size=4]
- trigger!: although slightly better than the standard XD, the trigger still blows chunks of half digested under-cooked greasy chicken saturated in cheap liquor. pulling it still feels like there is a marshmallow underneath it leaving you to guess where the break point might be. even after you engage the sear it feels like there is at least another 3/8" or so of pull before it releases and there is nothing crisp about the release. despite claims of "short trigger reset" the reset point is way forward of the release point causing a lot of unnecessary trigger travel between shots. reset point is not prominant at all forcing me to really pay more attention to the trigger than im used to if i wanted to fire controlled pairs from reset. unlike the glock/M&P this is a single action pistol and it should have a single action trigger! most disappointing was the realization that mr. leatham has sold his integrity to springfield. if anybody knows what a good trigger is, mr. leatham knows....yet in his promotional videos for springfield he promoted the XD trigger as being one of the great ones. bah. sorry, this is by no means a "great" trigger. its not even a "good" trigger. its a sloppy trigger at best and although i was able to manipulate it with authority, i was not able to do so instinctually due to the unnecessary travel and unnoticable reset point. i can only hope that the model mr. leatham shot has been through the custom shop and worked over.
- sights: the sights are in my opinion very poor. the channel on the rear sight is very narrow forcing you to concentrate a lot harder on the sights (to find the front sight through the very narrow channel) than you should in a defensive shooting. to seven yards this is insignificant anyway since you shouldnt be taking the time necessary for sight alignment anyway (use the front sight only at close range) but could be problematic for longer defensive shots.
- recoil: the recoil was more prominent than with glocks, the M&P, and certainly the USP(.40). certainly not uncontrollable, but far more snappy than i expected for a modern pistol. HK showed the world the value of the double recoil spring and many manufacturers followed (glock 36, springfield 4" 1911s, etc.) but the XD-M gets an old-school long, single coil recoil spring. again its not "bad" but its certainly more substantial than i expected.
- roll pins: having to drive a roll pin out with a drift to change the back strap negates some of the more important advantages of having interchangable back straps to begin with. for example, if you and your wife take turns with the weapon at the range you would have to drive out the roll pin each time the weapon changed hands.
- front strap serrations: these werent bad by any means, but they felt somewhat awkward. i would very much prefer finger grooves. perhaps ill warm up to them.
[center][size=3]Shooting The XD-M[/size=3]
Click image for video[/url][/center]
although i shot somewhat poorly (to much time - due to trigger and rear sight channel) i found the XD-M to be both controllable and accurate. in fact, prior to shooting the XD-M i dont think ive ever had two bullet holes touch on a controlled pair with any weapon. i couldnt repeat it (not for a lack of trying!) but it was a really neat thing to see. controlled pairs/combat shooting was very good, and well aimed target shooting was extremely accurate for a production line handgun. when this weapon is released in 9mm it is sure to be a big hit with competitive shooters.
this is a great weapon that will surely serve anyone very well. i had no failures in 200 rounds (100 WWB, 50 HST 165 grain, 50 HST 180 grain) and would expect to say the same thing after 2000 rounds. i do feel overall that the internet hype exceeds the true value of this pistol, but that is not the fault of the design of the pistol.
i came into this with the belief that the S&W M&P is the ideal service size .40, and found myself asking what the XD-M offers that the M&P does not and in the end i found very little. it does offer 1 more round of capacity but honestly thats the only advantage i could find to the XD-M over the M&P and considering the awful trigger on the XD-M i would still choose the M&P over it. the M&P trigger really isnt much better (this is my only real criticism of the M&P as well) but at least with the M&P you can feel both the precise sear release point as well as the reset without having to pay close attention to it. i still believe that the M&P is the ideal service size weapon, but the XD-M would ultimately prove equal.
my criticisms are not due in any way to my preferences for any other designs or brands. my criticisms are based in nothing more than my limited first hand experience with this weapon and the impressions it leaves me with. perhaps the aftermarket will produce decent sights and perhaps someone will find a way to clean up the trigger, but my assessment was based on out of the box performance only. while im reluctant to warm up to the XD-M (due to the trigger moreso than anything else), it is a great defensive pistol and i wouldnt hesitate to entrust it with my life. it is way to large for me to consider it as a carry weapon, but it would make a great home defense weapon as well as a great service weapon. at this point im really on the fence about it. i could sell it without regret, or i could put some money into it (trigger and sights) and have a great gun for home defense. ill update you with my intent after ive put another few boxes of ammunition down range.