The Springfield XD Torture Test

The Springfield XD Torture Test 

A Wannabe Glock

That was my first thought after laying eyes on Springfield Armory’s XD9 pistol. Closer inspection of the slide revealed the words “Made in Croatia.” Those are words that, when stamped on the slide of a handgun, aren’t known to inspire the consumer’s confidence.

I did not want to like this gun. I’ve always been a strong Glock fan, and it annoyed me that yet another company wanted to jump on the polymer bandwagon with a rehash of old concepts and designs. Despite that, one has to take notice when that company is Springfield Armory. Known for quality products, lifetime guarantees and fine customer service, Springfield Armory’s name stamped on the other side of the slide does inspire confidence.

The more I looked at this gun, the more I found myself comparing it to a Glock. The trigger safeties are very similar, but the XD’s trigger is made of metal. Its sights are metal, too. The XD also has a superior trigger pull. The grip angle is improved, which enables more intuitive target acquisition for most shooters.

The XD throws some new features into the mix, too: a 1911-style grip safety, a loaded-chamber indicator atop the slide and a cocked indicator protruding from the rear of the slide. Notwithstanding the XD’s new features, there are obvious similarities to a Glock, both cosmetically and mechanically. It’s these similarities that lead to the inevitable question: Is the XD as good as a Glock?

I was fortunate enough to be able to answer this question (at least partially) by arranging a 20,000-round “torture test” of an XD9. To keep this test honest, Springfield Armory encouraged me to use a randomly selected XD for evaluation. That would ensure that Springfield didn’t hand-pick an “extra special” model for evaluation.

Read on:
I apologize, the link is expired and sets a BAD page.

Read this story IN FULL, it is truly a testament to the ability of a Springfield XD Series pistol to get the job done under any and all circumstances. And it fully illustrates how a Glock Guy can have a change of mind. Also, this story is a bit dated, gun guys will know when they see the part about XD’s coming in 9mm, .357Sig, .40S&W and .45GAP.

XD’s are now offered in several versions of the venerable .45ACP.
That said, I have to follow up this, I own 3 Springfield XD Series pistols, an XD-45 Tactical and 2 XD-40 Sub-Compacts. I think highly of these pistols, so much so that I recommended the XD to my son when he became a sworn officer of the law. He now has 2 XD’s that he carries, a .45 Tactical and a .40 Sub.

Two of my neighbors are XD owners. A good friend that is a State Trooper carries an XD-40 as his primary, his department issues the well made .357Sig to their Troopers, but my buddy is that impressed with the XD.

The Sheriff my son and son-in-law work for owns and carries an XD-45 Tactical. I know of at least one U.S. Marshal that is forced to carry a Glock on duty but his off-duty weapon is an XD-45 Tactical.

I have been a serious handgun shooter for 40 years now, I have owned many fine handguns over the years, and I have to admit, I did own a Glock, a Glock 19. I had that pistol for a brief period of time. I also have to say, it was a LEMON. More on that below.

My son-in-law is looking to buy a new Springfield very soon. He had a Glock malfunction at the academy. During a weapons inspection the Glock didn’t eject the chambered round and when he dropped the slide the round went off and killed the Coke machine.

Luckily, that was ALL he killed.

I am not saying it was altogether the Glock’s fault, but a serious malfunction, even if it’s one that is brought on by operator error, can, and will leave a bad taste in your mouth, and a bit of doubt will always remain in the back of your mind.

I have owned S&W’s in semi-auto and revolver, Ruger semi-autos and revolvers, Colt 1911′s, Colt Mark IV Series 70′s, a Jim Clark custom 1911, built by Jim, not Jimmy, (gun hands WILL know the difference) and I even had 3 Llama pistols, Spanish made 1911 frame knock-offs back many years ago, in .22, .32 and .45ACP.

I had a matched set of H&R Pistols, pretty old guns, one in .22 and one in .32. The .32 was stolen a while back.

I have shot just about every gun to come down the pike that was manufactured since the early 1900′s and have some great experiences, and a couple of near disasters.

The first disaster I ever had was firing hand-loads that were accidentally loaded so HOT that one cracked the forcing cone on an S&W Model 28 .357 Magnum. The other disaster I had was with the only Glock I ever owned.

That particular gun would *stove pipe* about every 6th or 7th round, and that was something that happened to every person that fired it, and was a problem that no gunsmith was able to resolve. It stove piped on me at THE worst possible moment and had I not had an S&W .38 Chiefs Special as a backup, I quite likely wouldn’t be writing this piece.

I got rid of that Glock as soon as I possibly could, and deserved or not, I have never recommended a Glock to anyone and I have never picked up a Glock again.

A gun is an inanimate object. It is a tool. It is incapable of causing harm on it’s own. But no gun is infallible, ALL guns, even Springfield XD’s are subject to malfunctions and breakage, but XD’s are a lot less likely to let you down when you really need it.

If you read the article above, you read the extreme torture test that this gun was put through, and it is still in service as a personal protection weapon. That is high praise indeed.

This ease of operation, the natural pointability, the unbelievable balance and the ease of take down for cleaning makes the XD series the best pistol I have ever owned and one that I not only recommend to anyone looking to buy a great pistol, but is a pistol that I bet my life on.

If you’re a gun person, shoot a Springfield XD Series pistol. If you really are a gun person, you’ll end up owning at least one XD. But most folks I know that are XD owners usually end up with more than just one!

As I said earlier, I have 3 XD’s. If finances allowed, I’d have at least 2 more. They are that good.

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19 Responses to The Springfield XD Torture Test

  1. mrchuck says:

    I concur that the Glock has problems, and most retired officers that I know have also had problems.
    You are correct that the Springfield XD is a fine pistol.
    I rate it up there with the Sig-Sauer.
    But alas, as an old retired LEO with 35 years on the front line, I still use and carry the armament that I retired with, and that was the S&W 4043, S&W Chiefs 38, and a Kel-Tec 9mm.
    All have been there and done that.

  2. minuteman26 says:

    Great article. Am very impressed with my XD45 Tactical. My only comment to Springfield would to make a 3″ barrel gun small enough for concealed carry in hot weather. Went with a Kel-Tec P11 for that situation. Have Cross Breed holsters for both.

  3. TexasFred says:

    minuteman26 — Look into an XD-40 Sub-Compact… The 3″ barrel isn’t a good thing for a .45, it takes a 5″ to get optimum performance, a 3″ in .45 would be OK, but it would strictly be a *close in* lead chunker

    The .40, so I am told, suffers very little from the shorter barrel, and since we don’t have open carry in Texas, that’s why I went with Sub-40’s for concealed..

  4. Vigilante says:

    I had the pleasure of “passing” a couple hundred rounds through my Springfield a week or so ago Fred and you are quite correct on it being a fine piece of hardware.

    MM26 I have a crossbreed holster too that I use for my .38 Walther and I think there is not a better one made.

  5. NativeSon says:

    Fred told me “I had” to comment on this piece :) I haven’t been able to shoot my XD Sub-Compact as much as I’d like (yet), but I plan to begin remedying that situation within the next couple of weeks (firearms training at BOTH work and “play”). It IS a fine weapon, and one I DAILY bet my life on! :)

  6. NativeSon says:

    If you don’t click on the link and read the details of the “Torture Test,” you’re missing the best part of the article (no offense Fred… :) ) OK, at least an equally important portion of the article…

  7. Stormwarning says:

    Having read all of this post, still, I own a G23 and G27 and have had no problems at all. Maybe I don’t know any better. But many of my friends (including those in law enforcement) own one version or another of the Glock pistol. My favorite is the 27 though since it actually fits my smallish hand pretty well and I’ve had plenty of rounds through it.

  8. TexasFred says:

    Storm — There is NO WAY you can begin to appreciate this piece until you have shot an XD…

    Native Son — I didn’t say you HAD TO… 😛 But I am glad you did.. And yeah, the torture test part was THE part to read…

  9. extex_cop says:

    You got to love a man that loves his guns….well him anyway….lol

  10. TexasFred says:

    extex_cop — Brotherly love… BROTHERLY… 😕

  11. Patrick Sperry says:

    Well, I’ll comment first and then go read the whole report. Since I am apparently the resident Glock fan… That told Fred about the XD’s BTW :) !

    My Glock 20 has close to 100K full house rounds through it, and have never had any sort of malfunction. The trigger is great and reminds me of the S&W glass rod types that I have had on high end S&W’s.

    Now, to be honest, I bought it, and took it right to Doc at Prairie Arms for a work over before I ever shot it. That’s a plug for him for anyone in the Denver area.

    Over the years, I have heard everything, and anything possible that is derogatory possible toward the Glock design. From “pointablity” but the same people love that in Ruger 22 cal Mark series, and Luger’s. From barrels exploding, but never an actual photo that was not obviously photoshoped. Same for cracked frames. And the list goes on… Along with no manufacturing defect lawsuits against Glock! Heck, just to ease Neil and Fred’s minds I bought a Lone Wolf barrel for it last year. Too my delight, it now shoots one inch groups ( from a rest) at 7 yards. Better than the Ed Brown Clasic Custom that I owned, not to be knocking the BEST pistol that I ever owned…
    ( At 2 grand less… And yes Fred it was 45 ACP!

    Times do change, and products do evolve. When Fred first found out that it wasn’t (the XD) solid steel he was skeptical, to say the least… I’m a Glock fan, as well as a 1911 style fan.

    Want a high quality 1911 style 45 pistol that’s all steel? Again, go to Springfield, it’s called the GI 45, and yes, they are awesome!

    Disclaimer: I don’t shoot for team Glock or Team Springfield.

  12. Patrick Sperry says:

    “The point of this test wasn’t to diminish any existing brand but to get a picture of the capabilities of the XD, which is a relatively new product.”

    So then, he didn’t attack the Glock design. But he does like the XD? Sounds a lot like me! :)

    But a frikn’ 9mm? For his nightstand gun..? FRED! Sell this guy an extra 357 dang it!

  13. TexasFred says:

    Patrick feels like I do about a 9mm… Pimp gun…

    If it doesn’t start with a *4*, I ain’t carrying it, I have in the past, but with the pistols available today, a .40 should be bare minimum…

    And I hear some say, “Size doesn’t matter, shot placement matters”…

    Well, that’s true, if you’re punching paper, but in my not so humble opinion, and one that comes from having carried for years, from a .38 up to a .45, placement is a wonderful thing, SIZE is critical.

    Placement is something that you rarely hear real *gun fighters* talk about.

    Paper punchers say size doesn’t matter, but anyone that has attended, and lived through one or more GUN FIGHTS knows, stance, grip, caliber and position ALL go to hell in a hand basket once the rounds start popping…

    Carry the largest caliber gun you can carry… Hit the SOB with the biggest round you can get, I prefer a 230gr .45 Golden Saber or Ranger Talon, hit the SOB as many times as you possibly can, center mass is nice, but anywhere is good if it’s a BIG honkin’ bullet, and keep hitting the SOB until he lays down and DIES!

    That is how you win a gun fight!

  14. Bloviating Zeppelin says:

    In 9mm, the most accurately I ever shot was with a Glock 17.

    In .45, I held the most confidence in my Sig P220 (I worked Patrol in the mid-to-late 80s) with a Euro release. It was a single-stack Big Hole and I carried double-pouch carriers on my Sam Browne. I carried this gun all through my Patrol days.

    I also, I can reveal now, carried an illegal Ruger Bulldog Pug .44 special on my ankle, bobbed hammer, blued, with a speedloader pouch around the far left side of my belt. Nobody asked and I offered no explanation.

    I always figured: if I was disarmed I’d just put that blued Ruger right up to your temple. I carried Silvertips then.

    Your brains would be on the wall or the grass.


  15. Bloviating Zeppelin says:

    Okay okay okay; my mistake. It’s a Charter Arms Bulldog Pug.

    My bad.


  16. Kurt P says:

    I don’t have a dog in this fight, and it’s pretty OT, but what does
    ….and a cocked indicator protruding from the rear of the slide. mean?

    Is that a $100 description of a hammer?

  17. NativeSon says:

    KP, it means in the dark (for instance) one can run one’s thumb across the back of the slide and feel a slight “nipple” protruding which lets one know the XD is ready to fire…

  18. TexasFred says:

    NativeSon — It sure is easy to spot guys that shoot for fun, guys that are serious paper punchers and guys that carry for a living huh? 😈

    And lived to tell the tale:
    Bloviatin Zeppelin
    Mr. Chuck
    Patrick Sperry

  19. Patrick Sperry says:

    Oh, BTW, just got back from Shiptons in Sheridan, and they have a new 1911 45 acp all metal offering from Remington. It has a few updates, and looks like another winner in the 1911 genre!

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