XD .45 ACP Initial Impressions - Pistolsmith

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Old 03-01-2006, 07:00 AM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 503
XD .45 ACP Initial Impressions

Springfield XD .45 ACP Initial Impressions

Size: Inevitably the XD .45 will be compared with the 1911, The Para Ordnance Double Stack and the Glock 21. I measured the pistols at three dimensions: The Height from the bottom of the magazine the top of the sights, the length from the back of the tang to the end of the muzzle and the Girth in two places the “fattest” part and the simple reach (not circumference) from the highest part the hand can grip to the face of the trigger.

Height: XD= 5.7” 1911= 5.5” Glock 21 = 5.5” Para Ord = 6”
Length: XD= 8’ 1911 = 8.5” Glock 21= 7.75” Para Ord = 8.7” (beaver tail grip safety).
Girth (largest spot): XD=5.6” 1911= 5.6” (Arched Housing) Glock 21= 6.5” Para Ord = 5.8” (flat housing)
Trigger Reach: XD= 3.5” 1911= 3.125 (long trigger) Glock 21= 3.6” Para Ord = 3.5”

Trigger: Out of the box the trigger released at 4.5 lbs. The break could hardly be called crisp but is certainly as good as the SA pull of a typical DA/SA auto like a Beretta or S&W. After removing the parts and simply polishing the machine marks out of the surface (no changing of angles) the trigger dropped to 3.75 lbs. Reset was not precisely measured but is almost exactly that of the Browning HP.

Practical Accuracy: Initial Group with Win USA 230 Ball was 5” at 25 yards (from kneeling) with 4 of them in about 3”. Subsequent groups continued with a flyer so I am not sure it is not a trait. Win Ranger +P 230 gr JHP netted an even group of 2.5” however (I have noticed that Ranger is always more accurate than the generic ball). While I would deem this as adequate combat accuracy it is nothing to write home about being about twice the size I get from the out of the box Kimber.

Reliability: This is a new pistol and I fired about 100 rounds through it today. That is not enough to break one in so I will reserve final judgment. I had one malfunction with the Ranger JHP and one malfunction with an old truncated cone style Federal Hydra-Shok. Both were when firing one handed with a loose grip to simulate “limp wristing” in both case the round “nose-dived” into the feed ramp. Approximately 30 rounds of these loads were shot two handed with no malfunctions. I have had the same thing happen with Glocks. The extractor is of the internal type and, other than its system of anchoring it in the gun, is very reminiscent of the John M.
Browning torsion bar type. It does not look as robust where it is anchored but time will tell. I know of many 9mm and .40 XD s which have gone tens of thousands of rounds.

Recoil: Recoil sensations are subjective, however I don’t think anyone would describe this one as “light”. It certainly does not hurt but you know the gun went off. I tried the demonstration I regularly do for students in holding the weapon only with the thumb and trigger finger of my firing hand. It is all I can do to keep the pistol in hand (exactly the same with any of my Glocks BTW and my 23 is the worst though I have not tried this with a 27).

Shooting Impressions: Recoil management is a huge part of combat marksmanship. My standard measure of how well a pistol lends itself to real world shooting is to fire 5 rounds at 5 yards. I have several written test but lately I have simplified it to just pick an aiming point and fire 5 rounds into a group of less than 5” at 5 yards which is much easier to relate, being 5-5-5 or “Triple Nickel”. The time it takes (not counting reaction time, since we are discussing only marksmanship) is the relevant measure but you must add 1 second for any shot outside the 5” allowable spread.

First tries at multiple rounds - Controlled pairs - were discouraging and attempts at hammers were even more so. The second shot was hitting some 1 foot high when I tried my normal “hammer” (two shots with one sight picture as fast as you can pull the trigger). Finally I began to get the feel for the recoil and was able to try the Triple Nickel. The first one was in .97 seconds (about what it takes me with a .38 revolver) but a flyer poked its ugly head up at 6” and that adds a whole second. The next two tries were better but the best I could do and keep them in 5” was .88. This is not too threatening to my 1911 scores when I am “on”. It is as good as I can do with a Glock 9mm!

Naturally, caliber means something (not as much as some people seem to think and more than others seem to think…let’s not even go there). Personally, I would rather stake my life on 5 good hits with a .45 than with a .22... A 9mm would lie somewhere between.

Safety: While the XD has one more passive safety, a grip safety that one never notices when gripping the gun, it has no real mechanical safety. This is another one of those pistols you carry “Cocked and Unlocked”. The trigger pull is certainly as light as any standard G.I. 1911 ever was. In short, like the Glock, it will be very unforgiving of imperfect handling. I am not one who condemns a pistol for this but if you are unwilling to attend training and practice for several hours a week AND to educate everyone in your household, you do not need a pistol like this around. There are several pistols in this class these days and since I am an advocate of becoming trained with any firearm that is certainly not a harsh judgment against this particular pistol.

Overall Impressions. This has as good a trigger out of the box as any of the polymer framed, striker fired handguns I have seen (the M&P and the S&W 99 on SA rival it). Recoil is a challenge but then so is it with other light framed pistols. At 39 ounces fully loaded with 14 rounds of .45 ACP it is a formidable package! XD s in other calibers seem to be quite reliable and I am confident this one will be when broken in. The grip feels almost exactly like a Browning HP which is highly regarded in the “feel” department.. It is not as “fat” as a Glock (like I have room to talk  ). More importantly, when you present this weapon “eyes off” to the target and open your eyes the sights are right there on the sternum where they should be!

Bottom line. This pistol has a lot going for it. Will I replace my 1911 with it…. NOT HARDLY! But I suspect that our troops will be carrying something similar within a few years. They could do a lot worse.
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Old 03-04-2006, 04:05 PM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2
XD 45

I just got mine. I haven't shot it yet but the gun feels real good in my hand.
Old 03-05-2006, 09:16 AM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 156
Thanks for the report, Jim. I like my XD40, but never having been a big 40 fan would like to try an XD45. I agree though, they'll never replace my Kimbers for serious use.
Old 08-30-2006, 03:25 PM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 13
Re: XD .45 ACP Initial Impressions

Bottom line. This pistol has a lot going for it. Will I replace my 1911 with it…. NOT HARDLY! But I suspect that our troops will be carrying something similar within a few years. They could do a lot worse.[/quote]

Very nice review....have had mine for over 2500+ rounds of FMJ, JHP, etc, and with only one detailed cleaning, the gun has failed to fail me...once the part/accessory issues are resolved, I believe this pistol will supplant the Glock in popularity and use by the "pros".
Old 09-28-2006, 07:01 PM   #5
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 6
no spare parts

Nice report, thanks!
I checked out the XD-45 Tactical and was very impressed. I then spent some time on the phone with SA and found out the bad news. No sales of critical replacement parts!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bad decision on their part, as far as I am concerned. No XD's for me until they change that attitude.

Old 09-28-2006, 11:45 PM   #6
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 38
I bought both a XD45 Service and Tactical. I use the Service for carry and the Tactical is for gun games only.

I am very impressed. They fit well in my hand easy to clean and field strip, reliable and very accurate. The price was right too $489 and $509 respectively. All in all a pretty good gun out of the box.

The Tactical has a prototype guide rod that allows the use of 1911 recoil springs if I want to fiddle with spring weights as I try to get down to a 168-170 PF. There is also a solid stainless steel GR available for the Tactical. I have one of those as well.

XD45 Tactical with prototype guide rod

My XD Service is unaltered. Really doesn't need any mods. The Service is supplementing my beloved and well worn LW Commander. The Commander has seen much better days and is getting a much deserved rest. I still use it for IWB carry.


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