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.
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.