Sometimes a firearm is purchased when a person decides to go hunting and doesn't have the appropriate gun for the type of game. Other times, one is purchased to fill that empty spot in a very nice gun collection. It is even possible that one be appropriated for concealed carry (with a permit as required) and this mandates finding one that is suitable for the desired carry method. The reasons come in all shapes and sizes.....just pick the one that works for you.
My reason? It was pretty simple, economics. The jumps in ammo prices (factory loads and also reloading components) was making my diet of .45ACP an increasingly expensive entree. As I write this, Blazer Brass .45ACP is $14.95 per box of 50 at WalMart. The same brand in 9mm is $8.97 for 50. When comparing reloading components, such as full metal jacket (FMJ) bullets, the 115 grain 9mm fetches $10 per 100 while the 230 grain .45ACP sells for $17 per 100. Before you send your e-mails to tell me about a cheaper place, please don't. I was just quoting prices that I remembered seeing in last week. My point is......the 9mm is simply cheaper to shoot and/or reload when compared to a .45ACP firearm. I can shoot more for the same price or just shoot the same amount and pocket the savings. Either way is a win for me.
So....I picked up Springfield Armory's XD 9mm Service pistol. A smaller
sibling to my XD45, this 9mm pistol
holds 17 rounds with 16 of them in the magazine. This model differs from
my XD45 in that the XD9 has a stainless steel slide. Springfield has
coined this their "bi-tone" model.
As with the other XDs from Springfield Armory, the XD comes packaged with the
basic items needed to get you up and functional with your new pistol.
While the accessories are not necessarily high end components, they will do the
job until you opt for something better. I found the holster to be the one
item I would replace first. The dual magazine holder and the magazine
loader work pretty well. There are certainly better options out there but
I've not found a good enough reason to do so....not for my needs anyway.
The allen wrench is for setting the tension screw on the holster and magazine
holder. A spare 16 round magazine, cleaning brush, and cable lock make up
the remainder of the "pistol kit". The customary paperwork and
owner's manual are also included.
The XD is a single action, striker fired, semi-auto pistol.
It employs what Springfield Armory refers to as their USA (Ultra Safety
Assurance) trigger system. The center of the trigger has a raised section
that must be depressed before the trigger can function to fire the pistol.
There is also an internal striker blocking safety. In addition to these
two safeties, the XD also has a grip safety. Like the grip safety on the
infamous M1911 pistol, it must be depressed (by the shooter's hand firmly
gripping the pistol) before the pistol can be fired . The majority of XDs
(including this one) do not have an external manual safety. However,
starting in 2008, the XDM series offers this as an option. Having spent 4 days
of intense training/shooting with my XD45 at Front Sight this past fall, I found
no problems with the lack of a manual safety. I've no idea if the manual
safety option is going to be available on the other calibers.
The XD has a Picatinny rail positioned forward of the trigger guard which allows the shooter to attach a laser or flashlight if they so desire. On the rear face of the slide, a cocked condition indicator protrudes about an 1/8" when the striker is cocked. To assist in low light situations, a loaded chamber indicator can be felt at the rear edge of the ejection port when one is "in the pipe". The ambidextrous magazine release is positioned behind the trigger but a left handed shooter will still have to deal with the slide release "on the wrong side". The remaining control, the take down lever, is also located on the left side of the slide. It is used when the slide is removed from the frame.
The XD9 can be had in quite a variety of configurations but
basically, the barrel lengths can be either 3", 4" or 5". The 3" version
is called the "Sub-Compact", the 4" is referred to as the Service model, and the
5" rounds out the selection as the "Tactical" model. A variety of color
choices provide something for just about everyone.
As I mentioned earlier, the economics of getting a 9mm pistol was the main reason for my purchase. One of the reasons I got the 9mm XD was the fact that my existing Blackhawk and Galco holsters, that I acquired when I purchased my XD45, would also work for the XD9. If you have priced holsters lately, you can appreciate the money saved by not having to purchase another round of holsters (range, carry, etc.).
I've not had it to the range yet but I did pick up a few boxes of ammo today so that is next on my list of things to do. I'll report back when I get some trigger time.
I've had a chance to burn many, many rounds in the XD9 and it has worked flawlessly. I started range practice using some CCI Blazer factory ammo from the local WalMart. No problems digesting those. I picked up a couple of boxes of Federal 95 FMJ from the local gun shop and it consumed them without complaint. I could see that my practice XD platform was going to get expensive if I continued feeding it factory ammo.
After finding a good deal (thank you internet) on 65 pounds of once fired 9mm brass, I spent some time with my Dillon 650 reloading press and worked up some reloads using Berry's Manufacturing 115 grain round nose plated bullets over a charge of Unique powder. They too function flawlessly.
So....yes, the XD9 is working really well for me. I haven't made up the difference in ammo savings compared to what I paid for the pistol, but then again, I'm not planning on keeping track either. Since this was obtained for range practice, I've no intentions of installing night sights. However, I do believe I'll get a set of TruGlo Fiber Optic sights installed. This would give me the same sight setup as my XD45 except that it has tritium vials behind the fiber optic inserts. The fiber optic TruGlos will "look" the same on the range as those on the XD45....and that will make the practice time on the XD9 more similar to the XD45.
Probably time for another update. This past spring, I took a trip to Front Sight. I took a 2 day Handgun Skill Builder class and a 2 day Tactical Scenarios class. While the scenarios class required a modified SIG to shoot the simmunitions, I used my XD9 in the skill builder class. It worked great during the two days I ran magazine after magazine of Blazer ammo through it. On the shooting portion of the evaluation, I shot a 119 out of 125. That amounts to just two shots that were in the 2 point zone versus the 5 point zone. The lighter recoil of the 9mm, compared to the 45ACP, made it easier to nail down that 119 score. (well, that and a year plus worth of fairly serious practice). Regardless, I really like how the XD9 handled. It hasn't gotten the fiber optic sights I was contemplating but it did manage to get a Powder River Precision trigger kit upgrade (not in time for the last Front Sight trip though).
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