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American Handgunner March/April 2012 Digital Edition - Page 46
WINNINGEDGE solid advice to keeP you ahead of the comPetition dave anderson XDm 5.25 CompetitioN 45 T Springfield Armory’S he XD pistols from Springfield Armory have proven to be high quality, reliable, shootable and durable contenders in the very competitive polymer-frame autopistol market. Latest variation is the Competition Series with 5¼" barrel in 9mm, .40 S&W or .45 ACP. As the name suggests this version has several features making it suitable for popular action and speed shooting sports. I hope the name won’t cause non-competitors to overlook it. Long ago a full-house competition pistol came with features such as optical sight, multi-chamber compensator, very light trigger pull, and weight often well over 3 pounds. Fine for its intended purpose, but not a pistol one would be likely to choose for home defense, much less concealed carry. All ancient history, ever since the development of divisions for production handguns and those with limited modifications. Production division has become especially popular. Not only is a production class one of the best adjustable handgun far less costly than a full-house unlimited rear sights i’ve encoungun, it’s more versatile. This Springfield Competitered on any tion model would also do quite nicely as a duty handgun. handgun, or on a nightstand for home defense. this version of the springfield Armory xDM pistol has a 5.25" barrel with slide of corresponding length. it has several competition inspired features (such as excellent sights) and would also be a good choice for home defense or as a duty sidearm. A front sight with fiber-optic insert is mounted in a dovetail cut in the slide. SighTS And TriggerS t he rear sight of this XDM is one of the nicest I’ve seen (even including custom pistols costing several times as much). Adjustments are precise, accurate, and repeatable. I’ve seen adjustables mounted so high, and with edges so sharp, they look as though they could be used to field dress a deer. Not so with the Springfield. The sight body is fitted low, and strongly mounted in a cut in the slide. It looks like part of the gun, not some added-on afterthought. The corners of the sight blade are rounded too, so as not to catch. The front sight is a post with a fiber-optic insert, a style increasingly popular with match shooters. The fiber optic seems well protected against accidental blows. The sight is mounted in a dovetail cut so shooters preferring different sight styles can easily add their favorite. The trigger is typical of this style of pistol. It’s about as different from the short, crisp pull of a single-action auto- pistol as one could imagine. Yet the fact is, people shoot these long, relatively heavy triggers very well. In fact I shoot them fairly well myself, even though I believe a quality 1911-style trigger pull has few equals, and no superiors. Trigger pull on this XDM measured 6¾ pounds, with 1/2" of movement from “at rest” to sear release. There’s about 1/8" or so of take-up, then the pull builds smoothly and consistently until the shot breaks. Forward movement to reset is about 1/4". For competition I’d want some work done to make it a bit lighter; for general use, including personal defense, it’s adequate out of the box. The “5.25” in the name refers to the barrel length, with corresponding slide length. A lightening cut results in slide weight the same as a standard length XDM. Keeping the slide light helps it cycle more quickly, function better with moderate to light loads, and makes the pistol lighter and quicker to handle. The benefit of the longer slide/barrel, of course, is primarily the longer sight radius. increased magazine capacity. I have a notion the .45 ACP version will be very popular with shooters who are interested primarily in personal defense and occasionally in competition. The XDM has been a huge success; from my perspective the 5.25 model is the best yet. Currently it comes with three magazines, a synthetic holster and magazine carrier, two extra backstrap inserts and lock, all packed in a really good carrying case. Springfield Armory doesn’t show an MSRP but I see it advertised at around $700 to $725 on various sites. BEST YET? T he barrel is stamped “Match” and it certainly does shoot. Groups averaged in the 2" range with several brands of ammunition and bullet weights (5 shots, 25 yards, handheld from a rest). Barrel twist is 1:16" with conventional rifling, six lands and grooves, so it can use lead bullets. In fact some of the best groups I got were with lead 200-gr. SWCs. Other features are as on all XDMs, with positive firing pin lock, trigger safety device, grip safety, ambidextrous magazine release, frame accessory rail, and interchangeable backstraps for different hand sizes. Magazine capacity in .45 ACP is 13 cartridges. I fired about 350 rounds through the test pistol with no malfunctions. This is the fourth XD-XDM pistol I’ve had a chance to shoot. Counting a couple I purchased, I likely have around 4,000 rounds through them and cannot recall a single malfunction. Competitive shooters like the smaller calibers (9mm and .40 S&W) for reduced recoil, faster recovery, and * 46 WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • MARCH/APRIL2012