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GUNS Magazine November 2009 - Page 48
pringfield Armory’s XD line of polymer frame, striker-fired service pistols has proven hugely successful in this country, and the firm recently introduced a more highly evolved version, the XD(M). The “M” in its title stands for more capacity, more accuracy, and perhaps even more value. It also stands for Modularity, being the first of its particular breed to get the interchangeable backstrap feature proven so useful on many other polymer auto pistols. The “more accuracy” promise comes from a match-grade barrel, which Dave Williams tells me is coming off a special production line in Croatia. Dave is head of the Springfield Armory Custom Shop, and a recipient of the Pistolsmith of the Year award, and knows whereof he speaks. He and his team at the Geneseo, Illinois, factory have turned their attention to the XD series with the same skills that have made their work on the company’s traditional 1911 pistols so well respected. Dave sent a customized XD(M) in 9mm to us for a look-see. S Massad Ayoob Photos: Chuck Pittman The original order was for a Custom with a trigger job including an overtravel stop, Dawson adjustable rear sights and fiber optic front, a Springfield Custom match barrel, an extended magazine release and the usual two magazines per pistol. The package came in at a price tag of $1,295, including the standard heavy-duty polymer carry case (an excellent piece of kit), and serviceable XD Gear polymer holster and double magazine pouch. We ended up going with a PistolGear enhanced magazine well, which added another $175, and a couple more magazines with Arredondo extended bases. This brought the total tally into the $1,500 range. That’s not a bad price for a custom gun with a match-grade barrel and a finely tuned trigger system. But the value is in the performance, so off to the range we went. First, think “buckets of bullets.” The long double-stack magazine of the XD(M) in 9mm will hold 19 rounds in its standard configuration. With the Arredondo extension, I was able to get 22 9mm cartridges in the magazine, and in either case you get to start off with one more in the chamber. That’s a fairly serious round count for a belt gun. I handed this gun around to shooters ranging in age from 21 to 74, encompassing male and female, and small to very large hand sizes. Everyone seemed to like the little beast. Ergonomics is where the basic XD concept shines, and the excellent trigger reach and the superior gripping surface afforded by the “M” treatment just seems to all come together. Even though the test came smack in the middle of The Great Ammo Drought of 2009, all who participated in testing were able to find enough ammo to put through this pistol to get the feel of it. No one disliked it as a fun gun. Most, however, thought the trigger pull had come through too light for defensive use. On the Lyman digital scale, pull weight averaged 3.2 pounds when weighed at the toe of the trigger, and 3.5 at the center. The latter position is where the trigger finger usually rests. 48 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • NOVEMBER 2009