Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Glock vs Springfield Armory XD‏?


Hey ferfal,

I’m sure you have probably got this email before, but just in case you haven’t:
I have seen posts questioning the SA XD, and I can say with certainty they’re good stuff.
A friend of mine has a Glock 9mm (G 17 I believe, but I cant say I remember well), and I have an SA XD 9 subcompact.
Fired side by side the action is very similar.
The action on the SA is (get this) smoother, but recoils wasn’t noticeably different. The Glock felt a little more mechanical. You can feel the slide run back, and impact the stop during ejection of the round.
I’ve played with them a bit and the only thing I can think of is the polymer frame on the XD absorbs vibration so you feel less vibration in your hand when firing.
This will most likely mean that the steel frame of the Glock might hold up to abuse more, but I have seen good things during my reliability research. The polymer frame will also resist corrosion more when exposed to oils and acids of concealment.
When looking for a common failure on the XD forums the most common issue I can find is “too many dry fires causes a pin to snap”; this pin however prevents the firing pin from smacking the breach wall and a failed pin will prevent a fractured breach wall.
I cleaned it once, and then ran 100 FMJs through it, then 100 HPs through it without a clean or oil, and it didn’t jam. It doesn’t have a manual safety, but it has a grip safety and a trigger safety. The grip safety prevents the slide from cycling, and the trigger safety puts a physical block in the path of the firing pin so allegedly, if the pin of a cocked gun dislodges and engages it will not make it all the way to the round without hitting the block first.
I haven’t been able to confirm this one: I loaded my XD up with snap caps (dummy rounds that don’t fire) cocked it, and threw it around a room for 5 minutes and I wasn’t able to get the firing pin to dislodge and drop-fire.
I was able to stovepipe it. Here’s how; chamber round, remove clip, fire.
There is a button that the round follower in the clip engages to lock the slide back on the final round that wasn’t present.

In a normal situation, the following round will aid in ejection of the previous round (pushing it out) on the last round of each clip, there is no following round so when the slide locks back it allows a few extra milliseconds for the last round to eject.
The subcompact 9 doesn’t have much recoil for a short barrel and it conceals well for its size.
The handle is wide like a Glock’s handle so it fits comfortably in the hand of a decent size guy(I am 6’6” with a size 13-USA shoe). I tried the Rueger lc9 which is very similar to the bodyguard and it actually hurts to fire because the small square handle wiggles in my hand under recoil and causes pressure points. The recoils of the smaller 38cal LC9 is higher than the recoil of my XD 9mm subcompact also. There is an accessory rail on the XD 9 standard, and subcompact. Fitting a light to the rail (very close to the exit of the barrel) will certainly cover the lens in burnt cordite after 100 rounds, but if your firing 100 rounds in a situation  of duress you have bigger problems than a dirty light.
In a pancake holster on the small of the back there is a bit of discomfort sitting down leaning back on something, so I can’t say it will be a perfect conceal carry weapon. It is comfortable to stand with, and doesn’t show under a shirt in the small of the back though. So if you have a standup job, go for it.
Hope this helps answer the XD question.


Thanks for your email Jim. Indeed, I get asked about the XD a lot and here is my opinion.
Before saying anything, I have to say that I just love guns. Heck, I love anything that shoots, cuts, explodes or has any kind of violent chemical reaction. Just the way it is. But when it comes down to giving advice I can only call it as I see it and I see the Glock being the best, most successful all around combat handgun. I’m not saying that the XD is a bad gun, its very good, but a Glock it is not. Not only is the XD a copy (some will say improved version of..) of what was already done correctly the first time (in the Glock), with a few changes here and there so as to at least do something different, the changes made aren’t the ones I would have done myself.
Take the XD grip safety for example. Why? Dear God, why?
Even JMB didn’t like the grip safety in the 1911. He included it because it was demanded by the military. He got rid of it in the Hi-Power. The grip safety also means that the gun will not fire if not gripped properly and that is NOT a good thing. Yes, in ideal conditions you always grip the gun as you´re supposed to, but there’s nothing ideal about a gunfight. Chances of you getting shot in your arms during a gunfight and getting a finger blown off? Chances of that are actually pretty high (within the context of being in a gunfight). It generally tends to work this way: When you shoot at someone and he has a gun, he probably will shoot back. You naturally will shoot center of mass, and both of you will have your hands and arms covering your center of mass because that’s just what happens with nearly all shooting stances, even point aiming, even instinctive shooting. Stand in front of someone aiming at you and you see it clearly. This is why learning to shoot and reload with your other hand is important and is trained often.  Maybe because of the stress you just got a less than perfect grip, it can happen too. The gun should still fire in spite of a poor grip being used.
Why a safety in the first place? Manual safeties where used mostly because of the mechanical unreliability of the first autos, then their use continued because of police or military spec requirements.  Still, if you think about it you can see how unnecessary they are with safer modern guns. Have you ever seen a manual safety in a revolver? You don’t need one either in a modern striker fire auto.
Finally, no other handgun is as prolific in the defensive and tactical community. If there’s parts and accessories available for a gun, anywhere in the world, that sure is Glock.


BFR said...


Good point regarding the non-optimum shooting positions and stock/grip safeties.

Also, (and even though economics do come into play), look to see how many LE agencies or higher end military units authorize or use XD's

There are personnel in upper tier units who can use whatever they want; most do not choose an XD.

Regarding manual safeties, they still perform a documented important function for uniformed LE carry. I know of a number of LEO's whose lives were saved by the slight extra time that the safety gave them during "gun grab" altercations; enough time to employ a BUG while the goblin was trying to manipulate the manual safety.

Brian P said...

Bottom line - both are excellent pistols. You really can't go wrong with either.

The debate between the two really comes down to personal preference and ergonomics. For me (I stress the FOR ME), the XDM just points more naturally than Glocks, which translates to far greater accuracy.

As for the grip safety, yes, some hate it. I've personally never had an issue, and honestly, it would take a lot for it not to engage and fire. If your grip is so poor to not engage the safety then pretty much any semi-auto would jam due to stove piping a round from limp wristing.

My first handgun was an XDM 9mm 4.5". Still the most accurate and reliable one I own, and my favorite. 4000 rounds through it currently, with every type of ammo you can think of, and not a single FTF or FTE. That's reliability I'd trust my life to.

Burke said...

When I look at a Glock, I see a semi-auto without a safey, despite the plastic gidgit in the trigger. New York cops had to go to a 13 lb trigger because they were shooting themselves so much. If you are going to use a trigger that heavy, you may as well be going DAO. Additionally, most cops carry their Glocks clamped tightly in holsters that enclose the trigger housing and are effectively safeties themselves.

I carry concealed appendix carry, and a grip safety seems like a reasonable compromise for protection of the family jewels.

Ryan said...

The phrase that comes to mind for me is 'functionally equivalent'. The Glock has a lead in terms of commonality and accessories/ aftermarket parts but the XD (and SW M&P for that matter) are still common enough it should not be a problem. Assuming you are staying local if parts/ mags are available in your region just get whichever you like best. I will stick with Glock 9's though.

Anonymous said...

If the gripe safety is a problem,it can be taped,staked etc.
I perter the XD for several reasons,the single action trigger as opposed to the DA of the Glock.Also shooting reloads/or lead bullets are not a problem. The XD supports the whole case,while the Glock lacks full support,unless you get an after market barrel.Hard primers better than the softer Glock striker.
Personal 'feel' is also a factor.
great blog,,glad your safe out of SA
Back in the day I was looking at South Africa,or Rhodesia,then Argentina when those countries went south,,I'll just stay wher I am now,tucked in the mountians in the staes.


Anonymous said...

is this guy a retard or something? Glocks dont have steel frames

Anonymous said...

The unnecessary grip safety is an XD dealbreaker for me.

First, every component has a finite probability of failure. Therefore, I don't want any unnecessary components.

Second, it can impair your ability to return fire if your shooting hand(s) is/are injured during the fight (of which there is a high probability). I know of 1 case, from the man involved, where this occurred. The only thing that saved him, imho, is that the perp, who was using a revolver, ran out of ammo.

Anonymous said...

For the grip safety reason alone, the XD is a non-starter.

Glocks, S&W M&P, etc. all fine.

XD, not so much for me.

Not to mention they're larger and heavier than their Glock analogues.

Anonymous said...

If the grip angle of the Glock doesn't work for you, the M&P gives you the grip angle of the XD without the so-called grip "safety" abomination.

5L1mm said...

Hey ferfal, ill give it to you.
The Glock seems pretty common, and parts would be most accessible when $h!t hits the fan. While I have seen a small amount of chaos as a poor child growing up in urban Baltimore MD, I cannot pretend that, that will hold a candle to actual Real Chaos. I will definitely be practicing non-optimal firing positions now that you brought it up; to look into the grip safety thing.


5L1mm said...

Hey ferfal, ill give it to you.
The Glock seems pretty common, and parts would be most accessible when $h!t hits the fan. While I have seen a small amount of chaos as a poor child growing up in urban Baltimore MD, I cannot pretend that, that will hold a candle to actual Real Chaos. I will definitely be practicing non-optimal firing positions now that you brought it up; to look into the grip safety thing.


5L1mm said...

I thought the Glock had a steel frame.
I was making my assumption based on the excess vibration on fire.
Not an "idiot" but thanks.
so that begs the question, if the Glock doesn’t have a steel frame, what transfers all of that vibration? it has a significantly more mechanical feel on cycle.