There are a lot of pistols out on the market, but not all of them are created equal. Today we’re going to look at five problems that the Springfield XD has that make it a questionable purchase.
Why questionable? When we’re purchasing something for self-defense we want it to be a reliable tool that works when we need it to. A pistol that is finicky or not as reliable can make a great range toy, but that same pistol becomes a liability in a self-defense role.
What types of problems?
The major problems of the Springfield XD are related to the magazine, the grip safety, the firing pin retention pin, the slide, and the overall fit of the gun itself.
While this gives us an idea of how many major problems there are, it’s better to know exactly what those problems look like in order to recognize when the gun is starting to fail.
Let’s take a closer look.
5 Problems with the Springfield XD
First off, we have to determine what a problem is. Guns jam, ammunition can be out of spec, or something can go wrong that is easily fixed with a “remediation” drill.
Stovepipe jams, among other things, can be easily cleared by simply removing the magazine of the pistol, racking the slide, reinserting the magazine, and chambering the next round. These are malfunctions, not problems.
Problems either cause malfunctions consistently or prevent the gun from being used in a way that can’t be fixed with a simple tap/rack procedure.
This brings us to the first problem with the Springfield XD
1. Magazine Issues
The magazine of any pistol is one of the major failure points in the design. A high-end pistol can experience terrible performance if a damaged or malfunctioning magazine is used.
This means a quality magazine is a “must” for any hard use of the gun. A magazine has to be durable enough to be used multiple times but not so overbuilt that it costs more than the gun itself.
In regards to the XD series, the magazine is made out of a thin sheet metal. The magazine feed lips are known to bend very easily which causes issues like failure-to-feed, poor seating of the magazine, and similar malfunctions.
Because the metal is so thin, the magazine can be easily damaged. This means an item that should be considered disposable is treated with extreme care in order to prevent significant damage to it. This then leads to you being less likely to actually train with your pistol.
Since many reloading techniques involve dropping the magazine on the ground or similar actions, the chances of the magazine becoming damaged increases. This can result in malfunctions like the slide not locking back on empty.
Another problem related to the magazine is seating the magazine. The magazines for the XD can sometimes be hard to seat. This means more force has to be applied to the magazine in order to even get it into the gun before firing.
Some early magazines also featured weak springs which would induce failure-to-feed malfunctions.
2. Grip Safety
The next major issue is related to the grip safety. Other designs like 1911s feature grip safeties which perform reliably.
However, the XD’s grip safety is extremely narrow by comparison. The grip safety is in the center of the backstrap and does not stretch across the entire backstrap. This means you have to have a perfect grip in order to deactivate it.
Under stress this can be an issue since the gun cannot be fired without the grip safety being depressed. It also means the gun is harder or impossible to use with your non-dominant hand.
This leads to another serious problem. Since the slide cannot move back and forth without the grip safety depressed it can trap a live round in the gun. This has happened numerous times when the grip safety breaks.
The slide is effectively locked in place until it can be sent to a gunsmith with the added hazard of a life round being in the gun. This creates a major failure point in the gun itself by creating a situation where a malfunction cannot be fixed by the end user.
3. Roll Pin Retention
The roll pin used to retain the firing pin is the next major issue with the XD. After several hundred to several thousand rounds, the roll pin is known to walk out.
This means the gun cannot be used until the pin is replaced which takes the gun out of service for potentially extended periods.
Having one or more pins that regularly walk out with usage is not something a quality gun should do.
4. Slide Easily Out of Battery
Another issue with the XD is how easy it is to put it out of battery.
Light pressure to the front of the gun, whether in or out of a holster, can put the slide out of battery. This means the gun is unable to fire despite looking like it can.
The slide must be racked with force in order to seat the next round with more effort than other guns in the same price point.
This can range from an annoyance to a safety hazard depending on the situation. If the pistol “puts itself” out of battery through normal carry it is unreliable as a defensive option.
5. Improper Parts Contact
This problem covers multiple subcategories of issues with the XD series.
It mostly applies to parts of the gun’s internals or the gun’s internals and magazine interacting in a way that damages them. Alternatively it also applies when parts that should not be touching each other tough each other.
Some examples include visible trigger creep when pushing the magazine release and the magazine hitting the rear of the side.
This can also include the firing pin wearing against the internals due to excessive dry fire. This can be mitigated by using a snap cap to practice with, but it is still an example of inappropriate parts wear on a striker-fired pistol.
Additionally, broken guide rods, striker face walls, and trigger shoe fractures are some of multiple breakages on XD series pistols.
The XD series has been a common staple on the market since the early 2000s, however its performance with higher round counts and harder use leave a lot to be desired.
It consistently fails higher than other pistols in the same price range when put through the same paces. These 5 major issues are the glaring problems with the platform as a whole but do not include every single parts failure on the XD series.
If you’re looking for a new range toy, the XD is a good fit, but for anything else it is not recommended.
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