Beware the man with 1 gun

Back in June of last year, I started back into competitive shooting with an IDPA match using my Beretta 92.  Pretty quickly after that, I graduated to a 1911, thanks in no small part to my experience at the ParaUSA Gunblogger Summer Camp.  After the Summer Camp, I dabbled with 1911s, Glocks, my Berettas, and generally messed around across several different competitive divisions.

A friend of mine mentioned that it was bad juju for me to be dividing my training time across different guns, a suggestion which didn’t really hit home until Todd Jarrett said much the same thing to me at SHOT SHOW 2009.  So, while I cruised the show floor, I decided that I’d also start looking for a gun to shoot in Production Division, as I’ve committed to shooting Production at this year’s Bianchi Cup (which reminds me, I need to get that entry form mailed in).

I tried all manner of guns, from CZs to Glocks, Taurus and Ruger, Smith & Wesson M&Ps, even the Armalite AR-24.  That was until almost the last day of the show, when I cruised by Springfield’s booth to ogle the SOCOM II rifle again.  Then, almost by accident, I picked up a Springfield XD Tactical, and my first thought was “hey, this grip angle feels like a 1911, that’s pretty sweet.”

So this Saturday, I stopped by my friendly neighborhood merchant of death and picked up my very own Springfield XD in .40 S&W.  I opted for the “Tactical” model, which has a 5 inch barrel and does not sport the “captive” recoil system, which makes it the closest thing to a polymer 1911 that I’ve ever seen.  Here’s the gun itself over my Beretta Jetfire for scale.

From Gun Nuts: The Next Generation

The 5 inch “tactical” model is pretty much ready out of the box to shoot Production division in USPSA, and the neat thing about it for me is that it allows me to keep shooting in ESP in IDPA – which is nice, because I’m lazy and don’t want to shoot a classifier for Stock Service Pistol. The sights are pretty standard, a no-nonsense three dot arrangement which, as soon as I’m done shooting this weekend’s match in Tennessee, will be knocked off the gun and replaced with a set of fixed Heinie sights, to get me that “black-on-black” sight picture I crave. However, even with the factory sights, the gun is quite accurate. This is a 5 shot group at just under 50 feet, shot very, very slowfire to test the functional accuracy of the gun.

From Gun Nuts: The Next Generation

I’m very excited about the gun – I’ve got a Blackhawk holster and some more of their excellent double stack magazine holders on order, and have placed my order for a case of my favorite 125 grain .40 S&W ammo for shooting Production division.


  1. Pretty nice, but I’m curious. Why did you end up moving away from the baretta ? Or rather why did you end up settling on the XD ?

    (I’m a baretta & sig fan boy)

  2. I really, really liked my Berettas. However, my major issue with the Beretta wasn’t the DA/SA transition, but rather the relative lack of aftermarket product support when compared to the XD, Glock, or Sig line of pistols. I actually quite seriously considered getting a Sig P226 Elite, but the $1100 price tag, when compared to $500 for a Springfield XD caused me much pause.

  3. Good choice. I have an XD9 tactical for fun and the same in sub-compact for carry. I don’t shoot groups like that (too old, I guess) but most of my shots are in the kill to “hurt real bad” zone. If the .40 keeps up with my 9mm, you wil not have a misfire or misload. Ever.

  4. Welcome to the club! I started USPSA and IDPA with an XD45 Service and moved to an XD9 Tactical for the longer sight radius, slimmer grip, and most importantly cheaper ammo.

    The only problem I’ve ever encountered on an XD is occassionally I don’t relieve enough pressure on the trigger to reset it. That was fixed by trigger job by Bob Hostetter. His website is and he sells very good quality parts for XD. I’m not familiar with what mods Bianchi Cup allows, but I think a trigger job on the XD is a worthy investment.

  5. I was not an XD fan until my father-in-law made me try his…

    Now my EDC is the 5″ 45 compact. The perfect gun IMHO. 1911 grip angle. My caliber. short grip, and the barrel length god (or JMB) intended the .45 Auto to come out of. Plus, 13rds of .45 in a grip my smaller hands can hold on to (G21? Think not)

    I’ve only added Trijicons.

    For non-standard carry, I’ve added the 4″ compact in .45, too. (Plus Tijicons)

    Compact mags and a full size spare means two dozen rounds of “I said leave me alone” in a perfectly pointable package.

    My wife, after hating her Walther P99 and all my GLOCKS, took her dad’s XD9 and shot the center out of the target.

    Two days later, the Walther had been traded on an XD9.

    Handguns are subjective. Whatever fits you fits you.

    The XD fits me like a glove. I use it as my Rock Your GLOCK gun, pin gun, and eventually IDPA gun.

  6. I’ve an XD .45 and love it. I never wanted a “plastic” gun, but the proprietor of the pawn shop made me too good of a deal. I got home and shot it (ahh the joys of country living ) and holy smoke, one ragged hole!. Fits nice, carries nice (it’s the 4″ 13 rd. model) I really need to trim that grip to the newer “compact” size though.

  7. Nice looking pistol, I hope it works for you. I tried one and it was no where nearly as accurate as yours appears to be, and yes it too had the trigger reset problem. Good luck with it!

  8. You’re gonna love that XD. I have a Tac XD 40 that is a joy to play with in IDPA competition.

    My only suggestion, if you are going to shoot it…ALOT!!! is to pick up a couple extra trigger return springs. Mine went out at 40K+ rounds after three years of weekly shooting. I picked up a couple return springs and keep them in my tool box just in case.

  9. Be careful replacing the factory sights – I’ve heard that they can be a bear to remove! If you look closely, there are marks in the sight channel/dovetail that indicates if the sights are centered.

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