Sunday, October 28, 2012

BAG Day Came Early

When I was talking about the fun show last weekend, there was one thing I neglected to mention, cunning little runt that I am.  It was Buy A Gun day for me, a bit early (hey - I gotta be at work on 11/6!).

Last September (2011), while doing one of those "List the 5 Guns You Want" memes, I listed a good .45 at number two. 
2. XDm in .45 ACP or the XD Compact in .45 - the XD is probably a better carry gun.
But the last year has brought us options that weren't available then: the XDm 3.8 Compact in .45 ACP, as well as the very small, single stack XDs.   After playing with both guns at a few shows, I decided that XDm Compact worked better for the size of my hands and picked one up.  A few photos:
By itself, you don't have much to go by.  It's got a 3.8" barrel, vs. a 3.3 in the XDs and a 3" barrel in the XD subcompact that I've been carrying for two years. In width, it measures within a few thousandths at the grip and a few places I put the calipers - probably just sloppy technique.  It fits my existing holsters, including the one I use most.  It works in my XD Serpa (I hardly ever use it, but it ought to be the fussiest).  With a fully loaded short magazine (pictured) it weighs 2 lb 3 oz. with 9+1 230 grain rounds - as opposed to 2 lbs 0 for my XDsc loaded with 124 gr +P. Side by side, from the rear, they look like this:
The subcompact is the stainless bi-tone on the right.  The grip texture is different - and that's about it.  A view that shows their dimensional difference is here:
and you can see the only real difference is that the longer barrel of the XDm makes it 0.8" longer than the subcompact.  That 3/4" disappears in the holster, IWB or other.  Ergonomically, the user controls are identical.  Both triggers are long initial pull, then shorter reset.  I know some folks don't like beavertail safeties in general, but I'm used to them by now.  When I tried the .45 out at our favorite indoor range yesterday,  it felt just like my XDsc.  I picked it up and immediately had good results with it.  Same for the diminutive but deadly Mrs. Graybeard, who also loves her XD subcompact.  She picked it up and punched the target like she'd always been using it.

Compared to the XDs, it holds 9+1 vs 5+1.  The 9mm XDsc is 13+1.  The universal trade of # of rounds vs. size is a personal one, and I can't say I have a strong opinion.  It doesn't seem to be any harder to shoot than my 9mm, I really don't feel much difference in recoil, but maybe I'm not "recoil sensitive".  I put only 125 or so rounds through it, just to loosen it up, and of course it was flawless.  No FTF or FTEs; cycled smoothly, and generally behaved perfectly.  Gave it a little cleanup when we got home. 

I know that "just another polymer pistol" isn't going to be interesting to a lot of you.  Just another GlockenSpringenSmithenTauren (etc.).  Personally, while I love the look of 1911s, they just don't feel right to me (scorn coming in 3...2...1...).  On the other hand, I like revolvers, but I've never carried a revolver.  I'll take 9+1 with a backup of 13 over 5 and a speed loader any day.  


  1. Good looking pistol. Can't argue with your choice of caliber, since my EDC is a G30. I am one of those who doesn't care for a grip safety, and although I love the looks (and even the weight, but not in a shoulder rig) of the 1911A, it has always felt like holding a deck of cards in my hand. The way the G21 and the G30 fill my hand has always felt more comfortable.

    Prior to the G21, I carried an HK P9S in .45 ACP, and that polymer grip was fairly comfortable as well, if not as "filling" as the Glocks. Perhaps one of these days I'll try one of the Xd series. They look good.

    1. I'm pretty ignorant of Glocks, other than a few models, but IIRC both the G21 and 30 are double stack, just differences in overall size. I find that with my basal arthritis in my thumb, that the double stack is more comfortable to take to the range than the single stacks, like my Taurus Slim.

      I find the beaver tail safeties help me line up in a position that hurts the hand less. Some sort of unconscious feedback thing going on. YMMV, of course!

  2. They are indeed double stacks - one of the reasons I moved to the G21 (full sized .45) from my HK P9S, which was a single stack. I passed on the G17 when it first came out, because I was forced to carry a 9 mm at one PD I worked for, and I already owned a Ruger P85, and didn't want to buy another 9 mm. I much preferred to carry a .45 off duty (and on-duty as a back-up). A double-stack pistol fills my big mitts better than any single-stack pistol.

    The reason I bought a Glock in the first place is because of the accuracy. I went to an indoor range in West Sacramento one time in '89. They had some Glocks for rent. Shooting at a hostage target with my Ruger P-85, I had difficulty hitting only the bad guy at 15 yards. With the G17 I rented, _every_ shot hit the bad guy right in the ocular window. So as soon as Glock came out with a .45 (the G21) I bought one. I liked the G21 so much I ended up selling my HK and used the money to buy the G30.

    The G30 is the compact .45 (the G36 being the single-stack version, which also feels like a deck of cards in my hand - I don't like _all_ Glocks ;-) Believe it or not, for some reason I am more accurate with the shorter G30 than with the G21, in spite of the shorter sight radius. Maybe it has something to do with the double recoil spring arrangement on the G30's guide rod (just a guess).

  3. Thats funny. Up until a decade ago i always carried revolvers. I have 1911's and such,that i love to shoot,but never carried.
    I've slowly switched in that dept,and not sure why,other than semi autos were'nt had by many people i grew up hunting and shooting with.
    I will say my "collection" consists of early k-frames and modern Performance Center handguns in 357 exclusively,that i still shoot regular like.
    Great post!!


    1. Thanks! - and while I like my wife's S&W stainless .357 magnum, I've never seen a Performance Center version. To be honest, I'm sure I'd love it.

  4. My first PC 357 was the original model they came out with when Jerry Miculek smashed the "speed" records with their revolvers,in an 8 shot configuration.
    Believe me thou,i am not even close to his expertise. But MAN what a saweet revolver it is
    8 shot moon clips are also hard to find nowadays..