I shot the XDs today. The weather wasn't conducive to the use of a chronograph as it was snowing with constant wind gusts and the temperature was far below freezing. So I shot for reliability and accuracy. I used 6 grains of Unique under both a 200 SWC and the 230 XTP.
The XDs funtioned flawlessly with all loads. Before today, I was a little concerned about the controlability of the gun, given its weight and its diminutive size, but that wasn't an issue, even though I used the 5 round magazines exclusively. As a matter of fact, I didn't even notice the recoil or pay any attention to it--it was that much of a non-issue. Until I shot a full magazine one handed: the recoil drove straight back into the web of my hand, and by the end of the 5 round magazine, it hurt. That's when I realized that I hadn't been paying any attention to the recoil, not until that moment. Having said all that, I wasn't trying to push my speed, just shooting for fun.
The XDs came to me with Trijicon HD Night Sights. I feel ambivalent about them. Although I found the sights easy to use and accurate, the setup grouped about three inches low. Which, in my mind, is a lot. Albiet, I was using a 6 o'clock hold, which I prefer and find to be more accurate. I've filed down my beaded hunting sights to create posts out of them, for this reason. But these sights are designed for a different purpose entirely. So I think I'm fighting against the wind on this one. I suppose on my next trip I'll have to cover the target with the dot and decide whether or not to keep the Trijicons.
What about the accuracy of the Springfield Armory XDs? After all, it only has a 3.3 inch barrel.
The first target is of the XTP load offhand at 7 yards: point of aim was at the top of the orange circle. The second target is of the SWC load off a sandbag at 17 yards: point of aim was the bottom of the bull, which means the 17 yard group is about 4.5 inches low. The 17 yard group represents the first group I fired with the XDs, and it's possible that the group would be located elsewhere on the target if I had been more familiar with the gun.
Springfield Armory XDs Accuracy 6 grains Unique 230 XTP 7 yards.jpgSpringfield Armory XDs Accuracy 6 grains Unique 200 SWC 17 yards.jpg
Last edited by lever101; 12-25-2012 at 08:18 PM.
Here are a couple more observations about the XDs–first, in regards to feeding and, second, in regards to the Trijicon HD Night Sights.
The 200 SWC over 6 grains of Unique continues to prove itself as a reliable, and even easy to shoot, load. (The same load achieves 955 fps out of a 5" 1911. I won't be able to take a measurement with my chronograph using the 3.3" barrel of the XDs until the weather improves.) In regards to feeding, I think it's important to be aware of the following. After both measuring the length of the chamber of the XDs and checking for fit of the 200 SWC cartridge at an overall length of 1.23" by dropping it in the disassembled barrel (for which there was ample room), I loaded two dummy rounds in a magazine then cycled the slide first by using the slide release then by slingshotting the slide. Using the slide release to chamber the cartridge has always worked flawlessly both in tests and on the range. However, the XDs is finicky about being slingshotted.
It's already been observed that, "The problem, as always, with shortie 45's is breechface overtravel past the magazine well, which is limited...The tendency is for the slide to outrun the magazine." Moreover, the feed ramp is fairly steep. At 1.23" the cartridge has a tendency to get pinned against the feed ramp when attempting to slingshot it into battery.
Hoping to retain the option of the slingshot, I shortened the OAL of the 200 SWC cartridge to 1.22". I then loaded two dummy cartridges into the magazine and retested. The shorter cartridge chambered reliably. I then filled the magazine and retested. It worked fine.
I eventaully decided to shorten the XTP cartrdige from 1.23" to an OAL of 1.215" for the same reason.
I'd be interested in reading your observations about this, John. And the observations of anyone else. As I'm not sure I fully grasp all the variables at play here. It would be nice to understand the mechanics of the issue to ensure the reliability of getting the XDs into battery.
As to the Trijicon HD Night Sights: as is mentioned in my previous post, they shoot low using a 6 o'clock hold. When, at 7 yards, I covered the 2" bullseye with the orange dot, the best groups were located on the bottom arc of the bull. What's odd about the whole experience is that I got an email from Trijicon advising me to use the 6 o'clock hold: "All of the Trijicon Night Sights are designed for the 6 O’Clock hold." There you have it.
Last edited by lever101; 12-30-2012 at 11:43 AM.
This is a load that I use in my full size 1911 and it works flawlessly. In the XDS it cycles without issue but does not have enough power to cycle the slide back far enough to lock the slide open after the last shot. Very accurate load. Consistent 1 inch 10 shot groups at 7 yards. I know 7 yards is easy... At 25 yards groups spread to 3 - 6 inches and that is my crappy shooting. The XDS is capable of better than that... Excuse the recycled target.
I have shot some H&G 68 - 200 LSWC in my XDs over 5 grns of Bullseye. It cycled flawlessly. Think my COAL is 1.225". Got some leadin, but it was with a very brand new gun/bbl. Hoping a little shooting will polish it up and reduce the leading.
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Just loaded some at 5 grns will see how they do...
great thread as I am getting ready to start reloading for my xd-45 which is a bit of a different animal but will stay tuned to this thread to make sure I understand all the concerns. I have about 150 cases prepped and ready just looking for some good pistol powders as all I have is AA#7 and AA#9.
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