Reasons To Retire Your Glock?

Reasons To Retire Your Glock?

Below is a post I wrote for Springfield Armory’s blog, “Armory Life” a few months ago. I’ve been a bit busy of late (all positive reasons) and writing has been at the bottom of the priorities list. As things start to settle back into a routine here I will be putting out more posts.

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I bought my first polymer-framed pistol (a Glock 17) in 1989. Between comparing the Glock’s 22 ounces in weight to my Browning Hi-Power’s 35 ounces, (the difference in capacity being 17 and 13 rounds, respectively) I figured the upgrade just made sense.

Fast forward 10 years and I’m looking to replace/upgrade from my full-sized 1911 in .45 ACP. I already had a Glock 30 as an “off duty” gun, so I figured I would get a pistol that would use the same full-sized mags interchangeably with a pistol I already owned.

I’ve had that Glock 21 for twenty years. Other than changing out the barrel for one that will shoot cast bullets and take a suppressor, I’ve been satisfied with it. That being said, the “suppressor-ready” XD-M .45 from Springfield Armory has made me reassess the Glock 21 I’ve had and recommended over the years.

The XD-M .45 Full-Size with Threaded Barrel is a great option for someone wanting a pistol ready to accept a suppressor right out of the box.

I normally tell people to try one of three pistol brands and models in 9mm or .45ACP if they are buying an automatic pistol. I recommend Glocks because I’ve owned them “forever”. I recommend S&W M&P’s because I’ve carried both their 9mm and .40S&W’s as “Duty Guns”. Finally, I recommend Springfield Armory XD’s because not only do I carry an XDs45 all the time, but when I bought my children pistols 11 years ago, I bought them both 5” XD 9mm’s. Did I also mention my Wife bought an 4” XD 9mm based on my recommendation (all three of them use the same mags)?

Why the Change?

Two things have become apparent to me when recommending a pistol to the average person. First, most people like the more vertical grip angle of pistols like the 1911, XD and XD-M. Second, most people don’t like the grip size of the Glock 21 .45 ACP pistol because they’re larger than a typical semi-auto pistol.

Even with the largest grip insert (there are three included with the pistol) in place on the XD-M .45, its diameter feels obviously smaller than a G21. I have very large hands, so it’s not a big issue for me. However, this can be a big deal for the new shooter who is just getting used to their new gun. Being comfortable with your gun’s grip is important.

The pistol has great features like suppressor-height sights and packs in 13+1 rounds of .45 ACP.

Down to the Details

Do I think a grip safety is important/necessary on an automatic pistol? No. Do I think it’s a “nice to have,” especially if it’s being used by a new shooter? Definitely! Teaching a person how to properly shoot a pistol with a grip safety is easier than teaching how to properly use a slide release.

How about the mag release? Being a lefty, I appreciate when a company makes their product ambidextrous. Although I think it’s important to teach someone how to manipulate the controls of right-handed weapons, I like that they’ve given the customer options with the XD series.

There are more advantages to the XD-M .45. When I first taught my kids how to use and shoot their XDs, I taught them how to determine the status of their pistols in the dark. The firing pin/striker protrudes out the back of the slide when cocked, and a loaded chamber indicator sticks out of the top of the slide when a round is in the chamber. This is an excellent safety feature I wish other brands of pistols had.

And finally, this XD-M is set up right from the factory for suppressor use. Not only does Springfield give you a threaded barrel, but they give you tall suppressor sights for a complete suppressor-ready package.

I was really impressed with the performance of the XD-M on the range.

Hands On

Putting the XD-M .45 through its paces, I ran it through the standard ICE Qualification Course I usually shoot with a 9mm M&P. The Springfield breezed through it with flying colors. The three rounds from the draw in two seconds was no problem, and the pistol was easily controllable. Beyond that course of fire, accuracy at 25 meters was excellent with the Federal ammo I had on hand.

The pistol shot great with a wide range of Federal ammunition I had on hand.

Conclusion

A good, reliable full-sized pistol is something I think every adult should own. If you’re a new shooter and interested in going the .45 ACP route, give the XD-M .45 series of pistols a serious look. Compared to the Glock 21, it has a smaller grip and doesn’t have the “Luger” angle many shooters don’t like. It has the same magazine capacity at 13 rounds, and if you’re planning on getting a suppressor, the XD-M .45 is set up for one right out of the box. Sounds like a winner to me.

JCD

"Parata Vivere"-Live Prepared.
“Adapting To Survive”: Firearms-Part 1, The .308 Winchester to .32ACP Cartridge Adapter

“Adapting To Survive”: Firearms-Part 1, The .308 Winchester to .32ACP Cartridge Adapter

As you’ll see in the post, one of the reasons I’ve picked my 11″Para FAL as my “Survival Rifle” is how well it does with the .32ACP adapter used for small game.

I have been fascinated by cartridge adapters since I read an article about the .22LR to .223Rem adapter when I was a kid. The idea that you could have a full powered firearm, and be able to use a less powerful round for taking small game or practice with, just made sense for this aspiring Survivalist.

Fast forward about seven years and I had acquired two Harry Owens .32ACP-.308Win. adapters for my HK91 and used them….A LOT! The main problem with those adapters was that at 25 yards, your hold over was about 6-7 inches. I had a Springfield Armory 6x scope with a BDC reticle, and had to hold at the 700 meter hash mark. The HK91 had a 17.7 inch barrel, and I never checked the velocity of the .32ACP out of that rifle, but I did take plenty of squirrel and grouse with that combo.

Using a scope with a Bullet Drop Compensating (BDC) reticle can be helpful with accurately aiming your weapon while shooting adapter loaded rounds.

Although I’ve had .32ACP adapters from various venders over the years (I gave the Harry Owen’s adapters with the HK to the guy I traded it to), last year, I decided I wanted to try them out of the 11″ FAL I acquired a few years ago. HOLY COW! Not only did those adapters shoot “Point of Aim/Point of Impact” for the /308Win zero, but when I put them on the chrony, they clocked in at 1115fps.

.32ACP in Feet Per Second out of the 11″ DSA FAL (Left), 16″ SAI Socom (Center) and the 2.68″ Keltec P32 (Right).

I had been told normal pistol velocities for a .32ACP (3-4″ barrel) were around 900fps, so this was a big step up in velocity, and at that point, I realized I might be on to something. First I checked the velocity of the .32ACP load (S&B 73gr ball) out of a pistol (Keltec P32) and it measure 695fps. Next, I checked it out of my 16″ Socom and it measured 988fps and shot 6 inches low at 25 meters. Finally, I put together a ballistics chart comparing that 73gr. 1115fps projectile to a common .22LR round out of a rifle. Below are my findings.

Out to 150 yards, the .32ACP load out of the 11″ FAL is dead even with a .22LR out of a rifle.

While the .32ACP shoots accurately out of 16″ and 18″ barrels, it shoots best out of shorter barrels like that of the 11″ FAL. Below shows the 3 shot group of the 16″ Socom. 2 shots were in 3/4″ and the third made the group 1.5″. This was at 25 meters, and it’s still small enough for small game.

The aim point at 25 meters was the top green dot. Group was shot with older adapters bought from Sarco.

With the 11″ FAL, group size with the Sarco adapters was around 1 1/2″. I found a company in Anchorage, Alaska that’s been making adapters for a long time. I contacted Ace Dube at MCA Sports Ace Bullet Company (his Face Book link) and ordered two of his .32ACP-.308Win adapters.

I spoke with him about the adapters I already had, and he had advised that they were what was left of his competition’s stock that was sold off after his death. He said a lot of them had not been spec checked before they were sold and were sold “as is”. I know after using his adapters, they are easier to get the brass out after firing than the ones from Sarco and Sportsman’s Guide are. They also are more accurate, as the pic below shows a three shot into a 1/2″ group.

Here’s the bottom line for me when it comes to something like cartridge adapters. First, they give you the ability to accurately shoot small game with the same weapon you are already carrying. Second, in the case of the .32ACP adapter, it is not only a centerfire, reloadable case, but it can be reloaded with a cast lead bullet you can make yourself. Third is compactness. In the case of these adapters along with my FAL, I can carry two adapters and a few .32ACP rounds in the pistol grip storage compartment.

I plan on doing more in the “Adapting To Survive” series where I will discuss several types of adapters I’ve used over the years.

JCD

"Parata Vivere"-Live Prepared.

 

 

XD-S, A FIST FULL OF HARDBALL

XD-S, A FIST FULL OF HARDBALL

Here’s a post I originally wrote for Springfield Armory’s “Armory Life” blog.

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Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been fascinated with small pistols. Whether it was a .45 caliber cap and ball “Philadelphia Derringer,” a two-shot cartridge firing over/under Remington .41 caliber rimfire, or a semi auto AMT Backup in .45ACP. I’ve always thought compact guns, whether pistol or rifle, were practical firearms to own. As long as you stay within the practical and realistic expectations placed on the chosen firearm, you are good to go.

I’ve owned an AMT Backup .45 for about 20 years. I owned a Star Firestar in 9mm for years before that, and I still have a Keltec PF-9, 9mm. These days my Springfield Armory XD-S 45 (the original) is my go to. I have found my XD-S 45 to be accurate, very compact, and easy to control.

Springfield Armory Inc. recently sent me a “Mod.2” XD-S 45 to try out and I must say, all the improvements that were made were favorable. Let’s discuss some of those improvements.

The Grip

The first and most visibly noticeable modification / improvement is the grip texturing. Although I have no problem with the texture of the original XD-S I already own, I like the smoother and more refined Mod.2 grip texture better than the original. Along with the grip texture, is the extended beavertail above the web of the firing hand which, incidentally, places your grip higher in relation to the bore’s axis, and thus improves control of the pistol.

The Sights

The XD-S Mod.2 is now available with a “Pro-Glo” tritium front sight from Ameriglo. Although I like the fiber optic on my original XD-S, a tritium front sight is a great option to have on a factory pistol. Couple this with the “One-handed, Rackable” steel rear sight (a squared off shelf meant to catch on a belt or other hard edged surface), it is a great improvement over the original.

Shooting Impressions

I will say that, for me, the Mod.2 shot and performed no better than my original XD-S (which does really well). At 10 meters the photo shows my typical grouping when I’m “takin’ my time in a hurry” with both my original and the newer Mod.2 XD-S 45. The difference in the lower bore position is slightly noticeable, but regardless, I do like the slightly extended beavertail grip. Also, the bright yellow outline of the tritium front sight stands out in all but the brightest shooting light.

Comparing either original or Mod.2 XD-S 45’s to my old AMT Backup 45 is pointless. The AMT was the “Compact .45ACP” of its day, but performance wise it is left in the dust by either the original or Mod.2 Springfield Armory XD-S 45.

Accessories

Hard worn original XD-S with shoulder holster

I have always been a fan of shoulder holsters and I’ve been using them for over 30 years. When it came time to get a holster for my XD-S 45, I went with the Galco Classic Lite system which I have used for a number of other compact pistols. I believe it’s one of the best shoulder rigs around for concealment of a subcompact pistol.

XD-S Mod.2 top left, XD-S original top right, AMT Backup bottom for reference

Another accessory that is a “no brainer” for an automatic pistol is extra magazines. Although the XD-S 45 comes with a five and a six round mag, I not only purchased extra five and six rounders, I purchased some SA seven rounders as well. They come with a sleeve for both the original and the Mod.2 pistol grip and both the six and seven rounders will fit in the offside mag pouch of the Galco shoulder rig.

The Ammo

The “food” you feed your defensive firearm is critical to its performance and lethality. Although one of the reasons I like the .45ACP is that it’s already almost a half -inch in diameter, it doesn’t hurt to give yourself every edge. The performance of the Federal Hydra-shok  has been proven to be phenomenal for self -defense in a wide range of calibers (210 gr .45ACP here), so there’s not much to say other than it is one of the more accurate loads out of both the XD-S 45 original and Mod.2.

The 205 grain “Syntech Defense” and the 230 grain “Syntech” ball ammo from Federal both performed well and give some shooters more options when using their pistol on the range. Just like the original XD-S and Mod.2, I would carry the 205gr. Syntech and the 210gr. Hydra-shok for defense without reservation.

Conclusions

Springfield Armory continues to improve their lineup. Whether it’s improving what they already have in production, or adding new types and models of firearms, they continue a manufacturing standard by which the industry is compared to.

JCD

“Parata Vivere” – Live Prepared