November 12, 2007

• Rating the Springfield XD-40

Posted in Gear and Strategies tagged at 10:16 pm by Rid

(Please read update near bottom)

Purchased the XD-40 about 2 months ago to companion my CCW. Ergonomically, the pistol fits me like a glove. When I qualified at the range for my CCW with this pistol, it was right out of the box. In a word…sweet!

The instructor (local police) loved it, along with a gent from the NRC. Both could not believe how accurate a 3 incher could be.

The sights are wonderful and at 25 yards, the groupings are impressive. I do find that after a hundred rounds, my shooting finger and thumb get a little numb from the “lively” recoil and vibration generated from each report. I swore I would never wear a shooting glove, but I may be forced to do so in order to get off 100 plus rounds, per session.

Re-acquiring the target during rapid fire is challenging and I have yet to get where I need to be. This is either user error or more likely the trade-off of having such a powerful weapon that weighs less than 21 oz’s.

Is that a pistol in your pocket, or are you just glade to see me: The empty plastic frame of the XD weighed 7.7 ounces, and the magazine 2.4 ounces more. The slide assembly made up the remainder, which was 1 pound for the slide, barrel, and springs. Add 12 rounds and the complete gun weighted 31.9 ounces, or nearly two pounds. This basically eliminates the weapon as a pocket pistol, unless you are wearing military type utility pants with large leg pockets. I found carrying it in a fanny pack or in the pocket of a photography vest works well for me.

I shot it in pouring rain, yesterday and was impressed. I noticed very little slippage in my hand and I continued to get nice groupings. As has been mentioned before, the 9 round magazine takes a little getting use to and leaves me searching for a place to put my pinky finger. But…I find the 12 round clip makes the pistol a little too heavy and large to carry concealed, even though it feels great inserted in the grip.

Here is the one area about the weapon that is driving me nuts: I keep having a re-occurring problem with failure to feeds. I estimate that bout 4% of my shots or 4 in 100 do not feed, forcing a re-rack.

I have been shooting Winchester 165 gr and Blazer 180 gr, all in the FMJ variety. The problem seems to happen on about the 6 or 7th round and only in slow fire – never rapid fire. I always use a healthy vice grip on the pistol, so limp wristing is not the problem. I have shot over 500 rounds through the pistol to date.

If the weather holds, I am going to over lube the slide and try one last time before I call Springfield.

I am going to rate it average until I can resolve the FTF issue.

Make: Springfield Country: USA
MSRP: $450-$550

Caliber: 9mm, .40 SW
Capacity: 9+1 or 12+1 rounds

Type: Sub-Compact
Weight: 20.5 oz (empty) Length: 6.26″ Barrel: 3.01″
Frame/Finishes:Polymer frame
Sights: Light rail, Dovetail front & rear (steel) 3-Dot


Update: Springfield XD-40

Recently I wrote of my experience with my XD-40 failing-to-feed. Subsequently, I called Springfield and they had offered to have my pistol sent in (on their dime) and they would make it right.

I decided to give the gun one last try and invited a friend of mine to the range and see if he could give me any pointers. And, by the way, I HIGHLY recommend even the most experienced pistolero having an experienced friend give them pointers.

On the very first shot, Ralph yelled, “HAULT!” What tha heck, I wasn’t even warmed up, yet! I pulled off my ear protection and he asked me where I learned my trigger reset? Trigger reset? What are you talking about, Ralph? Well…..Jar Head, you are letting your trigger finger “fly” forward after the shot. Well, I didn’t want to come across as a complete neophyte, so I safed the pistol, handed it to him and said “show me.”

Let the trigger come back, after the shot, just enough so that you feel a click…. Voilà, a trigger reset. Yea, I knew that……(right.)

I took the XD back and started hammering away at the target, with appropriate trigger resets. And right on queue, the seventh round failed to feed.

See Ralph, look what this darn thing is doing. Ralph gives me an evil eye I haven’t seen since my old Gunnery Sergeant used to contort 4 letter words in ways that made this country boys ears burn.

“Look at your left thumb!” I had frozen my hand position, rolled the pistol to the right and unbelievably, my left thumb had traveled so far up the frame of the pistol (apparently taking about 7 rounds to make the trip) that it was pushing the receiver lock lever and causing a self induced failure to feed. Case solved!

So, tomorrow I will call Springfield and proclaim my mea culpa. Let me be clear, I think this pistol suits my needs most favorably. Is it perfect? Certainly not, but then everything is a trade-off, isn’t it. Lastly, after about 1,000 rounds, I would consider this pistol to be very reliable. And while it is impossible to know for sure, I strongly suspect that 100% of my failure-to-feeds were self-induced.



  1. alfonse said,

    Great review! very helpful for a person in the market for the xd-40. Thanks!

  2. Rydell said,

    Thanks for the review. I was worried about the FTF from other reviews, however you refueled my pation for the xd..thanks again.

  3. Emil Dragovich Jr said,

    I picked my XD-40 about 1:30pm on monday the 14th, 2009 my son got a new glock 19-9mm, with-in the hour we went to a local range in Corona, Ca. I shot first, after firing just one round, I turned to look my son and said holly-shit, he said the same thing back (we could only read lips) I turned and fired the remaining rounds. what a pleasure it was to be able to hit where ever I pointed it, with such ease. My son took his turn with what I called a P_ssy gun, it did OK, but when he got to fire a clip of the XD-40, we both knew that Dad (me) got the right gun and that he starting saying he was going to give the glock to his new bride and get himself a XD-40. Years ago I owned a .357 single action and a shotgun, the 357 was fun, but the XD-40 is a very accurate weapon as far as I am concerned. Sad to say, I only brought with me was 1 box of 50, because when I filled the clip for the last time, I knew I did the right thing for buying the SpringField XD-40. The 2 boxes I left at home are already burning a hole in my pocket as for me to feed the need.

  4. Aaron said,

    I love my .40 XD sub-compact. I usually rotate between 2-3 smaller semi-autos for my concealed carry, and this weapon is my favorite!

  5. john said,

    I noticed the a failure to feed with my XD 40 subcompact, but I’ve only had it happen twice in 1000 rounds or so. My brother figured out it was the rounds in the clip being loaded hastily, where they were not all the way back against the clip. To solve this problem, after I load a magazine, I tap the loaded clip in my palm to make sure all the rounds are backed up all the way against the clip so they feed straight up into the chamber. If they are forward just a tiny bit — where they cannot be grabbed and loaded…. hope this helps:)

  6. Texas shooter said,

    Great review! I always respect someone who admits to mistakes and points them out to others; that’s the mark of a professional.

  7. Tim Smith said,

    I own a couple of XD-40s one for myself and one for my wife. We both love shooting them and have put around 1800 rounds through them. We use the 12 round clips and a side holster at the range but the guns are for home automobile protection since they are too large for us to carry concealed. Both guns have had no issues at all, no jams or lockups of any type. I would bet my life on their performance in a life threatening situation. I will say though that we have shot almost exclusively target rounds and they were full metal jacket factory loaded. I keep them loaded with a defensive hollow point round.

  8. mike Daniel said,

    The other issue with spring feeds,is the gun produces enough “kick” to feed the next round,however,if you weaken your hold enough,the round will stovepipe or FTF.This happens with a person who gets tired.Or is using too much gun for their hand or just plain doesn’t “hold the gun still enough”.When I first got my XD,I hadn’t shot in years,and I had this issue.I spoke to an older more experienced fella who explained this pistol is NOT gas fed{yes,I was THAT uneducated},but as we know uses the explosion to eject and along with the spring in the clip,re chamber the next round. He told me to think of it as an arc…the gun wants to spin around and my hand keeps it from doing so.If my hold is weak enough ;it won’t allow the mechanism to work as intended. BTW I really enjoyed you sharing your problem solving! I am game for another explanation as this is an ongoing learning process for me.

  9. the xd 40 is also known to have feed ramp issues. i am sending mine back to have them take a look. where is the next round when your gun is in the jammed position? for me, the rounds have been jamming against the feed ramp. lots of people say just to polish the ramp but this is a brand new pistol

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