What follows are general learnings from me, and the information that lead me to love the XDs (NOT the XDMs, though there is nothing wrong with them either). Also when I refer to XDs, I mean many XDs, not the XDS pistol, I count that as a sub-compact XDm.
People were posting there guns firing from Dry-Ice bathes, and extreme heat, XD was doing it first..
It is a personal opinion that I prefer Springfield XDs (HS2000) for protection. I love 1911s, Glocks, and most of the H&K pistols. What follows is simply my personal logic that leads me to love the XD for combat. This is simply my cannon of compiled information and personal opinions. In the real world, bad guns are much rarer than good ones. Further, there are only a handful of innovations in handguns that really matter. Of those innovations, most of them are over a hundred years old. It's the guns with the innovations you want, executed in the best way, that you look for. For example, I find roller lock-up (pistol), and falling block mechanisms faulty. They wear in funny ways, they put stress in bad areas, they are harder to machine, overly complex, etc. America used to use the best tool for the job, no longer. For all the lovers of the Beretta, sorry I just don't get it. So says the internet the Special Ops and contracting community still gets to pick what they carry into battle for the most part. Delta force carries Glocks (.40) and 1911s (.45 ACP), SEALS carry Sig 226s (9mm) and H&K MK-23s (.45 ACP). These guns represent a handful of features that are needed for a particular job. Down the page I may compare firearms of very little combat value to make a point, that does not mean they were in the running to replace my defense handgun. ...No hate mail please, I'm no "operator" I'm a shooter, this is a page of my personal opinions from the facts as I have learned them, for entertainment only.
Features in a combat handgun (to me):
There are great arguments for what caliber to carry. For the lower energy combat cartridges today, they are starting to produce great ballistics. However, when the ballistics weren't there, the proponents of the underpowered cartridges would rely on the fact that there gun's capacity was greater. This is a major point, in some cases the capacity could be doubled! Again it may sound like I'm picking on the 1911 here but I'm not. I love the grip of a single stack 1911, in fact it is the best feeling gun in my hands. Combat guns are not designed to be comfortable, they are designed to be effective weapons. A double stack magazine, nearly doubles the capacity for the same length. That makes it a must. There is also some argument that the double stack creates a gear mechanism, for lack of a better description, that makes the rounds rotate as they are fed up, increasing reliability in dirty magazines.
There must be reasons to have manual safeties on guns these days. I don't really have any myself. In fact they are a detraction. I believe that in current handgun designs, if they are well engineered and made, they will not fire if you keep your finger and foreign material out of the trigger guard. That being said, machines fail, manual safety or intrinsic safety; so always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction if possible. period. Treat it like a loaded gun! Manual safeties slow me down, and put my shooting hand, where it doesn't need to be on the grip. Further, the execution of some of the safeties these days are RIDICULOUS. the H&K USPs and especially the ill-designed FN-FNX (Tactical) have one lever for safe/fire/de-cock. It's just that order too! Top is Safe, middle is Fire, bottom position is De-cock! An alarm should go off here. If you need to go from Safe to Fire in a hurry, you will de-cock the gun! So why were you carrying it cocked in the first place if you are nearly guarantied to have to fire it from double-action when your adrenaline is up? Take this as a fact. There are days when I've taken sport bikes to drag strips and had "intense moments" I have always quickly collected myself but getting the bike into neutral (a half click between 1st and 2nd gear) is nearly impossible because of my loss of acute motor stills, and nobody is shooting at me. So for a combat gun, training makes you safe, not manual safeties.
It is important that a firearm does not shoot unless you tell it to. It is equally important that it shoots when you DO tell it to. A gun should be able to be dropped, kicked, punched, even partially smashed and not fire a round. In modern firearms, striker or hammer fired, there is usually a firing pin / striker block that must be moved out of the way for the pin (or striker) to engage the primer. This can add to the trigger pull so some companies leave this feature out. For instance Ruger sells a 1911 with a titanium firing pin. The idea being, that there is not enough inertia from the lower mass of a titanium firing pin to strike the primer (from whatever drop test Ruger did). I would rather have a mechanical interlock preventing the striker or firing pin from engaging the primer. I consider a back-strap safety to be automatic because my hand is going there anyway. I don't mind the 1911 or XD back-strap safety either. I believed it has actually saved me from my firearm infancy once. I stupidly through a gun in my pack for a day trip, and did not check the pocket first. My keys were in that pocket and went through the trigger guard. When I yanked the keys out the gun came with them! Stupid, I know, and it will not happen again. Thanks, back-strap safety.
I won't talk about simplicity or reliability here, only function. A hammered design can have the most crisp, quickest trigger, period, and that is very important making good hits. In a double action design, a hammer fired gun has the ability to re-strike the same primer as well. So, for a combat gun I should examine how this gun will be used. It will always be in a ready state so that means cocked and locked or de-cocked and unlocked. From the arguments above, I will not carry it cocked and locked, but de-cocked. De-cocked the pull is generally much longer and harder than a striker fired variant. Thus I want a striker fired sidearm. Let's say I go nuts and start carrying a hammer fired pistol unlocked. My first shot will be great, however because the bore axis is higher in the hand (to make room for the mechanics involved in hammer fired weapons) the muzzle will flip to a greater extent than a striker fired sidearm. This means my follow up shots will be slower. I would rather have a lower bore axis, striker fired, handgun.
The Glock (or Sigmas) for instance cocks the striker about around 30 percent by the action of the slide. This leaves the last 70 percent to the action of the trigger. What this equates to is that you can either have a long trigger pull, or a heavy trigger. You cannot escape physics. However you can work with physics in different ways. The XD (S&W M&P, H&K VP, etc.) lock the striker back to around 90 percent of its travel. This leaves only around ten percent of the remaining work to charge the striker, to be done by the trigger. This (can) equate(s) to a better trigger pull. Is this going to be as good as a geometry or system that simply releases the fully charged trigger (CZ, 1911)? No. However the reliability and lower bore axis are worth the trade.
As a side note; because of the XD's trigger geometry, A Springfield Armory serviced trigger-job can completely take the rearward movement out of the striker by way of the trigger movement. That is, they can machine the sear so that it fully cocks the striker with the cycling of the slide. Thus the sear has no part in the cocking action, it merely gets out of the way when it is time to release the striker. Because the striker spring is tensioned against the slide, and the slide is tensioned against the frame by way of the recoil spring, the striker spring and the recoil spring are working against each other. In other words, the more tension you put on the striker, the less tension you have for barrel lock-up. This leads me to believe that an XD trigger job, can actually not only make it easier to get good hits, but in fact contribute a small part to the physical accuracy of the firearm. I only have one issue with the last XD trigger job I saw from Springfield; they used a plastic trigger instead of the stock metal one. I know they can use the metal ones, just seems like they might be cutting a corner. I'm sure if you ask them, they will use the stock trigger with their trigger job though.
This lock-up design requires less manufacturing processes than a link design, and it's easy to make accurate. It has the most "beef" where it may fail, it functions in adverse conditions and, it is simple! Because of how this mechanism relies on the spring (that can be said about some other lock-ups as well) there is plenty of room for wear, and it will still provide a tight lock-up. There are funny things that effect the "timing" of a firearm, and I am not qualified to discuss the nuances of any of them. Suffice to say however that the geometry in this type of lock-up, provides a very simple means of controlling such timing, tailored to the intentions of the firearm. Before Geometry, there are types of actions that may be employed to extract and eject a cartridge and load a new one.
There are many types, not including the wild-cards:
Blow-back (Where the cartridge acts as a rocket and pushes the mechanics of the firearm into the charging process before (as) the cartridge is ejected. In effect, the cartridge IS the piston).
Recoil or Long Recoil (Where the barrel pushes the bolt (or bolt carrier, or slide) fully to it's extent, then returns to it's position faster than the bolt. This creates a breach and a new round is fed. In a pistol the cartridge expands to create a seal between the case and the chamber of the barrel. This then drives the entire barrel back a short amount).
Short Recoil (Where the barrel pushes the slide (or bolt, or bolt carrier) for only a short distance, but imparts enough energy in that short pulse to fully actuate the slide).
Gas Assisted Blow-back (The Magnum Research Micro Eagle (among others) employs this type of action. There is a gas port, however it actually delays the blow-back to allow time for the projectile to escape the barrel).
Gas Piston Long/Short (Uses a Pistol system nearly the same as what could be found in a car. The Long piston system is where the piston will follow the bolt/slide/carrier to its full actuation such as the case with the AK-47 (long), Desert Eagle (long), etc. The Short piston system sends just a pulse of energy into the bolt/slide/carrier then returns. However it imparts enough energy to actuate the mechanism without fully following it. There are AR15 conversions (short) for this type of action, SKSs and M1s also employ this type of action).
Gas Impingement (Where the gases are siphoned off the barrel and act directly on the slide/bolt/carrier. The AR15/M16 is generally put in this category, however it actually does have a piston system, specifically a short piston system within the bolt carrier assembly itself).
Lower powered cartridges such as those of pistols have to luxury of not having to deal with extreme pressures and velocities of their rifle cousins. This means the simpler ways of actuation can be employed with great delay effect (for accuracy and better control) and be more reliable as well, with fewer moving parts; these are typically Blow-back, or Recoil operated.
Some times manufacturers ask you to rate numerically what is most important to you about their products (workmanship, customer service, etc.). I can never put my first three in order of importance because to me they are all equally important. You can usually live with only two, but I look for three things in a non-beater firearm. My three, of equal priority, are materials, engineering, and tolerances.
Modern materials can do amazing things in a well designed firearm. Having said that, just because a material is "high tech" doesn't mean that it's necessarily better for a particular component than what came before it. The hand-guards of an AR come to mind as an example. The old Bakelite phenolic hand-guards are probably the best for not letting heat get to your hands, with probably the Magpuls a close second. They don't weight a lot, they do weight more than carbon fiber and some of the aluminum hand-guards though. The problem is the new materials GET HOT! I don't want to get into a hand guard argument, and I'm not saying any hand-guards are better than any others. I also understand what kind of shooting it takes to get hand-guards REALLY hot. The point is, good material selection is important. I had a Kel-Tec that would rust in your pocket after a day of mowing the lawn in the sun. That's bad material selection for a gun that's supposedly engineered to fit in your pocket. Some other good examples are in 1911s. The stainless steel in most firearms is subject to galling. Colt fixed this in their 1911s by changing the makeup of the stainless alloy they use. The barrels of ARs may be made of many different types of materials. The target guys tend to use 416R, with it's cheaper cousin 416. The high wear caused by high twist rates and high rates of fire, or shooting at very low temperatures do better with a chrome lined barrel of 4150cm or 4150cmv. Economy, lower twist, non automatic ARs can get by with 4140. H&K will not give out the alloy of their barrels, nor does Glock. Upon a phone conversation with an engineer from Springfield, I was told that the XD barrels are machined from the DIN (they are made in Croatia) equivalent of 4140. 4140 is just fine for the low velocity, typically high diameter, low twist of pistol barrels. However, there are many aftermarket barrels from 416, 416R, and 4140 steel. Fred Kart of Kart Barrels makes 4150 steel barrels for the 1911s.
There was a roomer that the predecessors for the XD series of pistols (before the HS) used plastic guides for the slide. I do not know of the validity of this claim; the point is, this pistol works in unison with itself. I have stated before that I love Glocks, 1911s, XDms, and many of the odd ball guns out there. The XD however does what these guns do in combat, better. Hang on. It's just one guys opinion. The XD trigger blows the Glock away right out, and can be modified to be GREAT! Further, as compared to a Glock, the XD is engineered to use the locking block as a slide stop for the last rearward movement of the slide. The Glock coil-binds as a slide stop. This is not good, as the gun, reliable as it is will fail to an absolute stop. Where the XD will gradually wear the recoil spring until the pistol stops extracting every round (but still functions).
As a side note if your XD starts to have failure to extracts, check the recoil spring first.
The XD Tactical absorbs the last of the slide movement near the center of the slide against the locking block (a very substantial locking block). The Glock takes this force on the thin front face of the slide (and this is where the slide of a Glock will typically fail). At no point can a feeding cartridge fall out of an XD45 Tactical. Upside down, in slow motion, whatever. The XD fully controls the round feeding. The XDms and the Smith and Wesson M&Ps do the same thing an XD does, except they use way more parts than were needed. Further, they are chocked full of "features" that hinder the true gunfighter. Features such as magazine safeties, and automatic take-down decockers do not belong in combat guns. Throughout the Springfield XD there are design features that make dual use of parts that had to be there anyway. For instance, the Slide release spring is also the take-down lever spring. The take-down level itself is milled in such a design as to assist moving the take-down spring out of the way when re-assembling.
The striker spring cup in the XD (M&P and Glock as well) is also what retains the the slide end-piece that holds the whole slide assembly together. A 1911 does this in a similar way however it uses the actual firing pin, this can release the back-plate with high-test loads. This is very problematic on the Desert Eagles.
There is not one screw on an XD, there is only one on a Glock. "Complicated" ultimately does not matter if the system works. For instance there are military armorers on the web that report over a million rounds through some 1911 G.I. lowers (overall longevity, not reliability).
As mentioned earlier, the FN FNX is a horrible design with complicated engineering for no reason. However, it was made with good materials and very good tolerances. There is a difference between good production tolerances and good design tolerances though. The idea is this: You want a design that can work great with the sloppiest fit you can engineer (AK-47), but you want it produced to the highest accuracy possible (Spikes Tactical, Noveski, STI, Ed Brown, etc.).
For the best trigger break you cannot beat a 1911 (or even a finely tuned CZ, or other race-guns) if you're not shooting an air gun. A great trigger is crucial for first shot speed and accuracy, but there is a problem. For me personally I do not want to carry a 1911 cocked and unlocked for obvious reasons. Further, I do not want to mess with a lock on my draw (I know it can be done, it just cannot be done by me without drawing my own blood). My only option then, is to carry a double action variant with the hammer down. Most of the time, this is far worse than any striker fired gun you could be carrying. I only use 1911s as an example here because they have the best feeling, cleanest braking triggers, or are at least capable of having them (In my experience). I love 1911s and enjoy shooting them, they are a great way to help obtain the zen of shooting they are not my first choice for a combat gun, even though they were born from war! My point here is that this is a detraction from the hammer fired design for modern combat and tactics.
Because of the higher bore axis relative to the primary hand gripping the gun, the geometry is such that there is generally more muzzle flip with hammer fired handguns than with striker fired ones. This equates to faster follow up shots with striker fired guns.
There is also another "tactical" advantage to striker-fired guns; the quick correction of failure-to-return-to-battery malfunctions. A failure to return to battery malfunction is where the slide fully actuates back, but runs into some error on the forward return motion and stops short of fully returning to the closed/loaded chamber state. The beauty of a striker-fired gun is that you can simply smack the back of the slide to force it into battery. In a hammer-fired gun, the cocked hammer is in the way of the rear of the slide. It can be done, but add another millisecond, and they add up when you're fighting someone else that knows as much as you do.
There is another misconception that holding the slide (not talking revolvers here) while firing, will blow the fingers off your hand. This is not the case, if you don't get a good grip, it can definitely cut or scratch your fingers/hand (and be careful that your hand doesn't go in front of the barrel) but there is just not that much energy there. If you do grip the slide of a would-be attacker you can prevent the next round from cycling (any semi-auto)(and get out of the way of their barrel). Further, with a modern semi-auto handgun, if pressed into something (face, wall, etc.) if you press the slide just a tenth of an inch or so back, the gun will not fire (a safety feature, because it is now out of battery). With a striker fired pistol, you can put your thumb on the back of the slide to assure it is in battery to fire. It will be a forceful thump on your thumb (or support-hand palm) and the firearm will not cycle, but it will fire!
The polygonal barrel may have some real pluses. They are supposed to last longer. This makes sense to me, as there are less sharp edges to wear. They are supposed to create a better gas seal around the projectile thus increasing velocity. However, I do not know if this is the case in the real world. Below in the velocity section, there is a link for the actual numbers. With some loads, conventional rifling actually produces a faster shot. This make me wonder if the slight velocity increases are because of an increase in pressure (as well as a better gas seal). In truth it's probably a better choice for hard and frequent use in a barrel. Glocks, Kahrs, H&Ks, and Desert Eagles maintain polygonal rifling.
Ballistics by the inch a wonderful site, shows me that there is not much of a difference in velocity, perhaps polygonal rifling has a velocity advantage at shorter barrel lengths. This may be caused by a slight pressure increase, causing the powders to burn faster. I do not know though. I do know that by their research, there is a negligible difference in velocity.
Glock tells us not to shoot lead bullets (non-jacketed) through their barrels. I have asked H&K about their polygonal barrels and they replied to me that it is fine to shoot lead through their barrels as long as you clean at regular intervals. Reason being they are afraid of lead buildup in the chamber (not necessarily the rifling) THEN jacketed bullets being run through after the lead and causing pressure spikes. By the way, they also told me that contrary to popular belief, Mark 23's do not have chrome lined bores. I have shot lead through Glocks, and Desert Eagles (which also have a gas port) with no problems AT ALL. So in short, I'm sure Glock has a reason they tell people not to shoot lead through their barrels, but I do not know what it is. Perhaps it's because all my lead rounds are relatively hard. The XDs however, eat lead all day long and LOVE IT. In fact, they will eat just about anything, except certain wad/semi-wad cutters. They are in fact, conventionally rifled.
There is no real gauge for supported and unsupported chambers, however to protect against ruptured cases you generally want the case to be supported as far back into the case web as the design will allow. Glocks are famous for relatively loose chamber dimensions (good tolerances but loose by design) this is so they will eat anything in any condition, and they do! Sometimes though, instead of finding a better answer to a question, you need to ask a better question. The XD design feeds just as well (in my limited, but somewhat substantial experience) but does it with a tighter, more supported chamber. Having said this, I have since installed a semi-drop-in BarSto barrel that has a much tighter chamber for accuracy and it feeds just fine too, although I haven't dropped it in the mud yet.
Gun manufacturers do funny things when it comes to ambidextrous controls. The FNX comes to mind again. They provide an "ambi" slide-release. however it only mechanically locks the slide on one side and the release lever is too weak to actuate the lock when an empty magazine is in the gun and the opposite side of the release lever is depressed. Bad engineering. The Desert Eagle has an ambidextrous safety, but nothing else is ambi. There are many pistols with ambidextrous magazine releases but not slide releases, XDs are guilty of this. The fact is, when shooting left-handed, actuating the slide release with the (right) support hand after the magazine is fully in battery works just as fast. Further, actuating the magazine release with the trigger finger, in my opinion, is how it should be done by everyone. This is because when you hit the mag release (H&Ks excepted) on most pistols with your thumb, it places your hand in a funny position on the gun. When using the trigger finger, it's out of the trigger guard (where it should be), and your hand can stay in the same place as your shooting hold.
On one trip to Academi (formerly BlackWater) I saw a lot of Glocks, some Sigs, and a 1911 or two; all functioned in the cold, windy, rainy, 2500 round, week of heavy use just fine, with the exception of extraction and feeding problems of a 1911 (bad magazine was the culprit for the feeding issues, pistol did need extractor work however) and a loose front Glock site. Further the instructors, who put a lot of rounds through there company provided Glocks, fire (in training) cheap Korean coated steel cased ammunition, everyday, all day long. It is safe to say that steel (or aluminum) cased ammo will not hurt your firearm. This makes since, as it is softer metal that the barrel or slide of your combat gun. The internet tells a cautionary tell of leaving a round of coated steel cased ammo in the chamber of a hot gun. The idea is that the hot barrel melts the coating then cools, searing the cartridge into the chamber. A squib rod can easily fix the issue however. Over the week, my personal XD experienced (unavoidably) dirt in the chamber and magazines, rain boiling on the barrel as it hit it, and a wet barrel overnight that still had trapped water in it in the morning. The XD functioned as well as any other combat sidearm out there, with not a stitch of rust I might add (Melonite, A.K.A. Tenifer is a great treatment). At the time of this writing there are probably around 30k rounds through the XD used at Academi. This includes 100 plus .45 Super (with a stronger recoil spring) and countless +p loads. The only items replaced on it are hop-ups.
The M&P is a great gun with a great trigger, and I love them. There's just too many pieces that do the same thing as a Glock or an XD. I could live forever with the M&P though. Great gun.
The Magazines don't last long with XDs. They could probably stand to be made of a stronger material, however the geometry of the feed lips is to blame. This design (the XD) feeds the bullets at an angle that when the extracting cartridge is pulled back, it hits the top of the case mouth of the cartridge waiting to be feed. that cartridge then hits the back of the magazine. After around five thousand rounds the magazines are deformed on the back to the point that they will not drop free. You can put them in a vise to reform them, but you only have a limited amount of times you can do that before you fatigue the metal. I don't know about other designs but I know that the OAL of the cartridges produced for the XD are limited to the feed-ability of the magazines. For instance the rounds that get closest to the rifling (In a re-loaders quest for accuracy) are hollow points (Hornady HAP, etc.). At around 1.690" and lower they start to feed in my magazines, reliably. As a side note, rounds this long will feed and fire but a failure-to-fire will not successfully eject. It gets caught in the slide. You must further shorten the round to successfully eject a non-spent cartridge. This is fine for competition and target, but you should create a load that will eject an unspent cartridge reliably if you are going to trust your life with it. With X-treme (plated RN) I can get reliable lengths of 1.281"!
It should also be noted that a glock 21 magazine will feed cartridges too long to eject if unfired as well. However, the G21 magazine will not feed rounds as long (OAL) as the XD can. For instance the 1.281" X-treme 230gr RN loads I make for the XD will not feed from a G21 Mag.
More on the magazines... Sometimes the lips will get bent upwards; this deformation will put the last round in the magazine too high, after the second to last round is fired, the magazine will lock back with one round still left in the magazine. When the lips are bent up (happens to magazines with a high round count on them, maybe 1500 rounds) the last bullet sits high enough to allow the magazine follower to prematurly make contact with the slide stop. To fix this quickly in the field, take the mag in your fist and find a hard surface, make sure you have the original angle of the lips flush with the surface, and give the mag a firm knock to push the lips back in. Don't bend them too much or you will run into other problems. This is also a sign that you will need to replace that mag soon. (at least the body of that mag)
Another personal gripe, not a problem by any means however: there is too much artwork, names, different fonts, etc. on the slide of the XD's. Don't even get me started on the XDms. This is a combat tool, not a toy. Have some respect for yourself XD! All I want to see on the side of my gun is the caliber, if that.
People are obsessed with making sure there firearm will do stuff, they will absolutely never do. Shooting underwater is one of them. Use a knife, your range is a foot with a .45. However I thought it would be a neat idea to modify the Springfield XD to shoot underwater now that Glock sells maritime spring cups for their pistols. First, you need a heavier recoil spring (Wolff springs, link below) The same one you use to shoot .45 Super works fine, and you'll need Wolff's guide-rod as well. Next, you need to make sure you have the standard wight striker spring installed, no after market lighter springs (I don't use them anyway, you can get a spectacular trigger without lightening this spring). Finally, you need to drill out the striker debris hole. You will need a carbide drill bit and a cheap vise to hold the slide at 45 degrees but a regular drill press will work just fine. You need to make sure the hole is just a couple of millimeter back from the original hole, if you go too big you just destroyed your slide. It does not effect reliability (in my experience with this mod, however I'm the only one I know of that has done it). Congratulations, you are now able to shoot your XD relatively reliably underwater. That being said, don't do it. I'm not responsible for your dumbness.
Here is an image of the enlarged striker debris hole
Here is a video of the XD firing underwater:
Please excuse the crappy camera angles/movements/etc. I was busy wiping my iPhone off!
What is the XD? It's:1911 Grip Geometry
If you're an ambi-shooter, you will notice that the StreamLight weapon lights are only "momentary" for right hand dominant shooting. The light will just stay on for left hand dominant, two handed shooting. I fixed this by taking the notch out of the switch actuator completely. Now it is momentary for both handed shooting.
You need a very small punch, to remove the battery cover from the light assembly. Then you can take the hex bolt out with a 1/16 allen-key. You may then carefully pry the battery terminal plate REMEMBER IT'S ORIENTATION from the cover assembly. This will give you access to the switch actuator. It's hard to tell in the "before" picture but there is a notch that locks the light in the on position when the switch is turned in the clock0-wise direction. I simply drimeled that notch off. Be careful!
To reassemble, just pop in the actuator, snap the termanal plate back in (in the correct orientation), Loc-Tite the screw and reassemble on the weapon light! Ambi!
I have recently had an XD PVD treated. The finish is incredibly hard. This does not mean that it will always adhere to the surface however. The fact is, melonited surfaces are extremely hard so wear will never be an issue on an XD, nor will rust because melonite is rust resistant as well. The IonBond finish does look good, but because they must bead blast the surface for the coating to adhere to, you actually increase friction on mating components. Your money can be better spent in my opinion, and I have heard great things about the Robar NP3 treatments. When stuff like your slide finally fails (probably after 300,000 rounds) on an XD, it will most likely be a crack, not friction induced wear. For my money, I'm sticking with the Melonite (XDs standard finish) my next XD.