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First time out with XDm Compact 3.8" 9mm. Feedback encouraged

This is a discussion on First time out with XDm Compact 3.8" 9mm. Feedback encouraged within the SA-XD/XD(M) Range Reports forums, part of the Information category; I purchased a new XDm Compact 3.8" 9mm this weekend and took it to the range yesterday for a little break-in. I started off well ...

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Old 08-29-2011, 12:15 PM   #1
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First time out with XDm Compact 3.8" 9mm. Feedback encouraged

I purchased a new XDm Compact 3.8" 9mm this weekend and took it to the range yesterday for a little break-in. I started off well with a 1" 5-shot group at 7 yds, but accuracy quickly dropped off after that. I'm sure the drop off was due to the shooter, not the gun.
First time out with XDm Compact 3.8" 9mm.  Feedback encouraged-5-shots.jpg

I shot 100 rounds at 7 yds and 100 rounds at 15 yds. At 7 yds I could hold a 3-inch group fairly well, with a couple fliers. At 15 yds, I held about a 6-inch group, which is far below my expectations. I'm a pretty new shooter, and after the first 30 rounds or so my hands got shaky for the rest of the session.

I have mixed feelings about the gun. The gun performed well and I didn't have any jams or fails; however, I have a few issues with the grip, weight, and trigger, and I could use any tips you can provide.

First, the grip feels a little narrow for my hands. I have the medium backstrap installed, and once I wrap my right hand around the grip, there isn't much grip left exposed for the meaty part of my left thumb. After shooting a string of 10-15 rounds, I'd notice that I was supporting the gun almost entirely with my right hand, and my left hand was basically just there to have some place to put it. I'll try the large backstrap (I'm disappointed it didn't come with the tools to switch them out), and see if it helps. If not, does anyone have any suggestions for adjusting my grip or accessories to make the grip fatter?

Second, it was really hot yesterday, and I was shooting in 112 deg. (in the shade) heat. My hands got sweaty quick, and the hard-rubber/plastic used in the grip got slippery. Again, any suggestions?

Third, I could use some tips for dealing with the muzzle flip. I place my hand as high up under the beaver tail as I can, and I try to use a push-pull grip. The muzzle still flips quite a bit. I need to get to a range that allows rapid fire so I can see if the flip is enough to affect follow-up shots, but can anyone provide tips for keeping my wrists locked better? I learned to shoot on my friend's glocks, and I wonder if the more aggressive grip angle helps me lock my wrist better. I know the XDm has a higher bore-axis, but I was hoping the heavier slide would counteract it a little.

Finally, I bought the XDm based on a good rental experience with an XD9 with a great trigger. My new XDm's trigger seems to 'hang up' a little during that last little portion before the break. I don't want to pay for a full trigger job at this point, but I may try to polish the sear to see if I can smoothe it out a little. As a noob, it that something I can do myself, or do I really need to take it to a pro?

One final comment. This gun is heavy. I knew that when I bought the gun, but I hoped it would help reduce recoil, and I also hoped the weight wouldn't be that much noticeable when holsterred IWB. The latter remains to be seen, but I'm also a little worried that the extra weight added to my fatigue and shaky hands after only the first 30 shots or so.

I hope to take the gun out with my friend's G19 to compare the two side-by-side. As of now, I'm having a little buyer's remorse about the XDm, and I'm wondering if I should have bought something a little lighter with a thicker grip (G19 or M&P).

Thanks in advance for the comments and advice.
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Old 08-29-2011, 12:39 PM   #2
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Since you are newish to pistol shooting. I would pay for a basic lesson at the gun range and learn the proper way to get started with pistol shooting. They will help you sort out your grip etc. It will make a big difference. In my area the basic lesson is about 25 to 50 dollars, money well spent. Spend as much time shooting it as you can.

Edit: Did you break the gun down and give it a through cleaning and oiling before you took it to the range? My trigger on my .40 was not as smooth as I thought it would be over the course of about 500 rounds it came around.

Last edited by Tx_XDm; 08-29-2011 at 10:45 PM.
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Old 09-03-2011, 10:32 PM   #3
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Just some suggestions. First the striker fired system isn't easy to immediately master. Even with old timers. Lots of slack. Some dry firing at home would help you get use to that trigger. Hold the handgun tight two hands and squeeze. If your sight picture begins to move off the mark easy up on the trigger. You should feel the trigger creep. If not you may not be squeezing.

Once you get the trigger pull down you will find this handgun is deadly accurate and very reliable

Change out the no. 2 medium back strap (use a 3/32 roll pin remover and tap gently left to right) and mag. extension to the no. 3 large size. It should feel more comfortable if you have big hands.
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Old 09-05-2011, 01:04 PM   #4
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My last day of my Handgun Course I purchased the XDM 3.8" 9mm. I purchased it as my CC as the XDM 5.25" 9mm was just to long of a barrel, but if I had the choice between the various XDM's I'd get the 5.25 without hesitation.

My issue as a novice shooter is flinching. As you can imagine it greatly effected my handgun course as completing it for my NRA Certificate required competent marksmanship. My instructor quickly realized this and had me shoot a .357 revolver and the XDM 5.25. After that subtle change you'd think I was a seasoned advanced shooter, wow, what a difference a heavier, well designed (ergonomically) gun makes. On my 3.8" I'm using the number III back strap.

Part of my flinching problem stems from using my Taurus Millennium Pro PT111, which to me felt like using an aluminum bat on a metal poll. That gun had some serious concussion. The concussion wasn't as bad with the XDM 3.8", but they have similar characteristics as they are 'smaller' and 'lighter' guns. I can't even imagine shooting the .40 or .45 subcompacts.

Like you I went to the range on Friday and was shooting a little better, as I'm making the mental adjustments for the flinching. I used the 5 point target and as long as I was shooting in the top right section I was getting some good grouping, but when I shot the middle or lower left, I was hitting all lower left (7 o'clock hits while aiming at the 2 and 3 o'clock position). It was very discouraging, but I was making some progress. I was making a conscious effort to use proper trigger finger placement too.

I'm so tempted to get the 5.25 and just wear a big jacket this winter, LOL. My instructor was a great source of encouragement. He suggested that I keep working with the gun and get a little more range time.
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:21 PM   #5
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OP - I read your post and don't think it was a bad outing at all. Take your time, build up your strength, practice, practice, practice. I would stay at under 10 yards until you can get tighter groups, then move back. Maybe next time it won't be so hot.
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Old 09-09-2011, 03:53 PM   #6
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iCreek is right on with what he is saying. I've never understood why so many people start their shooting experience from 15 yards or so. A buddy of mine who is an ex-SEAL turned me on to this for training new shooters. Start close, real close like maybe a few feet. Put an index card on the target. Start slowly until you can build up to hitting the card everytime at a fairly rapid pace.
As you get better put up another card and move a few feet back. Repeat the procedure over and over until you can hit the index card everytime say back to 15 yards. By the time your back to 15-20 yards you'll be very good with your gun. Once you get to this level you can put one of the small dot targets on the index card and try to get it. The XD's are very good weapons.
I just got my XD9sc back form some repair work. I shot 3 rounds into the head from around 7-10 yards in a nickel to quarter size group. Wish I had taken some pictures of it. I felt the XDM and thought about buying one. But my XD9 4" and XD9sc shoot and fit my hand so well I saw no reason to spend the extra money. Keep the training with the index card fun. Don't get frustrated and maybe have a friend shoot with you. Hopefully a more experienced shooter who can help you refine your technique.
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Old 09-09-2011, 05:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iCreek View Post
OP - I read your post and don't think it was a bad outing at all. Take your time, build up your strength, practice, practice, practice. I would stay at under 10 yards until you can get tighter groups, then move back. Maybe next time it won't be so hot.
I agree with this.

Stay at 3, 7 and maybe 10 once you get real good at 7.

The trigger only improves over time with use once you break it in. It will smooth out.
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:02 PM   #8
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I agree with this.

Stay at 3, 7 and maybe 10 once you get real good at 7.

The trigger only improves over time with use once you break it in. It will smooth out.

Actually, that's not entirely correct (about the trigger). The OP was talking about taking out the sear and polishing it. That WILL help. A very (VERY!!!) light amount of smoothing of the sear to striker contact area will help. Pulling the striker and polishing it lightly will also help a lot too. A bit of quality grease on the pivot points and contact area will make a bit of difference too. BUT it will collect powder residue, so it means more cleaning will be needed. Polishing the striker barrel at the back end will help then spraying with silicone dry lube.

I use a 8" fabric wheel in a variable speed bench grinder at LOW speed with medium compound and then fine compound. 30 seconds or less with each compound is all that is needed.

A caution that mucking about with the sear and striker can lead to "bad things" like an unreliable or even a dangerous weapon -- if you don't know what you're doing.... that's a sign that you shouldn't do it!
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:14 PM   #9
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I would put 500 more rounds through it before making any changes to it. It took me about 600 or so to get used to my 40sc. The thing is damn accurate. Stay with it and practice!
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:16 PM   #10
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Also after 1800rnds no issues. Only mod is the pearce ext. Put a houge "handall" grip on it but haven't shot it since though.
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