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First time out with XDM 9 - Post Range Questions

This is a discussion on First time out with XDM 9 - Post Range Questions within the XD Gunsmithing and Maintenance forums, part of the XD Talk category; Gentlemen and Ladies, Today was the first time I took my XDM .9mm out on the range. It was a particularly momentous event in that ...

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Old 09-20-2010, 09:54 PM   #1
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First time out with XDM 9 - Post Range Questions

Gentlemen and Ladies,

Today was the first time I took my XDM .9mm out on the range. It was a particularly momentous event in that this was my first firearm purchase, as well as my first couple only "shooting date" with my wife, who is new to firearms.

The thing rocks--I still need to practice mind you--but both my wife and I were landing decent groupings off of little to no recent practice.

I grew up shooting, but this is my first weapon and thus the first time I've had to take care of one independent of someone else.

A few concerns:
  1. We were using cheap range ammo - Blazer Brass and Federal Champion. There weren't may people at the range today and the range-master pointed out that the casings ejected from my gun were pretty blackened on the outside. I'm glad he pointed this out. He said that this might be the result of a barrel sealing issue or re-load ammo, but this ammo wasn't reload. Should I be concerned, or is my gun just new? I ran a few rounds of higher quality Hydra-Shok through, and those casings were either not blackened on the outside or only slightly so.
  2. I noticed when the action is open on my weapon, the barrel can shift slightly on both vertical and forward/backward axes. Is this normal? My dad's Beretta, the only other gun I've had any real exposure with as far as field stripping, etc, didn't do this. I know this sounds dumb, but better safe than sorry.
  3. Any tips for cleaning? I ran through a standard regimen tonight with cleaner and re-oil, but perhaps the XD has certain hot spots that need more affection?
  4. The rear sights on my weapon came with a slight cosmetic defect--the dots are a bit blurred. The Springfield folks said that I could send the whole slide in to have the issue fixed, but I'm wondering if this is even worth my time. While shooting, the defect is negligible as I was taught to focus on the front sight anyways.
Thank you for your help to a new guy!
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Old 09-21-2010, 01:33 AM   #2
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1. Just low power ammo. Shoot something decent and it goes away. A bit of powder blackening on the outside is generally not a real problem as it would be with a high power rifle. The escaped gasses are not hot enough or high enough pressure/volume to cause chamber erosion problems. But dump the Hydro-shock unless you just like FMJ performance in a SD bullet. Good for it's time, but that was 20 yrs ago. Modern ammo much more reliable on expansion.
2. Barrel is normal. Has tight lockup when in battery. When slide is retracted the barrel has to tilt, so it has movement. Bullet is long gone before any barrel tilt. This is a short action, tilt barrel, lockup recoil system. Also to remove or install the barrel that clearance is necessary.
3. Plenty cleaning threads posted nearly weekly, do a search. XD/XDm needs little cleaning and only very light lubing ( NONE around striker area).
4. Your call. Shoot awhile and then decide if you want to change to a non-stock sight or bother to fix those.
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Old 09-21-2010, 06:03 AM   #3
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Thanks Thumper, I appreciate the help. I've not done a forum for years...should have just searched on the cleaning bit =).

I'll take it out for another spin today with some different ammo types and see what the news is. Darn...hate it when going shooting two days in a row is necessary. Your explanation of #1 sounds on the money to me though.

Just curious about the physics here--why would low powder ammo be prone to blackening over higher power stuff? The two low power types were at 115 grain, the Hydras are at 124 I believe.

Thanks for the Hydra recommendation. I went with them because I've shot them before and seen good expansion with them; I hesitated to purchase anything "en-mass" that I hadn't at least shot before. I'll do a search on alternate SD rounds.
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:19 AM   #4
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Hydra's tend to plug easily with clothing and fail to expand. Very light bullet weight and low powder charges fail to have to impulse necessary to expand the case for a tight seal to the chamber. What ever you pick for SD, Run a minimum of 50 thru the gun to verify reliability. Don't get a failure to feed when you really ned a load over a couple dollar worth of test ammo.
If by chance, you did not thoroughly clean the firearm before first use from the box, the sticky preservative oils could have effected the performance. Now cleaned post use, it may run better.
Read thru a few months posts and you should get the information for noting and fixing just about any problem - usually asked and answered many times
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:32 AM   #5
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If you like Federal, their Tactical HST is the successor to their HydraShok. Price is right at <$30 - $35 for a 50 round box. As low as $25 at some online places in 9mm.

After researching and consulting with my instructors, they recommend this as a solid SD round. I opted for the P9HST1 (standard pressure 124gr.). The do have a 147gr. and also 124gr. and 147 grain in +P.

The one catch is current ATK corporate policy dictates they do not sell the Federal Tactical line to non-LEO/Military. You have to dig around for them but they are out there for civilian purchase.

LE - Home

Just my 2-cents, YMMV and all the usual disclaimers...
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:25 PM   #6
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Thanks.

FYI I went to the range again today and ran several types of range ammo through the weapon. The crap Federal Champion is the blackened casing issue--the gun runs everything else fine, and it is really starting to break in and smooth up.
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:56 PM   #7
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Is that the made just for wallyworld cheap line? Federal makes some good ammo for both SD and target/plinking. But not when it's a contracted lowball price. For SD ammo, I use Federal's P9HST4 or P9HST2 in 147gr for 9mm, P40HST1 180gr for 40SW and P45HST1 230gr for 45acp. Federal American Eagle and reloads (my own) for target.
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