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What is needed for a caliber conversion?

This is a discussion on What is needed for a caliber conversion? within the XD Gunsmithing and Maintenance forums, part of the XD Talk category; Ok, I know I should just buy another XDm, that's obvious. But instead, I was wondering about all the caliber conversion talk ive been hearing. ...


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Old 04-27-2011, 11:40 PM   #1
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What is needed for a caliber conversion?

Ok, I know I should just buy another XDm, that's obvious. But instead, I was wondering about all the caliber conversion talk ive been hearing. Aside from the obvious barrel and magazine changes necessary to go from a .40 to a 9mm, what else would be necessary to change between the two calibers using the same frame? Or is this even possible? Im working with the full size XDm 3.8, .40 S&W, by the way. Any intel is greatly appreciated, thanks
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Old 04-28-2011, 12:52 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by elevensec7 View Post
Ok, I know I should just buy another XDm, that's obvious. But instead, I was wondering about all the caliber conversion talk ive been hearing. Aside from the obvious barrel and magazine changes necessary to go from a .40 to a 9mm, what else would be necessary to change between the two calibers using the same frame? Or is this even possible? Im working with the full size XDm 3.8, .40 S&W, by the way. Any intel is greatly appreciated, thanks

you need a conversion barrel, not just a typical 9mm barrel, and magazines (tho i have heard you CAN use the 40 mags with 9mm ammo, but i wouldnt reccomend it unless you were despirate).

thats all you need. HOWEVER, 9mm being fired from a .40 gun may be picky. the extractor is different on a .40 than a 9. some people have no extraction problems, others have a few, others have a ton. theres no way to know until you see how your gun likes it. to do a full 9mm conversion you would need to swap the extractor as well. its highly suggested that for self defence or carry purposes, dont use the conversion...its fine for range use tho where reliability isnt life or death.
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Old 04-28-2011, 04:33 AM   #3
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The extractor for the 9mm and 40SW are exactly the same. The difference is in how far it is mounted from the center of the bore. This cannot be changed. The 40SW requires a wider cut breech face for the larger diameter cartridge. The extractor holds the cartridge by spring tension pushing the cartridge rim against the far wall of the breech. The smaller diameter 9mm (when pushed against the far wall of the breech cut) does not provide as much tension on the extractor and can more easily slip off the rim during extraction.- so extraction is less reliable. During feeding a new round this same extractor tension pushing the smaller 9mm cartridge against the far wall of the breech moves the entire cartridge slightly off center of the chamber and can cause misalignment during feeding - so less reliable feeding.
OK for range practice. Not reliable enough for SD use. SA does not sell the (smaller breech) or any slide as a separate item so it cannot be 'fixed'. A 40-9 conversion can work with the 40 mag but will again be less reliable as the lips of the 40 mag do not present the smaller 9mm cartridge as well for pickup by the slide. You can bend the 40 mag lips in to hold the 9mm ammo but a dedicated 9mm mag works better.
The 3.8 barrel being new, does not have many aftermarket brand barrels available yet.
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Old 04-30-2011, 08:38 AM   #4
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Recommend you drop a 9mm recoil spring in also, the cost is small and will assure the slide travels the correct length. The 40 spring is a heavier spring.
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Old 04-30-2011, 06:03 PM   #5
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The stock 9mm and 40SW (plus 357SIG in the XD series) all use the same weight recoil spring so putting in a '9mm spring' get you no change from the existing 40 recoil spring. However, with a conversion barrel, the 9mm barrel has much thicker walls than a standard m 9mm barrel. This is to make up the difference in outside diameter so the smaller caliber barrel will be properly aligned in the muzzle guide of larger 40SW slide opening. With a heavier barrel reliability can be improved with using a lighter spring. something like the Wolff 3 recoil spring tuning set for 9mm/40sw/357Sig.
Not sure which aftermarkets are stocking a conversion barrel for the 3.8 yet. (Putting in a standard 9mm barrel will not function correctly the regular9mm barrel is too small to fit the 40SW muzzle guide. A conversion barrel is required).
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Old 08-04-2011, 12:49 AM   #6
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XDm .40 to .45?

New to the forum and to the XDm, what about a 40 to 45 interchange?
Thanks!
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Old 08-04-2011, 05:51 AM   #7
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New to the forum and to the XDm, what about a 40 to 45 interchange?
Thanks!
You can only go down due to the dimensions of the barrel. The 40 can be converted to 357 SIG with the same magazine and recoil spring, or to a 9mm with a new magazine and prehaps a lighter recoil spring (16#)
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Old 08-04-2011, 07:42 AM   #8
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New to the forum and to the XDm, what about a 40 to 45 interchange?
Thanks!
Breach-face and mag issues for starters. No can do!
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:36 AM   #9
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New to the forum and to the XDm, what about a 40 to 45 interchange?
Thanks!

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Old 08-06-2011, 10:30 AM   #10
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could you use the lower frame?

Could you just use the lower frame and get a new slide/barrel assembly?
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