"Four plus One Syndrome" in XDM 9mm?

Discussion in 'XD-M Discussion Room - XD(M)' started by caj123, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. caj123

    caj123 XDTalk Newbie

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    All,

    I have an XDM 9mm with over 1000 rounds through it. Unfortunately it seems to consistently put the first round low and left (off about 3-4 inches even at 10 feet). This is very disappointing since the other rounds are in a tight 1-2 inch group.

    Since I am a new pistol shooter, I always want to blame myself. However, I've had other XD and 1911 owners shoot it from a fixed position with the same results.

    After a bunch of research I found that it might be a "4+1 syndrome" as exposed by Massad Ayoob in "The Complete Book of Handguns 2009". In this article he states that at least some XDMs (.40 caliber) seem to have this issue which occurs when the first hand-chambered cartridge sends its bullet to a slightly different point then the other automatically chambered rounds. I have the same issue with both magazines and various brands of low cost range ammo.

    Have any other XDM owners experienced and/or solved this problem?

    Any other suggestions/thoughts are welcome.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. stainone

    stainone XDTalk 500 Member

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    don't know 1st i have heard of it?
     
  3. sourpatch45

    sourpatch45 XDTalk 5K Member

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    ^^me too

    how do you chamber the first round?

    it doesnt matter if the gun is shot or you manually pull the slide back and sling shot it, it both situations the slide comes to a stop at full rear and then is pulled forward by the spring pressure. now if you "ride" the slide forward then you are changing the speed at which it goes forward
     
  4. caj123

    caj123 XDTalk Newbie

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    I typically leave the slide locked, and use the slide release lever to chamber the first round out of the magazine. Nothing special.

    I've also tried manually chambering the first round and using slide release lever to release the slide.

    Both result in the same issue.
     
  5. dglock

    dglock XDTalk 3K Member

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    You stand a very good chance of breaking your extractor if you manualy load a round into the chamber and then drop the slide.

    don
     
  6. gM4dd

    gM4dd XDTalk Member

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    From a tactical standpoint, i was told to grip the slide and let it rip. Very fine movements like using the slide release lever can be a bad habit for a tactical situation, so i bring my left hand up and over the slide and slingshot it as I am a right handed shooter. Maybe you can try chambering the 1st round this way, but I dunno, seems like the round should sit properly unless you ride the slide. I have had first shot accuracy in my XDm9, but have not shot the 40 yet.
     
  7. caj123

    caj123 XDTalk Newbie

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    gM4dd,

    So you always slingshot the slide when reloading? For example, if you empty a mag, and the slide remains locked, you DO NOT use the slide release lever to load the first round of a new magazine (and you use a slingshot instead)? Just wondering what the recommended approach is.

    Thanks again!
     
  8. bullit

    bullit XDTalk 1K Member

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    you can use the release but it is best to use the sling shot method. that builds muscle memory and if you were to have a problem you are then used to using the sling shot method
     
  9. DanD23

    DanD23 XDTalk Newbie

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    FWIW, I had noticed the same thing in my 9mm. One of the guys at the range asked if I was hand loading or doing an speed loader for loading my magazine? What he showed me was that sometimes, I was not seating the round all the way back in the magazine on the last round in (first round fired). I started making sure I pushed it all the way back in the magazine, and I have noticed a marked decrease in the problem. Don't know if that is really the issue, or more a psychological crutch that got me over some trigger control issue. But hey, it worked for me. :cool:
     
  10. caj123

    caj123 XDTalk Newbie

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    DanD23,

    That is very interesting. Next time I am at the range I will make sure all bullets are completely seated against the back of the magazine. Not sure that is the problem, but it is certainly something to look at. BTW, do you load the first round out of the magazine by "slingshotting" the slide?

    Thanks again!
     
  11. jbkazam

    jbkazam XDTalk 500 Member

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    There is such a thing as the first shot flier, but I doubt that is what you are seeing. If the first shot is of by 3 or 4 inches at only 10 feet, that translates to 9 to 12 inches of at 10 yards. That is a mile off. I don't think that any method of loading the first round is going to cause that kind of a problem.

    Here are a couple of ways to trouble shoot the problem.

    1. Have someone you know to be a very good shooter try your gun and see what happens. If they shoot ok, it is something you are doing.

    2. Try loading 6 rounds in the magazine, then shoot the first round into the back stop. Then take your finger out of the trigger guard, lower the gun, then raise the gun and shoot your target the way you usually do.

    If you usually only allow the trigger to re-set, then shoot the next shot, the trigger pull may seem different between the first shot and the subsequent shots.

    Give it a try, and see what happens.
     
  12. mdx

    mdx XDTalk 100 Member

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    De copper your barrel with Barnes CR10 , according to the Bottle instructions. Mop that out good, and oil your barrel and chamber --I prefer FP10 as it goes into the steel. Before you shoot mop out the barrel,chamber, and breachface with lighter fluid and shoot it dry. Bag your first shots to end human error. If that dont work ask for a new barrel.
     
  13. jbkazam

    jbkazam XDTalk 500 Member

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    While I agree that a dirty gun or a bad barrel can cause accuracy problems, I don't think that's what's happening.

    If there is a tight group of 4 shots, and one shot that is off by 3 to 4 inches at 10 feet, that translates to an error of 22.5 to 30 inches at 25 yards.

    I really don't think that a dirty gun, or a problem barrel is going to do that.
     
  14. mdx

    mdx XDTalk 100 Member

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    A shot that is off on a "cold" first shot can have alot to do with barrel prep. heat of steel , oil in barrel, heat treat and quality of the steel. Being a few inches off on a cold shot at 10 feet can also be replicated a few inches off at 25 yards. I believe he is talking about a cold shot.
     
  15. jbkazam

    jbkazam XDTalk 500 Member

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    If a shot is off by 4 inches at 10 feet, it is off by 30 inches at 25 yards, no matter how you look at it.

    It just about has to be operator error.
     
  16. xdm9shooter

    xdm9shooter XDTalk 100 Member

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    Hmmm very interesting. If I had to place a bet I would say its your trigger control. I personally have not heard of Massad Ayoob's explanation but he sure knows more then I do. I would try a couple of things to prove this true or false.

    First is have someone else shoot the first round or two and then hand you the gun and see if it A) does it for them and B) does it do it for you on your first shot out of that mag that is not the first round chambered.

    I would also suggest that you do a lot of dry fire practice and try the "bump" method of dry firing. You will see if you are using proper trigger control.

    You can also have someone load your mags and your gun for you with a snap cap or dummy round that the pistol will feed. I have shot some IDPA matches where they did this and it was to simulate a bad round and causing you to clear your weapon. This was excelent training! If you flinch etc with a dead round you are not using proper trigger control.

    These are all things I would work on and take the time to really examine your technique prior to blaming the weapon.

    Check out this video by Todd Jarret. There used to be some videos on Sig's website that showed different dry fire practice but I can not find them anymore. I will keep looking and try to add to this post.

    Hope this helps!

    Dave

    YouTube - Todd Jarrett on pistol shooting.
     
  17. caj123

    caj123 XDTalk Newbie

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    All,

    Thanks much for your help and suggestions. I will try some of the things suggested in this thread.

    Please let me provide some additional information as well.

    Typically I run 250 rounds through the gun each time at the range. Further, I clean the gun extensively after each use. It is never stored in a dirty condition, and the feed ramp and barrel are always shiny clean prior to each range trip.

    Please see the images below. The farthest shot on each target is an example of the consistent 1st shot problem. They are typically lower left.

    As I said earlier, I have always thought the problem is me, but the issue seems to occur even if the gun is shot from a rest. It is consistent and annoying. Groups of 5 consistently have the first shot low, or low and left. I have even gone so far as to install a laser and shoot it form a fixed position to insure that it is not me.

    Therefore, I can only think that it is either an ammo issue, or something else (such as the suggestion earlier in the thread about the need to fully seat bullets against the back of the magazine). I'll be the first to admit I not an ace, but you can see that at least some of my groups (excluding the first round) are tight.

    I am open to any suggestions you may have.

    Thanks again!




    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
     
  18. JustSomeGuy

    JustSomeGuy XDTalk 2K Member

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    I would try one more thing... Get a new return spring. You might try either a Wolf guide rod and spring or Don's guide rod and spring. It seems like the gun is not locking up properly on the first shot as you indicate, but a new spring and guide rod may solve this problem for you. It would also be interesting to ask Springfield about this. It could be something like a small burr or machine mark on the barrel, locking lug, or hood of the pistol doing this. I dont remember how many rounds you have through the gun at this point if indeed you mentioned it, but if the gun is already "shot in" that is, past 500 rounds, then I would think this was unacceptable and Springfield might be a source to consider. Call them. It can't hurt!
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2009
  19. GeorgiaBoy

    GeorgiaBoy XDTalk Member

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    Have you tried "dry cleaning" your barrel prior to use as a previous member suggested? Thye barrel may be "shiny clean" but residual oil in the grooves may be a factor. I know rifle bench-rest shooters who use a volatile cleaner on a swab followed by several dry patches to make sure all oil is out of the grooves prior to 1st shot. These guys are all a bit anal about things like this ... but hey ... who knows ... might be worth a try. ?
     
  20. DanD23

    DanD23 XDTalk Newbie

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    I can slingshot or cycle the slide very carefully, that does not matter. Making sure the first round out of the mag is all the way back seems to be the best result. I have found that some speed loaders make it easy to leave about a 1/16" (or less) off from the very back.

    FWIW, I had a range instructor fire my gun, and it exhibited the same problem with him shooting. Checking the rounds and making sure they were all the way back also "fixed" it for him.
     

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