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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all.

I bought my XD-40 service model one week ago. It is my first gun, handgun or otherwise. I haven't fired a round out of it yet. I do want to let you all know that I spent some time reading magazines and extensive web searches trying to gather information on my handgun purchase. This site pretty much sealed the deal.

I need to take the XD to the range. I bought a 50ct box of CCI Brass to start with - how's this so far?
Enough cartridges for, let's say, 45 minutes?
Should I get another magazine (or two)?
Is CCI Brass ok at indoor ranges?
What other equipment should I have with me at the indoor range?
Do I need to bring my own targets? Ear/eye protection?
Should I have a holster?

Can someone tell me or link me to a very detailed thread on cleaning?

Thanks in advance for your help - any and all is appreciated.

Very nice forum and tons of great photography - love the pics...
 

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Welcome. I am new myself to all this and am looking forward for some replies. I am saving up money to get me a Service 357 Sig.
 

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Youll be dissapointed when that 50 rounds is gone! Get more for your first trip!

Most ranges will have eyes and ears. So you dont need to purchase. I bought 14 dollar ears at Walmart and 1.88 glasses (in a bargain bin by the tools, not in sporting goods)

2 mags is plenty. I have four and load them all together.

You dont need a holster unless you plan to carry or do IDPA.

Cleaning is easy. Read the manual for field stripping. Get a cleaning kit from walmart for your caliber. I use Hoppes and RemOil. There is better, but i havent found the need. Qtips are nice for tough spots you cant wipe. A toothbrush is good for scrubbing.
 

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First off, congrats on the purchase. Now some answers.

It's hard to time ammunition. The faster you shoot, the faster it goes. 50 rounds makes for a fairly satisfying outing though.

Another magazine? Wait until you've shot for a while. If you find yourself wishing you had another mag, get it. I personally probably won't buy another mag for mine (got the 2 that came with).

As far as indoor ranges go, I have no experience. I'm fortunate enough to have a range in my back yard. I'd highly suggest taking your own eyes/ears. Just something about getting to use your own equipment. I'm sure others here will be able to help you out on that.

And I don't see that the CCI Brass should be an issue at the range. I know some don't like Wolf, but they're the ammo nazis anyway.

I have to go to bed now. Someone else will be along shortly to field the rest of your questions. Everyone here is great.

In any case, have fun and be safe! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the welcome and the replies. Wal Mart seems like such an unsuspecting place to buy equipment/ammo. I would never have looked there. Thanks.

And yes, I will definitely continue to check for additional feedback.
 

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Congrats on the purchase!

My first trip to the range, I brought 200 rounds and wished I had more. The XD is a damn fine pistol, IMO. Since this is your first ever gun, a safety course will be time and money well spent. Wal-Mart is a cheap place to accesorize (ear goggles, eye goggles, range bags, cleaning stuff, ammo). Shoot safe and have fun!! :twisted:
 

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hi lon, welcome to the group.

take at least 100 rounds to make it worthwhile paying the range fee.
2 mags is ok for the range.
take earplugs at least, my range supplies free use of headphone type ear protection [i'm brain freezeing on what they are called], and i use them WITH the earplugs.
take glasses to protect your eyes, a baseball hat, they sell targets or make/bring your own. no need for a holster.
leave the gun on the stand, pointed downrange, rather than walking around with it.
with nonfires [misfires] continue to aim gun downrange, wait 30 seconds, then rack the slide to cycle out the unfired round. you may want to give misfires to the range people for proper disposal.
go with someone experienced if possible, to show you the ropes. there's not a whole lot to know, but what you need to know, you really need to know. this is a dangerous hobby. take a class preferably.
 

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I never bring less then 500 rounds of any caliber to the range (my range bag is a Black and Decker contractors cart with wheels, lots of compartments for accessories and i do not get a hernia draggin 2 cases of ammo around). I usualy go through that in two hours or so. I figure a full mag lasts me maybe 10 seconds, tops.

Wait until you decide to keep the gun before buying more mags. If you know you will keep then go ahead buy more so you have at least 4 mags. That way you have some in reserve if you start having problems.

You can also buy inexpensive yes and ears at local Home Depot or Lowe's. When you do buy ears, buy as high as NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) rating as possible. I would not wear anything with a NRR under 24, too fond of my hearing. I shoot a lot so I decided to spend the money and get Dimension 1 Magnum from ProEars, lets me hear conversation and range command due to the electronics. Not sure you want to spend about $200 on ears though at your level.

Hope this helps.
 

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I thought I was going to be the first to reply, but here is what I was typing out when 7 others posted before me. What a family! :lol:
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Welcome to the forum Lonnie:

I would go to Wal-Mart or your favorite gunshop and get some supplies. First of all a good pistol cleaning kit (Rod, patches, oil, solvent). A silicone cloth to wipe down the outside and a can of gun scrubber is good too. Read the instructions for gun scrubber, it isnt' for all surfaces. You really should learn to take your XD apart and clean it. It's a good idea to clean a new pistol and it gets you familiar with the takedown procedure. 50 rounds is a pretty good start, but I would maybe get 2 more boxes of ammo and different brands if you can find them. Your pistol should shoot everything well, but trying some different brand may help you decide what works better in your gun. You should have 2 magazines from Springfield Armory already (if you bought new) and a 3rd isn't necessary right now. Most gun ranges will have eye and ear protection available for a small fee, but why pay it? I would get some ear muffs and shooting glasses at Walmart to save some hassles and you are going to shoot again arent you? The range will also sell you targets, but you can save money if you bring your own. Get some regular size targets, not the little tiny ones. You do not need a holster and most indoor ranges won't let you shoot from a holster anyways, so I wouldn't worry about a holster right now.
It would be a big help if you have a experienced shooting friend that can help you the first time to watch over things. If no one is available, you might want to ask someone at the range. Talk to the guys there and see if someone can give you some pointers. If you can go at a slow time, it might be better to get someone to help you. A bad time would be like at 12 in the afternoon on saturday for example.

Some pointers:
1. Put on your shooting glasses and then your ear protection. Indoor ranges have double doors, why? Well, you open one door, you step inside, close the door behind you and then open the door to the range. This way you don't let the sound of gunfire into the main store.
2. Take your spot at the "alley" you are to shoot in. Your pistol stays there and remains there until you are ready to leave. IF you have a problem (jam, misfire...). Your pistol remains pointed downrange and left there on the shelf in front of you. If you can't clear your problem, put your pistol down and get someone to help you. You do not walk around with your pistol for any reason. It remains there untill you are done shooting.
3. Your targets are clipped to the target holder and there is a switch that sends your targets downrange and back again. Since you are new, I would shoot at mid range, not too far and not too close. Some ranges also have lights that will illuminate your targets if it's too dark. There should be a light switch nearby.
4. Your spent brass will be hot and bounce around the place, make sure you don't have clothes that will catch a spent case. It's not a pleasant experience.
5. Most ranges won't let you pick up spent brass and you won't need them anyways for now. (Someday you may start reloading, but thats another subject altogether).

Here is what I do to clean my XD:

What I do:
1. Drop magazine:
2. Check chamber to make sure pistol is unloaded.
3. Dissasemble into major components. (follow instructions that came with your XD)
4. Dry brush all areas where gunk accumulates and wipe clean with a dry cloth.
5. Put some solvent on a good gun brush and wet scrub all dirty areas.
6. Spray gun scrubber to clear out the areas just brushed. (Wear eye protection)
7. Wipe down with another clean cloth.
8. Put some good quality oil on a Q-tip and oil areas that will benefit from lube. (Slide surfaces and areas where you can see that 2 surfaces are rubbing against each other, also lightly around the outside of the barrel.
9. Reassemble and work the slide a few times to spread the lube evenly.
10. Put a small amount of oil on a silicone cloth and wipe down the outer surfaces.
Thats about all I can think of for now. Ask those around you if you have any questions. Any decent, normal, courteous shooter should hopefully be around to help you. Size people up, find someone you will be sure to get some good instruction from. There are "Knuckle-Heads" at the range too and they can be the worst people to learn from. Be very safe, and you drop your magazine and check your chamber and check it again to be sure it is empty.
Have a good time and in time you will be just fine. Good luck, be safe and ask us many questions.

P/S. The bill is in the mail :wink:
 

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Lonnie,

Welcome to the wonderful world of hand-gunning. I just got my XD-40 2 weeks ago, so I am new to this forum, but am a longtime shooter. Let me say that I did 700 rounds through mine this weekend and love it; I consider it one of the best purchases I've made. Now for your questions:

If CCI works for you then go for it, I have guns that like it and guns that don't. As for how many rounds; I usually take atleast 200 per caliber I intend to shoot that day. If I take only one gun then it's usually 300 to 400; 50 rounds only last me about 15 minutes.

If you're not going to do something like IDPA or other competition shooting more mags are optional. If you do plan some competition then alteast 2 more would be a good idea. Likewise for a holster; if you don't plan on competition or concealed carry then holsters are pretty much not needed.

I like to have my own eye and ear protection. Adequate equipment can be gotten relatively inexpensively. However, if you want to go before having your own, most ranges will have some that you can use but may charge you for it. You might want to call them first to find out. Likewise for targets; many ranges will have them or you can bring your own.

As for cleaning, I don't have a link for you, but I will advise you not to over oil. Polymer frame guns don't require alot of lubrication. Concentrate lubrication mostly on spots where the contact is metal to metal.

Hope that helps.
 

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At most ranges, you pay $10 - $14 an hour for a lane (some ranges will tack on a 2nd person charge, but most won't). Depending on the range, you'll pay $2 - $5 for eyes and ears (glasses and big ass mickey mouse ears). Some ranges include it in the range fee. Targets are usually less than $1. And for your first time, you'll probably only need one. If you only go to the same range, and they give you eyes and ears for free... Why buy them until you need them at another range?

If you look around this site, you'll see people posting to buy a cheap $10 Wally world tool bag to use as a range bad... GOOD IDEA! A friend of mine just uses the case his gun came in and the plastic wally world bag holding the ammo. Hey, use whatever works for you. The range I go to, I'm already packing and have a spare mag on me. It's just a quick stop by Wally World on the way and I have an instant disposable plastic range bag that's full of just purchased ammo. And my range gives me eyes and ears free.

When you go for the first time, some ranges will make you sign a range safety card ack'ing that you know the rules and regs. By all means, if you go alone, tell the range guy. He should be able to help you and answer any questions.

If you're shooting and have a FTE/FTF (Failure to Eject/Failure to Fire) and can't clear it by ejecting the mag and racking the slide, place the gun on the lane counter (pointing down range), and TELL THE RANGE GUY. He's there to help.

I hope all this helps and you have a fun safe trip. Good luck and good shooting (ok, now I sound like a cliche)
 

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The walmart tool bag (rubbermaid black/blue in the tools dept) is excellent for one gun and ammo.

My mother, who is pretty anti-gun, commnted how ridiculous my father looked carrying ammo in a walmart plastic sack. He'll be buying one of the bags soon ;)
 

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Hi Lonnie,

Everyone's got great suggestions, and I think you started a pretty good first thread. :)

My only addition to what everyone else has said is that I would highly recommend taking an Ohio Concealed Handgun License class, even if you do not plan on carrying your XD concealed.

The reason I say this is because during the course of your instruction, the class will go over some extremely important subjects such as safe weapons handling practices and the use of deadly force.

Over the past year or so, I have read no less than 10 threads on firearms message boards about people having negligent discharges with their pistols. Several of them injured themselves, and one of them even killed his dog.

Jeff Cooper's Rules of Gun Safety are easy to learn, and if they are followed there is absolutely no chance of having a negligent discharge of your own. Here's a link to the four rules: http://www.thefiringline.com/Misc/safetyrules.html

Have fun and be safe. :)
 

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Welcome....yeah get yourself 4 or 5 mags. Get some 12rd. mags. Also get atleast 150 to 200rds to burn. I can go through 50rds in less than 3 minutes! Takes longer to load the mags. up. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wow. Thank you to all that have replied thus far. Very good, detailed information. I apologize for not responding more quickly... just got home from work.

I have practiced the take down/stripping and reassembly. It seems like I've got the hang of it. I do have a question on the guide rod-spring assembly:

The "bracket" that the rod butts up to - it seems that the assembly doesn't have to be perfectly centered, and that concerned me a little. How important is it that the rod be perfectly centered?

I will be making a run out to WalMart this week to buy my gear and cleaning kits. I will also pick up a few more boxes of ammo - probably another CCI Brass 165 FMJ and maybe one similar American Federal, and maybe a box of HP.

Targets - I downloaded a file with three or four pages of targets - I can print them on the plotter at my plant - what size is customary? I'm guessing the 8.5x11 is too small...

The cleaning suggestions are EXACTLY what I needed. I was very nervous about screwing something up. And yes, I will DEFINITELY find someone to take with me this week (to the range.) I'll buy his hour and a box of ammo for the the trouble (seem OK? too cheap? over the top?)

Hobocircus... LOL... My check's in the mail !

:wink:

I am also pretty lucky - I have a relative that is an officer on the local PD. He is an instructor, and happened to be at the shop the day I bought the gun. He is going to put me through the CCW Ohio course in a few months. I don't know yet if I will carry, though. I'll decide that after reading more here, and of course, after taking the course. It may not be that big a decision for some here, but I think it's reasonable to have alot of questions.

I do, however, want to take it with me when my sons and I go atving. There are black bears where we ride, and I want to have it, especially for my little guy's protection. That may seem a bit over the top, too, but it is what it is.

Guys (gals?) - again - thank you for the outstanding information. This thread should make it into a NEWBIE FAQ, if one exists. I'll keep checking for additional posts for any others that are kind enough to do so.
 

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First, do get a holster. Fobus, whatever is cheap to start with.

Practice at home first, get familiar with your weapon and how it works.

Always check to see if your weapon is clear (NO AMMO), do this each and every time you pick up your gun......every time. Practice inserting an EMPTY mag and releasing it.....Finger always off the trigger.

Practice your draw, over and over. Many good books on this. Gabe Saurez, Brian Enos, Masab Ayoob, etc. Break each component of the draw down and practice each separately, then put them together.

Practice you site picture and slowly press the trigger while not moving the gun. UNLOADED, of course.

Get some firearm instruction, preferably from a certified source, check with you local gunshop, NRA instructor etc, and have them teach you. They'll have you practice with live ammo eventually.

I'm a little hesitant to have you go to the range just yet, with you never owing a gun and with no instruction you are a disaster waiting to happen. Nothing personal, you just have to be Extremely safe and cautious with a firearm. Proper instruction is needed.

As someone who Shoots IDPA and USPSA and is certified, this is the best advice I can give to you. Hope it helps.

RM
 

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As far as handling the gun, it is proper etiquette when handing the gun over to someone else that you hand it to them.. with the slide in the locked back position....release the mag. Look at the chamber, make sure there is not a round in there....hand it to the person butt first, but also not pointing at yourself or anyone else...then hand them the mag. It sounds like alot..but really it only takes 5 seconds. I was taught this as a boy, as well as all my friends have. Do take a course...you'll have a great time, and ya might learn something
 

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Just thought of another good thing about a course is that if they have a shooting session you can pick up some pointers as far as grip cotrol etc...best to get rid of bad habbits before they develop
 

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Definitely....take instructions from a competent person.

I was in the military and had some firearms training in Basic Training and a little more in advanced training (not much). That was over 30 years ago.

I owned several handguns and shot almost every imaginable kind of handgun there is. That was about 20 years ago.

But when I bought my XD in early November I had not handled a gun at all in about 15 years.

The first thing I did was pay for a half hour private lesson in basic safety and basic shooting technique. I learned some things I had forgotten, and I learned some things I never knew.

I have been going to the range about twice a week and it's sort of like practicing any sport (accuracy).....some days I feel progress, and some days I feel like I'm going backward. (I definitely had a backward day on the golf course yesterday).

Everyone wants to be accurate with their guns. But target shooting is just a sport. Missing a bullseye means nothing.

However everybody MUST be safe with their guns. Knowing how to safely handle a gun can save your life. Or someone else's life.

I took the Florida CCW course, but while I believe they must have touched on safety, if they did, they barely did. It was really about how to avoid using a weapon, and where not to take one. It was about the rules of concealment, etc. It was about liability, etc. Basically it was a lesson on how to avoid ever using a gun. Which makes sense. The use of a gun in self defense is a last resort, and can virtually always be avoided with good judgment. (And it's a LOT cheaper re: legal fees).

I think we actually spent about 10 minutes total on the range and even that was just to make sure we each got to shoot 5 shots or so each with our right hand only, left only, and a two handed grip.

A separate safety course is IMO a must. I considered it a must for myself and I had quite a bit of shooting experience. Anyone who has no shooting experience is, as someone already said in this thread, a "disaster waiting to happen".
Guns are very safe in safe (educated) hands. Guns are very dangerous in the hands of anyone who does not know how to handle them correctly. It is not a thing you learn by trial and error. There is no room for error at all.

Peace,
D.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well, there is an overwhelming consensus to first complete a safety and training course. So, I need to change direction and look into that. I think I'll first ask the local PD - I am certain they'd be able to point me in the right direction. In fact, the further I read, the more I feel I have put the cart before the horse. I probably should have sought out a training course, then trialed a few select handguns at the range, THEN made my purchase.

What's funny about it is, at my age I should have been able to figure it out on my own. Regardless, I'll have some extra time now to buy the proper equipment, etc. And that's fine, too. I want to make certain that I have enough information to handle this gun correctly, and perform the required maintenance so the gun operates correctly. I like the gun, but to be quite honest, I wouldn't have known any better with any other brand. And I'm not enamored with the prospect of shooting a gun, or even making it a hobby. It will serve its purpose, as the added layer of protection that, I'm hopeful, will never have to use.

I want to thank you all again for the excellent replies - they were very understandable, unbiased and very well written. I know that it can be a pain in the ass sometimes to take time out for repated questions by the new guy, but believe me - I am certain that I'm not the only new guy lurking here. So, please continue to indulge me on what probably seems simple. I'm learning alot.
 
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