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Discussion Starter #1
If there is one feature, on these otherwise excellent pistols, that I find absolutely pointless, stupid, and potentially hazardous to the health of anyone using these guns in a defensive role- this is it.

The grip safety, unless depressed, locks the slide. This offers no real safety benefit whatsoever, because as soon as you draw the slide about 1/8 inch out of battery, the pistol won’t fire anyway. You can’t shoot yourself with an out-of-battery XD.

What is does do, however, is make the pistol difficult to clear and make safe. I note that people with smaller hands have a little difficulty locking the slide to the rear on these guns. Peggi was the real eye-opener on this, since she has been shooting my 1911’s for 14 years, and has never experienced any difficulty in clearing them & locking the slide back. She had some difficulty with her XD, mostly because the XD’s smaller grip safety is trickier to hit.

This is not much of a problem, in a non-emergency setting. But if you have a dud round you need to clear in a fight, you are going to need to do it right now- and unencumbered by any pointless gadgetry that locks up your gun. Like to try this under fire, with a finger or thumb shot/cut half-off? Me neither. If is also worth pointing out that any safety benefit gained from having the grip safety in the first place, is immediately negated when clearing the gun- because you have to depress it to get the slide open.

Will Springfield modify the design to correct this? Not likely. They advertise it as a “safety” feature, and no manufacturer in this day & age is going to remove a safety feature unless it is to get a government contract. The recent Marine Corps 1911 pistol contract awarded to Kimber stands as proof- they are essentially “Series 1” guns, w/o the Schwartz safety.

No, I think it will be up to enterprising gunsmiths to find a solution. The grip safety blocks the sear from the bottom, and the striker impedes the slide’s rearward travel unless the sear can cam down out of the way. It is going to take some engineering to get around this and still maintain the benefits of having a grip safety in the first place.

I don’t have a solution. I hope somebody finds one. I suppose you could fit a wider (ala 1911) after-market grip safety, that would offer more surface to the hand during stressful moments. This would require opening the frame at that point, which would doubtless give SFA "the vapors" if you ever needed warranty work.

Ideas? Am I nuts?
 

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I think this is a valid point. I like the grip safety, but can't see a real good value for the slide locking feature. I can work around this, however.

A feature that is MORE troublesome is the position of the slide lock. It is in the perfect location to be hit by the right hand thumb in a normal firing grip. I've had both failures to lock the slide back, and premature slide lock back because of the slide stop location. It needs to be in the same location at the 1911, P35, S&W, Barretta, et al to prevent this problem. I plan to have my slide lock ground down to a much smaller size. This won't completely solve the issue, but should reduce the rate of incidence.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to learn to shoot with my thumb hanging out in space rather than pressed against the gun. Anyone having a better solution, (aftermarket slide stop?) please post it.
 

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The gun fits my hand like a glove. Isn't that the rule of purchasing a gun in the first place? Find on that you can hold and use all of the functions without strain. You can't make a gun for everyone, although springfield came close with the XD. If your hands are too big, your thumb knocks the slide lock, to small and your can't operate the slide lock. Thats true with most every gun. I can't wrap my hand around a .50 desert eagle and feel comfortable with it, nor a little beretta bobcat.
 

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Black Electrical Tape.

:)
 

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I have to agree with Nickle1 here. I like it just the way it is, wouldn't change a thing about the grip safety.

Scott
 

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I agree, I just finished two days of intense training at PFT in West Virginia, and in a couple of drills the grip safety slide lock made things very difficult. One specific was malfunction clearing with one hand only, trained both strong and weak. If you have a double feed and need to lock the slide back to clear, and only have 1 hand, it's takes some serious practice (and hope you're wearing good boots that you can hook the rear sights or ejection port on....

The trainer was a very "glock" guy, training mostly SWAT and police so the glock is what he mostly sees. He liked the XD, but was troubled by that feature.

oh yeah, and if you in my part of the country (southeast) and want some excellent intensive training, check out

http://www.pgpft.com/

I did two days of defensive handgun training, and this is the real stuff... free yourself from plinking at plates at 25yards and thinking that you know how to defend yourself! We did everything from rapid, close range, using cover, lots of fault clearance, moving, moving targets, shooting from cars, you name it...
 

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clee said:
I agree, I just finished two days of intense training at PFT in West Virginia, and in a couple of drills the grip safety slide lock made things very difficult. One specific was malfunction clearing with one hand only, trained both strong and weak. If you have a double feed and need to lock the slide back to clear, and only have 1 hand, it's takes some serious practice (and hope you're wearing good boots that you can hook the rear sights or ejection port on....

quote]

I've been in some advanced training and experienced the very same thing. The best remedy for this is a back-up gun pure and simple. I don't think there's any fast way to clear an XD of this type of malfunction, especially in a stressful situation with one hand no matter how much you practice.

I think I finally got mine to lock while holding the slide in the crook of my knee and that's a good way to shoot your other knee. I'm not sure that I ever got it to lock back with my weak hand.

It is probably the major drawback of the design.

bd
 

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So we're talking about:

IF I ever have to draw my XD in a nasty situation
AND
IF I have to fire the thing
AND
IF I have to clear a round during same situation
AND
IF I'm handicapped and screwed because on the grip feature.....


Oh, never mind. I'd probably stand a greater chance of getting hit by lightning twice in the same day. :)
 

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We had a backup gun IDPA shoot recently and I found it is indeed possible to get a bad hold on the SC XD and waste time having to shift my grip to shoot. I drilled mine, installed a pin, problem solved. Yeah, I MIGHT get sued if I have to use it for self defense, but I will be alive.
 

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demented said:
We had a backup gun IDPA shoot recently and I found it is indeed possible to get a bad hold on the SC XD and waste time having to shift my grip to shoot. I drilled mine, installed a pin, problem solved. Yeah, I MIGHT get sued if I have to use it for self defense, but I will be alive.
It may also make your gun now illegal for IDPA use if you have effectively disabled the grip safety. Under Non-IDPA-Legal Modifications for ALL Divisions.

A. Compensators of any type including hybrid or ported
barrels.
B. Add-on weights for a competitive advantage (this includes,
but is not limited to, weighted magazines, tungsten guide rods,
brass magazine wells, weighted grips).
C. Heavy and/or cone style barrels without a barrel bushing.
D. Sights of non-standard configuration (i.e. Ghost rings, Bo-
Mar rib, etc.).
E. Disconnection or disabling of any safety device on any gun.
F. Lights mounted on guns.
 

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i haven't read all the posts..

But the grip safety, for someone like myself who can engage it with no problem, is one more safety just incase someone drops the gun or it falls etc etc..

I think it has a use?
 

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like all the old man catchers "aka" LE i used to be around they always taped the gip safety down on the 1911 or in our case just put the bycycle tube condom on the girp an pull it up higher thats what im thinking about doing ??
 

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invssgt said:
This is not much of a problem, in a non-emergency setting. But if you have a dud round you need to clear in a fight, you are going to need to do it right now- and unencumbered by any pointless gadgetry that locks up your gun. Like to try this under fire, with a finger or thumb shot/cut half-off? Me neither. If is also worth pointing out that any safety benefit gained from having the grip safety in the first place, is immediately negated when clearing the gun- because you have to depress it to get the slide open.
The problem here is, statistcally gun fights happen within seven yards, if you have a dud or malfunction chances are you're not going to have time to clear it no matter what pistol you have, especially if the perp is closing in on you. Then you go to your backup gun, but there again if the perp is closing in on you, statistically, you won't have time to get your backup gun. So the grip safety is a moot point.

As far as trying to do this with your finger half cut or blown off, I would hope that by that time, you would be so deep into the fight or flight syndrome, flight would kick in and you'd try your damnedest to get the hell out of there.
 

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KEEP the Grip safety the XD " IS NOT" a SOCK I mean a Glock!
Man, I think that would have been funny with ANY rhyme! Bock! Lock! Haha, COCK! HOCK! JOCK! OMG LOLZ!!!!!1111oneoneoneone
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Interesting replies- keep 'em coming.

I have never been for de-activating the grip safety on the 1911; I am not for de-activating the XD's grip safety. It does indeed serve a purpose, and in my opinion, it is a good reason to choose an XD over competing tupperware. The slide-lock component of it, however, adds nothing the the gun's safe manipulation, and adds a potential operational problem under stress. I have taken my XD the range exercises with several departments, and while everybody seems to love the ergonomics and accuracy, other FTO's have expressed reservations about this feature after trying the gun.

I can tell you from long experience, both as a street cop and firearms instructor, that Mr. Murphy likes to show up at these events and pee in your Post Toasties. If something can go wrong it will, and if it can't, it probably will too. As has been noted in some replies, high-intensity training tends to bring these things to our attention.

I like the XD, trust it, and carry it daily. I also carry a big ugly knife for those occasions where things might get nasty up close- too close to clear a jam. But that's just me.

I'm for making things better. Thank you all for your input.
 

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Honestly, I personally dont have any problem manipulating the slide lock, or the grip saftey... weak hand, strong hand, both hands... it plain dosnt matter. I can rack the slide on my belt/pocket/bootheel and lock it with one hand.. left and right handed. Someone please tell me how you can open the slide (of any auto) without having a grip around the grip and the saftey...In a hurry, in the middle of a gunfight, because I can concive or no time that I would be using my teeth to rack the slide, gunfight or otherwise. If I'm hurt that bad, I've done something wrong or its just my time to go.

As for having your thumb shot off and needing to lock the slide back.. SWITCH HANDS! If your other hand is gone or hurt... there is a technical term for this... FUBAR

If you cant lock the slide back to clear a type 3 with one hand, drop and retain the mag, RACK-RACK-RACK-instert (new)mag-RACK!... problem solved. Yes it is gonna take longer, thats the price you pay for getting in the gunfight and getting shot in the first place.
 

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invssgt said:
I note that people with smaller hands have a little difficulty locking the slide to the rear on these guns. Peggi was the real eye-opener on this, since she has been shooting my 1911’s for 14 years, and has never experienced any difficulty in clearing them & locking the slide back. She had some difficulty with her XD, mostly because the XD’s smaller grip safety is trickier to hit.
Hmmm, maybe have an extended slide lock. Several members have asked about this and and least one 'smith offers it. I know that I can silver solder (the strong stuff not the jewelry stuff) an extension on with little difficulty and that would not disable any safeties (making lawyers sleep well at nights, and you know that we usually want them to sleep at nights if not forever (unless they are our own lawyer :twisted: ))
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hi Don,

When I get a little time, I'm gonna detail-strip my frame and see what's in there, in the area either side of the grip safety, which would be negatively affected by making its opening wider and fitting a wider safety. I personally think wider is the way to go, because we don't want to screw up the ergonomics- one of the XD's best qualities.

You may be right, though. Adding 0.15-0.25 to the bottom half-inch if the safety itself might solve the problem entirely, w/o inhibiting the gun's handling qualities.
 
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