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Last night I was cleaning both my XD40 and Ruger P95DC and noticed the difference in the fit between the two slides to the frames.

The XD40 slide fit is very good. It is barely possible to rock the slide on the frame. The Ruger P95DC, however, can rock what seems like a few degrees from side to side. Or in inches, there may be .020" play in the Ruger slide to frame. There's a lot of wiggle in the Ruger compared to the XD.

Now I'm thinking that this might partially explain the better repeatibility of the XD. But I'm not sure. There may be other significant factors.

In your opinion, does this difference affect into the ability of the gun to shoot well? And is this something that you examine when purchasing a new pistol?
 

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For a combat pistol, a little wiggle isn't so bad. That allows room for the dirt to go instead of binding up the pistol when it's cycling causing jams and feed issues. This can be seen if you look at the 2 premier pistols of WW2. The GI 45 is a clatterbox, but you can tie it on a string behind you and drag it as you are wading ashore through mud n sand, pick the thing up and it will probably fire. The famous Luger on the other hand was much more accurate, but prone to jams because it was such a finely crafted piece, it didn't take much dust/dirt from the battlefield and ammo to get it dirty enough to not function.

You will often hear competetive shooters (who don't have $3k wrapped up in a gun) state how they find their gun shoots better after a couple hundred rounds through it. What that does is fills in some of those gaps and steadies up the slide and bbl providing a little tighter lockup. I know my XD that Rich built starts getting better groups at about 300 rounds so after I clean it, before I go to my next match, I'll go to the range a day or two ahead of time and burn through a couple hundred rounds then just wipe the pistol down after the range session and not mess with it till match day.
 
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