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Guns I Hate Part 2.5: Externalities of The Derp Tier

As I’ve mentioned before in this slow running series, singular anecdotes of individual guns failing or working well aren’t demonstrative in of themselves, but my observations at this month’s 2-gun match reminded me of something I had forgotten to bring up.

In my squad of a baker’s dozen shooters, the Springfield Inc XD was well represented with three examples. Remarkably for even a piece of junk like the XD, all three had at least one stoppage over five stages. You might think even a derp-tier gun could run for 40 rounds without issue, but you’d be wrong. One of them even locked up so hard it took a good fifteen minutes to get it back into action so the competitor could reshoot the stage.

This put us way behind on time and for a while we had to share a bay with the squad behind us, holding up another twelve shooters and dragging the match out.

Inconvenience was not the only problem, as encountering a stoppage while the shooter is deep into Beeper Fever can lead to some pretty hairy malfunction clearance techniques. I didn’t see any obvious 180 violations and nobody cranked off a round inadvertently, but in the excitement, people swept themselves and forgot where their trigger finger ought to be during remedial actions. This is not an issue that was the direct fault of the XD, but if your gun doesn’t go down, then you won’t have to mess with it either.



I’ve repeatedly pointed out that cheap guns, optics, holsters, belts and other ancillary gear are a false economy if you value your own time, safety and frustration levels, but if you go shooting with others, you’re also costing them wasted time and potentially putting their safety at risk because you wanted to save $50 or thought you were too much a unique snowflake to get a Glock.

{ 3 } Comments

  1. Sevesteen | May 21, 2014 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    I wonder how much is shooter induced? I’ve got derp guns, but I seem to have much better luck than others-I’ve got a PF9 in particular that malfunctions about 10% of the time when Wife shoots it, has yet to malfunction for me in 500 rounds or so. I’ve owned 3 different XD’s with thousands of rounds of mostly action shooting through them, with 2 malfunctions total. I wouldn’t buy them again, but reliability hasn’t been an issue. (Mostly bulk–when I started making holsters, discovered that the XD Subcompact is almost identical in size to a Glock 19, despite having room for one less finger)

  2. pdb | May 22, 2014 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Certainly possible, and I didn’t get close enough for a good look at the malfunctions or the clearance to see exactly what was going on, but 3/3, with one XD shared between a boyfriend / girlfriend team, both of whom had it stop on them, is pretty damning.

    One guy had his XD choke on Wolf, which sure isn’t up to Western standards, but a good gun should run at least 40 rounds on Wolf anyway.

  3. Don Gwinn | May 23, 2014 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    I have an XD .45 (the older, standard, non-M service model) that was very reliable until it suddenly started to choke with three out of four magazines. Replacing all four magazine springs with Wolff springs fixed it, but I’m still not totally sure it was only on the magazine side–the Wolff springs are more powerful than the factory springs, so it could have been an action issue that got just bad enough to manifest itself in combination with weaker mag springs (the XD is apparently known for this and replacing the springs is apparently a known precaution.)

    Not a huge deal, but not my preference.