The story of 40 XD pistols, and a hard day's work

  1. Editor
    In my day job as an NRA-certified firearms instructor, I work as a contractor to several different security and law enforcement agencies in addition to conducting CCW training for concealed carry permit holders. In my travels, I ran across a stack of XD pistols used on a large security contract and what I found out about the guns impressed me.

    The set up

    Each client is different and they all have their own list of expectations that need to be met. This one is a force protection contract to a government agency who had a large production plant that consisted of several hundred acres. By nature of security concerns, let us just leave the specific at that. The contract for this company was that they provide their guard force a "modern, 9mm, law enforcement grade handgun." The spec sheet went on to detail several features the guns had to have and in short, to meet this rigid requirement, the contactor chose full-sized Springfield XD 9mms, to be carried with three mags.

    Shooting

    To prove that the guard force could use these guns, each officer had to run 500-rounds through one of them. As specified, these couldn't be run of the mill practice FMJs but LE-grade defensive ammo. That's right; ten big boxes of hollow points ran by each officer. The thing is, there were 40 officers and only 12 guns, as they traded sidearms over at the end of each shift. That meant each gun rang out some 2k rounds of full power duty ammo-- just in practice. Then each officer had to qualify, which meant more wear and tear.

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    The hardest aspect to teach is for officers who have never used a grip safety and are used to S&W, Glock, or other handguns. However, those with experience with a 1911 pick it right up. Some Glock fan boys cry about bore-axis, and SIG guys talk smack about 'made in Croatia' or whatever-- but they all manage to qualify.

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    The average XD on the contract, with several thousand rounds on it.

    Duty use

    Well, that was two years ago, and these guns are still very much ticking. Ten of these guns are in regular daily use, being carried in a harsh and unforgiving environment, literally 24 hours a day. Three times a day, each of these guns is unloaded, cleared in a barrel; function checked, reloaded, and turned over at shift change. That's lots of wear, use, and abuse.

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    The other two guns are kept as spares and for training purposes, as officers have to requalify regularly and the duty guns can't leave the location for the trip to the range. In all of this, these XDs have gotten dirty, but always clean up. They have been abused, but always work. They go to the local gunsmith every few months, to check out and certify that they are still in satisfactory condition, and he always gives them a passing grade.

    All in all, not a bad day's work.

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