Harsh Recoil on my XD 9


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cirrus
December 3, 2006, 11:49 PM
my xd 9 seems to have pretty violent recoil in comparison to a few other pistols i have fired recently. some were larger calibers (which actually seem much smoother) but i have also shot a couple of 9's recently which didn't kick as much as my xd. double shots or a series of rapidly fired shots can be pretty uncomfortable, with the pistol snapping pretty aggressively. is there anything i can do to decrease the amount of snap on this pistol or is it just inherent in the design? maybe i need to sell it and buy the .40 Cal i was looking at in the first place? :scrutiny:

i apologize for my lack of terminology or proper description. this is my first firearm and i seem to be struggling with it more than i would like to.

thank you for any input.

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treebeard
December 4, 2006, 12:09 AM
You think you got some recoil now with that XD9 wait until you feel the sharp crisp snappy snap of a .40 semi-auto. I did not find the recoil on my XD9 to be that bad. Bad was the recoil on the G19 I had for a short while. What type of ammo are you feeding your XD9? What are those "other" pistols you have fired recently? Let me guess....SIG, Glock, CZ, and perhaps H&K? IMHO there can be alot of snap when shooting a 9mm handgun. I guess it depends upon the make of the gun and the ammo used.

cirrus
December 4, 2006, 12:20 AM
strangelt, that is exactly what i shot today (a Steyr 40) and it felt much more manageable than mine. i have also shot a beretta 8045 recently and it was much smoother, both were more of a push than that wicked upward jolt. i also shot a Beretta 9 that was very smooth in comparison and... a couple of others. another board memeber shot my XD and immediately noticed its kick compared to his 40 Cal.

ammo... i use reloads mostly at the range. maybe... that is the issue. i'll try something else next time. in my county in CA you have to use lead free primer at the ranges if that makes a difference.

will changing the recoil spring make a difference?

Waywatcher
December 4, 2006, 12:29 AM
will changing the recoil spring make a difference?

Yes it will. If it's a 5" model go ahead and swap. If it's a 4" model you're going to need a new guide rod, I had great luck with Don's Guide Rod from http://www.pistol-gear.com

Buy heavier and lighter springs and see what you like.

My personal set-up that worked very well (I'm recoil sesitive) was a 4" XD-9 with the DGR and 18lb 1911 commander recoil spring. 100% Reliable too--used in IPSC and IDPA for thousands of rounds.

P.S. Pistol Gear sells 4" 1911 springs but I found the 4.25" 1911 springs held the gun in battery better.

cirrus
December 4, 2006, 12:53 AM
i have the 4" model. do lighter springs make it more supple and forgiving?or, is the opposite true?

thanks again.

Waywatcher
December 4, 2006, 01:18 AM
In my experience, I have found heavy springs to feel quick and snappy with less muzzle flip, and lighter springs to feel like the gun was operating in slo-mo with more muzzle flip.

goon
December 4, 2006, 02:16 AM
I think it has to do with individual shooters and guns.
For me, a 9mm CZ-75 leaves red marks on the web of my hand eventhough it is only a 9mm. I have shot and owned many more powerful handguns that didn't do that.
The P3AT and Ruger Blackhawk are also both on my list of guns that are painful to shoot.
P3AT stings the hell out of my trigger finger during recoil and the Blackhawk (at least in .45 LC) bangs my knuckles with the triggerguard.
Might just be that the gun/cartirdge combo won't work with you.

SolaScriptura139
December 4, 2006, 09:37 AM
Get the ported model. My XD-9 is ported and I can barely feel any recoil and the muzzle flip is minimal. If you decide to get a .40, I would still recommend the ported model for recoil reduction. Also to take into consideration is the weight of the XD compared to other handguns, the XD might be significantly lighter due to the polymer grip, therefore increasing felt recoil.

treebeard
December 4, 2006, 09:55 AM
I put one of those rods from Don's Guide rod in my XD9 and it made some difference.

Walkalong
December 4, 2006, 10:10 AM
My .40 SC XD is snappy with 155 Gr. loads, a little better with 165 Gr. loads and feels best with 180 Gr. loads. I'm loading 180 Gr. Berry's for it now, although I have a load for 165 Gr. Zero JHP's that is real nice. I have not shot the XD 9, but my 24 or 25 so ounce EMP 9mm is super smooth to shoot. I've never heard someone complain about the XD 9. What kind of reload are you using? Must be pretty hot!

Cousin Mike
December 4, 2006, 10:26 AM
...then I'm afraid there's only one thing you can do, my friend. Get a hand exerciser and use the hell out of it. The XD-9 is pretty mild in terms of recoil, IMO. You're not going to find much of anything in a good defensive caliber that's softer on your hands. If you found the bigger calibers easier to shoot, then get a .40 or a .45 - but if you're young and healthy, and anywhere near in good physical shape, the XD-9 shouldn't be a problem.

Unless you're using super-hot +P+ rated reloads... Try some WWB and see if it's still a problem.

D-Man
December 4, 2006, 11:00 AM
Any chance you can go to a range and rent a heavy steel 9mm to shoot to get the hang of things? I don't know how much experience you have (you say the XD-9 is your first gun, but not sure if you've done a lot of shooting previously), but it might just be a case of being new to shooting.

Once you get the hang of shooting the 9MM in a larger/heavier gun (Sig, Ruger, etc.), then try transitioning to the smaller/lighter XD.

(Edit - I see you really are focusing on lessening the recoil in the gun - maybe springs will help, but they can also cause other problems, so be careful with your experiments).

zamboxl
December 4, 2006, 11:11 AM
this is my humble opinon but to me an emty xd is very top heavy so maibe you need a heavier spring to soak up the extra weight, to much weight up top and not enough on the frame.

treebeard
December 4, 2006, 11:36 AM
I agree with zamboxl and D-Man.

Lonestar
December 4, 2006, 01:50 PM
my xd 9 seems to have pretty violent recoil in comparison to a few other pistols i have fired recently. some were larger calibers (which actually seem much smoother) but i have also shot a couple of 9's recently which didn't kick as much as my xd.

I agree with Cousin Mike, for me the XD has a milder recoil then most other 9mm handguns. Compare a XD Sub with a Glock 26 and a Kel Tec P11, and the XD would be a lot more pleasant to shoot. Part of it is the XD in the Subcompact class is wider and a little heavier.

Honestly if your not liking the recoil of 9mm try something lighter. My first handgun was an airlight .357 and even though I grew up shooting handguns, I hated shoot .357 thru that snubbie and flinched every time at the range. I switched to a glock 26 9mm and never looked back. I still have the old revolver but I always use .38 in it. If you can't find a 9mm handgun that you like, try a 38 revolver or a .380 pistol.

cirrus
December 4, 2006, 06:07 PM
i'm 36, in good physical shape, and just not responding well to the XD, i guess. seriously, even though it may not make sense higher cal's just seem smoother and more controllable to me. the energy in the XD all seems to be a wicked flip up upward, while the 40 and 45's i've fired are a much softer flip with a slight rearward push. maybe i have learned the hardway what my preference is.

to answer some questions, yes i am a very novice shooter.

yes, i can rent quite a few HG's at the range i go to. and, i will pick up spme WWB and try that out.

Walkalong
December 4, 2006, 06:18 PM
45's i've fired are a much softer flip

Sounds like you need an all steel 1911 or the XD .45... Just two I like... :)

Cousin Mike
December 4, 2006, 06:26 PM
Hmmm... Very interesting. I was somewhat joking about the hand exerciser, I've only heard that complaint about the XD-9 one other time. A friend of mine didn't respond to it very well, but he hardly ever shoots anything. It's also somewhat ironic that you like the .40, but not the 9mm. :D

I like big flash and bang, and I'm far from recoil shy - but even I think the .40 is a little stiff... then again, recoil is subjective. Everyone's tolerances are different. It's all about personal preference, my friend. If you still don't like the 9mm, and can't shoot it as well as a .40 or a .45, then you have every reason to move up in caliber for a defensive gun.

You should get a .22 for practice ASAP - the virtually non-existant recoil teaches you to shoot properly without flinching, which is definitely one of the problems you're having with that XD. When you get better with a .22, and used to shooting in general, you'll get better with all platforms. It's all about the fundamentals. Once you get the fundamentals of shooting down, caliber and platform won't matter as much. For now, I'd recommend some serious dry-fire practice - that might help a little in the meantime. Focus on keeping the sights perfectly straight and still until the gun clicks.

Dry fire A LOT... until you can keep those sights perfectly aligned and on target, and follow through as you pull the trigger. Then, when you're at the range, pretend you're dry-firing, and focus on the sights. See if that doesn't make a little bit of a difference.

I would recommend giving it a 2nd thought or two before you trade it in for a .40, though. The first couple of times I shot .357 Sig I was pretty overwhelmed. By the 3rd time I took it out to shoot, it was a piece of cake, and I couldn't figure out what I didn't like about it at first. Sometimes you just have to have a chance to get used to it. Only you know what's right for you.

Welcome to the High Road, btw. :)

cirrus
December 4, 2006, 07:29 PM
i was onto you, cuz. it's all good. :) anyway, maybe it is just that the motion of the 40 and 45 agree with me more. i don't know. i can't really make sense of it. i'll try anything. i am a little noise sensitive but wear plugs plus headphones and everything is fine. but, i have a tendency to shoot left too. i couldn't hit the right side of a target if i tried half of the time with my XD. (i am right handed). but again, when i shot the 40 my group was much tighter and i found i was able to hit anywhere i wanted to without any noticeable issues. its a damn enigma.

i'll just keep working at it with some of the suggestions above and see if i can become 9 friendly. if not, onto the 40. ;)

HGUNHNTR
December 5, 2006, 10:36 AM
The recoil you are feeling may be more accurately described as muzzle flip. The XD's I have shot seem to have a bit more recoil than other pistols of the same caliber. Probably because of the fact that their slides sit very high on the frame, making them somewhat top heavy.

.357 magnum
December 5, 2006, 09:44 PM
First off welcome! I read through the thread and changing ammo is probably a very good suggestion. I would rent an XD .45acp if they have one. The push of a .45 is easy for most people too tolerate. A .45 is not known for it's muzzle flip. With the cartridges coming out of the muzzle at a sub-sonic speed, it is an easy caliber to shoot and become proficient with. As another gentleman suggested earlier, you may even want to consider a 1911 if you want a heavier gun. I Love my XD .45acp Tactical and service model they Rock!

The Best to you and yours!

Frank

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