Saturday at the Range:XDm .40 and the Crossbreed Holster
Between Christmas, New Years, work, weddings, and a persistant illness, I haven't had the chance until now. Sue me.
For review, the XDm is a revision of Springfield Armory's XD line of pistols. Right now, the XDm is available in .40 and 9mm, but there are rumors of a .45 version to come soon. I carried the original XD .40 as my carry gun for quite awhile, but I wasn't happy with the holster I had for it, a leather Mitch Rosen tuckable inside the waistband (IWB) model. It concealed the gun nicely, but it was very difficult to draw the gun, and it wasn't very comfortable. Since the XDm has a barrel that's just about a half inch longer than the XD, that gave me the excuse to try a new holster, one from CrossBreed Holsters called the Super-Tuck.
I bought a tuckable 2 mag holder from CrossBreed and a gunbelt to support the whole thing. This afternoon, I put the whole rig together for the first time.
Starting with the gun, it was a very sweet gun to shoot. One of the changes Springfield made was to the trigger, decreasing the pull weight, and shortening the release (how far you have to pull the trigger to fire the gun) and the reset (how far you have to let it our before you can shoot again. For competitive shooters, that means they can get more rounds off more quickly and accurately. For me, it means, well, not so much. One change that does help my shooting is that it feels like the slide is heavier, and that noticeably reduced the muzzle climb after a shot. I was able to reacquire the target much more quickly than with the XD. The other big change is the magazine capacity. 16 shots is a lot more than 10. Six more to be exact. You might not think that makes much of a difference but think about any task that requires concentration. Now think about doing it for almost twice as long.
It is an adjustment, but one I'm happy to make.
So after running 100 rounds through the gun, I'm very happy with it. I foresee many trips to the range and the farm in my near future.
Now, on to the holster.
The Super-Tuck is a hybrid holster, combining a molded Kydex holster riveted to a leather backing piece. The name comes from the holster's design, which lets you tuck in your shirt and still carry concealed, which is pretty nice. The holsters are handmade to order and the Kydex is molded to fit your gun. When I first got it in the mail, I was a little bit concerned. The Kydex piece seemed a bit thin, certainly thinner than the plastic used to make the holster that came with the XDm. I also wondered about the holster's ability to retain the gun. It certainly wasn't as tight as the Rosen holster and that's a good thing, since that was one of the problems I had with it, but still, this seemed like it might be too lose. Fortunately, Mark Craighead inventor of the CrossBreed Super-Tuck anticipated this, and included instructions for increasing retention by molding the Kydex to your gun. I decided to wait and see how things held together before making any modification.
The tuckable magazine holder has room for two magazines, which means that when I'm wearing this rig, I have 49 shots available, which is probably about 47 more than I'll ever need, but the backup mags aren't really for numbers of bullets, but for reliability. If one magazine fails, I have a back up.
I started with just the holster and the belt. First a few words about the belt. I didn't appreciate exactly how differently a gunbelt felt. It's much stiffer and heavier than a standard dress belt, which improves it's ability to support the gun and holster, which is a good thing with the XDm .40, with its full load of 17 rounds. The good news is that the belt supports the gun easily and very comfortably. The holster helps with that. The wide piece of leather distributes the weight of the gun across more of the belt while at the same time keeping the gun from imprinting on your skin, which can be painful. The other nice thing about the holster is that it is very adjustable. The two belt clips can be moved up or down to adjust the angle the gun is carried at and how deeply it is carried. After adjusting the clips to lean the gun forward just a bit, I put it on the belt for a test run.
It was extremely comfortable, so much so that I forgot I was wearing it. Standing, walking, even sitting and driving, the gun rode comfortably on my hip and was easily accessible. I tried drawing from different positions, and the gun pulled smoothly from the holster every time. Another advantage over my old holster, it was much easier to reholster my gun, since the Kydex stays open better. And the retention issue became a non issue. The tension on the belt added to the tension on the holster to keep the gun securely in place.
I even did jumping jacks.
Next, I added the mag carrier. I tried two separate locations for it, the small of my back, and on my left hip. I settled on the left hip position because it was more comfortable and easier to get to. Like the Super-Tuck, the mag carrier is a hybrid of Kydex and leather and is very comfortable to carry. Also like the Super-Tuck, it is built to allow you to tuck in your shirt and still conceal the mags, letting you dress a little bit nicer than the average carry holster.
In this picture, you can see that even under a tucked in T shirt, the gun and mags are well concealed.
A side view of the magazine holder
Peek a boo!
I see you!
Incidentally, I can get away with wearing normal size pants if I'm just carrying the gun, but if I wear the mag carrier, I need to bump up a size.
And CrossBreed offers a velcro kit with their belts that include a strip of Velcro sewn on the inside of the belt and a set of clips to replace the ones that come with the holster. The velcro clips stay on the inside of the gelt and attach to the Velcro strip for even better concealment.
I'm extremely happy with this rig. It' comfortable enough and easy enough to access that I will be wearing it full time, It's not a chore, like the old one was. The XDm .40 is a big, heavy gun for concealed carry. Fortunately, I'm a big, heavy guy, and with this holster and belt, I can carry it comfortably and securely, and discreetly.
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