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Bar-Sto’s customized Springfield XD is a perfect combat piece. The XD’s Picatinny rail allows for use of tactical lights and lasers.

I did not want another 9mm, or a .40 S&W. I’m a .45 ACP man—1911 pattern being my favorite flavor. Besides that, I just hadn’t found a polymer-framed wondernine to match the original .45’s grip size and sheer point-ability. That was, until 2002 when Springfield Armory began importing the striker-fired HS2000 9x19mm pistol from Croatia and renamed it the XD. I resisted the pistol until Springfield released the 5-inch barrel Tactical Model a few years later—since I’m a sucker for any gun whose manufacturer has the word “tactical” in the firearm’s actual model designation.

bar-sto-xd5-9mm-bThe XD slide shows the Dawson front and rear sights and the polished feed ramp.

I did my usual “blind taste test” at my local gun store—I took the unloaded XD in my waist level, two-handed shooting grip, and with my eyes closed, shoved the pistol out into firing position. When I opened my eyes, I was shocked to see that the sights on the XD were right where I was looking. I was sold. Soon my assorted 1911s began to languish in the safe as the OD green-framed XD became my “go to” gun, doing home defense duty with a SureFire X300 and taking on the steel at Taran Butler’s personal training facility.

But the XD-9 wasn’t completely perfect. The trigger was good, not great. The frame’s grip angle was close to the 1911’s, but the checkered polymer got slick in the sweaty summers. I had heard of people grinding away on their “plastic” framed pistols with a Dremel tool, even applying epoxy resin and skate board tape to change grip characteristics. I asked my local gun store’s owner what he knew about such grip work on XDs, and he pulled up the Bar-Sto Precision Machine website on the store computer. I knew that Bar-Sto has been making some of the world’s finest quality match barrels for semi-auto pistols for nearly 40 years, but I always associated them with 1911 barrels. He showed me the various custom options for the XD family of pistols offered by Bar-Sto, and I was hooked.

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August 2010

Bar-Sto’s customized Springfield XD is a perfect combat piece. The XD’s Picatinny rail allows for…