When I first heard that Springfield Armory was finally going to release an XDM in 10mm, I was elated. As a recent convert to the XDM 45, I could not think of a better platform in terms of ergonomics. But there is a specter that haunts any new gun in this caliber, one that us Cult of The Centimeter types know well. The first question we have to ask, is will the gun take it? Is your gun tough enough to handle the mighty 10, the old magnum of auto rounds?
The question isn’t without reason. When 10mm was developed, part of its downfall was the guns of the day. Even old slab sides, the tough as nails 1911, would crack the frame in short order. Over the years since, we have seen very few new 10mm platforms, and even less survive past a few years of production.
So when the new XDM came up, I asked Springfield Armory if they were ready to dance. Not only did they say yes, but they knew a good ammo guy. My proposal was 10,000 rounds, every round shot on camera. That is a huge risk for a new gun, and I had no way of knowing if it would survive. In 10mm terms, that is more than most of us will shoot in a lifetime.
I have always heard that XDM’s are built like tanks, but never tested it myself. It was just never my flavor, and for a durability test, you are generally talking years of use for a round count like that. For Springfield Armory’s part, this was definitely a “ put your money where your mouth is” proposition. If the gun rattled apart at 2000 or 5000 or 9000 rounds, it would justifiably put into question the long-term durability of the entire XDM family. But if it didn’t? If the XDM 10mm took a full 10k of the manliest caliber every to ride in a slide? Well, it seems reasonable that would absolutely settle the score on XDM toughness. Ten thousand of 10mm is comparable to one hundred thousand of 9mm in terms of polymer and steel abuse. It’s like pouring nitrous oxide into your commuter car. The added horsepower is insanely different from a wear perspective.
The ammunition was also a factor. Running 10,000 consecutive rounds of anyone’s ammo could expose problems they don’t want seeing the light of day. Who here has had a primer fail to detonate? Me too. Lots of them actually, over the years. In a test like this, a light strike could be the fault of the ammo, or the gun, and both would be taking a risk. Fortunately, Federal had the stones to step up. Not only did they send us 10,000 rounds, they sent us Hydra-Shok from the Federal Premium self-defense catalog.
That actually upped the ante. Any of us would accept a bad round or two from plinking ammo, it comes with the territory. But Personal Protection rounds? Those have to go bang every time. Not only was Federal now on the hook for $17, 475 in ammo, but they were also willing to gamble the reputation of they legendary Hydra-Shok in the process.
Now it hurt my heart a little, as an ammo connoisseur, to shoot 10,000 rounds of Hydra-Shok in a manner that would result in no hogs or terrorist dying. But I didn’t want the sacrifice to be totally in vain, like shooting them at the berm for no reason. So while the test needed to be speedy, we could at least test a target as well.
Action Targets entered the fray, volunteering an E-50 steel silhouette. Believe me, I would be thankful for that size of a target by the time this was over. Still, that is a lot of fire to pour onto one target, in a short period of time. To keep everything on camera, we also had to shoot the target at a highly un-recommended 8 meters. That is well inside the advised range, and also adds that much more stress to the steel.
G Code provided 2 Scorpion Soft Shell belt kits, and I have a new found respect for this universal magazine system. Not only did they take a huge amount of use, but they also continued to provide perfect retention on the 10mm magazines. Hats off to this new belt kit, and a full review is coming soon.
Last but not least, this was an opportunity to test Lucas Extreme Duty gun oil. I have always assumed that anyone capable of making automotive lubricants would excel at something like firearms lube, but you never know. It is what Springfield Armory recommends, so we grab a bottle and off to the races.
I would also like to take this opportunity and thank an unsung hero of the project. UpLULA didn’t sponsor the test, and if you have followed me for any length of time, you know this is one of my favorite products to mock. Well, I am eating some crow on this one. Without some loaner UpLULA’s, this test would not have been possible. Just the thumb repetitions required to load 10,000 rounds into magazines is staggering. I won’t contend that an UpLULA is faster than thumb loading, but it sure is easier. And after all those reps, I have a new found respect. You can bet dollars to donuts I put in an order for TWO as soon as we were done.
And that loading curve was steep for another reason. By the time all the parts were assembled in my garage, we didn’t have much time to beat the release date of the XDM 10. So with my two incredibly lovely assistants, we shot the entire 10,000 rounds in two days. Yes, 48 hours. Which added heat and stress to every component listed above, including me. So did the XDM 10mm survive? Absolutely it did. Check out the pictures of the slide below, it’s still nearly new. Come find out more over at Springfield Armory.
Less than ideal conditions for testing, but you got what you got.