The XDM 3.8 Part 4

The XDM 3.8 Part 4

The 1:1 Shooting Test conclusion

By Dennis Adler

If you had to pick which one is an air pistol at a glance, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between the 9mm Springfield XDM 3.8 in my right hand (larger .45 ACP muzzle) from the 9mm XDM 3.8 in my left. For authenticity, the XDM’s with Melonite-type black and Bi-Tone polished slides are a perfect match for their centerfire counterparts in both the looks and handling department. But how does the CO2 model stand up against the 9mm for defensive shooting practice?

This last installment is really what practical shooting with a CO2 understudy is all about. What we learn from these shooting drills is the fundamental handling of the centerfire model, and in a 1:1 shooting test at practical defensive distances the lessens are almost entirely interchangeable from holster draw, aiming, and firing. What the photos don’t show is the difference in felt recoil and the sound of a 9mm pistol discharging. Otherwise, what you see with one gun is the same as the other, and that is the bottom line value in training with air. Even if you’re not training to carry concealed, or even considering a 9mm pistol for home protection, the total equivalence of the XDM 3.8 CO2 and centerfire models is beneficial for basic handgun skills, even for shooting air pistols. read more


The XDM 3.8 Part 3

The XDM 3.8 Part 3

The 1:1 Shooting Test begins

By Dennis Adler

For the most part, all that separates these two Springfield Armory XDM 3.8 pistols is what comes out of the muzzle and how that round is propelled. With gun powder vs. CO2, Air Venturi and Springfield have mastered the art of building a 1:1 blowback action pistols.

Doing a 1:1 shooting test between a centerfire pistol and its CO2 blowback action counterpart is always exciting, at least for those of us who shoot both cartridge and BB/pellet guns for sport or small arms training. It is often a mix of compromises going from CO2 to centerfire, but with the recent crop of blowback action models beginning last year, it has become more of a level playing field, except for report and recoil between gunpowder and air. The Springfield Armory XDM 3.8 has brought the same level of handling and authenticity to the game as the Sig Sauer WTP 1911, Umarex HK USP Blowback, ASG CZ75 SP-01 Shadow, Umarex S&W M&P40, and to a lesser extent, the Umarex Glock 17, (however the forthcoming Glock 17 Gen4 CO2 will be field strippable, which puts the Glock in the very same league as the Springfield XD Series of air pistols that are 1:1 in every respect, including exterior design and markings. For the moment, and things are changing monthly as to which gun is the most authentic, the XDM 3.8 Bi-Tone is, in my opinion, the No. 1 CO2 model in this rapidly expanding world of blowback action air pistols. read more


The XDM 3.8 Part 2

The XDM 3.8 Part 2

The Tale of the Tape

By Dennis Adler

Real 1:1 design means inside and out, at least as far as a CO2 firing system can be adapted to a centerfire pistol, and the XDM 3.8 has taken this concept to the next level for blowback action BB-firing models. The CO2 model is on the right. Quick tells are the small molded in wording on the left lower section of the slide, the more orange than red fiber optic front sight, and a .45 ACP diameter muzzle vs. a 9mm muzzle, though the XDM was offered in a .45 Auto version up until 2017 with the 4.5 inch barrel (XDM 4.5).

In Combat Handguns magazine, “Tale of the Tape” is a series of articles I do comparing two similar handguns. Occasionally, I make this same comparison between centerfire handguns and their CO2 counterparts, and that is what I will be doing today with the Springfield Armory XDM 3.8 CO2 model against a 9mm XDM 3.8 Bi-Tone version.

As I mentioned in Tuesday’s article on the XDM 3.8, Springfield Armory has decided to limit the XDM Series to the company’s black Melonite finish slide and no longer offer the option of a satin polished stainless steel version. The Bi-Tone finish is still offered for the XDS Series and XD 5-inch .45 ACP models. Since the CO2 model is also offered in a black Melonite-like finish, you have a current version blowback action pistol as well, though I prefer the Bi-Tone look on the XDM 3.8 model. It is a sharp looking pistol and the satin stainless steel (9mm) and alloy finishes (CO2) are not highly reflective, either. read more


The XDM 3.8 Part 1

The XDM 3.8 Part 1

Springfield Armory hits another one out of the park!

By Dennis Adler

Air Venturi and Springfield Armory raised the bar for authenticity with the XDM 4.5 and now, with the Compact 3.8, the CO2 models set an even higher standard for total authenticity. Of the three pistols shown, two are blowback action CO2 models, one is a 9mm XDM 3.8.

The Top Gun crown keeps changing hands every few weeks as new 2019 models are revealed but this time it looks like it is staying in the same family as the Air Venturi Springfield Armory XDM 3.8 models arrive in both black and the centerfire XD Series bi-tone finish with a polished alloy slide contrasting the black polymer frame. Better still; the newest XDM CO2 models use the centerfire 3.8 Compact versions’ extended capacity magazine with XD-Gear grip extension. This model is virtually indistinguishable from the compact centerfire XDM model in every way except for what comes out of the muzzle when you pull the trigger. The balance, weight, trigger design and operation, dual safety system, white dot rear and red fiber optic front sights, and finish are perfectly duplicated. Like the XDM 4.5, the 3.8 has exact dimensions to fit all XD Gear and aftermarket holsters. The self-contained CO2 BB magazines fit XD Gear Grip Frame extensions and the pistol comes with all three sizes to match the interchangeable backstrap panels. The CO2 magazines fit XD Gear and aftermarket magazine pouches as well. Glock may claim perfection but the Springfield Armory XDM series is perfect. read more


Airing out history Part 3

Airing out history Part 3

Springfield Armory M1 vs. Crosman DPMS M16

By Dennis Adler

Two is better than one when it comes to full auto firing. The Crosman DPMS Panther SBR uses two CO2 cartridges in its AR-sized CO2 BB magazine. The semi-auto Springfield Armory M1 Carbine gets by on one but comes up a little short on velocity compared to the DPMS.

A test of equals that are not quite equal can be a bit lopsided, but if we discount the select-fire feature of the DPMS Panther SBR, it looses one of its two advantages over the M1 Carbine. The other inequality is that the DPMS .223-sized magazine can hold dual CO2 cartridges to give the gun its higher velocity and the power to shoot on full auto. Keeping the selector on semi-auto makes the playing field look pretty level (even if the guns look nothing alike).

Not only is the DPMS a bigger gun (except in length) it is a much bigger magazine that holds 25 BBs, compared to the M1 Carbine’s 15. The Springfield has a locking follower that makes loading very easy. The DPMS uses a dedicated speed loader that holds the follower down while feeding BBs into the large, beveled loading port. Holding the follower down by hand is just as easy and you can pour BBs right into the loading port. It’s a very good design.

Loading

The M1 Carbine’s magazine has a locking follower which makes pouring BBs into the loading channel very easy. The DPMS takes things one step further with a dedicated speed loader that locks the follower down and has a pour spout that fits directly over the large beveled loading port. I’m not a big fan of speed loaders since they so easily jam up. The large follower tab on the DPMS is easy to hold down and with the beveled loading port you can literally pour BBs right into the magazine. The DPMS has a BB capacity of 25 rounds (which on full auto disappears quickly) while the M1 Carbine mag holds 15 BBs. Their centerfire counterparts have capacities with standard magazines, of 30 rounds, and 15 rounds, respectively, so the M1 is right on the money and the DPMS five short. (There are also 30-round magazines for the WWII .30 carbine caliber M1 Carbine and M1A1 Paratrooper models but not for the Springfield CO2 model.) read more


Airing out history Part 2

Airing out history Part 2

The generational gap between the M1 and M16

By Dennis Adler

The M1 Carbine has a barrel length of 17.25 inches while the DPMS, being an SBR, has a shorter 10.25 inch barrel. The respective overall lengths are 35.8 inches and 30.4 inches, with the stock extended, collapsed, the DPMS is only 26.6 inches in length. (An M1A1 is 25.75 inches with the metal stock folded.)

There is more than a generational gap between the M1 and M16 as rifles, there is an even greater one between the generations that have used them. We are talking WWII-era veterans still living, Korean War veterans and early Vietnam War veterans, versus those who have served post Vietnam in actions around the world over the last four decades. We are talking three generations of American soldiers between the M1 and today’s M16-based Carbines. Updated versions of the later M14 (based on the M1 Garand) are still in use today by the U.S. military for combat missions, as well as being used as a ceremonial rifle, while the M1 Carbine has become more of a sportsman’s rifle (reproductions and originals), with very fine WWII and Korean War examples more in the collectible firearms category. The generational gap among M1 Carbine owners today is often as diverse as the gap between the M1 and the M16 itself. Think of it as the rifle version of choosing between a Colt Model 1911 and a Glock 17. You know what category you fall into. read more


Airing out history Part 1

Airing out history Part 1

Comparing time, technology and the M1 vs. the M16

By Dennis Adler

It is an interesting comparison, the new CO2 M1 Carbine with wood stock and a centerfire M16 of original Vietnam era style. The AR was smaller and lighter with a higher capacity.

The real world of firearms and the world of airguns are overlapping more and more these days, and comparisons cannot help but be made between CO2 powered arms and their contemporary centerfire counterparts. We also know that historic firearms have been recreated to match their vintage centerfire predecessors, like the Broomhandle Mauser and WWII-era Colt Model 1911A1. This particular comparison has, in fact, been made many times in the world of centerfire arms, pitting the legendary American light rifle of WWII, Korea and Vietnam, against its successor, the M16/AR-15. read more