Since the carry holster for my Springfield XD is down for repairs I decided it would be a great time to completely disassemble the gun and give it a thorough cleaning. In doing this I learned a very valuable lesson, reassembling the Springfield XD sucks.
I striped the gun completely to the frame. Every component was removed. It’s amazing how much crud gets missed in a basic field strip and cleaning. Anyways due to the frustrations I encountered I’m going to make some notes in regards to detail stripping and reassembling the Springfield XD.
First thing to note is removing the striker. Getting the cocked indicator out is simple enough, you press in the indicator guide and slide off the rear plate. When you get the plate off out comes a spring and the indicator, but not the striker. If you look at the top of the gun you’ll notice a roll pin, this is holding the striker in. You have to take a punch and hammer to gently tap it out from bottom to top (the bottom hole is smaller than the top one by a slight bit). I hate roll pins. Unless you have a special roll pin punch it’s far too easy to damage a roll pin during removal and more likely reassembly. I personally do not like this design choice at all.
That’s not too big of a deal though since I’ve had the striker out before. What sucked was the frame itself. Pulling apart an XD is a simple ordeal. Remove the take down lever (it wiggles out) and the two pins above the trigger. That removes the locking block and trigger assembly. That’s the easy part.
Removing the sear involves another pin located in the rear rails on the frame. Tap it out and the sear and accompanying equipment come out. The ejector is held in by another blind pin which you can see in the left rear rail (all directions are assuming your looking at the gun as if you were aiming it). This pin serves two functions, holding the ejector into place and keeping tension on the spring that probably flew out when you removed the previously mentioned pin. You can remove the blind pin by inserting a flat head screwdriver on the right end of the pin and pushing it out.
But now comes the fun part, the grip safety. Removal is simple, punch out the pin on the gun’s grip. Off pops the grip safety and it’s spring. Take out the magazine catch, which is another pin, and you’ve completely striped the gun, simple.
Most guns the instructions for reassembly are to just reverse the instructions for disassemble it, not quite so with the XD. So if you’ve detail stripped your XD’s frame here are some tips I have for you to reassemble the gun.
The first thing you should do is reinsert the ejector, sear assembly, and accompanying pins. If you start with the grip safety you’ll find yourself pulling it out later to redo it. Assembly of the aft-mentioned parts is mostly doing what you do to remove them in reverse. But only thing to not is when you reinsert the sear spring you need to hook one of the arms under the ejector’s blind pin. This can be a bit of a pain but I found using a Phillips screwdriver and getting the arm into one of the slots makes this job fairly easy. Just press the arm down, move the pin over it, and you’re done.
Here comes the hard part, the grip safety. Fuck this part. When you removed the grip safety you probably noticed the spring isn’t symmetrical. There are two arms coming off of the spring, one much longer than the other with a bend at the top. When inserting the spring that arm should be on the right side of the grip safety. If you look carefully at the spring you’ll notice the hole the pin is supposed to travel through it’s a perfect hold. The short arm crosses over the hole, this is going to cause some pain.
To reassemble the grip safety you need to insert the spring into the safety lever and than gently insert the lever into the rear of the gun. Do not even the slightest bump agains the spring will make it pop out and you’ll get to start all over. What I did was held a flathead screwdriver against the bottom of the spring on the front of the lever to hold the spring in. This will allow you to get the spring in far enough to insert a very small screwdriver (think of one you’d use to tighten the screws on a pair of glasses) through the grip safety pin hole on the frame and into the pin hold on the lever and spring. Not insert this tiny screwdriver through the left side since you’ll need to drive the pin through the right side.
Look at the grip safety pin. You’ll notice a little notch slightly left of center. This notch is important. You need to slide the pin in from right to left with the side the notch is closer to being inserted first. Remember the spring arm crosses the pin hold? Well that arm fits into the pin’s notch. While still holding the spring in with the tiny screw driver drive the ping in far enough to hold the spring. Now you will need to use that screw driver to pry the small spring piece that crosses the pin hold out so the pin can pass through. Once you get the pin through you should just press down on it until you feel the arm click into the notch. If the arm isn’t perfectly nestled into that notch the grip safety will press in but won’t pop back out again. You may have to move the pin back and forth slightly until it all fits together.
Reassembly of the rest of the gun is just a reverse of the disassembly. It took me a good hour to get that grip safety back in there properly (partially because I put it in before the sear assembly and had to take it out again). It’s a pain in the ass. I realize my description is hard to follow and pictures would be better but I didn’t have the foresight to take pictures and I sure as the Hell am not taking that thing apart again unless is breaks.
As I’ve been comparing the XD and Glock I can say this really put me off the XD path. It’s such a stupid design. More thought should have been given to reassembly here. I’m going to detail strip my Glock and than I will actually compare the two operations but I can’t imagine the Glock being even 1/10th as hard as the XD to reassemble.
If you’re going to detail strip the XD I highly recommend obtaining a copy of AIG’s Springfield Armory XD Pistols Armorer’s Course video. It covers the reassembly of the gun in good detail and you’ll want that detail less you do it wrong (like inserting the grip safety pin in backwards).