Next up – tracking the reliability of Springfield Armory’s XD/XDM family of pistols, and the Smith & Wesson Military & Police pistols. Both are designed to compete with Glock, and like the Glock they are both available in full-size, compact and subcompact versions.
Same method as before: every review in Gun Tests magazine back to 1996. A gun would be judged as “broken” if it stopped working, shed parts, or physically disintegrated in some way. A gun would be “unreliable” if it had failures to fire, feed, extract or eject that were not attributable to a documented problem with the ammunition. An obviously defective part like a single bad magazine would not render a gun “unreliable” if the manufacturer’s regular magazines worked when the bad magazine was replaced like-for-like.
Since these are relatively new designs, there is a smaller sample size of reviews to draw upon:
The Springfield Armory XDM is made in Croatia. It was originally produced by I. M. Metal, and brought to market in 1999 as the HS2000 by Intrac. Springfield worked with Intrac for the U.S. rights and renamed it the XD. The XD was a success, and Springfield upgraded the XD to the XDM by modifying the grip angle, texture and slide serrations. Robb Allen is a fan of the design.
Smith & Wesson, seeing the success of Glock, tried to break into the market with their Sigma pistols in 1994, which never really took off. They then tried to adapt the Walther P99 pistols to the American market as the SW99 in 2000, but they also were not runaway hits. So they developed the Military & Police pistols and seem to have achieved some level of success with them.
There was some buzz a while ago about the subcompact M&P models ejecting their magazines when the guns were carried concealed, or when the gun was being fired. S&W apparently modified the design to make that less likely, and will retrofit older guns upon request. Then the L.A. Sheriff’s Department had some quality issues with the M&P and had to de-authorize the gun as a duty weapon. They have since re-authorized the weapon after S&W addressed the issues with the batch that the Sheriff’s Department received.
Once again, these are not huge sample datasets. But the XD/XDM guns have a reputation for reliability that is supported by the Gun Tests experiences with them.