I have long been a fan of Springfield pistols from the first trigger pull on my XD-M 9mm more than 10 years ago. I found it to be the most comfortable for my smaller hands, but also the most accurate and reliable.
Back in the day my budget was tight and I shot the cheapest ammo I could get my hands on — which was always Russian steel-cased ammo like Wolf and Tula. The Springfield XD-M ate everything I fed her and spit it out … and with good accuracy, to boot!
To see how accurate my newest XD-M Elite was, I wanted to know if I could ring steel at 200 yards. Spoiler alert: this gun can do it.
The Next Level
As my shooting evolved, I got some “cans” (AKA suppressors or silencers) and needed a threaded barrel and higher sights to use them with them. I moved to the XD-M with a threaded barrel and suppressor sights. Then, of course, a few years later, the Elite came out and of course, I now needed that one.
Got one of those XD-M Elites in the Tactical OSP format with threaded barrel and suppressor-height sights, put a red dot on it and was shooting steel out to 200 yards. Bingo! I loved it and was considering making it my main carry sidearm.
A downside to this plan was the suppressor-height sights as I can’t use any of my favorite holsters as they don’t make them for the XD-M Elite with those sights (yet). I also was rethinking about having a red dot on my main sidearm and thought maybe I would rather have iron sights for simplicity and reliability. When it comes to a service or duty firearm, in my world KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) is the way to go.
This brings me to the XD-M Elite 5.25” Competition. It is a little bit longer and bigger than some of the other XD-M pistols but is still manageable. On the flip side, could I get the same kind of accuracy I was getting with my Elite OSP with the red dot?
My initial thought was that it would be unlikely I would get the same or better accuracy with iron sights. I wanted to know if I could easily and comfortably hit my steel at 50, 100 and possibly 200 yards with the iron sights instead of an optic. Now that would be of interest to me. Only one way to find out!
I started at getting it zeroed at 50 yards with some ammo I had on hand and using a bench and bag. Once I had it going, I wanted to test and group it using Federal Syntech Action Pistol 150 grain.
Now for me, unless I am using a precision rifle for hunting or distance, shooting paper targets is just to adjust your sights, find your zero so you can really have fun, and then start pinging steel.
I got the pistol prepped and began hitting at 100 yards and then out to 200. As you can see for yourself in the video at the top of the page, it was no problem nailing the steel at 50 yards, even with my aging eyes. I have to say, I was really impressed with the groups I was able to get at 50 with just iron sights.
Shooting at 100 yards was not much different, and I was still able to hit the steel consistently. It does take longer between shots using the iron sights at that distance versus having a red dot.
Now I have to admit, at 200 yards it was very difficult. It had nothing to do with the gun itself, but using iron sights at that distance with a pistol makes it so the target is completely obstructed by the front sight post. Thus, you have to “guess” how far you are moving it up (holdover) because you can’t see the target.
Needless to say, it’s challenging to shoot at 200 yards with iron sights. However, with an accurate pistol like the XD-M Elite 5.25” 9mm pistol, it is achievable. So, I might just have to consider this one as my carry gun, even if I won’t ever use it at that distance!
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