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I have a XD compact in .45ACP and a XD service in 9mm. I bought the 9mm strictly for range practice since it was cheaper to reload for than the .45ACP. On my last trip to Front Sight, I ran up a score of 119 out of 125 on the shooting portion of the skills test using my XD9. When it gets right down to it, I really can't complain too much about the XD trigger. If it were so bad, my shooting would show it. However.....I can complain about it just enough to want to improve it a bit. And so with that in mind, I turned to Powder River Precision for some parts to see if I could improve the trigger. I had two basic goals.....eliminate most of take up on the trigger while improving reset and to reduce the over travel. Since the XD9 was not being used as a bullseye pistol, I was not looking to reduce the trigger weight. I just wanted to eliminate some of that excess trigger travel I experience when shooting it.
Powder River Precision's (PRP) XD Match Target Easy Fit Kit was the
choice I made for upgrading my trigger. The first part in the kit consists of a Striker Safety
Lever. It is designed to reduce the trigger's take up and reset. It
is CNC machined from billet S-7 tool steel and heat treated. It replaces
the existing part in the XD. The kit also
comes with an Easy Fit Over Travel Stop. Unlike some mods for the XD, it
is designed to eliminate the over travel of the XD trigger without having to
make any permanent alterations to the pistol frame or its components. It
is available in either high strength polymer or stainless steel. It does
not replace an existing part in the XD.
The kit came with reduced weight trigger and sear springs and claims to bring the trigger pull weight down to the 3 to 4 pound range. The kit fits XD 9mm/40cal/45cal and does require minor fitting. (It will not work with the XD 45 thumb safety.) I could have gotten this without the springs but I decided having them may not be such a bad thing after all. It gives me two more options to try in case I decided to change the trigger weight at some later date. As I write this, I've not installed either of the springs. I am currently satisfied with the feel that the factory springs provide.
Update 12/26/2011: I bought a Lyman electronic trigger pull gauge some time back. I just checked the XD's trigger (having now shot it for quite some time since installing the PRP kit) and a 10 pull average was 5 pounds, .5 ounces. In contrast, I just checked the factory trigger on a very new XD9 sub-compact. It was 6 pounds, 9 ounces, with a lot of take-up and creep. There is a very notable difference between the two XDs.
There are several installation write-ups on the net for the PRP trigger kit. The one I used appears here. As I didn't take the time to snap all the requisite photos, I'm not going to go through the install step by step. Instead, I'll comment on a few things that I noticed during the install (good or bad) with the hope that this will help someone should they decide to work on their XD. I guess I should include the usual disclaimer. I'm not a gunsmith and I am not handing out advice concerning your firearm. What you take away from this write-up and what you do with the info is totally your own doing and I'm not responsible for your actions. I have played a gunsmith on TV and I slept in a Holiday Inn Express the night before I worked on my trigger. Perhaps you may wish to prep in the same fashion.
And with that.....a few comments and photos regarding my trigger kit
Here is a photo showing the two striker safety levers. As you can see,
there is a fair amount of difference in the shape when comparing the two pieces.
The new striker safety lever reduces the slack (take up) in the trigger by quite
a noticeable amount once installed.
Nothing much else to say about installing the Striker Safety Lever
(circled above in red). The previous reference I made
to the installation instructions I used made it a series of simple steps that
were easy to follow.
The factory part came out the and the new PRP part was installed. Pay attention
to the installation write-up and you should have no problems.
The photo above shows the over travel stop installed after I finished the fitting process. For the most part, the fitting went OK. Looking back on what I did....would I change anything? Yes I would. I did most of the fitting just as you see in the photo....with the pin holding the trigger, and trigger bar, and the over travel stop in position. When I had shaped the working end of the over travel stop to what I thought was just right, I installed the locking block. (This step is more difficult than it previously was due to the over travel stop fitting just right in conjunction with the locking block.)
Once the locking block was in position and the retaining pins installed, I discovered that the position of the over travel stop shifted a bit compared to when the locking block was not in the frame. The end result was that I removed just a bit more material from the over travel stop than I wish I had.
Was it a lot? No.....not really. But I could tell that it wasn't quite the same when all the parts were back in the XD. I should have "stopped" fitting and reassembled the XD with the locking block in place a couple of times while I was still fitting the over travel stop. I made the mistake of thinking it wasn't going to make any difference. Even given the low cost of the over travel stop, I do not think it is worth buying a new one and refitting it. I doubt I would gain any appreciable performance increase.
I paid a couple of dollars extra to get the over travel stop in stainless steel rather than the stand polymer material. I think it was worth it although I've no hard evidence on which to base my decision.
I read in one of the install write-ups that you should buy two over travel stops when you buy the PRP kit. Then you will either end up with a spare or you will ruin the first one and do the second stop correctly. I guess there was something to be said about that comment after all.
With that, I wrapped up the installation just the way it was and waited to give it a try at the range.
Since the trigger upgrade, I've been to the range twice with the XD9. I am very pleased to report that I am very pleased with the results. For the first range session, I hung a Front Sight target on the backstop, backed up 10 yards, and started directly from the holster. I must admit that the first shot didn't hit a scoring area on the target, although it did hit the paper. Muscle memory was a little too good and so the surprise break on the trigger happened just a bit early, before the final sight alignment was made.
The trigger take up was greatly reduced, just as it was suppose to be. After some shots on target, I started on a one hole drill. I wanted to see just how much of a difference there was in the trigger reset. It too was a very noted change. I liked it, I liked all of it!
I only see one possible downfall with the PRP trigger kit.....I just might have to put one in my XD45c. I need to do a little more practice at the range with both XDs in hand before I make that decision.
In closing, I must say that I'm completely satisfied with how this project turned out. Powder River Precision makes a pretty darn good trigger kit. The price is reasonable and the results are very good.
Time for an update. It's been well over a year now since the kit was installed and I've put a few thousand rounds down range with the XD9.
I like the PRP trigger kit. After shooting it extensively since the kit was installed, I recently acquired another XD9. (you can't have too many XDs) I disassembled the new XD9 and gave it a good cleaning and lube. With a few snap caps in it, I gave it a try. Oh my goodness....what a difference on the trigger. I had forgotten what a stock trigger felt like and can say that I don't miss it at all. It is time to order two more kits, one for the XD45c and the other for the new XD9. As if I didn't have enough projects to do already.