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XDMAN Review: Langdon Tactical-Tuned Springfield XD-E Pistol

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How nice does a pistol have to be to impress the XDMAN? This nice.

Today’s review is courtesy of our expert in all things Springfield XD…the XDMAN himself!

A new year also brings new beginnings and new chances to win big! How about $3500 in prizes? Yeah that got everyone’s attention. Imagine a group of firearms industry partners combining together like a super hero team to make up the New Year, New Gear Giveaway!

Let me tell you about the marquee prize in this giveaway — a custom Langdon Tactical XDE. The base Springfield Armory XDE is a fantastic pistol that is basically alone in its class. The single stack XDE is a hammer-fired double action/single action pistol. Being a single stack firearm means that compared to other DA/SA pistols this pistol is thin thin thin. This translates into being super easy to conceal and more comfortable to carry, especially inside the waist band. This subcompact saves on weight and size making it one of the smallest DA/SA pistols on the market even several years after its initial release. But there are some reasons the factory version of the XDE just doesn’t cut it for me (and many people with conditions like arthritis)…and why the Langdon Tactical-tuned version is so awesome.

A fine line between love and hate

Here is where I talk about my love/hate relationship with the XDE. I want to love the pistol, but I have a medical condition that means the XDE is difficult for me to shoot. I have what’s known as trigger finger. Normally this would sound like a cool ailment, but depending on the severity it can be debilitating. Think about as something similar to arthritis where your hands and fingers are in constant pain with swelling. If I grab something tightly with my hands, my finger can get stuck in a bent position. Depending how much I use my hands throughout the day, the pain and strain in my fingers can make comfortably shooting and enjoying a pistol like the XDE almost out of the question.

Now the XDE has a slide that is easier to manipulate compared to other pistols, so that is a plus. When someone walks in and has strength issues the XDE and its easy-rack slide is a go-to gun. Add in the size and weight, and it is a winner. The downside is the roughly 12-pound heavy trigger pull when it is in DA mode. This heavy trigger weight means that, for me, it hurts me to shoot this pistol.

Wait, it’s love…with Langdon Tactical

Enter Ernest Langdon and his group of magic makers at Langdon Tactical. Now Langdon Tactical is probably most well known for their work transforming Beretta DA/SA pistols to make them run like a fine Swiss watch.  So as the stars aligned, it turned out that Ernest (who likes DA/SA pistols) also liked all of the size benefits of the XDE. He liked the XDE enough to be the first to look at the downsides of the pistol and fix them. It’s his passion that the rest of us get to benefit from and end up with a Langdon Tactical Edition of the XDE.

Let’s start with the most remarkable part of the LTE XDE—the trigger! Normal XDE pistols in my experience can range from 10 – 12 pound trigger pulls. Don’t get me wrong, while adequate it’s nothing to write home about. But after Langdon Tactical gets done with their trigger job, you get a trigger pull that is consistent and smoother from start to finish. Right at 8 pounds in DA, you get something that’s not only way more comfortable to shoot, but is also more accurate. New shooters to the platform were less likely to experience low and left first shots with the improved trigger. Follow up shots were even better. For me this actually allowed me to feel comfortable with actually carrying and trusting my life on the XDE platform even with the issues in my hands.

Slim, tight, bobbed and low-profile

Can a bobbed hammer make a difference? You bet! Now let’s just say that I may not be the tiniest person on the planet. When you carry the XDE tight to the body, the factory hammer can end up poking into you. After carrying the LTE XDE with the smooth bobbed hammer, you realize how much the factory hammer got in the way and how many times it would rub you the wrong way. It’s one of those “why didn’t the factory think about that” things. A pistol this small is meant to carry tight to the body and the LTE XDE bobbed hammer just disappears out of the way.

From the factory the XDE comes with a fiber optic front and a slick low profile rear sight. One of the first mods I would do to my own pistol is add a set of high visibility sights that give me true 24 hour versatility. Fiber optics are great when ambient light, like the sun, is available. But what happens at night, say in a dark parking lot, when you might need the pistol the most? The Langdon Tactical Edition XDE’s answer to this is replacing the factory sights with the fantastic Ameriglo CAP night sights. The front sight features a large square high visibility surface that is great during the day. The blaze orange just begs for your attention. At night the tritium vial has your back so you are not just guessing where you are aiming. The rear has enough of a surface that it easily allows racking the slide single handed in the worst case scenario. Hopefully you will never need it, but it is good to know that you have it.

Signature bling

Now we get into the bling. What good is a custom gun if it does not look custom…am I right? Being a firearms coater myself, I am super picky when it comes to coatings. It seems like while everyone can get certified to coat guns, the level of skill and talent is all over the map. Let’s just say that my work gets featured often so I am a coating snob. I can tell you who ever coats the guns at Langdon Tactical knows what they are doing. They create a flawless smooth coating that looks like a factory job. When you look at the gun, and it’s hard to tell that it is actually coated, you know it’s a good job and second to none. Langdon Tactical’s signature color for their XDE is a Cerakoted sniper grey. Sniper grey is just different enough to look custom and your buddies will know it too. But it’s still dark enough to be tactical and blend in— the best of both worlds. Topping off the package is a crisp and clean Langdon Tactical crest denoting this XDE as something special.

As I said I had a love/hate relationship with the XDE. I wanted to love this pistol, but it frequently hurt me due to my trigger finger condition. My experiences gunsmithing and working in and around gun stores and shooting ranges, allow me to interact with more shooters than I can count. Hand and strength issues are more common than you would think. Although the Springfield Armory XDE has many great features that can benefit everyone, it is not perfect and can benefit from some customization. After some love from the folks at Langdon Tactical, The Langdon Tactical Edition XDE is remarkably closer to that perfection. Just being able to use and carry the XDE and not have it hurt me is a life changer in my books.

Who needs New Year’s Resolutions when you have all this New Year’s Gun & Gear?

Want the chance to win this Langdon Tactical Edition XDE? That’s easy.  All you have to do is sign up here!

 

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