The 5.25 in Action
Rob Leatham—The Great One, the legendary multi-time world champion who spec’d the 5.25—has already proven it to be a winner in competition. So have others. John Strayer, a Florida-Georgia regional IDPA champion and 5-gun Master, was already an XD and XD(M) fan when he got his hands on a 5.25 in 2011. He shot it in three matches, taking First Master, Enhanced Service Pistol honors in all three. “I love the balance,” he says. “I can’t describe what it changes over the 4.5-inch, but it just feels and shoots faster. The gun is more ‘lively’ in my hand. Transition between multiple targets is smoother. In 9mm with that gun, there’s almost no recoil, and it seems to have less muzzle rise than my XD(M) 4.5.”
This gun is made for IDPA competition, so it seemed logical to shoot it at one. I carried the test gun for a day before the match in a high-ride Blade-Tech Kydex hip holster. A loose SIG-Tac concealment vest hid it well as I went about daily errands. The extra length of the barrel presses against the side of the leg and actually tucks the 5.25” gun’s butt in tighter against the side, a counterintuitive aid to concealment rather than impediment to it. Since IDPA is supposed to be geared to carry guns, that seemed relevant.
I borrowed Strayer’s XD(M) 5.25, with a three-pound trigger pull from the Springfield Armory Custom Shop, and IDPA-legal Arredondo flared mag well. On a challenging five-stage course at the First Coast IDPA Club in Jacksonville, FL that drew 122 shooters, the 5.25 demonstrated its lively handling. The long, light barrel pointed like a wand, bringing the bright-colored fiber optic sight quickly between targets. Being able to use the trigger finger to punch the ambi mag release speeded reloads. And, of course, the gun hit what it was aimed at with those 147-grain Winchester FMJ bullets.
Outcome? I managed to capture overall winner/first master in the Enhanced Service Pistol division, where XD-series pistols play since they are mechanically considered single action autos. Of the 122 shooters, the XD(M) 5.25 brought me in as fourth most accurate. This was the XD(M) 5.25 that Brother Strayer had won three for three matches with. This one made it four for four.
When a pistol gives a creaky old geezer with a bum ankle a finish like that on a run-and-gun course, you really can’t ask for more. If you’re my age and wanna buy a Corvette to make you feel high speed/low drag, but can’t afford one . . . then check out the Springfield Armory XD(M) 5.25 at your gunshop ($795 to $896), or contact Springfield Armory, Dept. OT; Tel.: (800) 680-6866; Web: www.springfield-armory.com