The Springfield Armory XDE BB Blowback Pistol
The Springfield Armory XDE BB blowback pistol is one of the exclusive replicas brought to airgunners through Air Venturi. Today we’ll take a close look at it to see what it offers the buyer.
The XDE BB blowback pistol is an excellent replica of the hammer-fired, 4.5-Inch barrel version of the Springfield Armory firearm that’s most often encountered in 9mm caliber. Size, shape and weight are all appropriate to make this BB gun a realistic training tool for the centerfire version.
One unusual feature – at least for a BB pistol – is that the magazine release is ambidextrous on the XDE. That will definitely be welcomed by some users.
Other less-common features on a BB pistol are the single- double-action trigger and the ambidextrous safety with functioning levers on both side of the gun.
As the photograph below shows, the XDE is a blowback pistol. However the slide has a limited travel and does not fully-expose the cartridge ejection port in the slide.
As we know from previous HAM investigations, the cost of a long blowback in a CO2-powered pistol is usually a low muzzle velocity and smaller shot count. The short blowback is likely a design choice related to the XDE’s high claimed muzzle velocity of 370 FPS.
Many will be pleased also that the “legal lettering” is carried on the underside of the trigger guard and is printed in gray. This is a common trend among more recent BB pistols and results in dramatically-enhanced realism compared to the bright white test that appears on the slides of some other centerfire replicas.
The molding of the pistol grip is very good and definitely “grippy” in the hand.
The sights of the XDE BB blowback pistol are unusual, too. It’s not common for BB pistols to have a red fiber optic front sight…
… but it’s even less common for that front sight to be windage-adjustable, as it is with the XDE. In fact, this is the only BB-firing replica that ie equipped with a windage-adjustable front sight. That – in itself – could be a reason to buy this model.
Windage adjustment is made by pushing the front sight across in its track. You’ll want to push it very carefully with your thumb. The front sight is plastic and is is not an overtight fit in the slide.
It’s easy to be too aggressive and send the front sight flying across the workshop floor. The resulting search for the part can be lengthy. You can probably guess how we found this out…
BBs are fed into the drop-free magazine through the top. The 12 Gram CO2 cartridge is loaded as usual and there’s a sliding cover plate at the foot of the magazine to cover the required socket head setscrew that clamps it in place.
Should you want to field strip your XDE, first remove the magazine and prove safe. Next rotate the takedown lever 180 degrees forward and set the safety to off. The slide can now be removed by pulling back and up off of the frame. That’s the extent to which the gun can be field-stripped, however.