Springfield XD 45 Extraction / Ejection Problems

I just had a problem with an XD 45acp 4 inch pistol. The pistol was having to extraction and ejection problems and the empty was staying in the chamber. I searched high and low online for a reason and found nothing. So this post may be the answer if your XD has the same troubles. I’m going to have to eat some crow on this one as it was my fault, not the gun’s.

So I always train people to do what I think is the right thing to do. I figure they will develop their own shortcuts and bad habits as they become more proficient. Like a lot of us I often find myself being a “do as I say not as I do” guy. I had just finished the morning before telling 2 people at my gym who asked me about their new pistols NOT to put a live round in the chamber and drop the slide to fully load up. I told them to insert a full mag, rack the slide, drop the mag and top it off and finally put the mag back in. Yeah, it takes longer and most of us probably know it’s considered “bad” for your extractor to load the other way. Never the less I find myself doing it all the time in spite of telling others not to. I never had a problem before.20130901_200411

So my XD was a single shot for some reason. I fired my first round and then squeezed again and got nothing. WTH?? I thought…so I racked the slide. I noticed it seemed to hang up a bit when racking the slide with ammo but had seemed smooth without it. I fired a couple more and got the same thing. One shot and the empty still in the chamber. I fired another round with no magazine in when yes, once again, I dropped a loaded round in the chamber and released the slide. Same result, empty case still in the chamber but at least a bad mag was ruled out.

So I went home and searched for a couple of hours with no results. I looked at the gun over and over and didn’t see anything out-of-place. (or at least I didn’t at first) I played with the recoil spring  a bit thinking maybe the 2 piece deal was messed up somehow. In the end I went and got another XD, sat down with a small bright light and compared every millimeter of the 2 guns. This is what I found.

20130901_200459My extractor was knocked out of place and sitting lower in the slide then it is supposed to. It was maybe 2.5 mm’s lower than the XD 45 that was in perfect working order. It all made sense then. I think it was pulling the case downward during firing and hitting whatever in there (Thankfully I had no damage of any kind) and it was not cycling like it was supposed to. Why I could cycle it by hand more smoothly I am not sure. Perhaps because that is my hand power and not 20 some thousand pounds of chamber pressure on it. Rest assured though firing it was a single shot.

I am 99% positive this is due to me doing exactly what I said not to do. Putting a live cartridge in the chamber and hitting the slide release instead of loading from a magazine. The extractor does not seem to be held in by any pin. It looks to be in there by the tension from the curvature of the piece itself. I believe that as I kept doing that the extractor would hit the case too hard and it was just enough to shift it out-of-place just a smidge at a time until finally  she said I’m not working for you anymore. The fix was as simple as a punch and 3 little taps to push it back up where it belongs. She ran all day today, no problems and didn’t shift in the tiniest bit.

I have to take the hit on this one. I won’t be cutting that corner any longer. I had no idea that gun didn’t work. Imagine I had actually needed it?! That corner cutting could be a disaster in the wrong situation.20130901_200439

So I hope this helped somebody, don’t cut that corner any more folks. I’ve done it forever and it finally got me. Fortunately it got me training and not needing the thing for real. If you have a similar problem look to see that extractor is pushed all the way up in its track. If you look at the claw itself there will be a gap above it if it’s out-of-place. If it is then use a small punch and hammer to tap it back up until that gap is gone. From now on I will be a good little boy and load from the mag. No more slide drops on loaded chambers.

As always thanks for reading and train often.

By: Cary Kieffer


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Cary Kieffer

USMC Infantry/Combat Veteran - Med Retired LEO/8yrs.

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13 Responses to Springfield XD 45 Extraction / Ejection Problems

  1. Luis Frieri, Sr. says:

    I just received my Springfield XDM .45acp a few weeks ago. I ran into the same exact problem you experienced with your gun. It’s 2:16am when I came across your fix, so can’t do anything right now because wife would kill me for the racket. First thing in the morning I plan to print up your article and see if indeed we do share the name problem.

    Thanks for posting your experience and tip.

  2. edd conley says:

    do you have a spring for the xd45 that has less tension my wife cannot pull it back to load or eject on a miss fire

    • Cary Kieffer says:

      Edd, I dont…I up all my springs because I like to hot rod my loads a tad. You can get one from Wolf Gunsprings. Go to gunsprings.Com and click on semi auto pistol and then springfield. They have an array of reduced power springs. I’m sure you can find one for your model there. Cary

  3. Kyle says:

    Can you elaborate on your comment “If you look at the claw itself there will be a gap above it if it’s out-of-place.” A bit more? I’ve got the exact same symptoms as you, starting after I loaded a snap cap manually, but I cannot see anything wrong with the but I’m not sure what this gap your talking about might be?

    • Kyle says:

      Shoot I totally missed the picture you posted. Nevermind the gap!

      • Cary Kieffer says:

        Kyle, did you get her figured out? If it’s the same symptoms just put the slide on her top and give the extractor a couple taps to seat it back up where it’s supposed to be. I only had to fix it once. I stopped dropping slide on a cartridge and it never happened again. Let us know if that fixed it. Cary

  4. Jairo says:

    Oh man I just bought my first XD45 I sure hope I don’t run into any problem like that but if I do what number can I contact to get any problem resolved?

    • Cary Kieffer says:

      You’ll be fine, these are superb pistols, this issue I did too myself. It was my fault for not following the “rules”. In the rare event I needed to talk to SA customer service, I shot them an email and they called me! The number is on their website though.

  5. Grant says:

    Hi… “I have a Springfield XD Tactical .45” And I don’t understand “Why” it won’t shoot a lot of different brands of ammo…? (Pull the trigger, “click”, “That’s it”) My 3 other .45’s (different makes and models) shoot the “other ammo” fine; “No jams”, feeding problems, “nothing”… Some the ammo are reloads; but I also shoot factory ammo too. Again, some ammo won’t shoot in my XD…..??? Now, I have found some ammo that will, But “Holy cow” is it really that finicky”…. What if I have only “Different” ammo available…. Then what ?!?!? Any ideas/help would be appreciated…. Thanks ! Grant

    • Cary Kieffer says:

      Grant, that is absolutely NOT normal XD behavior. They are in no way, shape, or form finicky. I have a whole pile of those things for years now. Never an issue except for my laziness on this one gun. Call Springfield today and you will get a shipping label for free. Send it back! Springfield has excellent CS and will fix the issue. Thanks for stopping by TGR. Cary

    • Shallnot B. Infringed says:

      If the ammo doesn’t fire it could be a light primer strike. Try firing the same round 2 or 3 times until it goes off by locking the slide back to re-cock the striker & eject the round, reload the round into the magazine, rack the slide to chamber it & fire. If this is the case it’s probably a weak or damaged striker or striker spring. Message the factory or contact a local *reputable* gunsmith (preferably approved by Springfield Armory) if you aren’t comfortable with repairs yourself & possibly voiding the warranty.

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