Everything You Need To Know About The Springfield XD Family Of Pistols
One of the most popular lines of pistols on the market is the Springfield XD family of pistols, which is really the most popular products that Springfield Armory makes. Their 1911 line is right behind them, as they are some fine pistols as well.
The XD series is - with one notable exception - a line of polymer-framed, striker-fired pistols, with something for just about anyone. There are full-size models, competition/match models, as well as compacts and subcompacts for concealed carry.
The popular calibers are represented (9mm, .40 and .45 caliber) and you have your choice of trim level and options. We'll go over everything you need to know about XD pistols, in case you're curious about a gun from the Springfield Armory XD line.
Okay, So The Springfield XD Is Imported
One of the worst-kept secrets in the gun industry is that the Springfield XD line is imported. It isn't new information, but we'll just go ahead and get it out of the way.
The pistols are made by HS Produkt in Croatia. HS Produkt called the pistol the HS2000, which was initially released in 2000 as an evolution of their previous HS95 pistol, which looks pretty much just like the base model HS2000/XD. Springfield Armory noticed the gun and - seeing an opportunity - began negotiations for licensing it. By 2002, they had made the requisite agreements and starting importing the pistols, stamping "Springfield Armory" and "XD" - which stands for "eXtreme Duty" - on the slide.
However, this wasn't exactly the first import for Springfield. Over the years, they've imported a number of guns and given it the same treatment. For instance, the Tanfolgio Witness, a CZ 75 clone from Italy, was imported by them for a time and redubbed the P9. They did the same thing to some Astra pistols as well. To this day, some of the parts for their 1911 pistols are made in Brazil.
Then again, it's not like that matters. A good gun is a good gun no matter how its come by. The Springfield XD quickly became a very popular pistol on the civilian market and for good reasons.
Look, The Springfield XD Is A Good Pistol
Some people hate on the Springfield XD. Some for what are good reasons for them, some because of something that somebody else told them and they took their word for it, and some people for silly reasons.
Glock fanboys intensify
Just like any pistol platform, pistol system, whatever you want to call it, some people aren't going to like it and some people are going to find that they're suited to something other than what other people are. Some people just don't like Fords, and some people wouldn't drive a Dodge unless you paid 'em to.
Rob Leatham can shoot rings around all but maybe a few people on the planet, and he does a heck of a lot of his shooting with Springfield XD pistols. Does Cletus William Raymond Steven Raymond Hogwallop somehow know better than Rob Leatham what makes a good pistol? Heck no, no matter how many Glocks he owns.
The guy writing this has seen guns of pretty much every make and model malfunction under range conditions, and that definitely includes Glock pistols. (The only brands I've never seen malfunction, when the pistol was well-maintained and competently operated? CZs and HKs.) Most of the XD variants I've witnessed malfunction did so because they weren't maintained (you have to lubricate moving machinery, you dummies) or because the user otherwise was not used to the gun or not used to handguns, period.
So if you've heard people blather on about this, know that a Springfield XD has to be maintained, but this applies for EVERY gun. And you have to operate the pistol safely and competently. That also applies to every gun, everywhere.
What Makes The XD Unique
What makes the XD unique? Part of it is a the operating system along with novel safety feature.
All models - with one exception, the XD-E - are striker-fired, with a tabbed trigger acting as a passive safety feature. Basically, it's a Croatian Glock. However, they added a party piece: a grip safety.
A grip safety, found only on a few guns such as the 1911 and the Lemon Squeezer Smith and Wesson, deactivates the pistol (usually by locking the slide, the sear or the firing pin) unless the user is holding it. This adds an incredibly logical safety safety feature that only a few pistols - these days...pretty much the 1911, the XD line and the Remington R51 - happen to have.
Additionally, some shooters find the ergonomics appealing. The grip angle is rather reminiscent of a 1911, so it fits and points a little more naturally than the steeper rake of Glock pistols. Some shooters find this appealing, and others may not; it's all down to how you, specifically, react to that feature.
Springfield XD Pistols Spoil You For Choice
Another great feature of Springfield XD pistols is that you will be spoiled for choices in certain respects. The XD line has various trim levels; it's a lot like shopping for a car. Do you want the leatherette seats and the satnav? Or are you good with four wheels and some seats?
It's all kind of up to you as to what you want.
The base XD line is bare-bones. You can choose a full-size or a compact model.
The XD Mod2 line revises the grip ergonomics, adding Springfield "Grip Zone" textures to the grip. Combat sights are added, as is the slide machining. Several choices of barrel length are available as well.
The XDS line is exclusively single-stack subcompact, with a 3.3-inch or 4-inch barrel. You could choose a black or stainless slide and caliber until recently, when the XDS Mod2 was added. It's the same pistol, just with the Mod2's grip texturing.
The XDM line - the "M" stands for "Xtreme Duty More" - changes a whole lot more. The compact barrel length is 3.8 inches instead of 3.3 inches, and the compact model is available with a compact grip or full-length. You get several choices of barrel length and other accoutrements.
Then you have the XD-E, one of the more interesting pistols Springfield offers. The XD-E has a polymer lower frame - basically that of the XDS Mod2 line - but is hammer-fired rather than striker-fired. The XD-E is a double/single action pistol, but is single-stack and compact for easy concealed carry.
As you can see, you're spoiled for choice. Let's dive in to those product lines a bit more.
The base Springfield XD line has been reduced as of late. Currently, only two models are available: the XD Subcompact and the XD service model.
The XD Subcompact has a 3.3-inch barrel, and is available in 9mm and .40 S&W. It holds 13+1 of 9mm or 9+1 of .40, though Springfield's X-Tension magazines - full-size magazines with grip sleeves to make them less awkward - boosts round count to 16+1 or 12+1. Both models weigh 26 ounces with an unloaded compact magazine. The compacts stand 4.75 inches tall by 1.2 inches wide by 6.25 inches long with a flush magazine; 5.5 inches with the extended. Sights are 3 dot, dovetailed front and rear. MSRP is
The XD Service Model has a 4-inch barrel, and is available in .45 ACP as well as 9mm and .40 S&W. It carries 16+1 of 9mm, 12+1 of .40 or 13+1 of .45 caliber. It stands 5.5 inches tall by 7.3 inches long by 1.2 inches long for the 9mm and .40 versions or 1.22 inches wide for .45 ACP. The 9mm/.40 version weighs 28 ounces, the .45 ACP version weighs 30.
MSRP is $508 for all models except the XD Service Model in .45 ACP, which retails for $530. All features are the same; you get the grip texturing it comes with, only one option for sights, a grip safety and the tabbed striker trigger. The XD is available in any color so long as you like black.
Everything you need, and nothing you don't...unless you want something a little different, which is handy because there are plenty more Springfield XD pistols to choose from.
Springfield XD Mod 2
The Springfield XD Mod 2 series is kind of like moving up a trim level in a car. You get leatherette seats, maybe sat nav, and you can get the better rims and opt for the V-6 and so on.
On all models, sights are upgraded to a combat rear ramp sight and fiber optic front sight. Color options expand to black on black, two-tone with a stainless steel slide or a black slide on a Flat Dark Earth frame.
The XD Mod2 also adds Springfield's Grip Zone texturing scheme. This consists of three zones of different textures on the pistol, which creates a bit more friction in key areas and aids with grip. Rougher textured areas are on the back and front of the grip housing. The grip is also revised with Springfield's High Hand grip geometry, which allows the shooter to get a higher, tighter grip.
Several options of barrel length are available with the XD Mod2 series, starting with the XD Mod2 Subcompact. This model has two barrel lengths, a 3-inch in 9mm and .40 S&W and a 3.3-inch in .45 ACP.
The XD Mod2 Subcompact in 9mm and .40 stands 4.75 inches tall by 1.19 inches wide by 6.25 inches long. Just like the XD Subcompact, capacity is 13+1 of 9mm or 9+1 of .40 which can be augmented with an X-Tension magazine. The XD Mod2 Subcompact .45 brings barrel length to 3.3 inches, standing 4.75 inches tall, 1.2 inches wide and 6.5 inches long. All models weigh 26 ounces with an unloaded flush-fit magazine. This model is only available in black, however.
The XD Mod2 Service Model adds a 4-inch barrel and full-size magazines, in 9mm, .40 and .45 ACP. Capacity is the same as with the XD Service model, as are the rest of the specs. The difference, of course, is the Mod2 has the Grip Zone texturing, different slide machining and better sights.
However, the XD Mod2 Service model is also available with a threaded barrel in 9mm. It features raised sights for use with a suppressor and all color options available with the rest of the Mod2 line.
There is also an XD Mod2 Tactical model, with a 5-inch barrel. It's available in 9mm or .45 ACP. All specifications are the same, though overall length increases to 8.1 inches for the .45 ACP model and 8.3 inches for the 9mm model.
MSRP for the Subcompact models starts at $565 for the 3-in models in FDE or black, but two-tone finish goes up to $599. The XD Mod2 Subcompact .45 is $593. The 4-in service models start at the same price point, but the threaded barrel model - FDE only - goes up to $586. The Tactical models - both only in black, naturally - will run $608 for the 9mm and $637 for the .45 ACP.
Springfield XD-S: A Concealed Carry Standard
One of the most popular CCW pistols on the market right now is the Springfield XD-S, and it isn't too hard to see why. It's light, compact, shoots well and is easily packable with a slim, single-stack configuration. Springfield recently added the Mod2 trim to the XD-S line as well.
Barrel lengths is 3.3 inches, though a 4-inch model was available until recently. Flush-fit and extended Springfield XD-S magazines that add one more round of capacity come standard, much like similar pistols like the Walther PPS M2 and S&W M&P Shield.
The base model XD-S features swappable backstraps, and it comes with two. You can get a little more palmswell than with the XD and XD Mod2, should that be desired. The XD-S Mod2 does not have that feature, so bear that in mind. The grips are knurled for texture, rather than stipled, which some shooters don't prefer so that is something to bear in mind. The sights are the same as the XD Mod2.
The base XD-S comes in 9mm, .40 and .45 ACP. Barrel length is 3.3 inches, and dimensions are 6.3 inches long by 0.9 inches wide by 4.4 inches tall with the flush-fit magazine, 5 inches tall with the X-Tension magazine. Unloaded weight is 21.5 oz for the .45 ACP, 22 oz for the .40 and 23 oz for the 9mm. The 9mm and .45 ACP models are available in 4 choices of finish, being black, Tactical Gray, FDE and two-tone; the .40 model is not available in Tactical Gray.
Capacity is 7+1 of 9mm, 6+1 of .40 S&W and 5+1 of .45 ACP with the flush magazines, though 8+1 and 7+1 of .40 S&W can be had in extended magazines.
The XD-S Mod2 is currently only available in .45 ACP. The specs are the same as the XD-S 45, though the swappable backstraps are omitted in lieu of the Mod2 "Grip Zone" stipled texture. Only black color is available, though you can opt for tritium night sights or even a factory-installed Viridian laser if desired.
MSRP starts at $499 for the base models of the XD-S, though a $50 premium is added for two-tone models and for the base model in .45 ACP. The XD-S Mod2 starts at $568 MSRP.
These are the most popular Springfield concealed carry pistols, and for good reason. If you're looking for a CCW gun from this company, these would be where most people start.
XDS Mod 2 Replaces Old Single Stack
Springfield Armory has replaced the original XDS in the lineup with the XDS Mod 2. It's much the same, as it has pretty much all of the same features. The primary difference, of course, is the original grips have been changed for a single-stack version of the XD Mod 2.
That said, some people will be happy to know that the "Grip Zone" text has been dropped. Some people thought it was incredibly gaudy and really didn't care for it. If that's you, then you're welcome.
This also extends to the standard XD Mod 2 as well, so yee haw.
What this also means, however, is that the XDS no longer has swappable grip panels. Maybe this puts you off, maybe it doesn't. Some might opine that if you want the utmost in ergonomic excellence, you need a bigger gun than a single-stack subcompact and there's something to that idea.
The other change they've made, and this is actually a fantastic touch, is that Springfield Armory isn't putting white dot sights on the thing. Instead, you can choose a fiber optic or a ProGlo tritium front sight, with a black steel tactical rear sight.
About time someone started doing that because white dot sights are AWFUL. But we digress. Anyhow, the XDS Mod2 is the same gun, just with a facelift.
Springfield XDM: The Cadillac Of Their Line
Without doubt, the Cadillac of the Springfield XD family is the XDM series. It stands for "Xtreme Duty More," with the idea being that it's a bevy of improvements over the base gun. The idea is that they are easier to shoot, more accurate, carry a bit more and are otherwise a more evolved pistol.
Many reviews seem to indicate they are, so don't discount them entirely.
The XDM line features swappable backstraps; you get three different sizes of palmswell. Instead of stipling, the texture is from knurling. Again, you may like that, you may not; that's down to you. Slide machining changes again, for a more aggressive pattern with is said to be better to handle in all conditions.
Sights remain the same as the Mod2, but there are a whole lot of internal improvements. Along with a match grade barrel, the XDm pistols are tuned by the factory. Springfield Armory has long been the sponsor of Robbie Leatham, one of the most successful competitive shooters of all time. Leatham's input was heavily involved in the process of getting the Springfield XDm ready for market, so it comes ready to run.
Almost every size of handgun is represented in the XDM line, so there's something for almost everyone. If you want a Springfield concealed carry pistol, that's available. A service-class pistol, tactical wonder and competition gun...you can get just about anything.
The XDM Compact features a 3.8-inch barrel, so a tad longer than the other Springfield XD line. However, the grip and magazines are revised for a bit more capacity, as you can choose from 13+1 rounds of 9mm, 11+1 rounds of .40 S&W or 9+1 of .45 ACP. XDm extended magazines bring the total up to 19+1 of 9mm, 16+1 of .40 or 13+1 of .45.
Measurements are 4.75 inches tall by 6.75 inches long by 1.18 inches wide for 9mm and .40. The model in .45 ACP is slightly wider and has a slightly longer backstrap, so total length increases to 6.9 inches and width to 1.26 inches. Weight is 27 oz for the .45 ACP and 28 oz for the other two.
However, if you prefer full-size capacity, there is also an XDM Compact Full Size, which is the same gun with a full-size grip. Height increases to 5.75 inches, the same as the Compact with a full-size X-Tension magazine. This model is only available for the 9mm and .40 S&W chamberings, however.
Stepping up in size is the XDM Service Model line, all featuring 4.5-inch barrels. Specs remain the same (5.75 inches tall, 1.18 inches wide for 9mm and .40, 1.26 inches wide for .45 ACP) and overall length increases to 7.6 inches and weight to 29 oz for the 9mm and 40, 31 oz for the .45 ACP.
Besides the base model, one can also select a threaded barrel model with taller sights for use with a suppressor, and the Springfield XDm 4.5 OSP Full Size, which comes from the factory with a Vortex Venom red dot sight. It also includes an adapter plate for use with Burris red dot sights, if preferred.
The top of the range is the XDm Competition series, which features a 5.25-inch barrel and target sights. This pistol is offered in 9mm, .40 and .45. Overall length is increased to 8.2 inches for the 9mm version and 8.3 inches for the .45 ACP model. Weight, however, is managed with only a single ounce of weight added over the Service model.
The XDM line does not offer any options of finish or factory upgrades, since - according to Springfield, though the end user may disagree - the gun comes about as good as can be made. That said, there is a premium for the attention paid to details. The base models start at $624 for the Full Size Compact and Service pistols in 9mm, and $631 for the Compact in 9mm. The threaded barrel model starts of $645, the Competition model at $769 and the OSP at $979 with the Vortex Venom pre-installed, though you can order it with the adapter plate cut only for $724.
Springfield XD-E Brings Something A Little Different
Even Springfield knows some people prefer something a little different now and then, and for that there is the Springfield XD-E. The XD-E has the polymer frame of the XD series, along with the Grip Zone texturing and the slide and sights sure look similar...but that's where things take a turn.
The XD-E is hammer-fired, rather than striker-fired. It has a double-action/single-action firing system, so you have a long, hard double-action first shot and easy single-action shots from there after.
The XD-E is said to have a slide that is 27 percent easier to rack than the striker-fired entries in the XD series, which they call a "low-effort slide" or LES. How that's measured isn't disclosed (maybe it's the recoil spring?) but they sure claim it's the case. In any event, it's easier.
The good news is the controls are insanely logical. Most DA/SA pistols, you see, use a decocking safety, a decocker only, or a manual safety a la CZ. The former requires an extra step to make the pistol ready to fire, the latter cannot be placed fully on safe and the lattermost negates the double-action system unless you manually decock it. The XD-E on the other hand lets you choose.
Like the FNX and FNP pistols by FNH, the safety mechanism works as a manual safety in double- or single-action mode, so you can put it on safe with the hammer down or carry cocked and locked. It also functions as a decocker, so you can safely drop the hammer for a DA first shot and the security of the long trigger pull while carrying.
The XD-E isn't exactly tiny, but isn't big either. Some would reckon it's about perfect. Barrel length is 3.3 inches, with dimensions of 6.75 inches long by 1 inch wide by 5 inches tall with the flush-fit magazine and 5.25 inches tall with a pinkie extension. Capacity is 7+1 or 8+1 of 9mm or 6+1 or 7+1 of .45 ACP. A .40 S&W was said to be in the works but hasn't materialized. The 9mm models weighs 25 oz, the .45 ACP only 23 oz.
As of now, it only comes in black. You can also elect to add a Viridian laser, which is only a $30 option. The 9mm model starts at $525, the .45 ACP at $568.
This pistol overcomes a lot of the limitations of classic DA/SA pistols, which is no mean feat.
The Best Springfield XD Pistols
Which is the best Springfield XD pistol? Well, that's actually very subjective. It really all comes down to what you want out of the gun. If you want a revolver, then you're going to be sorely disappointed, though!
For concealed carry, that's still also very subjective!
There are multiple CCW worthy pistols in the XD line, including the XD and XD Mod2 subcompact pistols, the XDm Compact and the XD-E. Then you have the XD-S which is far and away the most popular made by Springfield for the purpose.
The XD, XD Mod2 and XDm compact models are all double-stack, so they are a little on the wide side but not unmanageable in the least. Capacity is very decent, and all the popular calibers are there. The question, of course, is how much you need in terms of appointment. The XD Subcompact is very decent for a bare-bones pistol, and the other two have a lot to like for not a whole lot more. If you need a carry gun tuned as much as possible but don't mind parting with a bit of cash to get it, the XDm is more the ticket and the Mod2 is right in between.
The XD-E is for the shooter that wants something a little different. If you can't be bothered with all that striker nonsense but still want modern features in an easily concealed package, this is the gun for you. If mayonnaise is too spicy for you, it's probably not your gun.
That said, a number of people out there carry the 4-inch models on a daily basis as well as the XDm 3.8-in Full Size, so they aren't impossible to carry...just not as convenient.
Certain models are pretty obviously range guns/nightstand/home defense pistols due to size and other features. Those should be pretty obvious.
With that all said, the best one for you is going to be the one that feels best and shoots best for you, whichever model that might be. Get out and handle a few, and shoot them if you can! That will tell you which Springfield XD pistols are best for you.