The Springfield XD is currently my favorite pistol, so I though I would write a review of it.
The Springfield XD is a polymer framed, single action semiautomatic (autoloading) pistol that is available in a variety of models and calibers. It is a durable and feature packed handgun, at an affordable price. I prefer it over the polymer framed pistols offered by Glock and H&K, as well as the metal framed handguns out there.
The XD comes chambered for .357 Sig, 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, and .45 GAP. I’m partial to the .40 S&W, but to each their own. I would have liked to see an 10mm Auto version, but sadly that caliber seems to be falling out of favor and going up in price these days.
Available Form Factors
The Springfield XD is offered in a variety of barrel lengths and frame sizes:
- 3 inch barrel “subcompact”. Available in 9mm and .40 S&W.
- 3 – 4 inch barrel “compact”. Available in .45 ACP.
- 4 inch barrel “service”. Available in .357 Sig, 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, and .45 GAP.
- 5 inch barrel “tactical”. Available in .357 Sig, 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, and .45 GAP.
Those with large hands, such as this author, will be unable to fit their little finger onto the grip for the subcompact model, when using the standard magazine. The higher capacity magazine, which protrudes beyond the length of the pistol grip allows all fingers to wrap around the grip/magazine. That said, I don’t mind having my little finger underneath the grip when using the standard capacity magazine, which holds 9 .40 S&W rounds, or 10 9mm rounds.
The Springfield XD is packed with excellent safety features that are as unobtrusive as they are effective. Indeed you don’t notice these features unless you care to look for them, but whether you are aware of them or not, they still work automatically. These are:
- Trigger Safety – similar to those seen on Glocks, and requires that the trigger be pulled from the center in order to fire. Springfield refers to this as the Ultra Safety Assurance’ (USA) system.
- Firing Pin Block – Also called a “drop safety”, this is an internal system that prevents the striker’s firing pin from moving forward and firing the gun until the trigger is pulled. This prevents the gun from going off even when dropped with the striker cocked and a round in the chamber.
- Grip Safety – Similar to that on the Springfield 1911, the XD has a grip safety which must be depressed in order for the gun to fire. When holding the gun in a normal fashion the grip safety is automatically disengaged.
- Out of Battery Safety – The XD won’t fire if it is out of battery, which refers to when the slide is partially retracted. Pistols can be pushed out of battery if the muzzle of the gun is pressed against the target. This feature is important since a gun that is out of battery can explode or otherwise fail, causing injury to the shooter and those around.
- Manual Safety – On the 4″ and 5″ XD that is chambered for .45 ACP, an ambidextrous manual safety is optional.
- Chamber Loaded Indicator – Between the sights (but not in a way that interferes with aiming) a small nob pops up when the chamber is loaded, allowing for visual and/or tactile determination as to whether the gun is loaded.
- Striker Cocked Indicator – When the striker is cocked, a small nob protrudes from the back of the pistol, allowing for visual and/or tactile determination as to whether the gun is cocked.
The XD feels great in my hand, and I appreciate the more shallow grip angle, compared to Glock pistols. The magazine release is ambidextrous, which should be helpful for left handed shooters. The safety features are effective yet unobtrusive. I like the slide release and take down lever better than those on Glocks. This is the most comfortable pistol I’ve held and fired.
Firing the Springfield XD
The magazine goes in the bottom. Bullets come out the loud end. The slide goes back and forth.
But in all seriousness, the XD is fun to fire. The accuracy is good, considering that I am using the built in sights on a polymer framed pistol that has a 3″ barrel. The action is smooth, and I have experienced no failure to feeds of failure to fires, after putting about 1,000 rounds through the guns. The chamber is fully supported, unlike on large caliber Glocks, which means I am less likely to experience a catastrophic failure of the gun. Recoil on the XD chambered for .40 S&W is very tolerable, and consistent with what one can expect from a relatively lightweight gun, firing a relatively fast, medium weight bullet.
I would highly recommend the Springfield XD for anyone considering a polymer framed pistol. It is jam packed with effective yet unobtrusive safety features that will automatically engage and disengage without the shooter having to give them a second thought. A wide selection of calibers and barrel lengths are available. Accuracy is good. The gun is comfortable to hold, and fun to shoot.
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