Springfield XD Pistol Review

Published by the LearnAboutGuns.com Author on May 19, 2008 at 3:14 pm
LearnAboutGuns.com > Gun and Accessory Reviews > Springfield XD Pistol Review

The Springfield XD is currently my favorite pistol, so I though I would write a review of it.

Springfield XD Pistol

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.

Supported Calibers
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.

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Safety Features
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.
ALSO READ:  Springfield 1911 Pistol Review

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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Purchase the Springfield XD Pistol online.

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  • http://www.spotim.com/5-best-pistols-today.html best pistols

    I bought an XD in 45 acp, the tactical long barrel version with the XD gear. Really like it except for the holster. I called Springfield and told them that I liked the gun and the rest of the gear except the holster because I’m left handed. Guy asked for my address and said they would send me a left handed holster free of charge and no need to return the right handed one. Now that’s good customer relations…

  • Double K

    I also purchased the .45, but in the service model. It came with Trijicon night sights and all of the accessories. The gun is a great shooter, smooth and easy to reacquire your target. Safety features require no thought when engaging a target in a quick response situation. I’ve been a long time fan of my USP Compact, a gun that I consider as one of the best ever made (that’s right, EVER). The XD stands right next to it, in my view, as being one of those classic pieces that will stand the test of time. Comfortable to carry, fun to shoot, reliable…what more can you ask for? The ONLY negative I can think of is the holster that comes with it. It’s really a piece of junk and not suitable for a comfortable concealed carry. Get yourself a nice brand-name holster and it’s a perfect companion to a great gun.

  • Butch Brooks

    This is a question rather than a comment, what type of ammo are you guys using? Grain, Brand name, and are they hollow point? I relize there are a million types of ammo but just curious?

  • https://www.learnaboutguns.com LearnAboutGuns.com


    I'm partial to 140 grain Cor-Bon DPX homogeneous copper hollow points in .40 S&W…

  • Butch Brooks

    Thank you I am just getting back in the pistol thing, have been away for over 40 years, really do not have an answer for that, except wife really did not like them, she has passed on so now I can do what ever meets my fancy. Just bought a Springfield XD and I mean just bought it and now have to wait for my 10 back ground check, That is why I was asking about the ammo? I have been told the TAP 147 is excellent also? Guess have to try them all to see what I like the best? Thanks again Butch

  • Retired Army

    My family honored me with the 5",.45 ACP Tactical version with Thumb Safety this last Christmas. After shooting approximately 500 through the pistol, all I can say is WOW! I am a handloader and my handloads worked perfectly in this weapon – no missfeeds or misfires whatsoever. I currently shoot Hornady 230 grain Hollow Points (XTP)with 6.4 gains of N-340 powder. Muzzel velocity is 850 to 900 fps and the accuracy is more than adequate. I agree with BestPistol about the holster. The one that comes with the pistol is marginal at best, but it is better than nothing. I recently purchased a Blackhawk, SERPA holster with both belt and paddle attachments. This really "finnishes" the pistol. Cool, quiet, quick, and comfortable!

  • Bruce

    I really liked this review. I have always been partial to Sig. However, they are a little out of my price range. Honestly I was sold on a Glock 32 until I came across this review. I am going to go hold the sa xd and see for myself. I suspect I will leave with it over the G32.


  • Boyd

    For those asking about ammunition; in self defense classes I've taken the advice has been to carry what your local police department uses. In terms of effectiveness it's not likely to be far off the effectiveness of any other brand/model/etc and if the worst ever happens the fact that you simply did the same things the "good guys" do can get onto the record.

  • Dan

    I purchased the XD tactical 40 S&W yesterday from my local gun dealer. This is my first gun I have bought in 8 years due to my prior marriage. I found the XD to be the most comfortable and the most natural feeling out of all the other brands. The quality seemed much better than the Glock 23. My first intention before going to the store was to buy a Glock 23. I haven't had the chance to fire the gun yet, so I hope to be pleased with that as much as the rest of my experience with this firearm.

  • pillsbury

    I bought a 5" tactical bitone XD 45acp full size last year, and all I can say is "ITS NOT FOR SALE"!! It aint hiccupped near a bit. Accurate, smooth, dependable. It gobbles up and spits out anythimg I feed it. It LOVES Geogia arms reloads. Yea, the holster it came with aint nothin" to scream about, but a wild bill's leather holster took care of that.

    Ordered an XD 45 compact bi-tone yesterday 'cause this "biggon" is a touch bulky for carry – but I carry it. -'til I get my new one on Tuesday.

  • Anders

    It's really tough being me. I want a compact 1911. A sub compact CZ, a CZ rifle, a ruger rifle, a T/C Encore pistol in 45-70, a S&W 326 and 629. And a Springfield Armory XDM. Will it ever stop?

    Any way, a shot a 9mm XD last year, it was the best polymer framed pistol I have ever fired.

    IO recommend it for any one looking into getting there first gun.

  • Florida Gun Owner

    I've been doing a ton of research on pistols. I lost my right arm in a motorcycle accident 25 years ago. Since then I've been a revolver guy. Intrigued by autoloaders since I started looking at them hard last year. After reading all I could and renting different pistols at the range I purchased an XD 9. The simple straight forward design, ambidextrous magazine release and slide release and ease of breakdown made it the clear winner. Throw in the "dead eye" accuracy, low recoil, high value of the "gear" and inexpensive cost of 9mm ammo and the XD 9 is IMHO a great weapon that will be a top seller for years.

  • http://learnaboutguns.com Gerald Aube

    I think the XD 9mm is a double action pistol, not a single action pistol. The one I just bought is.

  • https://www.learnaboutguns.com LearnAboutGuns.com


    The XD pistols are all single action. The striker is fully cocked by the slide's retraction (unlike the Glock "safe action" triggers), and pulling the trigger when the striker is not cocked will not cock and fire the pistol (as would happen on a double action pistol).

  • William Wise

    I have the XD 40 Subcompact, and I absolutely love this pistol. I think all handgun owners should own an XD.

  • Terry

    A year or so ago I got my CHL, I bought a XD40 with 4" barrel to qualify. For someone that hadn't shot in 30 years or more I found it easy to shoot and accurate. I really like it. Went in to buy a Glock, walked out with it.

  • https://www.learnaboutguns.com Joe Boy

    I've been reseaching my next handgun purchase for several weeks and leaned toward S&W or Glock – 40 cal. I went to he gun store yesterday to see how they fit my hand, not inteding to buy yet. I looked at the S&W first and liked it. The salesman asked if I'd look at the Springfield XD. He showed it to me and I was sold. My wife & I went to the range last night and I let her have first shot. She put the first three rounds in the bulls eye, turned to me said with a big grin "I like it". We shot about 75 rounds. We will both really enjoy this gun. We'll probably get her one soon. Great gun.

  • William Wise

    I have over 2000 rds through mine, and not one hiccup. Did I say I love this gun?

  • Stephen

    Awsome firearm. I have the xd in .45 acp, stainless slide, compact OD green grip with 4" barrel. Fired about 800 rounds and carry daily in a cop 3 slot galco holster. Putting night sites as next upgrade. I have shot m1911 in the past and the xd was the logical choice. Compared to glock and s&w left with the xd stainless slide even. the added weight of the stainless slide chews up the recoil and make that big .45 shoot like a 9mm. Cheers

  • cody

    Hey Guys, just wanted to put my 2 cents in. A lot of guys that i go to school with are trying to argue the fact that glocks are better than XD…WRONG, these same guys that are shooting "brand new outta the box glocks" have already had several miss fires, stove pipes and not extracting(all in the first days of our firearms week)Oh and my instructor gets pissed when I tell them why their guns keep messing up(I whisper,"cause its a glock") I sure hope he doesnt fail me…I love my XD and i hope whatever department i hire on to doesnt require me to carry a glock, I have had no problems at all with my XD 40, and i have owned it now for 3 years roughly…I like the saftey features of it(and to clairify glocks do have safetys they are just internal and there are 3 of the some argue that there are 4 but in my opion the trigger saftey combined with the hand grib safety is far better.Well i hope everyone likes their XDs as much as i do and anyone looking for a quality pistol seriously consider the xd.

  • Deloris


    Please email me at AppyHorsey@gmail.com if you can answer my question(s) below. THANKS.

    I recently bought an AR-15. (Used). I know NOTHING about it/them!!

    I was "told" (by the seller) that it's a COLT, but I can not find "COLT" stamped on it ANYWHERE… (I bought it Anyway, because I'm afraid I may not get many more chances to buy one, with NoBama leading the way!)

    Anyway, it says CMMG .223 Model MOD4SA on the side.

    Is this a "Colt"? ("I" don't think so, but…)

    What else can you tell me about this rifle? (Heck, I'm just now figuring out how to "take it down". Naturally I have not yet shot it, until I LEARN about the "proper" use of it…) I'm Dying to shoot it, tho!! Ha. I need to find a "manual" for it online or something. Any suggestions where? Web link?

    Thanks for any/all info anyone can give me on this.



  • Deloris

    Should have added:

    I LOVE ALL my XD's WAY better than ANY Glock I've met so far!!!

    In fact I'm looking to buy a couple more XD9sc's if anybody knows where I can get a couple in GOOD shape at reasonable prices??

    Oh, and looking for an M-4, even tho I know nothing about them, either. Ha.

    And I do NOT want to go thru FFL for any of them – hence the reason for buying "used" instead of going to a gunshop.

    I'm located in south/central MO, so keep in mind the "driving distance" if you have something for sale.

    Thanks again.


  • Robert

    I have the SA xd .40 cal TAC. I have put over 2,000 Rounds through it all brands of ammo i could get my hands on only once did i have a misfeed and that was due to a faulty round. The accuracy is great and the simplicity of the pistol makes it worth every penny. Being left handed i did not have to endure the use of the holster that comes in the kit. I purchased a Black Hawk serpa holster with a leg harness and its the best i have ever used. It is a great pistol for anyone looking for a good home defense pistol.

  • William Wise

    I just bought my second XD subcompact 40 this past weekend. I ran 200rds of Winchester white box, and 40rds of Wichester PDX1 180 grain hollow points through her and not one hiccup at all. I love the gun!!

  • Scott

    I think that the XDM9 is a joke. The blued version weighs in at 32oz. and sells at Buds' for $566 shipped. The Taurus 917B-20 (9mm) weighs in at almost the same at 32.2oz., and holds 20 rounds (1 more). The all stainless version is only $443. Compare that to the $612 for the stainless XDM9.

    To top it off, they're made in Croatia, come on Springfield, a little greedy?

    • buckman

      do some research and find out where tauras makes there pistols…not that it matters as long as they work!..if i had to bet my well being on a tauras or springfield…id take a springfield any day of the week…for a hunred dollars difference the springfield is a no brainer..i have both and like both..but if i had to carry just one it would be a springfield!

  • Scott

    P.S., the blued Taurus sells for only $429 shipped.

  • http://www.RealCollegeSavings.com Scott

    Has anyone else found the XD in .45 to be just a little too fat to keep a good hold of? I was looking forward to purchasing the gun until I held it. I knew immediately that I would not be able to keep a good handle on that gun, and I don’t have small hands.

  • MKD .357 Sig

    I have owned a Sig p220 45 caliber for about 12years now and bought a XD 357 Sig about 4 years ago. I never shot the XD till about 1 month ago and absolutly loved it. I paid $800.00 for a Sig Sauer 45 and the XD outshoots it. I have now sold my Sig and replaced it with a the XD 45. they are the most natural pointing pistols I have ever fired.

    • GSTB

      I am very glad someone else can see beyond the price factor (and thus expecations) and acknowledge that the XD has some serious advantages over guns like the Sig and (I feel) –even a number of HKs… Don't get me wrong, I love the look of a number of Sig models and of course the HK usp (admittedly too big for my hands)– but when I shoot, it is increasingly the XD that I want in my hands.

  • http://www.coachoutletshophandbags.com/7-Coach-Necklace Coach Necklace

    I am interesting about it .

  • http://heelsandhandguns.com Lil Chantilly

    I own a 4" XD .45ACP. I absolutely LOVE this pistol! I was reading through the comments and saw a gentleman named Scott who was afraid he would not be able to keep ahold of the gun due to the stout grip. I am a female with normal hands, and even with the kick a 4" .45 delivers, I have no problem holding this gun. (If I can hold it, I'd guess any man would have no issues with it.) For the price, this pistol is accurate, reliable, AND fun to shoot! I also have a friend with the same gun, only the 5" model and he loves it as well. I have shot both weapons, and like them both.