As regular readers know, I am not fan of Springfield Armory or the XD series. I loathe the state of Illinois, which spawned Barack Hussein Obama via Kenya, and remains the only 100% NO CARRY state in America.
I’ve always felt that the Springfield Armory was using marketing similar to the Samsung Galaxy. You know, Glocks and iPhones are for the old fogies. XD’s and Galaxies are for the under 40 crowd.
When the XDs .45 ACP was announced and demonstrated at the 2012 SHOT show, it had all the makings of a well marketed firearm but the bar was a set pretty high, with a lot of promise. So called ‘pocket’ guns are getting a lot of attention from numerous manufacturers, and the recent offerings by S&W, Ruger, Kahr, Beretta & now Springfield Armory are definitely driving a competitiveve market place.
The XD comes out of Croatia, which is not exactly Austria, Switzerland or Germany. I don’t know about the other XD models, but I can tell you that the XDs is awesome. The XDs .45 ACP is going to fill a definite consumer demand for the large caliber CCW pistols, as the Shield does for the the 9mm caliber. Both have an ever growing concealed carrier consumer base.
We carried both the M&P Shield 9 and the XDs 3.3 to the range today. The Shield trigger is the best that I’ve found on a striker fired pistol. I’ve only found one Shield owner who disagrees with me (and every published report that I have read on the Shield trigger).
Like the Shield, the XDs is in high demand. Gun shops are not getting many and they are selling very fast. I’ve called several local shops for months with no joy. But I got lucky at the Fort Woth Gun Show on Saturday and purchased mine from S.A.W. one of the larger gun stores in the DFW area. S.A.W. had three at the Show and said it was the first time they had more than one to sell in months.
The fit, finish and function of the XDs are all top notch. The XDs comes with 3 dot sights, the front being fiber optic. The XDs leaves Croatia and arrives in the box with a red front insert. Springfield Armory includes a spare red and green tube, with instructions on how to change the front inset. The ergonomics of the gun are excellent. The gun fits in average sized hands with a small 1911 type feel, but with no thumb safety to fumble with. The checkering is very aggressiveve. Talon Grips makes a rubberized version of their well known sandpaper grip, which Hickok45 prefers for this model. I’m a fan of Talon Grips for polymer guns but not of their recent price increase, up 50% from $10 to $15.
The XDs trigger is different. When dry firing the gun for the first few times, I thought ‘I overpaid for this thing’. The trigger has a lot of take up, then abruptly becomes very heavy by striker fired gun standards, but then breaks consistently. It’s not a heavy trigger pull, nowhere near double action revolver weight, but at first it seems surprising. The trigger does not return until the slide cycles. This is only a factor when dry firing.
Today, I fired it with live ammo and for some reason the trigger made sense. I find the trigger different, and comparable to the Beretta Nano, but far easier to manipulate precisely. I made accurate shots from 15 to 50 feet.
The XDs is almost the same size as the Shield. It will fit in the same generic pocket holster. I’ve ordered a kydex pocket holster from Alabama Hoslter Company. Unfortunately it takes from 60-90 days to meet the high demand for Alabama holsters. I just received the Alabama kydex pocket holster for my Shield that I ordered in July.
For some of you, the XDs may be a little on the heavy side for pocket carry. Compared to scandium J Frame S&W, the XDs is downright portly at about 21 ounces unloaded, the scandium 360 is right at 13 ounces. The Beretta BU9 Nano is about 17 ounces.
I don’t know about you, but I always carry a loaded gun. A loaded 5+1 XDs is 26.25 ounces. The Shield 8+1 weighs 24.25 ounces loaded, exactly 2 ounces less. I’ve ordered an extended 7 round magazine from Springfield Armory. If you can’t get the job done with eight .45ACP rounds, I don’t think the one extra round in the Shield is the solution to your problem. Pistol fighting distance is typically less than 3 yards. That would typically leave you with five .45ACP rounds in your pistol after you’ve taken care of the job at hand.
The XDs gun will fit in 99% of the scenarios that the BU9, PF9 or Shield will fit due to the ergonomics on the XDS. I’m the President of the KMA Club, being retired over four years. Cargo pants are my uniform and I always make sure they have deep pockets before I buy them on sale!
The XDs 3.3 is surprisingly easy to control. Packing a .45 payload in the XDs is awesome. The XDs is surprisingly easy to control. But you won’t forget that it’s a .45 caliber pistol.
‘Surprisingly easy to control’ doesn’t mean it’s like shooting my P238 .380 or 9mm Shield. The XDS has a grip that people with medium, adult sized hands can effectively grip, allowing a little more control to be exerted over the gun than many of the pocket pistols.
My biggest surprise was that there was hardly any muzzle blast. The XDs sort of goes about putting rounds down range in kind of a business like manner. I shot 220 rounds this afternoon. While I noticed that the XDs wasn’t a powder-puff Shield, my hand was fine at the end.
I’ve picked up lightweight handguns and thought to myself, Oh, this is going to hurt even before I pulled the trigger. I really expected the XDs to do more in the way of hand-mangling. In that, I was happily surprised. Don’t take that to mean it’s soft. It comes back quick, and you will know you’ve launched some serious hurt down range, but it’s nothing like a featherweight .357 or even an all stainless steel S&W Model 60 .38 revolver. The XDs won’t make you wince. I really enjoyed sending those 230 grain .45 slugs down range. It’s a fun gun to shoot for sure.
The short barrel, while making the gun easy to pocket carry, does sacrifice some velocity. But the .45 does its work not by speed, but rather by mass. You’ll lose some velocity with a barrel this short, but not so much that a bad guy will notice if he ends up on the receiving end of a 740 FPS 230 grain JHP.
My XDs had no feeding problems or malfunctions through 200 rounds of white box Winchester 230 grain FMJ and 20 rounds of Federal Premium 230 grain Hydra-Shok JHP.
If your idea of fashion is cargo shorts, a Hawaiian shirt and Crocs, the XDs .45 may be your perfect EDC pistol. My current EDC is either my S&W 1911SC Series E .45 or my Sig P239 SAS loaded with .357sig ammo. The XDs will primarily be my back up and home carry pistol. Why carry just one gun when you can carry two just as easily?