New this year from Springfield Armory is their latest entrant into their line of XD(M) polymer framed striker fired pistols. This is what is being called the XD(M) Compact, and it is very similar to the XD(M) 3.8 that came out last year and that was built on their standard size frame with a shorter barrel and slide. The Compact has the same 3.8 inch barrel, and the slide is the same. But the frame is a new design for Springfield and it is made specifically for concealed carry.
Never to be left with a question about thinking about everything, Springfield gives you two different size magazines with the gun though. The flush magazine is the true “Compact” size and holds 13 rounds, but there is also a full size 19 round that comes with a sleeve to extend the grip. So with one gun you have both the new XD(M) Compact, a 2 finger grip for most hands, and the same gun with a full 3 finger grip, like the older 3.8 model.
If you aren’t familiar with the popular XD pistols from Springfield, they are one of the market leaders in polymer pistols sales, and for a reason. Nearly every feature you see advertised these days in polymer pistols has come standard on the XD since the beginning. Standard features include a front rail, ambidextrous safety, loaded round indicator, three dot Novak style sights, a striker status indicator, aggressive slide serrations, grips you can hold onto, an ergonomic design, and both a trigger and grip safety. The XD line was also the first to come with a belt holster standard, as well as a magazine holder and functional magazine loader right in the molded plastic case with the gun..
The XD(M) guns go even one step further. They come standard with match grade barrels, interchangeable backstraps and even more aggressively molded grips, as well as advanced finish and usability features that can be found on the XD(M) subsite at http://www.the-m-factor.com/.
Most important I feel in the XD(M) improvements is what Springfield claims to be the shortest trigger pull in the polymer pistol market. I measured the pull using my handy digital caliper and the trigger pull is indeed extremely short, .3 inches. Until I go measure the Glock, M&P, etc., I will reserve judgment on the actual shortest, but that is pretty short. I was surprised it measured that short, and I measured it several times from different angles on the trigger..
The “reset” is another measurement that only a few companies even talk about in the pistol world. It is what separates the men from the boys and the ladies from the girls in a striker fired pistol. Reset is how far forward the trigger has to travel before it can be pulled again for a subsequent shot. An audible and tactile click on the XD(M) tells you instinctively that the gun is ready for the next shot and on this test gun I measured the reset at .2 inches. From what I have seen, this is the standard upon which others should be judged at this point. The XD(M) action is a bit spongy, like all striker fired pistols, but you do instinctively know when it is going to bang, though it will take you a couple magazines to develop a feel for it. We almost got thrown off the range for rapid fire because I had to see if I could get 5 rounds off before any brass hit the floor. I could.
You get a little tired of writing that the gun didn’t have any failures over the course of several hundred rounds, but indeed that was the case with this XD(M) in 9mm that we tested. I took it out for a test drive for an afternoon at the Bass Pro Shops range (with all the pesky rules that make little sense) with a friend who hadn’t fired a gun in 30 years, and his two boys, aged 17 and 21. We shot several brands of 9mm roundball range ammo, plus some Hornady Critical Defense in the 115 grain FTX. Some people find the XD guns a little too top heavy, but I find, and my guests also found, that the slight top heavy’ness keeps the flip down. For new and lapsed shooters I was surprised at how comfortably they shot the gun, and how little flip affected their shooting.
Accuracy was best with the hot, light 115 grain Critical Defense. I don’t know if this is intentional on Springfield Armory’s part. It could just be attributable to the consistency of Hornady ammunition, whereas inexpensive range rounds are not expected to be overly accurate. At 25 feet the gun shot consistently into an inch to an inch and a half using the Hornady Critical Defense.
We didn’t change out the backstraps because you need a punch to take out the set pin. The good side of this is that you won’t have your backstrap come off accidentally, but I’m not sure I have a tool that would work to change the backstrap out myself. When you do change the backstrap, and it can go both thinner and thicker, Springfield also gives you two extra sizes of magazine sleeves for the 19 round magazine, so the thickness of the grip is consistent. Attention to detail matters, and the XD(M) pistols have not one stone unturned.
In an extremely crowded field of 9mm compacts, the XD(M) Compact is for sure a standout. Go online and Google around yourself. You won’t find a lot of complaints about the XD(M) guns, and that can’t be said for a lot of other market leaders. All the way from Croatia, the Springfield XD(M) Compact is worthy of your hard earned dollars, and you will consider it a solid purchase that you will never regret.