First Look: The New Springfield XD-S Mod.2 in .45 ACP

Today, we finally get to talk about the new XD-S Mod.2. This is a difficult gun for me to review, for a number of reasons. First, I have said about all there is to say about the Gen 1 XD-S. I have carried the 3.3 model since 2013, and I reviewed the 4-inch model here. When I wrote “ 9 Critical Concealed Carry Lessons”, a multipart series, earlier this year, the XD-S featured prominently. The various caliber models basically had their own episode, here. When someone asks what model I recommend for a CCW gun, XD-S is unfailing the answer. I am about out of words to tell you how awesome it is.

First Impressions

Secondly, I came to this XD-S Mod.2 release with some hesitation. I always worry when someone has “improved” an object I already loved. From “ John Wick” to New Coke, the sequel is rarely better. Go look at the market value of a Bronco II if you don’t believe me. I didn’t like the idea of Springfield Armory messing with what I already saw as the perfect carry gun.

Fortunately, my fears are unfounded. Pretty much everything about the Mod.2 is better. I took them both to the range, to see for myself. Old faithful, my daily companion for the last 5 years. And the usurper, that some guy in a suit told me made it obsolete. No Disney stories here, the Mod 2 trounced the original.

Say goodbye to the old and hello to the new.

The number one question I had in mind, would the Mod 2 really have less felt recoil? That sounds like marketing hype. The XD-S already handled 45 ACP recoil like a champ, for such a small gun. I attributed a lot of that to the grenade style texturing on the frame, of which I am a fan. You could get ahold of this gun, and that matters. Well, turns out, the Mod 2 blows its doors off. Part of that has to do with a lower bore axis. The Mod 2 sits close to ¼ inches lower in your hand, with your thumb web now protected by a small frame extension. Side by side, it is obvious which one stays on target better.

Point:1 for the Mod 2.

SPECS

  • Type: Dual-recoil operated semaiuto pistol
  • Cartridge: .45 ACP
  • Capacity:5 +1 rds. or 6 +1 rds. /w mag extension
  • Sights: ProGlo Tritium
  • Overall Length: 6.5 in.
  • Height: 4.25 in.
  • Barrel Length: 3.3 in.
  • Weight: 21.5 oz.
  • Width:  .975 in. 
  • Manufacturer: Springfield Armory

Springfield’s Innovations

The frame has changed in other ways as well. The original felt a little bit boxy. Nothing I would complain about, or ever really noticed, to be honest. But I notice now. The Mod 2 features rounded edges on the front and rear of the grip, along with a deeper undercut on the beavertail safety. There is some texturing, but it is a basket weave pattern, and much less obtrusive than the Mod 1. I left my degree in ergonomics in my other pants, so I can’t tell you exactly why the new one feels better. But it does. Drastically better. I would compare the feeling, if strapped for an analogy, to the difference between driving a dump truck and a Platinum F-150. Once you have tested both, you know a difference exists.

The grip has what Springfield refers to as Tenacious Posi-Wedge serrations that make the slide easier to grab and rack.

Point: 2 for the Mod 2.

The trigger is a subtle improvement, but like the other changes, one that you can’t unsee. Side by side, you’ll feel the upgrade in the new one. It is both marginally lighter, and there is less takeup.

 

Point: 3 for the Mod 2.

New Sights

The original XD-S came with grown-up sized sights, a huge advantage over most carry size guns on the market. If they had a weakness, it was that they were only fiber optic. If you wanted tritium night sights, you had to go aftermarket. That has also been corrected on the Mod 2. From the factory, you now have the option of Ameriglo’s Pro Glo fronts. This is an awesome little sight, with a tritium center surrounded by a super bright daylight visible paint ring. I am not sure pictures do this one justice. The front sight, in the brightest desert sun, cannot be missed. The green ring sticks out like MC Hammer pants at a funeral.

The rear sight also features an improvement. The Mod 1 had a melted style rear, which meant it wouldn’t snag on things. This is great unless you need to use the rear sight to make the slide behave. Either to rack it one handed, or potentially clearing a jammed casing. In a CCW gun, those might be things you need to do. The Mod 2 features the new Springfield Armory tactical rack shelf, a flat spot with 90-degree edges that lets you do just that.

Point:4 for the Mod 2.

Range Time

The only real change I am not certain about, the Mod 1 XD-S came with 3 magazine options. They were 5,6, or 7, depending on the extension you used, making the grip longer as you went. I am assuming due to popularity, but the Mod 2 only comes with 5 or 6 fitting magazines. I tended to carry my XD-S with the 7 rounder in it, for a total capacity of 8, in addition to liking the grip size this offered. So I was dismayed to learn that my preferred method is no longer an option. But then I realized that if you take the plastic extension off, the old 7 rounders still fit. So point Mod 2.

Article Continues Below

Lasting Impressions

Springfield has continued to raise the bar and bring improvements to pistols, I didn’t think they could improve upon. For those looking for a solid choice for CCW, you’d be hard-pressed to look past the new Springfield XDS Mod.2 in .45 ACP. Like test driving a new car, if you are an XD-S owner, take these words as a caution. Don’t go to the store and fondle the Mod 2. Because you won’t leave without it.

For more information about Springfield pistols, click here.

To purchase a Springfield XD-S on GunsAmerica, click here.

{ 32 comments… add one }
  • ejharb January 17, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Wondered when they’d quit with that roll pin retaining the extractor.
    It’s all good though.my g30 suits me fine.

  • TJ January 17, 2018, 4:34 pm

    Since I witnessed an XD have a catastrophic failure at a law enforcement range in North Carolina I steered clear of buying any XD series handguns. Shooting a couple XD’s friends let me shoot on range outings left me unimpressed. I’ll take a Glock or even a Smith and Wesson M&P over a rebranded and overhyped Croatian handgun.

    • Ton E January 17, 2018, 5:53 pm

      In other words the XD’s are garbage…..

    • Carl Spackler March 4, 2018, 6:49 pm

      Ever see a Glock kaboom? I’ve been present when the Glock 22 and Glock 21 have had catastrophic failures.

  • Dr Dave January 16, 2018, 2:50 am

    I bought the XDS 40 cal as I use it as a concealed weapon. It is much better than my Walter PPK/ and it fits my hand as well as feels right and I have no problem with recoil, or being able to control it. I agree that if they made it in a 10mm I would buy it as I have a 10mm Glock and Kimber 10mm Target and like t he 10mm cartridge. I like my XDS 40 and would not change to the newer model as I am very satisfied with the XDS.

  • Dennis Larson January 15, 2018, 11:10 pm

    I disagree with you on the seven rounder mags Clay. If they don’t fit in the Mod 2 with the current adapter Springfield needs to make an adapter available so that they will fit. I too have been carrying an XDs since they came out and I put up the money to carry 2 seven round mags not only for the extra round but because my big hands like the extra grip! I don’t appreciate the engineers being thoughtful enough of their customers to provide a way for them to fit correctly. I don’t have a Mod2 to compare with but with the price of the mags I am not too anxious to pay the price of the pistol.

  • DaveGinOly January 15, 2018, 5:59 pm

    I had a KelTec PF9. It hurt to shoot it. I replaced it with a pre-fix XDs, which then went in for the fix. Couldn\’t hit the side of a barn with it, the trigger was terrible (and everyone raves about the trigger – I have no idea what they\’re talking about). Replaced the XDs with a Walther PPS (original model). It doesn\’t have a great trigger, but it has a much better trigger than the XDs, and I can actually hit what I\’m aiming at. I don\’t mind its slab-sidedness (in that regard, it\’s much like the XDs), and the Euro-style, trigger guard mag release is OK by me too. (To increase traction, I put skateboard tape in the channels between the raised portions of the grip. That really spiffed up the grip.)
    FYI, my other guns (those that I currently own, anyway), are an XDm (.45 – with internals from Powder River and Springer Precision, and TruGlo TFO sights), a Walther PPQ, and a Sig STX. I can hit with them too, something I could not do with the XDs.

  • Tommygun851 January 15, 2018, 2:09 pm

    Clay, can you PLEASE get some gunsmithing mats for your bench top!! It’s hard to take anyone seriously when they are dragging around a brand new test gun on a hard surface!!
    Good article by the way, I don’t own one but know people that do and they love their XDs’! The thing that I like about them you never even mentioned! I think they are the safest CCW on the market! Between the grip safety, trigger safety, magazine safety and who knows how many internal safety’s it has, the gun will never go off by itself!

    • Jeffrey W Fiske January 15, 2018, 3:58 pm

      Guns don’t go off by themselves anyway Tommy gun, never seen one sitting on a table “go off”.

      • Tommygun851 January 17, 2018, 2:23 pm

        Jeffrey W Fiske- ????? How did you get an inference like that?? Two separate comments that had nothing to do with each other! Since your comprehension skills are quite lacking, please refrain from commenting about anything in the future and go back to drinking your “koolaide”

  • Mike A January 15, 2018, 2:09 pm

    I see they changed the extractor to an axial plunger style as well. I wonder if it maintains the same consistent tension through cycling as the transverse spring style. Main thing is did they get rid of the stupid case control groove along the breechface that makes it easily stick out of battery with a full mag?

  • Thomas Ford January 15, 2018, 12:41 pm

    I carried an XDs 45 since the first one I saw. Replaced it with XDmod 2 45cal double stack as soon as it came out and never looked back. Also have a XDs 4″, but its just a 9mm. I love them despite Springfields politics. I still prefer the double stack mod2 and carry it daily and fire it weekly at the range.

  • Bruce Dzamba January 15, 2018, 12:34 pm

    Wow! I was all ready to go feel a Mod 2 XDs up until you mentioned the 7 round mag. I carry the 6 rd mag with the 7 rounder in my spare mag pouch. Why would they do that???

  • Darrell January 15, 2018, 11:14 am

    I’ve been carrying the Gen 1 XDS 45 for quite a few years now. I’m very satisfied with it and don’t plan to upgrade. If I were making the initial purchase again, the Gen 2 would be a no-brainer. I’ve never experienced any hiccup at all with the original.

  • Texf6 January 15, 2018, 11:13 am

    I guess that I can appreciate the quest for improvement. I have always like the large service models over Mod 2 and XDM but that’s just me and my opinion. Like shoe sizes, everyone has one. The XD45 mod 2 subcompact though does it for me though. Depending on my activity it rides along most the time and is only supplanted occasionally by the slim and trim Walther PPS M2. All wear Talons but that’s my shoe size coming through once again. Enjoyed the watch though and for someone who hasn’t already made the investment in a tool that works for them, why not XD-S mod 2.

  • Greg January 15, 2018, 10:48 am

    Have owned and enjoyed the XDs in 45acp since late 2012. The recall did us no favors, in that the mediocre trigger came back worse. I practiced with it enough to “get used to it”, but never a fan. When I tested a Ruger LC9s Pro (I know, ONLY a 9mm…) with its superb trigger, then bought one, my XDs started seeing less and less use. It’s now stored in the safe…I really really wanted to stick with it, but the competition won out.

  • Boss January 15, 2018, 10:38 am

    XDS .45 ACP 4″ it jams constantly with any brand of ammo. Springfield told me there is nothing wrong with it and won’t even consider looking at it. So it is in it’s box packed away, probably won’t see daylight till the day I die.

  • Dave January 15, 2018, 10:01 am

    XDS 45 4″ has been my favorite gun period. I carry supers in the woods. Handles the supers with ease. The lower bore axis is interesting. Given that I’m happy with the current gun, best not pick up a mod 2. And I prefer the 6 round. The older mags not working is reason enough not to buy the new one.

  • Larry W. Van Houter Sr January 15, 2018, 10:00 am

    Put the 10 mm round in this frame & I’d buy one.

    • Texf6 January 15, 2018, 11:15 am

      Put 10mm in the XD line up at all and I’m a player. Compact or not.

    • Darrell January 15, 2018, 11:19 am

      I can’t wait for Springfield to deliver a poly 10mm. Lack of a Springfield model is the only reason I own a couple Glocks (G20 & G29).

  • Michael Douchette January 15, 2018, 9:50 am

    The XD line has never fit my hand. And while I’m not a big M&P fan, this doesn’t outdo the Shield in .45. Not at all.

    • Darrell January 15, 2018, 11:17 am

      Everybody is different. The XD line fits my hands great and I’d take them over the M&P series every time; and I don’t dislike the M&P series at all.

  • Al January 15, 2018, 9:03 am

    Aaaaand it’s still the ugliest Poly pistol out there.

    • Darrell January 15, 2018, 11:15 am

      That’s totally subjective to individual tastes. I think it’s the best looking one out there. To each their own.

    • kk January 15, 2018, 10:04 pm

      and a Springfield Armory to boot..how easily some of us forget !

  • Harry January 15, 2018, 8:36 am

    The chicks may like it but your voice is too deep to understand for me

  • zorro January 15, 2018, 8:08 am

    You better get yourself on a diet there Bud…!!! Holy Cow …!!!

  • Gary January 15, 2018, 7:18 am

    Each to their own, to me nothing out there beats a KAHR PM45 for cc and they have never backed suspect legislation.

  • Lon January 15, 2018, 7:16 am

    What??? No “Grip Zone”?? How am I gonna know how to hold it? 😉

    • John January 15, 2018, 2:21 pm

      Yup, nice to see no “grip zone” rookie labels on it.

    • Donnie January 16, 2018, 2:31 pm

      Um, yeah. That was simple marketing. I don’t understand why some many people get some butthurt over two words. Stop crying and get over it already. Reminds me of another group of people that are always “offended” by something….

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