There is nothing as comforting as firepower in a concealed carry weapon. Is the XDM .45ACP Compact that much less comfortable than the new single stack Springfield XDS? We are at talking a cool gun with the XDS of course, but for a gun that can double as a full sized duty weapon and a 9 + 1 concealed carry gun, the Compact wins hands down.
This picture and the one above it is almost a morph sequence. What makes the XDM Compact unique is that it doubles as a full size duty weapon when you use the included 13 round extended magazine. The sleeves that come with the magazine match the grip panels that can adjust the overall thickness of the XDM grip. This makes for the most versatile pistol on the market, especially when you only have the budget for one gun.
The XDS is coming out in stores soon, and it is a nifty gun because it is so small, but most of the size difference is in thickness, not length or width.
If you can handle the extra thickness of the grip and you don’t plan to carry the XDS as a pocket pistol, the extra 4 rounds in the Compact is a no brainer. This picture was from Media Day before SHOT 2012 with the gun side by side.
For a female hand, the extra .15 inches tall of the Compact grip in the big .45ACP may mean the ability to get a third finger on there. The weight is only 6 ounces more on the Compact, so carrying about a half pound more for greater stability may be worth it.
The Compact has the same grip profile as the standard XDM, so it fits our Ransom Rest accuracy testing fixture.
The Ransom Rest proved out what we had already learned shooting this gun several times over the course of several weeks with half a dozen different shooters. If you are on, the XDM .45 Compact is on. It is tough to get the Ransom Rest to line up correctly at even 10 yards because you have to use c-clamps to hold the plank down, but the gun does shoot to point of aim, not two inches right, out of the box.
This is the holster that comes with the XDM Compact. It is for outside the pants carry. Just about every duty holster company also makes holsters for this gun.
I ordered this Stealth Armor holster from Double Tap Holsters for inside the pants. For fifty bucks you just can’t go wrong and I wear it every day.
I think some of the other gun companies should be embarrassed at this point at how much case candy Springfield gives you with your gun. Polymers have brought manufacturing costs down, but rather than just pocket the difference Springfield gives you a bunch more stuff.
The XDS is going to be a nifty little bugger when it eventually gets here, but if you only have the budget for one concealed carry gun, take a good look at the XDM .45 Compact before you get an XDS. It is a lot more gun for its size and weight, and you will probably shoot it better and more comfortably. There may be more buzz on the XDS, but there are a heck of a lot more bullets in the Compact. And you can actually go buy one today.
Springfield Armory XDM .45 Compact 3.8
Springfield Armory XDS .45 ACP
Back before SHOT Show this year we got a chance to take a look at the Springfield Armory XD(M) .45 Compact 3.8, but we never got to do a real test for a range report. So as we eagerly await the coming of the single stack XDS, before you decide that you must have it, let’s take a look at the Compact XDM .45 alongside the XDS first.
To start, 9 + 1 of .45ACP in the XDM Compact is certainly a lot better than 5 + 1 in the XDS. If the doublestack fits you as well or better than the XDS, you may prefer it for concealed carry. And as we noted in the original article on this gun, the Compact is really two guns in one. With the extended 13 round mag and its sleeve, the Compact turns into a full sized XDM. In its small configuration, with the flush mag, the Compact is only 6 oz. heavier than the XDS empty (plus the weight of the extra 4 rounds). That difference in volume of fire may give the XDM Compact an edge for concealed carry, especially for off duty law enforcement and those in hi-risk positions.
The overall length of the XDM Compact .45ACP is 7 inches, versus 6.3 for the.45 ACP XDS. On a belt holster, the gun isn’t going to stick up or down that much more. The height is similar, about 4.55 for the Compact versus 4.4inches for the XDS, so the grip length should be about the same, but that small difference could be enough to not fit the third finger on the grip for female shooters who can get three fingers on the Compact. We show this gun here with the medium grip panel, but you can swap it out for smaller or larger, and the panels come with the gun.
One of the side benefits that has come out of a flood of compact guns for concealed carry is that female shooters finally have guns that actually fit them. With many of these small guns that are clearly a two finger grip for male shooters, female shooters can fit three fingers, and even snappy 9mm and 45acp compacts can be comfortable and controllable because of the extra leverage. The XDM .45 Compact is thicker than the XDS, but it is of course a doublestack, and holds four more rounds. Regardless of your size, it is worth a trip to a range with rentals to shoot the Compact before deciding on the XDS, or if you can’t shoot it, at least to a gunshop to hold it. You may not ever need those extra four rounds, but you never know.
The thickness of the XDM Compact .45 is the same as a regular XD, so we were able to test this gun in the Ransom Rest for accuracy. With the course sights and short sight radius of any concealed carry pistol it is tough to measure the true accuracy of the gun, even with this semi-professional fixture, but the Compact shot really well. The group you see in the picture, slightly under an inch, was about the average at ten yards with both Winchester SXZ45 and Hornady Critical Defense 180 grain FTX ammo. That is about as good as I have be able to measure with a pistol, and all of the XDM guns seem to best of class in this regard.
The long magazine on the XDM Compact holds 13 rounds, so it is truly a full sized service pistol, yet it fits in the same holster. If you remember, Springfield originally released this 3.8 slide length with a full sized grip and it was awkward looking, but it nonetheless became a big hit among law enforcement and security guards. This is in part because when you sit down, the 3.8 slide sticks down less, so sticks into you less, and with the Compact,” two guns in one” concept, you can carry the 13 round mag on the gun as your duty weapon in a belt holster, and use the same gun as your concealed carry with the flush 9 round magazine.
As with all the guns in the XDM line, the .45 Compact comes with a lockable hard case that includes two extra different sizes of grip panels for different sized hands, a belt holster for the gun, a magazine holster, and this gun comes with both the flush 9 round and extended 13 round mags. Extra mags are available in the Springfield website store. It also has a lock and sleeves for the long mag that match the grip panels in thickness.
Soup to nuts, there is no more complete .45ACP package in the concealed carry handgun market than the XDM Compact, and though he XDS is probably the second most exciting gun I’ve seen this year (the first being that 12 gauge AR shotgun they still have not sent me one of), I think that if your budget only allows one concealed carry handgun this year, you should probably get to a gunshop and check out the Compact before you decide to buy the XDS. I did love the XDS at SHOT, but I’m carrying the Compact, and I don’t think I’ll switch when the XDS finally gets here.