This graphic from the XD-S micro-site explains it best. The isn’t a really spectacular story about Springfield releasing the XD-S in 9mm. The gun is identical to the .45ACP original version, in 9mm. All of the external measurements are the same and the 9mm is 1.5 ounces heavier, at 23 oz. This is due to the thicker barrel of the 9mm. They got the Golden Bullseye Award from NRA this year.
The guns are indistinguishable except for the hole in the front, the writing on the side, and the writing on the bottom of the magazine. This is my XD-S .45ACP that has been in my pocket for over a year next to the brand new XD-S 9mm.
The includes a Springfield lockable case and the standard case candy of an outside the wasteband holster, double mag holster, lock, two mags and thin grip panel replacement. This gun also came with extra fiber optic inserts as well. The mags are both 7 round flush.
Springfield will also be selling an extended mag for this gun that holds 9 rounds through their online store, and your dealer should have some as well.
The extended mags, here on the right, come with two sleeves to match whichever grip panel you prefer. Again, the extended mag doesn’t come with the XD-S. It is available separately. The gun comes with two 7 round mags pictured here on the left.
All of our shooting was done with the flush 7 round mag in a two finger grip. Some women shooters with small hands can get three fingers on the small XD-S grip.
In rested shooting at 15 yards, the gun preferred the Hornady Critical Defense 115 grain, left, over the 147 grain, right.
Because of the national ammo shortage the only 9mm we had left to chronograph was Hornady Steel Match. It came in 100fps under the velocity listed on the box, which is very good for a 3.3 inch barrel. You lose a lot more from a .357 or even a .38 snubby revolver and in 9mm this gun will pack quite a punch in a gunfight.
Our test gun was only #197. We have had it for a couple months, but after the political gun shortages we are trying to not put out articles on guns you can’t get. This XD-S 9mm is shipping this week in significant quantities, so get your name on a list at your local dealer and grab one up as they are shipped from the distributors.
Springfield Armory XD-S 9mm Micro-Compact
Great guns are always the most difficult to review. After all, a gun is just a fairly simple mechanical device that is made to withstand a bunch of force and direct its energy in a particular direction, one that you are aiming at. What made the original XD-S such an amazing great gun when it was first introduced was that it did this in a big caliber, without a lot of wear and tear on the shooter. Shooting.the tiny, pocketable XD-S 45ACP without a disabling recoil or muzzle flip is pretty amazing when you try it in person. You won’t believe how different the gun shoots unless you try it. The newest XD-S, in 9mm, is the same size as the original 45, brought to market this year in response to overwhelming demand for the smaller caliber. It shoots even lighter than the original, holds two more rounds, and side by side with every other “micro-9” in the market, flips a lot less. The XD-S is a full featured pistol, with a loaded round indicator, last round hold open, and the new 9mm comes with two 7 round magazines, an outside the waistband holster, and a dual magazine holster. It it also has an grip insert for smaller hands and extra fiber optic sight inserts in two colors. The street price of the XD-S 9mm should be around $550-$600. Nobody was surprised that Springfield came out with a 9mm XD-S, and we await the .40S&W version, but until you shoot the gun it is difficult to understand just how much the XD-S, in both the original .45ACP and now 9mm, outclasses the competition. If you remember our original review of the XD-S .45ACP back in June of last year, we correctly predicted that this gun would be a game changer for the market. The 9mm version is more of the same, for those who want a couple more rounds in the mag and an even lighter shooting pocket pistol. They should be at your local gun dealers this week.
Springfield has an interesting page on their XD-S micro-site explaining the things that are the same about the 9mm vs. the .45ACP and the things that are different. The length, 6.3″, the height, 4.4″, and the thickness, .9″, are all the same on the 9mm, but the weight of the new pistol is different, The 9mm is a smaller caliber, but is actually 1.5 ounces heavier, at 23oz. Why? …you ask. Because all other dimensions being equal, a smaller bore size, (.355″ vs. .452″), requires a thicker barrel to fit in the same XD-S slide. A thicker barrel for the 9mm means more metal in the barrel, which is heavier. Springfield could have possibly made the gun a little thinner in 9mm, but if you remember back to the original .45ACP XD-S articles here, the gun was originally designed as a 9mm. As Rob Leatham explained back at SHOT Show 2012, after a flood of 9mm subcompacts coming into the market a year prior to the XD-S, the engineers at Springfield decided to release the .45ACP first, because they realized that the physics and ergonomics of the gun could handle a thinner barrel and more punch. Like the original XD-S, the new 9mm doesn’t have a manual drop safety, but it does have the little trigger lever and internal drop safeties. Just make sure you use a holster that covers the trigger guard entirely, and the gun is safe as any other. The trigger is the same, breaking just over 7 lbs. for the long stroke and just under five and a half for the very short .2″ reset subsequent shots. The finish on the XD guns is called melonite and it stands up pretty good, though in a Kydex pocket holster my XD-S .45ACP has worn at the edges a bit after a year of daily carry.
Why was there such pressure to bring the 9mm to market? After all, the .45ACP is considered the ultimate manstopper in a handgun. But as hard as we here at GunsAmerica have tried to get the word out, in addition to blog posts, comments, forum threads and word of mouth from the actual owners of the XD-S, there are still people out there that doubt that it doesn’t feel like you are shooting a .45ACP. A lot of people are simply intimidated by such a heavy cartridge in a small gun. The capacity is also an issue. This new 9mm XD-S holds two more rounds than the .45ACP version, 7 in the standard mag and 9 in the extended mag, which must be purchased separately. The 9mm is also a much more practical caliber for a lot of shooters, especially those slight of build and with small hands. Women shooters especially who want to carry as much punch as they can wield seem to think the 9mm is just right. But, no big surprise here, the same XD-S ergonomics that make the .45ACP seem like you are shooting a 9mm make the 9mm seem like you are shooting a .380. We shot the XD-S side by side with the Walther PPS in 9mm and if you just stand to the side of the shooter and watch, the muzzle flip is literally half of the PPS with the XD-S, and the PPS is no slouch as pocket 9mms go. Talking to the folks at Springfield, they have done side by side tests with every other 9mm micro on the market and shooters universally prefer the XD-S.
The gun isn’t for everyone though, even in 9mm. Compared to the truly “micro” pistols, mostly in .380ACP, the XD-S is a little larger and heavier. I recently had the opportunity to help a friend with his choice for a concealed carry pistol and my suggestion was of course, the XD-S, in .45ACP, but I also showed him the 9mm which I happened to have on hand for this article. At first he thought it was going to the right gun, but then I let him borrow my personal carry XD-S to take to the range, his opinion did a 180. I couldn’t go that day so he went with another friend, who carries… a Ruger LCP. My friend is a custom fabricator and uses messy fiberglass, so he always dresses for work in sweat pants. The XD-S is a little heavy for sweat pants, and as I told him from the start, the right carry gun for anyone is the gun they will actually carry, even if it turns out to be a tiny North American Arms revolver in .22LR. My friend is one of those people who buys one of things (unlike yours truly who never buys less than two of anything). The right gun for him wasn’t the XD-S. Ultimately, all we can report is that the XD-S absolutely rocks as a concealed carry pistol. Whether it fits your lifestyle and mode of carry is up to you.
The performance of this new 9mm XD-S was as expected, flawless. We were able to shoot the gun with Hornady Critical Defense in both 115gr. and 147gr., and we also shot about 4 boxes of Hornady Steel Match. It digested everything with no failures or hiccups, and the accuracy was at least as good as the .45ACP version, with most shots into about 3″ at 15 yards, rested. For a two finger gun this is great accuracy from “average” shooters. Due to the ammo shortage, the only load we were able to chronograph was the Hornady Steel Match. It came in just over 1000fps., compared to the box velocity of 1110fps. For a 3.3″ barrel, with range ammo, the velocity was surprisingly high. That should translate with most ammunition to a general percentage of velocity as compared to what is on the box. The box velocities are always tested with longer barrels, 6″ for handguns generally, so more powder burns in the barrel, and the bullet has more time to build speed under pressure. Better than 90% velocity in a 3.3″ barrel is very good.
Springfield Armory is a big advertiser here at GunsAmerica, so it may sound biased to many people that we tend to review their guns so positively, but Glock also advertises here, as does Ruger, Smith & Wesson, FNH-USA, Kahr, and a number of other companies that compete in the marketplace head to head with Springfield. There are a ton of great guns out there right now, and as we have said many times, we are living in the golden age of firearms right now, just because there are so many great guns. As big fans of all the XD and XD(M) guns, we expected the original XD-S to be good, but the original gun exceeded expectations by a great deal. The .45ACP version is still a shock to shoot, because it doesn’t feel like any other small .45. Side by side the 9mm is just as amazing compared to the competition and you should try as hard as you might to get your hands on one to shoot. We are still big advocates of the .45ACP in general, and the XD-S .45ACP specificially, but if you want more rounds in the mag, or you feel a 9mm is all you need, take a look at the XD-S 9mm, and try to rent one at an indoor range or borrow one if you can. I am a lifetime shooter, and I have carried a handgun consistently, starting with a big fat Bersa .380, for over 25 years. TheXD-S is what is currently in my pocket, and it will remain there for the foreseeable future. I still have a peeve that Springfield should include a pocket holster with the gun instead of a belt holster, but each to his or her own. If you are in the market for a concealed carry pistol, ultimately you should go to your local dealer and hold a few guns, and do try to rent and shoot a couple if you can. If the XD-S, in either .45ACP or 9mm, fits your lifestyle and mode of carry, there is not a better concealed carry pistol on the planet. The dealers do have them this week in hand, and several have hit GunsAmerica for sale already as well.