Why Settle for a Single Stack? .45 XD Mod 2

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Springfield-Armory XD Mod 2: http://www.springfield-armory.com/products/xd Mod 2 45acp/

Buy one on GunsAmerica: /XD Mod 2

The XD Mod 2 is as concealable as most single stack .45s. Yet it offers so much more.

The XD Mod 2 is as concealable as most single stack .45s. Yet it offers so much more. This one has a grip extension which adds even more.

There’s been a lot of flap about thin polymer pistols lately. Too much flap. I’ve had my fill of all of the yammering about the thinnest this, or the most concealable that. I’ve made the argument before, and–at the risk of repeating myself–I’ll say it again: it isn’t that much harder to conceal an extra .25″ of plastic. The race for the bottom, the smallest, the thinnest, earns companies (and the shooters who embrace their products) nothing but bragging rights. And you aren’t going to prevail in a gunfight with bragging rights. You win with a functional firearm and adequate training.

Both are critical. You want a gun that’s going to be big enough to manage, but not so big that it can’t be concealed. Finding that delicate balance can be super tricky. It requires actually shooting the gun–a luxury most of us don’t have unless we’re willing to pony up. It requires a lot of side-by-side comparisons, which means your FFL  has to have a good selection. And it may mean that you give up some hard-won brand loyalties and consider everything equally.

But before we get into the meat of this, I’d like to take a video detour. A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to shoot Springfield-Armory’s new XD Mod 2 in .45 ACP. It wasn’t your average day at the range–I was working with Rob Leatham. Shooting with Leatham is like a master’s course in handgun skills. The two videos below are from that shoot.

Back to the matter at hand…

Let’s consider for a moment the recent single-stack race. Springfield-Armory has been a big contender in this race for quite some time now. Their XD-S line rocked the concealed carry market, and I was an early adopter. I love my XD-S in .45 ACP. It is very easy to conceal. And it was one of my favorite carry guns until I spent some time with the XD Mod 2 line. Let’s take a side-by-side look at the two and see how they stack up.

The new Mod 2 in .45 ACP.

The new Mod 2 in .45 ACP.

The XD-S in .45 ACP.

The XD-S in .45 ACP.

  • Caliber .45ACP
  • Recoil System Captive Recoil Spring w/ Full Length Guide Rod
  • Sights Fiber Optic Front and Low Profile Combat Rear
  • Weight (with Empty Magazine) 26 ozs.
  • Height 4.75″ w/ Compact Mag, 5.5″ w/ X-Tension™
  • Slide Forged Steel, Stainless Steel® Finish
  • Barrel 3.3″ Hammer Forged / 1:16 Twist
  • Length 6.5″
  • Grip Width 1.20″
  • Frame Black Polymer
  • Magazines 1 – 9 Round,1 – 13 w/ X-Tension
  • Caliber .45ACP
  • Recoil System Dual Spring w/ Full Length Guide Rod
  • Sights Fiber Optic Front & Dovetail Rear (Steel)
  • Weight (with Empty Magazine) 21.5 ozs.
  • Height 4.4″
  • Slide Forged Steel, Melonite® Finish
  • Barrel 3.3″ Steel, Melonite®, Hammer Forged
  • Length 6.3″
  • Grip Width .9″
  • Frame Black Polymer
  • Magazines 1 – 5 Round, 1 – 6 Round w/X-Tension

Small enough to conceal, bug enough to control. And you don't have to give up any capacity.

Small enough to conceal, bug enough to control. And you don’t have to give up any capacity.

Just to hit my point again, the height of the XD-S is 4.4″. The XD Mod 2 is 4.75″. Length is even less significant. The XD is a mere .2″ longer. Width? .3″ wider. We’re talking about measurements that are hard to envision without the aid of measurement tools. Do this little exercise. Put your fingers .25″ apart. Now ask yourself what that miniscule measurement gets you.

You get 4 more rounds of .45 ACP. The XD-S has a 5 round mag. The XD has a 9 round mag. For those at Springfield who are reading this and feel like I’m bashing on the XD-S–you have my apologies. I’m not. I still love my XD-S, and am confident in carrying it. But it feels inadequate next to the XD Mod 2’s increased capacity. I did a full blown review back in November. I reached the exact same conclusion then (when just the 9mm and .40 S&W were avialable), which gives me confidence in my opinion. These guns are game changers.

If you haven’t picked up on the larger implications of this, I’ll spell it out for you. I’ve been carefully using the XD-S as a stand in for a lot of other guns. The Mod 2 makes any single stack 9mm, .40, or .45 obsolete. Why would you give up capacity for a slim fraction of an inch less width? I can’t imagine anyone shooting this pistol side-by-side with any single stack on the market coming away with the single-stack. Perhaps some of you out there want a fancy pistol, one that looks good with a suit. If you accessorize your firearms like you do belts and shoes, the polymer framed XD may not impress. Or if you’re a diehard single-action guy, you may have a tough time with the versatility of the XD. But I doubt it. Maybe you’re so confident in your prowess with handguns that you need the handicap of single-stack capacity….

The XD shoots like a champ.

The XD shoots like a champ.

What’s different about the new XD Mod 2?

Now they’ve added the .45 ACP. I’ve shot all three side-by-side, and I’m partial to the .45 ACP. There’s no difference in the feel of the guns, and only a modest difference in the felt recoil. The .45 ACP is more manageable for me than the .40 S&W, and less fatiguing on my hand. You can dicker all you want about which caliber is most effective, but I’ve yet to find fault with these three. In the end, it may come down to personal preference. Or, if this is going to be a backup gun, I’d choose the same caliber as my primary gun.

Either way. One thing that is a major upgrade on the Mod 2 is the GripZone texture on the frame. While the old XD had knobbly bumps that resembled mud tires, this one is a bit more refined. The actual hashes are like grains of rice, only smaller and with sharper edges. They offer a solid grip. It is a great improvement. The old grips have good surface area, but weren’t as ergonomic. These feel great in the hand.

The increased grip equates to more control. While some of the competition’s guns need to be sanded here, and stippled there, the XD is a perfect fit.

How does the .45 ACP perform from a 3.3″ barrel?

Not bad. I ran several varieties through the chronograph. While most are coming in below what I’d like for the .45, the speeds are still respectable. We didn’t have any rounds that broke the 1,100 FPS mark. We only had one go below the 900 FPS mark, and that was a big fat 230 grain Federal jacketed hollow point that slipped in at 870 FPS. All told, the XD Mod 2 puts up numbers that compare very favorably to a 1911. In most cases, there’s less than 100 FPS of velocity loss from the 5″ barrels to the 3.3″ inch barrels. Odds are slim that anyone on the receiving end would be able to notice the difference.

The flush-fit mag and the extended mag. One in the gun, one in the pocket.

The flush-fit mag and the extended mag. One in the gun, one in the pocket.

So the speeds are enough to ensure expansion and penetration. The gun is small enough to conceal. And the gun holds more than a typical 1911. This “why-settle?” question seems to be evaporating quickly. There’s no good reason I can think of to settle. At least not for me.

Conclusion

And maybe that’s where this ends up. This is me. I’ve known some really tiny people who like to carry guns. I’m not talking about children, though I know them too. I’m talking about small framed adults. Women, mostly, but some rail-thin dudes that could use a sandwich. It is conceivable that the XD, even as compact as it is, would be too big to conceal. For those shooters, I can’t see any 9mm, .40, or .45–even the single-stacks–being easy to carry. Those skinny folks are tailor made for the .380. And Springfield-Armory doesn’t make one of those. Yet.

For the rest of us, there’s the Mod 2. The gun sells for $500, give or take. That’s not bad, better than some of the contenders, and very affordable.

Grip Zone. Three distinct textures.

Grip Zone. Three distinct textures.

With the well contoured frame, the XD is very comfortable.

With the well contoured frame, the XD is very comfortable.

They've added the extended grip in Grip Zone, too.

They’ve added the extended grip in Grip Zone, too.

The controls are all accessible, but not so large as to be obtrusive.

The controls are all accessible, but not so large as to be obtrusive.

Trigger pull came in at a managable XX.

Trigger pull came in at close to seven pounds.

The sights are functional and adjustable.

The sights are functional and adjustable.

The front sight, a red fiber optic bead, glows brightly.

The front sight, a red fiber optic bead, glows brightly.

The mag release is prominent, and the rise in the grip points the thumb directly to it.

The mag release is prominent, and the rise in the grip points the thumb directly to it.

The compact design and high capacity should make the XD line a serious contender for anyone looking for a concealed carry pistol.

The compact design and high capacity should make the XD line a serious contender for anyone looking for a concealed carry pistol.

There's even enough functional rail to accommodate a light or a laser.

There’s even enough functional rail to accommodate a light or a laser.

I've worked out the Mod 2 and find it both reliable and effective.

I’ve worked out the Mod 2 and find it both reliable and effective.

And it comes with stainless mags, too.

And it comes with stainless mags, too.

{ 38 comments… add one }
  • Scott Hills August 19, 2016, 5:35 pm

    I love XD Mod 2 40 and 45 I have thrown my Kahr PM 45 away…this company is pathetic…they suck and dont back up there guns and Springfield make such a more reliable gun!! DO NOT BY A KAHR…BUY M&P shield before that if you need a smaller weapon!!

    • Scott Hills March 16, 2017, 9:22 pm

      Yes I agree Kahr sucks….there service sucks more!! they do not back up there guns….that is why I got rid of my PM45 and my PM 40…..

  • Dale February 14, 2016, 6:42 pm

    I’ve carried daily for 28yrs. I’m a smaller guy in size, and really used to worry about my sidearm showing or printing.
    Got over that probably 20 yrs ago. Just a shirt hangin over the grip is fine. If someone doesn’t like it, their probably an anti, and I hope I upset their whole day. Don’t think open carry is good idea though,
    Letting the bad guy know your armed.

  • Crockett December 11, 2015, 5:34 pm

    I have 3 .45 ACP’s — a Para Ordinance 1911 — a S&W M&P 4.5 inch bbl. and a Springfield XDs. The XDs is by far my favorite. It’s almost as if Springfield made the XDs specifically for my hand because I find it the most controllable of all three guns. I do shoot lighter loads in the XDs than the other two guns but I’ve got it loaded to get a choreographed 875fps with a 185 gr bullet. However, I also shoot 200 gr lead bullets in all three guns at the range (855fps in the XDs and if I remember correctly – about 950fps with the other two guns) and I still find the XDs more controllable.
    The XDs is my carry gun and I can put it in a vest pocket (of a Carhartt vest) and it doesn’t print because of its small size. If I had to sell two of my .45’s, the XDs would be the last one I would sell!

  • Jim McCarthy December 8, 2015, 2:06 pm

    You all have made valid arguments and there is something to be said for each concern. I think the best approach is the simple one. Which one will you be able to place your first shot with accurately. You can apply the 3/3/3 theory but what you carry is such a personal decision, you are never going to get everyone to agree. I carry a Sig P226 MK25 every day. I do also have a P938 which is a tiny pocket 9mm but to be honest, I have total confidence in the P226 so for that reason, I will stick with what I have.

    Sure I have 1911s and other assorted .45 ACPs. I am comfortable with carrying any one of them. But for me, it is what I have the most confidence with.

  • TomK December 7, 2015, 2:01 pm

    The superior attitude exhibited by the writer is totally uneccessary:

    “Perhaps some of you out there want a fancy pistol, one that looks good with a suit. If you accessorize your firearms like you do belts and shoes, the polymer framed XD may not impress. Or if you’re a diehard single-action guy, you may have a tough time with the versatility of the XD. But I doubt it. Maybe you’re so confident in your prowess with handguns that you need the handicap of single-stack capacity….”

    Maybe others like carrying something besides a double-stack 45 because they shoot best with their particular weapon. Quit being an ass…if you like it, great. Tell people why, but don’t come off as a blowhard ass by denigrating what other folks choose to carry.

    • Danny G March 2, 2016, 2:15 am

      Lighten up, it wasn’t directed at any one person in particular. The guy makes his points, and a bit of dry humor to illustrate does no real harm. If it seems a bit loud out there, perhaps you should stick with .22 rounds or rubber bands.

      • loupgarous July 26, 2016, 3:41 am

        Speaking of rubber bands, I think I’ve found the Most Clueless Gun Guy on YouTube:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sy2qvclTfTM

        He spends a ton of time telling us wrapping a Glock’s slide and frame with tight rubber bands is dangerous.
        I don’t know why – if you use enough rubber bands, the gun just won’t cycle for you and you have to lose the bands and manually cycle your weapon.. This was actually the way the SEALs’ “hushpuppy” suppressed 9mm pistols were MADE to work (with a metal slide lock) so the only noise the gun made was the whip of the bullet leaving the suppressor on its way to its target – usually sentry dogs, hence “hushpuppy.”

  • Nick S December 7, 2015, 10:02 am

    Personally, I am pretty happy with my Gray Guns modified P227 SAS. 10+1, yes a bit larger & heavier. When I want to carry it, I can make sure it stays concealed. But, since the FBI now says it’s going back to 9mm for reasons of capacity and that modern ammo does the job about as well as larger calibers, my go to carry is still my CZC SDP, which is a real tack driver.

    • loupgarous July 26, 2016, 3:47 am

      That’ll last until the next time Special Agents lose a shoot-off to the bad guys. They they’ll take a hard look at whatever the new glamour cartridge of the day is. Hopefully, they won’t fall in love with something like 10mm Norma again that nothing but a Bren Ten can fire without breaking eventually.

  • DougLM December 7, 2015, 9:54 am

    I would like to know why Springfield doesn’t inform buyer that all other Springfield XD or any other magazines will not fit this gun….. Try it in the store before you buy it……

    • Tyler Powell January 15, 2017, 9:02 pm

      To be fair, it’s a new model and I just figured you’d need the mod.2 Grip Zone specific magazines to fit it, which is right, I suppose.

  • brandon December 7, 2015, 9:09 am

    I don’t think it’s the small framed guys that have a hard time concealing pistols. Usually it’s the guys who’s got a few extra lbs around the waistline that causes the gun to protrude out and print. These people are the ones in need of single stacks.

    • loupgarous July 26, 2016, 3:51 am

      Guys, I have to tell you, it’s worth losing twenty-forty pounds. I was “athletic cut” in suits before I lost weight, but now, I can hide ANYTHING inside my suit jacket. I mean, being healthy and stuff rocks, but being able to have a double-stacker under one arm and two spare mags under the other without a clue to anyone that you’re ready to go… priceless.

  • K King December 7, 2015, 8:57 am

    One of the primary concerns that any hand gun shooter is faced with in the very beginning of learning to shoot properly and accurately is the fit of the gun to the hand; or the “hand LOP”. I have a small hand and find that all double stack autos do not fit my hand properly and to adjust I have had to roll my trigger finger forward around the grip so that I now have a less capable grip on the gun. This is caused, obviously, by the fact that the diameter of the hand grip is too large. It appears from the dimensions that you have provided here, this gun may have a better grip solution. However, you have not exactly specified the grip diameter or a “Circular LOP”. The only way I can get in a good grouping is to use two hands. Again, here the problem is that most defensive shooting positions do not allow two-hand shooting. The circular LOP is the key and is seldom addressed by gun makers. I found that most military hand guns did not fit my hand and may become an even bigger problem in the military for the “NEW” personnel. (total 41 years service time”

  • L6E May 13, 2015, 12:32 pm

    I’d just like to point out that in the XD, XDm, & XDG line, that the .45ACP magazines are all the same. This XDG 45 would make a fantastic backup to an XD or XDm 45 as the larger 13/10 round magazines can be used in the XDG (Mod.2).

    -L6E

    • DougLM December 7, 2015, 9:55 am

      No it can not…….

      • Nate February 17, 2016, 3:25 pm

        The XDm 45 9 round flush magazine is the same as the XD Mod2.

        13 round with extension to match grip zone is SKU: XDG4546.

  • Mike B May 11, 2015, 10:52 pm

    I’ve had a Para Ordnance P12*45 with a 3.5 inch barrel for years. Everything works just like a 1911A1, but with 12 rounds in a double-stack magazine. I routinely hit an 8.5 x 11 paper at 20 yards. Feels just like a 1911A1, too. My only complaint is that it’s all steel, which makes it heavy. Tilted forward like the “FBI cant” in a Crossbreed IWB holster, it only prints when I reach for something above my head. Unfortunately, it’s been out of production for 2 decades. I wish someone would make a polymer frame for it…..

  • Harry May 11, 2015, 4:29 pm

    I bought the .40 S&W version of the Mod 2 not long after they hit the stores and I absolutely love it. I’ve owned lots of different autos and wheel guns made for carry and this one is my favorite so far, and I’m a die hard S&W fan. I also think I may even sell my glock 30s (which I really hate the grip on) and buy the .45 mod 2 to replace it. If your looking for a good all around small auto you must try this one in any of the calibers I think it’s worth your time and money.

  • Gene Lee May 11, 2015, 4:07 pm

    I would like to find out how far away do you place a target with pistol to shoot at it and get a good group?

    • Will Drider May 12, 2015, 1:46 pm

      The rule I follow and a standard I wish all handgun reviewers would use is:
      Barrel Length Inches Distance Yards
      (chamber/forcing cone to Muzzel) (muzzle to target)
      1.5 and shorter. 3
      1.6 to 1.9. 5
      2.0 to 2.5. 10
      2.6 to 3.0 15
      3.1 to 3.9. 20
      4.0 and above. 25
      Rifle calibers (ex 22LR &22Mag) 50 No scope
      75 With scope

      Wouldn’t be great to have an even playing field standard between Reviewers. Apples vs Apples. If writers add “with these old eyes or windy cold day” throw up the BS Flag!

  • DaveGinOly May 11, 2015, 1:15 pm

    “You want a gun that’s going to be big enough to manage, but not so big that it can’t be concealed.”

    Is a Muslim prevented from walking around with traditional garb and his beard (symbols of his religious beliefs)? Can anyone put his political thoughts on a placard or T-shirt and parade around town with it? Why are those who decide to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights required (in many jurisdictions) to conceal the fact (aside from any practical and tactical considerations)? I think that public carry and display of firearms is a political statement, protected as such by the First Amendment.

    • Russ May 12, 2015, 1:23 am

      Your totally right DaveGinOly.
      But you wouldn’t, because your probably smarter than that.

    • Mike February 7, 2016, 6:29 pm

      Scripture says we should be wise as serpents, harmless as doves. Why upset the general public with open carry?

  • Rocky May 11, 2015, 1:13 pm

    While smaller pistols are easier to hide, the lighter the firearm, the greater the perceived recoil (kick) will be, especially in the larger calibers. Something to keep in mind when deciding upon which pistol to purchase, for your concealed carry needs.
    While I have, recently, went to a polymer .40 cal. FNS (compromise) replacing my beloved Auto Ord. M1911A1 clone, for my carry piece, it’s only because I’ve put on some weight, since I bought the pants that my IWB holster, for the 1911, fit into. As soon as I can get a good leather, vertical, shoulder holster for the 1911, I’m going back to it. It’s weight negates the perceived recoil and allows for better second shot control and rapidity, as does it’s SAO trigger, as opposed to the striker fired, DAO weapon.

  • Dmitri May 11, 2015, 10:22 am

    I thought this gun looked familiar to me and then I checked the spec sheet against my Taurus PT145 Millenium Pro. The Taurus is 3/8″ taller, 3/8″ shorter snout, and a miniscule 0.05″ wider. Plus it has a 10 round flush magazine. With a hybrid holster it carries so easily.

    The price is actually fair for this pistol and you can’t find the Mil Pro much anymore so it’s nice to see this on the market.

  • D Hicks May 11, 2015, 10:04 am

    Good article.But I’ll stick with my COLT Government Model.

    • pski December 10, 2015, 3:37 pm

      I also used to carry the Gov’t Model but the Sig P238 is smaller, shoots as well, and I got 2 for the price.

  • Wil Ferch May 11, 2015, 9:34 am

    I think I can argue this both ways. Sure….what does an extra 0.25″ width mean? The writer implies “almost nothing”. I may offer the counter-point that a lot depends on your “build” and how badly that extra 0.25″ ( or extra 25 PERCENT thickness !!)….prints. Myself…I am 5′-8″ and weigh about 150 lbs with a 32″ waist…. so the extra width is a problem for printing.

    That all said, I don’t like the squared-off backstrap of the XD-S which feels like the narrow-side of a two-by-four piece of lumber. Maybe the backstrap being more rounded of the XD-model 2, at the rear edges, is better?

  • RANDY ONEILL May 11, 2015, 9:25 am

    I am a tried and true 1911 follower, well till your xd9664HCSP 5″ tactical with thumb safety. NOW if you could just find your way to placing thumb safeties on more concealable xds or xd mod 2 models for us old guys.

  • praharin May 11, 2015, 9:19 am

    So this is Springfield’s answer to the Glock 30 and 36. The Glock 30SF is only 0.17″ larger than the 36, but it’s enough for my hands to feel the difference. 0.25″ can mean the difference between hitting the mag release and flailing your thumb around uselessly, so yeah, I think it could make a difference.

  • Mike K May 11, 2015, 9:10 am

    I’m just not sure here. I wish Springfield made the XD-S with the Grip Zone grips (sorry, stocks) because, as the author called them, mud tire treads, my hands are assaulted when I play with the gun too long, (Oh give me a break. I can shoot my Scandium .357 with ease, so I’m no girly-girl.) I like the single stack not only for the reduced width but for the reduced weight. I’m no longer in law enforcement so I don’t think I will need the extra capacity and the reduced weight makes carry more comfortable ans less prone to printing if I want to pocket carry. I HATE THAT GRIP ON THE XD-S but I love the XD series. They are SO much better than Glocks.

  • mach37 May 11, 2015, 4:57 am

    If one insists on 9mm, my Kel-Tec P11 fills the bill, with a 13-round mag; essentially the same as the XD Mod 2. It is not as pretty as some others – the machining of the grooves on the slide is pretty coarse. I had a Kel-Tec PF-9 briefly, which is essentially a single-column version of the P-11, but I didn’t feel secure with the low capacity of single-column mags. Same for the Kahr CW-40 – small but not as small, and the 40 S&W definitely bites instead of recoiling. So I am back to the Kel-Tec P-11 and a Springfield Champion 45 ACP as my main carry pistols. I have others, for non-CCW purposes.

  • Mark N. May 9, 2015, 2:21 am

    My Kahr 9mm (7 + 1) is pocketable, and the .45 versions (only the most expensive of which is available in California) is no )bigger, with 6+1 capacity and a full three finger grip. I don’t see the Springfield XD as being pocketable, although the XDS surely is. My wardrobe not having kept up with my increasing girth over the years, I can pocket conceal, but a belt holstered double stack XD is totally out of the question. The majority–by a large margin–of DGUs involve no shots fired, and the majority with shots fired are three rounds or less. In the small town environment in which I live, the probability I will ever need more than 7 rounds and a reload is remote

    • Patrick October 11, 2015, 6:04 pm

      My XDs was the furthest thing from pocketable. I totally agree though, a double stack anything is difficult to conceal. Those 10th of inches matter.

  • Will Drider May 6, 2015, 11:12 pm

    Back up a little. A IWB CCW that is thicker or larger handgun will ALWAYS have the potential to “print” more then a smaller one (holsters being equal). I also think you might be discounting single stacks being used as BUGs. I will admit that when I swim in the Gulf, I have a dinky .380 in a sandwich bag in my board shorts. Don’t laugh it works! Please show me a double stack that won’t print in that environment. The .380 isn’t my main CCW but it fills a need others can’t.
    As with any firearm selection for CC, you must evaluate you needs and priorities, enviorment and attire. Always carry a spare mag in the largest capacity you can stash.
    I find the new Glock 43 a poor choice too. Bigger in some respects then the G26 and less capacity. Whereas the G42 is substantially smaller including caliber.

    • J Bostick May 11, 2015, 12:48 pm

      The 9mm version is about the same size as the Taurus PT111 G2 I picked up Friday. Of course, being a Springfield, companies will be falling all over themselves to make accessories for it.

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