The new Springfield XD-M Elite Compact OSP is a mouthful to say but a joy to shoot. I’ve got to be honest, before Springfield sent me this pistol to review, I had little to no experience with their handgun offerings aside from their 1911’s. I carry a Glock 43x and most of the striker-fired pistols I own are either M&P’s, Glocks, or CZ’s. After un-boxing this handgun I was incredibly excited to see how it compares to the pistols I’m more accustomed to.
The XD-M Elite Compact OSP is Springfield’s latest addition to the immensely popular XD-M Elite series. Designed for EDC, Springfield also gives the option of mounting a pistol red dot because it seems like everyone has to have one these days. I’m personally not a huge fan of pistol red dots because I point shoot inside of 10-12 yards but was curious to continue my battle with pistol red dots…spoiler: pistol red dots are winning.
The Springfield Hellcat has gotten rave reviews not just from the firearms media but also from many of my friends who carry it every day. I had been leaning towards picking up a Hellcat but the XD-M Elite Compact sparked my interest as an alternative option. It packs quite a lot of features into a pretty tight package.
OSP stands for Optical Sight Pistol and the XD-M Elite Compact OSP comes either configured with mounting options for your preferred red dot or you can buy a model already equipped with the new Springfield Hex Dragonfly pistol red dot. The good folks at Springfield were out of Hex Dragonfly’s so my loaner was sent with a Vortex Venom attached to the slide. After 500 rounds of live-fire and countless repetitions of dry-firing, the Vortex Venom didn’t lose zero on the XD-M Elite’s slide milling.
The XD-M Elite Compact OSP comes equipped with a 3.8″ hammer-forged barrel and 2 double-stack magazines boasting an impressive 14+1 capacity. It’s been incredible to see how quickly manufacturers have responded to consumer demand for a compact pistol with >10 round capacity and Springfield has done a great job. It feels like only last year 6-8 rounds was the standard capacity for EDC pistols.
First Impressions: Ergonomics
Out of the box, I could already tell the XD-M Elite felt different than what I’m used to. Not in a bad way…. it just felt like the handgun’s texture and grooves were trying to be ergonomic to everybody who picks one up. It felt solid to the touch and certainly doesn’t feel cheap but the gun seems like it’s more ergonomic than I need it to be.
The grip safety was a little awkward at first but I barely noticed it after a magazine or two. The first thing I noticed was how well the pistol handled recoil. In this pistol tier, I’m mostly accustomed to the M&P Shield (3.1″ barrel) and Glock 43x (3.4″ barrel). While the XD-M Elite has a slightly longer barrel, its follow-up shots are noticeably easier without compromising compactness. I was shooting the XD-M Elite full-throttle and to be honest, I felt like I could shoot the XD-M better than my 43x.
If you can get used to the ergonomics, this is a great pistol. After reviewing the footage, I was able to confirm that I was able to manage recoil more effectively with the XD-M Elite than my other similar-sized handguns. Muzzle flip is always a challenge for shooters once you get into the compact realm but the XD-M is smooth as hell.
Another thing I liked about the handgun is the magwell. Reloads were seamless and my dainty hands that were made for typing and sewing had no issues inserting a fresh magazine into the handgun. I didn’t have a holster on hand but the magwell’s profile is subtle and I doubt it will cause any issues printing or jabbing into your abdomen when carrying it concealed.
Just for fun, I started testing out how far I could stretch the XD-M Elite. My target was a miniature steel silhouette and I was able to stretch this compact handgun out to 38 yards consistently as demonstrated in the included video. This is impressive and I attribute it largely to how well the gun manages recoil. I know for a fact that 15 yards is my limit with the M&P Shield and 25 yards is my limit with my 43x. The Springfield XD-M Elite was consistent from close range all the way out to 38 yards. Well, color me impressed.
I shot this handgun extensively for about 2 months. Given the ammo shortage, I only put about 2 boxes of CCI Blazer Brass ammo through it. The vast majority of the ammo I used was cheap CCI Aluminum cased and Wolf Steel Cased 9mm. Like most people, I prefer to shoot brass because of reliability but the XD-M Elite chewed up anything I could throw at it and didn’t miss a beat.
I’m no trigger snob. I’m happy with CZ’s triggers but I’m just as happy with a factory Glock trigger (I know, I know). The Springfield XD-M Elite introduces the Match Enhanced Trigger Assembly or META Trigger for short because everything has to be an acronym these days. It’s a perfectly fine trigger but my only complaint here was the non-tactile reset. More on this later.
What Could Be Better
At first, the ergonomics were my primary complaint but I got past this after a magazine or two. Ergonomics are really just a matter of personal preference. We live in a world where consumers have dozens of options to fulfill every possible need and we’ve admittedly gotten a little spoiled. The XD-M Elite’s ergonomics take some getting used to if you’re coming from a different pistol style but it’s not a dealbreaker.
The double-stack stainless steel magazines are incredibly stiff. I don’t use speed loaders but packing one of these to capacity was a chore compared to the steel CZ-P10c magazines or even the polymer Glock OEM magazines. Magazines need some breaking in of course, but I’ve put about 500 rounds through this pistol so far and it hasn’t made a noticeable difference.
Lastly, while the META trigger feels great, the reset was inaudible and not very tactile. In the accompanying video, I walk you through the reset and while this may be good for quick follow-up shots, I like to ingrain that reset into my trigger finger’s muscle memory.
Admittedly these are two very minor criticisms to an otherwise phenomenal compact pistol from Springfield. If you’re already on the XD series of pistols and looking for a compact handgun that doesn’t sacrifice capacity- go for it. You won’t regret it.
If you’re new to carrying a handgun and want to compare this to some of the other offerings out there, I’d suggest going to your local gun range and handle it. See how it feels in your hand and more importantly, rent it to see how you shoot it. I’m glad I spent the time and the ammo testing out the new Springfield XD-M Elite because this is a serious contender in the competitive landscape of compact pistols designed for everyday carry.