I'm spot-on with the Service model. That's 16 rounds in a 2" group from 15 yards.

I’m spot-on with the Service model. That’s 16 rounds in a 2″ group from 15 yards.

Buy an XD at GunsAmerica: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=xd

Read more about the XD line at Springfield Armory: http://www.springfield-armory.com/xd-series/

I’ve made no bones about my love of the XD. The first Springfield Armory gun I ever shot was an XD-S. The compact single stack in .45 ACP was a tack driver. I had no issues with the little gun, except for the capacity–but the XD-S achieved its narrow width by limiting capacity. The concealability of the XD-S is its big selling point. That it is also fully functional and incredibly accurate is a big bonus.

The XD line is not quite as thin as the single stacks on the market, but it has a lot of other features that make it even easier to control. And there are now even more models to choose from.

The extended mag on the new XD Sub Compact highlights just how short the barrel is.

The extended mag on the new XD Sub Compact highlights just how short the barrel is.

The XD 3″ Sub Compact

The XD 3″ Sub Compact Takes the fully functional 3.3″ model down a notch. I’ll tell anybody that listens that the 3.3″ is my go-to choice for concealed carry. There’s something about the aggressive texture of the Mod.2’s Grip Zone that makes manipulation reliably easy. The double-stack mag flares the grip out just enough to fill my hand. The guns are small enough to conceal, yet large enough to control, and they have superb capacity.

The 3″ model has just a touch more muzzle flip. At .3″ shorter, it is also .3″ easier to conceal (at least in terms of length). While that may not seem like much, it is shorter. And that counts for more than you’d think in this industry. I ran the Sub Compact along side a 3.3″ .45 ACP Mod.2, and the 9mm felt snappier, but only marginally so. When you move up to the 4″ version, the difference between the 3″ and 4″ 9mm is more pronounced (with the 4″ having less muzzle rise).

Capacity (9mm)  one 13+1, one 16+1, (.40 S&W) one 9+1, one 12+1. Guns are available in black, bi-tone, and FDE.

The 4" Service Model is a great mid-sized option for fans of the platform.

The 4″ Service Model is a great mid-sized option for fans of the platform.

The XD 4″ Service Model

The XD 4″ Service Model runs great. As Springfield is actively searching for ways to increase their presence in the LE market, the Mod.2 needs cross platform options that fit the needs of cops. The Service Model is a great compact option. With the Sub Compact below it, and the Tactical stretching capabilities in the full-sized model, there are now more compelling reasons for departments to consider the line.

As far as speed and balance go, the Service Model rocks. It draws easily, and there’s just enough mass to the slide to hold it down during all-out rapid fire. This is an excellent size for winter concealed carry, when you can still wear an IWB holster on your strong side, or for close-contact OWB carry in places where open carry isn’t anathema. This is truly the best of both worlds for those looking for a one-gun solution.

Capacity (9mm) two 16+1 magazines. Guns are available in black and bi-tone.

The longer 5" barreled XD is fast.

The longer 5″ barreled XD is fast.

The XD 5″ Tactical

The XD 5″ Tactical takes the already aggressive XD to a new level. The longer barrel and slide increase sight radius. The extra barrel increases the effectiveness of the 9mm round by allowing more room for the powder to burn. And there is now even more real estate on the slide for off-hand manipulation.

The increase in sight radius rewards those who like to slow down between shots. If I were looking for a gun to shoot at any distance, especially from 25 yards or more, this would be the XD for the job. I ran it on a 8″ steel plate from 25 yards, and could hit it consistently. That’s only an achievement in the sense that the XD is a gun I associate with rapid defensive shooting drills. I’ve never spent much time with an XD at the 25 yard line, like I have with 1911s. But I’m finding it equally rewarding.

The grip size is the same as the 4″, which is enough for the full hand to connect with the entire grip. The wide open mouth of the mag well is easy to feed, and the mags are stainless steel–and almost a mirror polish–which makes them slide in and out with no friction at all.

Capacity (9mm) two 16+1 magazines.

As much as I’m waxing poetic about the nuances of the new models, I’d like to clarify one point where these guns were exactly the same. These XD pistols, during all of our testing, behaved admirably. We didn’t dunk them in muddy creeks, or freeze them solid in blocks of ice, but we did put them through the paces on some freezing wet days. We didn’t baby them. We ran them through a battery of tests we use for all of our polymer handguns, and we couldn’t find any bones to pick. We had no failures.

And accuracy was respectable across the platform. We chose 9mm versions of each, and used the same ammo. I shot almost as well with the 3″ and the 5″ as I did with the 4″ (which was the gun that liked me best). As I moved more quickly, my groups opened up. I was surprised that I didn’t shoot the 5″ as well as I’d shot the 4″, but I think it has more to do with my familiarity with the compact Mod.2’s balance and handling, and nothing to do with the gun. The same thing happens when I pick up a Commander, or a 6″ 1911. I just need time to retrain the brain.

The Sub Compact is not bad, either.

The Sub Compact is not bad, either.

The long 5".

The long 5″.

In the end, I’m really pleased with the way the XD line is growing. Springfield Armory provides options. For those who want the potential of a full-sized pistol, the Tactical is now an option. And you can train with one platform, all year long, and meet all of your potential needs.

What’s next for the line? You don’t need a crystal ball to guess there will be caliber upgrades. There will likely be even more color options. And I’d really like to see a 5.5″ with a threaded barrel, similar to the XD(M). Beyond that, your guess is as good as mine.

Even the short mag holds 12 rounds.

Even the short mag holds 12 rounds.

And the extension for the Sub Compact matches the Grip Zone texture.

And the extension for the Sub Compact matches the Grip Zone texture.

The Sub Compact from the holster.

The Sub Compact from the holster.

New XD 1
New XD 8
{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Tommy February 2, 2016, 10:12 am

    Are there aftermarket triggers? That’s the only reason my wife is running a Glock.

  • Mongo February 1, 2016, 7:14 pm

    The most appealing aspects of the xd pistols (aside from accuracy, capacity, grip/trigger safety, etc) is the fact that the magazines for my service model fit the sub-compact pistol and when you train with one, you easily train for both. Meaning, the grip, trigger control, sight picture is the same for both, you don’t have to remember how your xd acts differently than your Glock or Taurus or Sig. Muscle memory for the xd comes naturally, no matter which you carry or practice with.
    Remember, slow is fast, and fast is slow; breathe, squeeze.

  • Gary B February 1, 2016, 2:27 pm

    In my earlier comment it was all about me, but my wife also got a Mod 2 Service and she has shot it and it looks like it will replace her beloved G-17 (yes 17 not 19) She claims The Mod 2 is easier for her to rack vs the g-17 which she has no problem with.

  • Chris February 1, 2016, 12:34 pm

    I was looking at these the other day at the range/store, i have an original sub compact 9mm xd and a g26. Im looking to replace the g26 and i think i will go for the sub compact mod. 2. The width is slightly more narrow than the xd but with aggressive texture and finger grooves it feels much much better in the hand. As a bonus it draws better due to the added grip (my one complaint about the origional is that when drawing quickly it can be slick and it takes extra care to draw properly). While i also like my g26, its trigger sucks and since it doesnt have a grip safety I dont want to change to a match trigger. The G26 also doesnt have a rail in front, i have a crimson trace laser on both g26 and xd, since the laser on the xd utilizes the rail somewhat it holds zero far better than the g26. I know that is due to the design of the laser and isnt a glock problem it still isnt something I like.

    • Gary B February 1, 2016, 2:19 pm

      I was carrying a G29 which I like and am keeping, but my EDC is now a XD45 Mod 2, I have shot it and I was pleased with the reliability and accuracy. Love the way it feels in my hand.
      I did lose one round of capacity going to 45 and I am a real fan of the 10MM. Still the Mod 2 is so much more comfortable to handle. Gripping the G29 is a bit worse than the G-26 and I don’t care for the 26! The G-29 shoots well though so I will keep it

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