Springfield’s New Elite XD-M Pistols – New Trigger, New Grip Safety, Bigger Mags – Full Review

The new XD-M Elite line of handguns come in all varieties ranging from 3.8″ to 5.25″ barrel lengths and slide configurations.

Springfield has released a new line of XDm handguns that they are dubbing the “Elite.” These new XD-M Elites are everything that they suggest in the name. I was able to get my hands on all four new additions in order to test them and develop an opinion on them that I can now share. Here’s your first look into the XD-M Elites: The trigger is superb, they proved extremely reliable, the grip safety is redesigned and consequently more comfortable and reliably activated, and the magazine capacity is bigger than it has ever been, and so on.

Check out the video to see a comparison between the 4 XDM Elite models and how they shoot.

The XD-M Elite is largely upgraded in subtle ways. The new META trigger system is the star of the show with its phenomenal trigger pull and flat design that offers better ergonomics.

1 product line, 2 families, and 4 different models

The XD-M Elite product line is broken up into two different “families” of product which are differentiated by the magwell extension size. Think magwell flare.

The 3.8″ and 4.5″ XD-M feature the short magwell extension while the Tactical OSP and Precision model have the standard length magwell extension (bigger magwell flare).

The magazines follow this same pattern where the short magwell extension correlates to a 20+1 capacity and the standard version to a 22+1 capacity.

Here is a quick breakdown of the likenesses and differences between these two “families.” Meaning all of the models share the following features:


  • 3 sizes of replaceable backstraps
  • Flared magazine well extension
  • Grip safety
  • Red/green fiber optic front sights (exception: Tac OSP)
  • Flat META trigger
  • Ambidextrous magazine release & slide catch
  • Enhanced slide serrations
  • Forged steel, melonite finish barrels
  • Dust cover picatinny rail
  • Offered in black (Tac OSP also offered in Desert FDE)
  • Grip length (not including magwell extension)
  • 2 included magazines
  • Magazine size (not including extension)
  • Striker indicator
  • Loaded chamber indicator
  • One piece, full length guide rod recoil systems
The XDm Elite line features ambidextrous controls, seen here on the Tactical OSP model.

Major Differences

  • Magwell extension length (think magwell flare)
  • Magazine basepad extension size
  • Barrel length
  • Slide length
  • Rear sight type
Between the XD-M Elite 4.5″ (left) and 5.25″ Precision (right), you can see that the magwell extension comes in two different sizes, and so do the magazine baseplate extensions.

The XD-M Elite 3.8″

This handgun is a member of the short magwell family, which means that it comes with two 20 round magazines that have a short magazine basepad extension. It also features a white U dot with red fiber optic front sight (which can be swapped for an included green fiber). This gun proved a pleasure to shoot due to the excellent META trigger system that the XD-M Elite line features. The 3.8″ also had a smooth, rearward recoil impulse for its size. The 3.8″ XD-M Elite is more along the lines of a CCW pistol than anything else. This is a great fit for the CCW application because of the high magazine capacity and excellent accuracy that it has to offer. The mag capacity is a huge deal because not all of us are capable of 1 shot headshots from across the church if, and god forbid, the situation arises.

  • 9mm
  • 2 20+1 round magazines
  • 3.8″ steel, Melonite finished / hammer forged 1:16 twist barrel
  • U-Dot Tactical Rack rear & fiber optic front sight
  • Black polymer frame with changeable backstraps and short extended magazine well
  • Forged steel, Melonite finish slide
  • One piece, full length guide rod
  • 7.2″ length
  • 5.62: height
  • 1.44: grip width
  • 28 oz (on empty mag)

The XD-M Elite 4.5″

The Elite 4.5″ is my favorite size. Being between compact and full size, it would make a great duty carry pistol, backpacking buddy or truck console gun. The 4.5″ Elite features a short magwell extension and comes with two 20 round magazines. Like the 3.8″, this handgun features a red/green fiber optic front sight and rear U dot, with both serrated to reduce glare.

  • 9mm
  • 2 20+1 round magazines
  • 4.5″ steel, Melonite finish / hammer-forged 1:16 twist barrel
  • U-Dot, tactical rack rear & fiber optic front sight
  • Black polymer frame with interchangeable backstraps and short extended magwell
  • Forged steel, Melonite finished slide
  • One-piece, full-length guide rod recoil system
  • 8.02″ length
  • 5.62″ height
  • 1.44″ grip width
  • 29.3 oz (on empty mag)
The XD-M Elite 4.5″ (second from the left) is the perfect size for an everyday carry handgun with its larger slide and respectable magazine capacity.

The XD-M Elite 4.5″ Tactical OSP

The Tac OSP (as I will refer to it from now on) is the main focus of my review. I used this gun the most during my testing because of the pure pleasure that it was to run, and ease of use when coupled with the Leupold DeltaPoint Pro reflex sight that I installed. The Tac OSP is the most kitted out of the bunch, available in black and desert FDE while coming with suppressor height sights, a mounting plate system for mounting optics, a 1/2×28 threaded 5.28″ barrel, extra-large magwell, and two 22 round magazines.

There are 3 different mounting plates included with the Tac OSP which allows you to mount nearly any mainstream pistol red dot available on the market.

In my testing, I ran this gun through hundreds of rounds, suppressed, and it never once failed. The suppressor causes lots of carbon buildup and it got dirty but never quit. This speaks volumes to me on the capability of the XD-M line.

  • 9mm
  • Two 22+1 round magazines
  • 5.28″ (5.34″ with thread protector) steel, Melonite finish / hammer-forged 1:16 twist barrel threaded 1/2×28 TPI
  • Co-witness suppressor height sights
  • Desert FDE or black polymer with interchangeable backstraps and standard sized extended magwell
  • Forged steel, Melonite finish Desert FDE Cerakote slide
  • one-piece full-length guide rod recoil system
  • 8.820″ length
  • 5.875″ height
  • 1.185″ grip width
  • 30.4 oz (on empty mag)
The Tactical OSP was my favorite model to run because it could be suppressed.

The XD-M Elite Precision

This gun is obviously intended for the competitive shooter and range enthusiast who loves accuracy and flat shooting guns. The long slide and hefty weight make this gun a smooth shooter with little recoil and the ability to print tiny groups on paper. There is a weight-reducing cut on top of the slide which reduces the torque on the end of the gun due to less weight reciprocating in the slide, while still providing the maximum sight radius for precision.

The adjustable rear sight can be adjusted for both windage and elevation, so you can fine-tune this handgun for whatever range or ammunition that you please. The Elite Precision is a member of the standard (more flared) magwell family, which means that it comes with two 22 round magazines.

  • 9mm
  • Three- 22+1 round mags
  • 5.25″ steel, Melonite finish / hammer-forged 1:16 twist barrel
  • Fiber optic front sight with fully adjustable rear target sight
  • Black polymer frame with interchangeable backstrap & standard length extended magwell
  • Forged steel, Melonite finished slide
  • 8.710″ length
  • 5.875″ height
  • 1.185″ grip width
  • 30 oz (on empty mag)

Accuracy testing the XD-M Elite Tactical OSP

I mounted a Leupold DeltaPoint Pro reflex sight on the Tac OSP which makes shooting accurately a lot easier. I chose to accuracy test this handgun for that purpose. I shot a variety of ammo at 15 yards and my results were consistent across the board. Basically all groups were incredible. I chose to then back up to 25 yards and re-shoot. Again, I saw great results, which you can see below:

For my testing, I used a variety of ammo that ranged in weight from 108 grains all the way up to 147 grains. Everything functioned equally well in all handguns which makes me think that they would run basically any ammunition that you could find to feed them. Included in my testing were Norma 108 Grain MHP, Federal American Eagle 115 grain, Norma Hexagon 124 grain, Blazer Brass 124 grain and Fiocchi 147 grain ammunition.

Range Impression

The Springfield XD-M Tac OSP strikes a great impression out of the box, being hefty, pointing intuitively and having an extremely smooth trigger which has a crisp break. The new META (Match Enhanced Trigger Assembly) trigger is a great improvement in both pull weight and ergonomics.

Once out on the range, I found more reasons to smile. The handgun was extremely accurate, as I just pointed out. The recoil impulse was straight back and slow; making it easy to handle. And of course, shooting it suppressed with a Rebel Silencers SOS-450 and a reflex sight made it all the more fun. The slide is the perfect amount of aggressive so that I could get a positive grip without skinning up fingertips. I also liked the texture on the grip and frame.

Each magazine loaded easily because of the beveled, flared magwell, making even the quickest reload easy. Thanks to the hi-cap mags, I was having a blast wasting 23 rounds of 9mm between reloads. However, the magazine spring is quite stiff and wore my fingers out by the end of the day loading cartridges. I tease people that use speed loaders, but I wished I had one because I wanted to spend more time pulling the trigger and less time stacking shells.

The suppressor sights were not quite large enough to co-witness on the large DeltaPoint Pro, but they were tall enough to see over my 1.5″ diameter suppressor. Also, the serrations made them very non-reflective and easy to operate in the bright sun.

Final Verdict:

I am always a skeptic when I am handed a product and told that it is great; but after using them, I quickly fell in love with the XD-M Elite line of handguns.

As with all new products, there will inevitably be a bunch of marketing hype upon their launch, but the underlying truth is that these handguns are excellent. The XD-M Elites have great ergonomics, run smooth and reliably and the trigger (the most important part) is amazing. The META trigger system has a smooth pull, no overtravel due to the integral stop, a short reset, and a crisp break. What more can you ask for? Phenomenal accuracy? ambidextrous controls? An offering for all purposes and use? Check, Check and Check. I would highly recommend these guns for anyone who is in the market for a new side piece.

During my testing, I had outfitted the Tactical OSP with a Leupold DeltaPoint Pro reflex sight as well as a Rebel Silencers SOS-450 suppressor that had been modified for use on handguns.

Other Pictures:

The fiber optic front sight and the U-Dot design of the sights on the 3.8″ and 4.5″ XD-M Elites draw the eye even when neither is being directly focused on.
All XD-M Elites that come with fiber optic sights also come with replacement fibers of both red and green.
The Magazines are the same for all of the XD-M Elites, but the Magazine basepad extension size differentiates them.
The internal mechanics are highly polished and run smoothly even when covered in carbon buildup from running the gun suppressed.
Because the Tactical OSP model comes with 3 different mounting plates, you can install basically any red dot on your pistol.
Another look at the interchangeable plate mounting system.
The beveled, flared magwell makes loading a magazine extremely easy, even when you insert them at the wrong angle.
The grip safety on the XD-M Elites was subtly redesigned. You can see that they now have a heel which makes engagement more positive and comfortable while operating the gun.

Click HERE to see more about Springfield’s new handguns!

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About the author: Riley Baxter is an avid and experienced hunter, shooter, outdoorsman, and he’s worked in the backcountry guiding for an outfitter. He also get’s a lot of enjoyment out of building or customizing his firearms and equipment. Check out Riley’s Instagram @Shooter300

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  • Dean Lawter July 26, 2020, 2:04 pm

    Great article about the Springfield XD M Elite. I bought one and I’m no competition pistol shooter. I do compete in archery, and I reload my own bullets for hunting rifles and demand sub one inch groups at 100 yards. But handguns I just don’t know what to expect.
    So, here’s my question to those great groups your showing at 25 yards. Is that off of a rest or free handed?

  • JT January 20, 2020, 12:53 pm

    Will the 5.25 precision version be IPSC and IDPA legal?

  • Mr Nico January 20, 2020, 10:51 am

    So when is the 6″ 10mm coming out?

  • TG January 20, 2020, 8:26 am

    One head shot across the church and with a Sig 229 that is. DA first shot.
    I have an XDM 5.25 and it has a 1/10 twist bbl. Wonder why the change to

    • KEN January 20, 2020, 10:09 am

      It could be because the higher 1/10 twist puts too much rpm and the jackets start coming apart.

    • Gregory Glass February 17, 2020, 4:02 pm

      What makes you think that your XDM 5.25 has a 1/10 twist? I’ve owned 2 of the 5.25’s from back when they were introduced and they were 1:16″ twist. Later, they moved to a 1:10″ twist, which was probably due to requests from people who just think that 1:10 is better. Now it looks like they are back to the more accurate 1:16″ twist rate. Kudos to SA!

      • Evan Moyer March 16, 2020, 10:29 pm

        Springfield may have been trying to grab some of the competition market with the slower twist rate. Over the last decade ammunition manufacturers; mostly Hornady, have been urging gun manufacturers to produce pistols with faster twist rates. The ammunition manufacturers want faster twist rates because FBI testing has found that pistol projectiles deflect less after penetrating a barrier if they have a faster twist. There is no free lunch and accuracy suffers with faster twist rates. Hornady has a good 9mm round with their 135 gr. Flex Lock. The FBI adopted this ammunition a couple years ago because of it’s great barrier penetration and weight retention through auto glass and steel. The FBI also noted that it was the most accurate handgun ammunition they ever tested, regardless of caliber.

  • triggerpull January 20, 2020, 7:09 am

    “…because not all of us are capable of 1 shot headshots from across the church if, and god forbid, the situation arises.”

    That was a stupendous shot, amen.

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