Tell the Valley of Darkness to Step Aside: Springfield’s NEW XD-M Elite 3.8″ Compact OSP 10mm Reviewed

A 10mm CCW Gun? There is now.

Boys and Girls, this is perhaps the best week in guns we have ever seen. Eclipsing even the previous best week in 2019 when we got our full size XDM 10mm. Because as of today, we have a new contender in the CCW category that shoots God’s own Centimeter. As the High Priest of the Cult of the 10, I am more than unreasonably excited. I’m positively giddy. The XD-M Elite 3.8″ Compact OSP 10mm is here!

Double tap 10mm is for when you not only want something to die, you also want to kill its soul.

Late last year, Springfield Armory introduced the latest evolution of the XDM series of handguns in the form of XD-M Elite series. And those Elites do live up to the name. This new series got some serious upgrades which you can read about here. In short, Springfield evolved the XDM line to compete in a new market of extremely high quality out of the box guns. Mag wells, new META trigger, enhanced stylings- all of which were needed to play with the FN 509 series, SIG P320X5, and Canik Elite.

Hex Dragonfly included as an option

Still, we all have our opinions on small-frame pistols. When it comes to 9mm, 40, and 357 SIG, the market is saturated with good options. You might like Glock and I might like the M&P, and after we upgrade them with every aftermarket thing there is, they all contend pretty much equally. But when it comes to big bores (45 ACP and 10mm), Springfield Armory is hands down the champion. I own lots of brands in small frame. The week after I got my original XDM 10, my Glock 20 was sold.

Dragonfly Top View

In the big bores, Springfield found ergonomic magic that defies logic. Their 45/10mm guns feel like a small frame, but with no capacity reduction. The full size 10mm holds 15+1, which is crazy when compared to its only polymer competitor. Because the XDM fits your hand and doesn’t feel like a 4×4 with a slide on it.

Magwell removed, short configuration

Up until now, the XDM family included a 5.25 inch or 4.5-inch option, both with a full-sized frame. And to be fair, the ONLY CCW-sized gun in 10mm was the Glock 29. I don’t know how popular the G29 is in the rest of the world, but it has an outsized following among the Ft. Bragg boys. And the XDM Elite 3.8″ Compact 10mm absolutely blows its doors off.

With mag sleeve, Commander configuration

Why, pray tell, would one want a carry gun in 10mm? Mostly because when I shoot something, I want it to die. Or stop making me shoot it, for you lawyer types. 10mm is in my mind, the most perfect cartridge developed to date. It has the upper end of useful power, magazine capacity enough to be dangerous, and it will do anything. Stop a bear? Check. Greenland issues it to game wardens in case of a polar bear attack. Punch through cover? As well or better than any other auto cartridge. It is faster than both 9 and 45, and offers bullet weights commonly up to 200 grains. Oh, you wanted pure speed? How about 135 grains at 1600 feet per second? Does that do it for you? Pure kinetic energy? How about 220 grains at 1200 fps?

Magwell is easy to remove or install

It does all this in a very controllable package, thanks to the recoil springs and ergonomic magic of the XDM. And oh Lord is the new Elite 10mm an even further evolution of that. Starting off, we have a very concealable 3.8-inch barrel in a slimmed down slide. Front and rear cocking serrations, combined with a light tri-cut slide, get rid of bulk. Up top, we have Springfield’s extremely robust front fiber optic, with a new U shaped steel rear. Unless…

Optional grip sleeve for extended magazines

You opt for the HEX Dragonfly included option, as we did. HEX is a new special project by Springfield Armory and features extremely robust, waterproof slide mount optics. We have just tested the Hellcat-sized Wasp, and found it simply stunning. The Dragonfly included in our XDM package is slightly larger, and perfect for this application. A deep slide cut keeps the Dragonfly low to the bore, and natural to pick up. The dot is plenty daylight bright and features a very long battery life. Combined with the exceptional XDM match barrels, the Dragonfly makes this new 10mm Elite a surgeon’s scalpel. Best used for removing Goblins, with extreme prejudice. 

Very Robust plate system

The META trigger in the Elite 10 is no slouch, breaking at a little over 4.5 pounds in our tester. It is crisp, with just a little bit of creep, far better than most striker-fired options. I am told by others that bought Elites in 9mm that the trigger breaks in overtime, down to about 4 pounds. So while it won’t match the Springer Precision 2.0 pounder in my full-size XDM10, it is near perfect for a CCW gun. I really like that the META offers a reasonably high-end and light trigger, without the legal issues of putting a “hair trigger” in a gun I will be carrying on the street. If you want MOARRRRRRR!!!!!, Springer Precision or the Springfield Armory custom shop can both drop it down for you.

New U shaped rear

I am also loving the method Springfield chose to make this gun a “compact”. Like all of the Elite series, it features a built-in magwell. And a very nice one at that. In compact mode, reloading the gun is akin to throwing a tennis ball in a trash barrel. You can’t miss. And even with the mag well attached, the overall size of the 10mm Elite is similar to a Glock 19. But this being a game changer to the CCW world, there is more.

If you remove the factory default backstrap (three options included) and mag well, you have the option of going to magazines sleeves for full-size XDM10mm magazines. Which gives you a high capacity “Commander” sized 10mm, which are words I never thought I would get to write. The grip sleeves perfectly mate with the bottom of the pistol, giving you a full-sized grip on a 3.8-inch slide. And 15+1 rounds on board of getting some. Or more, if you also opt for aftermarket magazine extensions.

The XDM 10mm Elite Compact is an absolute champion and has just moved into my #1 spot for all-time favorite handguns. This is the 10mm we have been waiting for. I strongly suggest you get yours while the getting is good.

QVo Holster

*It is important to know if a holster exists for a CCW gun that is new, and in this case, the answer is yes. While it arrived too late for video production, Springfield Armory has teamed with QVO Tactical for a day one solution. QVO stands for Quick, Violent, Over, which makes me like them already. The 10mm holster is extremely capable and disappears the XDM in your waistband. With a week or so of carry, I am already in love.

Click HERE to visit Springfield and learn more.

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About the author: Clay Martin is a former Marine and Green Beret, retiring out of 3rd Special Forces Group. He is a multi-decade and -service sniper, as well as 3-Gun competitor and Master ranked shooter in USPSA Production. In addition to writing about guns, he is the author of “Last Son of The War God,” a novel about shooting people that deserve it. You can also follow him on twitter, @offthe_res or his website,

{ 24 comments… add one }
  • Joshua S. February 7, 2022, 8:42 am

    Anyone have the UPC for this exact model?

  • Ian moone December 28, 2021, 7:24 pm

    Clay nice article as usual I am a huge 10mm fan been shooting it for years. I am going to have to pick this one up. Also love the double tap ammo, 10mm is all they use to sell back in the day, I roll my owen but they are a great place to get full power loads.

  • Gerald December 27, 2021, 5:39 pm

    10mm is good choice for advanced shooter! But not best choice for first time shooter, or first c.p.l !

  • Sharkie December 27, 2021, 8:05 am

    A brand called ‘Daisy’ would be the best place for YOU to start.

    • Sharkie December 27, 2021, 8:06 am

      *comment Is for ROBERT

  • Mark December 17, 2021, 2:21 pm

    I’m foaming at the mouth wanting 1 of these 10mms I already have a kimber camp guard 10 it’s a real 1911 and awesomely accurate to shoot

  • Sgt. Pop November 14, 2021, 3:17 pm

    Something strange about Teafords post, I can’t believe its not a troll….. may be wrong, but seen its like before….

  • Charlie Brown Jr. November 12, 2021, 11:37 am

    I’m guessing you’re going to be hard pressed to get the 1600 and 1200 velocity out of a 3.8 in. bbl. Think I’ll wait for the 4.5 in. model. I’ve been praying for a Commander size double stack 1911 in 10MM. But this thing looks to be worth a try, what does it weigh ?

  • SBL November 9, 2021, 11:02 am

    A price would be nice. I hate to be an azz hat, but I seeing so many write ups with no MSRP on them.

    • jam3116 November 10, 2021, 10:04 pm

      MSRP $818.

  • Gary Burns November 9, 2021, 2:47 am

    I have a XDM10 5.25″ and 4.5″ (Well I did, but the wife has since claimed both) a EAA Witness Elite Match and Glocks G20, G29. I bought the G29 to be my EDC when I first started to carry. I shot it accurately but did not like it, like others it was not that it was bad, it just did not suit me. I still have it, because it’s a Ten

    I would like this new one I think, if I could keep it from the wife.

  • Vincent Scotti November 8, 2021, 5:12 pm

    What happened to what all the experts say about getting the max out of 10mm an ideal barrel length is 6 inches or at least something over 5 inches. Also how the heck do you handle recoil and recovery of the 3.8 in 10mm??

  • Dion Roundtree November 8, 2021, 9:49 am

    Swithced carrying my Glock 26 for a Glock 29 SF. Bought it without ever holding one. Loved my Glock 20, so why not right? Grew up shooting big bore pistols, but my 29 is by far the most uncomfortable pistol I have ever shot! Pinching between the mag well and mag and trigger bite. Of course it’s probably me. Great article and Yes, I must try this new 10mm. Thanks

  • Terry McKnight November 8, 2021, 8:47 am

    OK, you convinced me! I just ordered one. This is my first 10 mm. I contacted Springfield about a 5.25 inch Elite version which they say is coming in the future along with a 4.5 inch. This 3.8 pistol should arrive later this week! I had been dragging my feet on ordering, but your enthusiastic review pushed me into action! Thanks for a great review.

  • MeSeaHunt November 8, 2021, 8:27 am

    I must be old school cause when I was at Bragg I was issued (and still have) my FNH 5n7, this to me is THE only handgun to own that CAN do it all….. guess them current Glock Bragg boyz just have the wrong mentors!! Anyhoo I too am looking forward to shooting this model and if it does perform it will have a home in my safe, thanks

  • Tenbones November 8, 2021, 8:22 am

    Well, there is ONE thing to dislike about it, it is striker fired!

  • Elliot P. November 8, 2021, 6:59 am

    Clay, always look forward to your reviews. My first SA firearm is the Hellcat. Love it. Only 10 MM I own is the G20. You made me want the new SA 10MM. Perfect backup while hunting. Thanks much, keep the reviews coming!

  • Jim Staton November 8, 2021, 6:09 am

    If only it wasn’t made out of plastic.

  • ROBERT TEAFORD November 8, 2021, 5:57 am


    • rifflicks November 8, 2021, 8:04 am

      IF…you’re too lazy and Stupid to do your own research and legwork, then you shouldn’t be allowed to own a gun.

    • Tenbones November 8, 2021, 8:27 am

      Do you want Clay to shoot it for you, too?

      It would appear that you have a lot of learning and work to do before you should consider owning a gun.

    • Zupglick November 8, 2021, 11:18 am

      Bobby, If you are looking to be a first time gun owner, I suggest talking to an instructor first. Contact your local Firing range.
      This might not be the weapon for a first timer.

    • Kane November 12, 2021, 9:24 am

      Zupglick made a few good suggestions. Maybe you should talk to some people in person that have experience with firearms. You might find a dealer at gun store who would be trustworthy and heplful. A 10mm with optics is a nice high speed set up but for most CC and home defense a .38 revolver with iron sights is good choice that all skill levels will best match up. At least start a little more modestly and work your way up this XD-M Elite.

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