Springfield’s XDS OSP 9mm vs Hellcat


The release of the XDS Mod2 OSP was a very welcome update to the XDS family, this one is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Available, with or without an optional Crimson Trace CTS-1500 red dot factory installed, this little gun is out of the box ready to rock.

Now the first question many of you are going to have is, “Why develop the XDS line further when a Springfield Armory Hellcat is an option?” And that is a very good question. It is also the first one I had to answer for myself, considering I own both a Hellcat and multiple XDS models. Does the XDS family hold up in a world where the Hellcat exists?

7 round mag flush fit

For my money, yes. For a variety of reasons. The Hellcat is absolutely the most advanced CCW on the market, with a staggering number or rounds crammed into a tiny frame. And it is right for me. But that doesn’t make it the first choice for everyone. And the nice thing about the current gun market, we don’t all have to make exactly the same choices. Different hands, different body shapes, and different needs could all make the XDS Mod2 a better choice for you.

9 round extended mag

As along time XDS (Original and Mod2) carrier, I am quite familiar with the platform. A single stack polymer wonder, the XDS was originally chambered in 45 ACP. Later it was available in 40 S&W and 9mm, which lends itself to a certain ergonomic shape. The OSP version is 9mm only, bowing to the popularity of that cartridge these days. But it remains the same dimensions as the 45 ACP, which for a few reasons is very nice in this application.

Fits like it was made for your hand.

The XDS is a very thin gun, which is arguably the most important detail in a CCW gun. It is actually thinner than the Hellcat, if not by much. My micrometer says the XDS is .95 inches thick in the grip, while the Hellcat is 1.01. That isn’t a huge difference, but it is a difference. The real ergonomic design feature is the width of the grip, front strap to back strap. The Hellcat is 1.72 inches wide, while the XDS OSP is 2.20 inches wide. Which makes a world of difference in how you grip it.

In its natural habitat.

Wait, isn’t bigger worse for concealment? In terms of front to back size, no. It makes no difference at all in how the gun hides. In shooting terms, however, it gives you significantly more palm on the frame of the gun. I love my Hellcat, but picking the two up side by side, I can tell you the XDS feels more like an adult-sized gun. It feels like a slightly thinner polymer 1911, which many of you are instantly going to be a fan of.

CT Red dot and white dot front sight post.

The XDS OSP gives up a little ground to ultra-modern 1.5 stack pistols, which shouldn’t be a surprise since it is a true single stack. The XDS ships with one each of a 7 round and 9 round magazine, compared to an 11 and 13 for something like the Hellcat. For some people, that makes a huge difference. But for many of you, 7 is P for Plenty. So while it is something to know, recognize that the thinner frame did have to come at a cost. I prefer the XDS with the 9 rounder in it for me, so the capacity offset isn’t that great.

Direct slide mount for smallest possible footprint.

New for this OSP version, and arguably the game changer, is what sits on top. As the OSP name implies, this XDS is red dot ready. Or included, if you just want to get it all done at once. And this is really going to be what sets it apart for many folks. As a factory option, Springfield Armory will ship the gun with a Crimson Trace CTS-1500 up top. The CTS-1500 is on the less expensive end of electronic sights but has proven itself over the last year to be durable. It is also more than sufficiently daylight bright and small. It is an absolutely perfect choice for an entry-level red dot, which is a huge advantage if you are either a new shooter or have aging eyes. (That in no way affects the author, I refuse to be anything but 21 until I die. Never mind this being written in large font, all the best writers do that.) Which actually brings us to another XDS OSP advantage- the price. At an MSRP of $550 with the red dot installed, or $425 without the optic, this is going to be very hard to beat.

Daylight bright red dot

The XDS OSP is compatible with all your other XDS 9mm magazines, and we are sure to see holsters specific to this model very soon. What else is working in favor of this platform? All the other stuff you know and love from the XDS family. A passive grip safety, of which I am a huge fan. Ambidextrous mag release, should you happen to be wrong handed. And a trigger that is simply stunning for a CCW gun.

A winner, at an extremely attractive price.

The entire XDS line up shoots like a house on fire, and the OSP is no exception. Sized perfectly to carry extremely well, but still be a shooter on the range, this gun is hands down a winner. I can see a massive audience for this new OSP version. From smaller female hands to anyone that wants a very high-quality weapon at a reasonable price. Snagging a gun with Springfield Armory printed on the side at $425 new is absolutely insane. If 2021 has you looking for a new (or first) concealable hand cannon, look no further. The new XDS OSP has everything.

For more information visit Springfield Armory website.

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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, Off-The-Reservation.com

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • SD February 5, 2021, 10:27 am

    If it’s the same size as the .45 XDS, why not just carry the .45? What you lose in capacity you gain in knock down power. I usually carry the .45 and sometimes the hellcat. Personally I can’t see a great advantage in the XDS 9.

  • Nicky J Schiavi February 1, 2021, 8:01 pm

    The only Springfield I have is the GI model but in SS look & Feel like the one I carried as a door gunner with the 25Th ID in NAM 1963-64. now i carry a Glock-gen2 /26 9mm.

  • Robert Kubichek February 1, 2021, 1:01 pm

    Meant to say depth of grip.

    • Bobby Beckum February 1, 2021, 6:23 pm

      I will out purchased one of your firearms

  • Robert Kubichek February 1, 2021, 12:57 pm

    Don’t you have the grip width dimensions backwards? XDS-MOD2 .9″ HELCAT 1″ PER website…

  • Wil Ferch February 1, 2021, 9:05 am

    Article says… “The XDS is a very thin gun, which is arguably the most important detail in a CCW gun.” I will offer that the total HEIGHT of the gun is just as important…or maybe more so….as a tall gun tends to “print” more. This is why the excellent S&W Shield did not make my list, as it is very thin but too tall at 4.6″ or taller. The Springfield 911, now in 9mm Luger, and the Kahr CM9, are both at ariund 4″, and also the tad-taller Sig P365 and also the Hellcat…all are under 4.3″ and some at 4″. When you start getting to 4.6″ and taller….it tends to be a problem. Plus or minus a digital fraction in width right around 1″ width is usually not a problem. Sure, width becomes an issue at maybe 1.25″…but 1″ (+/-) shouldn’t be a problem if one is 0.01″ wider. My view anyway.

    • CC February 1, 2021, 7:59 pm

      I am 5’9″ 165 lbs. and AIWB carey a Shield with the large magazine with maggots (+2) . No problems, I do not wear baggy shirts either. It’s all about the holster with a Mod Claw attached..

    • R February 25, 2021, 5:55 am

      Awesome review 10/10!
      Thank You for your service!
      I’ve had mine since early December. First gun I’ve owned. Kinda fell in love with Springfield now.. I thought I wanted a SIG p365sas. don’t think a 3 bullet difference is gonna make or take my life in a given situation..
      Totally satisfied with the 9

  • Dan January 31, 2021, 9:42 pm

    Would love e info

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