Today I want to discuss Springfield Armory XD and XDM’s. I have a pile of these things and there’s a reason for it. I think it to be the best thing going in handguns and my first choice for a defensive pistol. I have 7 of them. 3 in 45 acp and 4 in 9mm. 5 are at the house and my weapon “stashes” I mentioned in the Food for Thought series each have one in them elsewhere. 2 are XDM’s, the others are a combination of 5 inch Tacticals, 4 inch service models and 1 subcompact I carry a lot. Rather than repeat myself over and over I just decided to do them all in one review.
You noticed no 40cals. That’s because that’s an invention we didn’t need. I’m gonna piss people off with that statement. 🙂 Just like the 357 sig, 9×21, 9×25, 356 TSW and pretty much every other “mid-size” cartridge that came after the 38 super. If you wanted more power than a 9mm we had the 45 acp, 357 magnum and the 38 Super already. As far as cartridges with MORE power than a 45 well I’m all for those. Case’s in point the 10mm and 460 Rowland, those are good ones but the 40 cal. like so many others just serve no purpose to me. Why?? What do they do that’s so special?? Nothing that’s what. Unfortunately there is no such thing as an XD 10mm 🙁 and there SHOULD BE!!! You can have a 460 Rowland conversion done by Wild West Guns in Alaska for about $350, 44 mag power in a 45acp sized high cap XD!! AWESOME!! Glock wisely makes a 10mm, SA should follow suit.
OK so why do I think these things to be the greatest thing?? Well, I’m a Glock hater. Sorry Randi but I am. Not the quality, not the looks and certainly I do like the Glock triggers compared to a SA XD, they are more crisp and less mush. It’s the grip angle. For me the sights just don’t naturally line up. I’m ALWAYS WAY high. It’s just the grip itself for me needs to be more up and down and not so angled. That’s my problem with Glocks. Other than that and the lack of a grip safety I think Glocks are good weapons. They set a trend everybody else has copied because it was the greatest idea in handguns since the 1911. They certainly have proven themselves. So enter the XD. I feel the grip safety is a good idea. I feel better knowing it’s there. It in no way, shape or form slows you down or makes one tiny bit of difference in how the gun handles or shoots. It just is an added piece of mind for those of us who like it that way. If you don’t fine but you can’t say the grip safety is in any way a hindrance. I prefer it.
So you might have guessed I’m a former 1911 lover after the grip safety thing. You guessed right. I retired a fleet of 1911’s after I got my first XD. I kept 3 for sentimental attachment I have but they are no longer carry, war or zombie apocalypse guns for me anymore. They reside loaded in some hiding spots around the house though. So the XD has a grip more like what I was used to with 1911’s. So now I have a gun that has no manual safety to disengage or hammer to draw back, that holds twice the ammo if not 3 times AND a grip that feels like home to me. Perfect!
So recapping the good: Good looking, grip safety, 100% reliability after 1000’s of rounds, high capacity, excellent customer service from SA and a boatload of aftermarket do-dads and customizing you can do. They are very accurate and extremely well made. (in Croatia) which I don’t really care for from “the Oldest name in American firearms” but I guess at least it’s not China.
Now the XDM vs the XD. For all your extra $$ spent on an M your going to get a selection of back straps, nicer grip texture and a better trigger. Is it worth the cash?? I don’t think so. The sights are different but no better or worse. The back strap, I use the medium one anyway which is the same as the standard XD and the trigger while better isn’t SO much better it’s worth the cash. Personally I’d just as soon spend the $$ on a trigger job of a standard XD. If they wanted to impress me with the XDM then we should have gotten some MUCH better sights. That are nitesites AND fully adjustable. At least fiber optic and adjustable. I got neither with either XDM. So like I said by the time I pay for a trigger job and some decent sites I don’t see the “M” as being any big deal over a standard model. Your going to pay to upgrade what they should have done in the factory anyway. Yeah, it has a “match” barrel, big zippity-do! The standard XD shoots straighter than 99% of people on earth including myself. That’s my 2 cents worth on the “M’s”
So in a nutshell, I think the standard XD is as close to a perfect pistol as I need to get. Yes it can use some trigger work and some nightsites but right out of the box it’s a serious piece of asskickin’ weaponry and I believe they will serve the vast majority of American shooters just fine as is. I do feel like the XD’s are going to serve me and my needs probably for the rest of the time I have here until I go to the Great firing line in Heaven where magazines are bottomless and everything has a selector switch. 🙂 The 1911 lasted what? About 100 years and counting now. Well the XD is my “new 1911” and the pile around my house of XD’s will continue to grow. They’re my first handgun choice bar none.
As always thanks for reading and happy shooting.
By: Cary Kieffer