Springfield Armory XDS 9mm

Well, it finally got here! After a long, long wait, here it is, the XDS 9mm. I loved the 45 acp XDS so much I wrote two pieces on it. I like the 9mm even more and I’ll tell you why.

I considered writing this long drawn out review over every little tech spec and whatever else I could come up with. I abandoned that plan. I wrote a lot out in the XDS 45 reviews. Everything is virtually the same except for weight and the caliber. Anything that applies to the 45 applies to the XDS 9mm as well. So go ahead and check out the reviews already on TGR. Suffice to say the XDS has been my all time favorite carry gun since the 45 came out first. The XDS 9mm to me is even better.

XDS 9mm right side

XDS 9mm right side

I’ll just reiterate a couple of reasons why I love the XDS’s so much:

1. The entire XD line is well made and has uncompromising reliability. I’m just totally sold on the entire lineup.

2. It has a grip safety-I love a grip safety, you can keep all slide or frame mounted safeties. This is what I like.

3. The mag release operates from either side. I like that as I often use my trigger finger to release from the right side.

4. The Fiber optic front site is easy to see and “glows” well. It is also large enough to see which is not always the case on such a small gun.

5. A light is a must have for me. This small pistol has a good tactical rail. Again not the case with everything.

6. It’s not a Glock or a “Smith and Wussin’ ” LOL Relax haters 🙂 That was for the benefit of a couple of buddies who will read this, but seriously….it isn’t.

Now I do prefer this 9mm XDS to the 45acp model out first, a few reasons for that.

XDS 9mm left side

XDS 9mm left side

1. Due to a couple of near misses from what was probably Russian made mortar rounds I have a hard time firing a 45acp without ear pro on. If I do within 2-5 rounds I feel like I’m going to fall over and things often get grey. Internal ear damage and some extra holes punched in my skull by shrapnel from my war days have left me very sensitive to the noise and concussion of bigger rounds. The 9mm doesn’t bother me without ear pro. So considering in a life/death situation there isn’t time for ear pro the 9mm is for me a better choice. I carried the 45 XDS before this one but I always hoped if I needed it I would be “done” before the darkness set in, in my head. I’m very happy to finally see the 9mm has arrived.

2. The XDS 9mm holds the same number of rounds with the flush fit mag as the 45acp does with the extended mag. Say/think what you will…the 9mm with a good bullet in it is enough for the job. It’s all about placement folks, always has been. That’s why around this household we practice at least twice a week. I’d rather be winged with a 50 cal Desert Eagle over shot dead center mass with a 22lr any day, just an example of what I think concerning the tired, age old 9mm vs 45 debate.

3. The world over the 9mm round is available. I just like the cartridge and how common it is. In Iraq the dudes with 45’s couldn’t scrounge up ammo. There was 9mm galore. (on both sides) I would think it still has to be the most commonly used pistol round in the world. Not only that it is generally much cheaper to shoot and for the recoil sensitive it is easier on people than a 45.

Summing Up: If you’re noise/recoil sensitive, $$ for ammo sensitive or just feel better with a couple extra rounds in a flush fit mag your issues have just been solved. That’s pretty much that with why I prefer the 9mm XDS. The first reason being the most important.

XDS 9mm with Winchester Ranger 147 HP's

XDS 9mm with Winchester Ranger 147 HP’s

I will go over a couple more small things and show some groups fired with the correct target for the range. Along with all the usual stuff you get in an XD package, the holster, mag pouch, lock, manual and nice hard case, they put in 2 colors of replacement fiber optic cable for the front site. Green and orange, enough of it to make at least 2 sites each if you lose it or you want to change colors or replace it. So that was nice and it didn’t come with the 45 when I bought that one.

XDS compared to worlds smallest 9mm the DB-9

XDS compared to worlds smallest 9mm the DB-9

XDS 9mm Speer 115 ball

XDS 9mm Speer 115 ball

The Groups: Throughout the shooting I fired the XDS 9mm against my Diamond Back 9mm. The DB 9 at the time I bought it, it was the smallest 9mm made, as far as I know it still is. The DB9 has been a good little gun. Yes, smaller than the XDS, but not so much so that it makes a world of difference. There is a world of difference in how they handle and the XDS 9mm is light years ahead of the DiamondBack. So, I do not want you to think I would recommend it over the XDS. I absolutely do not. It’s not even in the same class, accuracy wise it will hang in there but that’s where it ends. Everything else with the XDS 9mm is far superior.

DB 9mm with Critical Defense. Shot pretty good.

DB 9mm with Critical Defense. Shot pretty good.

I’m always happy with interchangeable back-straps and this has one just like any other XDM or S.  One thing I did notice is the trigger seemed a bit stiffer, I’m hoping it breaks in a bit. I fired the heck out of the last one in the first two days I had it. I don’t recall if it started out a bit rough or not? I only put 250 through this one so far, so there is a real possibility it still needs some use to smooth out. All in all though for me and a handgun I thought the groups looked pretty good for such a small gun. Go ahead and check them out. Remember most any pic on TGR can be blown up if you click on it.

XDS 9mm +P Winchesters

XDS 9mm +P Winchesters

XDS 9mm group with Hornady Critical Defense

XDS 9mm group with Hornady Critical Defense

I guess that’s about it folks, please feel free to review the links to the 45 at the top of the page. Everything is the same except for this is a 9mm and because it is I like it even more than the 45. I LOVED the 45 but the noise factor just makes the XDS 9mm the best choice for me. This is a great carry gun, perfect in my opinion. You’ve got everything going here in your favor. Quality, accuracy, reliability, user friendliness and price. (I paid $540.00) A bargain for what you get. Load up with some Hornady Critical Defense and rest easy knowing you are very well armed.

As always thanks for reading and train often.

By: Cary Kieffer


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Cary Kieffer

USMC Infantry/Combat Veteran - Med Retired LEO/8yrs.

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9 Responses to Springfield Armory XDS 9mm

  1. LKS473 says:

    My lone point of contention is that 9mm is available the world over where .45 is not. While 9mm was sold out for months around here, I could buy cases of rimmed cartridges, .40, and .45 in any store I sent to. Same with .30-06 vs. .308. I could even buy 7mm-08. Couldn’t buy 5.56, but could buy all the ‘weird’ calibers for firearms few people own “because you can’t find that ammunition just any old general store”; for example, .30-40 Krag. I literally have not seen any .22LR or .22 Magnum (other than bird shot) in my area for at least two years.

  2. blackbelt3 says:

    I spent several months going to a number of ranges so that I could rent and shoot a number of the guns that call themselves CCW. A week ago after shooting the XDs 9mm several times I settled on it. I like the grip safety a lot. There were lots of guns that came in 2nd. Nothing wrong with any of them – didn’t get a chance to shoot the DB9. I live in the mountains of Colorado so you can wear a vest year round without anyone thinking anything about it. Yes the XDs is heavier than the Kahr, Kel-tec, apparently the DB9, the 380’s etc – but in my vest it doesn’t make a difference. I can even carry in cargo shorts if its a really warm day. We all have our unique circumstances that cause us to buy certain guns. I have only put 100 rounds thru the XDs-9 but not even a burp. Yes I used good ammo and now have Federal JSP – 95 gr loaded for SD and the range. I am thrilled with the gun and hope everyone else likes theirs as well. I would recommend the XDs series to anyone. My brother’s in law have the 40 and 45 cal and agree with me.

  3. Charles Newman says:

    I disagree. The DB9 is much smaller and lighter and DOES make a huge difference in carrying concealed. I’ve tried them all, and the DB9 works the best for a 9mm. If it weren’t for the DB9, I’d be carrying a .380, such as the TCP or LCP daily. How you even put that brick of a XDS 9mm in the same category is beyond me.

  4. The first 3 times I pulled the trigger on my Xds 9mm the other day at the range, it did not fire. Scared the crap out of me being a brand new never fired gun. I finally figured out I did not have the PERFECT grip on the gun. He grip safety was the problem. I am 68 years old and can’t close my right hand fingers completely. I had no problems with my Glock. 29 or my Ruger LCR 38 Spc.. Or any gun I have fired. Sorry but the grip safety sucks for me and will have to go. It requires two hands for me to get the perfect grip. I would have been dead in the wrong situation. The XDS is extremely accurate but nor reliable with my hands.. I cannot pull the XDS from my holster with the perfect grip. I have to talk my left hand and push up firmly on the butt of th mag. Love it otherwise but don’t like safeties anyway. If a guy puts a knife to your throat when leaving a restaurant, do you think you are really going to remember a safety or get the perfect grip ?

    • Cary Kieffer says:

      Donald, thanks for the comment. Sorry about your hand issues….It sure is an accurate, great pistol….Before you ditch it perhaps you could try one or 2 things. 1. Contact Springfield, they have a custom shop, and see if they could make you an extended grip safety?? That would help you just like the beavertail grip safeties with the pressure pads on my 1911’s. 2. Perhaps you could have the safety pinned?? That was something else many people have done to 1911’s, might work here as well. Just 2 thoughts I had on remedies for your situation. Good luck and thanks for stopping by TGR. Cary

      • Scadaman says:

        Thanks Cary, I think I will put the smaller rear piece on and see if that helps. if that safety was one inch lower I don’t think there would be a problem”. Right now however, I just can’t trust it as a carry.
        Don’t like safeties in the first place. Who would remember a safety if a knife was at your throat.. I considered even taking a black bead,filing it flat on one side and super glueing it to the safety but that’s. Al Bundy B S

        I am just going to pack my LCR 38 in the summer in my cargo pants and my Glock 29 in the winter when I am wearing s heavy sweater and using my Fobus paddle holster. I don’t really care about printing because you can carry open in Indiana in accordance the Indiana
        State Police website.

        • Cary Kieffer says:

          Donald, yes the smaller backstrap might help. Good call on that one. Also your mention of the superglue/bead thing…I agree with the concept but I would never super glue anything either, you’re right Al Bundy all the way. You could take it to a qualified smith and have a small threaded hole drilled in the back of the grip safety and then loc-tite/screw on your little custom made grip safety extension. That would work and it would be solid. I think you were onto something with that idea. If you do that send me a pic so I can check it out. Thanks. Cary

  5. Mike Coker says:

    Nice review Cary. You may have sold me switching over my carry gun.

    • Cary Kieffer says:

      Thanks boss, It has no equals in my opinion. Try the Hornady Critical defense in 115 grain. 3 touching shots at 25 is pretty impressive grouping from 3.3 inches of barrel

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