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Springfield XDS 45ACP Review & Comparison Pics

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by awpk03s, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. awpk03s


    Apr 1, 2007
    I bought a brand new Springfield XDs 45ACP pistol yesterday ($549), and wanted to share some of my thoughts and experiences with it.

    I have been rotating carry time between a Kahr CM9, MK9, and a Glock 30SF for the last several months. My main defensive pistols are Glocks (21Gen4 and 30SF). While the Kahrs are great to carry, I wanted as much commonality in action and trigger as possible. I considered a Glock 36, but find it just too big to ever carry in a pocket. The fact that the XDs almost mirrored the dimensions of the CM9 was very appealing to me.

    The XDs:


    This pistol is small. Smallest 45 I have ever laid hands on. Size wise for me, it is just tall enough in height that my pinky finger doesn't fall off the frame. I love that the magazines are flush with the bottom of the pistol as well - this really helps with the ability to conceal it. The very high undercut trigger guard helps in keeping a full grip on such a small pistol.

    The overall build quality impression of the XDs is very good. The polymer frame is very nicely done, the grip texture is very grippy/aggressive, which aids in holding onto the gun during recoil. The polymer is perfectly finished - no little "stringers" of polymer coming off the rails like you will find in a Kahr gun sometimes.

    The slide had some machining marks inside, both my gun and the display model at the store, so I guess it's normal. It doesn't bother me, but in comparison to a Glock, I have never seen machining marks inside of a Glock slide, so do with that what you will.

    I like the melonite finish on the slide, it should hold up well to years and years of holster wear and abuse. The melonite on the barrel may not last forever due to the friction points, but that's okay with me. The barrel ramp itself was nicely cut and polished.

    The XDs comes with two interchangeable backstraps, one large (installed on the pistol) and one small. I tried them both and prefer the larger one.

    The XDs has a grip safety, which seems to be very responsive.
    It also has a loaded chamber indicator, which I hate, because it covers part of the front sight when it's raised to indicate a loaded chamber. I feel Springfield didn't really think this one through.

    The magazine release is ambidextrous, which is nice for me since I'm a lefty (I wish the slide release was this way also, but it's not). The mag release is a bit hard to push at first to drop a mag, but I think this will work in with use and maybe some lubrication.

    The trigger pull is good. To me it feels more like a Glock trigger than any XD trigger I've ever felt - which in my case is a good thing, since I like Glock triggers and use them a lot.

    The factory sights are nice, the rear is serrated and has two white dots, while the front is a red fiber optic. The picture is good and fast to acquire, but for a carry pistol I need to have night sights. I had a set of Meprolight Night Sights installed. The model for a standard XD fit perfectly in the dovetails and sight height(s). They are an improvement, but after shooting with them and the LCI issue, I already ordered a set of Trijicon HD night sights to put on, as I think I will like these even better, and the larger front sight with tritium and yellow ring will be easier to use in spite of the LCI.

    Range Report:
    After buying the pistol, I went down to my local indoor range and fired off some rounds. I was about an hour from home, so didn't take the time to strip and clean the pistol like I usually do, and I wanted to see how it would work in sub-optimal conditions (right out of the factory box with all the gunk included). I fired 50 rounds of WWB 230gr FMJ, and 20 rounds of Speer Gold Dot 185gr JHP - just what I happened to have in my truck at the time.

    This little gun has a lot of it. It is significantly more than any other small 45 I have fired before (G36, 220C, G30, PM45, 3" 1911, etc.). You have to maintain a tight grip on the gun, and lock your arm in place for the best results. With that said, the recoil while substantial, is not objectionable to me. After 70 rounds I could feel it in the palm of my hand and in my forearm, but it's not that bad. It is what it is, and this is no target pistol anyway - and the recoil won't deter me from training with it.

    I shot at 10 yards, and will let the target speak for itself. I'm pleased with it.


    All rounds fed and ejected with no issues. Ejection was fine, all pretty consistently high and over my shoulder, none to the face, which is good. However, several times throughout the session, I experienced issues where the slide missed going into battery by probably 1/8" or less. A couple of times I caught it and nudged it forward and all was good. A couple of times though I did not notice it and pulled the trigger to a 'click'. I dropped the mag, re-cocked the trigger with manipulation of the slide pushing the round and slide all the way into battery, reinserted the magazine, and it fired and cycled fine.

    Some will poo-poo this from my description of the experience here alone.... "I wouldn't trust it, send it back, springfield sucks, etc." As for me, I am not worried about it. The gun is pretty tightly built, was not lubed or cleaned first, and it was the first time I had ever shot it, so I am not surprised by what I experienced, nor do I consider it a failure. I have had several Kahr guns in the past (P380s, PM9) that did this a lot in the first couple hundred rounds and then were fine. Some guns simply need broken in. Also - the XDs probably would run much better with a proper and liberal lubrication and cleaning out of the factory gunk.

    Field Strip & Clean:
    After getting home, I did a field strip and detailed cleaning of the pistol. I racked the gun 200 times and worked the slide/frame together with no springs 100 times as well. I lightly polished (elbow grease) the contact points where slide/frame interact to aid in full movement into battery, as well as the already polished barrel ramp to help the rounds move up into the chamber. I lubed it very liberally with FP10 on the barrel, and the slide rails and contact points. It works and moves very slick, and I think my next range session will be 100%.

    Carry impressions:
    This gun does fit nicely in a pocket carry role using a Desantis Nemesis holster. I tried in cargo shorts, and jeans, and it fits and is comfortable. It should really shine with IWB carry though. I ordered a couple of Garrett Silent Thunder IWB/OWB holsters for it already.

    All in all - a gun that is this small and light, this accurate, and packing 6 rounds of 45ACP, in a platform that's trigger and operation practically equals my HD pistols - is purely perfect for me.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2012
  2. awpk03s


    Apr 1, 2007
    Here are some pictures comparing it size-wise to a Kahr CM9 and a Glock 30SF (using 9 round magazine).




  3. bac1023


    Sep 26, 2004
    Very nice

    Congrats! :cool:
  4. TxGlock9


    Nov 22, 2010
    BMT, TX
    very nice.. I can't wait for the 9mm version.
  5. Congrats and nice report. I too believe that if it were cleaned first and lubed you wouldn't have had the failure to return to battery occurences.Good luck with your new pistol. tom.:cool:
  6. oldman11


    Mar 1, 2012
    I would like to have seen it compared to a Glock 36. That would have been more helpful than comparing to a double stack Glock 30.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012
  7. great review, i really wanted to try one of these, but there wasn't any word on when they would come into the shops in my area. i had been waiting for quite awhile for a glock 36. well the g36 came in so i grabbed it, when the XDs finally arrived it was very intrigueing, but it will have to wait now.
    the size comparison to the G30 is adequate, as the G36 is almost identical to the 30 in length and height, except a bit thinner in width and minus the rail.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012
  8. dnuggett

    dnuggett PRO 2A

    Feb 28, 2005
    DFW TX
    I have about 800 rounds through mine. It's in the carry rotation with a 1911 and a Smith 940. Overall I have been pleased with mine. After a few hundred rounds without cleaning the gun had some issues with extraction. After cleaning it was confirmed good to go.

    The extended mags can be greatly improved upon. They are essentially 1911 mags with a spacing cut out of the top to fit the XDS design. There is a ton of wasted space and they make the grip ridiculously long. Way too long in my opinion. The two I have are also horribly unreliable causing feed issues. (failure to extract and failure to return to battery). I need to send them back to Springfield to see if another two have the same issue.
  9. Ocean_glocker


    Sep 21, 2011
    Atlanta, Ga
    I like my XD-s too, I'm not grouping them as well as you are but I still like it. With the 5rd mag it drops in the pocket perfect. and I have a few 7rd mags which make it a dream when IWB. The issues you were talking about are nothing new, its all over the XD talk forum. and They usually stem from two things, the xds not being cleaned or oiled properly (by the manual) and/or not loading the first round correctly. I did get a FTB and a light strike when I didn't let the slide drop on its own.

    I'm looking forward to getting some more range time with mine this weekend.
  10. awpk03s


    Apr 1, 2007
    Well, sorry I guess... I don't own a Glock 36 so I couldn't take pictures of the XDS with one.

    Here however, is a link to what you seek.
  11. planman


    Jul 18, 2011
    May I PLEASE have the info on what looks like night sights on your XDS? Been looking for some for my XDS.
  12. glock2740

    glock2740 Gun lover.

    Jun 19, 2008
    NW Ark.
    Congrats! Can't wait to check one out in person.
  13. Ocean_glocker


    Sep 21, 2011
    Atlanta, Ga
    I hear that the TFOs are pretty awesome on them, if I keep mine, I'll put those on.
  14. awpk03s


    Apr 1, 2007
    Night sights for the standard XD will fit. Same height and dovetail.

    I didn't like the Mepros pictured here... the front sight was pretty much dead, no glow at all, and the LCI covered most of it. Got a set of Trijicon HD night sights waiting to install, I will post pics when complete.
  15. planman


    Jul 18, 2011
    Thank you sir!
  16. stolivar


    Mar 6, 2005
    I find the recoil on the PM45 to be atrocious. It wants to come out of your hand. The recoil on the XDS is very manageable.

  17. Glock40man


    Feb 1, 2011
    The Midwest
    Nice review and, congrats!:cool:
  18. Beanie-Bean


    Apr 23, 2011
    Central Texas
    Thanks for the excellent review! I still have to do my Shield/XD-S comparison, but I'll just wait until the 9mm version comes out :)

    I also really like the XD-S, and also found the trigger to be more Glock-like. I've got an XD Tactical whose trigger is nothing like the XD-S version.

    JoeBob Outfitters had the 7-round magazines available when I got mine, and I've removed the extension sleeve on them so that the spare is easier to carry. I don't mind not having anything to grip down there, because I don't really use that pinky when shooting the smaller-framed guns.

    It runs very smoothly, and I was very surprised at how controllable the recoil is for a .45 of this size.

    My Comp-Tac MTAC is on its way, and I'll post pics of it as soon as it arrives. Meanwhile I've been using the G30 holster, as the XD-S fits very nicely there.
  19. stihlmanz

    stihlmanz NRA Life Member

    Jul 7, 2012
    S.E. WI
    Amazing they can make a .45 this slim and small. Compared to a G30 or even a G27, this is way thinner. You really notice it if you carry IWB @4:00 - I essentially disappears. Mags for this little bugger are expensive, especially the 7 rounder with extension. It's really a well designed gun.