The XD 40 Sub-compact reviewed


July 3, 2005, 05:43 PM
The Springfield XD Sub-compact 40 arrived in the usual black plastic Springfield Armory box along with one standard magazine and one of the factory extended grip high capacity magazines. I ordered the stainless model due to rapid finish wear on the blue coated XD 9mm Sub-compact I had a while back. I also opted out of the night sights due to the 2 dot (one on top of the other) causing some problems with my usual method of shooting with both eyes open. Upon receiving the gun I immediately placed a Pierce Grip extender on the standard flush fit magazine so that my little finger is not left dangling, it popped right in.

I broke the gun down and gave it a quick cleaning. Internally no surprises, everything I have come to expect from the Springfield XD line, no nonsense, quality workman like internals. The slide finish itself however was a bit more surprising, it seems to be more evenly applied with no marring or light spots. The trigger and safety components were all the same as any other XD with the polymer frame holding to the same robust quality the XD has become known for.

At the range I shot 200 rounds of WWB 165 grain Wally World Value Packs. There were no malfunctions or fail to feeds save one, when I first loaded the standard magazine I did not fully seat the round because that spring is TIGHT. Once I started to pay attention to what I was doing, everything went great. The magazines seat perfectly and the extended magazine was a true delight to use. The grip angle was like an old friend coming home, familiar and welcome. The standard grip kept the gun compact yet still managed to fill the hand comfortably. The extended magazine felt like a full sized handgun in my fist, the exception being the shortened barrel; however the sight picture looks like a standard duty weapon. What you end up with is a comfortable, quick handling .40 with a great sight picture.

Shooting the .40 was a bit of a shock, I fully expected some sharp recoil similar to what I have come to expect from compact big bore guns. To be quite fair, I seemed to remember more snap off of my Sub-compact 9mm with 147 grain Hydra-shocks. The .40 did give some snap as to be expected, but not at all unmanageable. I consider myself fairly recoil sensitive and I like to always be able to make quick follow up shots, I found that this gun recovered very quickly and controlled pairs were easy to come by. Guns that I have found to be harder to shoot due to recoil are the Glock G36, Taurus 605 snub .357 Magnum, S&W Air-light .38 special, the Kahr P9 and Kel Tec P11. I have not tried the Glock sub-compact .40 because in all fairness, it does not fit my oversized hands well at all. Thus the XD 40 comes into its own in terms of balanced feel, controllable recoil and speed. Muzzle blast was not too bad, certainly not on par with a snub magnum however one thing I did notice when running through 50 rounds of rapid failure drills and reloads, this gun can get HOT. I donít mean the slide or frame necessarily, but the trigger. The trigger can get hot in a hurry, so if you plan to do extensive training with rapid shooting, I recommend some shooting gloves.

Accuracy of the weapon was very nice for a sub-compact. At 9 feet I could shoot as fast as I could pull the trigger with deadly results. One handed shooting slowed me down a bit as to be expected but I was still able to score center mass and head shots right handed and center mass left handed reliably. At 21 feet, failure drills were dead on, point shooting (2 rounds) at the torso as fast as possible; a quick aimed shot (1 round) at the head, no flyers, no misses and all good shots with good speed. At 33 feet, head shots got a bit more difficult and took a second longer, but were defiantly manageable. At 45 feet head shots were okay, but in a real life situation, I would be shooting torso at that distance regardless of the handgun I am carrying, just too much liability otherwise. 50 feet I was hitting a tad low of a 3 inch bulls eye, once I changed my aim, I would hit it with a bit of concentration.

Conclusions: This gun is a quality, no bull, defensive piece of equipment. While 200 rounds are certainly not capable of predicting reliability, I have generally found my ďlemonsĒ within the first 2 boxes of ammo. The price of around $550 combined with a lifetime warranty and XDís incredible reputation leaves me one happy camper. I strongly recommend this weapon for anyone looking for a solid, light weight, compact defensive arm. This arm will soon be replacing my Sig Sauer P225 as my summer time carry piece.


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July 3, 2005, 05:53 PM
Nice write up. Where the heck have you been, thought you fell off the planet?
The XD truly is a great pistol. I'd recommend one to anybody.

July 3, 2005, 06:31 PM

I've been in academy...again. Refresher training.

July 3, 2005, 08:21 PM
I just got the xd9 sub compact--my second xd--already had the 4". As with the 4", its a keeper. No failures of any kind, accurate for its size, and $429 brandy new--whats not to like?

July 3, 2005, 08:23 PM
I've been in academy...again. Refresher training

Ahhh. Welcome back.

July 3, 2005, 09:45 PM
Good to be back. ;)

July 3, 2005, 11:24 PM
alduro - Thanks for a well written review. I agree 100% with your sentiments. I have 3 of the XDs in .40 caliber, the sub-compact, the service model and the tactical, all black finish. The sub-compact quickly became my favorite shooter and carry piece.

Welcome back.

July 3, 2005, 11:40 PM
Thanks Eagle

July 4, 2005, 12:10 AM
thanks for the review, have been considering this weapon as a ccw.

Pietro Beretta
July 4, 2005, 01:53 AM
I Just purchased this model Today. Wish I would have read this review earlier.

I have heard lots of good reviews of the 9mm version, I was hoping the .40 version was just as good.

I was wondering, did you get the XML light for it? Is it a decent light, or is it more of a gimmick to make the Sub-Compact version look.."cool" I was thinking about purchasing in case of a night time intruder.... what do you think?

July 4, 2005, 07:51 AM
I really didn't appreciate the report. I have been fighting myself for several months now over this gun. You didn't help. :D Well, here goes another $500.00. After readinng the report, my decisions made. Well the hard part anyway. Now. The 3", 4" or 5"? :banghead:

July 4, 2005, 08:01 AM
Good review Alduro. I have had my XD9SC now for about 5 months. No failures. The only issue I have with mine is that it shoots low (for me) so I have had to modify my aiming technique. I paid $399+tax for mine and that included the holster and one hicap magazine/spacer. With the hicap magazine the extra weight is noticable but is is all low and in your hand and with the extra length makes the pistol more 'shootable' IMHO.

I still enjoy shooting my 1911 more but this may change after I get a full size XD, question is which one, the tactical or the service? Any suggestions?

July 4, 2005, 04:41 PM
To those considering the Subcompact in .40 that have been waiting for more information on it...I say go for it. You will not be disappointed.

As for the XML mini-light, I do not have one, but if the output of the light is 60 lumens or better then you are good to go as using it for a tactical light. I do plan on getting a tac light soon. I will have to look into the XML...I will post what I find here.

July 4, 2005, 04:53 PM
Okay did some quick research on the XML. It has a peak output of 50 lumes. Which puts it in the ball park of between a 3 and 4 "D" cell maglight which I would think would get the job done. My night stand light as it is right now is a 2 D cell maglight.

As for how it stacks up against it's bigger brothers...most tactical lights are between 60 and 120 lumens depending upon run-time. So I would not feel completely inadequate with a 50 or 45 lumen flashlight. It probably will not be blindingly bright in low light conditions (like a dimly lit street), but in a dark house at night, it probably would. However you could use the XML light in conjunction with a handheld tactical light and really throw some light out.

For now my maglight does the trick. Remember in the olden days, a 4 cell maglight was considered just fine. ;)

July 4, 2005, 05:02 PM
Just picked up my xd-40 today & i cant wait to fire it. trigger fells perfect.

Pietro Beretta
July 4, 2005, 08:41 PM
I think im going to pick up one of the XML lights, when I'm able to pick up my gun...

July 4, 2005, 09:50 PM
I have an XML for my P-2000SK. I am pretty impressed. It is a little brighter than my Surefire E-1 executive. It isn't on a par with my M-3, but it is nice to have a gun slightly bigger than the Glock G-27 with an attached light. Chances are I would use it with my Surefire 9z in a work situation.

July 4, 2005, 10:46 PM
After readinng the report, my decisions made. Well the hard part anyway. Now. The 3", 4" or 5"?

TennTucker - If I could have only one, after shooting all three, I would buy the sub compact.

But even after you get the first one, the question is always "which one to buy next" anyway :D .

July 4, 2005, 11:40 PM
Personally, I'm gonna have to buy 2 subcompacts. I'm weird like that. Gotta have 2 of all carry pieces. :D

July 5, 2005, 06:48 AM
I'm weird like that. Gotta have 2 of all carry pieces.

Man that is weird, I thought the rule was three of each! :neener:

July 5, 2005, 04:55 PM
Haaaa......maybe I should reconsider my strategy. :uhoh: :D

July 6, 2005, 11:24 PM
I didn't like the trigger feel after about 100 rounds when I first shot this pistol. It rubbed my finger raw. I took it to the smith and he smoothed out the edges and it seemed to work. Anyone else get this after firing it for a while?


July 7, 2005, 08:51 AM
nope--I think its just you! ;)

July 7, 2005, 12:02 PM
Thanks, scubie02 ... tell that to my trigger finger... :rolleyes: :neener:


July 7, 2005, 10:05 PM
Actually yes, I got a blister after about 200 rounds, however, I could not see any potruding edges, I attibute it to two things,

1.) the springs are still very stiff even in the trigger

2.) I have soft delicate, wussy fingertips.

July 8, 2005, 07:12 PM
I just joined this forum today. I am a Chicago Police officer and i bought a sub-40 last year. I belive i will be retiring 2NOV06 with 29 years and a day on the job. But i bought the XD sub 40 just to carry once i retire. I found the pistol reliable and the perfect defensive pistol.

July 8, 2005, 10:11 PM
I've owned this gun for about 7 months now and I love it. It's affordable, quite accurate and super reliable. Shot about 250 rounds last Saturday (most of them very, very rapid fire) with no hiccups at all. It's easy to field strip and has a nice clean trigger pull. :)

July 8, 2005, 11:00 PM
Welcome aboard guys. I just had a smith polish the plastic trigger safety on my XD today to prevent any further was pretty sharp. I shot about 75 rounds of hollow points today all 180 gr.

Gold Dot 180
Golden Sabre 180
Hydrashock 180
Winchester 180

Currently I have it loaded with Winchester 180 HP however all were reliable.

I will put another 200 rounds through it to see if the trigger will be a further problem in a few weeks, however once the smith hit it today, it was less agravating but since my finger was already sore, it was hard to tell. I was showing it to my brother in law and he didn't care for the edges of the trigger at all, if I cannot get it satisfactory, back to the factory it goes.

As for accuracy, ergonomics, reliability etc, it's my new favorite pistol, even over my much beloved Sigs. After the 15th I will put it through the paces.

Pietro Beretta
July 9, 2005, 01:28 AM
:what: Sharp edges on the trigger safey, :barf:

Dangit I have wussy fingers too :banghead:

Il find out how much of a problem this might be for me, I might have to put a band-aid on my tigger to prevent in in the first place :cuss:

... Il have to see on tuesday at 4:05:32, how much this bugs me....

July 10, 2005, 04:21 PM

I took my XD 40 Sub to a smith who looked it over and confirmed that the plastic trigger safety was indeed very sharp. He polished it out with a dremel which made a good improvement, I took a small pocket knife and gently GENTLY shaved everything that even resembled an edge off of it. This made a BIG improvement.

I will take it to the range next weekend and post a second range report, XD vs. Glock. :D

July 10, 2005, 05:25 PM
Well, I got one as of today. :confused:

I'm 71commander at GB

July 11, 2005, 05:41 PM
Nice gun, TennTucker. I wish I'd gotten the green frame.

July 11, 2005, 05:49 PM
I wanted the green. It's gonna be my SA, 1911 Ultra's evil twin. :evil:

Pietro Beretta
July 11, 2005, 06:25 PM
Green is my favorite, but on a gun its just :barf: (puke) green to me... Ugly

July 11, 2005, 06:39 PM
Green is my favorite, but on a gun its just (puke) green to me... Ugly

I guess i'm lucky that it's mine and not yours. :cuss: Thanks for the useless comment.

I could say Hi-Points are Ugly and cheap, but I won't. :evil:

July 12, 2005, 08:01 AM
Just my 2 cents worth, but I like the green.

But then I like them all! :D

Pietro Beretta
July 13, 2005, 08:17 PM
I could say Hi-Points are Ugly and cheap, but I won't.

I would agree if you said they are ugly and cheap, because they are! I still like it though! For 140 out the door, it makes a great plinking gun.

But I like my new Springfield XD40 Sub-Compact better!

Shoots great, I had my personal best day of shooting yesterday when I finally was able to pick it up.
(Today I didnít do so great, but I had about 4 red-bulls in the morning before going to the range, and my hand was shaking like a mother...)

I did not experience a "sharp" trigger like alduro did with his. Only my thumbs hurt from loading the rounds in the magazine, man those are some tight springs.

I did have 1 failure to feed properly, at about the 80th round, after examining the round it looked as if it got caught up on the feeding ramp or something, their was a good ding on the edge of the bullet. Now I have 200 rounds through it, with 1 failure to feed properly.

July 13, 2005, 08:48 PM
Well I must be truthfull. I checked one out today and just didn't like its looks or way in felt in my hand.Also I can't see how you conceal a block.. The trigger no way. I was comparing to a Springfield milspec 1911A1 compact. Sorry Springer easy to conceal, better trigger. just felt better to me overall. I have told a friend of mine about it, as he sold his Glock and looking for a 40cal replacement.I know he will love it but, its not for this old man.

Pietro Beretta
July 13, 2005, 09:02 PM

August 18, 2008, 11:49 PM
Not to dredge up an old post, but i just got this piece today, and was a little worried that i got the wrong weapon. It felt really nice in my hand, had good weight and the trigger pull felt excellent. I just dodnt know it it was a good gun or not. this is my first gun... ever, and was just not sure. after reading this review, I feel a lot better about my purchase. I just cant wait to go squeeze off a few rounds now.

thanks for a great review.

Oh btw, this is my first post so.. Hello all:D

August 18, 2008, 11:51 PM
One other thing...

What is the best ammo to run through it at the range. something cheap but not too crappy?

August 19, 2008, 12:04 AM
haven't found an XD that didn't mind winchester white box. I also put a lot of CCI Blazer and Blazer Brass through my XDs without a hiccup.

September 16, 2008, 09:27 PM
guess I'm a bit late since this was started in 2005, but I just recently purchased a Springer XD 40 Sub-Compact; I must say that I was pleasantly suprised; the first 2 springer XD's I purchased were less than stellar in their deliver of performance; back in 2005, I bought a NIB Springer XD 40 w/ 4" barrel; after 350 rounds & trying 5 different brands of ammo, I still couldn't get reliable feeding from it; it seemed like every 3rd or 4th round would cause a jam or not fully seat in the chamber; after several trips back to the shop without any satisfaction, I simply sold it at a different shop...just got plain disgusted :fire:

then shortly after the XD 45's arrived, I picked one up but without being able to get a tighter than 5" group at 15 yards with 3 different brands of ammo, I remembered the lack of satisfaction I had with the first one & opted to trade it on a 4" Ruger GP100;

finally after doing some online research, reading reviews, talking to a few people in different shops in a 50 mile radius, I took the dive once again...this time an XD 40 Sub Compact; only had her out once & only @ 150 rounds, but I am impressed; the only malfunction happened during the first magazine when my grip was too high and I inadvertently pushed up the slide stop and locked the gun open after it recoiled & ejected a casing; I fired some Hornady 155gr XTP TAP-FPD; Federal Hydrashok 180gr jhp; Federal American Eagle 165gr fmj; CCI Blazer Brass 180gr fmj; currently I have it loaded with Hornady 155gr XTP CQ TAP with plans to test some Remington UMC 180gr jhp (Wally World value pack) & Hornady 180gr XTP TAP-FPD for reliability, recoil control, and accuracy;

I like it so much that I already picked up an additional 9 round shorty mag & 12 round extended grip mag; I also picked up a Federal Holsterworks nylon universal holster to use in the vehicle; I wasn't aware of Pearce Grip Extensions until reading this thread...might have to look into those also :D

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