New XD-40: Pictures and Review from a newbie's perspective


October 30, 2007, 11:41 PM
As with anything, obviously this is a biased review and from a newbie's perspective to boot. No new information here, but rather just a recap from my experience so far. Hope you enjoy.

The XD line of firearms is Springfield's answer to the popular Austrian made Glock. XD, representing extreme duty, was designed for just that very purpose - extreme duty. In fact, it's been cycled through extreme conditions - dirt, snow, rain, etc., in a comprehensive torture test (, and performed flawlessly regardless of misuse/abuse. Accolades include American Rifleman's handgun of the year award for 2006, and many happy owners who have traded in or sold their Glocks for XDs. Both guns are polymer, but the similarities end there. The magazine release is reminiscent of a Sig Sauer, and safety features reminiscent of a classic 1911 design. It's by no means a beautiful gun, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I personally appreciate the straight forward design, which is admittedly similar to the Glock. In my opinion though, the shape and curves of the gun are more appealing. Ergonomics wise, it kills the Glock - no annoying finger grooves, and it simply just feels like a more substantial weapon in my hands. The Croatian made handgun also incorporates a few unique features of its own, making the XD my favorite polymer pistol.... and hence, the purchase.

The XD is available in a variety of calibers. XD-9 (9mm), XD-40 (.40), XD-45 (.45), etc. Caliber wise, I already own a 9mm in the CZ-75 (it was my first gun... remember just a month ago? hehe). For the .45, I plan to save up and buy a nice 1911, but that'll set me back at least $1500.00, so I'm saving that expense for the future. That leaves us with the versatile but often dreaded .40 caliber option. Seen by some as the perfect compromise in terms of stopping power and control, many argue that the .40 caliber is actually the most difficult to shoot out of the three and tends to be very snappy. My goal as a hobbyist is to be competent in all three calibers in a semi-automatic pistol. Therefore, I went for the XD-40.

Ok, onto the images.

Aside from calibers, the XD is available in a number of form factors. Sub-compact (3" barrel), service model (4" barrel), tactical model (5" barrel), and a compact (4" barrel with shorter grip). I went with the service model as seen above.

I was never a big fan of polymer guns, as polymer = plastic. When you've got a polyer frame and a matching black slide, the whole pistol just ends up looking like a big piece of dark tupperware to me. I personally like the bi-tone, as it defines the curves of the gun and shows a little more character with the contrasting stainless steel.

There are a number of unique features with the XD, but here's one of my favorites. Say it's dark as night can be and you're in an adverse situation. You pull your pistol out of the holster, but forget whether or not a bullet was loaded in the chamber. If the gun is already loaded, pulling the slide back again would eject and waste a bullet. With the XD, there is a chamber indicator. Once loaded, take a look at the picture above. Notice there is a little piece of metal that sticks up? In the dark, you can feel for that indicator then determine whether or not a bullet is in the chamber. If there isn't a bullet loaded, the indicator lies flat and nothing would protrude.

After-market XS Big Dot Tritium night sights have been installed on the gun I bought. I'm limited to 5 pictures, so couldn't post it here.

Being the eager beaver I am, I picked up and took the gun for a test run immediately. Above I fired 20 rounds thorugh the target. A few apparent fliers as you can see, but considering it was my first outting with a new caliber and new pistol, I'm happy with the results. Once I got the feel down, I was able to fire pretty decent groupings.

Overall, I'm very happy with the XD-40. I've just got to get used to the snappy behavior of the .40 caliber, and I think I'll be liking this new puppy even more in due time.

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October 31, 2007, 10:25 AM
congrats and thanks, i have 2 xd .40's and i love em, the snap isn't that bad with the xd's in .40 like it is in some makers guns. they do a good job with the .40 in the xd line up. btw the gun looks great, and i also had a set of xs 24/7 ns put on my xd sc that is and they are truely awesome, just when i thought the xdsc couldn't get any better.....

Shooters Plus
October 31, 2007, 10:30 AM
Nice review and pics.
Thanks :)

Shooters Plus (

October 31, 2007, 11:04 AM
i loved my xd service in .40sw. best handgun i've owned IMO. like already mentioned, the XD manages the .40sw beautifully.

October 31, 2007, 09:49 PM
I have the Tactical in 40 and am really pleased with it. GOOD LUCK WITH IT

October 31, 2007, 10:04 PM
Very nice shooting... and I dont mean just the targets.

What kind of camera are you using?

October 31, 2007, 10:33 PM
thanks tecumseh - I shot those above with a Nikon D50 coupled w/ a SB-600 external flash unit.

October 31, 2007, 11:50 PM

How do you like the XS sights? I heard Tom Gresham (Guntalk) do a review of them on his show and he seemed to be pleased with them, but I would like some real-world experiences as well.



November 1, 2007, 12:06 AM
i have the xd40sc and i love it

nice write up

November 1, 2007, 06:06 AM
Had an XD40 4" service and truly enjoyed the gun but wanted something a touch smaller so a couple years ago I went to the XD40 sc. It seems to have become my all-around pistol. I carry it concealed on me, in a bag on my bike or in my truck console. Mine is two tone OD green and black and yes it looks like a polymer pistol. Not worried about scratching up up, as you say it ain't pretty but I'm also not worried about it not working when I need it too. There is a bit of "40 flip" to deal with but I found that for me Pearce grip extensions negated that. I recenty got a 9mm conversion barrel for it just to shoot something a little cheaper once in a while and I was hoping to get my wife more interested in shooting it. Drop in the 9mm barrel and it still shoots tight groups.
It is what it is, simple, dependable, affordable and tough as nails.

Beautiful to me

November 1, 2007, 06:22 AM
crew590, I'm more accustomed to standard 3 dot sights (2 in the back, 1 in the front), so it took a little bit of adjusting. I like the sights quite a bit, very visible and easy to aim.

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