A look at the XDs


November 18, 2012, 02:19 PM
Saturday I got to go out and shoot my new Springfield XD-s, and I thought I’d share my impressions, since there is a lot of interest in this gun right now.

Style: The gun overall seems very well made, and in my opinion has some nice styling to it. I prefer it over a Glock, but that is strictly based on everyone’s individual opinion. So, I’ll leave that alone.

Carry Ease: The gun is a little over 6 inches long, a little over 4 in tall, and an inch wide. I ordered a holster from Hidden Hybrid Holsters and am eagerly awaiting its arrival. I suspect that once I start carrying the gun in that get up, the XDs will really shine. As it is, I found that it fits securely into an IWB holster for my Ruger SP-101. Yeah, I know…. That’s weird. It certainly isn’t a perfect fit, but it will do in the mean time. I don’t carry every day because I can’t at work, so I can get buy with this until the new holster shows up. The interesting thing is that even though the holster is not made for this gun at all, the XDs conceals amazingly easy. It disappears under a form fitting shirt for me without a problem.

Now, to be fair, I’m 6’3” tall, and 195 lbs. I have a barrel chest and broad shoulders, so that gives you an idea of my build. There is a lot of negative space on my body in which to conceal a gun of this size. IWB works well for me as a result, but this is part of why I’m looking to make a switch. I need the hybrid holster to keep from having a gun rub on my bones, and I want a thinner gun than I usually carry. I normally carry a Ruger SP-101 and it woks fine, but the width of a small revolver gets annoying when you are a relatively thin person. I considered just getting a different holster for the Ruger (which I did, but for open carry in the woods), but the width of the gun will remain the same. The combo of a thin gun and a hybrid holster should help vastly with comfort. If your dimensions are reallyy different than mine, consider that when thinking about an XDs for carry. Overall though, the gun is very compact, which should help anyone carry it concealed with ease in any appropriate holster.

Why the change: As I said, comfort was a major draw. But, with one in the chamber, the XDs can carry 6 rounds which is one more than I get out of my Ruger, and considering I normally carry 110 gr 38 special +p’s in it, or in my J-frame in summer, I get one more bullet, and more impact energy from the rounds. I have decided to carry Hornady Critical Defense in it when out in town or a city. The light and fast loads should still be doing over 300 ft. lbs. of muzzle energy out of that short 3.3 inch bbl.

So basically, I have more firepower, in a more compact and easily carried gun. Don’t get me wrong though, the Ruger will still be in the regular rotation. If the XDS carries in the pocket as well as the J frame though, the J may go away. Who want’s to wear the same shoes every single day right? No one says you can’t have a couple ccw guns. Let your mood decide what you feel like carrying.

Also, I’ve been looking into pocket sized semis for a long time since they seem like a good idea, but as I stated my physical dimensions, you can imagine about the size of my hands. I have long, bony fingers, so every compact semi I looked at was uncomfortable to grip and dry fire. My trigger finger would be hitting my thumb, and while many people consider this to just be annoying, I consider it a serious problem. If the gun is recoiling from a shot and my trigger finger nail digs into my thumb, it may screw up my next shot just enough to get me killed. I think that is worth paying attention to. The Ruger LC9 is the closest I’ve come in the past, and it just didn’t feel right in my hand. The Solo doesn’t work for me, and while the Walther PPK fits me nicely, I want more juice than a 380 or 32 acp will offer.

When I picked up the XDs and dry fired it, I noted that they made the grip wide enough (from backstrap to trigger that is) that my trigger finger stayed clear of my thumb. At last! A pocket sized semi that was actually made for a larger person!

Shooting impressions: I was really pretty nervous about shooting this gun. I wasn’t worried it would be painful or anything, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to control it or make any follow up shots. Well, I was worrying for no reason.

The recoil in my opinion is no worse than shooting an air weight J frame in 38 special. It actually felt better to me than my J frame. It is a bit jumpy, but it is no where as bad as I thought it would be given that I fed it 80 rounds of 230 gr ball ammo. I thought for sure it was going to beat me up. It didn’t at all. In fact I think it is a really fun gun to shoot. It’s a challenge to master certainly, but no worse than any other gun.

So the target ammo was fine to shoot out of it. So I figured I better test a SD round. I fed it a box of Hornady’s Critical Defense, 185 grainers. It felt about the same as the federal target ammo. It was hotter loaded, and lighter bullets, so the recoil seemed to even it self out with the FMJ’s. All in all, this is a comfortable gun to shoot, and no one needs to worry if they can handle it unless you have a problem with your hands. You just need to practice. All cartridges fed, fired, and ejected perfectly. There were no malfunctions with the first 100 rounds of any kind.

I was able to put 6 rounds into a 2.5 inch group at 10 yards fairly easily. As I sped up my shooting the groups opened up obviously, but it was still plenty good to defend myself with. I was even able to hit a target consistently at 20 yards, so that isn’t too bad. The groups sucked at that distance, but I do not have the time or money to shoot more than I do, so I’m not a great shooter or anything. But at moderate self defense distances, I’m plenty proficient. I can pop off rounds pretty quickly and hit what I’m aiming at, but I have no doubt that some of the shooters on this forum could make this gun do some nice things.

I also found that the red fiber optic front sight helped me fire accurate follow up shots very quickly. It’s a good system. I’ve heard people complain that the checkering is chewing their hands up. Well, like I said, I have bony fingers and I was worried this would be a problem. It wasn’t. It really helped me keep a firm grip on the gun, and well, if you grip the gun tightly, as you are supposed to, the gun shouldn’t really move around in your hand too much. So the bottom line is, grip the gun like you mean it.

I also invested in the extended magazine. With that option, the gun will hold 8 rounds. Extended mag for the woods, short mag for the city to keep concealment high seems like good options to me. So you have essentially turned it into a gun that has the same capabilities and ammo capacity as a 3” barreled 1911. I plan to hike with this gun as well, so I’d rather carry a gun I paid less for, is just as effective, and made of polymer and not sentimental when I’m beating around in the bushes.

Price: Yep, it’s expensive…….. I can’t argue there. Cabella’s had it priced at $669.99, which is absurd. They have an employee discounting offer invitational thing going on this weekend, so I asked about that and they agreed to do that pricing before the event, so that knocked the price down to $602, which is around the price I’m seeing on Gun Broker. In addition, I traded a Bond Arms Derringer towards it that I just didn’t shoot at all (because that gun was painful and uncontrollable for me), so I got mine for $375 OTD.

Overall: All in all, the gun seems well made. The sights work well, but an addition of a laser may be a good idea, as the fiber optics will not help you in the dark. It offers advantages over similar sized revolvers and if you see having a .45 acp to be an advantage, then it offers advantages over similar sized semis too. The gun is perfectly controllable with a firm grip and of course, practice. The extended magazine is a good option to have. If you are a person that carries a spare magazine, it is especially a good idea. The gun is easily concealed, and is a good option for someone looking for a compact and powerful weapon. The price is steep, but for me, is worth it. It has already solved a number of carry problems I had, and I don’t even have the right holster for it yet. All around, I’d highly recommend this gun to someone looking for a concealable carry semiautomatic, if they have a few years shooting experience. This gun may be a bit much to handle for a new shooter. I’ve included a few pictures next to a J frame to give you a size comparison. I hope this totally amateur, and all over the place review, that lacks any chronograph results, bench rest accuracy tests, or even adequate reliability testing is helpful to anyone thinking about picking one of these up!!!! LOL!!! I just thought I’d share.

I have no doubt I left a bunch of stuff out, so feel free to ask.

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November 18, 2012, 06:00 PM
Thanks for the input on the XDS, I have a real intrest in that gun and post like yours helps me decide. Might have to shoot one first, just to be sure it is what I want.

November 18, 2012, 06:39 PM

November 18, 2012, 08:51 PM
Nice review. I bought mine a few months ago and it has been everything I could ask for in a conceal carry gun. I'm 5"8 and 195lbs and the gun melts away under a shirt in a galco iwb Kahr pm9, lc9, nano...etc holster. Accurate as heck and fun for around 75 rds but as you said it's not meant to be a range gun. I found the recoil much more manageable than I first expected. The price you said Cabella's wanted is unbelievable though, man I know Cabella's is usually overpriced as there is one 5 mins from my house but holy cow. Congrats on the xds it's a beautiful little monster of a gun that's for sure.

November 22, 2012, 09:06 AM
I was really set on a Sheild until I shot teh XDs. I like the gun and really liked the accuracy.

November 22, 2012, 09:39 AM

December 18, 2012, 01:03 PM
Hey all, I thought I'd do a quick update. Yesterday I recieved my hybrid holster from Hiden Hybrid Holsters to go with my Springfield XDs. The gun fits great and is very secure. The holster appears to be very sturdily constructed and fit IWB very comfortably. It is adjustable for concealment depth and the cant can be altered by raising one side only. It is very narrow, is comfortable as all get out, and I suspect that I'm going to forget I have it on.

As long as it holds up under regular use, I'd highly recommend this product to anyone looking for an IWB holster. Why did I go with it over other hybrid holsters? Well there seems to be a little less leather on it so it will carry more comfortably for me, and they cut belt loops in it, so it will also double as a belt holster. It is two holsters for the price of one. $65.00 shipped.

Check them out at http://www.hiddenhybridholsters.com/main.sc

Now if my El Paso Saddlery 1911 holster would just show up, I'd be happy. Jeez, it's going on 8 weeks now.

December 18, 2012, 02:47 PM
I too paid more than I would have liked for an XDs a few weeks back. With the pricing and availability drama going on now, I am glad I did. I have put exactly 70 rounds through mine so far (20 Hornady HP and 50 Federal FMJ) with zero shooting malfunctions. To chamber the first round, I have found it is more reliable to lock the slide then hit the slide release with a magazine inserted. Racking with a magazine inserted hasn't always worked. I must admit I did not read the manual as I already own another XD and the mechanics are similar, so perhaps this is addressed. I am happy with the gun, recoil is outstanding for a .45, and it is accurate enough to send tin cans flying at 7 yards. I just received the 7 round magazine yesterday (also glad I bought it). Have not had the chance to shoot it yet, but the ergonomics are good. I currently conceal it with the provided OWB holster and like it. A bit bulky for just a t-shirt, but I can make it work. Overall, a solid gun. XD's are well built and the XDs doesn't disappoint.

December 18, 2012, 03:01 PM
+1 for XDS over the shield. The thing shoots very smooth with little bark compared to the caliber. I get more bark from the G27 than this pistol.

December 29, 2012, 01:00 PM
Howdy all,

Just another quick update. I put another 100 rounds through this little monster yesterday. It performed as expected, with no malfunctions of any kind. I managed to put five shots into a 1.5 inch hole at 7 yards. That gun shoots straight and manages to not beat the hands badly at all.

It seems to like 230 gr. bullets best. 185's don't seem to hit as accurately.

I think we CC people have a winner in this new model. If it fits your hand that is.

December 29, 2012, 03:57 PM
I guess I'm in a league of my own. I do not care for the XD, M or otherwise, due to a unnecessarily high bore axis.

December 30, 2012, 01:25 PM
I actually think this XDs is maybe the perfect CCW gun. Especially for us 45 guys. I will admit to being lazy and carrying my CM9 or jframe nowadays more than my G19 or SP101. This gun might be a nice compromise. I like the lower decibels of the 45 and of course the size.

This gun really seems like the perfect compromise of shootability, sturdiness, size, weight etc to make it a carry gun you can practice with extensively. Looks like a winner for Springfield and us CCWers. It is good to read posts like this. I am saving up right now, but this might be my next gun. Thanks for the review!

December 30, 2012, 03:00 PM
Good review, I bought the Bi tone about 3 weeks ago, much impressed. No failures with several brands of SD ammo even ran a 100 rds of my 200gr lswc without issue. Felt recoil, for me, was a lot less than expected and with the target loads, I would say "mild". Someone who don`t shoot as much as I do, may not have the same opinion. I agree it is a good choice for carry.

December 30, 2012, 03:34 PM
Good report. I'm interested in this pistol for CC and have found one on line for $575 but I'd rather not have a silver slide. Springfield's website shows the slide as being black but every picture I've seen shows the slide to be silver.

I was considering the Shield but I don't want a safety so the Shield's off my list.

December 30, 2012, 03:58 PM
i just picked my XDS up last night went to my range today
shot 150 rds through it didn't skip a beat shoots well
i like this little one

December 30, 2012, 04:01 PM
Silver slide?

December 30, 2012, 04:41 PM
Silver slide?
silver/stainless/shiny --you know

December 30, 2012, 05:11 PM
i got the shiny one too:rolleyes:

December 30, 2012, 11:11 PM
I got the stainless one because I just prefer the look. Nice too when it is a bit hot out and you are sweating. I still keep it nicely oiled though...... of course.

I have seen the all black version. Nice looking gun as well.

December 30, 2012, 11:15 PM
don't forget the 7 round magazine......giving you 7+1 single stack .45ACP in a slim pistol. i am very happy with mine.

Zekest Crowe
December 30, 2012, 11:22 PM
"unnecessarily high bore axis"

Is there a necessary correct bore axis that the Springfield XDs has somehow violated?

December 31, 2012, 12:06 AM
don't forget the 7 round magazine......giving you 7+1 single stack .45ACP in a slim pistol. i am very happy with mine.

Yep, that makes it a good hiking gun for me. Short mag around people where concealment is more important, and longer mag where I'm more concerned about animals. IMO it also makes the XDs a viable home defense option as well, though there are better options.

Throwing in a good hybrid holster, a good pocket holster, and an extended mag or two makes this an "If you are only going to buy one gun to fill both roles......"option that is really worth looking into.

Though, I really don't believe in having one gun to perform very different tasks. Get the correct tool for the job. This is a darn good option though. I see the price being the biggest deterent, and obviously if it just doesn't fit your hand or point naturally for you it wouldn,t be a good choice. Never force a gun to fit you if it doesn't feel right........ certainly try the other back strap option though to make sure.

December 31, 2012, 05:50 AM
"unnecessarily high bore axis"

Is there a necessary correct bore axis that the Springfield XDs has somehow violated?
Yes. The one that is lower than an XD.

December 31, 2012, 10:09 AM
I guess I'm in a league of my own. I do not care for the XD, M or otherwise, due to a unnecessarily high bore axis.

This is taken from another forum:

Here are some bore axis height measurements (in inches):

Sig P226 1.44''
1911 (GI spec) 1.33''
HK P30 1.25''
1911 (beavertail safety) 1.20''
S&W M&P 1.08''
SA XDm 1.05''
Walther PPs 1.00''
Glock 19 0.89''
Steyr M9 0.85''

Double Vision
December 31, 2012, 11:36 AM
I'm about 15 days away from getting mine in black. :)

XD 45acp
December 31, 2012, 01:02 PM
Mine has functioned fantastic !! 230gr FMJ & 230gr Hornady XTP works great.

December 31, 2012, 08:24 PM
This is taken from another forum:

Glocks are lower.
Show me CZ 75.
Show me Walther PPQ.

Also, I'd like a PM of the forum. I think numbers have been fudged. Shooting the XD, with a visually higher bore axis than many pistols, lends belief to me that it is higher than many in general. They're good guns, but for me, there are guns that are easier to keep on target.

December 31, 2012, 09:09 PM
I picked one up a month ago for $499 plus tax. Had to wait 3 weeks for it to come in, but man am I happy with it.
I agree, recoil more pleasant than my G27 when both using SD loads. I've run around 100 rds thru it in 2 trips to the range. I did pick up the 7rd mag, a little long, but easy shooting. Still looking for a nice pancake holster that covers the slide against the body. It will probably replace my LC9 as my CC gun. Need to pick up some 230gr HST +Ps. Right now have 200gr Gold Dot +Ps in there.

January 1, 2013, 01:26 AM
I picked up an all black XDs 2 weeks ago and have yet to hit the range,,,cant wait to try her out! The hard part now is finding FMJ ammo with all the shelves bare. I got the last 100 round box that the Walmart had and ordered a 250 round box from Midway along with all the dies for reloading. Ive got the powder and primers and had been saving any .45 casings I picked up at the range. Grafs has an order for the lead so soon I'll be rolling my own!

January 1, 2013, 01:36 AM
This is taken from another forum:
Location: Croatia

Seems legit

January 1, 2013, 04:58 AM
Location: Croatia

Seems legit

Here's that other forum thread: Low Bore Axis--how important is it? (http://pistol-forum.com/showthread.php?1531-Low-Bore-Axis-how-important-is-it).

January 1, 2013, 06:52 AM
Thanks for the review-good job at it. I've had my XDs for a while now and am really pleased with it as a carry piece. Easy to carry, easier to shoot than I might have expected, 100% reliable, PLENTY accurate and a thumper in .45. What's not to love?

Invisible Swordsman
January 1, 2013, 11:58 AM
I got mine two weeks ago for $499, and got it to the range this past Friday. Put a hundred rounds of ball and about 30 HPs through it. It's still in shakedown, as I had one round in the third magazine (Blazer aluminum) that took 2 strikes to fire, and one Ranger HP hang up on the feed ramp. Those were the only problems encountered. I didn't do a thorough cleaning before shooting.

It's comfortable in the hand and accuracy is very good. Recoil is "stout" for me, but manageable. I will have to reduce the number of round per shooting session, or wear a glove, because the top of the backstrap pushing into the top of the web of my hand left a nice blood blister. Never had that happen before.

I like it, and once the reliability is firmly established, it will be a regular carry weapon.

January 1, 2013, 12:12 PM
I'm going to buy one for CC too ... and this whole bore axis thing is lame. I want a black slide and am waiting on a call back from Springfield.

January 1, 2013, 02:21 PM
I see in OP's post #1, picture #1, the the slide has "USA" stamped on it. Are they made in the USA now?

January 1, 2013, 02:42 PM
Made in croatia is what is on the other side

Russ Jackson
January 4, 2013, 05:56 PM
Here is a good photo comparison between a Detonics Combat Master from the 1980's and an XDs.


January 4, 2013, 06:45 PM
Hey meanmrmustard heres one for you coming soon. http://www.defensereview.com/arsenal-firearms-strike-one-pistol-system-strizh-pistol-striker-fired-polymer-frame-9mm-parabellum9x19mm-nato-combattactical-pistol-with-ultra-low-bore-axis-meet-the-new-21st-century-russian/

Sam Cade
January 4, 2013, 07:26 PM
I got the stainless one because I just prefer the look. Nice too when it is a bit hot out and you are sweating. I still keep it nicely oiled though...... of course.

XDs are melonited these days. It ain't gonna rust.


Sam Cade
January 4, 2013, 07:37 PM
I see in OP's post #1, picture #1, the the slide has "USA" stamped on it. Are they made in the USA now?

What you are seeing is the legally required importers markings. S.A just has it done at the factory.

January 4, 2013, 10:33 PM
Got my black XDs about 3 months ago for $500 out the door. Love it! It shoots softer than my Les Baer. Not as accurate but not much is. Very impressive "small-ish" 45 with great ergonomics, sweet fiber optic, great build quality, nice trigger, and no controls for snagging on your holster/clothes. The Croatians are building some nice guns over there and this one is definitely a keeper!

January 5, 2013, 05:53 AM
Hey meanmrmustard heres one for you coming soon. http://www.defensereview.com/arsenal-firearms-strike-one-pistol-system-strizh-pistol-striker-fired-polymer-frame-9mm-parabellum9x19mm-nato-combattactical-pistol-with-ultra-low-bore-axis-meet-the-new-21st-century-russian/
Thank you.

January 5, 2013, 05:16 PM
XDs are melonited these days. It ain't gonna rust

Cool. I'm still going to oil it though. All metal gets oiled on my guns regardless of blued, melonited, stainless, anodized, aluminum, blessed by Jesus. All metal. Just my way of carring for them.

January 28, 2013, 10:04 AM
I threw another 150 rounds down range and this little gem shot great. Accurate, easy to aquire the target fast, and easy to shoot. That puts me at 350 rounds total, without any problems. I trust my life to it. If you are going to carry an extra mag, do yourself a favor and get the 7 round magazine.

January 29, 2013, 08:47 PM
I just picked one up today. They are hard to find around these parts as they're selling out as soon as they hit the shelf!

I too have been carrying around a SP101 (DAO) and while I find it easy enough to carry concealed, I wanted thinner option. When I saw the XDs was a small .45 ACP package I was sold! I can't wait to get it to the range this week and give it a work out.

By the way, I also noticed that the generic IWB holster I used for my SP101 (which I actually bought for a Bersa .380 years ago and the Ruger fits so well in) also fit my XDs well enough that I can use it for every day carry. I'd really like to pick up one of those holsters you linked.

January 29, 2013, 09:51 PM
Just CCW'ed mine for the first time today and it was SO nice to not notice that I was armed and SO easy to hide.

Got an Ritchie IWB holster that is amazing as its a paddle design that spreads the light weight out so well.

I got the stainless slide so its less a problem in the summer,and I am wearing the 7 round spare mag,with a single mag holder that I also got from Skip.

I will also get another 7 rounder when I can find one,till then the spare 5 rounder is in a pocket.

I am a fan and will shoot Federal Hydra Shock 230 grainers as they feel milder than Federal ball.

January 29, 2013, 10:03 PM
The XDS has been my EDC for about a month now. I've found it's important to test any hollowpoint ammo before assuming it will feed. Other than that, it's a great carry gun. Way more manageable and accurate than I'd figured it would be.

January 30, 2013, 01:09 PM
I'd really like to pick up one of those holsters you linked.

This is my first hybrid holster, and Hidden Hybrid Holsters made me a great product. It is definately worth the money. The XDs vanishes when you use one. Just order one. There are several other good hybrid holster companies out there too.

February 6, 2013, 02:18 PM
I ordered an XD-S (black) today along with four 7-round magazines. I'll probably order a CrossBreed MiniTuck for it too, although that hybrid holster is interesting.

February 6, 2013, 02:32 PM
Yeah, I like 'em too. May have to break down and "pick one up".

February 7, 2013, 09:03 AM
I'm waiting on a crossbreed OWB holster for mine. I've been using the XD supplied holster with no problems.

February 7, 2013, 11:35 AM
Shot the XDs a few times now. Really like the gun. I have bigger hands and having my little finger hanging out there was a little unsettling. With the extension magazine, it really feels good in the hand. Love the single stack in that the gun is slim and conceals well.

February 7, 2013, 03:56 PM
having my little finger hanging out there was a little unsettling

That threw me off too and I almost didn't buy the gun as a result. I decided to give it a try, and I was pleasantly surprised.

April 22, 2013, 10:49 AM
Quick note, I have stopped carrying Hornady CD in this gun. Mine seems to prefer 230 grain ammo (accuracy wise), so I now use TAP 230, gr. +P's....... very accurate in my XDs.

April 22, 2013, 11:10 AM
I haven't come across a load mine doesn't prefer. Very happy with it's ability to digest everything I've thrown at it so far. Heck of a fun gun to shoot. :cool:

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