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A look at the XDs

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by 460Shooter, Nov 18, 2012.

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  1. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    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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    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  2. J2FLAN

    J2FLAN Member

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    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.
     
  3. snakeman

    snakeman Member

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    bravo!
     
  4. ryno31

    ryno31 Member

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    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.
     
  5. vmthtr

    vmthtr Member

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    I was really set on a Sheild until I shot teh XDs. I like the gun and really liked the accuracy.
     
  6. vmthtr

    vmthtr Member

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    ...
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  7. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    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.
     

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  8. herkyguy

    herkyguy Member

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    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.
     
  9. Dreamliner787

    Dreamliner787 Member

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    +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.
     
  10. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    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.
     
  11. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

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    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.
     
  12. engineer88

    engineer88 Member

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    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!
     
  13. J2FLAN

    J2FLAN Member

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    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.
     
  14. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    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.
     
  15. LUCKYDAWG13

    LUCKYDAWG13 Member

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    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
     
  16. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    Silver slide?
     
  17. J2FLAN

    J2FLAN Member

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    silver/stainless/shiny --you know
     
  18. LUCKYDAWG13

    LUCKYDAWG13 Member

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    i got the shiny one too:rolleyes:
     
  19. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    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.
     
  20. herkyguy

    herkyguy Member

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    don't forget the 7 round magazine......giving you 7+1 single stack .45ACP in a slim pistol. i am very happy with mine.
     
  21. Zekest Crowe

    Zekest Crowe Member

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    "unnecessarily high bore axis"

    Is there a necessary correct bore axis that the Springfield XDs has somehow violated?
     
  22. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    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.
     
  23. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

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    Yes. The one that is lower than an XD.
     
  24. schmidtundveßon

    schmidtundveßon Member

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    This is taken from another forum:

     
  25. Double Vision

    Double Vision Member

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    I'm about 15 days away from getting mine in black. :)
     
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