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.