Yes, it’s big and boxy compared to other concealed carry handguns but it has excellent accuracy. I know the concealed carry handgun market is saturated with a ton of options but I think it is worth your time to consider this compact 9x19mm (or .45 ACP), plastic, Croatian-made pistol.
As with the other concealed carry pistol reviews, I shall start by talking about the concealability of this thing. Its important to keep in mind that I only used one holster when carrying this gun. That holster was from eBay and I’ll write about it later. Due to the size of the Springfield XD-S, it is hard not to “print” if you are only wearing a single shirt to cover up the gun. With the help of a jacket or second layer of clothing, it gets covered well-enough that most “uninitiated” people, in nearly any situation, wouldn’t notice that you are carrying a firearm. Now, let me give you some specs about this gun’s size. The XD-S weighs 22.5oz/1lbs 6.5oz when it is unloaded and paired with 7-round magazine. If you load the mag and gun up with 7+1, it will weigh 26.3oz/1lbs 10.3oz. If you go with the 8-round magazine, which gives you a full grip, and you load it up with 8+1, it will weigh a total of 27.4oz/1lbs 11.4oz. Springfield does offer a 9 round magazine but I never bought one since I was only looking to conceal carry the XD-S and that mag would be a little on the large side.
Still talking about size, here. With a 7-round magazine, this gun has a height of 4.4″. With an 8-round mag, its height is about 4.9″. It’s overall length from the muzzle to the end of the “beaver tail” is 6.3″. At the thickest part of the pistol, which would be at the takedown lever, it measures 1.07″. However, most of the gun is only 0.91″ wide. One factor about this gun that hurts its concealability is the fact that it has boxy geometry. Hard edges are more difficult to conceal with draped clothing than rounded edges.
Next stop; the ergonomics department. This may surprise some but the XD-S has good ergonomics. The grip angle is standard for most polymer-framed 9mm’s. I’d say it points naturally. When I have this gun loaded with the shorter 7 round magazine, I can still keep my pinky on the gun despite having large hands. With the 8-round mag, I feel right at home. The texturing on the grip is helpful but it isn’t amazingly grippy. The serrations on the slide are very effective, which I really appreciate. The gun has a removable back straps and it comes in two sizes. I kept the fatter one in since it is more hand-filling than the smaller one, obviously. The grip safety on the XD-S is no impediment to me. I think it is a neat safety mechanism and I don’t know why people complain about it. When I holster the gun, I keep my hand off of the grip safety so that the chance of a negligent discharge is cut down to nothing. The XD-S also has a trigger safety, like a Glock. The ambidextrous magazine release is sized right and it gives up the mag without too much trouble. The slide stop (the small lever on the left side off the gun, right below the slide serrations) also serves as a slide release. Not all guns have a slide stop with this functionality. Some slide stops fight like hell when you try dropping the slide with them. One more point on the slide stop. With my “thumbs-forward” shooting grip, I tend to inadvertently hold down the slide stop. This keeps the gun from locking back on the last round. But, with this gun I’m less prone to doing that since it has some fencing beneath it.
I stated that this gun is accurate and I mean that. I just wish I recorded more of the groups that I shot. But, I’ll have you know that Nutnfancy and hickok45 agree with the sentiment of the XD-S being accurate. With this 3.3″ barreled-pistol and standard FMJ 9mm, I can regularly put a mag’s worth of ammo into the head area of a standard IPSC target, at 15 yards. Keep in mind, I am not even a great pistol shooter. I am pretty much average when it comes to accuracy. I think one factor that contributes to the accuracy, is the fact that the barrel is relatively thick. If I am not mistaken, the pistol was first designed for the .45 ACP cartridge. That is why it is larger when compared to other subcompact 9mm pistols. A few other points on accuracy. The factory sights are nice. They are big and square and the front sight has a red fiber optic filament in it that can be switched to a green fiber optic filament since the pistol comes with extra red and green filaments. Cool, huh? The rear sight has two white painted dots that make the sights more noticeable. The trigger on the XD-S is okay. The travel is short after you make it past the slop/deadzone and the reset is just as short. The pull weight is perfectly manageable but I don’t have a trigger pull scale to give you the exact weight.
Now, we are at reliability, which is extremely important. This gun has logged a good track record. I ran 890 rounds, without cleaning, through this gun and of those 890 rounds, there were 3 malfunctions. That means it functioned correctly 99.662% of the time, for me. One malfunctions was from MAXXTech. By the way, that is terrible ammo. I only fired 25 rounds of that stuff. The other malfunctions came from HSM Reloaded 115gr plated round nose. I fired 252 rounds of that stuff. Nearly all of what I fired is 115gr FMJ round nose ammo but I did run other ammo types through this gun like 147gr TMJ from Ammo Inc. and 124gr Freedom Munitions X-DEF hollow points. I fired a even mix of brass and steel cased ammo and the gun ate it all up.
In the end, the Springfield XD-S makes for an okay concealed carry handgun when you just look at the factor of concealability. When you look at all its other attributes like its good accuracy, reliability, overall quality, and its extra features, you will probably be a little impressed by it. If you pick one up and run some rounds through it, you will come to find that it means business.
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