I was an XD-S owner for a couple of years with the original model. As I’ve detailed before, I was a big fan of the XD-S 9mm and trained with it regularly, ultimately putting thousands of rounds through it. As they’ve done with other XD models, Springfield Armory has now released an updated version of the XD-S, called the Mod.2. They first released the XD-S Mod.2 in .45 ACP and now have made the 9mm model available.
The Springfield XD-S has been a popular model since its arrival. It lives in an increasingly crowded class of EDC pistols, but the XD-S has generally been at or near the front of that class. I recently spent a few days shooting and getting to know the updated Mod.2 9mm version and present my thoughts from that experience here. Hope you enjoy.
Why Consider the Springfield XD-S Mod.2 9mm?
The XD-S platform has a specific purpose: concealed carry. This is a single-stack, subcompact, striker-fired pistol that is both relatively thin and relatively light. It is made for easy concealment with everyday clothes and even with light clothing or formal wear. Like others in its class, the XD-S pistol is a carry gun for when you can’t carry a larger double-stack pistol, or maybe you just want to be less encumbered.
The XD-S model has a very good track record of reliability (except for the early recall issue in 2013 that Springfield handled quite well) and it has no major design flaws or troublesome design issues. Overall, it’s a solid platform. The Mod.2 update is mostly an exterior and aesthetic update, so it should only bring benefits. Time will tell. Here are the specs:
Springfield Armory XD-S Mod.2 3.3″ 9mm Specs:
- Caliber: 9x19mm
- Length: 6.3”
- Height: 4.3”
- Width: .975”
- Barrel: 3.3” hammer-forged, Melonite finish
- Weight: 21oz. (w/empty magazine)
- Slide Finish: Black (Melonite)
- Magazines: One 7-rd mag w/pinky extension and one 9-rd extended magazine, plus one flush base plate
- MSRP: $524 (fiber optic sight), $586 (Tritium sight), $555 (w/Fiber + Viridian laser)
Shooting the XD-S Mod.2
Before pulling the trigger, I noticed that the Mod.2’s redesigned frame offers a grip that is much more comfortable and natural feeling than the original model. I’ll talk about specifics in a moment, but suffice it to say that I immediately liked the redesigned grip. But as you can see from the specs above and the photos here, there is very little basic design difference from the original model here.
My first shots were not as accurate as I’d have hoped. I spent some time getting the hang of shooting this little pistol, and eventually I did, but it was a bit hard for me to stay consistent, I found. It’s a subcompact pistol so it’s going to be a bit snappier than a compact or full-size model, but it seemed a bit more violent than I remember the XD-S being. I chalk this up to the relatively high bore axis as compared to the Glock 43, which is the only subcompact that I shoot these days. By comparison, the G43 is a softer-shooting gun. Anyway, after 20 or so rounds I had it figured out, but my trouble was mostly from one feature: the trigger.
The trigger of the old XD-S was always a bit mushy and the new XD-S Mod.2 has that same mushy trigger. It’s true; this update was a cosmetic update. I confess that my trigger trouble stems mostly from the fact that I shoot so much with one specific trigger (on my carry G19) that different press characteristics throw me off a bit. No biggie, but it’s worth mentioning that the notorious trigger of the XD-S remains. I don’t like it, but others may. After all, the XD-S is a very popular pistol. When I concentrated it was easy to be accurate out to 10 yards on 2” circles so I expect it’d be no problem at 15 or 20 yards to get consequential, incapacitating hits. I shot the pistol using both the pinky-extension magazine and the extended magazine. Both were just fine and I was able to get my whole hand on the grip with the pinky extension.
I enjoyed the bright yellow (Tritium loaded) front sight against the blacked-out rear and found it easy to get a good sight picture every time. The new XD-S Mod.2 9mm is available in three different sight configurations: yellow w/Tritium front sight, red fiber-optic front sight, or a fiber optic front sight with a Viridian red laser mounted to the front of the trigger guard.
Over a couple of days I shot a couple hundred rounds of Fiocchi 115gr ball ammo and a bit of Federal Premium 124gr HST and it all ran just fine. Springfield has already done an extensive 25,000-rd torture test without a failure (they say) and I have no reason to doubt its reliability (except that the old model did not run Hornady 135gr Critical Duty rounds – I didn’t check this time).
Overall, the gun ran fine and was easy to manipulate, load, eject the empty magazine, reload, and lock open. The controls seem well placed. No problems here.
Comfort & Controllability
As I mentioned, I found the grip to be very comfortable. I like what they’ve done with the contours and the change in textures. The original texture wasn’t grippy at all and the big, chunky “texture” was just knobby. This one, while not really grippy either, is at least comfortable. The comfort remains while shooting the gun, too. Good job.
The pistol’s snappiness is to be expected, but I didn’t have trouble controlling it or getting my sights back on target. I was able to easily shoot faster than 1 shot per second without sacrificing any accuracy. There’s really nothing up front on the frame on which to rest your support-hand thumb to help mitigate muzzle flip, but that’s not a grave error for a subcompact. I tried using the takedown lever as a thumb rest, but the recoil made the lever abrade my thumb more than I’d like. Again, no biggie, but that high bore axis has muzzle-flip consequences.
Concealability + Capacity
The XD-S Mod.2 9mm conceals very easily; it is purpose made to be easily concealable. Even the pinky extension on the 7-round magazine wouldn’t cause much of a concealability issue. But there’s also the flat base plate if you’d like to go that way.
At 7 rounds for the flush/pinky mag, the XD-S Mod-2 is pretty competitive for a single stack. The Glock 43 has only a 6-round capacity with the stock magazine and while the G43 is slightly shorter, the XD-S Mod.2 is not a big gun for the extra round. Good stuff. I must say that the inclusion of a 9-round extended magazine is pure idiocy. This is a concealed carry gun purposely made for deeper concealment. An extended magazine serves no logical purpose in that role and Springfield Armory needs to fire someone for that silly move. Subcompact pistols should NEVER have an extended magazine. A 1-round extension (like Taran Tactical makes) is often useful, but a 3-round (or more) extension for a subcompact is just stupid. Ahem.
Components and Materials
The slide and the barrel are Melonite treated/coated, and that’s good. The sights for the Mod.2 are good to come in different configurations; all with the blacked-out and textured rear sight. The grip texture is far better than the old model, but this is still a grip that you’ll want to stipple if you’re going to carry this gun. The GRIP ZONE texture looks and feels nice, but it is inconsequential for actual grip. It’s nice, though, that this XD-S does not have “GRIP ZONE” emblazoned on the grip for this model like they do on others in the line. :)
Changes for the Mod.2 include the profile of the rear sight, a slightly extended beavertail configuration, and an extension designed into the grip safety. All of these are positive changes and all of them are mere slight improvements. That’s not a dig, just a fact. It’s all good stuff.
The redesigned frame and grip are much more comfortable than the old model. It’s great that the XD-S Mod.2 9mm comes in three different sight/laser configurations. Some folks will like that the rear sight is A) blacked out, and B) has a bit of a flat ledge on the front for easier 1-handed racking of the slide. This pistol conceals easily and has decent capacity. It’s a small thing, but the pinky-extension mag plate is a nice and useful touch.
The trigger is not very nice and the relatively high bore axis gives this pistol a bit more muzzle flip than some subcompacts will have. The grip texture looks nice, but is not very grippy. But that’s just about all I can find wrong with this little gun.
So for rating the XD-S Mod.2…
This is a comfortable pistol to hold and to shoot. The update made good progress on this score.
The XD-S Mod.2 9mm is plenty shootable and easy to get back on target, but I took one star away for the mildly excessive muzzle flip. The variations in sight configurations can allow you to get the setup that works best for you; another plus.
For a shorty subcompact, it’s plenty accurate and the XD-S platform has long been recognized for being accurate. Any misses I made were entirely my fault.
There’s precious little available for aftermarket customization, save for a trigger kit (which is really not so good). The sight-config variations are a nice touch, but there’s really nothing that one needs to do to this gun.
The Springfield Armory XD-S Mod.2 is arguably one of the best single-stack subcompact pistols on the market. There are some very nice updates in the Mod.2 and I can easily recommend this pistol to you, provided you shoot it first and learn if it fits your hand, your style, and your needs. Rent it and find out.
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