Springfield Armory's XD has been on the
U.S. market under their name for quite a while now, and has
proven to be a popular, modern, and reliable auto pistol. The
9mm, .357 SIG, and .40 S&W versions of the XD have been
around for awhile, along with the .45GAP, but shooters have been
hollering loudly for a .45 ACP version, and it is now in full
production. I was first able to handle and fire one the day
before the 2006 SHOT Show
in Las Vegas back in February, and have been anxiously awaiting
the arrival of a production sample ever since. It has arrived,
and I have been shooting it quite a bit.
The XD is a polymer framed pistol that feeds
from a double stack magazine that in the case of the .45 ACP
chambered weapon, holds thirteen cartridges, giving a total
loaded capacity of fourteen rounds. That is almost twice the
capacity of most .45 ACP pistols. There are of course other
polymer framed .45 pistols on the market, with the XD’s
leading competitor at this time being the Glock Model 21.
Both the Glock and the XD are striker-fired pistols with a
smooth, short double-action type trigger feel, but the XD has a
few other features that are lacking in the Glock.
The most obvious difference between the Glock
and the XD is that the latter has a grip safety that will not
allow the weapon to fire unless the safety is depressed, which
happens naturally when the pistol is held properly, but
automatically goes "on safe" when the grip is
released, such as if the weapon is dropped or re-holstered.
The XD has an articulated safety lever built into the trigger
blade that is similar to the Glock. The XD has a tactile and
visible loaded-chamber indicator atop the slide, which makes it
easy to ascertain whether or not the chamber is loaded without
retracting the slide. Nice touch. Also on the XD, the rear of
the striker protrudes from the back of the slide slightly when
the pistol is cocked and ready to fire, again allowing the
shooter to determine the ready condition of the weapon, even in
total darkness. Another good feature of the XD is the
ambidextrous magazine release. It is not reversible as on some
guns, but it is already in place to work equally well from
either side. I also really like the take-down latch on the XD.
It is aligned perfectly when the slide is locked to the rear.
One does not have to try to manipulate the latch while holding
the slide back against spring pressure. Field stripping
the XD for cleaning is quick and easy, and re-assembly is just
as easy. The slide release is positioned perfectly for a
right-handed shooter’s thumb, and is also accessible with a
left-hander’s trigger finger. The recoil spring and guide rod
assembly on the XD consists of two separate springs, and the
springs are captive upon the rod. The magazines are built
primarily of stainless steel, and drop free of the weapon when
released. The sights on the sample gun are of the
three-dot pattern, and are constructed of steel. They are
dovetailed into the slide. The test gun weighed in at 26.2
ounces, unloaded without a magazine. An empty magazine weighs
3.5 ounces. The test gun has a barrel length of just
slightly over four inches. The trigger pull released at an
average of six pounds and eleven ounces, and was smooth
throughout its travel. The frame in front of the trigger guard
has a molded-in accessory rail to accommodate a light or laser
sight, if the shooter so desires such a device.
Another feature of the XD is the welcome
inclusion of a holster, magazine loading tool, and a double
magazine pouch with each pistol, along with an extra magazine,
cable lock, hard case, and a cleaning brush. The holster
included is right-handed, and no left-handed version is
available at this time, but for ninety percent of the world’s
shooters, the holster inclusion is a nice feature. The holster
and magazine pouch also have accessory rails on them to carry
either the magazine loading tool, or other accessory that will
fit a standard Picatinny rail. The barrel to slide fit is very
tight on the test gun, with precise lockup. The slide to frame
fit is also very good.
I had fired the XD45 briefly just before the
SHOT Show, and was anxious to see how well the pistol would
perform with a variety of ammunition. I tested the XD with
factory hollowpoint high performance ammo from Cor-Bon
and Buffalo Bore, and also with some military surplus
thirty year old ball ammo, and some handloads using a 200 grain
semi-wadcutter lead bullet. The XD fed, fired, and ejected every
round perfectly. There were no failures of any kind.
Accuracy with the combat ammo was pretty good, grouping between
two and three inches at twenty-five yards. Accuracy with
the target handloads was fantastic. I was quite surprised when
the XD started placing the bullets into tiny little
clusters. I believe that if I could hold it better, they would
go into the same hole! Three-quarter inch groups at 25 yards was
easy with the XD45. I was very impressed with the accuracy of
One of the best features of the XD45, and one
that places the gun ahead of its competition, is the ergonomics
of its grip. This gun feels more like a 9mm than a .45. The grip
feel is noticeably smaller and more comfortable to hold than the
Glock Model 21, at least for my hand, and I wear a large glove.
Each measurable dimension is a bit smaller, and the result makes
a big difference. The XD just plain feels better. Also, perhaps
due in part to the recoil spring system, the recoil feels very
soft with the XD45. As can be seen in the video, the
weapon is very controllable in rapid fire.
Overall, I really like the XD45. I would like to
see tritium night sights offered as an option, but other than
that, I can’t think of a thing that I would change. It
comes from the factory with the accessories that most shooters
end up purchasing separately, all at no extra charge, and it is
priced competitively. The XD45 is a lot of gun for the money,
and I recommend it.
Check out the XD45 and other Springfield Armory
products online at: www.springfield-armory.com.
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