Springfield Armory XD45, .45 ACP Auto Pistol


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

April 19, 2006



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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 this pistol.

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.

Jeff Quinn


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Click pictures for a larger version.


Springfield Armory XD45, .45 ACP Auto Pistol.



Magazine release is ambidextrous.





Full-length steel guide rod is designed with dual springs.



Take-down latch makes the XD45 quick and easy to field strip.



The XD45 features visual / tactile cocking indicator (top) and loaded chamber indicator (bottom).



Front of the frame features an integral accessory rail.



Trigger design incorporates an articulated safety lever.



Sights are of the familiar "three-dot" type.





The XD45 comes with stainless magazine, magazine loader, right-handed holster, double magazine pouch, plastic case and cable lock.



XD holster and mag pouch feature accessory rails.



Magazine pouch tension screw.



Magazine loader attaches to rails on either holster or magazine pouch.



Jeff tested the XD45 with a variety of ammo, including (top-bottom): military-surplus ball, Cor-Bon +P 165-grain JHP, Cor-Bon +P 230-grain JHP, PowRBall +P 165-grain, and Cor-Bon +P 200-grain JHP, as well as 200-grain LSWC handloads.



The XD45 proved to be accurate firing all loads tested, with the author's favorite 200-grain LSWC match load turning in the best groups.