Springfield Armory makes XD pistols in every popular centerfire caliber, but I have a hunch that the big .45 ACP is their favorite. It’s relatively easy to make a single platform in 9 mm, .357 Sig, and .40S&W, because all three calibers can share a single frame. Tooling up for that one frame design gives the customers three calibers to choose from and saves the gun maker money. Designing a frame for .45 ACP is a whole separate ordeal and doesn’t translate over to any other calibers. You can’t stuff 10mm into a .45 frame or anything like that, so if you want to build a .45 you have to design the gun around that cartridge only. But Springfield not only builds dedicated .45s for every type of pistol they make, they are going a step beyond. First, Springfield released an XD(M) “Compact” in .45 ACP with a 3.8-inch long barrel and capacity of nine rounds in the magazine plus one in the chamber. It has all the features and looks of the other XD(M) pistols, like the short trigger pull, steel 3-dot sights, and stainless steel slide and barrel coated with Melonite for corrosion resistance. You can put a 13-round mag in the little XD(M) 3.8, which sticks out the bottom of the mag well quite a bit of course. An “X-Tension” attachment that slips over the full capacity magazine creates a longer grip for the gun, but I’ve found it can pinch the palm of your primary hand during quick magazine changes if you aren’t careful. This XD(M) variant will compare well to the Glock 30, a similarly sized pistol holding 10+1 rounds of .45 ACP, if Springfield sells it at a comparable price point.
If the XD(M) compares to the Glock 30, then the brand new XDS .45 must be compared to the Glock 36. The micro-sized XDS was so secret that nobody but Springfield knew it existed until Media Range Day at the SHOT Show a couple of weeks ago. Media members showed up and Springfield asked them politely if they’d like to shoot a four-inch tall .45 with a slide less than an inch wide. Most media types winced at the idea of shooting a five-round mag through this 29-ounce gun. That’s why Springfield had world-class shooter Rob Leatham out there showing everyone how easy it was to shoot this tiny gun with control and accuracy. With cameras rolling and smart phones held high, Leatham and a long line of SHOT attendees knocked down steel plates around all day with the tiny XDS. With a barrel length of just 3.3 inches, half an inch shorter than the Glock 36, the XDS showed very good accuracy. Media members have universally reported that the gun is very smooth shooting and controllable, which is downright shocking when you consider that it is .75 inches shorter than the Glock 36.
The XDS is so new that the Springfield representatives at SHOT Show didn’t even know the price range yet. They did say that 9 mm and .40 S&W variants are in the works. Isn’t it just too cool that they showed us the .45 ACP version first? It’s the smallest polymer framed .45 ACP automatic I can think of. Quite possibly, the XDS is the first .45 truly suitable for carry in a pocket holster, where my .380 is right now. Now that’s something to think about pretty seriously, isn’t it?
Springfield XD(M) .45 Compact Specifications
- Stainless Steel Magazines: capacity 9 and 13 rounds
- Barrel: 3.8 inches, Melonite™ coated, fully ramped
- Trigger: 5.5 to 7.7 pounds
- Weight: 27 ounces with empty 9-round magazine
- Overall length: 7 inches
- Height: 4.55 inches with flush magazine
Springfield XDS .45 Specifications
- Stainless Steel Magazines: capacity 5 rounds
- Barrel: 3.3 inches, Melonite™ coated, fully ramped
- Trigger: 5.5 to 7.7 pounds
- Weight: 29 ounces. Perhaps this is a loaded weight, since its 2 ounces more than the XD(M) but the XDS is smaller.
- Overall length: 6.3 inches
- Height: 4.4 inches