A guest post written by Annette Doerr.
I’ve had my Springfield XD-9 for about 3 years now. I’m a huge fan of the 9mm platform, so when it was time to buy a new pistol I narrowed my choices between three excellent firearms: Glock 19, Smith & Wesson M&P and the Springfield Armory XD-9. All fine choices, but in the end I purchased the Springfield Armory XD-9. Having done a ton of internet research on all three of my contenders, I kept going back to the built-in safety features of the Springfield. Once I was able to hold all three, and compare them side-by-side, my choice became clear.
The Springfield felt comfortable in my hand. I liked that unlike the 4th generation Glocks there are no finger grooves. Being a woman, my hands are smaller than a man’s; I prefer shooting a firearm that doesn’t have forced finger grooves. The stippling on the grip provides a secure feeling, even when shooting with wet or sweaty hands. It also keeps the firearm secure in the hand, helping to manage the recoil. Sure, it’s a polymer gun, but it feels solid and well balanced in the hand.
I’ll be honest; I had a little trouble racking the slide when it was new. My husband had no issue; I blame girly hands. My salesman suggested I get some grip tape and apply it to the slide to improve my ability to grip the slide to rack it. I never did apply grip tape; once the pistol broke in, and my hands got stronger, racking the slide was no longer an issue.
As this purchase would be my first 9mm, and my first “big-girl gun” as a step up from my Browning Buck Mark .22 LR, my choice ultimately came down to safety. The Springfield offers a backstrap grip safety, similar to a 1911. The firearm will not fire unless you have a purposeful and secure grip. It also offers an ambidextrous magazine release, which works well for me because I can use my thumb or index finger to drop the magazine. I’m right-handed, but southpaws will find the ambidextrous magazine release convenient as well.
The XD-9 offers several safety features that differentiate it from the other firearms in its class:
- Loaded Chamber Indicator – At a glance, you are able to tell whether the firearm has one in the chamber.
- Grip Safety – This was a major selling point for me. Similar to a grip safety on a 1911, you must have a good, secure grip on the frame of the firearm for it to function. This greatly reduces the chance of an accidental discharge.
- Ultra Safety Assurance (USA) Action Trigger System – Similar to the Glock trigger, the USA trigger on the XD has a lever that looks like a small trigger within the actual trigger. This lever must be fully depressed into the actual trigger for the firearm to discharge.
- Firing Pin Block Safety – This prevents the firing pin from moving forward unless the trigger is pulled.
Pros and cons of the Springfield Armory 9mm
- It feels good in my hand.
- Ambidextrous magazine release. I like that I can drop the magazine with either my thumb or my index finger without changing much on my grip.
- At 28 ounces unloaded, it’s not too heavy, yet not too light. Adding ammunition gives it a solid, balanced feel.
- Advanced safety features such as a grip safety and USA trigger.
- The sights seem to be combat sights. The gun is dead-on at the 7-yard line. The farther back I shoot, the more adjustment I need to make. Putting a laser in the chamber shows this:
- The grip itself, while comfortable, is a little thick for my hands. It doesn’t affect my shooting and I doubt you’ll get complaints on this from a man.
- The stippling on the grip can irritate my hands a bit after long shooting sessions (again, I blame girly hands).
|Springfield Armory XD-9|
|Barrel Length||4 inches, fully supported ramp|
|Overall Height||5.5 inches|
|Overall Length||7.3 inches|
|Overall Width||1.2 inches|
|Weight Unloaded||28 ounces|
|Sights||Dovetail front and rear, 3-dot|
|Magazine||10-round New York-compliant model|
|Frame||Black polymer frame|
My XD came nicely equipped with a solid, hard plastic case that not only holds the firearm, it carries two stainless steel 10-round magazines (this may vary by state, but I live in New York), cable lock, retention holster, double magazine carrier for your belt and a magazine loader. The retention holster and double magazine carrier are both quite functional and a nice bonus to be included with the pistol. All of the extras were integrated right into the hard plastic case, which keeps the necessities together in one place. If that isn’t enough, there are tons of add-on accessories available for the XD.
The takedown on this firearm is very easy, which makes maintenance and cleaning a breeze. It’s quick to field strip and quick to reassemble—another bonus in my book. Knocking wood, it’s never failed to go bang! when I’ve pulled the trigger. It’s also not fussy with what type of ammunition I use.
In October, when I conducted my first NRA Women on Target Clinic, I shared my Springfield with the ladies who participated at the end of the class. A lot of them were only familiar with shooting a .22 LR pistol, and giving them a solid, full-size 9mm to try was a natural next step for them. Everyone who tried it enjoyed shooting it. The recoil is very manageable, even for my somewhat arthritic older students.
Overall, I’m quite happy with my selection and purchase. If you’re in the market for a full-size 9mm handgun, I highly recommend it.
Do you have a Springfield XD? What do you like and dislike about it? Tell us in the comment section.
Annette Doerr is a freelance writer, self-employed businesswoman, wife, mother, equestrian, and is active in Greyhound rescue. She and her husband Bob are avid shooters and are both NRA Certified Pistol Instructors and NRA Certified Range Safety Officers. You can read more of her writing on her blog, weshoot2.