Springfield XD-M 10mm: Not New, but Still a Classic

Springfield XD-M 10mm pistol and ball cap

In 2006, I was teaching Texas Concealed Handgun License classes with a couple of buddies. We were running an average of 60 students a week through our classes, and each of those students was required to go through a 50-round shooting proficiency exercise, which we conducted on a range that had 10 lanes. One of us would call the exercise while the other two each supervised five shooters.

From our position behind the shooters, we could see the targets, but we couldn’t necessarily see what type of pistol they were shooting. However, we had the students hold up their magazines when they were loaded and ready for the next string of fire. That way, we’d know when everyone was loaded and ready to go. We noted that stainless steel magazines were usually associated with tightly-grouped targets. This became so common, the three of us would make the connection and knowingly nod at the others.

The XD-M is slightly larger than many carry guns, but it carries well and is a comfort to have with you when you need it.

In one particular class that I recall, the tight groups went with an XD shooter. The stainless-steel magazine meant it was a Springfield XD series pistol. Practically everything else had black magazines.

The significance of this story is that each of the three of us became instant XD fans and figured out a way to buy one for our own collections. Mine was a .45 ACP XD-M with a 4.5-inch barrel. It took me a while to get it, because the cost was a little more than I could spend for a gun without some kind of windfall.

The windfall came in the form of a small inheritance when my father passed. I loved that XD-M. Several years later, when our training business had morphed into a gun store, the Trump Slump hit the gun industry such that our gun store sales dropped significantly. My son and I were forced to put many of our own guns into our gun store inventory in order to pay our help. My XD-M suffered that fate.

Springfield XD-M 10mm

When I was able to replace it a few years later, I opted for a 10mm. This would be my only 10mm, and I couldn’t imagine a better gun to fulfill that role. I learned after buying the gun that Springfield had put the XD-M 4.5-inch barrel 10mm through a 10,000-round torture test in which there were zero failures.

We gun writers get the opportunity to review a number of new pistols to see if they cut the mustard. Many of us have written about the XD-M, and it needs nothing more than another nod to remind folks of how these guns make a significant contribution to the gun world. The XD series was introduced in 2001 and immediately became a favorite with law enforcement and competitive shooters, not to mention those just seeking a great gun for personal protection.

Springfield XD-M 10mm stainless steel magazine
Springfield’s XD-M 10mm comes standard with two stainless-steel magazines.

The XD is built for durability through use of a forged slide and hammer-forged barrel. A Melonite finish ensures that the pistol can resist the elements in the most unforgiving environments. This essay is my way of introducing you to an old friend. If you’ve never owned a Springfield XD of any size or caliber, you may want to put one on your wish list after reading about my appreciation for the gun.

It’s a big gun for a carry gun, but I’ve carried mine on many occasions in a leather IWB holster with no complaints whatsoever. The XD-M’s hammer-forged 4.5-inch match grade barrel features a 1:16 right hand twist. The overall length of the gun is 7.7 inches. It’s 5.75 inches tall and weighs 31.2 ounces. That’s almost two pounds. The grip width is 1.2 inches. It’s similar in size and weight with a SIG P226 or a Beretta 92. The slide features cocking serrations front and rear.

The grip has a texture made of small squares on the backstrap and checkered grooves on the front strap. The backstrap has three differently sized inserts. The medium grip insert worked best for me. There’s an undercut trigger guard, which is squared off in front with a little hook to help with your grip, if you put your finger on the forward part of the trigger guard — some do, others say that’s bad form. Personally, I like it.

backstrp grip inserts for a Springfield pistol
Three backstrap size inserts are included with the gun

Texturing on the front of the trigger guard matches the texturing on the front strap. The magazine release button is ambidextrous with lines across the surface to prevent slippage. The slide lock is only on the left side. There’s no manual thumb safety, but the gun has a grip safety similar to a 1911 and a trigger blade safety similar to a Glock.

There’s a three-groove Picatinny rail under the barrel for a light or laser. The sights are dovetail mounted and consist of a two-dot rear sight and a fiber-optic front sight. The fiber-optic pipe is red, but some yellow fiber-optic rods, along with a couple of spare red rods were included in my gun’s case.

Springfield XD-M striker cocked indicator on the rear of the pistol's slide
The XD-M features a striker cocked indicator at the rear of the slide.

Also in the case was a spare magazine, package of Lucas gun oil, owner’s manual, and a gun lock. A mechanical, loaded-chamber indicator sits on top of the slide so it can easily be accessed either visually or by feel, and the striker status indicator is a pin that protrudes out the back of the slide to provide both visual and tactile indication of whether or not the striker is cocked.

XD-M at the Range

I had not fired my gun in a while before undertaking this writing project, so I rounded up one of my grandsons, as much 10mm ammo as I could find in my ammo closet, and we headed to the range. There were six different brands of ammo in the mix. We hung our targets at 10 yards and took turns shooting. We had some other guns with us to take advantage of the time, making it an enjoyable outing.

The 10mm is a bit snappy, but the XD-M’s size and grip help tame the beast. We didn’t have enough ammo to shoot all day, but each of us managed to put about 50 rounds through the XD-M. I spent most of our time at the shooting range with a big grin on my face as the XD-M rewarded my careful aiming and trigger squeezes with a number of tightly grouped targets. It didn’t seem to matter which ammo was in the gun.

I find the studded grip on the XD-M encourages a good handhold and absorbs some of the recoil in the process. The trigger pull runs just over 5 pounds. There’s about .75-inch of take-up, and then a very small movement after you feel resistance before the break. I like the way that works, because it gives you a chance to steady the sights before the break. Even at 10mm it’s a fun gun to shoot. I’m sure a 9mm would be nicer, but I really wanted to have a 10mm in my stable, and this one suits me fine for that purpose.

Grip safety on the Springfield XD-M handgun
The XD-M’s grip safety is similar to that of a 1911.

The EZ2C targets I chose for the outing consisted of six 4-inch circles per sheet with a color choice of green or red. The green ones are supposed to be better for red dot sight shooting, but I like them for any kind of shooting. I picked a target at random to show you for the article, but any of my targets would have worked in the picture. There were no issues putting groups of 5 shots into the 4-inch circle.

Ammo Selection

One thing all this shooting brings up is ammunition. After our trip to the range, I was wiped out in the 10mm department. Finding 10mm is not quite as easy as finding 9mm, but I did locate some replacement ammo online. I found prices as high as $1.70 per round for defensive ammo, but fortunately kept shopping and found better deals. I winded up paying 70¢ a round for FMJ and 99¢ a round for some good defensive ammo. Prices and availability are both starting to get better. Also, I have the components to handload 40 rounds of 180-grain 10mm Hornady XTP hollow points.

You might wonder… is the match gun with its fully supported, ramped, match grade barrel better, more accurate than a regular XD. Although it is built for exceptional accuracy that is typically found only on target guns, my experience says the regular XD also has the goods. I got the XD-M model primarily because of barrel length.

Ammunition box, bulls eye target and Springfield XD-M 10mm handgun
The author’s XD-M consistently grouped well. This trip to the range was David’s first with his new Silencer ear buds from Walker’s. He loved them!

The idea of having a match grade barrel is nice, but my friends who bought regular XDs, even compacts, appear to get just as good performance from their guns as I do mine. Then there were the observations from our gun classes that the XD line in general consists of very accurate guns, even in the hands of relatively inexperienced shooters.

If a 10mm doesn’t float your boat, I’d take a close look at the Springfield XD-M Elite in 9mm with its 22-round capacity. Although, to be honest, any of the XD pistols should make you a happy camper.

Do you own a Springfield XD-M? How does it compare to your other pistols? What’s your favorite 10mm load? Share your answers in the comment section.

  • sightpicture of a three-dot handgun sight
  • Springfield XD-M pistol loaded chamber indicator
  • Springfield XD-M 10mm stainless steel magazine
  • Springfield XD-M 10mm pistol, left quartering
  • Springfield XD-M 10mm pistol and ball cap
  • Springfield XD-M 10mm pistol left profile
  • Ammunition box, bulls eye target and Springfield XD-M 10mm handgun
  • Grip safety on the Springfield XD-M handgun
  • backstrp grip inserts for a Springfield pistol
  • Springfield XD-M striker cocked indicator on the rear of the pistol's slide
  • Springfield XD-M 10mm pistol right profile

About the Author:

David Freeman

David is an NRA Instructor in pistol, rifle and shotgun, a Chief Range Safety Officer and is certified by the State of Texas to teach the Texas License to Carry Course and the Hunter Education Course. He has also owned and operated a gun store. David's passion is to pass along knowledge and information to help shooters of all ages and experience levels enjoy shooting sports and have the confidence to protect their homes and persons. He flew medevac helicopters in Vietnam and worked for many years as a corporate pilot before becoming actively involved in the firearm industry.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (13)

  1. My XDM in .45 has been light striking the primers in factory anmo and not firing. The trigger feels feels squishy. The reset also doesn’t feel crisp. I’ve sent messages to Springfield with no response. I’ve heard they will pay to ship back to them to look at it and repair. Not sure why it’s happening. Maybe my cleaning solvent is gumming up the striker spring. Any suggestions?

  2. I have the XDM in 10mm, and enjoy it very much. I have tried as high as 200 gr. hornady xtp slugs in it, but found the recoil quite severe, and too hard to get quickly back on target. I now shoot mostly hornady 155gr. xtp bullets in it, (load my own) and find them devastating on any target. The recoil is pretty manageable. You could seriously hunt deer with this. The 200 grainers have been relegated to a CMMG carbine which handles them with ease because of it’s weight. There are many Springfields in my stable, and they are ALL reliable and great shooters. My favorite, though, is a XDS .45ACP. Small, but mighty, and ultra smooth with very manageable recoil. I carry it frequently.

  3. Follow-up to CJ’s post: My only XD (not the M) is the 5.25″ .45acp. He needs to get one to complete his battery. Mine is wonderful.

  4. Hello everyone – I have the XD-M .45, yes its a big carry…I’ve not fired many rounds through it and frankly have shot the Glock .40 with more accuracy not sure why. I’ve got a family member wanting to purchase this XD-M .45 and I’ll likely sell but to be honest I don’t even know what the current market is for them new, nor do I know if you can even find them available. Any input would be helpful as to a fair price to a family member or even their retail price in 2022.

  5. I’ve carried my .40 XDm compact in a Savoy OWB for about 4 years. Concealable enough for 3 seasons, not so much during summer. Still the most accurate of all my pistols in my hand. Carried a P226 9mm for years on duty, it still shoots well, but I outshoot myself with the .40 consistently during LEOSA quals yearly. With smaller hands the flush 9 rd mag works for me, friends prefer the ext mags for grip on the 3.8. Great factory trigger, never misfeeds, reasonable sights. Less $ than most of my SIGs . 5/5 stars in my experience.

  6. I enjoyed the article. I like that people are taking another look at the 10mm, and encouraging other people to revaluate it. I have six 10mm pistols so I think you can say that I am hooked on the caliber. One of your questions is whether we own an XD-M pistol, and our thoughts on it. I own two XD-Ms: both chambered in 10mm. One is the OSP variant that has a Venom Vortex reflex site mounted on it. The other is the standard XD-M 10 exactly configured as you described yours down to the selection of the rear grip panel. If I could find a good holster for the OSP model, it would be my EDC. Does anyone have a suggestion on a good holster made to accommodate the reflex site. The reflex site gives me me much faster target acquisition, and drastically reduces the time for follow up shots. At 17.5 yards(a function of my backyard range limit), I start with the gun on a bench, acquire the gun when the timer goes off, and get off 15 shots in between 9 and 10 seconds. That is with all of the shots in the 10 ring and over half in the “X”. Faster times are really only a matter of more practice. That is about where I started initially with 9mm, and I have really brought those times down in half with practice. I love the factory orange neon site. I have added comparable nite sites on my two Glock 10mm pistols. For me, there is another $125 add on to a Glock along with the cost of my preference for adding a heavier recoil spring to a Glock to bring down the variation in velocities. My other two 10mm pistols are a Springfield TRP and a Sig P220 Legion. I prefer the XDMs to the 1911 variants. For me, the 1911 variants seem to have more barrel flip that reduces follow up shot speed.

    The second question that you asked was about what was our favorite load, i no longer reload, so all of my experience has been with factory ammunition. I have yet to find any factory load that fails to consistently produce almost all 10s. However, you can really tell the difference in felt recoil and chronograph speed. Unfortunately, I think that there are still a lot of manufacturers that download the 10mm to the old FBI load that turned into the 40S&W. That is fine for practice, but that isn’t what I bought a 10mm pistol for. For me, my favorite 10mm load is the Buffalo Bore 180 grain low recoil and low flash HP . It is by far my favorite choice followed by Buffalo Bore’s 155 grain Hp, low recoil, low flash. The 155 grain has more energy, but feels much softer shooting due the lower bullet weight, I guess I am just old school and lean towards a heavier bullet. If I was carrying in the woods for black bear or large feral hog protection, I would go with their 190 grain mono-metal load. The Sig 180 grain V-Crown JHP, Winchester 175 grain Silvertip or Hornaday 180 grain JHP personal defense rounds all let you know that you are shooting a real 10mm and not a slightly hopped up 40. For practice 180 grain Sellier & Bellot, PMC 200grain, PPU, Armscor and Ammunition 50 round boxes allow you to build up some inventory and not break the bank. Of those, I guess that my personal favorite would be Sellier & Bellot. During the ammo shortage, they were my never fail go to brand in almost any caliber.

  7. I got 5.25x10mm in FDE and love it. It is more accurate than my CZ P09 and My 94 Beretta. Bought in 2019 October. Bought it to hunt deer with here in Ohio.

  8. I picked up my XD-M 10 years ago when I was living in Texas. I was very close to Cabella’s at the time. Even tho they had a very large selection of weapons, they only carried the XD-M in .45 acp. My son had recommended it to me at the time. He was just starting out his Navy Training with the TEAMS and they had recommended that very weapon as several of the members carried them. I picked up two (one for me) and planned on rewarding his graduation with one. He wrote and told me that he was being placed for immediate duty after graduation due to the politics of the time. I was looking forward to him coming home for three weeks before having to report to his TEAM and planned on presenting him then with the XD-M. However I did not see him again for another five years. Both XD-M’s became safe-queens. When we finally caught up to each other, I had brought them with me, this time as a wedding gift. They shot better than I ever imagined. And so did he! His new bride was also associated with the TEAMs but as an Intelligence Officer. She took such a liking to the XD-M that I ended up gifting mine to her as her own wedding gift. A very smart move on my part as it very quickly cemented an excellent relationship with her immediately. I lost a very fine .45 acp, but gained a very respectable daughter-in-law. By and far those two Pistols were the best investment I ever made in a handgun. They came complete with a belt slide holster, three high capacity magazines, and a double magazine carrier all in a really nifty hard case that could easily double as a laptop carrying case. The family that shoots XD-M’s together … I will let you know how that ends in another 10 years! Those two XD-M’s may very well become family heirlooms! Not a bad way to start a family!

  9. Ben, I appreciate your compliments and I’m glad to know your XD-M is working well for you. Rick, you’re right, you cannot go wrong with either Springfield pistol in 10mm. I believe the 1911 is a little more expensive.

  10. I don’t have an XD yet. Dad is looking to get rid of his in .40.
    I do have two 10mm’s a 1911 and glock 20.
    I love the round because their is so much range in handloading.
    One of my snappy loads pushes 155grn xtp at 1421fps for a 5″ inch barrel using Accurate #9.

  11. I must like XD’s also. I own 6!! My 10mm is in 5.25 Competition model. The 5.25’s are the sweetest shooting handgun I’ve ever shot. I have a 9mm, 10mm, & 40 in 5.25. My longtime EDC is an XDS. They shoot well!!

  12. I thoroughly enjoyed this article. The author did an outstanding job describing this potent XD-M in 10 mm. I have the same pistol and have out 1,000’s of rounds through it with nary a misfire, FTE or FTF. The gun is ultra-reliable, comfortable to shoot, and accurate.

  13. My first centerfire pistol was a Stainless Slide XD-M in .40SW that I’ve had for almost 15 years. It is tied for first place in my long list of favorites, right alongside my much more expensive Springfield 1911 in .45ACP. Both of these pistols are literally tack-drivers and are loads of fun and neither have ever had a malfunction in thousands of rounds of exercise. I have had a 10mm on my list to add to my collection for quite awhile now and I cannot decide on the XD-M or 1911 in 10mm. I know I cannot go wrong either way. I know Springfield has been controversial on the political side of things, but they absolutely make some of the most reliable and affordable and accurate pistols by far.

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