I still own the first gun I bought when I got out of my beloved Marine Corps in 2003 (though it was a few years after I got out).
Of course I’m talking about my Springfield Armory XD 9. The pictured handgun is the service model with the 4 inch barrel. Believe it or not, you can still pick these up new from the “Defend Your Legacy Series” lineup.
I’ve got over 10,000 rounds through the gun pictured and thought it was about time to do a Springfield Armory XD Review.
Springfield XD at the Range:
I recently brought the Springfield Armory XD9 back to the range in anticipation of writing this review, and I was reminded why I bought it to begin with. It has been a number of years since I’ve shot this gun.
In fact, I haven’t shot it once since moving to NC, and it was at least a year before that.
But coming back to it was like hanging out with an old friend. We picked up right where we left off. I started my range session at 10 yards just shooting at a USPSA sized steel plate.
From there, we moved on to the plate rack. The gun transitioned between targets as it should, even with its three dot white sights.
This is a great shooting gun and because this is the service model with a 4″ slide and a full grip the recoil is minimal.
The reason why I bought the XD, is because of the safety features that were present (at the request of my, then, anti-gun wife).
I didn’t want a gun with a manual thumb safety, but still needed to boast safety features to the wife. She is no longer anti-gun and I get whatever I want.
And to be honest, I’m no longer a big fan of the grip safety on this pistol.
XD’s Grip Safety:
While the XD series guns are very safe, there are also issues present because of these passive safeties. For example, the grip safety.
The Springfield XD is prone to operator error more than most other polymer, striker-fired guns because of its design. It is meant to only fire when the grip safety is pressed in.
If you don’t have a solid grip on this handgun, you get a malfunction. If your palms are oddly shaped like a few of my friends, you cannot press that grip safety right no matter how hard you grip it.
In fact, I have friends who have these guns with extreme concave-shaped palms who need to wrap grip tape around the grip to keep the safety in the closed position so they can actually shoot the gun.
These days, the only gun I’d buy with a grip safety is a 1911, and they tend to be better shaped anyway.
Springfield XD Reliability
Having said all of that, however, after putting so many thousands of rounds downrange, I am impressed at the overall reliability of this handgun.
I’d be lying if I gave you a strict number for the amount of malfunctions it has had because I’ve had it for so many years that I couldn’t possibly remember them.
However, I don’t remember that many.
And, I know that if I were to look back at any other Springfield Armory XD 9mm review I’ve put out there, they’d reflect that same truth.
The model I have is the 4″ model in 9mm. This striker-fired handgun is big and blocky. Some folks like that, others not so much.
All I really care about is how the gun shoots, and the XD does shoot well. These days, this model can be found on the cheap in some gun stores for as little as about $300.
If you’re in the market for a cheap gun that’s still on the relevant side, this is a solid choice that’s reliable and will go the distance. Remember, I’ve owned this one for well over a decade and it still works as good as it did the day I bought it.
Granted, when you get up to a high number of rounds you’ll have to replace certain parts, like the recoil spring, for example. I don’t count that, though, because all guns require spring replacement at some point.
Springs wear out, and I can’t hold that against the Springfield XD.
The gun has a big grip which fits 16 rounds of ammo in it (unless you require a state compliant model), plus one in the chamber. It fits well in my over-sized hands, and the added grip length helps to control the recoil.
And of course, the recoil associated with the 9mm cartridge. isn’t that bad to begin with. Follow up shots are fast.
The rest of the controls are intuitive and right where they should be, even if the magazine release is a little small for my tastes, but it works well.
Changes in thought
I do want to say that I got my start writing about guns with a review on this gun. In that review I said that this was the best 9mm handgun for beginners, and I NO LONGER feel that way.
I think this is a good gun, sure. But there is so much going on, like the grip safety, that it’s not conducive to new gun owners.
Springfield XD Aftermarket
One of the areas where this pistol excels is the aftermarket support. This gun has been around so long that there are tons of holsters and other parts for it.
This is huge because there are other guns that don’t have a big following with a very limited amount of aftermarket support.
In fact, one of the reasons why I’ve kept this gun for so long is because when I’d get a holster company asking me to review their holster, it was a given that they’d have my XD on their list of guns.
The Springfield Armory XD is a great shooting, reliable gun. It excels in home defense and for concealed carry if a bigger gun is desired. The XD has excellent support and a large following, making it a great addition to any gun safe.
Learn more about these on Springfield’s website.