At the Range with Springfield’s XD-S 45 ACP

Springfield’s slim, compact .45 ACP XD-S was introduced earlier this year as the latest in Springfield’s popular line of XD handguns. The new XD-S .5 ACP seeks to take away market share of other small pistols that ride the tiger—that is, small, lightweight semiautos that fire the big-bore .45 Auto cartridge in something akin to a .380-size handgun. For its part, the new XD-S compares favorably on size, with a 3.3-inch barrel, 5+1 capacity, and a 6.3-inch overall length, to a gun like Glock’s G36 and the SIG Sauer 250 subcompact.

Springfield’s slim, compact 45 ACP XD-S was introduced earlier this year to compete against pistols like the Glock G36, Kahr Arms’s PM4543, the SIG Sauer 250SC, and others.

As well as the dimensions noted above, the XD-S blowback semiautomatic stands 4.4 inches tall and weighs 22.4 ounces unloaded and 26.4 ounces loaded with a full complement of 6 rounds of 185-grain hollowpoints aboard. The slide is melonite-finished steel sitting atop a black-polymer frame. A single-position Picatinny rail accepts lights, lasers or other pistol accessories.

Springfield XD-S 45 ACP Top View
Springfield is promoting this pistol’s slimness, with a slide that is 0.9 inch wide.

Our test gun came in a well-padded airline-quality hard-plastic case. Inside were two 5-round magazines, a hard-plastic paddle holster, dual magazine pouch, Allen wrench to adjust tension on the holster and pouch, interchangeable backstrap, a cable lock, wire bore brush, and extra front-sight fiber optics in both red and yellow.

Springfield XD-S 45 ACP Chamber Indicator
The loaded-chamber indicator allows the shooter to verify by touch or sight that a round is in the chamber.

The polymer frontstrap and backstrap are aggressively textured, with the frontstrap measuring about 0.9 inches tall and the backstrap 0.8 inches tall. The grip was 1.0 inches thick and measured 4.5 inches in circumference. The ability to customize the grip with two Mould-Tru Backstraps allows a variety of shooters to find the right fit, regardless of hand size.

For sighting, the rear sight base sits in a dovetail that allows for drift adjustment. A grooved blade presented two white dots. The front sight base is also dovetailed in, and both red and green fiber-optic tubes are supplied. We shot with the red tube. Sight radius was 5.8 inches. The rear sight on the XD-S is low-profile and holster friendly, and the red fiber-optic front sight is easy to find and align.

The grip safety allows firing only when the shooter has a firm grip on the pistol. There’s also a trigger-blade safety.

Trigger-pull weight on our test gun was 8.0 lbs., and the XD-S offers both a trigger-safety tab and a grip safety. The Ultra Safety Assurance (USA) Trigger System guards against accidental discharge by locking the trigger until direct rearward pressure is applied. The new XD-S trigger also has a short reset, as we found during shooting drills. The grip safety allows firing only when the shooter has a firm grip on the pistol. Another safety features is the loaded-chamber indicator, which allows the shooter to verify, visually or by touch, that there is a round in the chamber.

Springfield is promoting this pistol’s slimness, with a slide that is 0.9 inches wide and the widest part of the pistol measuring only an inch. We carried the XD-S in a Crossbreed IWB Appendix Carry Holster for the better part of a month and really appreciated the small profile it offered on the belt.

At the range, we found the XD-S was front and top heavy—to be expected with the polymer frame and steel slide. The advantage of the XD-S having the 45’s stopping power is offset by having to deal with the recoil of a .45 ACP in a small pistol. We loved the XD-S at the start, but by the end of a long day of shooting, the strong recoil had us hurting. But to be fair, this isn’t a competition gun, and you wouldn’t normally shoot it all day anyway. Its purpose is self-defense, not  to take on a casual day of shooting.

Even so, we performed well with it in a timed defense test, firing four rounds into a turning target in 3 seconds with one X, one 9, and two 8s. We liked the three-dot sights, in particular the fiber-optic front sight, which made it easy to acquire the target quickly.

From the bench, the XD-S shot Winchester USA .45 230-grain jacketed hollow points at an average velocity of 815 fps and average five-shot groups of 2.3 inches at 7 yards. The Hornady Critical Defense 185-grain FTX load generated average velocity of 935 fps and 360 ft.-lbs. of energy, recording groups of 2.1 inches on average. Click Here to Start Shopping Online at Cheaper Than Dirt

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Comments (29)

  1. i have the xd-mod.2 in 40cal. and the xd mod.45 plus the xd-45 with the 3.8″barrel. i trust them all. shoot them is great also.

  2. I have been carrying this .45 XDs for a year now. Depending on your carry method, it is fairly comfortable and unobtrusive. Down to brass tacks of a defensive concealed carry pistol. Most self defense encounters happen at approximately 7 yards. You can use instinctive shooting techniques with enough shock power to give your opponent something serious to worry about, other than inflicting damage on you. A double tap with a .45 ACP will likely end the encounter in your favor.

  3. shoots great, low recoil, no need to be afraid of a big bore 45, very comfortable concealed in waist carry on my inside belt holster. Very accurate for a compact. hit a frying pan 6 times at 30 feet in about 10 seconds. My wife shot it and couldn’t believe it was a 45! Likes it better than her sorry Ruger 380 LCP. Guys get this one for your wife, it will stop an attacker and she can easily conceal it. I load DRT fragment rounds to prevent ricochet’s or going through secondary walls.

  4. Xds 45acp 3.3 accurate at 10 yds right out of the box lot less recoil then I thought for a little gun easy carry with a big punch hole aggressive grip to hang on to for my big hand changed the front sight to the green lot better sight picture just what I wanted shot 50 rnds the first day hand didn’t hurt for the first time shooting it

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