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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To learn more, log on to XDSPistol.com.