by Mark Keefe - Wednesday, January 18, 2012
All right, I wish I could take credit for this, but it seems I was just thinking on a parallel track with the folks at Springfield Armory. Chad Dyer, Springfield’s marketing genius, called me a few months back to ask what I thought the next gun from Springfield should be. I responded that it was time for Springfield to do a single-stack compact appropriate for discrete carry in the Xtreme Duty (XD) line. As to caliber, 9 mm was all the rage at the time, but a .45 ACP would be better in my view.
It turns out Springfield already had the gun in prototype form, and I was able to shoot it this week. The single-stack .45 ACP-chambered XD-S is based on the proven XD and XD(M), but is much, much smaller and there are some differences between the earlier variant. I met up with Rob Leatham, Springfield’s leading shooter, and had him go over the little gun with me. The XD-S has an overall length of 6.3 inches, is 4-inches high from the base of the magazine to the top of the rear sight and measures 0.9 inches in width across the slide and it is still only an inch wide across the takedown lever. Theframe is, of course, made of polymer, and it comes with the choice of two backstraps to better fit the individual user. The slide is of Melonite–coated steel, and the ramp is fully supported. The barrel measures a mere 3.3 inches in length and the gun weighs 29 ounces unloaded. There is an external extractor on the slide’s right and a loaded chamber indicator on its top. The front and rear sights are dovetailed into the slide with two white dots on the rear and a red fiber-optic front.
This is a little gun, but it was surprisingly controllable mini .45. The excellent checkering pattern allows you to really hold on, and the gun settles back down in the hands very quickly. This is a game changer in its category. I have asked for the first one to review it for American Rifleman, and odds are Springfield will get a check from me instead of the gun it sends. The price has not been announced but I am told it will be, to coin a much overused word, “aggressive.”
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