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Tested: Springfield XDM 4.5" OSP 9 mm Pistol

Tested: Springfield XDM 4.5" OSP 9 mm Pistol

If the designers at Springfield Armory had a specific theme in mind when they developed the new 4.5" barrel OSP version of the company's XDM pistol line, it could best be described in a single word: Flexibility. The M in the name indicates a match-grade barrel for improved accuracy. OSP stands for “Optical Sight Pistol,” meaning this gun's slide has been milled and drilled at the factory to make room for a variety of red-dot optics. The factory package reviewed here ships with a Vortex Optics Venom red dot pre-installed.

Like its predecessors, the XDM OSP is a recoil-operated, striker-fired semi-automatic with a polymer frame that's manufactured in Croatia. The forged steel slide features angled front and rear slide serrations, a heavy-duty claw extractor and a matte black Melonite finish. The loaded chamber indicator on the top of the slide and the striker-cocked indicator at the rear of the slide are both designed to provide visual and tactile indicators of the pistol's status. 

The metallic 3-dot sight system is dovetailed into the slide with a red fiber optic up front and a low-profile white-dot, drift-adjustable sight at the rear. A 1.75" long section of the top of the slide is milled out to make room for an optics mount. The pistol ships with three adapter plates and a matching cover plate to be used when no optic is installed.

 

The adapters and provided hardware allow for the installation of a variety of options from popular manufacturers including Burris, Leupold, Trijicon and, of course, Vortex. Although this particular rig ships with the Venom already installed, the pistol's case still contains the other mounting options just in case you wish to use them. I appreciate Vortex including a protective rubber cover for the optic, an accessory that some other companies force customers to purchase separately.

The match-grade barrel is hammer forged with the same non-reflective black Melonite finish as the slide. The recoil assembly consists of a full-length, single-piece steel guide rod that supports a single round wire spring. Removing the slide reveals a steel support block that provides two 1.30" slide rails in front of the magazine well. Behind the magazine well, the slide rails are polymer extensions of the frame.

This pistol’s controls include a left side takedown lever and slide stop, an ambidextrous round button magazine release, a grip safety and Springfield's Ultra Safety Assurance (USA) polymer trigger with a metallic safety lever in the center. The front of the trigger guard is shaped and textured to act as a finger rest while the grip frame is grooved and textured to provide an effective, but not overly aggressive, gripping surface. The dust cover features an integral 1.5" accessory rail for laser and light modules. The three interchangeable backstraps are provided so that the grip size can be tuned to fit the owner's hands. There is a lanyard mount at the base of the back strap, just in case you need it. The two sturdy stainless steel 19-round magazines that arrive with this gun have flush fit polymer base plates and polymer followers.

Field stripping this model is a simple process which doesn't require cycling the trigger. Start by removing the magazine and locking the slide back into the open position. After verifying visually and manually that the pistol is completely unloaded, swing the takedown lever up from the 9 o'clock to the 12 o'clock position. Depress the slide catch to release the slide assembly and move it forward off of the frame. Remove the recoil assembly and barrel from the slide and the pistol is ready to clean.

The overall fit and finish of the OSP was excellent, without any noticeable flaws, and the pistol passed all of its pre-range bench checks with flying colors.

Recently I've been hearing that some folks have decided red-dot handgun optics are not just for the range or competition any more. They are choosing to use these sighting systems as part of their concealed carry and home defense sets as well. So, I was curious to see if there might be a holster that could be just as flexible as this pistol configuration.

The new Blackhawk! Omnivore Multi-Fit holster was just what I was looking for. Designed to accommodate more than 150 styles of semi-automatic pistols, the Omnivore “free floats” the gun by means of a small polymer block attached to the accessory rail. The block locks into the holster's retention system and is the only point of contact (much like race holsters used for competition). The retention system is released via an instinctive, height adjustable thumb-activated lever that's depressed as part of the draw stroke. The rubberized outer shell protects against impacts and scratches but doesn't rub or wear the gun's finish like a traditional belt holster.        

Once the rail-mounted block clears the retention mechanism, the pistol is moving through the air gap inside the holster without any contact with the holster walls. This makes drawing from the Omnivore quick and easy. A cutout along the front edge of the holster has the dual benefit of allowing the muzzle to clear the holster more quickly and providing a gap that accommodates a red-dot optic without the need for any modifications. The holster arrives with an adjustable belt-loop mount, a paddle mount and a spare accessory rail block.

At the range, the XDM OSP pistol and Vortex optic proved to be a real pleasure to work with. The pistol feels light and handy with a just-right sense of balance. The grip fits smaller hands much better than some of the more blocky models on the market these days. The trigger was smooth with a bit of take-up before a clean break at 6 lbs. 6 oz. of trigger pull. Frankly, I was surprised the digital trigger gauge indicated the pull was that heavy. I would have said the trigger was at least a pound lighter than that based on feel alone.

The configuration of the Vortex Venom made sighting in and operating it a snap. The company was smart about the placement of the combination ON-OFF/Brightness control switch on the left side of the aluminum housing. If the sight is turned off, a quick sweep of the shooting hand thumb across that switch activates the sight. It takes the same amount of time and effort as disengaging a thumb safety lever, so it seems like a perfectly reasonable option for self defense. The only down side I see is that if the optic is damaged, or the battery is dead, the housing blocks the shooter's view of the front sight.

The pistol was put through its paces with a variety of ammunition ranging from practice grade loads up to +P defensive rounds. From start to finish there were no malfunctions of any kind. Formal accuracy testing was conducted at 25 yards using a bench rest. Dimming the optic a bit provided a pin-point sight picture that aided in forming solid 5-shot groups down range.  

Double Tap Ammunition's potent 124-gr. +P Controlled Expansion jacketed hollow-point defensive load produced a best single group of 2.77" with an average of 2.92". Gorilla Ammunition's Silverback sub-sonic self-defense load is topped with an all-copper hollow point that yielded a best group of 2.69" and an average of 2.80". I've worked with the Sig Saur Elite 115-gr. full-metal-jacket load a few times now and it keeps out-performing typical practice loads. This round turned in the best group of the test at 2.47" with an average of 2.65".

The Springfield XDM 4.5" OSP fits nicely into the Practical-Tactical category of modern full-size striker fired 9 mms. This model's features and dimensions allow it to fill just about every duty-size pistol role I can think of including target shooting, home defense and competition. If you don't mind working with a pistol this size, it can certainly be used for concealed carry as well. With or without a red-dot optic, this take on the XDM is a well-rounded option worthy of consideration.

Specifications
U.S. Distributor: Springfield Armory
Manufacturer: HS Produkt, Croatia
Model: XDM 4.5" OSP, Full Size (XD9459BHC0SPV)
Action: Recoil-Operated Semi-Automatic
Caliber: 9 mm
Barrel: Hammer-Forged Steel, Black Melonite Finish
Slide: Forged Steel, Black Melonite Finish
Guide Rod: One Piece Full-Length Steel
Frame: Molded Black Polymer with Interchangeable Backstraps
Front Sight: Metallic Dovetailed Red Fiber Optic
Rear Sight: Metallic Dovetailed White Dot
Optic: Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot
Trigger Type: Ultra Safety Assurance (USA)
Trigger Pull: 6 lbs. 6 oz. (as tested)
Barrel Length: 4.50"
Overall Length: 7.60"
Height: 5.75" (without optic)
Grip Width: 1.18"
Weight: 29 ozs. (with empty magazine)
Capacity: 19 + 1 rounds
Twist: 1:10" RH
Rifle Grooves: 6
Accessories: Lockable Hard Case, Two Magazines, 3 Interchangeable Backstraps, Optics Mounting System with Tools and Hardware, Cleaning Brush, Cable Lock, Owner's Manual
MSRP: $979 (with optic), $724 (without optic)

Blackhawk! Omnivore Multi-Fit Holster $59.95

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