Gun Review: Springfield Armory XDm 5.25″ 9mm

Competition shooters shell-out thousands of dollars for tricked-out polymer pistols. Glock has long been the big dog in the field (“Ole Reliable”). Over the last few years, more and more mainstream manufacturers have seen the advantages of (i.e. profit in) modifying their models for customers who are more results than price-driven. Smith & Wesson entered the fray with their M&P Pro SeriesSpringfield Armory (SA) recently introduced their XDm 5.25” Competition Models in 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP. Springfield graciously provided us with one of their 9mm Competition Models so we could see if a fool and his plain Jane pistol could soon be parted . . .

Like every XDm, the 5.25” arrives in a large hinged case (the better to contain all my accoutrements, my dear). Inside: a shiny pistol, three magazines, kydex paddle holster, kydex double mag carrier, mag loader, lock and cleaning brush, various paperwork and manuals.

I’ve never been a big fan of the  Croatian creation’s tall slide (RF compares it to a double-decker bus). The XDm draws attention away from its height with some seriously sexy curves and enough striations to grate cheese. They dominate the pistol’s landscape, from the front of the slide to the cocking serrations. It’s no bad thing; the XDm 5.25” is a cross between Batman sleek and dominatrix mean.

The XDm’s 19-round grip is huge—but it doesn’t feel significantly larger in hand than a Glock G34. The Springfield balances perfectly; the grip settled into my hand as comfortably as a labrador’s head.

Besides the obvious jump in slide size from your standard XDm, the 5.25” boasts two very features distinguishing it as a competition pistol. First: the front fiber optic sights and the adjustable rear target sight. The wide notch and “plainness” of the rear sight makes it easy to pick up the blazing red front sight for rapid target acquisition.

Second: the lightening cut. Looking at the top of the slide you’ll notice that some of the fat has been trimmed. A lot, actually. SA posits that the “cut in the slide reduces reciprocating mass which allows for faster cycling and allows a larger variety of loads to be used.”

These features sound great on paper. To see if the XDm 5.25” could deliver the goods I grabbed some Tula 115 gr, Remington UMC 124 gr and Speer 124 gr +P Gold Dots and headed to the range. Pretending I was in California, I loaded up 10 rounds and steadily fired the whole mag.

As you can see, the bullets all hit consistently left. I broke out a tiny screwdriver and adjusted the sight a few clicks. Then I loaded up some more rounds and tried again.

While still a little left of center, the results were much more pleasing than the previous string. Once I got myself fully acclimated, I ran some basic rapid fire sets at seven yards. I loosed some one-handed strings and consistently hit the steel target with ease.

Once I upped the pace, my groups opened up. Nothing unexpected there, but the resulting groups were much larger than those I’ve shot with my duty gun (M&P 45c) or my Glock G19.

I attribute the diminished accuracy to a lack of familiarity with this particular weapon and the speed of the slide. While there wasn’t a noticeable recoil reduction, the slide went through the motions at a far more brisk pace than any XD I’ve ever shot. So fast that my brain had to play serious catch up with the sight picture.

That aside, the Springfield Armory XDm 5.25″ 9mm is a really accurate pistol – seriously and deadly accurate. I think TTAG buddy and Top Shot champ Iain Harrison said it best about the 5.25, “the thing shoots surprisingly small groups and flatters you into thinking you did it all yourself.”

My one complaint: the XDm’s trigger. There’s nothing terribly wrong with the go-pedal. The pull is right on, the break’s clean and the reset’s noticeable. But there’s nothing extraordinarily right about the trigger, either. Before you get to the clean break, you have to pull through a little mushiness and the length-to-reset seems just a tad too long. For a pistol tailored for the competition crowd, I was expecting more.

Lurking in the internet forums, I discovered the general consensus: SA knows most shooters tune their triggers. So the gunmaker didn’t go out of their way to make a stellar bang switch. True or not, if this was my pistol, I’d be ordering some parts from Springer Precision pronto. 

While I wouldn’t hesitate to use a pistol this big as a duty weapon, I’m not so sure about carrying a handgun with a big chunk of the slide gone. The possibility of a bunch of crap getting into the gun via the lightening cut and causing a malfunction may be remote, but I’ve got enough nagging doubts as it is.

Obviously, the 5.25″ is not a gun you can conceal with ease. Anyone who carries a full size XDm knows that big honkin’ grip is harder to hide than Selena Gomez in a bikini. Here in Montana, current negative temps and snow offer the CCW licence holder the chance to stash a howitizer under their parka. Come spring, the XDm 5.25″ is what the Brits call a non-starter. 

Now I know my “issues” are somewhat insignificant because, let’s face it, this is a competition gun. SA didn’t make it so OFWGs could carry a 20-round tack driver around with them on a daily basis. They made it so that you could pull it out of the box and start competing.

Mission accomplished. The XDm 5.25 gives you match grade components and – if you do your part – match grade accuracy. All without your brain and check book exploding from having to piece together a competition gun from scratch. While it may not have a Glock trigger, it delivers on the promise of performance; I wouldn’t hesitate to compete with it just the way it rolls out of the factory. So now it’s off to find a competition. Stay tuned.

SPECIFICATIONS

Springfield XDm 5.25” 9mm Competition Model
Caliber: 9mm
Capacity: 19+1
Weight: 29 oz
Barrel Length: 5.25”
Overall Length: 8.3”
MSRP: $795.00

RATINGS (out of five stars)

Style * * * * * 
Like that girl every guy wanted to take to prom, this gun will leave you drooling every time.

Ergonomics * * * *
Thanks to the interchangeable backstraps and comfortable grip angle, it should fit nicely in just about anyone’s hand. I’m not a fan of the ridiculously long grip though.

Reliability * * * * *
Steel, +P and Wally World brass were no match for this gun. Nary a malfunction to be found.

Customizable * * * * *
The XDm line has almost as many options as their Austrian cousins when it comes to customization.

Carry *
About as concealable as Donald Trump at an Occupy campsite.

Overall Rating * * * *
An extremely accurate handgun with everything you need to venture into the world of competition shooting.

avatar

About Ryan Finn

Ryan Finn is the Director of Operations and an Associate Instructor for Montana Tactical Firearms Instruction as well as a contractor for Vanguard Security Consultants when he isn't writing for TTAG. In his free time he is a volunteer firefighter and enjoys spending time in the mountains with his family.

44 Responses to Gun Review: Springfield Armory XDm 5.25″ 9mm

  1. avatarTyler Kee says:

    Excellent review and great pictures as always!

  2. avatarHSR47 says:

    “I have reservations about utilizing a pistol with a big chunk of the slide gone in a combat situation.”

    All I can really add to this, is that I’ve been carrying an XD9 V10 (what springfield calls their factory ported model) on and off for the better part of a year now, and I’ve never had a single issue with function due to fouling of the ports.

    The only issue I’ve run into has been the occasional extraction issue, and from what I can tell it’s almost certainly the fault of the ammo (likely due to improper storage and/or ammo being out of spec to begin with).

  3. avatarTim McNabb says:

    I had to send an XD9MM back to the factory for light primer strikes. Excessive oil had gotten into the firing pin channel and gummed up the works.

    I was a little surprised that this was possible. My M&P seems to strike with much more authority than the XD, but I lack the expertise to know for sure. Thoughts?

    • avatarRyan Finn says:

      I don’t even know if there is a way to measure that Tim. I can say that my first duty weapon was an XD40 and I never had any malfunctions with it. My M&P is my current duty weapon and it too has had no problems. I could see how that issue would be possible with almost any gun though.

    • avatarJK says:

      “While it may not have a Glock trigger . . .” Lol. Is this a bad joke? Glock trigger is worse than my kid’s cap gun.

  4. avatarTexan says:

    Great review, great pics. Thank you.

  5. avatarSean says:

    A few shooting buddies of mine have these. And another few have M&P Pro’s. And one has a Glock 34. And weirdly, they all brought them out to the range last night. I shot them all. The Smth was the most accurate for ME. The XD was the fastest for me. I could get more shots on target,faster with the XD. I suck with Glocks, so I won’t mention how that went.

    Of course, none of them were as good as my CZ75. Or my stepbrothers CZ75 SP-01 tactical. But that is comparing apples and, well not oranges. Perhaps apples and pears.

    • avatarRyan says:

      Funny you mention the CZ75, Sean. I’m the same way. I’ve shot a Glock 34, M&P Pro and several extremely expensive custom race guns. I can’t shoot any of them as accurately as my CZ75. I don’t know if I got lucky and happened to get an exceptional one off the line years back when I purchased it or if the ergonomics of the pistol just match my hand perfectly or what.. but I’ve never shot any pistol as well as my CZ.

      There’s no other gun I’d rather have for a competition or in a self-defense situation than that big heavy hunk of Czech steel.

      • avatarNCG says:

        Thanks for further stoking my desire for a CZ P-01. I’ve never shot a CZ, but I really don’t feel right with all the squared-off plastic pistols, and I don’t like DA only. Glocks just don’t work for me. Haven’t tried the many clones. I like an exposed hammer, and minimal plastic.

    • avatarSean says:

      My CZ is stock except for the fiber optic sights. I have 10-15000 rnds thru it. It is more accurate than almost anything. I paid $279 about 8-10 yrs ago.

      I mention the anything part, as that SPo1 is better. But it is had a lot of custom work.

  6. avatarChris Dumm says:

    The video looks like an MW3 screen capture; very cool.

  7. avatarPatrick Carrube says:

    My guess is that Springfield left the “factory” trigger installed in their “competition gun” so it would qualify for Production Class shooters. The Springer Precision trigger kit is fantastic. I personally didn’t bother wasting my time installing it myself. Instead, I sent it to them and had them install the Dawson F/O sights, a magwell, and some other goodies while they were at it.

    The only thing I would change on this pistol would be (will be?) the rear sight as I much prefer contrasting-colored rear sights on my comp guns.

    • avatarRightYouAreKen says:

      Glock installs a lighter trigger connector in their G34 and it qualifies for Production class in USPSA and SSP in IDPA, so I’m not sure that’s why. My guess is lawyers.

  8. avatarScottH says:

    Pretending I was in California, I loaded up 10 rounds and steadily fired the whole mag.

    LOL. The XDm is not on the CA roster. You’d be exempt as law enforcement, but the rest of us would have to find a FFL willing to do a single shot exemption, have LE friend who bought one and suddenly ‘didn’t want it,’ or via an out of state parent. And then there’s the magazine. You’d be exempt from that one as well, but Springfield doesn’t make a 10 round mag for the XDm series. The rest of us would have to modify a magazine down to 10 rounds if for no other reason for the function test during the dros process.

    Fun gun though. Very fast on follow up shots. As a Californian, my Dad who splits his time between CA and AZ, was kind enough to provide my early Christmas present. Intrafamiliar transfer is the easiest way to go.

    Nice review :)

  9. avatarSam says:

    Do a review on the Glock G34 Gen 4! I’d love to see it!

  10. avatarBrandonH says:

    I just purchased the XDm as my first hand gun. As a novice shooter i cant be any more pleased. I took it to the range with my friends who both happen to be expert marksmen with a pistol. I am happy to say that i was able to keep right up with them. One friend was shooting a Glock and the other a MP. Both of my friends were amazed with the accuracy of my first time shooting a handgun. Although I am a long time rifle shooter and understand how to use front and rear sights, i should not have performed as well as i did. I can only attribute my success to this weapon, it made me look good!

  11. avatarD Dub says:

    I was shocked when mine jammed on the very first shot. Was shocked once again when it jammed again before I had two hundred rounds through it.

    • avatarMattK says:

      My XDm jammed three times in the first 200 rounds I put through it, but after I cleaned it I have able to put more than a thousand rounds through with no further jams.

      • avatarZach says:

        Did you clean it before first shooting it? Typically they come from the factory with a thick almost packing greace on them. It is to prevent rust in long term storage. It will collect dirt and grime pretty easily.
        It will tear up the AP brush you use on it, I’d reccomand an old one or throw away tooth brush.

        Just my friendly 2, maybe even 3 cents.
        -Zach USMC

        • avatarMattk says:

          I did wipe off the factory coating of grease, but I’m guessing that the thorough cleaning with hoppes is what got rid of anything I missed. I’ve put a couple thousand rounds through since then with zero further malfunctions.

  12. avatarBob says:

    I have one in the .40 flavor. Very pleased with it. I do like the tactile cocked and chamber in battery indicators too. I will get another one with a shorter barrel and night sites for another defensive weapon.

    I cleaned it before (and after) shooting and it has yet to have a jam in several hundred rounds.

    I am shooting Hornady 175 gr FMJ FP with 4.5 gr HP38. Brass is ejected out about 18 inches. Perfect.

  13. I HAVE A SPRINGFIELD SUB-COM @ IAM VERY HAPPY WITH IT NOW IAM GOING TO TRY AND BUY A XDM COMPETIT 9MM XDM9525BHC I HAD TO PUT IN A ORDER FOR I DO-NOT LIKE TO DO THAT BUT I HAVE NO CHOISE.

  14. avatarJAMES R. HAGER says:

    is there any were i can track my order that gandermnt made for me?

  15. my waiting is over i got my9mmxd(m) from gandermnt yesterday now i can-not wait to to the shooting range some time this week end after i shoot it i will leave a message on the goods @ if there are bads you will here from me.

  16. today is fri oct 9 2012 iam very disapointed to change my grips i have to go out and buy a punch 3/32 to get the pin out to change my grips iam not happy so this is a warning to any one thinging about getting this xdm.

  17. This is the day nov.11 2012 am very happy with gun i would recommend this gun to ever one who likes a very good group did very very well thanka to springfield xd(m) meets my standers @ i have great standers when it comes to a firearm keep up the great work springfield….

  18. now iam trying to find a side hoister for my xdm 9mm ? need some help

  19. i have found 2 holisters not all that good my hand got a rash from the black DIE @ a terrable itch looking for another type.

  20. NOW I FOUND OUT I NEED TO BUY A GUN BELT ALL MY BELTS I HAVE DO-NOT FIT JUST FOR THE GUN OWERS NOW YOU WHAT YOU HAVE TO SPENT JUST TO HAVE A CCW PERMIT$$$$$$$#$#$$#$$$$$ just be ware.

  21. JUST GOT MY GUN BELT FROM BULLHIDE BELTS GOT SOME MINK OIL PUT IT ALL OVER THE BELT@HOISTERS NOW MABLE I CAN CARRY MY 40 CAL I DO HAVE A CCW PERMIT JUST TO BE LEGAL….

  22. AS YOU CAN SEE IT TAKES A FEW BUCKS TO CARRY PUT TO ME IT IS WORTH IT……

  23. avatarjimf says:

    I have an XDm 9 …4.5″ barrel and had a few fte in the first few mags, but once it was broken in and cleaned, no problems since…I second the accuracy; it is much more accurate than I.

  24. avatarJohn Costa says:

    I’ve had my XD/m 5.25″ Competitor 9mm for about 5 months now and no issues whatsoever. I’ve added a Crimson Trace laser as my eyes aren’t as good as they used to be. For holsters, I’ve used the N82 Tactical Pro (works w/o the laser), N82 Tactical original (works with the laser), as well as a fanny-pack style by 511 Tactical. All work great and are extremely comfortable for IWB carry (the N82′s that is). I’ve also used a CTC outside the waistband which accommodates the laser. I’ve had other holsters (ugh) but these work the best for me.

  25. avatarD. Crawford says:

    Just bought the 5.25 in 40 cal. Love it! I have used the 3.8 in 40 cal as my everyday carry for four years, Love it also! The site in on the 5.25 was a breeze. Great shooting pistol. 17 rounds in a five inch circle at 15 yards. 17 rounds in a ten inch circle at 25 yards.

  26. Pingback: XD-M Competition 45 ACP – 3 MAGS – 13 RDS!!

  27. avatarE. Hoey says:

    Bought new Springfield XDM 9MM couple of weeks ago, just got to the range yesterday. Only shot it at 25yds. range constraints. The results were not what I was expecting. Shot about 100 rounds first 50 were factory 125gr. JRN than 2 different hand loads. Both hand loads shoot very well in my Sig 226 which is my home defense gun. The XDM is the competition model which I thought I might use to try some kind of action shooting competition. My past experience lies with bullseye so I am capable of shooting a group with almost any handgun. This test evolved to shooting off the bench in an effort to get a group didn’t happen, all loads shot about 10 to 12 inch groups.
    Any thoughts??????

    • avatarMattK says:

      I also had problems when I first got my 9mm XDM. I would recommend a more thorough take down and cleaning of components. There are videos on you tube that show how to strip it down more than the factory instructions show.

      • avatarE. Hoey says:

        Thanks very much for the response. I am a hobby gun smith and for what it’s worth I did the recommended field strip and a thorough cleaning before my testing. I will take your advice and get the info about the complete tear down. While in the action will probably do some polishing on the striker system which I am sure you know is a lot rougher than I was expecting.
        Thanks again Ed Hoey

  28. avatarEugene W. Riggs says:

    I have the black and silver and I am a competitions shooter. I spent $3000 on a compensated colt 45 semi and my 5.25 shoot just as well if not better and carries many more rounds. #1 in my book and I am buying more.

  29. avatarEugene W. Riggs says:

    I am wondering if any one shot the 4.5 45 cal and how it shoots.

  30. avatarEugene W. Riggs says:

    The most important thing I left out was as 40 yards I was placing all of my rounds in a pie plate with one hand shooting. This is one awesome hand gun.

Leave a Reply

Please use your real name instead of you company name or keyword spam.