Question of the Day: Is The Springfield XD-S The Next Big (Little) Thing?

Springfield Armory claims their forthcoming XD-S is “noticeably unnoticeable.” And I’m sexily unsexy. The Croatian gunmaker’s new compact .45 goes up against the 9mm Glock 26 (a.k.a., “baby Glock”). Although the single-stack XD-S is slimmer than the Glock—and who isn’t?—the Springfield’s a six-shooter while the Glock 26 holds eleven rounds (with one in the pipe). As does my similarly-sized carry gun: the .45 Glock 30. Not the Springfield sees it that way. The XD-S’s print ad declares “The .380 was a cute fad. NOW SPRINGFIELD ARMORY GETS BACK TO BUSINESS.” Apparently, the XD-S offers the “concealability of a micro-pistol” (.9mm?) with “knock down power.” So, are pocket .45s the new .380, or is the compact nine still da bomb? [Click here for TTAG's XD-S preview.]

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

56 Responses to Question of the Day: Is The Springfield XD-S The Next Big (Little) Thing?

  1. avatarPeter says:

    I suppose the 9mm would be a milli-gun… so yeah, a 0.9mm would be a micro gun, 900 micrometers. Technically, anything down to a 0.001mm would be a micro gun, and then you’re into nano-gun range.

    Aside from that point, while I think it’s nice to have such a thin .45 for concealed carry, it’s still a full-sized gun in its other dimensions. It’s not at all a pocket pistol, and the low-capacity won’t let it really compete with a full-sized gun either. So it’s kind of a strange middle ground.

    • avatarRon says:

      4.4″x6.3″ is full size?
      A Kahr K40 Elite is 4.55″x6.1″ and it’s considered a pocket pistol.
      I easily carried one in a Don Hume 001 pocket holster for a year without detection.

      • avatarRopingdown says:

        For comparison, the G36:
        Length 6.97
        Height 4.76
        Width 1.10
        Unloaded Weight 20.11 oz Barrel length 3.78
        And it’s the only Glock I know that has a ‘melted’ fore end so that it doesn’t put a hole in your pocket. The grip (with mag in) is just a bit longer than the G30: It was designed to pull 1911 people.

  2. avatarJoseph says:

    LC9 all the way. Probably the closest you’ll find to a true pocket .45 is the Kimber Ultra Carry II. The difference is the LC9 works.

  3. avatarBen Eli says:

    I wish Springfield would make the XD-s in 9mm.

    • avatarRon says:

      They will.
      Also .40 S&W.

      • avatarBen Eli says:

        Where you hear that?

        • avatarRon says:

          Ben I remember seeing it on a youtube video, but I can’t find it.
          It was someone from Springfield (not Rob Leatham) at Shot Show.
          He was talking about the XDs design concept.
          The idea was to design and build a small gun that would run .45ACP rather than start with a 9mm and then try to make it run .45 in the future,
          on the concept that it’s easier to go smaller than larger.

          Or maybe I just dreamed it.

          Either way I’ll bet Springfield is not going to pass up a market as large as 9mm and .40S&W combined when they know they have a platform to handle it.

          Besides I already promised my wife a 9mm version, so they really have no choice.

        • avatarRon says:

          Ben I just remembered there is also a TTAG post on the XDs where Dan Zimmerman states,”They did say, though, that a .40′s in the works with a 9mm to follow soon thereafter.”
          Posted in Handguns, Shot show. 1/17/2012

  4. avatarMike in NC says:

    *grumbles* Are all new semi-autos suitable to be branded as ‘tupperware’ or ‘rubbermaid’ now? And what’s with all the extra parts on the go-pedal?

  5. avatarBrian says:

    Umm…. Have they stopped making Kahr P45s and PM45s? The specs on this are pretty much identical. Now if only Kahr would make an alloy framed 45 (K45?), I’d be sold.

  6. avatarkoolaidguzzler says:

    How about the new Glock slimlines? They seem to be the “it’s about time” Glock response to its notorious blockiness. Generally, based on experience, obs and trusted witness reviews, I simply don’t trust .45′s under 3″ bbl lengths. It almost seems to be a magic threshold number of reliability. There is a school of thought that constantly trying to downsize the 45 is akin to making a short bbl’d AR15; the shorter you get, the more you have to engineer the whole concept, and before you know it, you’ve lost enough utility that you realize that most calibers have their ideal operating range of specs, and to try to work outside that just asks for problems.

    • avatarJason says:

      I think it’s a combination of length and weight. The less mass the slide has, the more important the recoil spring force is, and the closer everything has to be timed. Especially when you have a big powerful cartridge like the .45.

  7. avatarSean says:

    Doesn’t the XDs compete more with the Glock 36, than the 30? Does Glock still make the 36? I haven’t seen one in years.

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      Beat me to it. Obviously the G36, which sells very well, is the competitor, together with the two items previously mentioned. Yes, they still make them. I’ve carried and shot them for years. They’re compact and always work. I find them easy to shoot accurately (given my own limitations). I still see them every time I go to my usual indoor range/gun emporium.

    • avatarRobert Farago says:

      True dat. Text amended. And yes, there are still Baby Glocks out there, somewhere.

    • avatarDarren says:

      No compelling reason for me to give up my G26. Following the rule that “anything that needs shooting should be shot twice”, I can do that compared to the XDs with 12+1 in 9mm, and still have one left over. It largely comes down to personal preference, and I have enough time in with the G26 to be comfortable and confident with it.

      RD — you ever check out that Saf-T-Block? The only thing I don’t like about the Glock line for pocket carry is the trigger safety, the “don’t play with it rule” helps, but the Saf-T-Block keeps my mind at ease. If anyone is going to be shot in a ND situation, it’s probably going to be me, and the pistol is pointed at stuff I’d like to keep.

      • avatarRopingdown says:

        Thanks for reminding me. I’ll make a note now. OK. the way I carry is no doubt odd: I removed the belt attachment parts of a Blade Tech STR thin kydex holster. What remains is a very thin light shell easily adjustable for holding tension, and the trigger/guard is fully covered. My G36 usually rides in that (or those). I just grab the grip with three fingers and light push on the kydex with my thumb. Out it comes. Sounds stupid. Works great. And I don’t worry when moving the thing from a suit pocket to a raincoat or other garment, or the glove compartment. Still, I’ll check the Saf-T-Block now. It’s no surprise, then, that when I carry it on a belt and can’t use my favored cheap Jak Slide, I use a non-disassembled Blade Tech STR. (The name STR may have changed? Haven’t needed more…)

        • avatarRopingdown says:

          14.95′s not bad. Just added one S-T-B to my open Brownell’s order list. I’ll give it a try.

        • avatarDarren says:

          If your trigger guard is fully covered, it’s probably overkill, particularly if you re-holster by snapping the Kydex over the pistol first. I just didn’t like the idea of my finger being so close to the bang switch, or somehow forgetting and putting something in my pocket that found its way into the DeSantis Nemesis I use and came to rest on the trigger. Much less likely to happen with your carry system, not enough space to get anything into the trigger guard I’ll bet.

        • avatarRopingdown says:

          Once you remove the enormous belt stuff, there isn’t much there. It doesn’t come out of the pocket with the gun! Reholstering is just a matter of sliding it back in. The tension is set very light via a little screw. Nothing but my checkbook and gun go in that pocket, ever. If it’s overkill, it’s very easy-to-pocket overkill. It was a kludge one day, and I just never changed. It sounds big, bulky, and difficult. It isn’t.

        • avatarRopingdown says:

          I just took a look at the deSantis Nemesis: It is actually much bigger than what I use. It is much wider at the bottom and comes up much farther on the top of the slide. In fact almost my entire ejection opening on top of the slide is exposed. Imagine kydex that comes almost up to the slide release and mag release button, but is cut out on top, and is exactly as long as the barrel/slide tip, and is exactly as wide top-to-bottom as the gun is at the trigger guard.

      • avatarMadDawg J says:

        Darren,
        This guy also makes holsters for Glocks so he has them around for design and fitting. Petition him to make a Glock version of this: http://wolfconcealment.com/gun-holsters/wolf-ruger-sp-101-trigger-holster. I haven’t order mine yet so I can’t give specifics or a review on it, but I plan on trying using a safety pin to hold the string for automatic disconnects from the trigger guard and also sewing one into my main jacket’s pocket. As long as the string is securely anchored it will pop the holster right off during the draw, all other times the trigger is fully cover.

        ETA: My Google Fu has just shown me they make a similar one for Glocks. http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=150703568310+&item=150703568310&lgeo=1&vectorid=229466

  8. avatarRyan Finn says:

    I’d rather have 6 rounds of .45 than 6 rounds of .380 any day.

  9. avatarjkp says:

    Looks like a great belt pistol, but the advantage that the small .380s have is that they are true pocket pistols. 6.3″ long and 4.4″ high doesn’t sound like it would be comfortable in a pocket at all.

    • avatarMichael B. says:

      It’s only slightly larger than a S&W 642.

      • avatarjkp says:

        Yes, and I’m not going for one of those, either. My Kahr MK9 (5.3″ x 4.0″) is definitely as big as I’d want to consistently carry in a pocket. (In fact, it tended to migrate to an OWB holster when possible.)

      • avatarJason says:

        And much more square.

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      I regularly carry a G36 in a front pocket when wearing a suit, behind my slim leather checkbook (which absolutely prevents printing). I prefer it in a coat pocket behind a CD jewel case or something of similar size. I won’t describe my holster bit. I assume it would be the same for the XDs. I can’t think of a reason to change to it, though.

  10. avatarBigBeluga says:

    Did people suddenly stop buying 380′s when subcompact 9mm’s hit the market? Small weapons are all about compromises, and the capacity, caliber, and carry-ability (3 C’s?) of this weapon appear different than most of the other things out there. This will be right for some people, and not for others who will stick with their 9mm’s or 380′s. My takeaway is that we are fortunate to have a contested market that keeps driving innovation and giving us new choices.

  11. avatarCharles says:

    yes, Springfield pistols have a big following. The idea of offering the .45 first, instead of doing what everyone else does and offering the line in an ascending order of calibers, is a clever way to distinguish the pistol.

  12. avatarAaronvan says:

    Im sure they’ll make it in 9mm. When they do I’ll take a look.

  13. avatarmike says:

    I like the Walther PPS for a slim pistol. I do like my current XD though, so I would be willing to give it a shot. no pun intended

  14. avatarMark N. says:

    I’d be in line if I could find out if there will even be a line in California. I suspect it will not pass roster requirements (the XDm doesn’t either–we only get XDs. I also note that it was supposed to be released in March and here it is April with no guns. Maybe the ship got hijacked in the Med….? Bud’s is listing a price point of about $515 for the all blackgun and $540 for a two-tone when they become available.

  15. avatarTim McNabb says:

    Hmm – I carry a Diamondback DB9, and while I can shoot it accurately, 9MM is about all the punishment I would want to take on that small of a frame.

    If they beef up the recoil spring, then racking it is going to take a great deal of force.

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      If it’s of interest, the G36 is not hard on the hand. I think they’re wise to skip the .40 for now. I find very light .40 harder on the hand than .45. None of my brothers finds it unpleasant, either, and they’re not shooters, really.

      • avatarAPBTFan says:

        Lightweight .40′s are quite a handful. I’ve had the dubious pleasure of shooting my buddy’s G27 and it isn’t exactly fun. I had a S&W 99 in .40 and even in a midsize weapon it was, to me, much snappier than my 9mm Hi-Power or 1911. Recoil is certainly subjective but in my experience of 9mm’s, 40′s and .45′s the .40′s were the ones I cared for the least. If I want snappy I’ll go all out and get that G20SF I’ve been lusting after.

        • avatarRopingdown says:

          That’s funny: I bought a G20 SF fairly recently, as a hiking carry pistol. Then I ordered some practice and carry-level rounds, and a box of each load Double Tap sells in 10 mm that was in stock. Now those loads ARE worse than .40mm for the hand. It’s a very economical load, because I just don’t want to fire 50 in a session. laugh. Exactly the same grip (not texture) s a G21 Gen 4.

        • avatarRalph says:

          .40mm?

        • avatarRopingdown says:

          It’s a trend, Ralph. Probably something in the water. If you say it’s age creeping up on me I’m gonna…well…I forget.

    • avatarTom says:

      I was sort of thinking about the recoil of this model as well.

  16. avatarAdam says:

    I’d like to hear about it, potheads.

    Signed,
    Barnes

  17. avatarRopingdown says:

    When I start talking up pocket .45′s, I suddenly realize I sound like a missionary preaching to cannibals. But they are worth a try. It doesn’t hurt to shoot them. And (I can only speak for the G36) they are very reliable.

  18. avatarJay says:

    I do not know how many single stack pistols are out there but there should be more. They should come in all calibers. The polymer versions can be even thinner than steel or aluminum frames as there is no grip panels.

    Double stack guns are great for open carry but they force you to wear certain clothes when conceal carrying. Some guns with aluminum grips can have a grip width of 1.2″ though.

    I think my ideal gun for conceal carry would be a: single stack polymer in 10mm (instead of .45) or in .357 SIG (over a 9mm and .40S&W), have a CZ-75 style inverted slide and is (if possible) striker fired. I should be able to get all my fingers on the frame with no need for an extension. The front sight should be a fiber optic and the rear should be elevation adjustable and should be all blacked out.

    I think the XD-S will sell very well because of its width, weight and caliber.

  19. avatarMatt in FL says:

    For myself, the XDs will be the next big thing when it’s available in .40.

    I spent several hours at the gun show yesterday, still trying to decide on my next gun. Here’s what I discovered/decided: I’m buying a P238 very soon. The P938 is intriguing, but nobody locally can get them, and the XDs .40 is far enough off to be a mythical creature, like a unicorn. I will catch a unicorn someday.

  20. avatartdiinva says:

    I carry a [XDm] compact 9mm when I am out walking the dogs. It is much easier to shoot one handed then my full sized 1911 or any 45. Without the dogs I carry my Springfield Milspec. There is a good supply of clothing available to coneal it in any weather without looking like a wannabe in tactical garb. One of the lessons I take away from Zimmerman-Martin confrontation is that a steel framed pistol can be used as bludgeon in a pinch. Try that with you plastic, excuse me, space aged polymer gun.

  21. avatarPC says:

    By perfecting the engineering of a small, single-stack .45 first, the .40 and 9mm will be much easier to produce as a follow-up.

  22. avatarMatt G. says:

    “hey, let’s take the down side of a 1911(low ammo capacity), and mix it with the downside of an XD(it’s an XD)!”

  23. avatarGarrett says:

    Its definitly a publicity move by introducing the .45 only at fist. The .40 and 9mm will soon follow. Dont get me wrong, having the knock down of a .45 will be nice, but I think the 9mm will be a sweet gun. Armslist is actually giving away a new XDs this month. Here is the link.
    http://www.armslist.com/contests?utm_source=c000019&utm_medium=plink&utm_campaign=p025231

  24. avatarbaggybones says:

    I like what i have read about the Springfield XD-s. I like the accuracy it has produced on videos i have seen on you tube. I also happen to love Glocks. I own Glocks. I allso have owned and still own one Springfeild. I am very happy with the 45 acp and the 45 colt rounds. Before i buy any firearm i have to hold it and feel if it is confortable in my hands. How dose it grip,and how natural is the point of aim. I have longed for a glock 36 for some time now,and was ready to make the purchise, but decided to wait and have look at the Xd-s. Moneys tight and am just wanting to be sure. Both fire arms are as accurate as the shooter so whichever i get , i am sure gonna have to put some rounds threw it.

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