Springfield XDS Vs. Smith & Wesson Shield, Glock 26 and XDm Compact

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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.

41 Responses to Springfield XDS Vs. Smith & Wesson Shield, Glock 26 and XDm Compact

  1. avatarJason says:

    Maybe it’s that I mostly wear either jeans or cargo style shorts, but I don’t find the width of a double stack to be a big issue. I have a G26 and a Kahr PM9. Mostly it’s the weight that gives the Glock away.

    Yes, when you put them side by side the Glock is a fatty. But, even with my relatively small waist of 32″, the percentage that the Glock increases my waistband is less than 1%. The same belt loop hole works for both guns.

    I can see that fitted dress pants might be another ballgame but I don’t find the often talked about width issue being much of an issue at all.

    • avatarpastubbs says:

      I find myself wearing fitted dress pants often and I have no problem carrying a double stack pistol. In fact I started to pick up the Shield but decided not to because well I already own a M&P compact and the difference really isn’t all that much. Now if all I had was a full size pistol or none at all I’d go for the Shield. But the 5rd capacity on the XDs is not that appealing much rather have a small revolver.

      Wha… theres an edit button did someone get bribed with cookies?

  2. avatarKen says:

    Oh, the horror!! A video of a gun pointed at me! Why, that’s so much more dangerous than still photographs of Austrailian olympians pointing their guns at me. You’re in for a tongue lashing now RF. I just know there’s more outrage out there. In 3 . . ., 2 . . ., 1 . . . . .

  3. avatarRusticBliss says:

    Thank you sooo much for this comparison video. I am in the market for my first pistol. I have been using my husbands Glock 19 at the range and do quite well with it. I was almost convinced in the Glock 26- but now goin to have to check out this XDS. I didn’t concider a 45 at all but now I have to check it out. Love the grip saftey! I am just worried about the kick of a 45 on such a small weapon. But proof is in the puddin. I
    Thanks again. Very informative.

  4. avatartdiinva says:

    I like the pistol but not the caliber. I think 45 is too much round for a small pistol. You get crappy ballistics, lots of muzzle flip and the short slide action is going to cause problems with a weak grip. It would be great in 9mm.

    The 45 round was meant for a full sized pistol using a 230 grain bullet. I can see lots people who buy the XDS using the 185 grain Hornady round out of short barrel and expect the somewhat legendary 45 performance. You are not taking advantage of the round with a pistol this size. You are better off with 9mm round.

    • avatarMark N. says:

      It is really a question of muzzle velocity sufficient to assure expansion, not bullet weight. The all copper rounds are 165 gr, will fully expand, and have a higher muzzle velocity that a 230. Just as a 147 gr 9mm isn’t necessarily better than a 124, and a 115 will do the trick in a pinch, a 200 or 185 grain bullet in 45 is more than enough for up close and personal self defense.
      There are any number of 3″ 1911s on the market, and yes they tend to have timing issues. But this is not a 1911 style firearm, and it has a pretty low bore axis. This was reviewed on Gun Broker blog just yesterday, and they had no failures in their multiple hundred round testing, and no one complained of muzzle flip.
      I’d be in the market for one, but California will not allow them in.

      • avatartdiinva says:

        The Army studies for pistol rounds supporting The Joint Munitions Effectiveness Manual that were done around 1990 show that bullet mass and tissue expansion are the key lethality factors for small arms, i.e, bigger is better. I use a 230 JHP in my 1911 that will outperform any 9mm or light weight 45 JHP when fired from a full sized gun.

        I am somewhat of a weak wristed shooter and after a long session with my XDm compact 9 I will start having problems with the slide not locking back at the last round or an occaisional FTF/FTE. I never knew I was limp wristed until I got a compact polymer pistol. You just won’t have that problem with a full size 1911.

        There is no reason not to carry a gun with at least a 4″ barrel. My 1911 prints less than my XDm with it’s boxy shape.

        • avatarMike says:

          I have an XD 40 subcompact that I’ve put about 700 rounds through. I was having issues with the slide not locking back on the last round. I found that it was not really related to ammo issues because it would happen with quality brass and cheap steel ammo. I was also fairly certain it was not related to a limp wrist issue either. In the end I found my grip was to blame. I have somewhat large hands and I use a positive two-handed grip with my thumbs laced one over the top of the other. This would cause my upper thumb to rest against the slide release lever and as I gripped I would put just enough pressure on the slide release to cause it not to catch the slide on the last round. Ultimately I resolved it by resting my right hand thumb slightly off to the side of my left thumb keeping it away from that pesky slide release lever.

  5. avatarScuba Steve says:

    The Glock 26 wins hands down for me. If I want to carry a .45, the the Glock 36 is the answer. The weight of any other 9mm subcompact unloaded is about as much as the G26 give or take an ounce. 19 ounces seems to be the general weight. Stick with what works – the Glock and don’t pay so much attention to the marketing hype that is designed to make you spend more money.

    • avatarMark N. says:

      Spend more money? RF says he picked up his for $500, which is the same or less than a Gen 4 Glock 26. Stick with what works? I’ve had an XD that has never had a ftf or fte. Springfields and Glocks go head to head any day for ergonomics and reliability. It is personal preference after that. And this is what GunsAmerica had to say about reliability of a fresh out of the box xds: “We tested all of these types of both range and carry ammo, as well as white box Winchester and some Hornady Steel Match. No matter how the gun was held, it was impossible to get it to fail with any ammo at all. And a pounding of over 300 rounds including the hottest carry loads didn’t seem to phase the XD-S at all.”

      • avatarStephen says:

        A 300 round “pounding”??? LOL!!!

        If I told you what my families Glocks go through you probably couldn’t believe it.

        “Have fun stormin the castle”

  6. avatarfreeport56 says:

    The most compact gun I own is a S&W 442 Airweight .38/.38+P. With my large hands compacts are difficult to hold let alone be accurate with. My EDC is an XD 4″ Service Model in .45 ACP. For my hands it has great ergonomics, even for a double stack. Plus, I have read and heard from training professionals that these guns do not hold up during a professional training course. True, they get a monster workout in a 2 to 4 day period, but that is why as shooters we look for reliability under the most stressful conditions.
    I look at these compacts as nothing more than novelty weapons designed to entice the buyer of concealed firearms.

  7. avatarreoiv says:

    Hrmmm…The Glock 26 is barely bigger (tenths of inches) yet holds 10+1 rounds of 9mm vs 5+1 rounds of .45.

    A back up mag for the Glock 26 can hold another 17 rounds, the XDS is only 5 more…

    That and .45 out of a sub compact is way more of a bitch to get back on target.

    I’ll pass and not even look back. The Glock 26 is still king for conceal carry in my book.

    • avatarStephen says:

      +1

    • avatarCarlosT says:

      The XDm compact in 9mm holds 13+1, and the backup mag is 19 rounds. I haven’t shot it, but the word on the XDS is that it’s very soft shooting for a .45.

      I’m actually trending the other way, personally. I just got the XDm .45 Compact, which is slightly larger in every dimension than the XDm 9mm Compact. It feels great in the hand though, and .45 is a lot of fun to shoot. I’m still carrying the 9mm for now, but I might eventually make the switch to the .45 someday.

  8. avatarWiebelhaus says:

    Holy cow man! A 45 THAT small? And with 5 in in the mag? I’m not sure about this, I’d need to shoot it.

  9. avatarBpjester says:

    All these new pistols do not make me want to trade in my HK P7.

  10. avatarGreg Camp says:

    I do not think that aggressive means what he thinks it means. . .

  11. avatarGreg Camp says:

    On the subject of recoil, I have a 1911 with a five-inch barrel in .45 and a Kel-Tec P-11 in 9mm, so I can’t make any comparison there. I have shot a Browning Hi-Power in 9mm. What I have read tells me that the recoil of a .45 is slower than 9mm. Does this mean that the XDS here would feel gentler than say the Glock 26?

  12. avatarJon says:

    I own a xds and shoot playing card groups at 12 yards. My wife loves shooting it also. It kicks but it’s manageable

  13. avatarJon says:

    I own a Springfield xds, and shoot playing card groups at 12 yards. My wife loves shooting it also. It kicks but it’s manageable.

  14. avatarManny says:

    I own RI subcompact 1911 and an xds. I wanted the xds for ccw. During the class our instructor suggested a revolver for ccw. Less problems he said. He also said most gun fights happens within four yards, over within for seconds, and four bullets. To late for me coz i already purchase my xds. I can tell you that I’m just learning how to shoot and at 7 to 10 yard, I can hit the target with no problem with my xds or ri. The recoil is manageable. Every person is unique. Some people like glock some stick with 1911, some want more ammo capacity, some like 45s, 40, 9mm or 38. I wanted a 45 slim, I got lucky with my xds. I ordered it base on the reviews last january. I love my xds. The review was on point. I tried glock, it was ok but it felt weirded for me. Kimber is too expensive and s&w only has the 9. Very happy with my choice. Proud owner of an xds. :)

  15. avatarNorman says:

    Just picked up an XDS in .45. Been fortunate enough to own lots of guns, still do, for comparison. My comment to all : guns are kind of like shoes….the “best” footwear is what matches the current task at hand. You don’t wear combat boots to go play racquetteball. With that in mind, you all need to buy a bunch of guns and have one for every purpose. For me, 3″ lightweight.357 J-frame sometimes for bumming around. Or the Sig P250 in stubby 9mm config. For recreational shooting maybe the XD .45 long slide, or others. Hi_cap .40 for downtown. Ruger LCP for uber concealment..I got my XDS for this role. You’re kidding yourself if you say this is “fun” to shoot. It is a flinch inducing little monster, BUT it will make a great “get the hell off me” pocket blaster. Buy lots of guns and enjoy them all. I agree that glocks rock, but don’t care for the grip angle so I don’t tune into them, because it would adversely affect my capabilities with all others. My quick review on the XDS after maybe 20 rounds: the sights are “on” which is a big plus. You have to be ‘assertive’ when ejecting a live round, or any slide manipulation or it might get hung up. Trigger is a little mushy but ok if you stroke it right thru instead of staging it. Hang on tight and let r rip. I wish the fiber optic was yellow instead of red, can’t see it that well. No failures, well built. When I first saw it coming out, wondered why they didn’t do a 4″ bbl and 7+1 commander sized so you could hang onto it better. So far I like it, but don’t plan on shooting it a lot.
    It is what it is: a fairly lightweight, flat, small little blaster good to have on hand if you need to protect yourself. That is what it was designed for. Pepper spray +P.
    And if you want to go have fun shooting, put up a different pair of shoes….

  16. avatargeekr says:

    ill start off saying im a springfield fan… i have the xdm in .40 3.8 and my old lady has the 9mm 3.8 … both are great guns if i was planing on having a gun fight id grab one of them obviously on account of the 9 being 19+1 and the 40 16+1…but just for carry the 45 xds is nice… you can get a 7 round clip which makes the grip longer but it kinda contradicts trying to carry it… the sights are great… red or green on the front it comes with both… they are making it in a 9mm and .40 soon… do yourself a favor and pick one up if your wanting a good carry … if .45 is to big of a round wait and get the 9mm… ima huge fan of the .40 myself

  17. avatarJohn Pf says:

    I’d like to see various rounds chrono’d out of these guns to figure out what their velocity is and then calculate energy in ft-lbs. Although it’s not the only indicator, that number is pretty telling as to how it will perform in it’s job. It would be interesting to see how the .45 compares to a 9mm+P. Does the short barrel allow the .45 to get up to speed enough to be effective? What about “short barrel” versions of cartridges?

  18. avatarFrank says:

    Have put about 100 rounds of Federal 230 FMJ and Hornaday Critical Defense thru my XDS with no issues. I have large hands so the stock mags don’t feel great. Got some extended 7-round Springfield mags and the grip is much better. Recoil is manageable (even reassuring) and gun it very accurate. My wife also likes shooting the XDS, but had a few FTFs because of her weaker grip. She’ll need better technique to gain expertise, and I’m afraid that in a stressful situation her grip may make the gun less reliable than I’d like. For now she’ll stick with her Glock 19, but we’ll try the XDS in .40 when it becomes available. Would like more XDS feedback from women shooters.

  19. avatarCCW says:

    I’m a pretty skinny guy and just traded in my XDM 4.5 9mm for the XDS. I’ve actually had failure issues with my XDM (shell getting caught by the slide on the way out, and sometimes pressing the mag release while shooting) but my XDS has been perfect so far. The XDS is as accurate as you are even though the XDM is easier to handle, but if you don’t grip it hard enough it will sting your hand. I wish the grip was an extra quarter inch long so I could get all my fingers on it, but it’s not a big deal. I do find that if I try to hold it with one hand, my finger will be too high on the trigger to depress the trigger safety. But if I hold it with both hands, my trigger finger goes back down to the normal position. The trigger itself is a bit nicer than the XDM, as is the red fiber optic sight.

    Like I said before, I’m a skinny dude, but I have no problem rapid firing on a target 10ft away, which is about the range I would expect to use an EDC. (3 bullseyes, 1 solar plexus, and 1 throat shot)

    If I had the choice between 9mm 40 or 45, I probably would have picked the 40. It’s definitely NOT comfortable to shoot recreationally like my XDM was, but that’s not what I bought it for.

    For a hard hitting EDC gun that a skinny guy can conceal, I think the XDS is a great choice.

    • avatarFrank says:

      Try the Springfield extended mags for the XDS. They come with 1″ plastic sleeve they mates perfectly with the bottom of the grip and all my (big) hand a full-fingered, very stable grip.

  20. avatarStangSalie says:

    Just got my XDS a few weeks ago for my carry weapon and I love it. It kicks a bit….as was expected…but no more than I can handle. I have a 9mm XD and a .45 XDM that are my favorites at the range and I will probably bust out the XDS from time to time to make sure I stay familiar with it. I don’t get as tight groupings as I do with the XD and XDM but good enough to knock a bad guy on his butt…which is what it’s for. I’m not a weak girly girl….but I’m not a brute either….and I handle the XDS just fine. Hope this helps any women looking at an XDS or any of the guys out there looking for one for their lady.

  21. avatarThom says:

    great review! I really appreciate the 4 guns you chose and the side by side comparisons for size as well as including weight. The trigger pull comparison was awesome. I haven’t seen anybody demonstrate that.
    Now, if I could just get the 10 round clip 40cal XD with the 1″ width of the XDS and the trigger action of the Shield! … :-) ha ha

  22. avatarGreg says:

    I have been looking for a thinner carry gun for inside waste carry. The belt bulge is a little revealing when carrying my glock 19 inside a nice pair of pants with the shirt tucked in. The .9 ” thickness is a real attractive quality. Im used to shooting 9mm in a four inch barrel with the expected muzzle flip. You just get used to the timing and know when you are back on target for the follow up shots. I have been noticing a concerning situation when watching shooters on youtube shooting the new 45 xds. A lot of them are re gripping with their weak hand every few shots. Some of them after each shot. That does not lead me to confidence in shooting. I think for me i will wait for the 9mm release. Shots on target are much better than shots in the dry wall.

  23. avatarchris says:

    next person that says “clip” is getting pistol whipped…

  24. avatarJason says:

    Clip!

  25. avatarTim says:

    I’ve shot both the glock 26 and the xds. The xds was flawless. I loved it in every way. 4 people put 400 mixed rounds through it and not one jam. sure its got a 5+1 capacity but the mag extension makes it a 7+1. and if you cant stop someone with 8 .45 cal bullets then what difference does a few more 9mm bullets mean?

    • avatarDan says:

      Funny how everyone says if you can’t hit the target with 5, 7, etc rounds. Cops soldiers and professionals will tell you that when your in a true shooting situation, your only likely to put one or two rounds on a moving target. Why do you think cops unload there mags during a shooting incident. How many times have you seen a dozen cops on TV shooting into a vehicle only to find out the the stationary bad guy sitting in his vehicle was hit only 2 or 3 times yet dozens of rounds were fired. I love the look of the XDS .45 but 5+1 is not comforting.

      • avatarFrank says:

        If I follow you, given the choice you’d rather empty a 9mm Glock and score three hits than empty the XDS and score two. I, respectfully, don’t share your choice of strategy, but understand that it’s a personal matter. Use what works for you. I’ll trust my XDS.

  26. avatarFrank says:

    One more thought before heading out to walk the dog. My son is cop. My father, brother, brother-in-law and mother-in-law are/were cops. All have either seen first hand – or heard about second hand – hopped-up junkies walk through a hail of close-quarters 9mm and try to eat the shooter. Never heard of one walking through even a few .45s, let alone a hail. Oh, and a final thought: look down the business end of a Glock 19 (unloaded!). You see a lot of dark metal and a little black hole. Now do it with an (unloaded!) XDS. Looks like a manhole to hell. Very convincing if your goal is to stop the confrontation and avoid bloodshed. Not that I’d recommend the passive, wait-and-see approach, but it’s there.

  27. avatarRoice says:

    The Croatian made XD’s are some of the finest semiauto pistols ever made. Worrying about your gun being made in Croatia is like worrying about your watch coming from Switzerland. Try one and you will be a believer!

  28. avatarJJ says:

    I carry either a J-frame M342 no dash AirLiteTi (11 ounces) or a Kimber ultra CDP Series 1. Both are great shooters, and very easy carry. the Kimber IS expensive… but probably the best pistol I own. and 8 .45′s will take care of business (I hope!). I love the Glock 26 and 27 and 33, but a little fat for EDC.

  29. avatarBud Woods says:

    One item to keep in mind – The XDS does have a grip safety which, for a carry gun, is better than a frame safety. The grip safety does offer added safety for those who might carry in a purse or a pocket. The odds of both the XDS’ grip safety and the trigger being pressed inadvertently at the same time by purse contents or within a pocket are infinitesimal; the chances are higher that the Glock trigger might be pressed by something other than your trigger finger. {I have a Glock and would never carry it w/o it being holstered in some fashion.} Many women who carry still use ordinary purses – despite many excellent “CCW purses” available in the market.

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