Gun Review: Springfield Armory XD(m) 9mm 3.8″ Compact


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In the history of TTAG, I’m not sure that any of the writers have procrastinated on a review as long as I have on this one. In fact, looking at my YouTube upload history, it appears I filmed a quick intro on this gun over a year ago. Which means after a year, at least a thousand rounds, a few shooting classes, and hundreds of hours of daily carry, I am finally ready to render judgement on the humble XD(m) . . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ab6lrmmTG2c

But first, a bit of history. In the dark days before the State of Texas gave me their blessing to carry a handgun in public, I was a .45 ACP man. And I was certain that when my permit came, I’d be carrying a 1911. Then I spoke to people who actually knew things.

Farago laid it out pretty plainly by telling me that with all the gun testing I’d be doing, I needed to be practicing with and carrying something dead-stupid-easy to use. And that applied even if I never tested another gun again. Then Karl Rehn suggested that I shoot one of his M&P 9 pistols during Defensive Pistol training. It was my first time with a 9 mm handgun and I was shocked at how well I shot.

On the day my CHL arrived, I was in possession of the M&P 45C. And looking at my review, I was so pleased with it that I had plans to make it my EDC gun as soon as I had a license to do so. I knew the trigger wasn’t great, but it was a gun in hand that I thought fit the bill. The final straw was a trip to the range with a buddy from work who had just purchased a 4.5″ XD(m) in 9 mm. He let me shoot it and I fell in love with the trigger and ergonomics of the gun.

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So I did what any red blooded American would do. I marched my happy ass down to my LGS and plunked down $600 for this gun. I drove out to my ranch that weekend and shot my M&P 45C against my new XD(m). I set up a basic drill to test my comfort with the two. I would draw, shoot five shots on a target to my left, and another five shots on a target to my right. I ran it with the M&P with a few misses at a decent pace, and then absolutely destroyed it with the XD(m) the first time I cleared the holster. Which was also the first time I shot the gun. Ever.

I fell in love a bit more over a few hundred more rounds that afternoon, and then cleaned the M&P up and sent it back to S&W. I called Comp-Tac and got a few holsters for the XD(m), and strapped it to my hip when my CHL arrived. And that’s pretty much where it’s been ever since.

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Overall Appearance

My first impression upon buying the gun back in April of 2012 was how much stuff came with it. You get a nice hard-sided case, a magazine pouch that holds two mags, a holster, cleaning brush, lock, grip inserts, and an extra magazine. And it’s not crappy gear either. In fact, I wouldn’t hesitate to open carry with the holster provided, and I used the cleaning brush for quite awhile before I finally killed it.

The XD(m) ships without any discernable amount of lubrication but is finished all over in a matte coating that seems to stand up quite well to abuse that guys like me dish out. There are no defects of any kind in the machining and, as a bonus, the serial number is engraved on the slide, frame, and barrel.

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Fit and Finish

In 15 months of EDC carry, thousands of rounds downrange, drops, spills, and cleanings with anything that is available, it still looks new(ish). I’ve managed to wear the coating down on the magazine release and the serrations at the front of the slide. I’ve used harmful chemicals to clean it without distorting the grip in appearance. I’ve fed it the worst ammo possible and I’ve dropped it in the dirt a few times. Nothing seems to faze it. The only item that’s needed attention was the paint on the front sight. Hoppes #9 eats up that factory white paint, so I had to repaint it somewhere along the line. I used white fingernail polish and never looked back.

Ease of Use 

As far as “fighting” guns go, the XD(m) is idiot proof. Or as much as any gun can be. There are no manual safeties to fuss with, the sights are only adjustable with a punch, and the magazine release works from either side. Springfield seems to have really done their homework and removed features until it had just what it needed to work.

The cocking serrations are aggressive enough to grip even with oily hands (yes, I did that). The slide release seems to be an afterthought, and the trigger has a clean break with a clearly audible reset.

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However, the XD(m) isn’t “village” idiot proof. You’ll notice that it has a 1911-style grip safety. One of the reasons I purchased the XD(m) was because of that grip safety. This was my first carry gun, and while I knew that if I ever needed to clear leather, I wouldn’t have the presence of mind to click off a manual safety, I wanted at least a passive barrier between me a negligent discharge.

But everything comes with a tradeoff and that feature is also a bit of a hindrance to the gun being completely foolproof. The grip safety not only controls the firing mechanism but also locks the slide in battery. So, if you apply a less-than-perfect grip and try to open the action, frustration will ensue.

A prime example is when you want to open the action and manipulate the slide release, but have small hands which require you to finagle the gun to the side a bit. It can be done, but requires a bit of practice. When it comes to firing, though, the XD(m) will tolerate a less-than-perfect grip. In all my shooting, I’ve never had the gun fail to fire because of the grip safety.

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Ease of Disassembly

I’m happy to report that this is one of the easiest guns I’ve ever had the pleasure of cleaning. Lock it open with the magazine out, roll the disassembly lever forward, release the slide (with two hands), and slide the whole thing apart. The slide spring comes out as one unit, and the barrel pops out not unlike almost every other polymer pistol on the market. Just reverse the process to put it all back together.

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Handling Characteristics

I have found the XD(m) to be a dream to shoot. Even with cheap ammo, I’ve been able to score hits on a 10-inch square plate at 50 yards. I’ve also been able to run and complete every drill Karl Rehn threw at me in multiple classes.

This being the compact model, the grip is shorter than the full sized gun. But those with smaller hands (my palms measure just under three inches at the base of my fingers) can still get a full grip. Larger-handed shooters will probably end up hanging a pinky off the end.

Like most of the modern polymer guns, you can change backstraps to fit your particular hand (small, medium, large). The gun ships with the medium strap in place, but I opted for the smaller flavor. Ten minutes with a punch and the change is done. The M&P’s tool-free method is better, but you’re only likely to have to do it once, so it’s hardly a life-altering issue.

One of the drawbacks to this gun is weight. The XD(m) is easily the heaviest of the compact polymer guns at an advertised 28 oz. Compare that to the M&P 9mm compact (21.7 oz.) or the svelte Glock 19 (20 oz.). I’ll spot Springfield a little bit since they give the weight of their gun with an empty magazine, but suffice to say, the gun is heavy.

But boy oh boy does the trigger make up for that heft. Hell, the trigger is what sold me on the gun in the first place. I was used to that mushtastic bucket o’ crap that S&W calls a go pedal on my M&P 45C when I got to light off a couple rounds with the XD(m).

The trigger has a bit of takeup (it’s striker fired, so duh), there’s a wall, a crisp break at six lbs., and then a touch of over-travel to the stop. When you release it, you cover a little under half the distance of travel, hear an audible reset, and you’re right back on the break point. See the video above for a detailed breakdown of those motions.

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Accessories 

There’s enough rail space to hang whatever silly lights, lasers, knives or barbecue implements off the end that your little heart desires. The sights can be drifted out and several companies make replacement sets. Holsters are easy to find online or at your local big box retailer. However, the XD(m) comes with everything you need to run it right out of the box.

The only issue I’ve had accessorizing mine has been magazines. The gun only comes with one 13-rounder, and while the full size 19 rounders are plentiful, the 13 rounders are harder to find than hen’s teeth. And when you do find them, asking prices are north of $35. I’d really prefer that the gun come with another 13-round mag from the factory…there’s even a foam cutout for it in the case!

What’s it good for?

To be honest, damn near everything. As far as do-it-all guns go, I haven’t found anything much better. In fact, this might best be summarized with some fancy bullet points:

  • Accuracy – I’ve easily shot out to 50 yards and scored consistent hits, so the gun is capable of some frightening accuracy. It’s always been far better than minute-of-bad-guy accurate for me, and I’m now to the point where I shoot it the same; fast, slow, stressed, hot, and cold. Stupid accurate with everything I’ve thrown at it.
  • Reliability – I lost count of how many rounds I’ve fired, but I would pin my life on the number being over 1000 rounds. From cheap, dirty Russian steel-cased junk to uber-expensive defensive ammo and everything in between. Hard primers, soft primers. FMJ and hollow points. I’ve never had a failure to fire in that whole time that was gun-related. Ever. As the magazines have broken in, I’ve occasionally had a failure to lock the slide back. New magazines have fixed the problem and that isn’t a gun issue so much as it is a crappy magazine issue.
  • Concealability – I carry this gun every day, rain or shine, hot or cold, without question. It’s my only CC firearm and it fits the bill always. With the right holster, I have no problem wearing it with a t-shirt or a suit and tie. With the short magazine, it packs 13+1 on deck. And with the long magazine, it will carry 19+1.
  • Home Defense – With the long mag, it has 20 rounds of your preferred gun food on tap and a rail to hang a light from.
  • Plug and Play – I have a love/hate relationship with gun modifications. I love doing them, but I hate that I need to do them. I have made zero mods to my XD(m) in over a year of ownership and really don’t have any plans for any. It just works, right out of the box.

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Kudos & Gripes

My biggest love for the XD(m) is how easy it is to operate accurately. I was head over heels within 10 rounds, and it’s only gotten better since then. I’m confident that I can put three rounds in a small hole, at there yards, in under three seconds. But I’m also confident that at 50 yards, I can put the same three rounds on a small target in a slightly longer amount of time.

My biggest gripe, again, is weight followed distantly by the pistol’s sights. This gun is a pig to schlep around and it took a good holster and belt for it to not drag my pants down. I chalk the majority of that weight up to the grip safety internals and the hell-bent-for-stout slide and barrel. It could be made lighter, but it would probably compromise features and reliability. The sights, I can live with, but I wouldn’t be upset with some Hi Viz aftermarket dots that could take the punishment of EDC. And Hoppes #9.

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Specifications: Springfield Armory XD(m) 9 mm Compact

  • Caliber: 9 mm
  • Magazines: 1 – 13 round & 1 – 19 round w/ X-Tensions
  • Barrel length: 3.8 “
  • Sights: 3 dot
  • Trigger Pull: 5.5 – 7.7 lbs (tested @ 6 lbs)
  • Frame: Black Polymer
  • Slide: Forged Steel
  • Overall Length: 6.75 inches
  • Height (with compact magazine): 4.75 inches
  • Height (with X-Tension): 5.75 inches
  • Weight (with compact magazine): 28 oz
  • Weight (with X-Tension): 29 oz
  • Price: $669 (mine was $600)

Ratings (out of 5 stars):

All ratings are relative to other similar guns, and the final score IS NOT calculated from the constituent scores.

Accuracy: * * * * *
This gun is more accurate that it has a right to be. If 9mm packed .30-30 ballistics, I’d take it hunting in a heartbeat.

Ergonomics (Handling): * * * * *
With the change of a backstrap, the XD(m) can be adjusted to fit any sized mitts. The trigger is in a good place, the mag release is easy to get to without hand gymnastics.

Ergonomics (Firing): * * * * *
9mm isn’t exactly a punishing round to shoot, but the XD(m) has enough grippy surfaces to completely control the gun.

Reliability: * * * * *
Zero FTF, FTE, or any other FT(X) error in 1000+ rounds with all sorts of ammunition.

Customization: * * * * *
Holsters abound! The XD(m) has a Picatinny rail and accepts new sights. Not much else really needs changing.

Overall Rating: * * * * 
I’m giving four stars because nothing is perfect. The XD(m) 3.8 Compact could stand to shed a few oz.’s and some sight paint that withstands cleaning solvents. Those are literally my only two objections to this pistol. Otherwise, it goes bang every time, accurately and comfortably. I might change it out one day in the future if Texas legalizes open carry in favor of a higher capacity 9 mm. Or possibly for a M&P 9 with an Apex Trigger. Until that day, the XD(m) 3.8 Compact has proven to be the ideal EDC pistol for me.

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About Tyler Kee

Tyler Kee is a small town kid trying to make it in the big city of Austin, TX. A salesman by day, he is an avid motorcyclist and aspiring chef out of the office.

58 Responses to Gun Review: Springfield Armory XD(m) 9mm 3.8″ Compact

  1. avatarEric says:

    Great review!

    • avatarSnJohnson says:

      Love the XD series and it’s my own EDC. One thing that I really don’t like however is that the slide, barrel, and frame all carry the serial number of the gun. I’m not too much for letting Big Brother know what my business is anyway, so this bothers me.

  2. I carried a full sized XDm40 for six years and finally sold it, mainly due to its heft. With a full mag it was just too massive and too porky. And this was carrying in a Tommy’s Gunpack, not on a belt. I have big hands, and that gun stuck an inch out past my pinky…..
    I haven’t found a replacement yet – I am thinking about the 3.8 Compact in 9mm. These guns sure are reliable and they SHOOT! Thanks for a very fine review.
    I think the stock sights suck, big time. The white paint goes dull in a very short while, making them hard to see. A set of XS 24/7 Big Dots would fix that.
    John Davies, Spokane WA USA

    • avatarDryw says:

      Not a rabid fan of the stock sights either. I rectified by installing blackened/serrated rear and Trijicon fronts. Front blade installation is a bit tricky the first time out, but well worth the result.

  3. avatarEthanB says:

    I got an XD(m) back in April of 2011, it sat in my safe well past the “Honey, I’ve always had this gun,” time limit before I shot it. Like Tyler I was hooked after the first 10 rounds. I was really surprised at how well the pistol pointed and stayed on target for me. I will say loading the extended mags with 19 rounds is a chore, but emptying them is a pleasure!

  4. avatarDryw says:

    Excellent and thorough review. XDm love is appreciated.

    With your obvious affection for the 3.8C 9mm, and being a .45 aficionado, I’d recommend taking the 3.8C .45 for a spin around the block. Though there are some detriments to big bore/smal package for EDC as you noted above.

    I purchased an XDmC .45 as a compliment to a full-size XDm .45 (shared mags), but I was pleasantly surprised at just how controllable she is. If only the compact mags didn’t run dry so quickly…

  5. avatarMatt in FL says:

    Great review, Tyler.

    As I’ve said before, I love my XD(m) 3.8 in .40, but it’s not the compact, and that’s the only thing I dislike about it. In Florida in my typical tshirt attire, it’s very difficult for me to conceal, which is why I EDC my SIG P238. If I had it to do over again, I would absolutely buy the compact version. I will probably eventually replace my current gun with one.

  6. avatarMike Crognale says:

    Got my first Springfield XD in 45ACP from Frontsight as part of the handgun training package that I bought. Fell in love with it the first time I shot it. I loved it so much that when the XDm came out I bought it sight unseen and gave the XD to my son. I carry the thing everyday and shoot it weekly. I am and always will be a 45 man. I’ve always adhered to the rule of gunfighting that says never bring a gun whose caliber doesn’t start with 4. Even with my age and arthritic hands I love shooting it.

    • avatarBob says:

      I also got an XD45 as part of a 5 day Front-Sight class package. I used a loaner XD45 for the first four days, and I HATED the gun the whole four days of the class.

      If I moved my right hand slightly when checking if a round was in the chamber, then the DAMN grip safety locked the slide in battery. I can think of no good reason why a grip safety should lock the slide. Can you?

      The recoil spring was also much firmer than it needed to be. By the end of the day, my arms and fingers were tired from trying to slowly move the slide for the chamber checks.

      I used my Sig P220 for the fifth day (the CCW class). I shot just as well and I wasn’t silently cussing at the gun all day.

      When Front-Sight finally sent me my XD45, I gave it to a relative as soon as it arrived. I have lived with a Springfield XD for a few days , and I am NOT a fan at all.

      Obviously, YMMV.

  7. avatarRick says:

    THIS is why I like this website. This is the way a gun review is supposed to look.
    I’ve got a 5″ XD9 and a 4.5″ XDm9 and now looking seriously at this pistol based on this review.
    I took my XD9 to a shooting class at TDI here in southern Ohio that required 1800 rounds minimum for the three days – and it never even hiccupped. And that’s after shooting it IDPA for over a year. I’m sold.
    Good job, Tyler!

  8. avatarg says:

    Great gun review! I definitely considered a XDm compact when I was shopping for a CC gun – liked the trigger and the ammo capacity… didn’t like the weight or the bulk. Ended up going smaller, but at some point in the future, maybe I’ll add a full-size XDm to my handgun collection…

    • avatarMike Crognale says:

      My issue with the compact was the size of the grip. I have large hands and the grip didn’t feel right with two of my fingers under the grip. I suppose I could use the larger mags in it but that would kind of defeat the purpose I would think.

      • avatarCarlosT says:

        If you add a Pearce grip, it adds room for the pinky to the front of the gun without adding length to the rear, which is what you have to worry about with printing.

  9. avatarimrambi says:

    I have a XDm 4.5″ 9mm and a XDm 3.8″ .40. The nice thing is that the slide are interchangeable. The difference between the frames is only the grip length. With a standard capacity magazine and the X-Tension, the frame is the same.

    The biggest complaint that I have is nothing with the gun itself, but with after market parts. It would be nice to buy after market slides to change a 4.5″ 9mm to a 4.5″ .40 or visa versa, and the same with 3.8″.

    • avatarutdmatt says:

      imrambi you CAN change the .40 to a 9mm, just not the other way around. All it takes is swapping out the barrel and magazines. Rarely you’ll need to adjust the extractor, but most don’t need to. There are a couple of 3rd parties that sell the barrels.

  10. avatarAccur81 says:

    Good review, but I don’t know how it got a 4 star overall rating when all of the categorical ratings such as accuracy and reliability were 5 stars.

    • avatarMr. Lighter says:

      I was wondering that as well… if the only problems are “it weighs too much” and “the front sight’s dot faded, but I fixed it,” it should at least get 4.5 stars…

    • avatarJustice06rr says:

      I think the weight/size is the culprit of this pistol. I’ve owned XD’s in the past and have always wanted the XDm, but the larger size and weight compared to a Glock19 or M&P9 makes this a second choice.

      This is a perfect HD and range gun, but for everyday concealement there are better options.

      But Looks and function get 5Stars all the way around!

  11. avatarRLC2 says:

    Nice review, Tyler. I prefer that the review include more time and rounds through the weapon.

    I know thats hard to do, but it distinguishes TTAG from other sites. Personally, I dont have a lot of time or money to buy and try new things- I just want something that works, and well, and if I am going to invest the time and money on coaching and range work, then I would ALWAYS buy on proof of experience like this, on the platform, rather than a first-out review on the hottest new thing from SHOT-XXXX.

  12. avatarRightYouAreKen says:

    Nice review and nice gun. I’ve never really gravitated to the XDs like I have to Glocks, 1911s, and even M&Ps. I think part of it has to do with the gun’s looks. It looks very “top heavy” not unlike a Sig 226 or something. It makes the bore axis look too high. Don’t know if it actually is, or just an optical illusion. I wouldn’t kick a free one out of the safe, but I think if I had to choose another polymer gun that wasn’t a Glock, I’d choose an M&P due to looks/feel.

    • I feel that it is a bit top heavy. It’s not just your imagination. Not gross, but compared to others, it is.

      • avatarMatt in FL says:

        It’s definitely a little chunkier on the top end than some others, but I don’t think it’s unsightly or awkward. Just pretty butch.

  13. avatarCarlosT says:

    Tyler, what holster are you using these days? This is my EDC and the holster I’m using is starting to chafe a little, so it’s time for a change.

    • avatarTyler Kee says:

      Comp-Tac MTAC and matching belt. It takes about a week to break in, but once done, supercomfortable. I don’t use my OWB holster anymore. Even in the summer.

  14. avatarpk in AZ says:

    The only modification I have done on both my wife’s and my carry XD(m) 9′s was to replace the “factory” guide rod (hollow piece of aluminum) with a tungsten guide rod….

    The difference in the additional grams of weight did wonders for recoil!

  15. avatarHunley says:

    I have to agree with everything you said. I had one of these and loved the thing, but it was too darn heavy at times. I was working at a machine shop and spent most of the time standing on a concrete floor during my duration of ownership. Between that, and the sweltering heat in a steel building in a south Georgia summer, it was too much for my back on those 14 hour days.

    But, it was reliable. I had to blow it out with an air hose each night to knock out the dust, aluminum shavings, and superfine MDF dust that accumulated throughout the day. I failed to do so one night after milling down 800 pound blocks of MDF all day and had a snake in the yard when I arrived home. I shot it just fine, but couldn’t see so as said dust flew into the air, including my eyes. When I could see, I hit it again. More dust flew out. The gun didn’t jam on either shot. It amazed me that something very absorbent with the fineness of talcum powder, which had been exposed to sweat all day, didn’t cause a FTF. I was impressed to say the least.

    I eventually traded it toward an LCR in .357 due to the weight. Now that I’m working in an air conditioned office at a desk, I plan on getting one again.

    With that said, aftermarket sight really are a must on these IMO.

  16. Awesome review. I, too, love this gun, but I switched to a M&P9c for three reasons:

    1) Slide can only be worked if grip safety is depressed. 9 times out of 10, this wouldn’t be an issue, but if you had to rack the slide one handed on a wall and you did not have the optimal grip in a life or death situation, then that could make the difference…

    2) Size and Weight. It just doesn’t ride or hide well on my body type for some reason. I had it in a Crossbreed IWB holster and gun belt and it still caused my pants to sag. No matter where I placed the holster on my belt line, it also printed too much for my tastes.

    3) This was a quirk and I do not know if you have noticed this too. On a full magazine, if you need to drop the mag, it takes a lot of pressure to drop the mag one handed. In order to drop a full to nearly full mag, I find that I have to push the mag up, hit the mag release and then it drops with much less pressure and free of the mag well. Not sure how often one would have to drop a nearly full to a full mag (i.e. several malfs, decide to drop the mag an perform a speed reload), but it bothered me that I had to use two hands to do so.

    I love my M&P9c minus the trigger. It doesn’t affect my shooting negatively, but I will probably drop an APEX unit in it in the future. Hopefully, that will be the end all for my carry gun.

    • avatarMatt in FL says:

      The hard mag release on a full magazine (with a round in the chamber) is not just you. I’ve noticed it too, but I haven’t had to go through the evolution of pushing on the magazine or anything. I’ve just noticed the button is a little harder to push, but I can still easily do it one handed. Mine is a .40 (16+1), though, so I don’t know if that makes any difference over the 9 mm.

      • The mag is 19+1 so maybe that is the difference. Spring tension might be higher. Also, could be that my hand placement/ thumb length just can’t get enough leverage to release it easily. Definitely, is hard for me though.

  17. avatarGuardian says:

    I have this same gun in bi-tone and .40s&w. I love it, but like you said it’s not perfect. I am replacing the trigger with a powder river precision ultimate match trigger. That has kicked my a!s so far as seen in the forum. I now am closer to it working, but the trigger won’t reset now! When I am done with the trigger I bought trijicon hd night sights and a drifting tool to change those out. At first it was very snappy, but as I have practiced more with it and my trigger control/ grip, I have gotten much more accurate with it. Nice review Tyler!

  18. avatarMark N. says:

    My first handgun is a 4″ XD9 (10 rounds). It has been utterly reliable. Taught my kids to shoot with it. They both loved it. But I never found a holster that kept its thick grip from printing.

  19. avatarIng says:

    It’s good to see some love here for the Springfields. I have one of these myself, and it’s a great gun. Everything Tyler said here (except the paint coming off the sights) fits with my experience. Easy to operate, dead-nuts reliable, and durable as anything.

    I bought mine as a do-everything pistol — it was the first one I bought, and I wanted it to cover self-defense, home defense, and every-weekend plinking and target shooting. It does it all, and does it all very well.

    Okay, I haven’t actually had to defend self or home with it…but after 2 years of use, it hasn’t had any malfunctions (other than the occasional ammo snafu you have to expect when you’re shooting lots of cheap stuff), it doesn’t care if I let it go several hundred rounds between cleanings (I don’t mean to neglect it, I swear), and it’s far more accurate than I am (although I admit that I suck at pistols). It is a bit on the chunky side, so if you intend to conceal-carry it, you’ll want a good holster and belt that can spread out the weight. (I use a Kholster, and it works quite well for me.)

    Suffice it to say that it’s a complete joy to shoot and I’m comfortable with the idea of relying on it to save my life.

  20. avatarGtfoxy says:

    Excellent review. The ammount of time spent with the gun makes the opinion more credible.

    One trend with many manufacturers I see is importation of Arm. As I recall these are made in Croatia (?) If I remember reading that corectly on the side of my uncles XDm 9.

    I find it really hard to believe that guns made over seas should cost as much as they do. These guns go for dirt cheap in their own areas, so why so expensive here? Is it just because we can afford it, supposedly?

  21. avatarJonathan C says:

    I love my XDm 3.8 in 9mm! It was my first (and still only) gun but I’m completely in love with it. I often do wear suits and thus the weight is often the only issue I have with it. Can you suggest a holster/belt combo that you use? I suspect a reinforced belt works well (haven’t yet bought one).

    Thanks!

    Jon

    • avatarMatt in FL says:

      Tyler listed the holster he uses a little ways up the comment section. Scroll up and look for Tyler Kee.

      A reinforced “gun belt” will make a huge difference in how comfortable your carry is. A good holster will really help, too, but not to its full potential on a crappy belt. Good belts are not cheap, but they’re worth every penny if you carry every day.

      • avatarJonathan C says:

        Oops hadn’t refreshed the page in a while missed his comment. Thanks for info Matt.

  22. avatarAZ47 says:

    I’m sure the XDm is fine and dandy. but it just sounds like a competitor to the Glock 19 that falls short.

    mind you, not by much. but the takedown lever and backstrap safety are dated. not to mention I know more than one person who has had a ND due to to safety while attempting to clear a chambered round. one of which resulted in a VERY damaged forearm and absurd medical bills to piece it back together.

    K.I.S.S. makes me a painfully boring person when it comes to carry guns.

    • avatarMatt in FL says:

      You don’t like takedown levers, I don’t like having to pull the trigger to disassemble my gun.

    • avatarCarlosT says:

      I’m not following how the takedown lever would make an ND more likely. If anything, it seems like it would make it less likely, since the one on the XDm disengages the sear, making a trigger pull unnecessary.

    • avatarSAS 2008 says:

      Back strap saftey is “dated”? The grip saftey is a big plus for me. When holstering, thumb on back of slide helps prevent an ND if something catches the trigger.

      • avatarAZ47 says:

        misunderstanding here.. the takedown has nothing to do with a potential ND. I’m just saying it’s unnecessary bulk. and a grip safety is an oxymoron. by simply gripping the gun, you have disengaged it. does no one else understand this? if your gun is not in your hand, it’s as safe as it can be. if it’s in your hand, the safety is disengaged. therefore it provides no extra measure of safety. just more moving parts and more pain in the ass to lock the slide open. it looks like shit, feels like shit, and it’s no surprise the secondhand market is flooded with them… just my opinion.

        • avatarMatt in FL says:

          I was going to argue with you some more, but you’re right, it’s your opinion, and you’re entitled. I’ll just shake my head and say, “OK.” You keep your GLOCK-brand GLOCK.

          That’s why God made brunettes AND blondes, after all, right?

          De gustibus non est disputandum.

        • avatarCarlosT says:

          I’m always fascinated by the passion the grip safety stirs up. If you were to remove a safety that really does nothing, the trigger safety is absolutely the one to go. That said, I don’t really have strong feelings about it.

          As for the grip safety, SAS 2008 has already identified it’s correct use to help avoid an ND. By placing your thumb on the back of the slide, you take the web of your hand off the backstrap. That engages the grip safety. Now if something snags the trigger as you holster, the gun shouldn’t fire. Glocks have fired before because bits of clothing have gotten into the trigger guard, and the trigger safety merrily disengaged just like it does when it’s a finger pulling.

  23. avatarVictor says:

    Are those icons on the bracelet?

  24. avatarnobby says:

    My friend owns a Glock and says it’s better than an XD. I axed him if he ever shot an XD and he said “I don’t half to sniff a turd to know that it stanks”. So there’s your proof that Glock is way better than XD.

    • avatarMatt in FL says:

      I’m convinced. Anyone want to buy mine? I need to run out and get a GLOCK-brand GLOCK.

    • avatarJustice06rr says:

      Eh…

      I own both a Glock19 and XD9sc. Both are reliable and well made. I really don’t think the Glock is any better than the XD.

  25. avatarSaul Feldstein says:

    There should have been a second mag with that gun, looks like somebody at the gun shop wanted it.

  26. avatartdiinva says:

    I have carried a XD/m 9mm compact for two years. It’s my “dog walking” gun. I can’t think of a better compact to own. If Glock is the Apple of handguns then Springfield is Android. They both get the job done but like the latest Android devices are to the iPhone, the Springfields are a [marginally] better product. They are safer without compromising the always ready shoot capability and I have been told by those who are better precision shooters than I that the Springfield is more accurate. I liked the XD and XD/m series so much that I bought a 4″ XD Service in 45 instead of a Colt Commander for a more concealable 45. If you think that the Glock is better because it weights less it’s time to surrender your man card. No handgun should give you a fatigue problem while carrying it.

  27. avatarDavid Trest says:

    My second handgun is a Springfield XDm .45 4.5″. I bought it to replace my FNH FNP-45 Tac, which I was dissatisfied with after seeing how FNH treated the civilian market (specifically, those they can’t slap their names on or use to pimp their name). It’s an amazing gun. Only times I had a FT Feed was due to me firing +P ammunition with the stock guide spring. I replaced that with a Wolff 20lb spring and badaboom, no more issues. I also have a tungsten guide rod for additional weight up front to reduce muzzle flip and it’s a sweet shooter. Carry it every day.

    My third handgun, and my trade-in for my FNP-45 Tac, is my Springfield XDmc 9mm. Also great, and since they’re virtually identical slide-size-wise, I can swap between them for CCW.

  28. Feel real bad for all you guys who find the little XDm 9mm too heavy. Hard to figure, but each to his/her own. I’m 66 now, and carried an XD compact .45 all the time for several years. About 18 months ago, I bought an XD compact 9mm. Not the “m,” the plain one. I went to the 9mm because I could not control the .45 with just one hand and decided that wasn’t good, even though I still love and shoot the .45. I can shoot the 9mm with either hand or both, as needed. I train that way consistently. I carry that gun every day, everywhere I go. Yes, it is heavy. That makes the recoil manageable for someone like myself with less than athletic upper body and arm/hand strength. And, by golly, I hit what I aim at. :)

    Yes, a decent belt and holster are essential to carry this big boy. No gun is ever going to dangle from my bra, or bang my ankles. And I’m never going to half undress to find the danged gun when I need it. IF I really need or want to CC, I have a special “fanny pack” for it that fits on my good belt.

    You might be interested in the story of the man I had to shoot to save my life. http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/?page_id=846

  29. avatarStreet Doc of Little Rock says:

    Great gun review of the Springfield Armory XDm 3.8 9mm. I really cannot argue with any of the points you made. I own the XDm 3.8 in .45 ACP as my EDC weapon, and feel the same. It IS a bit heavy, but really only a bit. My favorite about the gun is the trigger. Of everything I’ve ever fired, including 1911′s with really slick trigger jobs, this is the XDm has the most crisp and smooth action I’ve ever felt. From the very first round out of the box I haven’t wanted to change a thing. Other the weight, the only drawback I’ve noticed is the sights. Actually they are the ONLY thing I’d think about changing. After a year of carrying it, I’m looking for an aftermarket set of sights (and for suggestions).

    Again… You wrote an awesome review! Thanks a lot.

  30. Great review, Tyler. I personally had one of these in my hand barely a week ago and boy didn’t it felt good to hold it. It had a nice and comfortable grip for my hands, even though it was a bit heavy. I think I fired about a hundred rounds with it that day.

  31. avatarwallijonn says:

    One major problem with the XD/XDMs, imo, is that the mag release is too short and hard to reach. Point an empty XD/XDM in a safe direction, rest the index finger on the frame and try to depress the mag release with your thumb.

    Then there is the fact that Springfield doesn’t make a 4″ barrelled 5″ high XDM. If you want one you will need to buy a .40 3.8″ XDM with the longer grip frame and have it chopped (and have at least three mags chopped at the same time). The obvious solution? An extened mag that only adds 0.5″ in height instead of an inch. 9 or 13 rounds? Why not 11? Then you will be able to wrap all four fingers around it and the pinky will be touching the mag floorplate, instead of no pinky control or 1/2″ of added height.

    It’s either that or a 4″ barrelled XD with a 5″ height (compact), but not in two-tone, and not with the better barrel or trigger of the XDM.

    That 3.8″ XDM “Compact” should really be re-classified as a “sub-compact”. Not to worry, Glock does the same thing – full or sub-compact .45ACPs but no compact the size of the 19 or 23 (which have a 5″ height).

    Weight, sights, mag release, grip frame stipling (not everyone loves it), no 4″ barrelled 5″ high compact frame, blocky slide, non-rounded trigger guard, frame rails, slide holster wear (a matte stainless would be much better) are my CCW shortcomings.

  32. avatarBarry Wilson says:

    Last year I bought my first gun, Taurus PT111, 9mm compact. I soon began to get frustrated with all the misfires (at least 1 per magazine) and the restrike trigger just didn’t seem right to an inexperienced shooter. After a LOT of research and talking to a LOT of knowledgeable people, I traded in my Taurus for the XD(m)c. Holy cow! What a difference! It never misfires and my accuracy has noticeably improved. Yeah, its a little heavier, but with a heavy belt it sure feels good encased in my Sneaky Pete holster.

  33. avatarBraden says:

    Just purchased the 9mm XD(m) 3.8 Compact as my first personal handgun. I grew up around guns and have shot a wide variety of handguns and can say that I am very happy with this as my first purchase. I have put about 500 rounds through so far and not a single FTF, FTE, or any problems really. Some people complain about the “ugly” lines of the gun, saying the serrations on the slide makes the gun look like it came out of a cartoon and that the aggressive grip looks ridiculous. Well guys, those are there for a reason. One of my shooting experiences so far with this gun was out in the desert where it was dusty and hot. With my hands dirty and sweaty, I had no problem handling the slide, release, or any part of the gun really. The aggressive grip allows you to hold it in almost any way that is comfortable for you and gives you maximum grip, even in not ideal conditions. The only complaint that I have is that the mag release is a bit difficult (I have to push up on the mag while pressing the release), but I am confident that it will loosen up over time. Dollar for dollar, I could not be happier with this gun.

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