Quite often, when a gun maker comes out with a Mod 2 version of a current firearm, there really aren’t many new things to write about it. However, we’re taking a close look at the new and improved Springfield Armory XD-s Mod 2 version, and it’s a whole new ballgame.
Springfield Armor Shook Sub-Compact Gun Industry
When the Springfield Armory XD-s line of handguns came out, they really shook the sub-compact gun industry in many ways. This gun was available in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP; how could they do it? It’s a good question, but it’s been a super-hot seller since it first hit the marketplace a few years ago.
There has always been a demand for sub-compact concealed carry handguns, and in the not too far past that was filled with the likes of a .38 Spl snubby revolver. While always a good choice, you were limited to the number of rounds they carried and, of course, the caliber. Additionally, revolvers, even with speed loaders, are still slower to reload than a semi-auto pistol, and a snubby revolver is still thick because of the cylinder. That’s not so with semi-auto handguns; they are slim.
I Was Wrong!
When I first heard about the XD-s Mod 2 version and saw the pictures of it, I was more like “ho-hum”. I though there was not much new there and that they just modified the grip area, rounding it off. Boy, was I wrong!
Improvements From the Inside Out
While there was nothing wrong with the original XD-s handguns, I didn’t think they needed any modifications. I was wrong again! What we have with the Mod 2 version is, more or less, a completely different model, if you ask me. It’s not just a modification or two. Instead, the gun has many improvements from the inside out. Let’s check some of them out.
Chambered in 9mm, 40 S&W, and .45 ACP
Of course, the new XD-s Mod 2 comes chambered in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP, and that’s a good thing for gun owners. These are the three most popular handgun rounds for concealed (and open) carry. The XD-s Mod 2 in .45 ACP still carries five rounds in the mag and one in the chamber, unless you stick the included 6-rd Mid-Mag X-Tension in the gun. Then, you are gaining one more round, and you haven’t added a lot in the way of length to the gun. It’s just a little more than half an inch or so. Plus, this Mid-Mag X-Tension gives you a little more to hold onto as well, giving your pinky finger a place to go, instead of letting it hang out there in the air.
Grip and Slide Changes
If you pick up the original XD-s and the XD-s Mod 2 next to each other, you will immediately notice that the grip texturing has changed, and the grip is more rounded as well. The XD-s Mod 2 just feels all that much better. You will also gain a slightly higher hand-hold on the Mod 2 version, and that’s a good thing. The slide is ever so slightly thinner as well. The slide can also be had with the Amerigo Pro-Glo front sight, which is very fast to pick up and a tactical rear sight. Once again, this improved sight is fast to use. Springfield has what they call their enhanced trigger for a better trigger pull. We still have the loaded chamber indicator and a grip safety, much like the good ol’ 1911 has.
Faster Follow-up Shots
Speaking of the enhanced trigger pull, it also has a short reset feature, making follow-up shots faster. What’s not to like here? The barrel length is still 3.3 inches long, and that’s just about as short of a barrel length as you can get in a semi-auto and still have the gun function. The dual spring recoil set-up really helps dampen recoil and tame the hottest rounds. And, to be sure, you can shoot all the +P ammo you want, or should I say that you can tolerate in this little gun. To be sure, it can get to you after a while with the more stout recoil of +P loads.
Lightweight and No Failures
The gun weighs in, with the 5-rd mag, at 21.5 oz. It’s an ounce more with the 6-rd mag. That’s one lightweight little .45 ACP handgun, if you ask me.
The magazine springs are stout. They have to be in order to get those rounds fed into the chamber with that short slide moving back and forth so fast. I experienced no failures to feed during my testing.
The only change I made to the Mod 2 was to remove the factory flat floor plate on the magazine and exchange it for a “pinky” catcher floor plate from Pearce Grip http://www.pearcegrip.com to get more purchase on the short gripping area. This made a huge difference in the way the gun felt and performed for me. It was a very good thing!
Springfield Developed a New Model Gun
So, in comparing the original XD-s to the new and improved XD-s Mod 2, I’d have to say that Springfield Armory actually developed a completely new model and took the best of the other model and used them to produce a new gun, not a “Modfied 2” version. That’s just my two cents worth.
If you hold these guns side-by-side, with your eyes closed, you will think you are holding two different guns. The improved trigger pull and short reset on the Mod 2 version, well, all I can say is “WOW!” The slide even has longer slide serrations. Springfield calls it a longer Posi-Wedge, making the slide easier to grasp and chamber a round. The rear sight has a “U” notch instead of being squared off, like most rear sights. Again, this makes for a very fast sight picture, combined with the Ameri-Glo Pro-Glo front sight.
The Mod 2 will fit in all holsters designed for the original XD-s, so no new holsters are called for. When the original XD-s came out, Springfield included a polymer holster and a mag pouch. The Mod 2 version has neither; however, all the major holster makers are producing holsters for this super-cool little concealed carry gun.
I ran about 300-rds of various .45 ACP ammo through the Mod 2 and had no problems at all with any of the ammo. I restricted my accuracy testing to 15 yards, and that is more than a fair test of a sub-compact carry gun with such a short barrel. From Black Hills Ammunition, I had their .45 ACP HoneyBadger 135-gr all-copper fluted bullet load, their 185-gr Barnes TAC-XP all-copper hollow point +P, 200-gr lead Semi Wadcutter Match ammo, and their 230-gr FMJ, which is a good all around load.
From the nice folks at Buffalo Bore Ammunition, I had some outstanding ammo, too including their 160-gr TAC-XP low recoil standard pressure load, and this has the all-copper hollow point bullet, 255-gr Outdoorsman Hard Cast FN +P, 230-gr FMJ FN +P, 200-gr JHP +P load, and their 185-gr Barnes TAC XP all-copper hollow point +P load. I will say that, the Buffalo Bore 255-gr Hard Cast +P load was plenty stout in this little gun, but it handled without any problems.
When shooting for accuracy, I use either a rolled up sleeping bag or a jacket over the hood of my vehicle, for a more solid rest. I shoot five rounds with each load, and if I believe I pulled a shot or two, I’ll re-shoot that group. If I’m convinced that, I just shot as good of a group as I can, I’ll stop with that load and moved on, making notes on my targets as I move from load to load.
And, as I pointed out several articles back, just because one particular load beat out another load in accuracy testing doesn’t mean that that one load is more accurate than another. I can repeat the shooting on another day, and the original winner in the accuracy department might not win the accuracy testing on a different day. Some days I’m more on my game than other days, with a gun or a particular load.
Winner In Accuracy Testing
Was there a winner in the accuracy testing? There usually is, and this time around, the Buffalo Bore 160-gr TAC-XP low recoil, Barnes all-copper hollow point came in at three inches dead-on, followed by the Black Hills 200-gr Match Semi Wadcutter load and their 230-gr FMJ load. All three loads were fighting for first place though. Everything else was around 3.5 inches, and that’s mighty good accuracy for a short barreled .45 ACP load.
If you’re in the market for an outstanding sub-compact, concealed carry handgun, that can do it all, especially when it comes to concealing it, then check out the new and improved XD-s Mod 2 at your dealer. The full retail price is $549!