Springfield Armory XD Mod.2, by Pat Cascio

Much has been written about this redefined little 9mm handgun from Springfield Armory– the XD Mod.2 since the first day it came on the scene. The gun is also available in .40 S&W, and by the time this article appears in print, it will also be available in .45ACP. I’ll be the first to admit that when the first XD subcompact 9mm came out, I wasn’t all that thrilled with it. It was too chunky to my way of thinking, and it just didn’t feel right in my hand. I shot one but never bought one!

Just a quick run down is in order on the new and improved XD Mod.2. The virtues have already been listed in numerous other articles, since everyone was fast to report on this gun. The thing that strikes me is the new, improved and slim frame. The second thing is the “Grip Zone” areas on the frame; there are three different textured areas on the grip, all subtle but all doing the job they were designed for, which is keeping the gun in your hand under recoil. There’s a 3″ Bbl, and the gun comes with two magazines– one is the 13-rounder, and the other is an extended 16-rd mag with a sleeve on it. The XD Mod.2 is a double action only handgun. I love the two white dots on the rear sight and the red fiber optic (replaceable) with green on the front sight, and SA provides extra fiber optic rods.

Springfield Armory also provides a nice polymer holster and double mag pouch with the gun, along with complete instructions, a cleaning brush, and a magazine loading tool, plus all this comes in a nice carrying case. What’s not to like here? The little gun only weighs 26-oz unloaded, and is made in Croatia.

The one and only thing I didn’t like on my sample is the magazine floor plate. It doesn’t allow me to get a third finger around the gun. The pinky just kind of dangles there. I ordered up some of the Pearce Grip magazine extensions, and I’m here to tell you, it makes the gun feel all that much better in my hand; the grip extender simply replaces the factory floor plate on the magazines – takes all of a minute to swap out…it has a nice curve to it and gives the biggest hands a better purchase on the gun. I showed the gun to a number of shooters, and every last one agreed the gun felt (and shot) better for them, with the little pinky extension on the magazine instead of the flat magazine floor plate. I’d like to see Springfield Armory include one of these Pearce Grip mag extensions with each gun and let the gun buyer decide which floor plate to use. I betcha everyone will select the Pearce Grip extended floor plate.

I requested another 16-rd extended magazine from Springfield Armory, and my local gun shop had some of the 13-rd magazines in stock. I purchased four more of the 13-rd mags for this gun and another 16-rd mag for an extended shooting session– a mini torture test! A quick accuracy test was in order, and I’m here to tell you, this little 3″ Bbl sub compact 9mm will hold its own against full-sized 9mm handguns. Many writers will limit their accuracy testing to 15-yards. I didn’t! I took the target out to 25-yards, and as long as I did my part, I could easily keep five shots inside of 3-inches. That is remarkable accuracy from such a little handgun. Yeah, there were some larger groups; however, if I did my part all the time, I could keep all the rounds inside of a three-inch group. What’s not to like here? The most accurate round was the Black Hills Ammunition 124-gr JHP +P load.

I had a good variety of 9mm ammo on hand from Black Hills and from Buffalo Bore Ammunition for a 1,200-rd torture test. My friend, Tim Sundles, who owns Buffalo Bore Ammunition tells me that, as a rule of thumb (sorta), +P+ ammo usually won’t be reliable in a 9mm handgun with barrels under 4-inches, and I’ve followed that rule in my 9mm handguns that I carry for self-defense. From Black Hills Ammunition, I had their superb 124-gr JHP +P fodder, and their 115-gr FMJ loads. From Buffalo Bore, I had their 147-gr JHP standard pressure load, 147-gr FMJ standard pressure load, 115-gr +P+ Barnes All-Copper hollow point load, and their 124-gr +P+ FMJ FN load. So, a good assortment of ammo was run through this gun.

Long time friend, Jeff Hoffman, who operates Black Hills Ammunition with his wife, Kristi, supplied me with the bulk of the 9mm ammo for the torture test; that’s over 1,000-rds from them alone. Thanks! I had everything in hand and ready for my testing. I had two assistants to help with loading the magazines, and I thought they could keep up with my rapid-fire shooting. To be sure, the magazine springs in the XD Mod.2 are VERY stout, to put it mildly, and the magazine loader was used by the two, along with a generic 9mm magazine loaded. After about 500-rds, my assistants had to take a break. They simply couldn’t keep up with my shooting. To be sure, my trigger finger developed a small raw spot. There was a very tiny burr on the trigger face that I didn’t see, and it rubbed my finger raw. I ended the shooting session for that day with NO malfunctions.

Two days later, I resumed my torture test. The gun was only cleaned and lubed at the start of my testing for this article, with no further cleaning or lube applied during the testing. I ran 200-rds of Buffalo Bore Ammunitions +P+ ammo through the gun, and once again no problems were encountered. My two assistants were able to keep up with my shooting, and after all is totaled I ran more than 1,200-rds of ammo through the little XD Mod.2 with zero malfunctions of any type, no matter which ammo was used. I will say that the gun got hot, real hot, and if you touched the slide you knew it was hot. I’m not admitting I ever touched the slide…LOL!!!

In all my testing, which included the torture testing of 1,200-rds and then another 200-rds of various ammo through the gun for accuracy testing, the gun never once missed a beat, not even close. I will say, I was totally surprised that this little 9mm gobbled-up +P+ ammo without any problems. I’ve had some full-sized 9mm handguns that choked on +P+ ammo. The gun was as solid after all the testing as it was at the start of the testing. I was totally impressed, to say the least.

I asked Jeff Hoffman at Black Hills Ammunition to just send me some 9mm reloads, or even some factory seconds, for the torture testing, but Jeff wouldn’t hear of it. Instead, he sent me brand new ammo in their red boxes. It just about broke my heart to fire up all that brand new Black Hills Ammunition in a torture test. Many writers only fired a small amount of ammo through their XD Mod.2 samples, in a rush to be one of the first (and there were dozens of “first” writers out there reporting on this gun the very day it came out). I elected to do some serious shooting and a torture test of the little gun to see how it would really perform under harsh conditions. Now, while this was only a mini torture test, unlike some tests where guns were run with 10,000-rds through them in a torture test, I have no doubts this little gun would come through a longer torture test with flying colors.

I’d say that Springfield Armory has done a great job with this little gun, and it is a hot seller already. A .40S&W version is on the market, and just as soon as the .45ACP version comes out I’ll be begging for a sample. I’m not sure what full-bolt retail is on this gun, but it’s over $500.00 to be sure. I see the gun selling for well under this price. In my humble opinion, this is a best buy in a little concealed carry handgun– one that will keep going and going. Additionally, and it comes with everything you need to strap it on and head out the door to the range or the mean streets of America, and you’ll have confidence in the gun’s ability to keep you safe, no matter what kind of ammo you run through it.

So, before you lay your money on the counter for your next handgun purchase, take a real close look at the Springfield Armory XD Mod.2 in 9mm, .40S&W, or .45ACP. I think you’ll sincerely be blown away by how small the gun is as well as how great it feels in your hand. – Pat Cascio, SurvivalBlog’s Field Gear Editor Emeritus

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