From day one, Springfield Armory’s XD series has offered ease of use, reliability, a variety of calibers and accuracy. Since then, the XD series has spawned the XDM and XD-S lines. The most recent variant is the XD Mod.2, a series of subcompact pistols with enhanced ergonomics and enhanced-capacity payloads that are chambered in 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP. These Mod.2 pistols provide a carry-ready, user-friendly pistol with a grip that offers excellent adhesion, which is especially important in subcompact pistols that are chambered in powerful calibers. I recently found out how effective these designs are through testing the 9mm and .45 ACP variants.

Built To Protect

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XD Mod.2 pistols, like this 9mm, feature modified grips for enhanced control.

XD pistols are known for their excellent and reliable Ultra Safety Assurance (USA) trigger systems, drop safeties and grip safeties. The Mod.2 takes these characteristics of the XD and incorporates them into a more refined platform specifically designed for concealed carry. Not only do both the 9mm and .45 ACP variants have reduced-length barrels and grips to make it subcompact as you would expect, but the grip is designed for better control with three types of textures, which Springfield calls the “Grip Zone.”

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A lot of thought went into the placement of the Grip Zone’s textured areas. Some subcompact pistols without a lot of grip to hold onto may shift in your hand during recoil, especially when stoked with 147-grain 9mm and 230-grain .45 ACP FMJ loads. This lack of consistent grip makes other pistols difficult to shoot accurately. Remember that the smaller the pistol the more difficult it becomes to operate and shoot accurately. The traditional compromise has been a smaller gun that is easier to conceal and more difficult to operate versus a larger pistol that is easier to operate yet more difficult to conceal.

The grip of the Mod.2 series has three zones of texturing, each with a different type of adhesion. The Zone 1 texture is located on the front- and backstraps, provid0ing a good anti-slip surface. The side panels have Zone 2 texturing, which is the most aggressive and, according to Springfield, does the most to keep the pistol under control during recoil. These zones are similar to stippling and do provide a good grip without feeling uncomfortable.
The remainder of the frame is covered in Zone 3 texturing, which is the least grippy of the textures but still provides an enhanced grip.

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The XD Mod.2 models also have a slimmer frame. The frame is relieved on both sides so the trigger finger of a left- or right-handed shooter is comfortably positioned. The beavertail also allows a user to get a high hold on the pistols so the bore axis is closer to the shooter’s hand, which means less felt recoil. The rear of the triggerguard is also relieved to aid in that higher grip. With my average-sized hand, my small finger has just enough grip to stay on the lip of the magazine floorplate, or it can easily curl under the floorplate using the flush-fit magazine.

The 9mm Mod.2 holds 13+1 rounds while the .45 ACP Mod.2 holds 9+1, and they both accomplish this capacity with a height of only 4.75 inches. Even though these pistols are subcompacts that feature capacities comparable to those found in a full-sized pistol. Each pistol also comes with an extended magazine that features a sleeve over its lower portion that fits seamlessly with the grip frame, instantly giving each pistol a full-sized grip. This extended grip offers an additional four rounds in .45 ACP and three in 9mm. Both models also feature an accessory rail.

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The width of both pistols measures 1.2 inches, so these pistols are much thinner than other XD models and other subcompacts. The slide release is aggressively serrated for positive operation. The ambidextrous magazine release is serrated and at a height that is flush with the grip panels, so accidental magazine drops should not be an issue. Empty mags drop clear of the well when the button is engaged.

The Mod.2’s slide has also been slimmed down. The rear cocking serrations are more pronounced and they make these subcompact pistols easier to operate. There’s plenty of useful gripping area. Springfield also equips each Mod.2 pistol with an excellent three-dot sight system. The low-profile rear sight is flush with the rear of the slide for maximum sight radius. It is also smooth and snag-free. The back of the sight is serrated to effectively cut glare. The front sight is a red fiber optic.

Range Report

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Both Springfield XD Mod.2 pistols handled well and shot considerably tight groups at 25 yards.

My expectation was that the 9mm and .45 ACP Mod.2s would jump around in my hand during recoil. I was wrong. The variety of grip textures offered excellent adhesion, so all I needed to concentrate on was sight alignment and trigger press. I pushed the pistols, firing them at 25 yards using a rest. The 3-inch (9mm) and 3.3-inch (.45 ACP) barrels are made for concealability and close-quarters work. Recoil was less stout in the Mod.2s compared to lighter, smaller pistols I’ve tested.

RELATED STORY: Springfield Armory Redefines the XD Series with the New XD Mod.2

There is some creep to the trigger, which is fine considering these are defense pistols. The trigger broke crisply and consistently, and I was able to get slightly over 1.5-inch groups with the 9mm variant and consistent 2-inch groups with the .45 ACP. The accuracy can be attributed in part to the captive recoil spring and full-length guide rod in the .45 ACP Mod.2. I felt the Atlanta Arms 9mm ammo performed well from such a short 3-inch barrel. With major LE agencies reverting back to the 9mm, many are choosing 147-grain ammo, and Atlanta Arms looks like a good choice.

I found the 9mm Mod.2 very pleasant to shoot. There’s no doubt that the dual spring and full-length guide rod helped dampen recoil. Using a Fobus IWB holster, I practiced some dry-firing exercises with both pistols. Each Mod.2 pistol comes in a hard case that includes an OWB polymer holster, a double magazine pouch and a magazine loader. Out of the box, the Mod.2 offers the concealed carrier a user-friendly and effective self-defense system. This latest transformation of the XD series easily fills the need for those wanting a concealed-carry weapon with no compromise on caliber, magazine capacity and ease of use.

For more information, visit http://www.springfield-armory.com or call 800-680-6866.

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