Now chambered in 9mm and .45 ACP, the Springfield XD-S models present a lightweight yet potent self-defense solution for the modern concealed-carry market. For the 2014 POCKET PISTOLS, Dennis Adler decided to put the new XD-S models from Springfield Armory through a thorough range evaluation to better understand how the design successfully mixes large calibers with subcompact frames.

To start his review, Adler inspected the XD-S’ polymer frame to try and determine what exactly has changed in the second-generation XD-S pistols. According to Adler, “These second-generation XD-S pistols have specific internal modifications that differentiate them from the earlier design. While looking almost identical, the internal operation of the grip safety has been changed, along with the sear, grip safety spring and sear spring. A secondary internal upgrade has improved trigger operation by smoothing out
the trigger pull. Externally, the only way to tell the new models apart is a small roll pin added to the grip safety.”

The nearly identical technical specs for the two XD-S models also intrigued Adler as he considered their viability in the modern self-defense market. “Given the weight of the XD-S (21.5 ounces for the .45 model, 23 ounces for 9mm), an overall length of 6.3 inches with a 3.3 inch barrel…the XD-S .45 and XD-S 9mm fit into multiple concealed-carry categories from subcompact to pocket pistol.”

Throughout his review, Adler was also impressed by the combination of full-power cartridges into such compact designs. “When it comes to concealed carry, size truly matters, and what usually has to be sacrificed are capacity, handling, accuracy and caliber,” says Adler in his review. “Aside from capacity, the XD-S .45 and XD-S 9mm give up none of the others and actually have a couple of features rarely found in this category.”

For more information on the Springfield XD-S, visit:

To read the whole article, check out the 2014 POCKET PISTOLS, available on newsstands February 25, 2014. To subscribe, go to

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