There’s an old saying that “rust never sleeps,” and its meaning can be interpreted in many ways, one of which is never resting on your laurels and always looking for ways to improve. That philosophy has served Springfield Armory well over the years, and for 2015 the armsmaker has added not one but three new upgraded XD models in 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP.

Since the XD series was first introduced in 2001, Springfield Armory has made continual improvements, changes not for the sake of change but to make its guns better, easier to handle and more reliable. What you have with the new 2015 XD Mod.2 series is a “hybrid” design that combines the 3-inch barrel length of the XD Sub-Compact design (introduced in 2003) with improvements developed for the later XD-S models, including a new frame/slide contour and interface, a red fiber-optic front and white-dot combat rear sight, and Springfield’s new Mod.2 GripZone, engineered to improve pistol grasp and control.

Next-Gen Upgrades

Springfield Armory XD Mod.2, springfield armory, XD Mod.2
New slide and frame contours create a cohesive look with an integrated belt line that carries from the slide into the frame.

The XD Mod.2 design is a significant departure in the shape of the XD’s polymer frame, most notably in how the frame and slide integrate externally. It is a more unified look, with slightly leaner dimensions for the recontoured slide and polymer frame that are intended to enhance both concealment and reholstering of the pistol.

Springfield’s new GripZone texturing is less aggressive than many grip textures in use today. Rather than having surfaces that embed themselves into the hand, it is designed to produce multiple gripping textures that work with the dynamics of the human hand. The GripZone has three interrelating surfaces: the three-quarter panel (where the palm swell and the first joint of the fingers wrap around the grip), the front and rear surfaces, and the side panels. Zone 1 is the most aggressively textured. Zone 2, where the palm and inside of the fingers grasp the pistol, is next, and the third is a mild, light grain texture that extends from the side panels to the entire frame. The GripZone is intended to provide improved grasp performance and “stickier grip characteristics,” making the XD Mod.2 less prone to torque, wrench or lever during recoil. The Mod.2 triggerguard is also rounded at the front like the XD-S, rather than squared off like earlier Sprignfield XD models.

Springfield Armory XD Mod.2, springfield armory, XD Mod.2
Mod.2 features “Posi-Wedge Slide Serrations.” Loaded chamber indicator tips up (as shown) when a round is chambered.

In addition to being slightly narrower, the new XD Mod.2 slide has several external improvements, including new serrations at the rear called the “Posi-Wedge” slide serrations. This deeply recessed design with five deep grooves helps reduce the chances for slippage when racking the slide. The red fiber-optic front sight helps to get on target faster under varying lighting conditions, and in combination with the combat-style, white-dot rear, the sight radius is extended by 0.5 inches on the XD Mod.2.

RELATED: Springfield Range Officer Compact, XD Mod.2 – New For 2015 | VIDEO

Rounding out the “fit” of the XD Mod. 2 are the grip angle and high-swept beavertail and grip safety. Working in concert with Springfield’s Ultra Safety Assurance (USA) blade trigger safety, the XD Mod.2 takes nothing away from the previous XD Sub-Compact design, but adds features that bring this established Springfield model up to par with Springfield’s latest XD-S series. The end result is improved sights over previous XD Sub-Compact versions, smoother exterior lines for carry and concealment, and a better gripping surface. The best part is that no matter what your self-defense caliber preference, there is a new XD Mod.2 available for you.

Into The Action

Springfield Armory XD Mod.2, springfield armory, XD Mod.2
Disassembled view shows the Browning-style solid camming lug barrel and captive-style two-piece recoil assembly.

With two external safeties, the XD Mod.2 models retain a clean, uncluttered profile through a slightly raised, serrated slide release and a beveled takedown lever on the left side of the frame. And like all XD models, these latest versions are among the quickest guns in the world to field-strip. They are also just as easy to reload thanks to serrated, ambidextrous magazine releases placed at a slight angle and framed by the molded-in thumb rest. A firm press from either side rapidly expels a magazine for a tactical or full reload.

The XD design’s proven loaded-chamber indicator also remains one of the easiest to see and feel. Located behind the ejector port on top of the slide, the front edge projects upward just enough so that when a round is chambered, you can either see it just under your line of sight or surreptitiously feel it by running a finger over the top of the slide. The XD Mod.2 also has the original XD’s striker status indicator at the rear of the slide, which protrudes slightly from the back when the action has been cycled.

Being a striker-fired design, the XD’s have no second-strike capability, however they do have a quick-reset trigger mechanism that requires the slide to be withdrawn a mere 0.25 inches to re-enable the action. Internally, the XD Mod.2 models use the same proven Browning-type short-recoil system as all XD series semi-autos. The barrel design employs the later Browning solid-camming-lug design, which locks to the slide with a squared face on the breechblock. A steel locking block, through which the disassembly lever passes, is pinned to the XD’s lightweight polymer frame. Recoil for the Sub-Compacts is tempered by Springfield’s dual recoil system, which combines a large coil spring and a secondary smaller coil spring within a captive-style, two-piece guide rod assembly. This really becomes noticeable with the .40 S&W and .45 ACP chamberings.

On The Range

Springfield Armory XD Mod.2, springfield armory, XD Mod.2
The author draws the XD-9 Mod.2 from a Galco Combat Master holster which provides excellent concealment and ease of access.

The Mod.2’s staggered, flush-fitting magazines hold 13 rounds in 9mm, and nine rounds in .40 S&W and .45 ACP. Tipping the scale at 25 ounces empty, the XD Mod.2 measures 6.25 inches in length, 4.75 inches in height, from the base of the magazine to the top of the low-profile rear sight, and 1.125 inches in maximum width (the .45 ACP version is 0.2 inches wider). In short, they are pretty small guns for concealed-carry 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP semi-automatic pistols.

RELATED: Get Into the Springfield XD Mod.2 Grip Zone

The pistols also come with extended-capacity magazines that increase the 9mm to 16+1 rounds, 12+1 rounds in .40 S&W and 13+1 rounds in .45 ACP. The longer magazines also extend grip length with Springfield’s X-Tension cover, increasing the usable grip surface and overall height of the Mod.2 to 5.5 inches. Another advantage to the Mod. 2 in .45 ACP is that while it is slightly larger than an XD-S, the XD Mod.2’s standard capacity is nine rounds, as opposed to five rounds for the XD-S.

Trigger pull on the test guns averaged 5.3 to 6.5 pounds (9mm to .45 ACP, respectively). For subcompact handguns with barrel lengths of 3 inches, standard target distance is 15 yards. For this review, only the 9mm model was tested on the range.

Springfield Armory XD Mod.2, springfield armory, XD Mod.2

Ammunition selection was Sig Sauer’s Elite Performance 124-grain V-Crown jacketed hollow points (JHP), Speer’s Gold Dot 115-grain Gold Dot Hollow Point (GDHP) and Hornady’s Critical Defense 115-grain FTX. All tests were fired from a rested position at one-second intervals. The Hornady cleared the ProChrono chronograph’s traps at an average of 1,110 fps, Sig Sauer at 1,059 fps and the Speer traveled downrange at a 1,121 fps average.

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

The new XD Mod.2 in 9mm balances well in the hand and stays put as intended with the GripZone texturing. Recoil proved moderate, as is usual for the XD’s dual recoil spring design, and sight reacquisition was notably easier with the XD-S-style red fiber-optic front sight on the XD Mod.2 in 9mm.

All hits scored five points each on the Speedwell B-27 target placed in front of a Target Shooting Solutions 36-inch-diameter BCS-36 Bullet Trap. Best groups averaged from 1.27 to 1.7 inches. A second test was conducted using a Weaver stance, a two-handed hold from 15 yards and firing five rounds in rapid succession. All hits were within the 9, 10 and X rings. From a defensive position, all rounds, whether fired off-hand or from a rest, struck in center body mass on the B-27 target, and that’s what counts.

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