Ever since Springfield came out with the XDs in 45ACP, I knew I had to get my hands on it. The design and package was great for concealed carry. I immediately knew they’d be coming out with more calibers for the same line. They had a winner out of the gate.
Soon after the first XDs release, they announced the newest member to the line in 9mm. Next up, 40? Yep, and that’s what we’re taking a look at today.
I’ll let Springfield Armory do the talking first:
How do you make the most concealable full-power pistol even better? Offer it in all major self-defense calibers, that’s how.
When the Springfield Armory® XD-S® arrived on the scene in 9MM and .45ACP , its svelte profile quickly made it the pistol to beat for concealed carry. The thin, single-stack design allows it to melt into the body when carried, yet it’s shockingly easy to control. Even those with larger hands can get most of three fingers on the grip.
Practice is everything, so rather than go for uncomfortably and uncontrollably small, we aimed to create a handgun that’s easy and pleasurable to shoot while still offering amazing concealment. You’ll enjoy your range time with the XD-S® and become a better shooter as a result.
For 2016, we’re introducing the XD-S® in the ever-popular .40SW , so you can choose the mix of power and capacity that makes you comfortable. Like the originals, the new XD-S® .40SW comes with both flush (six-round) and Mid-Mag (seven-round) magazines, so capacity of the new .40SW model sits right between that of the 9MM and .45ACP XD-S®.
We’ve designed the XD-S® to fit you – not the other way around. Interchangeable backstraps customize grip circumference. We even include matching magazine sleeves so the Mid-Mag (7 Round) fits seamlessly too. To make the XD-S® durable, yet portable, we used the right materials for the job. The black polymer frame saves weight while the forged stainless steel slide and Melonite® hammer forged barrel put strength where it’s needed most. The sights are designed for speed with a fiber-optic front sight that leaps into the sight picture. Don’t like the color? That’s OK , we include green and red tubes – take your pick. The rear combat-profile sight offers a simple notch so there are no distractions to divert attention from the front sight.
Put it in your holster, and you’ll find that it’s Noticeably Unnoticeable™.
Dual Spring w/ Full Length Guide Rod
Fiber Optic Front & Dovetail Rear (Steel)
Weight (with Empty Magazine)
4.4″ w/ Compact Mag, 5″ w/ Mid-Mag X-Tension™
Forged Steel, Melonite® Finish
3.3″ Hammer Forged, Steel, Melonite® / 1:10 Twist
1 – 6 Round Flush Fitting, 1 – 7 Round With Mid-Mag X-Tension™, Stainless Steel
All XDs lines in the 3.3″ category are identical in size. This means that they all share the same exact holsters and accessories. This is a huge plus for those of us who carry XDs models concealed, because we don’t have to go shopping for more… stuff. We already have enough holsters to support a small army, trust me.
Available in both black and stainless steel (just the slide), the XDs gives us all the features that we’ve come to expect and love of the line.
Let’s first talk capacity. The XDs line consists of single stack magazines, which translates to fewer rounds verses a double stack. While this allows for a slimmer design which makes for better concealment, you are sacrificing capacity. With each pistol comes a flush 6-round magazine as well as an extended 7-round magazine. The extended magazine gives you a full grip, allowing your pinky a place to hang out while you shoot. With the flush magazine, you’ll be lucky to get that pinky on there. Chances are it’ll hang off all by it’s lonesome, but it shouldn’t matter on the accuracy side of things. Only the comfort side.
Along with the extended magazine comes an additional sleeve and backstrap. This allows you to change the size of the grip via the backstrap, letting people with bigger or smaller hands enjoy a more comfortable feel. The additional backstrap (bottom right in above photo) can be swapped out while just using the flush magazine as well.
The dual trigger allows for a drop-safety of sorts, ensuring the trigger can’t make it’s way to the back without first depressing the safety. Since I’m so used to Glock pistols, this was an added feature that I immediately liked from the beginning. Once you’ve shot it a few times, you forget it’s even there. The first ‘pull’ will just feel right, and you’ll be on the actual trigger in no time.
In line with external safeties, the XDs 40 also includes the popular grip safety, which needs to be completely depressed for the firearm to go bang. If you’ve got a proper grip on your firearm, it’ll happen every time.
The last external ‘safety’ is the addition of a loaded chamber indicator, which gives the user a visual indicator to see when a round is chambered. If it’s chambered, the indicator will pop up to let the user know. If the chamber is empty, the indicator will be flush with the top of the slide. While we should always know whether or not a round is chambered, it’s a nice thing to have… just to be sure.
Now let’s talk about the grip. I used to have the XDs in 45 caliber, but gave it up once the 9mm version came into play. The main reason was the aggressive grip mixed with a small framed pistol, mixed with a heavy caliber. Long story short, I didn’t enjoy shooting the 45 at the range for an hour. It chewed up my hand each time and simply wasn’t enjoyable for me in the slightest. While at SHOT Show this year, I shot the new 40 caliber quite a bit and was pleasantly surprised that the aggressive grip wasn’t bothering me. Success!
The views on their grip vary from person to person, but overall… it gets better once you’re used to it. And if it’s really an issue for you, I wouldn’t sacrifice the gun. Instead, I’d recommend investing in some sub-$20 grips from Talon Grips. You literally can’t go wrong with their product, and you’ll thank me some day.
Next up is the front rail for anyone looking to add a laser or flashlight. I don’t know what else to say about this, so here’s a picture!
On second though, I will say this. I wish that every pistol in this sized category had a front rail. After all, we all (some of us) like accessories like lasers and lights, especially if it’s a home defense pistol. They do, of course, make holsters to fit many firearms that have the addition of these accessories, but it’s best to check with your favorite holster manufacturer ahead of your purchase, just to make sure they offer the option you’re looking for.
Moving onto the pistol sights, they’ve done a fine job mixing a front fiber optic red sight with a rear dovetale sight. Target acquisition is quick and painless, and they’ve proven useful in low-light situations.
The conclusion is this: If you’re familiar with the XDs line, you’re going to love the addition of the 40 caliber version. If you aren’t familiar with the XDs line, get familiar with it. It’s quickly become one of the most popular firearm lines for concealed carry, and it’s not going to slow down anytime soon. It’s a true winner that will be pulling in newbies and old farts for years to come.