Review: Springfield XD Subcompact Mod 2 in 9mm
Jon Stokes 11.13.14
The ergonomics of the Springfield’s XD line are hard to beat–many would say impossible. But with today’s launch of the Springfield XD Mod 2, America’s oldest gunmaker is out to improve on perfection. The new Mod 2 boasts a slate of tweaks to the tried-and-true XD design, all aimed at making it a more consistent and easier to conceal shooter.
The Springfield XD 3″ in 9mm is far and away my favorite subcompact 9mm. I don’t have a dog in the “Glock vs. Everyone Else” fight, but I like the subcompact XD better in the hand than the Glock 26, and not just because it’s about 6 ounces heavier and therefore better able to manage recoil.
Despite the XD’s fantastic ergos, I’m not really a pistol guy so I don’t (yet) own one. This being the case, I was pretty excited when Springfield offered to send me both the original XD 3″ subcompact and the new 3″ Mod 2. The idea was for me to compare the two and try out the new ergonomic tweaks.
Over the course of two range sessions, I put a little over 500 rounds of standard Federal 9mm range ammo through them, and I can tell you that I do have a preference. But my results weren’t even remotely cut and dried, and they come with a ton of caveats. As with all things ergonomic, this is going to come down to your body and your personal preferences.
Whatever you think about the ergonomics, there is no denying that the two guns feel very different. The Mod 2’s tweaks may seem subtle on paper, but when you hold the two side-by-side, there will be no question that you could easily tell them apart blindfolded. But more on that later. For now, let’s talk features.
XD Line Basic Features
If you’re new to the subcompact XD, it’s a striker-fired semi-auto pistol that comes in 9mm and .40S&W versions. With a concealed-carry-friendly 3-inch barrel, the gun boasts a number of safety features intended to keep it from going bang by accident.
First, there’s a Glock-style trigger safety, which must be depressed in combination with the 1911-style grip safety in order to disengage a third internal safety and make the gun ready to fire. So if you’re planning to carry with one in the chamber, you’ll have some extra peace of mind. There’s also a pin to the rear that indicates that the gun is cocked and a loaded chamber indicator on top of the weapon that pokes out when there’s a round ready to go.
The gun is available in either all black ($565) or a two-tone ($599) look, with silver up top. It weighs in at 26 ounces with the empty double-stack 12-round mag, and 27 ounces with the empty double-stack 15-round mag. Both mags come included with the kit, and they’re metal and of very high quality. Because I have ginormous hands, I shot almost exclusively with the extended mag, which gave me a full grip on the weapon. My wife has drastically smaller hands than me (and than most people), so she could easily get a full grip with the smaller mag in. She’s also not a gun person, but she was certainly seduced by the XD’s design and has been after me to take her to the range and let her shoot it.
Speaking of the kit, Springfield packages the XD with some nice extras, including a polymer gun holster, a polymer mag holster, and a magazine loader that attaches to the top of the holster. It’s a nice setup, especially for the money, but if and when I buy this gun (it’s at the top of my list), I’ll be getting something custom for it.
As mentioned above, the kit also includes two mags and gun lock.
The XD models reviewed here sport 3-inch hammer forged barrels and a 3-dot sight setup. There’s an ambidextrous mag release for the lefties and an accessory rail beneath the pistol. Disassembly and reassembly are quite easy, and newbies should have no problems with cleaning and maintenance.