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Love for the XD

I’m interested in the poll linked over at Extrano’s Alley, asking which gun Emily Miller, a Washington Times reporter who jumped through all the flaming hoops to get a gun in DC, should buy. One thing I can say for sure is that on the Internet, there a lot of fans of the Hrvatski Samokres 2000, more widely known as the Springfield XD.

I’ve never really caught the XD fever. I’ve never seen what the advantage to an XD was over a Glock, except for being a little bit cheaper. When I’ve tried XDs, they feel pretty much the same, in terms of grip, as the Glock. They look like a Glock. And they have certainly borrowed some design features from the Glock.

But the Glock is much more widely issued both by major police departments and the militaries of several NATO members. This means parts are widely available, and the design has been proved by people who are hard on guns.

So what’s behind the XD love? Why would someone choose and XD over a Glock? Why would someone choose an XD over a Smith & Wesson M&P, which is seeing widespread adoption by major police departments?

70 Responses to “Love for the XD”

  1. craig says:

    Its an American company. If it came to comparable price and quality, I would go the American way. This comment feels wrong for me though as my battle rifle arsenal is mostly Eastern Bloc.

  2. Gray Peterson says:

    It’s basically Glock reliability and toughness with a 1911 grip angle….

  3. KCSteve says:

    The XD, as mentioned, gives you a standard 1911 grip angle instead of the GLOCK grip angle. It also has the 1911’s grip safety giving you another layer of safety.

    And while it does share many features with the GLOCK, it most definitely does not have a GLOCK trigger.

    Of course my ever-indulgent wife with her tiny hands prefers her G26 over my XD9-sub compact.

    IMHO if you’re choosing between GLOCK, XD and S&W M&P just go with whichever one feels best in your hand. They’re all tough, solid, take care of business guns.

    • Laughingdog says:

      You mean the grip safety that is apparently prone to failing, and leaving you with a loaded round in the chamber that you can’t clear?

      Every mechanical device tends to have one point of failure that is more common than any other. But when I heard Tam describing that particular common problem with the XD, I’ve been nudging people to try out Glocks or M&Ps first if that’s their price point. An M&P slide release level breaking off isn’t near as much of a game breaker as a grip safety failing.

      • HSR47 says:

        I own two XD pistols in 9mm, as does my brother. I have NEVER–Not once, not EVER–had an issue with the function of the grip safety on any of the pistols.

        Failures to extract? Yup. Failure to eject? Yup. Failure to fire? Once.

        I have personally shot more than 2,000 rounds through my XD’s in the last year. All told, I’ve seen between 5,000 and 10,000 rounds fired through any number of XD pistols, and I have NEVER seen any issues with the grip safety.

        Nor had I ever even HEARD of someone having such a failure with the grip safety.

        The only thing I can think of failure-wise would be someone detail-stripping a pistol and not putting it back together right. That’s not the pistol’s fault though…

  4. Chris Byrne says:

    Well, one, most people don’t know that it’s not an American gun.

    Two, it’s not a Glock. A lot of people have problems with Glock just from their attitude.

    Three, it’s not a Smith & Wesson; and a lot of people STILL have a problem with S&W and their history with supporting gun control measures (under previous ownership), and mandatory gun locks (under current ownership).

    Fourth, the XD feels better in the hand to many people than either the Glock or the XD; because the grip is thinner, with a “better” grip angle.

    In fact, I personally like the feel of the XDs better than either the Glock or M&P.

    Fifth, the XD generally sells for a few bucks less than the equivalent Glock or M&P (not much. $20, $25, maybe $50 depending on the shop); and comes with a holster and mag pouch.

    Although a “serious” gunny wouldn’t ever use the “XD Gear”, most people use crappy gunshow nylon holsters anyway.

    Sixth, some people don’t like the Glock and M&P not having an external safety other than on the trigger. The XD has a grip safety, which some people feel is an advantage ( I personally don’t).

    All in all, they aren’t big advantages; but added up, they make a compelling value proposition.

  5. Weer'd Beard says:

    The XDs I shot worked just fine. Still I’ve heard their construction isn’t as robust, simple, or intuitive as the Glock. Horror stories of guns being shipped back to Springfield with a live round in the chamber because the grip safety malfunctioned and now the slide is locked in battery does NOT inspire confidence.

    and I rather like the M&P line.

    • Pyrotek85 says:

      Internally they’re supposed to be more complicated, but I never disassembled mine that far to see how exactly. Mine shoots well enough, it’s accurate and I haven’t had problems with malfunctions. I don’t use it as my primary carry gun however, I use my Glock 19.

  6. No love for the Hi Point? Not surprising. It is an ugly gun.

    • HSR47 says:

      It’s also huge, heavy, and low-capacity. And nobody makes REAL holsters for it.

      Also, for 50-150 more, you can find a much better pistol used. Glocks, XDs, and M&Ps all can be found for 300-500 used in varying condition, and quantity of accessories.

  7. ddbaxte says:

    It does seem to have attracted quite a following, despite not seeing hard use by really any type of LE or .mil agencies anywhere. I don’t think the price is that much of an advantage over something like a Glock or M&P, unless you really think the accessory kit that comes with it is worth a damn. (It’s not.) Especially considering the HS2000 was selling for around $250-300 before Springfield slapped their name on it.

    I’ve also seen several SME’s and instructors who would not recommend or use an XD for various reasons. These aren’t the type of kool-aid drinkers that recommend something because it’s “PERFECT” or whoever makes their pistol “DOESN’T COMPROMISE”, these are guys who run upwards of 50k rounds and teach dozens of classes where they’ve personally seen XD’s fall.

    Based on my personal experience with an XD45, I wouldn’t touch another with a 10 foot pole. The thing fed round nose ammo great (what doesn’t?), but wouldn’t finish a magazine of any type of FMJ without giving me a failure to feed. This was after about 800 rounds of “break in” with FMJ ammo, and using 3 types of FMJ ammo, Federal HST, Speer Gold dot & cheap winchester JHP. I don’t remember where I read it, but i’ve seen it mentioned that FTFeeds were a known and common problem with XD45’s that Springfield didn’t publicly acknowledge, but fixed in the XD-M45

    Me, I’ll stick with my M&P’s, chalk the XD up to a learning experience.

  8. Anon R. D. says:

    Comments above seem to have covered it well: It’s a Glock (sort of) with a more 1911-like grip and a less flagrantly annoying trigger design.

    The XD’s grip safety is a definite minus, and steered me toward the M&P for my own use.

  9. Old NFO says:

    Small point, it’s NOT a true 1911 grip angle either…

    • Pyrotek85 says:

      Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t tell the difference between the grip angles when shooting a Glock, XD, or 1911. I’m able to sight my target and make accurate shots with either gun. Is it overblown or does it really bother some people that much?

      • Sebastian says:

        I’m with you. I can’t really tell the difference either.

      • Harold says:

        Don’t know about the XD, but the grip angle different between a Glock and a 1911 makes a big difference for me. Since I was a teen the 1911 has fit my hand perfectly and I can fire it quite accurately without much effort or recent practice (granted, I have decades of experience in proper trigger control starting in kindergarten).

        The Glock just doesn’t work for me (and the absence of a external at any and all times hammer gives me the heebie-jeebies; if not SA I prefer DAO designs like the Berreta Cougar where the hammer starts flush with the back and if you start to pull it while holstering you can feel that and stop).

      • Yes, it really does bother some people that much. Or at least it does me. I don’t like the ergonomics and grip angle of the Glocks. I get along better with the 1911 and XD angle.

      • Laughingdog says:

        I’ve seen two cases where it’s an issue. One is when people don’t really know how to use a proper sight picture, so they’ve just been using a body index. Change the grip angle in that case, and you’re point of aim will be off from before.

        When you’re going fast, it can really jack you up. When I switched from my Glock back to the 1911 the other day, every time I’d bring up the gun, it would take a moment to remember why the front sight wasn’t where I expected. So I tend to just stick with one platform for months at a time now, since I’m not nearly as good with any one platform yet in matches to want to have to waste time relearning stuff on another between matches.

  10. EchoVictor76 says:

    I have a 9mm HS2000 back from the day before SA rebranded it.
    The main difference (the one you can feel) from the Glock is the trigger. The striker is fully cocked, making the XD more of a single action instead of the 1/3 cocked “safe action” of the Glock.
    I’ve only had a few thousand rounds though it, so I don’t know how well it’ll hold up against the Glock in the long term.

  11. I really like my XD .45ACP Compact. The thing is that I wouldn’t buy it again if I was starting over.

    Your first pistol is going to be a mistake in most cases. Most Concealed Carry people think they need something really specific, as if they are the only people to ever carry a gun concealed. Most brand new CC’ers think they need something tiny, which leads to the proliferation of the pocket guns of whatever caliber. Others (like me) demand a .45 ACP so that they could carry John Moses Browning’s caliber. It’s like a death ray! I bought the smallest gun in .45ACP that gave me what I considered a reasonable capacity.

    What I’ve found out in the intervening years is surprising to me, but probably not to serious students of the gun. The .45ACP is not really any better a “manstopper” than the 9mm. You don’t need a small gun to conceal it. You could conceal a Deagle if you want to. Most people aren’t looking, and those that are don’t care if another law abiding citizen is carrying. Deep cover concealment, like the SmartCarry, which I used to use, are a pain and totally unnecessary. They are solutions to a problem that almost no one has.

    The major issue I have with the XD is the fact that no one makes accessories for it. If you have a Glock or an M&P, you can get any holster, any light, any laser, anything at all for your gun. If you have an XD, you might be able to cobble something together. The whiners who complain about the grip safety (on either side) should just shut their pie holes. The same for those who tout the Glock’s “lower bore axis.” Not one in 100 shooters will ever notice the difference. The triggers on all three stock polymer guns (and probably the Ruger SR series as well) suck rocks. I’ve upgraded mine on the XD and I would upgrade the Glock trigger as well. The “my trigger is better than your trigger” is a stupid argument. All of them suck. They were designed by bad lawyers.

    I will eventually transition to a Glock platform as I’ve shot them and I’ve started to like them. The additional accessories available and the fact that every holster maker known to man has a Glock 17 and Glock 19 holster available make it an obvious choice. I still don’t like the M&P, but if I was a cop and got forced to carry one, I’d shoot it just fine.

    I’ll transition to 9mm as well. Mostly for cost reasons. I can reload a 9mm for half what I pay for reloading .45ACP. It irritates me that reloaded .45ACP costs me almost exactly the same as 9mm factory ammo shipped to my door in 1000 round crates. If I had to shoot someone with hardball ammo, I’d want the .45ACP, but the reality is that I will almost never get into a situation where I run out of factory loaded personal defense ammo. Short of an all out war, I’m not ever going to go through a 50 round box of Gold Dots before I can get to the gun store and buy more. And if it ever gets that bad I still have almost 2000 rounds of .45ACP training ammo in my closet and my XD that shoots it quite accurately.

    The thing is, people buy something stupid the first time out. They almost have to. It’s like your first car. You don’t get anything practical, you always go for the flashy sportscar with the big fat insurance premium. I had a Suzuki GSX-R 750 as my first new vehicle. It went really fast, helped me collect tickets like I was on a quest, and had the smallest trunk I’ve ever seen. An honest reflection on each of your parts will probably turn up something similar.

    But as men, (most of us are men) we get emotionally attached to stupid decisions, and short of a commandment from God in Heaven, we won’t be moved from our original decision. We’ll defend that decision no matter how stupid. Which is why we see the dumbest discussions over which platform is better, the XD, the Glock, the M&P, and the weirdos who want 47 “safety” levers and so buy a Ruger. To admit that the other platform might be better for some people in some situations is to admit that we were WRONG!!!, and that can’t be allowed to happen.

    Those that eventually grow up (thank God stupidity is not universally fatal) will eventually be able to admit having made a decision on incomplete and inaccurate information. Others will go to their graves insisting that their platform and their caliber is teh Awesomez! And nothing you say or do will change their minds.
    /rant mode

    • Harold says:

      What I’ve found out in the intervening years is surprising to me, but probably not to serious students of the gun. The .45ACP is not really any better a “manstopper” than the 9mm.

      {sarcasm}
      My goodness, how many people did you have to shoot to find this out?
      {/sarcasm}

      Seriously, as I understand it there’s simply not hard enough data out there to be sure about this; I follow Fackler and the general principle that stopping power at defensive handgun velocities scales with diameter, killing scales with the number of holes you put in someone. And unless you get a CNS hit nothing’s guaranteed to stop someone quickly.

      I have the anecdotal impression that all things being equal FMJ .45 ACP is around 4 times as effective as FMJ 9 mm, but of course none of us are primarily using FMJ in our self-defense handguns (well, perhaps unless you’re in NJ, and Federal? has a round for that problem).

      And for the record, to this day I’m carrying the first handgun I bought, a first generation Kimber Pro-Carry, which has a 4 inch barrel, full length grip and an aluminum frame. You are absolutely right when you say “You don’t need a small gun to conceal it.

        • Harold says:

          Are you familiar with Fackler’s research, e.g. the phrase permanent crush cavity, not to mention the need for calibrating geletin? Unless that was done these pictures are entirely useless. And maybe it’s just my eyes, but there sure seems to be a difference between the 9 mm rounds and 10 and 11.5 mm ones (the surface area jump from 9 to 10 mm is pretty big).

          Anyway, my response to

          Personally, I think a carry gun I can shoot 16 or 18 times before reloading is pretty damn cool.

          is that “The knowledge that every round I fire had damn well better count is useful mental discipline” (not to mention helps with Rule 4).

          • And my response to that is “I’m going to keep shooting until the target changes shape or catches on fire. It sure would be nice if I ran out of targets before I ran out of ammo.”

            The ship has sailed on .45ACP superiority. In the real world, people don’t fall down any faster when shot with the .45ACP death ray than they do when shot with modern hollowpoint 9mm. And since all I care about is making them stop trying to hurt me, making them fall down is the point. Once they fall down, I’m going to run away. If they survive because I didn’t shoot them with the approved death beam round, that’s the problem for the Justice System, not me.

            As the Delta instructor pointed out to me, I am a civilian and not bound by the Geneva Convention. I can use modern hollowpoint ammo. And it works just as well in 9mm as in .45ACP. I figure he’s shot enough people to know if there was any real difference.

            • Harold says:

              We’re talking past each other, but two last points:

              You’re making a rather big bet that your hollowpoint will perform. That’s known to be iffy, especially when winter outer clothing fills the hole before it strikes flesh, at which point you’re back to FMJ performance.

              Note also that all things being equal, a .45 ACP JHP will mushroom to a greater diameter than a 9 JHP mm; the above linked picture featured by papadeltabravo is dishonest for not including the standard 200 gr 1080 fps .45 ACP defense loading to show what a .45 can do at higher velocities (or the even faster 185 gr 1225 fps load); all the other rounds are at 1000 fps or better.

              • “We’re talking past each other,”

                Umm, no we aren’t. I’ve been egging you on as a way to illustrate something that I said earlier.

                “Others will go to their graves insisting that their platform and their caliber is teh Awesomez! And nothing you say or do will change their minds.”

    • Oh, I should have added that those who are so massively in love with JMB (PBUH)’s Original Design™ that they discount the much better modern designs and attempt to live within the limits of a teensy-tiny mag capacity give me a case of the hives.

      What’s even better is when those JMB worshipers run out and buy weird compact versions of the JMB classic so that they can carry it. Facepalm.

      Technology has changed in the intervening 100 years. The fact that you can’t see the hammer/striker/whatever isn’t an issue. So long as the gun goes bang when you pull the trigger, who cares how it works?

      The only people worse are the revolver fanatics. “It’s utterly reliable!” they say. “If you can’t solve the problem with six bullets…” Hey guys, I’ve got a newsflash. You aren’t going crawling in the mud in your fancy suit and tie, and unlike IDPA, the world isn’t revolver neutral.

      Have I skipped anyone? I should have offended basically everyone by now. If not, let me know and I’ll insult them too.

      • I should have offended basically everyone by now. If not, let me know and I’ll insult them too.

        I’m fine with ya …

      • Harold says:

        Let me just repeat that a single stack 1911 fits my hand perfectly and that’s simply not true of any other handgun I’ve tried, including Para-Ordnance’s double stack .45s. Everything follows from that; as far as I’m concerned, 9-8 rounds on target beats “spray and pray”….

        That said, my inner mechanical engineer rather likes the design of the 1911 (new doesn’t not necessarily mean improved; you have no doubt noted we’re still using JMB (PBUH)’s .50 machine gun…). I like being able to completely detail strip it and e.g. seeing that pretty much nothing but an MRI’s magnet will defeat the manual safety. Controlled feed also has its advantages.

        And I haven’t mentioned how the pull of a SA’s trigger rather trivially and safely beats most any DAs/DAO’s trigger. Granted, I don’t recommend a medium weight trigger to someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience.

        The fact that you can’t see the hammer/striker/whatever isn’t an issue. So long as the gun goes bang when you pull the trigger, who cares how it works?

        Including when I’m holstering it? I think not….

        I don’t care about seeing the hammer, I care about feeling it, or in the case of the SA 1911 being able to put my thumb over it when I’m holstering it.

        One the other hand, I would tend to agree with:

        What’s even better is when those JMB worshipers run out and buy weird compact versions of the JMB classic so that they can carry it.

        Which is why I bought one that’s 100% standard except for two things that shave off weight, a 4 inch barrel with indeed a “weird” non-standard spring and an aluminum frame. I pretty much don’t notice any differences between firing it and my 5 inch steel 1911, but that’s of course by design.

        Have I skipped anyone? I should have offended basically everyone by now.

        Don’t know, but you left out the point that revolver jams, while rare, are said to generally require a trip to the gunsmith or workbench.

        • Who said “Spray and Pray?” I shoot pretty well, and I don’t think that will change when I move from .45ACP to 9mm.

          You know what else helps with weight? Getting a good belt. An IWB makes the barrel length immaterial, so I would class the 4” barrel as one of those weird compact version.

          Put your thumb over the hammer? Are you serious? How about you try taking your finger off the trigger? That usually works with modern pistols. For all values of “usually” that equal “every damn time.”

          As for revolver jams, why worry about them? You’re going to run out of ammo, or finger strength, long before you jam the thing. I guess you could put it in your sock and whack people over the head with it at that point.

          I’ve never liked revolvers, mostly because I learned to shoot a pistol with a Llama .380, which is a baby 1911. It fit fine in my 12 year old hands, didn’t kick hard, and my dad was willing to give me lots of ammo for it. The Colt Python .357 Mag he bought was impossible to shoot at that age and I never got over disliking the thing. After a single action 1911 trigger pull, even on a cheap Llama, the Python felt like I was trying to pull start a mower with my index finger. I’ll bet I could shoot it just fine if I spent the time learning, but why bother? I could more profitably spend the time getting better with the gun I do have.

          • Harold says:

            Galco Fail

            For the record, I use the IWB Milt Sparks Summer Special 2; it has a steel band that makes this sort of accident unlikely, but that wouldn’t prevent e.g. a bit of clothing getting caught in the process and pulling the trigger. I was taught safety by my hunting father, with Rule 2 being paramount since a twig or whatever could always catch the trigger of your long gun in the field. Unfortunately it is impossible to completely follow Rule 2 with this sort of concealed carry (if you count the gas exiting the barrel).

        • Brad says:

          Bingo. It fits your hand perfectly. Mine too. Everything else is secondary.

          For me I even prefer the plain-jane WWII style short trigger and curved mainspring-housing of the M-1911a1. But the fad these days seems to be for long-trigger flat-mainspring housing M-1911 copies.

          I have one of the old Argentine army .45 M-1927 license made copies of the M-1911a1, but I am looking to buy a Springfield Armory mil-spec model in .38 Super.

          • Harold says:

            Indeed, and I started with a M-1927 which is a fine gun (Colt supplied the tooling and initial technical help; this was back when Argentina was a hairsbreadth from becoming a First World nation, before Peron). About a decade ago when they were being removed from service and exported a friend of mine bought one with Interior Ministry markings on the frame and I found that I could shoot it, with its standard military trigger and minimal sights, better than another friend’s new Colt with good sights but an iffy trigger (the Series 80’s trigger is apparently messed up by the gratuitous firing pin block safety … which isn’t even MRI magnet proof).

            Don’t know if they’re still being imported but a quick check of GunBroker.com shows you can get them for very reasonable prices; except for the untuned trigger and the potential to get the web of your hand between your thumb and forefinger caught between the old style hammer and normal grip safety they’re a great 1911 to get started with or to keep as a “truck handgun”. Oh yeah, without the usual modifications they’re not likely to feed anything but FMJ and maybe truncated cone reliably, but even those are pretty effective for self-defense.

      • Brad says:

        So. How do your hollowpoints do in New Jersey? How do your extra rounds work for you in California? Hmm?

        As for “100 year old technology”. News flash. Aside from lighter materials such as aluminum and polymer there hasn’t been any significant improvement in handgun technology in 100 years. The fact is handgun technology has plateaued and all the arguing over whose toy is better is nothing more than arguing over mustard vs ketchup. It’s merely a matter of personal taste, nothing more.

        Sheesh!

        • Harold says:

          Aside from lighter materials such as aluminum and polymer there hasn’t been any significant improvement in handgun technology in 100 years.

          Actually that’s not quite true if you include ammo. Cruddy ammo was a real problem in WWI (that’s why the Canadian’s switched in the field to British service rifles with better extraction) and when the 1911 was designed, so it has features like a very strong mainspring and Mauser claw extractor to help with that.

          Nowadays the claw extractor is a bit marginal in that it needs hand tuning, but then again the positive feed system that goes along with it ensures the gun will fire in any orientation (not sure how much of a problem that is with push feed handguns).

          And you can take advantage of the strong mainspring to up the strength of the firing pin spring so that the possibility of an AD if you drop it muzzle first on a very hard surface is negligible (that’s said to be a design flaw/tradeoff of the 1911, although I’ve never heard of any such accidents, particularly in modern times).

          It is worth pointing out that the design was not intended for hollow point ammo and even in modern implementations the feeding of such is not 100% guaranteed. Then again I’m not sure all modern designs are 100% with all reasonable hollow point designs. But for ANY semi-auto personal defense weapon you need to put a sufficient number of test rounds of your chosen cartridge though it, although you can cheat a bit by loading some of the magazines with FMJ in the middle, since problems tend to occur most often at the top and bottom.

      • 9x19mm and 45 ACP are both over 100 years old now, make fun of both of them and really see some fireworks. Something along the lines of modern calibers being designed for JHP from the ground up while the two old warhorses have to be adapted to JHP within the dimensional standards of round-nose FMJ. As such, they will almost always be behind the pack in terms of reliability and performance.

        I’ll pop some popcorn.

        • Harold says:

          Ah, but because they’re over 100 years old the smokeless powder options are a lot better, so matching the dimensional standards is less hard than you might think, e.g. the base of the bullet can be further back. (An example of this sort of issue is the .30-03/6; as I recall, it has roughly 10% greater case capacity than the Mauser round it was copied from due to our not having as good smokeless powder (at least in quantity) as the Germans at the time.)

          “Modern” calibers, let’s say the .40 S&W and that hot SIG featured in that picture, appear to be fine (unlike what I’ve heard about feeding issues with the new short and squat rifle magnums) but you can’t say they’ve stood the test of time like the older ones.

          .45 ACP and 1911 is particularly interesting because they’re no longer service issue, yet their popularity is phenomenal (even recently Remington!!!). Now for a decade that was partly an artifact of the AW ban’s 10 round magazine restriction, but it expired more than half a decade ago. Whatever the reasons, this combo sure seems to be doing something right, at least for US civilian consumers.

          • I think that the reason for the popularity of the 1911 among manufacturers is the fact that a widely used gun is out of its patent period. It’s a proven design that lots of military vets have used, and you don’t have to pay royalties to anyone in order to shove the design into your CNC machine.

            I wouldn’t carry one, but I really like shooting my dad’s match grade one.

            • Harold says:

              Maybe … but I’ll note the Glock entered service in 1982 according to Wikipedia so any US patents on the original would have long lapsed, in fact through the 2nd generation introduced in 1988.

              And no matter how convenient it is for the manufacturers they wouldn’t be producing 1911s unless consumers were buying them.

              However, in your comments is the seed of a stronger manufacturer reason: tooling. Polymer frames are I gather cheaper to make, but first you’ve got to pay for the tooling and someone’s capital costs for the machines that form them.

              The 1911 is old enough that a company’s non-recurring engineering costs to start producing them has got to be low, especially if someone is selling a good digitally encoded design. So the more interesting question is, after you subtract government sales, how many of each type are selling? Maybe 1911s in the US market are broad (lots of companies) but not deep (relatively low sales).

  12. We’re an M&P household. But, I figure the XD gives folks who want a polymer gun another set of ergonomics to choose from if they don’t care for the glock or the S&W (or a ruger, I suppose). It seems like an XD with a grip safety and ambi thumb safety is probably about as close as you can get to 1911 ergonomics in a polymer gun, so 1911 fans can have an easy transition. Of note, I think the XD has an ambi mag release whereas the M&P is reversible. That’s a nice feature in a house where you have both a left and right handed shooter.

    I still wouldn’t personally choose it but I guess there’s a niche. It is nice to have choices.

  13. denton says:

    I have a beautiful 1911 with a match barrel. I also have an XD45.

    For bowling pins or other target shooting, it is hard to beat the 1911 with its single action mechanism. For other applications, I like my XD45. It’s lighter, carries more ammunition, and fits my hand better than a Glock. Truth be told, I actually like its feel better than my 1911. For a striker type mechanism, the trigger is quite decent. At 25 yards, the 1911 will shoot 1.5″ groups. The XD45 shoots 2.8″ groups.

    As compared with the equivalent Glock, the “reach” to get your finger on the trigger is less. That makes it more comfortable for my hand.

    Mine has been utterly reliable, and I have put hundreds of rounds through it, including a lot of cast lead bullets that tend to leave lube wax into the mechanism (clean more frequently). Of course, I lovingly hand craft my ammunition and don’t buy the cheapest factory ammo I can find. I’ve never had a failure to feed, a failure to fire, or a stovepipe.

    There are a lot of good choices out there. I don’t begrudge anyone the choice they made.

    I’ve never fired a shot in anger, and the odds are extremely good that I never will. So what do I know from experience? Nada. But I like shooting the 45 and regard it as likely more effective than the 9mm.

  14. Mason from AK says:

    My first centerfire semiauto was an XD-9 that I bought several years ago. After firing numerous guns owned by friends, and handling even more in the stores I picked what felt the best in my hands. I have since had thousands of rounds through it without a single failure.

    When comparing the way different guns fit into different people’s hands, a diehard glock shooter I know figured something interesting out. We have almost the exact same size hands, but his fingers are significantly longer than mine by comparison to the palm. XD’s feel much better in my hands, Glocks are preferable for him.

    Either way, I think it’s mainly about which fits your hands better. It’s my impression that as far as reliability, accuracy and corrosion resistance are concerned, the XD, Glock and M&P are basically comparable. There are probably several other brands of modern polymer pistol (HK, Sig, etc) that may also fit in this category, I just don’t have personal experience or in-depth knowledge of them.

    These are of course my opinions, but my positive experience and familiarity with the XD-9 led me to upgrade to the .45 recently, and I couldn’t be happier with it.

    • HSR47 says:

      I don’t know that I’d credit the XD with being particularly corrosion resistant.

      The older/original factory slide coating process was notorious for not stopping surface rust from forming, and I’ve seen examples of surface rust with even the current slide coating process.

      They’re GREAT pistols, and I love both of mine, but corrosion is their Achilles heel.

  15. I learned pistol shooting with the M1911A1. I learned to shoot it fairly well. I then transitioned to a DA revolver, but went back to the 1911 as soon as I could. Then I tried DA/SA high-capacity autos. Meh, back to the 1911. I didn’t like the Glock when I tried it, but I did eventually buy a Walther P99. Meh, back to the 1911. I bought an HK P7 squeeze-cocker in 9mm. That worked well for me, and I kept it as a smaller carry piece to use when I didn’t have my 1911.

    Then I got my hands on an HK USP40 Compact. Bingo. Lighter weight. 50 % greater magazine capacity. A more powerful cartridge. Essentially the same manual of arms. This is what I now prefer to my 1911.

    As to what Ms. Miller should buy … She should get whatever works for her. The first rule of gunfighting is to have a gun. Even a Chief’s Special or a Ruger LCP beats empty hands.

  16. Sebastian says:

    I should note that I don’t have religious views on what other people should carry. Carry what feels comfortable with you. I carry a Kel-Tec P3AT sometimes, which I would not count among guns that are a paragon of reliability and trustworthiness, but they’re damned convenient. I’ve just never really understood what niche the XD really filled. It’s always felt very Glock-like to me. Folks have pointed to the trigger, but I didn’t really feel like the XD had a measurably better trigger than the Glock.

    I don’t carry a 1911, but having shot high-quality 1911s, the single-action trigger pull is magnificent on a good specimen of that platform. So I can see that the 1911 has a niche in competition, and that some folks who are trained well on the safety would be comfortable carrying it.

    • Scott M says:

      I carry a 1911, I know I’m boring but it works for me. The first handgun I ever shot was a 1911 when was 12 or so. It’s been my preferred handgun since. I’ve tried High powers, S&W 9mm like the 39 and Glocks but I keep coming back to the 1911 because of the way it fits me and the trigger. The straight pull back just works for me. I have a S&W model 36 for when I don’t want to carry the Kimber Carry II that is my normal choice, like at work where the risk of printing or scratching a customers car is semi likely and the chance of needing a gun is not. I’ve been thinking of an XD9 but haven’t pulled the trigger on that purchase yet because I still prefer an all steel gun for no good reason.

  17. Brad says:

    “So what’s behind the XD love?”

    If your question is about the poll result, the answer should be obvious. According to the story the writer felt most comfortable shooting the XD. So of course that is the pistol she should choose for herself.

    • Sebastian says:

      You read the article? Heretic! Burn him! No, seriously. I hadn’t considered that. I admit I’d probably try to dissuade her a bit from the XD, if it were me, but if that’s really what she’s comfortable with, there are worse choices.

  18. Diomed says:

    What kind of aftermarket is there for the XD? Last time I checked (which was maybe four or five years ago) there wasn’t one, and there was no source of spare parts either. If something on the gun broke it had to go back to SAI.

    Hopefully that’s changed, but if it hasn’t, I’d consider that a mark against it.

  19. Graumagus says:

    On a side note, on a friend’s blog he had a pic of a Mosin-Nagant 91/30 someone converted into a pistol.

    I’m pretty sure I like the XD more than that. They generally aren’t known for the action sticking when using 40 year old lacquered ammo like the Mosin… or splitting the shooters forehead open from recoil.

    All joking aside, my Colt 1911 just feels right.

    Glocks and XD’s feel like bricks in my hand (Glocks more than the XD’s)

    I’d rather practice putting 7 rounds on target with a gun I love to shoot than putting 16+ on target with something uncomfortable. If you aren’t comfortable with the firearm, it’s not likely that you’ll put in the range time to get good with it.

    If your Glock or XD or whatever feels like an extension of your arm, where you eagerly look forward to any opportunity to shoot it, then obviously that’s your piece.

    However, there is a masochistic streak in me that wonders what squeezing off a round from that Mosin monstrosity would be like….

  20. jtbolt says:

    I prefer the XD for one reason. I shoot it better than I do a Glock or M&P. I’ve tried all 3, and shot plenty of ammo through each platform. The paper I shot the XD at always has a denser conglomeration of holes and closer to the middle of the targets than the other pistols did with me driving.

    Since they are otherwise comparable, it’s the pistol I’d select for my own use.

  21. Ken Rihanek says:

    The only better between the XD, Glock, and M&P is how it works for you. One is only better than the other in what you like or how defective your technique is. If you are a good shooter you will shoot all with equal success. If you are a zealot and refuse to train then no the “other” guns will not work for you.

    • Harold says:

      Your first sentence seems to contradict the rest of your paragraph.

      And I beg to differ, or rather I can’t see how ergonomics can’t have an effect on how you shoot, and I seriously doubt that training can erase this difference. Or at least the amount of training that is practical for most of us (in time and money).

      And while I consider myself to be merely good with handguns I know from experience in hunting and target shooting that I’m a “great” rifleman. This is from having a father who’s #1 form of recreation is hunting and who started me and my siblings on that and then shooting as early as practical; kindergarten in my case for shooting. And a lot of practice, including a couple of years of JRTOC Rifle Team with Winchester Model 52s (even lettered in it, much to my surprise).

      Which brings me back to my ergonomics point: the Model 52 is accurate and has a wonderful single stage trigger (I doubt you can get much better) but much of the rest of its ergonomics are sub-par, at least when compared to an Anschütz. While for priority reasons I didn’t join, I did investigate my university’s rifle team and after convincing the coach I knew what I was doing he carefully handed me one of their rifles and a round which I fired offhand. Unlike the Model 52 I had absolutely no trouble immediately holding it dead still and nailing it, which I found to be amazing. As I recall the coach was impressed by the look of wonder on my face….

      I assure you no amount of training could bridge the gap between these two rifles. Similarly, I seriously doubt I could ever shoot a Glock better than a 1911 (or likely an XD) because the grip angle is just not right for me. I have no reason to fight that.

      (Then there’s the “secret sauce” of a good SA trigger: as mentioned before, I strongly do not recommend a medium weight trigger to the inexperienced but if you can handle one you’re likely to get a lot more out of it than the less … friendly? ones. Basically I just squeeze my hand a certain way and the shot goes where I’m aiming. Oh, yeah, manual safeties not withstanding you need enough discipline and experience to religiously follow Rule 3 although of course you should be doing that anyway, especially since in the self-defense realm absolutely observing Rule 2 is not possible, e.g. drawing and holstering when you count what gas ejecta will do to your body. Or perhaps those messy nightmares where you have to draw while in the middle of a crowd.)

  22. I daily carry an XD40 compact (original model, not the newer XDM). I also own a Glock 19 and several 1911 pistols (Kimber Ultra CDP II and two Springfields, one a commander size, one full size). The first carry gun I had was the Glock. After it I went with the Ultra CDP II for a few years.

    From the beginning I never really liked the Glock ergonomics. It just didn’t suit me. Once I got into 1911’s I found that the compact/commander models fit my hand better and after many thousands of rounds with the Ultra CDP, it became like an extension of my hand. However, I didn’t like the maintenance schedule for the Kimber its sensitivity to ammo (seems like the ultra light 45s take too much of a beating to shoot on a regular basis).

    I came across the XD40 at a gun show and decided to give it a try. After all the time spent with the 1911 I definitely noticed that the grip angle of the XD was much closer to the 1911 than that of a Glock. But as someone noticed above, perhaps it has to do with hand proportions. Maybe some of you aren’t sensitive to it. Anyhow, the transition was relatively seamless for me from the 1911 to the XD, whereas shooting the Glock after either the 1911 or the XD took some readjusting.

    At this point I’ve been carrying the XD for 5 years and put thousands of rounds through it with no failures, so I’ve come to trust it. Which I think brings up an important point: people like to denigrate various brands based on stories they’ve heard, or on a gun they owned. But even good brands have bad individual guns, so I tend to take those stories with a grain of salt and give the individual gun a chance to prove itself.

  23. jtbolt says:

    I should add I steer new shooters to the XD, but I add the caveat that they should try a bunch of types before they buy, and to buy the XD if it works for them.

    Another data point… I don’t own a polymer pistol, currently, of any flavor.

  24. Don Gwinn says:

    I have an XD .45 and like it, but it falls a little short of love. Here are the things I like about it:

    1. Grip is subjective . . . and for me, the grip on an XD fits me better than any Glock grip I’ve tried. I like Glocks, but I don’t like Glock grips. I had a G30 that was just a brick for me, and it was such a bad fit that I had to get rid of it even though it was accurate, reliable, concealable and tough.

    2. I admit it, I WAS a fan of the HS2000. And when they were selling those for $200 brand new, I wanted one in the worst way. But I was finishing college, savings were nearly gone, and I already had student loan debt, so I just couldn’t justify it. But it was one of those deals you have to pass on while realizing that you will regret it later. So, when I got the chance to trade for one of the Springfield versions a couple of years ago, maybe it’s true that there was some emotional pull there.

    3. This won’t matter to everyone, and I understand that, but Springfield Armory is a company we in Illinois can count on to help fight for gun rights. They’re good at doing that in a positive way; for instance, they donate firearms and ammunition for educational range days for journalists and politicians, and we’ve had specific feedback from individuals in both groups that they’ve changed positions after they had the chance to go out and actually experience using the firearms. Springfield Armory doesn’t do that by itself, of course, and it wouldn’t excuse a bad product, but it’s always there in the back of my mind. The only other Illinois company that springs to mind in that connection is Armalite.

    Now, all that said, my next plan is to go on a simplification/buying/trading spree the first year after my mortgage is dead, with the intent to cut down to one fighting pistol, one fighting rifle and one fighting/hunting shotgun. The pistols I’m mulling over right now are 9mm versions of the S&W M&P and the SIG P250. The idea would be to have a 9mm pistol and a .22 conversion plus one identical backup, and then stop buying pistols for awhile. I really haven’t considered the XD in 9mm for this exercise. I haven’t really thought hard about why that is, but maybe it tells you something.

  25. Texas Jack 1940 says:

    When my nephew convinced me I should carry, I bought a magazine that had a multi-gun test by somebody or other. He ran something like a thousand rounds through several pistols, along with some moderate torture testing. About half of the test guns had one or more failures to fire. Of the others, he most liked Glock and Springfield. I chose XD. I had previously fired .45 (military 1911), .38-40 (Colt Bisley model single six), and a 9 mm (S&W semi, don’t remember model) that my brother had carried for several years in ‘Nam. I bought the full size XD9, and then a year later, an XD9 Sub-compact. I have fired over 3000 rounds through the two, with a grand total of zero failures. Most of those were 115 gr. FMJ, but some were 115 gr. JHP. When my class (about 25) fired at the range for our CHL test, about half of the .45s had at least one misfire in fifty rounds.
    I carry the sub with 10+1 in and 15 in the back-up magazine. Based on range time, I should be able to center of mass a bad guy with most of those at up to 25 yards. At home, the pistols buy me time to get to a rifle.
    Grip angle and trigger pull are Greek to me. I aim, I pull the trigger, I make a hole near the center of the target, I repeat. That’s what I require.

    • HSR47 says:

      Trigger pulls are subjective, and you don’t really understand what people are talking about when describing them until you’ve amassed a large enough sampling of triggers. Truth be told, I’m only starting to understand what people are saying with regard to triggers.

      Really though, once you’ve experienced great triggers, you understand what people are saying about crappier triggers.

  26. Bill says:

    Wow! Just Wow! I carry a Kimber Commander length 1911. I love the trigger, and I bought a 1911 .22 caliber with a trigger that is almost identical to my feel so I could practice on the cheap. They have similar sights, and shoot so closely, apart from the recoil, that I really am spoiled.

    I compete with an XDM-40. I need the extra capacity in some stages, and the pistol works for me. After having shot several hundred rounds from the Kimber, the transition to the XDM takes about a magazine to get comfortable, but then it feels great.

    They both work, and JMB’s design is still pertinent!

  27. Bill says:

    Finally, that extra inch in length makes a big difference in IWB carry, at least to me. It’s not the concealibility that’s an issue, but the comfort. I make my own holsters, after having tried many IWB designs, and no matter what, that extra length does matter!

  28. Reese says:

    My EDC is an XD45 Compact. I originally purchased the XD because I did not like the Glock trigger or grip. I was also hung up on the M&P trigger and the grip felt slippery in my hand. My XD was my first handgun and I liked the idea of a 10+1 compact, or switching out to a 13+1 full-sized with the grip extension (something nobody else was doing at the time). I’ll also admit, I was sold on Springfield’s marketing of the Croation Plastic Fantastic. I have no complaints with my XD, but I think as I’ve grown up in the gun thing that I’ve out grown it.

    I recently purchased an M&P45 Compact with the intention of making it my EDC. Later I sold the M&P. Here’s why:

    1. I absolutely coult NOT get passed the trigger. Gritty at first, then heavier than my XD. I just didn’t like it. I also chronically pushed the trigger (shot at 7 o’clock), and even though I knew what I was doing wrong mechanically, I just couldn’t seem to fix it.

    2. For me, there was more felt recoil from the M&P than my XD. This maybe be due to my familiarity with the XD, but the dual captive recoil springs in the XD seemed to soak up more recoil than the single spring in the M&P.

    3. Grip texture. The M&P was slippery in my hand and unless I was using the large back strap, which felt weird in my hand, the gun moved quite a bit when I shot.

    4. There was a noticable gap between the slide and frame on the M&P (my wife asked if I had put it together incorrectly because of the amount of “daylight” she could see from across the room). I noticed several times while shooing that gas and debris were hitting my left hand (ring handed shooter).

    5. Take down. I know that the tool doesn’t have to be used but I found it tedious and unnecessary to be included in the first place.

    There are, however, some things I like about the M&P:

    1. It is a good looking pistol.
    2. It’s made in America.
    3. I have a Smith & Wesson 686-4 and LOVE it! and am a fan of the company as a whole.

    At this point I’ve decided to move out of the plastic pistol club. I’ll be purchasing a Sig P220 Compact for my EDC. It will suck moving from a 10+1 to a 6+1 but I’ve shot my brother’s P245 quit a bit and love it.

  29. Tim says:

    I like the feel of my xdm 9 mm in my hand much more than the feel of all glocks I have tried. I also own an M&P 9mm. I’m noticeably more accurate with the xdm than with the m&p

  30. Graumagus says:

    I have smallish hands for a man my size. Double stack magazine grips have never felt comfortable for me. I can shoot my S&W Model 29 .44 Magnum just fine, but the grip on a glock just feels wrong to me.

  31. B Dubya says:

    I just got the wife an SA XD .40.
    She tried the 1911, she tried a 9mm Glock, and she tried a 4 inch XD in .40 cal and she liked and shot the XD the best.

    At $430 bucks NIB, it was a deal.

    Personally, I can’t hit the broad side of a bright red barn with a pistol, and I much prefer long guns, but it is a well made, reliable handgun for her needs and ability (she can actually hit what she soots at).

  32. Hayle says:

    At last some riatoanltiy in our little debate.

  33. Rossta says:

    I have an XD 40 4″ (service model) with over 4000 rounds through it and havent had 1 problem or any work done on it. Just shoot and clean(most of the time).

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