Published on April 25th, 2013 | by Destinee (FateofDestinee)

Springfield XD-S 9 (9mm) Revisited: Full Review

Like its “big brother,” the XD-S 45, Springfield Armory’s 9mm XD-S 9 makes a first impression. The model I received for review wasn’t a striking two tone (like the .45 model I reviewed previously), but the all-black pistol has a sleek, but rugged, aesthetic. Even the neat black case looks like something M would slide across his desk toward 007. Having previously reviewed its .45 predecessor, I had some expectations of the XD-S 9 when I first brought it to the range. It exceeded them.

Features

Grip

Both XD-S models feature Springfield’s aggressive “all terrain” grip texture on the grip face, as well as on the front and rear straps. Incidentally, the backstrap of the XD-S is interchangeable (one size comes mounted on the gun with the other size in the case). The limited real estate of the pistol lends to categorizing it as a sub compact pistol. As anticipated of most pistols of this class, the grip is less than full size. When grasped, this reviewer’s pinky extends somewhat over the bottom edge of the grip. So, anyone with burly man hands will likely want to consider picking up the extended mags that Springfield will offer for this pistol. In addition to extending the grip size by about an inch, it also increases the XD-S 9′s capacity to 9+1 (beyond its standard 7+1 rounds of 9×19). As with Springfield’s other pistols in the XD line, the XD-S 9 features a grip safety that must be depressed in order to depress the trigger and fire the gun.

Slide

The Springfield XD-S 9′s streamlined slide features rollmarked engraving, denoting its model name and the length of the barrel it houses: 3.3in. On the top of the slide lies the loaded chamber indicator. When a round is present and ready to fire, the indicator visibly protrudes from the slide. On the sides, close to the rear of the slide are the XD-S’s cocking serrations. What is unique about them is in how they extend from the slide face on to the top of the slide, but are also rounded. This element provides a surface with strong traction for racking the slide while minimizing surfaces on the slide that can snag during draw from concealment. Continuing the concealed carry design implements, the Springfield XD-S 9 is topped with dovetailed low profile three dot sights. The rear sights are white dots while the front sight is fiber optic. The front sight in place from the factory is a bright red/orange color, but there are fiber optic replacements in the case in both red/orange and fluorescent yellow/green. There are no tritium “night sight” elements on the XD-S, but the front sight is still fairly easy to track in low light conditions. However, a concealed carrier may wish to also mount a light or laser on the XD-S 9′s frame integrated Picatinny accessory rail for additional aim assistance. The slide is completed with a Melonite finish (the barrel has a Melonite coating as well).

Other features

In addition to the features covered above, the Springfield XD-S 9 also has an ambidextrous magazine release (it is both functional from the left and right sides of the firearm without alteration). For those who shoot with a finger extended on the outer edge of the trigger guard, the outside edge of the front of the trigger guard is checkered.

Comparison – .45 vs. 9mm

Springfield XD-S 9 Revisited: Full Review - TheArmsGuide.com

Springfield XD-S 9 – Who says a concealed carry pistol can’t look good, too?

 
 

Aesthetics

When comparing two monotone XD-S pistols, the .45 and 9mm models seem identical. After all, their both 6.3in long, 4.4in tall, and 1in wide, feature the same aggressively checkered grip. They also both feature 3.3″ barrels. However, a closer inspection reveals the rollmarked engraving on the slide, declaring each pistol’s caliber. And, although I expected the XD-S 45 to be somewhat weightier than the XD-S 9, the new nine measures about an ounce lighter (the unloaded XD-S 45 with mag inserted weighed in at 21.7oz, but my scale read 22.5oz with the unloaded XD-S 9 with mag). That weight difference may have something to do with the addition of two ribs inside the XD-S 9mm’s magazine well (which allows the frame of the .45 to accommodate the smaller 9mm round). Although, once fully loaded, the weight of each is nearly the same (when weighed with 7+1 rounds of 115gr Hornady XTP rounds, the XD-S 9 measured 25.7oz. When the Springfield XD-S 45 was weighed with 5+1 rounds of 200gr Hornady XTP, it measured 25.6oz).

Range Report

The biggest difference between the Springfield XD-S 9 and XD-S 45 is in how they handle at the range. It isn’t surprising that the XD-S 9 has less kick than its .45 counterpart. What is surprising is just how much less the perceived recoil is. The XD-S 45 is a small handgun that packs a punch, in the figurative sense of what it would deliver an attacker, as well as in the kick it directs back into the shooter’s arm while firing. Another subcompact with a notable recoil experience is the Beretta Nano. The Nano (unloaded with empty mag seated) weighs 20.0oz with a 3.07in barrel. The size differences between it and the XD-S 9 are slight (5.63in long, 4.17in tall, .90in wide), but difference in felt recoil is considerable. The Nano is a snappy little thing, but I’ve come to expect that from lightweight subcompact polymer framed concealed carry pistols; however, that is not the experience with the XD-S 9. While rapidly expending rounds, shooting as quickly as I could, the muzzle rise was detectable as a minor wobble instead of the more pronounced jump that the Nano’s shooting experience offers. My accuracy and shot groupings with the new pocket XD reflected an improved ability to manage recoil. And, after burning through a couple hundred rounds, my palm did not bear the red tattoo that the Springfield XD-S 45 caused after firing the same round count.

Springfield XD-S 9 Revisited: Full Review - TheArmsGuide.com

The XD-S 9′s interchangeable backstrap and Picatinny accessory rail provide options for customization.

One feature the two XD-S models share at the range is their reliability. While thus far, I have only shot about 600 rounds (mostly Armscor jacketed hollowpoints, Federal FMJ ammo, and some flat nosed lead reloads) through the Springfield XD-S 9, I have yet to have any errors with feeding, ejection, or any other malfunctions. Pull the trigger… bang – every time.

Another identical feature of the XD-S 9 and 45 is its short resetting trigger. Neither model possesses an external frame or slide mounted safety, but they do have a long trigger pull. The pull is nothing to write home about, but nor is it so uneven or heavy as to detract from being able to shoot well. Both the Springfield XD-S 45 and XD-S 9 have 6lb 12oz pulls. The first shot has a light initial takeup, and then a heavier pull til it breaks nearly at the rearmost extent of the trigger guard. Any subsequent shots reset back to what would be the halfway point of the first trigger pull’s travel.

Both the resetting trigger and the hi vis front sight contribute to maintaining small group sizes. The bright color of the front sight is easier to track between shots while the shorter trigger pull required to fire rounds after the first pull help to keep the pistol aligned during fire. However, as mentioned previously, the XD-S 9′s lesser kick lends itself to improved recoil management, and therefore improved accuracy and precision with less effort than does the punchy XD-S 45. That isn’t to say that it is impossible to achieve the same degree of accuracy and precision with the larger caliber model, only that it takes more physical effort.

Final Thoughts

Due to this pistol’s small footprint, slight weight, and snag-free body, I would predominately consider the Springfield XD-S 9 for concealed carry. However, its ease of operation and recoil management recommend it for additional range use and training. Up to this point, I’ve generally brought my Beretta M9 to training events. However, after discovering what a solid performer the XD-S 9 is, I’d consider bringing it (and a few extra mags) instead. It’s more effective compromise between a practical [concealed carry] pistol and a handgun that I can still operate quickly and effectively.

The size and design of the XD-S 9 seem to reflect considerations for concealed carry. It is small, slim, and easy to control. As a single stack, it offers the benefit of a slim profile that is easily concealable, but concedes the additional capacity that wider double stack pistols possess. However, the smaller cartridge allows the XD-S 9 to tote an additional pair of rounds than what is capable with the XD-S 45. The Springfield XD-S 9 presents a new lightweight pocket pistol that can hold its own against other 9mm polymer-framed single stacks already on the concealed carry market, such as the Beretta Nano, Kahr CM9, or S&W M&P Shield. Aside from its CCW potential, the Springfield XD-S 9 makes a fun, reliable little hole puncher at the range that looks as good as it shoots.

Springfield XD-S 9 Revisited: Full Review - TheArmsGuide.com

The ultimate accessory: the Springfield XD-S 9 looks good with anything.

Specifications

Caliber: 9×19 Parabellum

Capacity: 7+1

Weight: 22.4oz (unloaded)

Frame material: polymer

Slide material: forged steel

Barrel length: 3.3in.

Overall length: 6.3in.

Overall height: 4.4in.

Width: 1.0in.

Note: At the time of this article, Springfield has not announced when the XD-S 9 will release, or what the MSRP will be when it does. Although, at SHOT, the Springfield expressed the goal of releasing it later this year (hopefully with a MSRP not far off from that of the XD-S 45 models).

About the Author

In addition to writing for The Arms Guide and her personal blog, Destinee is also a vlogger. She publishes videos on weapons, gear, and fitness on her YouTube channel every Tuesday and Thursday.


26 comments
txproud0302
txproud0302

I'm wondering if you have ever compared the XDS-9 to the Ruger LC9, and if so, which performed the best?

WaltSchneider
WaltSchneider

Is that picture above the 9mm version on top of the .45 version, or is it just on top of a mirror?  The reason I ask is because of the grip.  I have the .45 version and even with the smaller backstrap, my wife feels the grip is too big for her.  I was hoping since the 9mm cartridge is smaller, the size of the grip would also have been reduced to fit (sort of like the 9mm Springfield EMP vs a std 1911).  Are the grips the same size?  Thank you for the review and all your fine work.  :-)

aptPatriot
aptPatriot

I LOVE my XDS in 45. Last sub/compact I will own... for now. I prefer 45 to 9mm for carry, but the pistol appears to be essentially the same. Anyone considering one, pick it up! You'll love it.

josephagibinik
josephagibinik

I just want to say that you are awesome Destinee!  Thank-you for all your hard work.  I enjoy your video's and you make it look so easy!  Be safe, be prepared and hug your loved one's today.

Brc
Brc

Excellent Review Destine. I've never been a big fan of any of the pocket rocket pistols but i may have to look into the XD-S. 

Fiero11
Fiero11

Just a note on the possible weight difference of the XDs 9 over the XDs 45 is the fact that usually the weapons manufacturer uses the same frame and barrel on both guns, but bores the barrel out to the smaller diameter of the 9mm. This leaves more metal in the barrel and hence the slight additional weight.

peter3101
peter3101

I really like the last photograph, you look  very serious and the gun underlines this , then you notice the splash of color and the hot pink nail polish sticks out endorsing your femininity, very good pic, love it. 

Fiero11
Fiero11

I have the Springfield XDs 45.  I love the gun and find it to be a good carry weapon due to it's small footprint and I like being able to use .45 ACP rounds that I am used to in my tactical XD and Glock 21. While it has a bit of recoil, it is not unmanagable. I do find the small grip realestate would be easier to control if you could get 3 fingers on it. Fortunately, Pierce Grips currently makes a finger grip mag extention for this pistol which takes care of this problem for about $10 a plate plus shipping.

deltaleader71
deltaleader71

I haven't had a chance to play with this one yet. Hoping to soon. Looks promising. I hope you can do a review on the S&W Shield. I would be interested in hearing what you think of that.

peter3101
peter3101

Detailed review, I like the 45, slim and very light, for me the 9 mm is entering a more competitive market sector and might not do as well as there are better options. Also one of the main justifications of carrying a 9 is capacity, when you remove that from the equation why not carry it's big brother, that's my thoughts anyway.

One question, how many of you are there in your head? ;o)

FateofDestinee
FateofDestinee

@WaltSchneider The grips of the 9mm and .45 models are identical. The dimensions of both pistols are the same (Springfield built the 9mm off of the .45 platform). Although, both models feature adjustable backstraps. Hopefully that helps :] Best of luck with your search for the right handgun fit for your wife and thank you for the kind words.

FateofDestinee
FateofDestinee

@josephagibinik I'm honored you think so highly of the content I create. I appreciate the support and encouragement. So... thank you! :D

FateofDestinee
FateofDestinee

@Brc Much obliged. If you do, you'll have to let me know what you think :]

jmelton6414
jmelton6414

@Fiero11 I purchased the XD-s in .45 (obviously) last year and found it far superior in shooting comfort to the Taurus PT145 that I sold earlier last year. The muzzle flip and overall recoil are much better in the Springfield product, I don't know exactly why. My XD-s is about 75% as 'fun' to shoot as my 1911 pistols, certainly an excellent carry pistol.

 If you feel the XD-s has a 'bit of recoil', you probably would have hated the PT145. I felt it was 'OK', but it never was a fun gun to shoot IMO. I will likely never sell mine, but I parted with the Taurus without looking back...

However, my Taurus PT1911 is one hell of a gun for the money, I like mine better than the Kimber Stainless Custom Target I gave my wife for Christmas...

ltyner
ltyner

I love my XD-S .45 too, have the mag extensions ordered and the extended mag ordered. I have been very impressed with the slight muzzle hop and the trigger reset out of the box. I don't know wether to attribute my accuracy to the front sight or the relative small muzzle hop. I guess, a little of both... Only change I may make is improve the trigger reset a little more. Not because it needs it, but because i can...heehee. I carry concealed everywhere, practice much, and really enjoy firing this weapon.

Destinee, great job on the write-up here on the 9. I watched your video with the .45 the other day, and it was great too. Glad I found you! Keep up the good work!

FateofDestinee
FateofDestinee

@deltaleader71 If I ever get my hands on one, I'd love to review it. There are so many other models out there against which I could compare it :D

FateofDestinee
FateofDestinee

@peter3101 I'm curious to see how it does against the other single stack subcompact polymer 9mms once it releases.

Lol Who could say? I'm an imaginative person.

JoeFabeetz
JoeFabeetz

@peter3101 At my last count she is at eleven but there may be more lurking about.  :)

19jrq51
19jrq51

Sorry for duplicate replies.

WaltSchneider
WaltSchneider

@FateofDestinee @WaltSchneider Oh geez you're quick on the draw.  :-p  Tks for the very quick response.  She also likes my Walther PPQ.  Such an excellent trigger, and she shoots well with it, but it's the same story with the grip.  Actually... I mention grip, grip, grip a lot, but in reality what we are talking about here is the trigger reach and her short fingers.  She actually does grip it just fine, but with a natural grip where the bore axis is in line with her wrist/arm, the trigger is just a hair out of reach.  She likes the "fit" on the M&P9/9C, but not crazy about the trigger even though she can reach it.  Truth be told, that PPQ trigger has ruined it for all other polymers.  She has not tried a Shield, but if it's the same trigger as the 9/9C, the trigger will likely disappoint her.  Maybe there just isn't a polymer that's perfect out of the box.  Might have to just get one as close as possible and see if we can't work on getting the trigger modded for the reach issue.  By the way... if you haven't already, try the PPQ too.  I think you'll like it.  :-)

Fiero11
Fiero11

@jmelton6414 @Fiero11 I really like my XDs .45 too. I found it much more managable after I put the Pearce grip plates on the mags and it is now really comfortable to hold and shoot. I also love my 1911. I have a Springfield National Trophy Match 1911 that is most fun and comfortable, as well as, very accurate to shoot. I guess that is why I have a love of the .45 ACP round and prefer it as my carry round too. The only other .45's I have used are the HK USP 45, the Glock 21, and the Springfield XD Tactical 45 and like all of them. I may look into getting a S&W M&P .45, they too seem to be a really nice handling .45.

ltyner
ltyner

I have one. 9mm. I took it and the XD-S .45 out of the box and made my decision which one I wanted. I put two mags through the Shield just to be sure. I'm not in any hurry to sale it, but I need to. If you wanna try to work something out give me an email.

19jrq51
19jrq51

My daughter likes her Kel Tec P11 and M&P shield

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