The Springfield XDS 9mm is the latest polymer pistol from the folks in Geneseo, and one that I expect will be extremely popular in 2013. The new pistol is a single stack 9mm with an obvious emphasis on concealed carry. The gun is thin and light, yet is substantial enough for a shooter to hold onto during rapid fire.
I got to shoot this pistol at Media Day at the Range, the pre-SHOT Show event that puts new guns in the hands of writers. This Springfield XDS 9mm review is based on my time handling the gun. Additional details were obtained by interviewing Springfield staff and from their literature.
The gun uses seven-round, flush mount magazines, but will also take extended, nine-round magazines that Springfield will produce. With the flush mount, my pinky finger doesn’t quite fit onto the gun, but with the nine-round mags, I am able to get a full grip.
While this is certainly acceptable, it would have been nice to have a slightly longer frame to allow a shooter to get a full grip with a flush mount mag. Bersa accomplished this in the BP9CC pistol, and it would have been great if the XDS would have the same grip size. But with the extended magazines, it does offer the flexibility for shooters who like the gun both ways.
The overall size of the grip frame fit well into my hand. It was large enough that I did not feel like I was handling a child’t toy, yet it is substantially thinner than many other polymer pistols. I like the feel of this gun.
The grip texture on the XDS is aggressive enough that the gun is not likely to slip from your hand, yet it id not likely to harm you either. I don’t imagine anyone would have a legitimate gripe complaining the gun was too rough after a day on the range.
The front sight of the XDS 9mm is a red fiber optic, while the rear sights are two white dots. When shooting, the sights worked well. I like having a bright, color-contrasting front sight, and the red fiber optic definitely does the trick.
The XDS frame is polymer; the slide is stainless steel. Magazines are metal with polymer baseplates. The magazines have a witness hole for each round, so you can instantly see exactly how many round have been loaded into the magazine.
The key characteristic of this gun is that it is thin, making it a good fit for many people’s concealed carry handgun needs. When I handled this pistol, I had no doubts that this gun would work very easily in an IWB holster.
Shooting the gun was easy, and should be familiar to anyone who has shot a Springfield XD or Glock pistol before. The trigger pull was consistent and the reset was short and obvious.
The gun was accurate and suffered no malfunctions. I shot several magazines slow for accuracy, and the gun performed very well. I also shot two magazines rapid fire, and I was unable to induce any malfunctions.
The 9mm XDS has the exact same dimensions as the .45 ACP version. The barrel is the same as the .45, but with a smaller bore, so the 9mm version is slightly heavier than the bigger bore version. This means that the new guns should fit all of the existing XDS holsters.
My time with the XDS 9mm was limited, but not rushed. I liked the gun enough to put it on my “short list” of guns to buy. It looks like Springfield Armory is now making their own versions of the gun Glock refuses to make: a single stack 9mm that is designed for concealed carry.
MSRP was not yet set, and Springfield expects to ship the XDS 9mm later in 2013.
June 2013 Update: Firearms instructor Rob Pincus recently bought a production XDS 9mm pistol and filmed this video of the handgun:
June 2014 Update – We just posted a review of the XD-S 4.0 9mm here.