High-Cap Carry: Springfield's XD(M) 3.8 Compact in .45 ACP

With two new additions announced in late 2011, Springfield's popular polymer entry has become what every compact carrier has dreamed of -- a duty-size pistol with a high-capacity option. With it's newest package, the Springfield XD(M) 3.8 Compact --named for its 3.8-inch barrel, scaled own from the XD(M) 4.5--now comes with a Mag X-Tension, a high-cap magazine (we're sure you got that from the name) that allows this one gun to go from a compact 9+1 to more of a 13+1 pseudo full-size option.

Thanks to the Mag X-Tension, you've got a short-barreled gun with a full-size grip. The interchangeable backstraps in three different sizes that are included with the XD(M) allow you to further personalize your grip length to match up with your capacity needs. It's almost like you're getting a two-for-one deal, and there's nothing more American than that.

What could possibly be better? The other new wrinkle for the 3.8 compact is that it is now available in the caliber XD(M) fans have been clamoring for since the 3.8 was introduced: .45 ACP. This becomes the third offering in the compact line, joining 9mm and .40 S&W. We know, now you can die happy. When the original XD(M)s came to market  in .40 S&W it was just natural for expectations to grow that .45 would soon follow. Now, not only can you pick up the original XD(M) in .45, you can step out with its compact version in one of the personal defense world's most popular calibers.

The 9+1 carry gun weighs in at just over 27 ounces with a height of 4.55 inches, and the Mag X-Tension adds just two ounces to the gun. With a fully ramped, Melonite-finished barrel and three-dot steel sights, the polymer frame gun is available with a forged steel black slide for $732. The stainless slide and black frame model is available for $797. It has a trigger pull between 5.5 and 7.7 lbs, features dovetail sights and comes with a carrying case, two stainless Megazines, mag loader, double mag pouch, three backstraps and three X-Tensions.

The gun's traditionally blocky frame and lack of a thumb safety turns off some users, like Guns & Ammo's executive editor Payton Miller, but even the old-school guys know that accuracy and dependability trump all.  "It shoots like a dream for sure," Miller said.

There's no doubt that fans of the XD(M) in .45 will find this compact model powerful and easy to conceal. With this new entry and the recent addition of the 5.25 competition model XD(M)s, Springfield's a la carte style portfolio is becoming diverse and impressive. The Springfield Armory XD(M) 3.8 Compact is certainly the most attractive concealed carry gun in the family.

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