Photos by Eric R. Poole
It's hard to follow the original when the first iteration was so good. In the case of Springfield Armory's XD-S Mod. 2, this updated single-stack carry pistol is a perfected version of the original.
Springfield's new XD-S uses a 3.3-inch barrel chambered in 9mm. When Guns & Ammo's staff first handled it, we were wowed by how good it feels in the hand. Just when you thought a pistol couldn't be made more ergonomic, the polymer-framed XD-S really benefited from the improved Mod. 2 grip. The grip continues the Mod. 2's reputation for unique texture that surrounds all the touchpoints.
And it's slim! The XD-S Mod. 2 measured just less than an inch wide and featured a higher undercut at the back of the triggerguard that allows us to bring the firing hand closer to the bore axis of the gun. This higher hand position improved on the great point-and-shoot handling characteristics of the original XD-S and provided us a carry gun that felt more like a natural extension of the arm.
Being just 6.3 inches long and 4.4 inches tall, the XD-S' controls are minimal yet large enough to reach. The slide lock can be reached to manually engage and is easy to press down to release it. While the slide is slimmer than the original XD-S, the Mod. 2 maintains ample serrations at the rear of the slide to make racking the slide and overcoming the resistance of the dual-spring recoil system any easy task for even those challenged with dexterity issues.
I particularly liked how the grip was shaped near the magazine release button. When I grasped the gun with my firing hand, my thumb repeatedly settled into a carved-out scalloped area molded into the grip frame. Not only does help me find a proper grip, it offered me quick access to the mag release. I've never had to hunt for the button.
Another lever that I didn't have to hunt for was the manual safety because it doesn't have one. What the pistol does have is a loaded chamber indicator that pops up from the top of the slide and a grip safety that has to be deactivated before the pistol can fire. There's no bite to gripping it and it's so smooth and natural to disengage. You'll forget it's even there.
To add, the XD-S Mod. 2 received a set of Ameriglo's Pro-Glo front sight with a tactical-rack rear sight. It's amazing at the ease it is to quickly pick up and aim with. Even with an 8-pound trigger, it was smooth enough that it wasn't difficult to manage fast follow-up shots and make quick adjustments to sight alignment when multiple targets called for it.
During G&A's initial evaluation, the XD-S Mod. 2 digested everything we could fed it. Loads included Hornday's Critical Defense 100-grain FTX, Federal's American Eagle 115-grain FMJ, SIG Sauer's V-Crown 124-grain JHPs and Speer's 147-grain G2 Gold Dot. The XD-S didn't flinch when the left-overs were mixed in a small box and loaded at random into the two magazines you get with the gun. Still the XD-S Mod. 2 performed flawlessly as rounds centerpunched the targets with off-hand groups at 25 yards. Unsupported groups averaged between 3½ inches to 4 inches.
Now about those stainless-steel magazines. Springfield Armory shipped our test gun with two including a flush-fit seven-shot mag featuring a small finger flair, as well as an extended mag that gave our hands about an inch-more grip and nine-round capacity. My small hand preferred the flush-fit mag over the extension, while G&A Editor Eric Poole, with XL-size hands had a bias for the longer, extended magazine. For me, the finger flair gave access to a better grip that kept all my fingers tightly packed together. However, I can't argue that larger hands will appreciate the extended option.
Before it was over, we settled it onto a sandbag to see what it would do with a little more support. Results didn't disappoint. Two, three-shot groups with the Federal ammunition printed dead-on at 15 yards returning groups between 2 and 2½ inches. That's not bad for the first test, but we feel it can do better. As I looked up from the sights after firing the last round, I thought I heard a whisper, "Bring it."
Springfield XD-S Mod. 2
- Type: Striker fired, semiautomatic
- Cartridge: 9mm
- Capacity: 7+1 or 9+1
- Overall Length: 6.3 in.
- Height: 4.4 in.; 5 in. with mag extension
- Width: .9 in.
- Barrel Length: 3.3 in.
- Weight: 1 lb., 7 oz.
- Grip: Mod. 2, polymer
- Trigger: 8 lbs. (tested)
- Sights: Ameriglo Pro-Glo (front); tactical-rack (rear)
- MSRP: $524
- Manufacturer: Springfield Armory, 800-680-6866, Springfield-armory.com