If you are a Springfield XD shooter, owner, or enthusiast, odds are you have bumped into the term "HS2000" in your travels. You may have even heard speculation that the HS2000 is the XD. Well, we are here to bust the myths and shatter the misconceptions.
What is an HS2000?
Back in the (former) People's Republic of Yugoslavia, there was a group of engineers in the state of Croatia who banded together to form a company called IM Metal just as the hard-working Croats decided to pack up their stuff and break away from being under the Yugo banner. This was in the early 1990s.
The IM Metal gang built a series of pistols for the young and embattled Croatian military, the Walter P-38-ish PHP and the SIG P220-ish HS95.
By 1998, the company, enjoying a peace dividend and able to design firearms without worrying about their country being invaded any minute, had created the first ever polymer-framed handgun in Croatia. Using extensive CAD/CAM techniques the company used a BASF based Ultramyd 66 material for the polymer lower, a very close SIG-style internal mechanism yet with a striker fired trigger system, and, unique in its class, a rear grip beavertail safety.
The prototypes had been worked out by the verge of the millennium and the HS2000 was born. As a step to support their new and innovate product, the company even changed its name from IM Metal to HS Produkt. All it needed next was a big market.
The HS2000 heads to the US of A
A small company by the name of Intrac, located in Knoxville, TN became the US importer for the HS2000, and marketed the pistol under its subsidiary, HS Arms (who formerly ran the HSARMS.com website). Now Intrac had also made contact with Arsenal in Bulgaria and was importing Romak series AK-style rifles from Eastern Europe on the cheap. They sold the HS2000 with a MSRP of $419, and a street price of as low as $329.
Three very slight variations with differences such as frame rail, front serrations, and rougher texture on the sides of the grip were imported into the country from Croatia between 2000 and 2004.
Retrieved from HSARMS.com archive. Note the lack of under-barrel frame rail.
Retrieved from HSARMS.com archive
Retrieved from HSARMS.com archive
A review of the HS2000 by the Military Arms Channel (MAC)
Springfield Armory bought the rights to import the gun into the United States, branded as the XD (and later XDM and XDS) series pistols in 2002. This forced Intrac to close its HS Arms operation and they, similarly, closed their doors in late 2004 after selling off the rest of their guns that cleared customs.
These guns dropped in price right after that, with ads for them showing up in the Shotgun News and other pubs of the time for as low as $249 new in the box. HS2000's in the U.S. today, meanwhile, have gained a small bit of popularity with collectors, restoring their price to closer to the original MSRP. Better yet, word is Springfield will honor the lifetime warranty on these guns still. Odds are they probably have contacts in Croatia these days.
Speaking of which, although Springfield pushes the XD here in the states, overseas, the HS2000 rules
HS still makes at least 14 different models of HS2000 style pistols in Croatia for the non-U.S. market.
These guns are sold locally in Croatia as well as on the international (but non-U.S.) military and police market.
By looking at their products, you can see the clear and present relationship to today's XD series pistols.