The XDS: Top concealable .45 semi auto

  1. Editor
    Springfield Armory has for generations been known as one of the go-to providers of traditional longslide 1911-style .45ACP handguns. When they debuted the XD series, being European in design, was chambered in 9x19mm parabellum. To this was later added the American favorite .45 and the new runner-up, the .40S&W. Well, in recent months XD has come out with their top-notch XDS series of single-stack concealable pistols that have really proven themselves to be popular.

    The XD(S) in a nutshell.


    With the "S" in the series denoting a single stack magazine, these guns took the improvements that came about with the M-series XD over the original HS2000 pattern gun and shrunk everything down. Using a 3.3-inch or 4-inch barrel coupled with a frame that is slimmed significantly by the use of a single stack rather than double stack mag, you have a handy little .45 that is only an inch thick.


    This gives you a subcompact gun that is about the same relative "palm-size" as a snub-nosed .38 special or a Glock 36 subcompact (and in some cases even thinner, sorry Glock) that is capable of firing that grand old gentleman that is the .45ACP.
    Team Springfield's Rob Leatham on XD-S concealability and extra magazine placement

    Concealable and popular

    Guns America named the XDS .45 in either 3.3 or 4.0 as their top recommendation for concealed carry .45s. It's a short list, but the XD beat out the Glock 30/36, the Kahr PM45/CM45, and the ubiquitous 1911 itself. "Tiny enough to carry inside the waistband (IWB) in any weather, no manual safety to manipulate under stress, and the reliability it has demonstrated make this my first choice every time," wrote the reviewer.

    Specs: (From Springfield's website)



    As with anything, you have to be on point for a couple minor shortcomings of these guns. They can at times suffer from FTF style jams, which are often caused by limp-wristing. Why? Well these guns (and any small framed semi-auto with a respectable caliber) lack the mass that traditional longslide pistols have. Think about it, John Browning's uber-classic M1911A1 Government pistol has a five-inch long barrel and weighs about 40-ounces. When you compare the XDS in its most diminutive 3.3-inch barreled version, you are talking about a gun that weights about half that much. That means you have to come correct with your grip and stance to ensure reliability.

    Team Springfield's Rob Leatham working on how to control your recoil on small-framed, large-bore XDS pistols. Tip: Forward pressure to meet mass.

    Another booga-boo on the XDS is magazine capacity. The standard flush-fit gun only has a 5-round capacity giving you 5+1 in a fight if you carry it in Condition 1 with a loaded chamber over a full mag. Well, when compared to the Glock 36 (6+1) or the $1500+ Kimber Covert II series guns (7+1), it's not that far off. If an extra round or two concerns you that much there is always the 7-round XDS X-Tension magazine and the prospect of carrying extra mags.


    Still, for many, the XDS in .45 is just the right balance in speaking softly and carrying a big stick.

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