I have an XD40SC and love it. I happen to have all three mags, a 9, a 10 and a 12 round magazine. I use it for my EDC with the 12 round magazine and carry the 9 round mag with me. It's a great shooter. Very reliable and fits my big hands just fine. Highly recommended.
There's actually 2 versions of the 3.8". There's what I'm assuming you have with the full size grip (16 round capacity), and there's mine with the compact grip (11 round capacity flush). Check my avatar...
I've had one for a few years. If you have arthritis in your wrists, get the 9 mm if you plan on shooting it a lot. While manageable, the recoil of the .40 will wear on you after the first box of ammo.
That said, it's a really excellent shooter. It's more accurate than anything that size deserves to be. It's never malfunctioned in any way that I would blame the gun. You do, however, need to be conscious of thumb placement or you may have instances when the slide doesn't lock back on an empty mag due to inadvertently pressing down on the slide release. I don't count those against the gun because they are a technique issue. I've not found any ammo it won't shoot, it even loves cast reloads. I've put a couple thousand cast bullets through it and I have yet to see any leading.
It was my primary carry gun for a while.
The 3.8" barrel with full size (16round) grip is an excellent choice. My experience with the subcompact models is less encouraging. The subcompacts are a two finger grip, which is not enough, IMO, for the snappy .40 round. And the extended grips don't do it for me either. The SA X-tended mag I bought was wobbly and unreliable. I might have been able to get the reliability fixed, but the wobbliness was too unsettling, and without it the grip was just too short, although a Pearce mag bottom did help a bit. I finally sold that gun and now carry an XDM-45 4.5". If the XDM45 came in 3.8" with the full size grip, that would be my choice.
Love mine. I tried other XD options and found it the best for carry. I also tried other brands. Being a little heavy I have to be creative with concealment during hot weather with extended mag however.
Considering trying a cross-draw holster. My XD SC has the 3" barrel. Came with std and extended mag.
I went from a 4.5 XDM to a 3.8 XDM, both .40 cal and have the same exact frame. So basically it wasn't much different then what i had before but shorter in length and a little lighter.
When I first shot it, everything was so familiar and seemed so much easier to acquire the target and take the shot. Almost felt like I drove a Cadillac to get my license and now I have a sports car. I'll just say that they have proven to me beyond a doubt why I should continue to stay with them.
I love the XDSC. Unlike bowserb, the short grip isn't an issue for me. I'm on the smaller side (5'8 165) with small hands so maybe that's the difference. My pinky finger just catches the flush magazine. Also, the extended round magazines haven't been a problem for me either, (again my smaller hand size might be a factor).
Honestly, I don't feel much if any difference between my XDSC and my XDm 3.8" Compact as far as felt recoil. My issue is with the difference between the two grip styles. It's taken me a long time to adjust to the aggressiveness of the XDm grip. Truthfully, I don't really like it. I'll probably let it go eventually, although I'll still be in the market for the XDs9 at some point soon.
Getting back to the felt recoil, the XD40SC is snappier than the XD9SC obviously. Even slightly more so than a EMP 40 in my opinion. Probably due to the EMP being all metal. But less so than a compact 45. My opinions are based on personally owned firearms:
XDm40C (probably won't keep this one)
EMP 40 (I'll go to my grave with this one)
Kimber Ultra Carry (probably let this one go also eventually)
After firing several types of firearms, I bought the XD subcompact 40 cal. with the 3". I've never looked back. I love it.
I bought an extra extended magazine. I have the standard magazine, plus I also carry two extended 12 round magazines.
Will probably purchase additional XDs for home defense.
I carried a revolver for over twenty years, but saw the possible need for more capacity. I tried many auto loaders, and it came down to the M&P Compact 9MM and 40 cal, Kimber, Ruger (4 models) and the XD40SC. The XD40SC with a 12 mag won and I have carried it since 2008. Yes, I also still have the other six listed.