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Gun Review:
Springfield Armory XD 45

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By Dan S. Defense

Affordable, Lightweight Polymer Handgun

In this review we will look at the Springfield Armory XD 45 service pistol. The XD stands for X-Treme Duty which is to say it is a handgun built for real world handling. It is a Polymer handgun that comes in several sizes and calibers. From 9mm to 40 S&W to 45 ACP the Springfield XD is affordable and reliable.

The XD 45 also comes in a variety of sizes, from full size Tactical model to the smaller sub-compact model. In this review we will look at the XD 45 ACP Service model. It means that it is a Springfield XD with a 4 inch barrel and 13 rounds of potent 45 ACP cartridges. We'll look at its features, viability as a self defense handgun and look at a range report as well as a conceal carry experience.

For those not familiar with Springfield Armory, it is an icon in the firearms industry. Springfield came into existence in 1777. It was ordered by George Washington to store ammunition and gun carriages. In 1794 Springfield Armory began to manufacture arms and built muskets. Springfield Armory kept doing so in the same format until 1968. At that point it was bought by the Reese family and became an even more innovative enterprise.

From making weapons for every major US conflict to building custom model 1911 45 ACP handguns for the FBI HRT (Hostage Rescue Team), Springfield Armory has proved itself time and again as an old, respectable and reliable name. With his context, let's take a closer look at the Springfield XD 45 ACP Service model.

The Springfield XD started its life in Croatia in 1991 as the model The HS2000 in 9mm. It saw several improvements over the years and was adopted by the Croatian military and police force. Around the year 2000 it made its way to the US as an imported 9mm handgun, and while sales were limited, it caught the eye of Springfield Armory and they acquired the licensing rights in 2002.

At this point the handgun was renamed, some changes were made and what started as a single 9mm model, turned into a successful line of rock solid handguns.

The Springfield XD was an instant success with the public. And it was eventually release in what is arguably the US's favorite caliber—the 45 ACP. It became a best seller and was soon made available in several variations and even choice of color. I'm sure the folks at Springfield Armory were delighted to win the NRA's prestige's bull's-eye award for the Springfield XD as the "Gun of the Year" and the shooting's industry award of excellence. The XD was accepted and appreciated by industry experts as well as critics and the public. A star was born.

The Springfield XD is described by Springfield Armory as a handgun with "point and shoot ergonomics". I typically distrust marketing speak, but after handling the XD Service I can attest to the accuracy of this statement and agree that the XD will shoot to POA (Point of Aim). The grip's angel and the ability to maintain a high and comfortable hold contribute greatly to its "point and shoot ergonomics". Additional features include an ambidextrous magazine release, in a size that is just right—not too small as not hinder quick magazine exchange and not too large as to snag on cloths—very functional.

The Springfield XD is striker fired which means there's no exposed hammer and it also translates to consistent shot after shoot trigger feel, because there's no heavy pressure for the first double action shoot and then light pressure for following single action shots. This makes the XD a great beginner handgun since trigger control is one of the most difficult and critical skills to master.

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