I remember at the 2012 NRA Show in St. Louis I first saw the then new Springfield XDs 45. With more and more states adopting concealed carry, handgun manufactures have been reinventing designs and pushing the limits with calibers not typically found in compact handguns. I’m still waiting for the 500 S&W derringer. I’m sure some crazy person will make it and I will probably review it. You have to remember that for the most part CCW handguns are designed for concealed carry, not accuracy. It stands to reason since it is designed for extreme close encounters, not competition shooting. That being said, Springfield has made a small, lightweight 45 that is pretty darn accurate.
I was curious about how the recoil would be on a small-framed 45. Surprisingly, it wasn’t bad with the 5rd mag in it and shooting 230 gr. FMJ and defensive HPs. One gripe I have with what I call “two-finger” CCW handguns (ones you can only comfortably put your middle and ring-finger on the grip for support) is that they can be hard to control when shooting rapid fire. It’s sort of like trying to hold a wild kitten injected with wolf adrenaline playing in a field of catnip (for lack of better phraseology). After about 100 rounds (all flawless feeds) I started feeling a slight discomfort in the last digit of my trigger-finger. Basically, I started getting lazy and wasn’t gripping the frame tight enough with my middle and ring fingers. This was causing the gun to snap up during the recoil and the bottom of the trigger guard was tapping the knuckle on my trigger-finger fairly repeatedly. It reminded me of getting hit softly, but repeatedly, by the ridge on a #2 pencil in the same spot. Now you have to be careful because if you grip any handgun gun too tight with your trigger-finger hand, you can begin to go all “palsy” on your target and spray your rounds in an inaccurate pattern. Ideally, your non-trigger hand should be applying most of the force to keep the gun on target and steady, but with such a small handle, there isn’t much room for your support hand on the XDs.
Once I focused, this was not an issue. Also, the optional 7 round magazine is a great addition to have as your backup, or primary magazine. It gives your lonely little pinkie a place to rest as well. Plus, if a firefight occurs, 7 rounds is better than 5 rounds. What ammo do I recommend? If you’ve read any of my articles you’ll know I’m a huge fan of Cor-Bon and Liberty Halo rounds. Typically 45s move at less than 1,000 feet per second. The Liberty Halos move at over 1,900 fps! Plus instead of being a 230 grain bullet, it’s a 78 grain HP. Rule of thumb: if you can make a large diameter bullet move very quickly, do not be on the receiving end (watch Youtube if you don’t believe me). All and all, the Springfield XDs is a great backup/primary CCW. Well worth $535. I’m excited to try out the XDs 9mm being released this year.
Mr. Ags writes for Joe for America and welcomes your feedback: @blackswampfire and [email protected]