Living Up to Its Reputation
I used a Springfield XDs 5.25 in last year’s Bianchi Cup. My choice was based on the XDs’ reputation for accuracy and reliability so when my editor suggested shooting production class, the 5.25 was an easy choice.
Made in Croatia and parented by the first Croatian pistol manufactured, the PHP, the XD series of pistols have become viable contenders for the civilian as well as police and military markets. My XDm has yet to malfunction through thousands of rounds.
Like other XD series guns, the XDs is well finished for a utility gun. The controls are similarly placed with the takedown lever and slide release on the left side and an ambidextrous magazine release. The sights are really good with a driftable two-dot rear and a hi-vis front. The trigger is indistinguishable in pull from the larger XD pistols, which is to say it is very good. There is a fairly short initial travel and a distinct second stage that breaks consistently and cleanly.
The standard magazine holds five rounds and there’s an available extended seven round magazine. While the seven round magazine is handy for range use, it increases the profile of the gun considerably. With one in the chamber, 6 rounds is reasonable in a concealed carry handgun. If you can’t do it with six, you should practice more.
Striker fired, with no manual safety, the XDs relies on a blade in the trigger and a grip safety to prevent accidental discharge. Carrying a round in the chamber is, in my opinion, a prerequisite for using a semi-auto for concealed carry and with a holster that protects the trigger, I’d feel perfectly safe carrying this gun with a round chambered.
At 21.5 ounces, the XDs is not a lightweight. With a loaded magazine, it approaches the empty weight of some service level pistols. While it occupies about the same profile as a J frame S&W, it weighs more empty and considerably more loaded.
What this pistol has going for it is that it’s a .45. It is thinner in profile than a small revolver and it carries a lot more punch. That punch also translates itself into recoil. In a recent range session where I fired 300 rounds with the XDs and a couple of other compact .45s, I managed to escape without having a sore hand the next day, but this is not a gun for the fainthearted.