Review: New Springfield XD-9 Mod.2 Sub-Compact

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You may have noticed all the ads around the web about Springfield Armory’s latest offering coming soon:

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We worked with Springfield Armory to bring it to you first so here it is; Springfield Armory has introduced a new version of the XD-9 Sub-Compact called the Mod.2 with “GripZone” that features a more ergonomic grip.The slide has also been redesigned which looks great in my opinion. Another change is the sights. The Mod.2 has a fiber optic front sight which can be used with green or red inserts.The rear sight has a smoother, lower profile than the previous model.

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According to Springfield the “GripZone” is every surface on the frame that makes contact with your hand. “The “GripZone™” has been carefully, intentionally designed to combine multiple principles of biomechanics in order to enhance your shooting experience.”

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Also the circumference of the frame has been reduced to augment the shooter’s grip. The grip has been completely re-contoured to better fit the hand:

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Springfield also sent me the old XD-9 Sub-Compact to use in order to compare and contrast:

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The old model is nice and smooth but still with enough surface to provide an adequate grip:

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The new contours of the XD-9 Mod.2 are definitely more ergonomic:

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And of course it comes with all the usual XD gear which is always a nice addition:

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I loaded 5 rounds and stood about 10 yards from the target to get a quick point-and-shoot accuracy test:

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And I was pleased:

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Of course the old XD shot just as nicely, but I really got pretty good with the XD Mod.2:

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My cameraman gave both a go as well:

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However he preferred the old model to the Mod.2 stating that the contours of the grip simply were more familiar to him.

Of course you still get XD reliability. I performed my usual shenanigans to try and get the gun to fail:

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Still, the gun worked perfectly despite my efforts to make it jam.

All in all I like this new offering from Springfield. The slightly rough texture and molding of the grip make the gun more shootable for me personally, but they may or may not be preferred by all. Either way, I would highly recommend checking one out at your local gun store.

The MSRP for the black model is $565.00 while the bi-tone is priced at $599.00. Available in 9MM and .40 S&W. More infomation at Springfield Armory.

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Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV. A native Texan with a penchant for gun collecting combined with a degree in History from Baylor University have contributed to a passion for both early and modern firearms. You can reach Alex at acapps@gocapps.com.


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  • JumpIf NotZero

    Ok… I understand what the “grip zone”is… But WHY DOES IT SAY IT ON THE GRIP!? This is something you put in an ad and talking about in pressers, not mold into the gun on both sides!

    Extremely tacky. It’s like someone’s Croatian uncle got put in charge of the grip and did what he thought the American kids would like.

    • Cymond

      I was about to say the same. What’s next, writing “SLIDE” on the slide? Maybe engraving “MUZZLE” around the muzzle?

      • Andrew
        • Patrick R

          Look man, some people need labels.

          • ghost

            Really, like, which end does the bullet come out of? I love this stuff.

          • OBlamo Binlyen

            Only Liberals, most sane people can figure it out.

        • Armchair Command’oh

          Well done

        • Michael Pham

          Now ISO 9000 compliant!

        • Gwolf

          Genius!

      • Maiek Wagu

        HAHAHAHAHA!!!

      • contary

        An arrow with an engraved text, “This end towards target”?

    • Lol, you are preaching to the choir dude.

      • Irishelcid

        Then why not address it in the review?

        • I rarely address aesthetics in reviews.

    • Giolli Joker

      The reason is quite clear.
      Look at the proportions of this gun.
      Reading from what side you have to grip it is extremely helpful.

    • Mario AK

      I can assure you, all the marketing lingo comes straight out of Geneseo, Illinois.

    • BattleshipGrey

      If there was ever a reason to stipple an XD, this is it. You could even stipple out the “G” and “Z” to make it say “RIP ONE”.

    • RickH

      They probably did it for fun, which I think it is. It has also given me the idea about getting “grip zone” tattooed on the johnson.

      • noob

        and stipple the bits where the fingers go. actually that sounds really, really painful.

    • I agree, but would carry it further by labeling a gun with a lousy trigger action, the “GRIPE ZONE,” or one with a gritty trigger, the “GRIT ZONE.”

      A subcompact with barely ebough room for two fingers would have the “GROPE ZONE” emblazened on the grip.

      Guns with dirty internals that are tough to clean would be called the “GRIME ZONE,” and a highly accurate pair of front and rear sights might be called, the “GROUP ZONE.”

      A folding, bug-out gun would have an area marked “GRAB ZONE.”

      Yet, when all is said and done, the only label with “ZONE” in it that bothers me is not even on the gun.

      It’s the signs that say “NO GUN ZONE.”

  • Will

    I like the looks of the gun… except for the stupid looking “Grip Zone” lettering on the grip. OK, it’s a newly designed grip.
    Yay.
    Grip Zone just sounds kind of childish, and looks a bit unprofessional IMO.
    To each his own.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    I don’t like XD really at all, but the do clearly listen to shooters and offer some compelling models. Drop the super stupid grip saftey, get your marking under control, make them in the US, and then I might actually consider them. Until then, there are worse options for other people I suppose.

    PS> Sig, you see how Springfield is making their grip more like the HK P30 and Walther PPQ which are well-praised for their ergonomics? You have a modular handgun that you could easily offer this in. Do that.

    • john huscio

      Personally, I prefer the E2 grips on the p series pistols over all of the preceding, even the much loved p30…

      • JumpIf NotZero

        My point was more than SIG would rather make rainbow colored models that utilize their modular handgun in a way that allowed the widest number spectrum of people to find a combination or style they liked.

        Modular handgun with an unserialized frame…. Let’s make it look and feel like all of our other guns!!!

  • Andrew

    Could they possibly engrave one more unnecessary word on that pistol? Gotta be a new record for most words ever engraved on a pistol.

    • Well, the FMK 9C1 had the entire Bill of Rights engraved on it:

      • Zachary marrs

        Thats not nowhere near as stupid as GRIP ZONE

      • Patrick R

        You don’t like that? Liberal.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          That gun is black, you don’t like it? Racist.

  • Nate G.

    Guys are going to CCW this and wear “GRIP ZONE” tee shirts so that they can wink knowingly at each other in mall parking lots and restaurants.

    I do like the copycat polymer pistols moving to more ergonomic grips though. I love my P30, VP9, and PPQ. I hope that one day I can replace my excellent P2000sk with a P30sk, hopefully with no finger grooves, certainly no “GRIP ZONE!” to remind me that my hand does not cover the muzzle or ejection port when firing.

    Springfield continues to market pistols made in a country most of us couldn’t point out on a map, styled like a training shoe, with grip safeties most of us don’t want. And they’ll sell a ton of them.

    • Mark N.

      Ill take a Springfield with a grip safety over a Glock any day. Why are you so hung up on them? They work just fine on a 1911 also. My first pistol was a XD9 (my son owns it now) and it has been utterly reliable and my kids’ favorite gun to shoot.

  • john huscio

    Thick and blocky….like pretty much all of the xd/m line…the only guns to out-blocky glock………the “grip zone” thing is pretty lame, though I’m sure the gun shoots fine and will appeal to dudes who love the xd…..I’m not one of them…

    • FightFireJay

      Due to import regs, many glocks have to come with that horrible “target” trigger with the stepped face. It can be changed after the fact and I found greatly improves comfort. YMMV

    • Cymond

      I’ll admit that I haven’t tried the XD mod 2 “Grip Zone”, but my XDM is graceful compared to my Glock 34.

  • strongarm

    When Springfield XDs first appeared, there were Glocks with halfway cocking strikers and automatic safeties within a plastic frame. They were equipped with “True” drop safeties surviving cocked mode if a such kind of impact occured. XD’s were offered with fully cocked strikers and grip safeties to catch the Glock security level. If the grip safety were absent, the gun would be inferior on “Drop” department, staying only with striker passive block sacrificing gun’s cocked and ready to fire mode. The “Bottom side heavy” sear could only
    prevent muzzle up kind drops and was not for the adverse side impacts. Soon after it was seen that much of newcomers like SW MP, Walther PPQ, SıgSauer 320 and HK VP9 followed the path what Springfield opened naming striker blocks as “Drop Safeties” which in fact been only “Sacrifice Safeties” sending the user in a situation with an uncocked but chamber loaded gun which occurable in a combat. But, heavent’s sake, no such kind a report could be appeared and users continued evaluating their guns in a par with the security level of that blocky pistol. From this point of view, and seeing the other pistols of same security concepts, XD users should pray to manufacturers not even drop this grip safeties.

    • FightFireJay

      Has anyone had a reported problem with this style mechanism?

      It passed the California test (before microstamping was a thing… I guess it still isn’t) to get on the “not unsafe list.” And thata pretty much all they do, right, try to induce a dropped discharge?

  • Van Seeley

    Thank you Springfield for telling me where to put my hands “GRIP ZONE”, and ND ZONE? Really? MUZZLE ZONE?? I am sure it shoots good but can we put anymore writing on the gun! WTF!

  • Tim U

    Good for them having more options. The mixed results of some liking the grip and others not as much seems what I would expect. I have no problem with my original XD, so I won’t be moving over to this. And the “grip zone” is super tacky and needs to be stippled over.

    Will they keep the original XD, bringing the total to 4 lines? (XD, XDM, XDS, XD 2.0)

    • Patrick R

      It. Is. The. Exact. Same. Gun.

      • Tim U

        By that logic, the XD and XDM are the same gun, with the only real change between them being magazines.

        I get that the gun is “the same” as the old. I already said I wasn’t going to make the change from my old one to this one. What I did note was that it has a different grip. As the review said, some people like the “new” grip and others like the original grip more, leading me to ask if they will keep both versions of the same gun around to allow for people to choose their preference.

        • Patrick R

          Have you shot both the grip zone and the old one back to back? I have. They feel exactly the same as far as profile goes. There are no new ergonomics. The only difference is one is a bit more rough. Think of the HS 2000 as a Glock gen 1, the original XD as gen 2, and this grip zone as that weird rough textured frame gen 3 Glock with the slide seration a that looked like fish gills.

          Springfield literally polished a turd.

          • FightFireJay

            First, I’m pretty sure you meant to say “figuratively” not “literally”. Unless it is actually made out of poop.

            Second, even from the pictures I can see the grip has a slightly different profile, and not just texturing. Just look at the side of the grip where the thumb groove has been removed.

            Slight though it may be, please dont say that there is no difference.

          • Patrick R

            It might as well be made from poop. Thanks for taking the time out of you day to go over some second grade vocabulary with me.

            Yes, there are some really slight changes, but they didn’t Impact my grip in the slightest. The back of the grip is at the same angle and feels exactly the same, the side panels are the same profile as well. Now the front of the grip has some slight finger grooves that I couldn’t feel. The “thumb groove” has been re-profiled but is still there and just as useless for as before. So maybe exactly the same isn’t the right word. The differences are unremarkable though and don’t aid in shootability in my opinion contrary to what Alex C has said.

          • FightFireJay

            So, slight changes dont make the slightest difference?

            Got it.

          • Mark

            Now that we have your expert opinion, none of us need to try it.

          • Patrick R

            Try all you like, maybe you will feel it is the best thing since sliced bread. All I am saying is I don’t see the added value.

  • Patrick R

    Actually I said I prefer the older grip because a sub-compact like they sent you is a carry gun and would most likely be stuffed in a IWB holster. That grip zone nonsense would be pretty uncomfortable IMO. I personally wouldn’t pay more for the grip zone, but than again I wouldn’t buy a XD anyhow. That high bore axis makes that little 9mm snappy, but that is another topic. Bottom line, the old grip is better for CCW duty, the new grip zone is better for range use. The other features that it comes are nice, but again not worth the extra money.

    I would rather own a HS 2000 anyhow. If I have to own one, might as well make it kinda interesting.

    • FightFireJay

      Look out people, we have a Hipster here. He was an HS2000 fan before it was cool (before it was an XD)!

      • Patrick R

        Actually I was never a fan of the of the XD in any way. I said if I had to own a XD pistol, I would at least want it to be interesting. Now I would rather not one one at all, the room in my safe is at a premium. I don’t want to take up valuable room with a gun that I don’t like.

    • thedonn007

      What 9 mm pistol would you recommend for carry duty instead?

      • FightFireJay

        Please tell me you’re not really asking him for advice.

        • Patrick R

          Well he sure didn’t address you.

      • andrey kireev

        Sig P-938 =)

      • Patrick R

        Whatever you shoot well. Go to the range and try several out, you will settle on one. The standard XD sub-compact will work just fine, I would have to wear an undershirt with the Gripzone XD (something I prefer to avoid living in Texas). I personally carry a Smith and Wesson 442 or a Bodyguard .380 for what it is worth.

    • The high bore axis was the first thing I noticed and searched the comments for.

  • ramblin84

    SA has a good product in the XD (I had the old XD40SC) and the new features seem to be a blend from the M series but I agree with the comments below, WHY PUT “GRIP ZONE” ON THE GRIP? It’s reminiscent of the gaudy graphics on Taurus handguns. They make decent stuff also, at a good price, but who wants to buy a weapon/tool with advertising all over it. It just says you have to resort to gimmickry instead of letting the weapon speak for itself with performance and reliability.

    • ramblin84

      P.S. You don’t see a Glock, S&W, Ruger, FN, or Sig with all that junk on it.

      • Madcap_Magician

        No, Rugers just have the entire firearm manual on theirs.

  • Mitch H

    Your trigger etiquette makes me sad.

  • I sure am glad they told me where to grab. Switching over from Glocks was confusing!

  • KestrelBike

    I’ll just avoid the mud-fight down below and say that the first ‘jam-shenanigans’ photo with the wine-glass hold is priceless. LOL. You should have been using a monocle for eye-pro.

  • andrey kireev

    Now, I can only hope they gonna bring out branded clothing line… Personally I can’t wait for the underwear that gonna have “Grip Zone” printed right around the crotch area

  • ozzallos .

    Will keep my GRIP-ZONE free XDm45c, thanks.

  • Menger40

    I’m glad I got my XD before they started labeling the grip zone!

  • Guest

    Since retrofitting my guns the Springfield Way, they shoot laser beams now!!

  • Kip Hackman

    Since retrofitting my guns the Springfield Armory way, they shoot laser beams now!

    • gunslinger

      are they in the 40 watt range?

  • I own an XD9 4″ service model. I’ve been impressed with the XD line since it first came out. The stippiling looks great, apart from the “Grip Zone” bit. That being said, if it still cycles like an XD, I could live with the funky wording. Great review Alex, thanks for sharing!

    Nick
    wolfarmory.blogspot.com

  • D-Ray

    Why are some of you so hung up on grip lettering? Jeez, if you don’t like it just ignore it! This isn’t a “pretty gun” contest. It’s about upgrades done to an already fine, reliable firearm. Who cares what its says on the grip??? As long it is comfortable to shoot, reliable, concealable, accurate, and priced right it’s a winner! Kudo’s to Springfield for efforts to keep their products fresh and up to date!

  • Gwolf

    I like everything about the look of this except the words “Grip Zone”

    Looks like something I would expect to see emblazoned on the bottom of some new shoes.

    Other than that, excellent work.

  • Grip Zone

    That “grip zone” shit it literally the gayest shit I have ever seen in my life.

  • justme

    I really like the update. But dat, “GRIP ZONE” is teh derp.

  • ghost

    Send me one, I’ll take care of the rest later. I do not like the pistol, but free stuff excites me.

  • ghost

    We really need to get a grip.

  • Mark N.

    Will kamala Harris decide that the changes are only cosmetic, or pull a Ruger ban and declare that the changes are material, such that the new model that has to be recertified and come with microstamping? (Because of the microstamping mandate, Ruger and Taurus are down to single pistols on the California roster.) We don’t get the XDm either because it doesn’t have a manual safety.

    • Cymond

      oh, it’s definitely enough that it won’t be on the CA roster. As I understand it, even cosmetic changes are still changes, otherwise the roster wouldn’t include the color/finish. Also, this new version of the XD probably has a new SKU, which also makes it a “different” gun in the eyes of CA.

  • Dyral

    When will Springfield make one user friendly for the left handed shooters. A slide and mag release would be great I the right side of the firearm.

  • AnthonyS

    I could’ve provided an XDS and XDM compact for comparison. Honestly preference is still for the 3.8″ barrel XDM compact. However, you really can’t go wrong with any Springfield pistol.

  • supergun

    Love my original 3.3 XDs 45. A cannon of protection in a small package.

  • whamprod

    A couple or three comments:
    A couple or three comments:

    1 – I’m not sure I get the rationale for this. An upgraded XD9 sub-compact already exists. It’s called the “XD(M)9 Compact 3.8”. I’ve already compared dimensions between the Mod.2 and the XD(M), and they are identical enough that only a person with too much time on his hands and too much navel-gazing would be able to discern the difference in actual use.

    2 – With the XD and XD(M) lines, Springfield has two clearly differentiated products and price points, with the XDM(M) line being touted as an “upgaded” (and higher priced) XD line. The Mod.2 seems to split the difference…..in addition to borrowing the sights from the XDS. Do they think that Mod.2 buyers will be taken from potential XD buyers, or potential XD(M) buyers (or potential XDS buyers)? The probable truth is that they are NOT adding new Springfield customers, but rather taking customers away from one of their other product lines to buy the Mod.2. I think this is a HUGE marketing mistake, because the Mod.2 is not clearly enough a separate line, but rather it competes with existing lines.

    3 – Is there any parts interchangeability between the XD and Mod.2 lines? For instance, with the Mod.2 slide fit on an XD9 sub-compact frame? Are the internals different. Same trigger, or not? Are magazines interchangeable? certainly the sights are interchangeable. IN OTHER WORDS, can current XD owners upgrade their existing XD pistols buy buying Mod.2 parts? If so, then the Mod.2 product line is born with a gimp and will never really take off—not when a XD owner can upgrade his existing weapon more cheaply buy buying some parts, and adding some skateboard tape to the grips.

    1 – I’m not sure I get the rationale for this. An upgraded XD9 sub-compact already exists. It’s called the “XD(M)9 Compact 3.8”. I’ve already compared dimensions between the Mod.2 and the XD(M), and they are identical enough that only a person with too much time on his hands and too much navel-gazing would be able to discern the difference in actual use.

    2 – With the XD and XD(M) lines, Springfield has two clearly differentiated products and price points, with the XDM(M) line being touted as an “upgaded” (and higher priced) XD line. The Mod.2 seems to split the difference…..in addition to borrowing the sights from the XDS. Do they think that Mod.2 buyers will be taken from potential XD buyers, or potential XD(M) buyers (or potential XDS buyers)? The probable truth is that they are NOT adding new Springfield customers, but rather taking customers away from one of their other product lines to buy the Mod.2. I think this is a HUGE marketing mistake, because the Mod.2 is not clearly enough a separate line, but rather it competes with existing lines.

    3 – Is there any parts interchangeability between the XD and Mod.2 lines? For instance, with the Mod.2 slide fit on an XD9 sub-compact frame? Are the internals different. Same trigger, or not? Are magazines interchangeable? certainly the sights are interchangeable. IN OTHER WORDS, can current XD owners upgrade their existing XD pistols buy buying Mod.2 parts? If so, then the Mod.2 product line is born with a gimp and will never really take off—not when a XD owner can upgrade his existing weapon more cheaply buy buying some parts, and adding some skateboard tape to the grips.

    I own three Springfield pistols – a 1911, an XD(M)45- Compact 3.8, and an XDS-45. I like their products…….but I just don’t get what they are doing here, and I think it is big mistake.