Gun Review: Springfield XD Mod.2 9MM Sub Compact, Now in FDE

XD Mod.2 9MM FDE

I know I have been grumbling now for a while at the firearms industry for pushing “new” gear which is nothing more than a color change. Oh, the bittersweet taste of irony I had when I found out I would be reviewing a new Springfield XD that is part of the 2016 line up.

I bet you can figure out what it is by the title and featured image…

Oh, and USMC03Vet, this article is for you:

I wish they came in more colors though. Black is so 1990’s.

You requested the platform in something other than black, and it appears Springfield listened… 🙂 As for the rest of you familiar with the XD Mod.2 3” 9mm Sub-Compact, there is not really anything new here other than the color difference (and me liking the platform just a little bit more). For those of you not familiar with it (or those that may be on the fence), read on to learn more about this gun.


This gun (despite being in 9mm) is pretty much identical to the Mod.2 in .45 ACP that I reviewed last March. The barrel is a smidgen shorter (in technical terms that is 0.3”), but all of the other dimensions and measurements are the same (yes, yes, excepting round count and caliber as well).

I have to say that it kind of threw me off a little bit as I had assumed that there would be a bigger difference between the calibers. Anyway, not super relevant but still an interesting point I thought.

Overall it is pretty well constructed. Everything is nice and tight and nothing seems shoddy about the design nor construction. The angles of the frame and trigger guard lend themselves to be pretty “snag free” which is definitely a plus in a gun designed to be primarily for concealed carry.

The Mod.2 possesses the bright fiber optic front and very low profile rear (that also has nice rounded corners, making it pretty snag free).

Fiber optic sight on the front is nice and bright. I liked the one on my XDs so much that I swapped out the trijicons on my Glock.

Fiber optic sight on the front is nice and bright. I liked the one on my XDs so much that I swapped out the trijicons on my Glock.

It has a short rail presumably for a small laser or light (or a tactical bayonet if you roll that way).

Short front rail

Short front rail

The grip is patterned in their “Grip Zone” which I do like. As I had mentioned before, I had BMC stipple my XDs, effectively making a Grip Zone.

Grip Zone and controls.

Close up of Grip Zone and controls.  Note the trigger safety and grip safety.

Just like the other Mod.2s it has the Glock-style trigger safety along with the grip safety, both of which must be depressed to disengage the third internal safety—the striker block safety. It also has the striker status indicator that the gun is cocked and a loaded chamber indicator on top of the weapon that raises up from the center of the slide when a round is in the chamber.

Loaded chamber indicator

Loaded chamber indicator

Technical Specifications

  • Caliber: 9 x 19mm
  • Magazines: 1 – 13 Round Compact, 1 – 16 Round w/X-Tension™ (both are stainless steel construction)
  • Barrel: 3 inches, Hammer Forged, Steel, Melonite® Finish with a 1:10 Twist
  • Sights: Fiber Optic Front and Low Profile Combat Rear
  • Frame: Flat Dark Earth Polymer
  • Slide: Forged Steel, Melonite® Finish
  • Recoil System: Dual Spring with a Full Length Guide Rod
  • Length: 6.25 inches
  • Grip Width: 1.2 inches
  • Height: 4.75 inches (with compact magazine), 5.5 inches (with extended magazine)
  • Weight (with empty magazine): 26 ounces (compact magazine), 27 ounces (with extended magazine)


So overall I’m still not a huge fan of the Mod.2 (over the XDs and now XDM) because it is just not as comfortable in my hand.You may find it more comfortable. I love my XDs, and I definitely like the XDM. I am not saying it is not a good gun, it just doesn’t work well for me. That being said, I have a buddy that adores his. Like in a decidedly unhealthy way.

I reviewed my first XD Mod.2 (in .45 ACP last March), and at the time could only compare it to my XDs. Now that I have had some more time with it and with some of the other Springfield variants, I begrudgingly like it for what it is.

Overall not a bad little gun.

Overall not a bad little gun.

One thing that I had not noticed before and definitely appreciated was the aggressiveness of the serrations on the slide. It really made getting a grip for racking it easier.

Slide serrations

Slide serrations (and striker status indicator)

Firing the 9mm version, I will note that it is less “snappy” than the .45 ACP version (yeah, no s***, Tom). It still felt tall, and short, when I fired it (especially with the extended magazine), but it was considerably more manageable. And I definitely like the size of the pistol overall—I think it is pretty concealable.



Personally I don’t have a big dog in the fight between Glock and the XD (and variants). I own both, and I carry both at different times for different reasons.

Top to bottom: Glock 19, XD Mod.2, Kel-Tec PF9. Slide length (I realize the G19 is NOT a SUB-compact; it is just there for the other comparisons).

Top to bottom: Glock 19, XD Mod.2, Kel-Tec PF9. Slide length (I realize the G19 is NOT a SUB-compact; it is just there for the other comparisons).  And no, that is not rust on the rear sight on the Kel-Tec, just a weird artifact from the lighting.

Left to right: Glock 19, XD Mod.2, Kel-Tec PF9. Comparing slide length and width.

Left to right: Glock 19, XD Mod.2, Kel-Tec PF9. Comparing slide length and width.

Left to right: Glock 19, XD Mod.2, Kel-Tec PF9. Comparing back straps and height.

Left to right: Glock 19, XD Mod.2, Kel-Tec PF9. Comparing back straps and height.

I think the most important thing is to go to a shop and handle the guns and see the one the fits you best. It is even better if you can go to a shop with a range attached and test fire a few magazines.

Back when I first had my Glock and it was the first of the polymer framed weapons to really be available, it was as perfect as it could be. Now there is an overwhelming variety in the market. I think Springfield makes a number of good variants, and you are very likely to find one that will fit you well, and for a good price (and now with new color options). And it is hard to argue with the popularity of their line.

Tom is a former Navy Corpsman that spent some time bumbling around the deserts of Iraq with a Marine Recon unit, kicking in tent flaps and harassing sheep. Prior to that he was a paramedic somewhere in DFW, also doing some Executive Protection work between shifts. Now that those exciting days are behind him, he has embraced his inner “Warrior Hippie” and assaults 14er in his sandals and beard, or engages in rucking adventure challenges while consuming craft beer. To fund these adventures, he writes medical software and builds websites and mobile apps. His latest venture is as one of the founders of; a search engine for all things gun related. He hopes that his posts will help you find solid gear that will survive whatever you can throw at it–he is known (in certain circles) for his curse…ahem, ability…to find the breaking point of anything.


  • Stan Darsh

    Nice, now can we get a 3.8″ bbl option? Oh, and can we get rid of the grip billboard?

    • Tim Pearce

      Well, they just recently announced the Mod.2 in a 4″. Is that close enough?

      • JK


  • nanoc

    Oh man its got a grip zone!

    • Nicks87

      A Flat Dark Grip Zone (FDGZ)!

    • Tim Pearce

      Yeah, my favorite comment about the Mod.2: “At last, a manufacturer stepping up to tell us where to grip the gun!”

    • John

      It needs another label that says “Bullets come out THIS end”.

    • MySpin1776

      Hahaa! Yeah.

      My first thought…”Damn good looking pistol! What’s with the ‘Grip Zone’ on the side of the grip (not to mention the huge XD on the back strap)?” Just a little hokey for my taste.

    • LV-426


  • A Fascist Corgi

    Looks like Springfield doesn’t understand the concept of subtle branding. As shallow as it sounds, I’m not going to buy a gun that has giant “Grip Zone” and “XD” advertisements on it. Springfield’s crossed cannon logo is classy and tasteful. They should have just left it at that.

    • Bj

      At some point you go from “importer mark” to border line false advertising.

    • Bill

      I bet those silver medallions on rosewood / walnut grips with diamond reinforcements around the stock screws really honks you off 😉

  • BattleshipGrey

    A bit off topic here, but what the heck is up with the screws in the back plate of the Glock?

    • Nashvone

      Used to have a “giggle switch” there?

    • Edeco

      To attach a clip so one can pants it without a holster I think.

  • USMC03Vet

    I’m an OD green guy, but this is a start. I guess I’ll have to stick with my all black version until then. It’s weird because there are OD green magazines for the mod 2.

  • Tim U

    They’re doing a daily contest as they reveal a “new gun”. I’m not even going to enter today. I don’t want advertising label all over my gun (“grip zone”) and I wouldn’t even take a free one (bet if I did win it I couldn’t even sell it to someone)

  • Will P.

    I have always liked the XD series better than Glocks for one reason, the beavertail safety. Don’t get me wrong I don’t dislike Glocks, I have shot plenty and shoot them well. I just like the added safety on the XD’s. I have heard many argue it’s just something else to screw up in a fire fight, but to those I say you must have never held an XD as it takes very little pressure to depress it if you are holding it with your hand at all it will be pressed. Now that being said the gen 2 XDS triggers SUCK, even after installing a trigger/spring kit it’s not great it feels like I’m pulling against a stack of rubber bands instead with a only slightly felt break point I was very disappointed in the “fix” they did to them. The XD45 service pistol Ive shot was awesome though.

  • Anton Gray Basson

    Does it come in blue? I want a gun that makes people think its not a gun if they see it at first.

  • Bill

    I must have missed another memo: why do I need a FDE pistol, particularly one that is likely to never be issued/carried/used in a FDE environment, except maybe in some CONUS desert sandpit range.

    • Mcameron

      can you tell me what environment a Charter arms pink lady blends into?

      how about those red/ blue ruger 22/45s….?

      because god forbid someone buy a gun in a certain color because they like the way it looks……..

      but apparently everyone who buys a gun in a color other than black is a “mall ninja”

      • Bill

        Yeah, pretty much.

        It’s funny how you seldom see nickel-plated pistols from manufacturers anymore. FDE, Rainbow Titanium, or Truck Toolbox Chrome.

        • Mcameron

          so tastes arent allowed to change with time?

          hell, you seldom see shag and corduroy interiors in cars now a days also…..

          people got sick of only seeing guns in Black, Blued, Chrome….and wanted a change of scene…..whats wrong with that?

          • Bill

            I suppose nothing, if you want to pretend your clearing Taliban strongholds in Khandahar, or if the SW border units in the Border Patrol decide to change from forest green uniforms to arid MARPAT.

            People didn’t get “sick, ” they got “tactical.” ? You don’t see many pistols in denim, pinstripes, or rich Corinthian leather.

          • Mcameron

            haha, whatever man…..just because my gun is tan doesnt mean i think im “clearing taliban strongholds”… means i like the black/ tan color combo…….

            you must be a lot of fun at parties.

            and the reason you dont see pistols in denim is because this isnt the 1970……or in rich corinthian leather because im assuming pimps make up a small market of firearms sales.

            go back to your double barrel shotgun and your “ol reliable revolver” and leave us “new folk with them thar needless tactical rifles” alone

          • Bill

            Actually, I’ll go back to my SRT callout gear in the back of my trunk, wherein lies an AR (black, underneath the spray paint,) a second 1911 (black/parkerized), a Mossberg 500 (also Parkerized) and a Rem 700 (black, underneath the spray paint). I’m wearing an “ol reliable revolver,” a 642 (silverish) as an ankle gun backing up my primary 1911 (Parkerized). My double barreled shotgun is on varmint duty in the home garage.

            You don’t wear jeans? The only black and tan combination I like involves Guinness Ale, and I’m a blast at parties.

          • JK

            Next thing you know, they’ll be making 1911s in stainless. The blasphemy!

  • imachinegunstuff

    I’m so glad Springfield finally told me where to grip the gun, I’ve been doing it wrong for decades

  • Marty Ewer

    Is the muzzle imprinted with the words “Pew Pew Zone”?

    • MR

      It will be as soon as I get it to my engraver. 😀

  • maodeedee

    I can’t wait for the two-tone fad to go away. It’s such a chintzy gimmick and makes guns look like toys. I like my guns to look business-like and something that can be taken seriously.