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.

    Construction

    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)

    Observations

    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.

     

    Conclusions

    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 teaches wilderness medicine and writes for a number of publications, including The Prepared, a site devoted to self-preparedness. 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.

    You can reach him at tom.r AT thefirearmblog.com


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