Springfield Armory® Introduces the New Springfield XD-E with external Hammer

    Springfield Armory officially debuted the new Springfield Armory XD-E today at the NRA Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. The Springfield XD-E is a slimline 9mm pistol that features a manual safety and a hammer. Hammer and a safety?  Yes! Springfield chose to integrate a hammer and manual safety for several reasons. These features make it safer to carry a loaded pistol either in a bag, purse, or tucked close to the body in a holster. Also, because of the hammer, Springfield could use a lighter recoil spring, making the pistol easier to rack. This is a great enhancement for shooters who lack the hand strength to rack a traditional pistol typically carried for self defense. According to Springfield, the slide on the XD-E requires 27% less effort to rack compared to its striker fired counterparts. The ambidextrous external safeties also serve as a de-cock mechanism.

    Key Specifications of the Springfield Armory XD-E

    • Caliber: 9mm
    • Barrel: 3.3” Hammer Forged, Steel, Melonite
    • Slide: Forged Steel, Melonite Finish
    • Sights: Fiber optic front, Combat Rear
    • Weight: 23 ounces with magazine
    • Height: 5 Inches with flush magazine, 6 inches with magazine extension.
    • Length: 6.75 inches
    • Sight Radius: 5.4 inches
    • Magazine: 1 – 8 round magazine with GRIP X-TENSION, 1- 9 round magazine with Magazine X-Tension
    • MSRP $519

    Several weeks ago, Springfield invited a handful of Industry writers to Las Vegas, Nevada to get an early look at the Springfield Armory XD-E. I arrived in Las Vegas the night before the event and, along with the other writers and media personal, attended a dinner with the Springfield staff. In attendance were Rob and Kippi Leatham as well as the owner of Springfield Armory, Dennis Reese. It was nice to meet the Springfield Armory staff and get to know the other writers. After dinner I retired to prepare for the next day’s events.

    The Springfield XD-E is 1 inch wide at the slide.

    Springfield Armory picked us up at the Paris Hotel and Casino, where we were staying, and drove us to the Clark County Shooting range. After a quick continental breakfast, we were shown a PowerPoint presentation about the Springfield XD-E and provided some gear for the day. After the PowerPoint presentation, the owner of Springfield Armory, Dennis Reese, introduced the staff and key personnel of his company, then gave us some insight regarding the development of the Springfield XD-E.

    Things to note about the Springfield XD-E in regard to its mechanical design:

    • The Springfield XD-E took two years to develop.
    • The Pistol can be fired in Single Action or Double Action mode.
    • One of the most important features is the LOW EFFORT SLIDE (L.E.S). According to the Springfield literature, the slide requires 27% less effort to rack.
    • The Pistol has an ambidextrous magazine release.
    • The Pistol has a loaded chamber indicator on top of the slide. It is both visual and tactile.
    • If you want to replace the sights, the XD-E utilizes the same sights as the XD-S.

    The 100 yard range at the Clark County Range. Action Targets provided a variety of targets for the Event. This is the range where we did our familiarization with the XD-E.


    Adjacent to the range where we did our weapon familiarization, Springfield and Action Targets setup 5 defensive scenarios for us to test the Springfield Armory XD-E.

    After Denny’s presentation, Rob and Kippi Leatham gave us a safety brief and an overview of the day’s events. There would be two ranges. One range would have a variety of steel targets for familiarization, and the other range would have 5 scenarios that we would have to navigate. After the safety brief, we donned our eye and ear protection, split into groups, and were given 30 minutes to familiarize ourselves with the Springfield XD-E. After 30 minutes of shooting the XD-E at some Action Targets I was very impressed. I found the Springfield XD-E to be slim, but have enough mass for my large hands. I had no problems achieving accurate hits at 25 yards. After our 30 minute familiarization fire, we were led to the adjacent range and run through a series of scenarios.

    Scenario 1 – “Time to wake up” In this scenario we had to lie down. Upon hearing the word “go”, we jumped out of bed, unlocked the safe attached to the night stand, loaded the pistol and engaged the two targets. Pictured is the awesome Kippi Leatham! She gave me some great pointers on running a handgun.


    Scenario 2 – “Coffee Break” In this scenario you are making coffee and 3 bad guys appear. On command, we were to pull the Springfield XD-E from a drawer and shoot all three of the steel targets. Pictured is Clayton Martin from Gunsamerica. Clayton makes informative and extremely funny videos.  


    Scenario 3 – “Morning stroll” In this scenario we had to draw from concealment and engage 3 targets while moving.


    Scenario 4 – “Ambushed” In this scenario we were carrying the XD-E in a holster in a backpack. Upon opening the door, we had to draw from concealment and engage the three targets.


    Scenario 5 “Hit the road” In this scenario we were sitting in the passenger seat of a prototype Ford truck. We had a Springfield XD-E in the glove compartment. When given a command, we reached into the glove compartment, loaded the XD-E and engaged three threats while seated inside the vehicle.

    During testing the majority of the ammunition we shot was the SYNTECH from American Eagle. We shot thousands of rounds of this. During testing I did not see a single malfunction.

    5 hours on the range with the Springfield XD-E left me very impressed. There were probably 20 pistols on range during the event, and we fired hundreds of rounds through each one. During the day, I neither witnessed nor experienced a single malfunction. I found the Low Effort Slide significantly easier to rack than a striker fire slide. All of the female shooters in attendance commented that the Low Effort Slide is an awesome feature. I personally don’t like to carry a loaded pistol that lacks an external safety. I love the safety mechanisms built into the Springfield XD-E, and did not find that they slowed me down in any of the range day scenarios. I think Springfield will do well with the XD-E. If I had a spouse or loved one who wanted to carry a loaded pistol in their purse or bag, without a holster, or concealed on their person, I would insist that they carry the Springfield XD-E. Since returning from Las Vegas, Springfield provided me with an XD-E for additional testing. I have taken the Springfield XD-E to the range and have asked several non-professional female shooters for their opinion of the pistol. Every single one has commented on the ease of the Low Effort Slide. They also said the pistol is the perfect size and they would not hesitate to carry one. Springfield did an excellent job with this handgun.

    Look for my second review of the XD-E soon! A big thanks to Dennis and Stefany Reese as well as the Springfield staff. Thank you, Rob and Kippi Leatham. I am now a better shot due to the time you spent with me on the range!

    As always, comments and humor are welcome in the comments below.

    Thomas Gomez

    Thomas Gomez currently resides in the mountains of central New Mexico. He has an M.B.A, an Ar-15/M16/M4 armorer certification from Specialized Armament Warehouse as well as a Glock armorer certification. Aside from writing for The Firearm Blog he works as a Clinical Analyst for a large Hospital. He spends his free time farming, ranching, hiking, fly-fishing and hunting in the beautiful forests and prairies of New Mexico. He can be reached at [email protected]