Leading into SHOT Show 2020, Springfield Armory has announced their New XD-M Elite series of handguns all chambered in the world’s favorite cartridge of 9mm. When Springfield Armory reached out to TheFirearmBlog asking if we would like to check out one of their XD-M Elite pistols ahead of their announcement date we absolutely seized the opportunity. Who would not want to test run a heavily-upgraded, staple model like the XD-M? So, trying to suppress my excitement, it is my task to provide enough information to you so you can determine if this pistol is worth its asking price and is a true performer. Let’s dive in!
SPECIFICATIONS: Springfield Armory XD-M Elite Precision 9mm
The Springfield Armory XD-M has been in circulation since 2007 so most gun junkies should be loosely familiar with the platform if they have not had the good fortune of shooting or owning one. It is essentially a full-framed handgun offered in multiple iterations of varying magazine capacity and barrel length to suit your needs and desired tasks. The XD-M Elite series kicks up that decade long run of quality which should not be a surprise with a name like “Elite.” There are 4 different variations shooters can get their mitts on, but the one we are specifically looking at today is the XD-M Elite Precision. All of the specifications for it can be read below as presented by Springfield Armory:
- CALIBER: 9mm
- RECOIL SYSTEM: One Piece w/ Full Length Guide Rod
- SIGHTS: Fiber Optic Front, Fully Adjustable Target Rear
- SLIDE: Forged Steel, Melonite® Finish
- BARREL: 5.25″ Hammer Forged Steel, Melonite® Finish
- FRAME: Black Polymer
- WEIGHT: 30 oz
- HEIGHT: 5.875″
- LENGTH: 8.3″
- GRIP WIDTH: 1.2″
- MAGAZINES: (3) 22-Round
The MSRP for the XD-M Elite Precision 9mm is benchmarked at $653. The early-release copy we received from Springfield Armory just came with two magazines, but it is important to note that once these are available to the public they will all ship with three (3) 22-round magazines. While we will not speak about the other 3 models you could get at any great length in this article, this is the full set of options we have to pick from looking at the XD-M Elite 9mm series in its entirety.
- XD-M® Elite 5.25″ Precision (XDME95259BHC) – MSRP $653
- XD-M® Elite 5.34″ Tactical OSP™(XDMET9459FHCOSP) – MSRP $709
- XD-M® Elite 4.5″ (XDME9459BHC) – MSRP $559
- XD-M® Elite 3.8″ (XDME9389BHC) – MSRP $559
The XD-M Elite Precision, being built on a 5.25″ hammer-forged barrel, is their dedicated league, competition, precision, shoot-better-than-all-your-friends handgun. The original XD-M with a 5.25″ barrel was deemed the Competition model and the Elite Precision only looks to improve upon that. Springfield Armory goes on to gush about the entire series in this press release statement:
The new XD-M® Elite from Springfield Armory® represents the pinnacle of performance in factory striker-fired pistols. Taking the polymer platform that broke the mold and incorporating numerous upgrades and improvements, the XD-M® Elite redefines what you should expect from modern, striker-fired firearms.
first look: Springfield Armory XD-M Elite Precision 9mm
When I first cracked open the box to the XD-M Elite Precision I digested what we would all see: something very familiar, but so subtly different. The longer you look at one the more you begin to appreciate how much Springfield Armory changed on it from the original. A speed run of everything that is upgraded would be the following list below:
- NEW Match Enhanced Trigger Assembly (META™) System: Flat Face Trigger w/ Integral Overtravel Stop
- NEW Increased Capacity XD-M Magazines: 22+1 Rounds of 9mm (XD-M Elite Precision & Tactical OSP) | 20+1 Rounds of 9mm XD-M Elite 4.5″ & 3.8″)
- NEW Removable Extended & Flared Magwells: Designed to Facilitate Ultra-Fast Reloads
- NEW Ambidextrous, Enlarged Slide Stop: Easy Release from either Side of the Frame
- NEW Improved Slide Serrations: Enlarged Grasping Grooves for Slip-Free Purchase
The most notable thing for me was the magwell. The extended and flared magwell is a nice upgrade because it makes it significantly easier for all shooters to seat a magazine, and for the advanced jedis among us it increases speed quite a bit. The next thing that caught my eye was the trigger. It still has the trigger safety that all polymer pistols seem to have in some varying permutation, but it is a flat trigger as well. Moreover, it is their Match Enhanced Trigger Assembly (META). So while we could all glean it is a flat trigger there is a lot more going on inside the frame to afford you a cleaner trigger pull.
The next feature that you will absolutely notice are the “John Wick capacity” or 22+1 round 9mm magazines. For anyone who has shot larger capacity magazines at a gun range in any cartridge, pretty much anything over 20 rounds feels like you are in a video game and have unlocked the ‘unlimited ammo’ cheat code. The ability to fire off 23 rounds at a time will make you straight giddy.
Finally, the slide stop is more pronounced and ambidextrous (left-handed shooters rejoice), and the slide serrations are enlarged for easier dexterity. While those are fairly simple improvements they are all a part of a larger sum that makes the XD-M Elite Precision a cut above its competition. The last thing to truly do is give this thing a healthy diet of FMJ (full metal jacket) ammunition and see what happens!
range time: Springfield Armory XD-M Elite Precision 9mm
Being a bit on a time crunch to send some rounds down range before Springfield Armory unveiled the XD-M Elite pistols to the world I could not be choosy on when I went shooting. So, my range day was a lovely 5°F morning in Minnesota. The 9mm ammunition I use for reviews is a varietal buffet of loosely unknown makes and grain weights I keep on hand. I do know my bucket-o’-bullets contains CCI Blazer Brass, Federal American Eagle, Remington UMC, and a couple others, but I never bother to check what fills a given magazine unless I experience a failure of some sort. Then, we start reading headstamps and troubleshooting.
Once I began shooting I immediately gained an appreciation for Springfield’s new META trigger. It is a clever acronym, but in all sincerity, it is a very short and clean trigger press with an equally short reset. It is not something I would honestly expect from a polymer handgun (of any kind) so that was a pleasant surprise.
To state that the XD-M Elite Precision is accurate would almost be an understatement. You point… it hits… repeat. The longer 5.25″ barrel, generally longer sighting radius, and adjustable sights made this pistol make me look like a great shooter. Speaking of the sights, I did like that they are adjustable with a front fiber optic sight, but it would have been nice for them to ‘finish off the sight set’ so to speak, by having the rear be fiber optic also. With white snow everywhere and it being a sunny day, I had no problem seeing the sights, but during less than ideal shooting conditions, I really like to have front and back night sights or fiber optic. It is simply my preference; not truly anything wrong with the gun.
Finally, the flared and extended magwell was a nice touch to this gun. I am a hunter by trade so I am not much of a speed shooter, but I am trying to hone my shooting ability like everyone so I can be jonesing with the best of shooting company. With all that being said, this new and improved magwell Springfield Armory has helped me trade out magazines a lot better than a standard magwell. Also, Springfield Armory’s high-polish stainless magazines drop freely and quickly which is much appreciated. I have experienced in the past from shooting competing brands that their various polymer magazines do not always drop freely and you need to add an additional step into your reload process of ripping out your empty magazine before inserting the full one. Removing steps always increases speed, even for hunters.
conclusion: Springfield Armory XD-M Elite Precision 9mm
So, what are my final thoughts on the Springfield Armory XD-M Elite Precision 9mm? Is this gun worth the $653 asking price? I truly believe this is a good firearm for the amount of upgrades and the quality you are receiving. The price tag of $650 or less that you will pay is absolutely worth it as well. Springfield Armory has taken a design that has stood the test of time for over 10 years in a saturated polymer gun market, given it custom shop quality upgrades, and put it out into the wild at a very affordable price point.
The only thing I would change on this firearm are the sights. It is only my preference that I like all night sights (front and back) or all fiber optic. I am personally not on board with the style of a blacked out rear with a fiber optic or night sight front. Take it as a grain of salt because the pistol still shoots lights out.
In closing, I want to say THANK YOU to Springfield Armory for allowing TFB and myself the opportunity to try out their Springfield Armory XD-M Elite Precision 9mm! That is greatly appreciated. Also, we would like to know what all of you guys and gals think? Do you believe that this XD-M Elite Precision 9mm is something worth spending your money on? Would you carry with it? Shoot a league with it? Use it as a duty pistol? Let us know all of your thoughts in the Comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.