Wow, how time flies! It has been five years since the updated Springfield XD9 MOD 2 hit the streets, replacing the venerable original XD models. This week we’re reviewing the XD-9 MOD 2 sub-compact to see how it’s holding up against all the new iron in the market.
This past year it seems the vaguely defined micro-compact class of pistols is giving the other sub-compacts, both single and double stacks, some serious competition. The not-so-svelte double stack sub-compacts like the Glock G26 and the Springfield XD9 MOD 2 are feeling the heat from the excellent micro double stacks like the Sig Sauer P365 and yes, even Springfield’s own Hellcat.
Well, don’t try to stick a fork in the XD MOD 2’s because they’re not done yet. The reviewed XD9 MOD 2 sub-compact still has a lot going for it.
Don’t read it, grip it.
The Springfield pistol has (mostly unfairly) taken grief from some folks about some of the features of the MOD 2 line. Most notable is the “GRIP ZONE” moniker embossed along what are actually very good and well designed, ergonomic grips. The Springfield engineers did a great job with the different grip textures and placements, then their marketing folks jumped the shark and decided they should crow about it in big block letters.
A mistake? Yeah, I suppose so. But when I’m shooting the XD-9, believe me I’m not looking at the lettering on the grip, I’m just thinking it feels pretty good in the hand. Now it seems the marketing guys finally got the memo. When the single stack XDS MOD 2 was released they had smartly left the “GRIP ZONE” lettering behind.
One other feature that seems to vex some folks about Springfields (and not just the MOD 2s) is the grip safety. I’ve heard more than a few people, perhaps with less than adequate fiber in their diet, gripe about the (grip) safety.
Get over it. It’s there, and it works. I’ve put nearly a thousand rounds through this pistol and never once did I have an issue with the grip safety engaging while shooting.
Hey, grip safeties were good enough for John Browning
I’m not saying it’s impossible, but you’d have to assume the strangest and most awkward grip possible to make it happen. I look at it this way – there’s probably 10-15 million 1911’s in circulation with grip safeties and I don’t hear a lot of whining about those. It is necessary? Well… maybe not. A problem? Definitely not.
So that’s the not-really-so-bad, debatable stuff. Now on to the rest.
For a “sub-compact”, it’s a chunky little pistol. The Springfield XD9 MOD 2 sub-compact measures 1.2” wide at the grip and feels every bit of that. At 6.25” long and 4.75” high with the flush fit compact magazine inserted, it is just about the same size as a Glock 26 but a full 6 oz. heavier than the Glock. It’s hefty for its size.
With the extended magazine inserted, it’s a full 5.5” tall and looks as tall as it is long. All but the most ham fisted will be able to get a full fingered grip on it. The high beavertail encourages a nice high grip which negates, what at least visually, appears to be a high bore axis.
The low glare black Melonite finished slide has cocking serrations on the rear only and widens slightly more at the back. This gives some extra purchase to a two finger slingshot cocking style. The round button magazine release is truly ambidextrous which I like a lot.
The Springfield XD trigger has a blade safety done right. It is wide enough and fills the slot in the trigger fully so there’s no “bite” when firing the pistol. The square-ish trigger guard is large enough to get a gloved trigger finger inside easily and is undercut. This allows your middle finger to get up high on the grip. Between the high grip and the substantial weight of the XD-9, it is a pretty soft shooting pistol for its size.
Springfield has given you a fiber optic sight up front paired with low profile combat-style white dot sights on the rear. You can swap between red and green fiber optic rods up front. The fiber dot shows up nicely in all but the dimmest light and there’s plenty of daylight between the blades for a good sight picture.
The Springfield XD-9 MOD 2 trigger is about what you should expect on a carry pistol. There is a somewhat long 3/8” of take-up on the trigger before it pushes back. The resistance builds for about 1/8” then breaks fairly cleanly right at 5 pounds. When easing off the trigger it travels about 3/8” before you feel the click of the reset.
It’s not a target trigger, but it’s not meant to be one. That said, the Springfield XD-9 trigger makes it easy to put rounds on target. For a sub-compact with just a 3” barrel, it’s a very accurate pistol.
The Springfield XD magazine
The magazine capacity for the XD-9 MOD2 is nothing to sneeze at. Where we tested, we were limited to the 10 round magazines (boo). However, in free states the flush fit option gets you a healthy 13+1 capacity. With the extended “X-Tension” magazine (there go the marketing guys again) you get a very generous 16+1 load out.
The factory mags are stainless steel and drop free like you know what from a goose. I have one small gripe about the extended 10 round magazine we used. It appears to insert to a microscopically different depth in the magwell as compared to the flush fit magazine. Whatever the difference, this resulted in several failures to feed and go into battery on a freshly inserted mag.
A little nudge convinced it to go into battery and this never happened while firing, only when letting the open slide go on a full mag. We didn’t see any similar occurrences with the either of the flush fit mags. Did we get one that was slightly out of spec? Maybe.
By the way, do you have any of the older XD magazines lying around? If so, they are fully forward compatible the newer XD MOD 2 line.
How’d it shoot?
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve put close to a thousand rounds through this pistol and never once did it fail to go bang. With the exception of the intermittent first round feed issue, seemingly related to the one extended magazine, it did exactly what it was supposed to. In other words, it put rounds on the target.
I rarely shoot a pistol off a rest and I didn’t with this one. I’m not greatly interested in what a pistol does in the lab, but what it does in my shaky hand. The Springfield XD-9 MOD 2 did pretty darn well. I shot with my standard grip, one handed, left handed and intentionally limp wristed. It wasn’t impressed with my efforts to make it mess up and just kept hitting the target.
It was easy to keep shots on the paper in all cases, and when being serious, the stout little pistol produced good groupings with all the various ammo we tried. The weight and high grip keeps muzzle flip in check and it’s easy to get back on target for follow up shots.
However, the XD-9 is a carry pistol, not a range rat, and this is where I’m a little conflicted. The overall dimensions are not huge and the capacity is great. However, with all the great single stack and micro-compact double stacks on the market, if you’re looking for IWB carry and deep concealment frankly there may be better choices.
If you’re carrying OWB, and prefer a little more meat on the grip than some of the pint-sized pistols offer you, the 16+1 capacity and soft shooting starts looking more attractive. To my mind, this really puts the XD-9 MOD 2 more in competition with “compact” rather than “sub-compact” offerings.
Your mileage may vary. Lots of folks carry beefier pistols than the XD-9 IWB, it’s just not for me. Either way, just get yourself a nice holster and carry on.
- Caliber: 9mm
- Sights: Fiber Optic Front, Low Profile Combat Steel Rear
- Height: 4.75″ (5.5″ w/ X-Tension Mag)
- Width 1.19″
- Length: 6.25″
- Barrel: 3″ 1:10 Twist
- Magazines: 13 Round Compact, 16 Round X-Tension (or 10 round state limited)
- MSRP: $559